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Teamwork, Technology Revive In-plant

Having the latest technology in your in-plant isn’t the only thing that matters. Getting employees to buy into your vision is critical. At Fox Valley Technical College, these elements have produced an impressive in-plant turnaround.

May 2012
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Shana Farrell knows that recognizing your staff for their efforts is one of the best ways to boost morale and performance. So she tries to let them know how valuable their contributions are as often as she can.

“You do make a difference,” she tells them, “and you need to know you make a difference.” 

A year and a half ago, Farrell, Printing Services and Distance Learning Manager at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis., organized a recognition event for her staff of six. She invited not only her boss but the college president. There, each employee received individual recognition for his or her hard work and dedication. Afterward, Farrell says, she noticed everyone was working harder and enjoying their jobs more.

This is just one of the steps Farrell has taken to improve employee morale and communication since she joined the department in 2006. Getting employees to buy into her vision for the in-plant has been just as important to the shop’s success as the technology upgrades she has implemented—possibly more so. 

That’s a bold statement, considering the in-plant works for the state’s largest technical college, serving nearly 53,000 people. The in-plant is no slacker in the technology department, though:

 It uses Rochester Software Associates’ WebCRD Web-to-print job submission and automated production management software; 

 It boasts a Kodak NexPress SE2500 with Kodak Dimensional Printing and a NexGlosser near-line glossing unit;

 It uses a 54˝ Roland wide-format inkjet printer to address a growing demand for signage; 

 And it relies on two Kodak Digimasters, a Ricoh Pro C900 color printer and two Ricoh 907s in its Digital Print Center. 

Focusing on the Staff

Still, despite all this firepower, Farrell has found that improving morale has been a crucial ingredient in Printing Services’ turnaround. Before she arrived, there were certainly no self-esteem-building endeavors at the in-plant. It was a union shop, everyone had their territories and there was almost no sense of teamwork. Employee morale was low, training was nonexistent and the in-plant’s reputation was poor. The shop hadn’t updated its products or services in years.

In-plant Snapshot

Fox Valley Technical College Printing Services
Appleton, Wis.

  • Employees: 7
  • Volume: 300-350 orders/month
  • Impressions: 1.15 million/month

Key Equipment/Software:

  • EFI MicroPress MakeReady
  • RSA WebCRD Web-to-print software
  • Printable’s FusionPro 7.0  VDP -software
  • Kodak PREPS imposition software 
  • Rampage RIP software
  • Kodak Trendsetter CTP
  • Kodak NexPress SE2500 with -Dimensional Printing 
  • Ricoh Pro C900
  • Kodak Digimaster EX150
  • Kodak Digimaster ES138 with in-line booklet maker
  • Two Ricoh Pro 907s
  • PSI LM 3655 envelope printer
  • Roland VP-540 54˝ wide-format printer
  • NexGlosser near-line glossing unit
  • Standard Horizon BQ-140 perfect binder 
  • Standard Horizon PF-P3100 desktop folder
  • Challenge Titan 265 XT cutter
  • Challenge MS-5 drill
  • GBC DigiCoil inserter 
  • Graphic Wizard CreaseMaster Plus 
  • Hasler M8600 folder/inserter 
  • Hasler HT20 tabber
  • Marlon 350 auto crimper
  • PF F35a manual punch
  • Plastikoil PBS industrial  roller-inserter


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