IPMA Goes Full Throttle in Milwaukee

More than 130 in-plant managers traveled to Milwaukee for IPMA 2014.

Scott Waldo, of Farmers Insurance, and Tammy Dunham, of Nestle Purina, talked shop before one of the sessions.

At the vendor fair, Ron Shepard (left), of Xeikon, chatted with Clem Deussen (University of North Texas), Rodney Brown (University of Delaware) and Sherri Isbell (University of Oklahoma).

Attendees packed the room for one of the sessions.

Barbara Stainbrook and Erik Holdo, of Konica Minolta Business Solutions, offered a unique presentation in which they discussed new opportunities for in-plants while whipping up a culinary delight.

Staci Hill, of Freese and Nichols, led an interactive session on Web-to-Print.

David Higgins (Connecticut Conference of Municipalities) and David Hoel (University of Minnesota) struck up a conversation between sessions.

A well-attended and informative panel discussion moderated by Elisha Kasinskas (left), of Rochester Software Associates, featured Chuck Werninger (Houston Independent School District), Doug Maxwell (Brigham Young University), Tim Hendrix (State of Oregon) and Brian Wadell (University of California-Davis).

NAPL Consultant Howie Fenton drew a crowd to his session on workflow software.

David Estes (East Kentucky Power Coop), Bob Wamsher (The Hershey Co.) and other managers took in a presentation on the second day of the conference.

James Mason talks with Elisha Kasinskas (right), of Rochester Software Associates.

Michael Gatti of Fairfax County Printing Services.

In-plant managers at a session

The In-plant Printing and Mailing Association celebrated its 50th anniversary last month with a busy, information-packed conference that drew more than 130 in-plants to Milwaukee.

“You can either live your fears or you can live your dreams,” he declared. Most people spend their lives in fear of things that don’t amount to anything, he said. The greatest illusion in life is that you don’t have what it takes, he added. If you don’t believe in yourself, your employees won’t either.

He noted that great leaders are good at developing and nurturing others, to inspire them to believe in themselves. The way you treat your employees, he said, will be reflected in the way they treat your customers. If you treat them poorly, they will still do their jobs, but not very well.

“Practice people development,” he urged.

Leadership Secrets

NAPL Senior Consultant Howie Fenton gave a pair of presentations, revealing some of the secrets of in-plant leaders. Measuring key performance indicators and benchmarking performance with industry leaders were two of the key steps, he said.

“Leaders measure more,” he remarked, and they use those measurements to motivate change. Reporting your measurement data to management is crucial to demonstrate your increased productivity.

When benchmarking against other printers, he noted, understanding your in-plant’s sales per employee number is crucial. The industry standard is $123,000, he noted, but industry leaders report $164,000 per employee. In-plants can be hindered in comparisons with outside printers, he said, due to their typically higher compensation packages. So he urged them to run leaner by reducing FTEs and hiring more temporary workers for busy times. He noted that leading in-plants tend to hire more from outside the industry to obtain the skills they lack.

Fenton also went over the results of an NAPL in-plant workflow software survey. Most in-plant investment has been in Web-to-print, PDF workflow, print MIS and VDP software, he said, with Web-to-print considered the most worthwhile investment.

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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  • Elisha Kasinskas

    Great article, Bob! IPMA members can contact RSA for a link to select session videos, Barb Pellow’s presentation, and more. For a copy of the “Idea Book” from the “55 Ideas on 60 minutes” panel session, click on the “Idea Book” ad, or download it here: http://bit.ly/1uJRHor .