Building a Smarter In-plant

Employees of Michigan Farm Bureau’s Printing Services operation pose by their Kodak NexPress 2500 SE. From left: Bobbie Weygandt, Karen Meyers, Jeff Sipe, Heather Costigan, Rich Forgrave, Judy Thompson, Steve Rogers and Chuck Fitz.

Karen Meyers
Business Manager, Printing Services
Michigan Farm Bureau
Lansing, Mich.
Digital Press: Kodak NexPress 2500

Showing off the new Kodak NexPress 2500 at Michigan Farm Bureau are Jeff Berry, digital operations supervisor, and Karen Meyers, business manager.

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.

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.

“Customers just enter the quantity they want, and it is all ready to go,” she says.

Web-to-print Aids Insourcing

About 15 percent of the in-plant’s work is currently insourced. The Web-to-print module originally was only open to internal customers; however, in the past six months, the shop has opened it up to external customers, as well.

This was a key to helping the in-plant to produce work such as posters, tickets and business cards for an event called Breakfast on the Farm. More than 10,000 people attended different events throughout the summer, bringing additional work into the in-plant.

“All of the counties were able to order print jobs for the event through the Web site,” Meyers says. Previously, someone had to set up each job.

“So it saved a lot of time this year having online ordering,” Meyers says, noting that the ease of online ordering has become a big selling point for the in-plant.

Meyers also finds the reporting module to be incredibly valuable because she is able to run reports and generate information for the company.

Avanti’s reporting module offers more than 200 standard reports, providing insight into an in-plant’s historical data, as well as information about jobs currently being worked on at the shop.

“So when I go to our upper management and they want information about the shop, we can easily generate a lot of information,” Meyers says, adding that the Avanti system allows the in-plant to do accounting work and track inventory.

Related story: NexPress Brings New Opportunities at Michigan Farm Bureau

Related Content