Photo Ops: Clear Development at BYU
Brigham Young University's Print and Mail Production Center (PMPC) opened its photo book operation by "kind of hand-assembling" books, according to Assistant Director Thomas Roylance. But the in-plant quickly recognized the need for a true production solution.
For output, the in-plant counts on its workhorse HP Indigo 7000. "We were very pleased with the print quality," Roylance attests.
PMPC did need to invest in new binding equipment, spending about $80,000 on the Casemaking System, Sticker and Smasher from On Demand Machinery (ODM).
"Then, we put the cart before the horse," Roylance admits. "We got the hardware and started promoting it before we even started researching software."
"We considered creating a program in house, but that would take six months to a year and impede other IT projects," he recounts. The in-plant also rejected several software companies that wanted a percentage of each sale.
PMPC chose MyPhotoCreations software by DigiLabs. The shop pays $1 to $4 to license each user for a year of unlimited ordering.
Roylance expected the new system to be fully functional by July 1. Faculty and students can access photo book production services via PMPC's website.
BYU is well-positioned for this niche, Roylance contends, reeling off a list of likely products and prospects: wedding albums (25 percent of BYU students are married); customizable BYU-themed books for alumni, students, parents and fans of the school; genealogy projects for Family History customers; and various books for the numerous Church of Jesus Christ of LDS events held on campus.
Campus departments, especially athletics, are prime targets, too. "We just had someone from women's softball come in ask for a magazine," Roylance reports. "We said, 'How about a photo book instead?' and they said, 'Oh, that's even better!'"
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