What's an in-plant?
An in-plant is an in-house reproduction department operated within an organization, be it a company, a government office or a university.
An in-plant must employ at least one full-time person who is responsible for taking in jobs from customers within the organization, printing or copying them, and coordinating their delivery. If customers operate the equipment, then this is not an in-plant. In addition, a true in-plant includes more than just a single duplicating device. In fact, it should include some prepress and bindery equipment, as well. The majority of the in-plant's work must serve the internal needs of the organization, though a percentage of its work can come from outside the organization.
The manager of the in-plant must be in charge of managing his or her budget, planning for the future and charging customers for services. The manager should also coordinate the purchasing of outside printing after assessing whether or not the job can be printed in-house. The manager should coordinate the distribution of these products, as well.
Because they don't compete directly with other in-plants or commercial printers, in-plants can produce work much more inexpensively than commercial printers, saving their organizations money.
How many in-plants are there?
It's nearly impossible to count the exact number of in-plants in the country, as many of them are small, one-person shops. To give you some idea, though, In-Plant Graphics, the leading magazine serving the in-plant market, goes out to more than 20,000 in-plants in the U.S.
What is In-Plant Graphics?
IPG is the leading graphic arts magazine written specifically for in-plant reproduction departments. It covers technical and business-related topics, focusing on publishing, prepress, printing, bindery and mailing. Other topics include profiles of successful in-plants, management issues, industry news and the latest graphic arts products.
Who reads it?
In-Plant Graphics is read by about 20,000 graphic arts professionals in the United States. The majority of these readers are in-plant managers working for manufacturing firms. Banking, finance, insurance and real estate in-plants comprise the next largest audience segment. After that, educational institutions, professional services groups (legal, medical, architectural, hotels, etc.) and publishing companies make up a large chunk of our readership.
What's in it?
In-Plant Graphics is full of well-researched articles designed to help managers of in-house reproduction departments increase productivity, save money and stay competitive in an increasingly competitive world. Articles fall into several broad categories:
Management Series - These articles offer tips to managers on issues such as reporting to upper management, merging with their organization's data center, defeating facilities management firms and providing customer satisfaction.
Profiles of successful in-plants - IPG interviews the managers of prospering in-plants to find out what they're doing right, what equipment they're using and what their thoughts are on the future.
New technology - We take an in-depth look at the latest graphic arts equipment, talking to manufacturers to discover what the best features are and what changes may be reshaping the equipment in the future.
Special Reports - IPG surveys readers to find out about their use of electronic prepress and digital printing equipment. We also focus on in-plants in specific segments of the market, such as colleges and universities or the health care industry.
Industry News - The latest information about in-plant activities, such as new equipment purchases, in-plant expansions, awards and conferences.
Hot Products - A look at interesting graphic arts equipment and software.
How do we select the in-plants that we profile?
Many ways. Sometimes in-plants call, fax or e-mail the editor to boast of their accomplishments. Sometimes the editor looks at the survey forms returned to us by cooperative in-plants. Sometimes vendors tell us which in-plants have recently purchased their equipment and we then contact the in-plants.
If you interview me, can I see my quotes before publication?
Because In-Plant Graphics is a news magazine, and we have deadlines, it will not always be possible for us to allow the people we interview to see their quotes and comments prior to publication. When you agree to be interviewed by us, you agree to allow us to quote you in the magazine. We agree to quote you accurately. (More info?)
Can I contribute an article?
IPG gets unsolicited articles frequently. Those that are well written and touch on a topic important to readers are given strong consideration for publication, though space does not permit us to use as many as we would like. Our best advice is to contact the editor via fax or e-mail with your idea, including a rough outline. If the editor is interested, you will be asked to write the story. (More info?)
What happened to In-plant Reproductions?
Some of you remember when IPG was called In-plant Reproductions. It was only in January 1996 that we changed the name. The old title has a long and detailed history, but the name basically came to life in 1980 and stayed alive for 15 long years.
Former Publisher Jeff OKon and Editor Bob Neubauer opted to change the name to IPG to reflect the changes that have altered the way in-plants operate; in other words, they no longer simply "reproduce" things, they store data digitally, publish it on-line, put it on CD-ROM, and basically take charge of a host of new responsibilities.
In-plants also produce a larger variety of products than ever before, such as banners, posters and ID cards. Today's in-plant is a self-contained provider of a variety of products and services centered around the graphic arts. IPG 's goal is to serve the modern in-plant's changing needs, keeping abreast of the latest digital technology and helping managers to prosper. In that respect, our new, modernized name better describes our mission.