Print Management Adds Value in Torrance
Since adding a print management solution, the City of Torrance's Central Services department has improved its workflow, job tracking abilities and ease of use for customers.July 2014
When Gerry Pinela took over as supervisor of Central Services for the City of Torrance, Calif., in June of 2007, the job submission process at the nine-employee in-plant was somewhat laborious. Customers filled out a three-part NCR form, and then the staff manually entered the job information into an Excel spreadsheet. The manual process was time consuming and lacked the tracking and reporting capabilities Pinela needed to effectively manage the workflow.
"Jobs weren't kept track of as accurately as we would have liked," he reflects.
It was not possible to break out costs by department/division/account number or by specified projects. What's more, email limitations prevented customers from sending large files to the shop, forcing them to burn files to a CD and walk it over.
To improve the shop's workflow, job tracking and ease of use for customers, Central Services implemented Print Shop Pro from edu Business Solutions in 2008. Since then, the city has been able to achieve 100 percent online order submission.
"Simply put, the system is easy to use," says Pinela.
A Balanced City
Torrance, the eighth largest city in Los Angeles County, has more than 1,600 employees across 14 different departments. The in-plant serves approximately 125 customers and produces more than 3,000 print jobs per year, with several months exceeding 350 job tickets. The shop prints a large volume of flyers for departments like Community Services, Parks and Recreation, Public Works and the Torrance Library. The City Council agenda, which can run hundreds of pages, is another big job.
Color printing makes up about 30 percent of the in-plant's volume, Pinella says. The fully digital operation includes a Konica Minolta bizhub Pro 6501, two Kodak Digimasters (a 9110 and a 9150), a Riso HC5500 inkjet printer for envelopes and letterhead, and a Riso black-and-white duplicator. The shop also has a 44˝ Epson Stylus Pro 9890 wide-format printer.
"We're doing a lot of posters that are mounted onto foam core," Pinela says. Banners are another popular item.
The in-plant has moved into other areas as well, such as scanning documents for archival and converting forms into fillable PDFs.
Path to Print Management
The in-plant's path to a print management software solution was a long one. Pinela's main objective was to implement an online order submission process for improved customer convenience and service. He also wanted to free up the print staff from having to manually fill out work requests and handle the high volume of customer phone calls.