Vendor Creativity Helps In-plant Through Tough Time

From left: Scott Perrigo, Don Choate and Steve Dimond stand with M.I.T. Copy Technology Centers’ new Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000.

M.I.T. Copy Technology Centers' new Konica Minolta digital color press.

Two years ago, things were looking up for M.I.T. Copy Technology Centers, the in-plant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge. After a long search, the 21-employee operation had finally made the decision to acquire a Xerox iGen3 and was preparing to enter the world of high-quality color printing.

Then everything changed. The sour economy compelled M.I.T. to freeze capital expenditures, leaving the in-plant in limbo.

“So we were kind of dead in the water,” reflects Manager Steve Dimond. “We had old, aging, small color devices”—specifically a pair of five-year-old Konica Minolta C850s, which struggled to handle the volume.

“We were losing customers because we couldn’t quite keep up the quality,” Dimond says.

In the years that followed, M.I.T. looked hard at all of its service groups, seeking ways to save money.

“Our services came under…intense review,” Dimond says.

So he put out on S.O.S. to all of the vendors, looking for a creative, temporary color solution that could help them through this difficult period. Most simply offered purchase proposals. But one vendor showed more creativity.

“Konica Minolta came up with a brand new bizhub PRO C6501, which they gave to us on a month-to-month basis.” The in-plant would pay only click charges.

“It was a huge upgrade for us, and it also allowed us to economically continue the color service, and even enhance it,” Dimond says.

This led to M.I.T. Copy Technology Centers being chosen as a Beta test site for Konica Minolta’s new bizhub PRESS C8000. Armed with two color devices, the in-plant was able to significantly grow its color business, developing customers at a higher level than ever before. Its ability to bring high-profile color print work back on campus and save M.I.T. money, brought the in-plant very favorable reviews, helping it through some difficult times.

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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