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Top 50 Report The Digital Challenge

December 2002


The Division of Publishing and Distribution Services for the State of Oregon has held strong for the past year, with sales steady despite an unfriendly economic climate. Manager Kay Erickson attributes the health of her facility to seeking out innovative ways to bring in extra revenue.

Clocking in at three years on the job, Erickson may not be a veteran yet, but she has not let that stop her from guiding the shop through what she sees as the three main changes shaping its future.

They are a transition into digital printing, a partnership with Oregon Corrections Enterprises and the addition of graphic design and Web design to the facility's menu of services provided.

"Over the past five years we have made a concerted effort to shift into digital printing," she says.

To do that, Erickson reports that the in-plant has acquired several Xerox 6180s, and she has worked out a unique partnership with Xerox.

"We have a contract with them [Xerox] to maintain the equipment," she explains. "The contract allows us to have a per-impression cost, which we then pass on to our customers."

The deal comes in very handy, as the in-plant has also recently begun printing jobs like checks and warrants—all of which require variable data capabilities.

As a matter of fact, Erickson reports that over the past 10 years, the in-plant has been integrating and consolidating print operations for the entire state. The shop has taken on the responsibility of providing mainframe and data center printing, and it's changing the way the department operates.

"We're working with transformation software to redirect the print stream, and we're trying to level-load the shop so that we can output to any device," she says.

But Erickson is not simply looking to update the shop's digital printing services.

"We're also looking at CTP to digitize and automate the offset process," she says.

Erickson explains that the production area of her facility is designed to adapt to rises and falls in the volume of work coming into the in-plant.

"We have a suite of common equipment to expand and contract with the workload," she says.

The State of Oregon's in-plant has also worked out an uncommon outsourcing partnership. Erickson says her shop supports the in-plant at Oregon Corrections Enterprises by outsourcing a good amount of work to the prison. The partnership was established in 1997, and Erickson feels it's been quite a success.
 

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