Process Rehabilitation at HealthSouth

Standing with Print Solutions’ two-color Shinohara press are (from left) Matt Roth, Danny Kirkland, Mark Tucker, Stacy Hux and Wendell Rotenberry.

Operator Michael Lopez checks the quality on a diversity calendar project being produced on the in-plant’s HP Indigo 7600.

Wesley Tucker prints a Diversity Month banner on the EFI Rastek printer, one of many wide-format jobs being printed by the in-plant.

Standing with the in-plant’s HP Indigo 7600 are (from left) Danny Kirkland, Wendell Rotenberry, Mark Tucker, Stacy Hux and Matt Roth.

Operator Michael Lopez

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.

machine, has been advantageous for us,” Kirkland observes. “Being able to go to 60˝ on the Rastek, as opposed to 42˝ on the Epsons, has been huge. One thing I’m most proud of is the parking lot signage and window graphics for new hospitals or hospitals undergoing a refresh.

“We just got back from a hospital in Ludlow, Mass., where we completely did all the parking lot signage, the windows in the therapy gyms, as well as pictures and some of the artwork inside of the hospital. Without that machine, we would not have had the ability to print on aluminum signs. It’s been a new revenue source for us that will hopefully continue to grow.”

The workload has been so lucrative, in fact, that Print Solutions will be adding an HP latex wide-format machine to help handle some of the banner jobs being done on the Rastek. Kirkland expects that machine to come online during the first quarter of 2014.

The HP machine isn’t the only newcomer expected for 2014. Around mid year, Print Solutions will refresh its copier fleet, which is on lease and currently consists of five Konica Minoltas (three black-and-white) and a Canon color output device.

Print Promotions Group

One of the wild cards of the future for Print Solutions is its budding Print Promotions Group, which processes some 5,000 orders per month. Even the senior vice president whom Kirkland reports to sees adding a second and third shift as a tremendous growth opportunity for the in-plant, since the necessary equipment is already in place. An accounts receivable system has been acquired, and at some point in the not-too-distant future, Print Solutions will add a commercial salesperson.

“We still need to find out where our sweet spot is with the new business. But I do believe we’re going in the right direction,” Kirkland notes.

In the meantime, Print Solutions has no intention of taking its eyes off the HealthSouth ball. It has a rigorous promotional communications campaign scheduled for 2014, including a monthly email newsletter and a quarterly promotional product mailing that will pitch a given item to the marketing directors of the member hospitals. Kirkland’s team will also generate a twice-a-year printed newsletter that not only talks about Print Solutions but also marketing and print-related products that can benefit the hospitals.

For a shop that was trekking down the path of extinction only a few short years ago, Print Solutions is now on the road to establishing a long-term value proposition. Along the way, Kirkland has benefitted from networking and educational opportunities such as the IPMA conference. Commiserating with other in-plant managers who are experiencing the same trials and tribulations is therapeutic as much as anything, and it’s been a nice getaway for Kirkland, who brought his managers to the IPMA conference in 2013 for the first time.

“Because you tend to feel like you’re isolated or unique…just being able to hear other people and understand you’re not alone, and to get some other resources, that is invaluable to me,” he remarks. “I saw a lot of positive growth from my managers experiencing the same thing. Luckily, we’ll be able to budget for them to go next year.”

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