Price comparisons are a slippery slope. In his new blog entry, Ray Chambers reveals why comparing prices with other in-plants may be of limited value.
Managed print services (MPS) have evolved as a major force in our part of the printing and document management space. They’re also a major threat. MPS vendors have become increasingly aggressive in their attempts to convince our bosses that companies, public agencies, health care facilities, non-profits, or colleges and universities should not operate in-plant printing services. “It’s not your core business,” they argue.
If you ever set type by hand, if you’ve ever operated a Linotype or a Ludlow, if the terms “slug” or “chase” or “foundry” or “Hell Box” bring back thoughts of “back in the day,” you may relate to this story. No, this isn’t a story of nostalgia, and I won’t try to convince you how great things used to be. In fact, if you are familiar enough with a letterpress shop to remember the heat and the noise, I don’t have to tell you how much things have improved as we evolved into today’s digital print technologies.
Joe Goss, long-time printing director at Indiana University until he retired a year ago, introduced me to the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) when I moved from the Texas Department of Human Resources to the University of Iowa in 1986 (I know, I’m showing my age), and I’ve been a member ever since. During that time ACUP has been a valuable resource, primarily by opening the door to its members’ knowledge and expertise. I also get to hang out with some really cool people.
A recent post on one of the print sites got my attention. The author, apparently an executive at a commercial shop—you know, the ones that say that we in-plants don’t get it—asked the question (and I’m paraphrasing here): how much business does a customer have to do with your firm to in order for you to take her/him on as a client.
It’s been several weeks since representatives of the in-plant community descended on Printing Industries of America (PIA) headquarters near Pittsburgh for an “In-plant/PIA Summit.” The summit was the brainchild of recently elected PIA board chairman Tim Burton and followed on the heels of unsuccessful merger talks between PIA and NAPL.