Trevecca Nazarene Brings Print Back In-house
Trevecca Nazarene University is a liberal arts school in Nashville, Tenn., with about 3,000 students. The university has a digital print shop that produces everything from tests, syllabi, and books; to invitations and programs for black-tie fundraiser events; and full-blown marketing campaigns to attract prospective students. Trevecca Print Services, the university’s in-plant printing facility, is run by Kelly Huebscher, along with a night-time supervisor, and a staff of students who get experience and pay a portion of their loans through the university’s iwork program.
The in-plant operation was not always successful. In 2013, the shop was filled with older digital copy machines, which were so outdated the university was considering closing it. The administration asked Huebscher to perform a campus-wide, enterprise print study and decided to transform the in-plant into a fully digital operation that manages all printing on campus—and they put Huebscher in charge.
The in-plant operation’s first challenge was selecting the technologies for the migration from copy machines to digital printers. However, transforming an in-plant from an outdated shop to a digital printing operation is more challenging than acquiring digital presses and software. Huebscher also needed to get strong, upper management support; change clients’ ordering methods and habits; alter the university’s perception of the in-plant; and determine how to promote and use their new capabilities. She also needed to learn about printing.
Cost savings & higher margins
Trevecca Print Services invested in a Xerox Color 1000i digital press driven by an EFI Fiery digital front end (DFE) and EFI Digital StoreFront web-to-print and eCommerce software. This gave them digital printing capabilities, online ordering, and the ability to print in gold, silver, and clear. It also provided the means to bring high-quality, color jobs in-house. Huebscher identified the university’s marketing department as a key user of these types of materials, and that department soon became her number one client.
Changing the perception of the in-plant being expensive and low quality—and getting students and staff to use the Digital StoreFront web ordering portal—required planning. The operation rolled out its new website during the summer of 2016. Huebscher and her team trained key administrators, tailoring these sessions to each department, and engaged administrators as champions. Huebscher used the same strategy with the students. She first trained the campus residential directors and residential assistants, who then rolled the system out to the students.
The biggest challenge, however, was that Huebscher needed to learn how to run a printing operation and promote her new capabilities. She reached out to local printers, and continues to use many of these shops to provide finishing and other work she can’t do in-house. She learned that different printers have various strengths and weaknesses, and work together to handle customers’ work. In fact, their first gold and silver work came from outside the university to support a local commercial printer, since Trevecca Print Services is the only location in Nashville with that capability.
50% volume growth
The bottom-line results have been remarkable. “Our web storefront helped us grow our volume by at least 50%,” Huebscher says. ”
The-plant operation has also altered the way the marketing department works. “I’m involved with the project all the way from conception to when we hand them the product,” explains Huebscher. “It makes us look like a team.”
It also has had a significant financial impact on the university. “We saved hundreds of thousands of dollars when we brought the print shop on campus with the Xerox digital press, our EFI Digital StoreFront, and our move under marketing. It was a huge win for the university.”