A Great
 Move in Missouri

Standing by the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City are State Printer Rodney Vessell and Debbie Reynolds, Office of Administration mail manager.

Jim Morris (left) and Jeff Claypool run a job on the four-color Ryobi 3404 E DI direct imaging press, which has been a tremendous help in handling the large demand for short-run, four-color work.

Working on one of the in-plant's two Didde web presses.

Mitchell Herigon loads paper into the Xerox DocuTech 6180.

George Byrd runs the 96-bin Bell + Howell Criterion MLOCR sorter.

Keith Bennett monitors a job being run on the C.P. Bourg Modulen collator.

After 30 years in its plant, the Missouri State Printing Center moved into a new facility along with the state’s mailing operation. Today, things are better than ever.

Though the in-plant provides variable data printing for such jobs as benefit statements, pre-filled forms, admission tickets and certificates, Vessel says its “bread and butter” is the two-color web work, such as voter registration cards, surveys, forms and brochures. The in-plant has the right of first refusal, but for long-run offset work, it has a reciprocal contract with the University of Missouri’s in-plant in Columbia, which has a six-color Heidelberg press.

For a busy in-plant like this to pick up and move is an extraordinary thing, but even more amazing is that in-plant employees did all the moving themselves.

“That was probably the biggest undertaking that I’ve had to do since I’ve been working for the state of Missouri,” Vessell says. “It took us a couple months.”

He is quick to praise his employees for their hard work during this time period.

“I was lucky enough to have some awful good employees…who were willing to work all the weekends and the nights to get us moved,” he lauds.

The seed for this relocation was planted three years ago when the state, looking for ways to downsize in a bad economy, decided to consolidate print and mail. Vessell was chosen to oversee the combined operation. At the time, agencies handled their own mail in scattered mail centers—much the way printing was handled prior to 1980. The mail shops were consolidated into a facility on the east end of the city.

After two years of driving back and forth between the two plants, Vessell was excited when the state finally found a facility large enough to house both operations. But then came the tricky part: moving the equipment.

Vessell says when he looked into hiring a contractor to handle the move, he was overwhelmed by all the liability issues involved and the idea of having the contractor control the schedule while he was trying to keep the operation running.

Related story: Rodney Vessell: Every Day Is A New Battle

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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  • Rick Wise

    As noted in the article, we have had the pleasure of working with Rodney and his crew for a number of years. We greatly appreciate their professionalism. My hat is off to them for surviving (and thriving!) a plant-wide move and also for successfully navigating through these difficult and challenging times in our state for the last several years.
    I knew Gary Judd and I am grateful that they bestowed the appropriate honor of naming the building after him. He was as fine a man as you could ever hope to meet.
    Rick Wise
    Printing Services
    University of Missouri
    Columbia, MO 65211