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Process Rehabilitation at HealthSouth

Upgrading its digital printing equipment, adding Web-to-print and strengthening its wide-format offerings have put HealthSouth Print Solutions on the road to recovery.

January 2014 By Erik Cagle
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Not long ago, the CEO, COO and CFO of HealthSouth—one of the nation's leading providers of physical rehabilitation—visited the organization's Print Solutions facility, located 15 miles from its Birmingham, Ala., headquarters. The occasion was to celebrate the shop's acquisition of an HP Indigo 7600 digital press and an EFI Rastek wide-format printer.

There was ample reason for jubilation. The in-plant had reaped 20 percent-plus growth in each of the previous two years and was tracking to post 18.5 percent growth for 2013. Danny Kirkland, director of the in-plant, appreciated the significance of the visit by HealthSouth's executive hierarchy.

"The CEO said we had come a long way, and that Print Solutions was one of the most talked-about departments in the organization," Kirkland proudly notes.

Three years earlier, that wasn't the case. Turnaround times were viewed as unacceptable. The organization lacked a centralized ordering system. Processes needed improvement. Plus, the shop only produced about 60 percent of the organization's printing.

HealthSouth had undergone some process changes of its own, followed by a corporate evaluation of certain departments. The in-plant was on the verge of being closed down.

"We were unaware," Kirkland admits. "When you're immersed in day-to-day activities, you don't realize you have a problem, and if you do, you rationalize it to justify. It got to the point where [the option of closing the in-plant] was on someone's desk. That was a real wake-up call."

HealthSouth wanted its in-plant to succeed, and made some suggestions of steps it could take to improve viability. Some changes were made in management, including elevating Kirkland to director.

Service Improvements

In the past three years, Print Solutions has added the aforementioned digital devices, implemented a streamlined and effective management information system (see sidebar) and acquired the PTI (formerly Printable) MarcomCentral Web-to-print online ordering interface. The in-plant bolstered its product and service offering with a stronger wide-format printing offering and turned promotional products into a $1.5 million cash cow for the department.

Recently, Print Solutions also established an LLC (Print Promotions Group) targeting outside commercial work. Kirkland hopes that, within five years, it will account for half of the in-plant's revenues—and that's without losing any focus on, or volume from, its number one customer, HealthSouth.



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