University of West Georgia Wins Print Center AwardAugust 2013
The Publications and Printing team from the University of West Georgia (UWG) has been honored with the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association’s 2013 Print Center Award. This award recognizes an in-house publishing operation that excels in efficient management practices in furthering the objectives of its parent organization.
The Carrollton, Ga.-based in-plant’s 10-member team, led by Director Sally Roberts, has worked to reinvent the print facility, adding new products and services, developing a new market segment and re-engineering business processes to transform a “subsidized” service into a profit center.
“Most of our staff came here with a love of printing. It’s much more than a job for all of us,” notes Roberts. “We have almost no turnover. All of us have been here for many years, and most stay until they retire. We’re really excited to receive the Print Center Award this year.”
The UWG shop had a strong motivation to make some changes. Since the 1960s the shop had been a cost center of the university’s academic division, which supported the in-plant with a salary “subsidy.” But in 2009 when the budget crisis hit Georgia, the shop was, if not on the chopping block, at least very close. It needed a new plan—one that would allow it to pay its own way, and do it with existing equipment, staff and resources.
Pub & Print, as it is known on the UWG campus, was moved under Mark Reeves, vice president for Auxiliary Services, where such pay-your-own-way practices were the norm.
The shop had historically served primarily faculty and staff with academic and presentation materials, but never many students. The Pub & Print team decided to target this untapped market segment. They researched students’ needs and developed a portfolio of new products and services. These, along with marketing efforts, have enabled the operation to gain new business and a 54 percent awareness among students.
New products and services were added to meet targeted student needs. These included CDs/DVDs; student business cards; commencement invitations; printing, mounting and laminating of posters and presentation material; bus signage and banners; magnets; and self-stick wall art.