The Goldilocks Philosophy
Not too big, not too small—that’s Dwayne Magee’s motto when it comes to equipping his in-plant in today’s uncertain economy.November 2010
The “If you build it, they will come” approach may have worked for Kevin Costner, but it’s bad business advice for in-plants, believes Dwayne Magee, director of Messiah College Press in Grantham, Pa. He prefers “the Goldi-locks philosophy”—not too big, not too small, just right. In today’s unpredictable economy, if current volumes can’t justify it, he advises, forget it.
This slow, but steady philosophy has paid off. Three years into the in-plant’s five-year lease on a Xerox 260 digital color copier, volume has tripled and the machine has proven to be just right.
“Initially it was a bit more than needed, but in another two years we are hoping it won’t be enough machine,” Magee says.
While he would like to replace antiquated prepress equipment with a direct-to-plate system, Magee currently can’t justify it.
“If the economy does not improve or volumes do not pick up, we may need to rethink offset printing. If this happens, I would love to find a digital press which can take the work on our offset presses and on our color copier and accommodate both.” But, for now, the in-plant is taking a wait-and-see stance, maximizing its current equipment and software.
QR Codes Offer New Dimension
Magee is particularly excited about introducing quick response (QR) codes.
“We bought XMPie [software] last year for running variable data, but it has been slow to catch on here.”
While attending IPMA’s conference in June, he learned about QR codes that could be generated with the existing XMPie software.
“I have already shared some ideas across campus, and we worked with our vendor to provide an informational Webinar recently to promote this exciting technology,” he relates. “It adds a whole new dimension to printing.”
For “Welcome Week” at Messiah College, the in-plant printed posters with QR codes, which linked students and parents to an online schedule. The shop has also added QR codes to the campus maps it prints, to link individuals to the college Web site.
Insourcing Generates Revenue
To fill the dip in offset and black-and-white volume, around 18 percent of the in-plant’s revenue last year came from insourcing. The shop regularly produces newsletters, brochures, letterhead and business cards for students, alumni, local businesses, associations and organizations.