Southern Success Story

New digital gear and a streamlined production process are propelling this Alabama in-plant to the forefront.

When Alabama’s finance director mandated that all state printing be routed through the Division of Printing and Publications a few years ago, he ticked off a lot of state agencies.

One of them, the Alabama Forestry Commission, grumbled for weeks, upset it couldn’t keep using its long-time commercial vendor.

“But they worked with us a time or two and found out that we could do the job—and we actually did it cheaper,” notes Jerry Wilson, division director of Alabama’s Division of Printing and Publications, Department of Finance.

Now that reluctant department is a fan. In fact, Wilson says, the Forestry Commission recently sent him a nice letter complimenting the in-plant for its pleasant, hard-working staff and high-quality printing.

“They just really wanted to tell us they appreciated it,” says Wilson. “We’re in a business where not too many compliments are passed around. Those kind of things are pleasing.”

On Course For Success

That’s the kind of success story Jerry Wilson wants to keep telling. And he’s on course to do just that.

His in-plant recently installed an arsenal of new equipment in its two Montgomery facilities to help it meet customer demands even faster, while saving the state lots of money—one of Wilson’s primary goals. On the list of new gear:

• A four-color Heidelberg Quickmaster 46-4 DI—a direct imaging press handling 13-3/8×18-1/8? sheets.

• Two two-color Heidelberg Printmaster 46-2 duplicators, which also handle 13-3/8×18-1/8? sheets.

• Three Heidelberg Digimaster 9110 digital printers, two of them with booklet making/saddle stitching capabilities.

• Two 65-page-per-minute (ppm), 600-dpi Heidelberg imageDirect 665 scanners to digitize hard copy submissions and send them quickly between the in-plant’s two locations.

Justifying the cost of all this new gear was not easy, Wilson says, but it helped that his in-plant is self-supporting.

“We don’t get any kind of subsidies from anybody,” he explains. “We print and sell printing, and that’s how we pay salaries and buy equipment.”

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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