From the Editor: You're Valuable. Prove ItSeptember 2013 By Bob Neubauer
It's encouraging to read this month's cover story on Highmark Corporate Printing Services and see Manager Jeffrey Taranto say such things as "While in-plants often face the danger of their companies turning the lights off on them, we have experienced the complete opposite. Our business only seems to grow...and Highmark has been willing to invest more and more money into us."
Wow. Is that every manager's dream or what?
A situation like this doesn't just happen, though. In Highmark's case, the company and its subsidiaries are flourishing and in constant need of sales collateral, manuals, enrollment forms and more. Jeff's operation has consistently been there to produce these items, working 24 hours a day to ensure they arrive quickly. The in-plant has proven its value and gives the company an edge, so Highmark is more than happy to support it with new equipment and larger quarters.
This isn't our only example this month of a parent organization that loves its in-plant. You may have just read about Franklin University Printing Services on page 3. It opened its doors just a year ago, and has so far saved the Columbus, Ohio, university nearly $110,000.
The point in all this is that in-plants provide great value for their organizations. It's up to the in-plant, though, to point this out, especially when those farther up the chain of command aren't paying attention. Upper management at Highmark and Franklin appreciates what a great service they're getting. At other in-plants, managers must be more proactive.
I was recently talking with a manager whose organization is considering outsourcing. His in-plant, I noted, provides a ton of value that can't be measured in dollars and cents. When you list it all (and acknowledge that the outside printer's "money-saving" rates are definitely going to increase over time) it makes much more sense to retain the in-plant.
Among the often-overlooked benefits your in-plant provides: your close proximity lets customers easily stop in and consult, do press checks, approve proofs, then quickly return to their offices; outsourcing, by contrast, will keep employees away for longer periods of time. Also due to your on-site location, delivery times will be faster (and most likely free).
Your in-plant keeps an eye on branding and logos to ensure they're consistent and never deviate from standards; your staff spots typos and fixes them free, before they are printed; you watch for mail pieces not designed within USPS specifications; you suggest design modifications to enable less expensive print costs; your internal billing process is far less complicated than what your organization will face after outsourcing; you ensure confidential materials never leave the organization and stay secure.
Benefits like these outweigh claims of lower costs from outside vendors who, let's face it, need to make a profit. So don't wait until you're challenged. Start listing your value-added benefits today.