From the Editor: Thinking About Tomorrow
In-plant Graphics Editor Bob Neubauer
Tony Seaman, holding a framed cover of IPG's June 2008 issue, on which he appeared.
When I ponder the future of in-plants, I generally see it through the eyes of the forward-thinking managers I've met—the ones constantly adding services and contemplating new ways to help their customers.
One of those managers is Tony Seaman, director of Printing and Graphic Services at the University of Mississippi, and president of the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association. When I learned Tony was retiring on January 31, I was determined to speak with him before he left, to get his observations on the future of the industry he has worked in since apprenticing as a camera operator in 1961.
I caught up with him at the PODi AppForum in Las Vegas, where he was preparing to give a presentation. An eternally upbeat man with a British accent, Tony is always quick with a laugh and never fails to cheer up any room he enters.
"My words of wisdom would be: don't let your children grow up to be printers," he offers, with a hearty laugh. In reality, though, he loves printing, and in-plants in particular, and wants them to succeed. His advice to peers is to monitor changing technology and keep introducing value-added services.
In his own in-plant, Tony's final months have been filled with upgrades and new services, all designed to enhance the in-plant's value. Under his direction, Printing and Graphic Services recently added slitting/scoring/perfing equipment and a tabletop perfect binder, and is about to install a new inserter, so it can start inserting flats. After seeing a foil fusing machine at Graph Expo, he snapped one up, and the shop can now put holographic security foil on athletic tickets.
The in-plant just upgraded to FusionPro variable data printing software so it can create personalized QR codes, and it added EFI Digital StoreFront. But the most exciting innovation at Ole Miss has been Clickable Paper. Ricoh chose the in-plant as part of a pilot program to test its award-winning technology, and Seaman has been one of its most gung-ho supporters.
Related story: Tony Seaman Retires