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University of Missouri Printing Services A History Of Customer

April 2003
A strong focus on customers, along with expertise in process color printing and online ordering, have built University of Missouri-Columbia Printing Services into an in-plant powerhouse.

by Bob Neubauer

Not many in-plants can lay claim to a six-color press—let alone two of them. But when you're the largest printing operation in a city of 84,500, the big jobs have a way of finding you.

With 105 full- and part-time employees, University of Missouri-Columbia Printing Services is not only a local printing giant, but one of the top in-plants in the country. It ranked 27th on the recent IPG Top 50, and boasted sales of nearly $8 million last year.

Walking through the in-plant's 53,000-square-foot main facility, one can truly get a sense of the size and scope of this operation. Its high ceilings, laced with ducts and adorned with a giant hanging American flag, lend a cavernous feel to the plant, while skids piled high with jobs, waiting beside large, churning presses and bindery machines, underscore the tremendous volume of work being processed. Some 600 or so jobs are in production at any given time, with double that number during peak business periods.

Printing Services Director Rick Wise enjoys showing off the impressive facility and can't resist pausing to praise the dedication of employees he passes, like press operators Robert Hagans and Phil Moritz.

"It's not the Heidelbergs and the MBOs that make this place," Wise comments. "It is truly the people."

Those people, and their willingness to adapt to new technologies, have helped the 69-year-old in-plant flourish, giving it a reputation for expertise in both established and cutting-edge technologies. Not only does the in-plant print long runs of award-winning material on its offset presses, (including the In-Print 99 Best of Show winner), it has been a pioneer in developing, utilizing and promoting online job submission.

Robust Customer Service

But what makes it stand out most is not its hardware or volume, but its strong focus on customer service.

"We've always had a heavy customer service model here," says Wise, who feels the in-plant needs a "powerful, robust customer service department," not just a bunch of order takers. That department consists of five customer service representatives (CSRs), three CSR assistants and two messengers, all overseen by Supervisor Marcia Doll.

"We just feel like we have to go above and beyond in handling our customers," says Doll, a 12-year veteran of the customer service department. "There's been a lot of budget cuts. People are really looking at what can they get for their money. And they're actually looking off campus."
 

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