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Washington State University Honored for Management Excellence

July 2009
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Washington State University Publishing has earned the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association's Management Award for using efficient management practices to further the objectives of the university.

"Our staff was very pleased to receive this acknowledgement from our peers," says Steven F. Rigby, director of Printing at the Pullman-based in-plant. "It is always rewarding to know that our teamwork and sound management practices have not gone unnoticed."

"This award is a tribute to the entire University Publishing team, honoring the knowledge, experience and work ethic each individual contributes every day," adds Mary Read, director of University Publishing at WSU.

University Publishing's most notable achievements in 2008 include becoming the first in-plant in the country to achieve FSC chain-of-custody certification. The in-plant also shows its commitment to sustainability by using soy-based inks, ozone-friendly press solvents, and running a robust recycling program.

As an early advocate of providing both print and Web services, WSU's in-plant expanded its Web offerings last year by merging Web programmer teams from other units into one and adopting unified programming standards, systems and procedures. This merger positioned University Publishing to more effectively support the need for html e-mails, e-newsletters, Web site development, audio, video and social media.

The shop retooled its prepress workflow in 2008, installing a Rampage RIP, which more than doubled file processing speed, and adding Metrix imposition software, which allows the production manager to build jobs before they enter production. The in-plant also added an Epson 7800 wide-format color proofer and an EFI Fiery color management RIP and software package.

In its copy centers, the shop installed an Océ 2110 VarioPrint and three reconditioned Océ 3165s. An Océ Prisma Prepare Document Management System was purchased for front end document preparation, while Print Shop Mail was added for variable data and mail merge processing.

"An intensive cross-training program has been key to implementing these changes," remarks Rigby. This has allowed staff to move into the areas of highest work volume to get jobs finished faster and more cost effectively.

"This initiative has increased our ability to move work through to completion in times of short staffing or peak workloads," Rigby adds. "Additionally, it has infused an environment of caring and support among groups, working together to find effective solutions."

The in-plant's work force includes 53 permanent and 30 temporary staff members.

 

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