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PRINT 13: In-plants in the Limelight

It was encouraging to see the number of sessions, receptions and forums organized exclusively for in-plants during the Chicago show.

October 2013 By Bob Neubauer
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PRINT 13 was a busy show, but perhaps no group of printers had a busier time there than in-plant managers. Between the luncheons, sessions, receptions and other forums designed specifically for in-plants, managers were challenged to find time for the show floor itself.

Not that anyone in the in-plant community is complaining. After all, managers could pick and choose which events to attend, and very few went to everything. Just witnessing the warm embrace of in-plants by the printing community was a heartening experience.

"The high presence of in-plant activities were a great improvement compared to previous years," remarked Jimmy Vainstein, printing facility manager at The World Bank. "These events truly provided many opportunities to network with fellow in-plant managers and help each other find solutions to everyday challenges."

In-plant managers were a big part of the educational program at PRINT 13, and a number of them led seminars on topics like adding value, generating revenue and variable data printing. One seminar featured a panel of four managers who took turns sharing ideas and describing successful initiatives. They were:

  • Abbas Badani, of Penn State University;
  • Tom Rohrbach, of Progressive Insurance;
  • Mike Lincoln, with the State of Colorado's Integrated Document Services (IDS) operation;
  • Garry Boytos, of the University of Texas Health Science Center.
(Watch videos from this session here.) Badani, who runs a $15 million, 50-employee operation, said his in-plant now prints a 50/50 split of offset/digital work. His guiding philosophy has been to make the customer happy, so they want to use the in-plant. He has found that partnering with procurement and nurturing that relationship has helped the in-plant's success.

Rohrbach said his in-plant earned the right of first refusal by taking ownership of the company's brand, which is extremely important to Progressive. "If you do that, you are literally a strategic partner," he said. He encouraged managers to keep up with the latest technologies so the in-plant can offer customers solutions they hadn't even thought of.

Lincoln said that a focus on quality has has taken his in-plant far. Over the years, he changed the employee mindset from "it's good enough for government," to one that focuses on the best possible quality. "Our customers started noticing," he said. Now they are strong advocates. Lincoln also ramped up customer service and now has a four-person team that focuses on each agency's needs to figure out how the in-plant can satisfy them.

 

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