In-plants Popular at Graph Expo
InfoTrends' Barb Pellow addresses the crowd during the IPMA lunch session.
In-plant managers in the audience at the RSA panel discussion.
Gene Voelker, manager of Supply Chain Business Services at Parkview Health, said he expects his in-plant to grow 25 to 30 percent this year. Bringing staff into the decision-making process and listening to their ideas, he contended, has kept his in-plant strong. He stressed the importance of reporting, noting that he creates more than 30 reports a month, tracking new customers, service calls, types of jobs and more. His in-plant, he said, was once voted number one in customer service in the company.
Phil Larson, former director of AFPress and grafaccent at American Fidelity, and now president of Shepherd Consulting OK, stressed the importance of marketing to the "C Suite" and to the influencers in the organization. He agreed that customer service is crucial for an in-plant, adding that he once turned down an opportunity to mandate that company printing business go to the in-plant, because he felt that if the shop couldn't win the work through customer service, it didn't deserve it.
One interesting question fielded by the panel was "What have you tried that did not work?" Three of the four cited their initial foray into an MIS system. In each case it turned into a nightmare of extra staffing, wasted money and long waits for the system to work, which it never did. They each eventually admitted defeat, learned from their mistakes and moved ahead with a different system.
Web-to-print and QR codes
Directly following this, the In-Plant Printing & Mailing Association (IPMA) held a very popular lunch- and-learn session, moderated by InfoTrends' Barb Pellow, covering Web-to-print, QR codes and more. About 125 people, most of them in-plant managers, packed the room. Most of the session's sponsors let their in-plant customers take the stage to explain how technology has improved their operations:
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.