University of Oklahoma Wins Organizational Impact Award

Administrator John Sarantakos (center) stands with some of his staff at University of Oklahoma Printing and Mailing Services. The in-plant just won IPMA’s Organizational Impact Award.

University of Oklahoma Printing Services staff celebrates winning Best of Show. Here, the in-plant’s management team holds up their prize (from the left): Beth Gatewood, assistant administrator; John Sarantakos, administrator; and Sherri Isbell, assistant administrator.

The employees of University of Oklahoma Printing and Mailing Services understand that what they do has a bigger impact on the success and advancement of the university than just putting ink on paper. The products produced and distributed by the 94-employee in-plant directly reflect the values and goals of the university.

Over the last 15 years, the in-plant has made business decisions based on this philosophy. If a product or an activity would enhance support of the overall mission, Printing and Mailing Services made the investment; if an equipment purchase streamlined operations or decreased turnaround times, the in-plant made the investment; if a change in procedures made employees’ jobs easier, it made the investment.

This consistent effort to make Printing and Mailing Services integral to the OU community has earned the in-plant the inaugural Organizational Impact Award from the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association. This award was created to recognize an in-plant for outstanding contributions related to non-production activities within its parent organization.

“We have a mission beyond simply just ‘doing business,’” remarks Sherri Isbell, assistant administrator. “Our blend of tenured and new team members allows us to be an integral part of the day-to-day operations on campus and provides a recipe of trust, accountability and integrity within the university community.”

Universities are centers of activities, such as conferences, fairs and visits from outside students and educators. OU Printing and Mailing Services makes sure it is prominently represented in all activities.

The in-plant has played an integral part in OU’s campus-wide copier management initiative and manages the program. It covers three campuses and more than 1,000 multi-functional devices, which produce close to 100 million copies each year. The administration’s goal is to reduce this number by 5-10 percent a year through print reduction via scan-and-save, electronic workflows and e-mailing. The in-plant supports and enables these efforts, which have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

The Printing and Mailing management team provides weekly and monthly reports to administration highlighting its success with projects, customers and the community. Feedback from customers is collected and shared. Processes and procedures are constantly reviewed and improved, and these activities are reported. Recycling and energy conservation efforts are documented and detailed to show dedication to the environment, which is important to the university.

Through event participation, community service, education and quality products, OU Printing and Mailing has been integral to the fabric of the university. Its commitment to excellence goes beyond ink and stamps. Its staff, Isbell says, is made up of caring and giving people who are willing to make a difference.

“It’s important to us to align our objectives to support the OU community,” declares Isbell. “We do this by delivering consistent, high-quality products and services and communicating our value.”

Related story: University of Oklahoma Upgrades to NexPress SX3300

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