"My university is not going to close me." With those words, Cathy Skoglund wrapped up her presentation at last month's Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) conference, after describing how her in-plant at Arizona State University utilizes students almost exclusively as its work force. Her certainty of her in-plant's strong position stems from the fact that the Print & Imaging Lab aligns closely with ASU's educational mission by giving students hands-on experience, which helps them launch their careers.
Like many in-plants, Arizona State University's Print & Imaging Lab used a home-grown, Excel-based estimating and job tracking system for many years. Though this eventually migrated to a Google Doc, to give staff better access, it was still cumbersome, and the job list was never completely up to date.
The strong turnout of in-plants at Graph Expo took me by surprise. With all the travel cutbacks of recent years, I thought we'd have trouble filling seats at the roundtable luncheon we hosted; we ended up with a packed room. I could hardly turn a corner at the show without bumping into an in-plant manager.