Working 'For the Kids'
"To even out the workflow, we decided we had to figure out exactly what order the jobs were coming in and to prioritize them," she says. "If there's a situation where there are a bunch of jobs coming in on the same day, we'll move to a first-come, first-served system."
Awards for Quality Work
The careful attention Printing Services pays to quality output earned it In-Print awards in 1997 and 1999. A performance like that isn't bad for a small shop with an annual operating budget of $310,000. Hale passes on a lot of the credit for the success of her plant to the International Publishing Management Association (IPMA), of which she's been a member since 1996. She recently served as vice president of the Rocky Mountain chapter and is on its officers' board. She has also received her certified graphic communications manager (CGCM) certification from IPMA.
"IPMA is extremely important for us. When we go to ask for something, we can show that we know what we're talking about. We've got something to back us up," she says, noting that one of the biggest challenges to the health of the outfit came last July. The in-plant was brought under the umbrella of Information Technology Services (ITS).
"I was involved with a committee whose job it was to evaluate our volume, our use of equipment, use of the site and a few other factors," Hale explains. "And we had three choices: go up in size, maintain our size or shut down."
The committee engaged in a six-month study, monitoring the performance of the facility. When it was all over, it was decided that not only should the shop stay where it is, but that it also needed an infusion of new equipment. Hale is now in the process of bringing in a laminator, a three-hole drill and a shrink wrapper to package the copious amount of output more efficiently.