Colorado In-plant Takes Over IT Printing
FOR YEARS, Colorado's Office of Information Technology (IT) handled all of the state's mainframe printing, including checks, reports and statements. At the same time, 15 miles away, the state ran a separate full-service printing operation called Integrated Document Solutions (IDS), part of the Division of Central Services, which reports to the Department of Personnel and Administration.
When he took over IDS four years ago, Mike Lincoln quickly realized that his 58-employee print and mail operation could handle IT's printing and save the state money. Yet his proposal to do this went nowhere. After all, argued IT, Lincoln's staff lacked the IT skills necessary to understand the mainframe.
Recently, though, that hurdle was overcome, and in September, IDS formally took over mainframe printing, allowing the state to redeploy the IT staff that had been doing it.
"Being able to redeploy staff right now, especially in this economy, is pretty important to the state," remarks Lincoln, northern regional manager. In addition to this cost savings, transferring IT printing to the in-plant has resulted in more efficient production and faster distribution, Lincoln adds.
"It's been hugely successful," he reports.
Though IT had been sending some of its digital printing to IDS since 2005, Lincoln had long pushed for more of IT's high-volume work, which was being printed on Xerox DP 100 MICR printers. Finally, in early 2009, IT assigned a project manager to do a feasibility study. In the end, IT was able to create "pseudo commands" for the mainframe.
"Which is plainer programming language, so my operators didn't necessarily have to have the skill set to output mainframe print," Lincoln explains. "Once they came up with that plan...the staff took to it like ducks to water."
He says this was the most seamless integration he has ever participated in, and he praises his staff for all they did to make the transition so smooth: "We're pretty proud of what we've done," he proclaims.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.