A Texas In-plant Roundup

The 38th annual SUPDMC drew about 30 managers from all over the southeastern United States, as well as from Ohio and Arizona.

Richard Beto, director of Document Solutions at The University of Texas at Austin, hosted the conference.

Keri Cook and Otis Johnson, from the University of Texas Medical Branch, talk with Mike Strand from EDU Business Solutions in the vendor area.

Chris Reich, CEO of TeachU, discussed how “Game Theory” can be used to manipulate the way others think by giving them choices that appear to be in their best interest.

Moe Estrada and Chuck Harding from the Texas Department of Transportation.

In-plant managers from all over the South got together in Austin, Texas, last month to discuss outsourcing, benchmarking and "Game Theory."

Judging by the content of the sessions at last month’s Southeastern University Printing and Digital Managers Conference (SUPDMC), the threat of outsourcing still weighs heavy on the minds of higher-ed in-plant managers. Throughout the three-day conference, held on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, speakers repeated the worrisome message that outsourcing companies are relentless and every in-plant should expect—and prepare—to be called into question.

According to Ed Danielczyk, president of Business eXcellence Consulting, in-plant managers who face this inquisition often try to defend themselves using the wrong arguments. Instead of talking about how much money they’re saving, he said, managers need to show the in-plant is a core service by stressing the essential part it plays in helping the university fulfill its goals of attracting and retaining students and encouraging alumni contributions.

“You’ve got to have the right conversation,” advised Danielczyk.

He was just one of the many excellent speakers at the 38th annual SUPDMC, which drew about 30 managers from all over the southeastern United States, as well as from Ohio and Arizona. It was hosted and organized by Richard Beto and his staff at UT Austin Document Services.

Attendees got a chance to tour this impressive in-plant during the conference. With two- and four-color offset presses and full bindery and mail capabilities, the 52-employee print and mail operation produces high-quality, award-winning pieces for the university. A separate, on-campus digital print facility includes a Xerox 1000, plus Canon color and monochrome printers and wide-format inkjet printers. Plans are in place to move the digital operation into the main plant by the end of the year.

Artistic Talent Showcase

The conference got off to an unconventional, interactive start when Gary Williford, retired manager of the University of Tennessee’s in-plant in Knoxville, asked attendees to each draw a poster depicting what they do as managers. Though their artistic talents were a bit strained by the exercise, they scratched out images ranging from firemen putting out fires to the Energizer Bunny. Williford told managers they are the “Why Guys” on campus, whom people come to for answers.

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.

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