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SUPDMC Brings Managers to Georgia

November 1, 2012
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For three days last month, university in-plant managers gathered in Valdosta, Ga., for the 37th annual Southeastern University Printing & Digital Managers Conference (SUPDMC). Organized by Drew Burgering, manager of Printing & Copying Services at Valdosta State University (VSU), the conference included a tour of VSU’s in-plant, a visit to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s printing/teaching facility and a tour of the Valdosta Daily Times newspaper plant, South Georgia Printing.

“Getting a chance to engage with fellow managers has always been rewarding for me over the past 18 years that I have been attending SUPDMC,” remarked Burgering. “This year was no exception.” 

Copyright issues were one of the big topics covered in the sessions, with speakers discussing how to use technology to simplify copyright clearance. Other sessions touched on teamwork, employee motivation, marketing strategies and printing trends in Admissions and Development areas. 

Mark Reeves, assistant VP for Auxiliary Services at the University of West Georgia, offered some useful advice when he talked about the importance of supporting the university’s strategic goals. He detailed how UWG’s in-plant added services, improved customer service and went from a cost center to a profit center.

Jimmy Robinson, from the University of West Alabama, moderated an informative roundtable discussion on value-added opportunities for in-plants. Ideas included starting a bulk mail program, getting into wide-format printing, CD/DVD writing and printing, jump-drive writing, copier program management and printing magnets and buttons on a digital press.

Consultant Ray Chambers, of the Chambers Management Group, shared observations from some of the in-plant assessments he has done. Often, he said, the in-plants he works with have no formalized planning process in place. A good manager, he stressed, is one who plans for the future by identifying where he or she wants to take the shop and sets goals for how to get there.

Next year’s SUPDMC will be hosted by The University of Texas at Austin, September 15-19, 2013.

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