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Building a Smarter In-plant

Using a print management system combined with Web-to-print software has streamlined and improved Michigan Farm Bureau's Printing Services operation, bringing critical information to the manager's fingertips.

January 2013 By Chris Bauer
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For Karen Meyers, business manager at Michigan Farm Bureau's Printing Services operation in Lansing, Mich., knowledge is power.

To keep her in-plant running efficiently and effectively, Meyers depends on Avanti's Graphic Arts Management System. Specifically, Printing Services utilizes Avanti's estimating, order entry, inventory management and reporting modules, as well as Avanti's eAccess Web-to-print software.

"It definitely streamlines our operation," Meyers says, noting the shop has been an Avanti customer for more than eight years. "It also gives us a high-level overview of the shop."

Michigan Farm Bureau is the state's largest general farm organization, with more than 200,000 family members in 67 county farm bureaus. Michigan Farm Bureau is in the same family of companies as Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan.

Meyers says her eight-employee in-plant has enjoyed significant time-saving capabilities since adding eAccess four years ago.

"The jobs come into the system, we have templates loaded on our Web site for our clients, and customers can view immediate proofs when they place the order," Meyer explains. "The nice thing on our end is that it comes through ready to print. The file is ready, and the job has written itself."

Meyers contends that the shop's customers love how easy the Web ordering software is to navigate.

"I have had some people that, literally, I sent them their user ID and password and five minutes later they e-mailed me back and said 'thanks so much. I am already done,' " she proudly reports.

Michigan Farm Bureau's marketing department also likes the Web ordering features because of the template process, Meyers points out.

"They have loaded about 50 different postcards for the insurance agents to use," Meyers says. "That has allowed them to streamline the branding process. They can upload different cards at different times of the year."

This also ensures consistency of logos throughout the organization, she notes.

Through the Farm Bureau Web site, customers were able to order 2013 calendars, which were produced by the in-plant. It was all set up as a template on the site, so it was a simple process for customers, Meyers says.






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