Unique Ways 3 Higher Ed In-Plants Grow, Remain Relevant

  • Elisha Kasinskas
  • |
  • January 17, 2016

At a recent In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) lunch-n-learn session, three higher education in-plant managers from UC Davis, Fairfield University and Cedarville University discussed how they've remained relevant and grown, leveraging graphic design services, marketing and Web to print.

Web to Print and a Unique Graph Design Retainer Fuel Growth for UC Davis

Brian Wadell of UC Davis credited RSA's WebCRD Web to print as the key to their success, helping them to expand. In 2015, they added the VPD module to offer business cards for a department that needs business cards throughout the state. To cap off the new offering, they have been able to improve their business card turnaround time by digitally printing them immediately on a new Kodak Digimaster HD300 and then cutting them with their Duplo DC-646 slitter/cutter/creaser. What is really unique to UC Davis - and a model other in-plants could adopt - is their utilization of a graphic design retainer agreement for graphic services as opposed to an hourly charge. Offered for key high profile customers, this model has enabled the team to be profitable. Other initiatives that have or may lead to increased volume and relevancy include offering graphic design classes to customers and development of a 3-D printing offering to meet the university's needs.

Operating Like an Agency and Using Design to Drive Print Keeps Fairfield University Relevant

Curtis Ebdon of Fairfield University's in-plant is part of a centralized marketing and communications group, operating like an agency for "clients" across the university. Six years ago, Ebdon and his manager set a goal to become self-sustaining, changing the name of the operation and bringing in a creative director. Account managers now solicit business for everything from printing, design - even locker room design - to digital print, digital marketing, social media, PR and video. This shift has brought business inside that was previously outsourced and driven print because the department includes the key to driving print - the design team. Ebdon credits the new approach of "being at the table," and marketing their ability to "do it all" for customers to their turnaround. Now operating in the black, in 2014, the in-plant returned $250,000 in chargebacks to the university and successfully fought off an outsourcing attempt.

Smart Partnering with Marketing Keeps Cedarville's In-Plant Growing

Tammy Slone of Cedarville University fosters internal partnerships - particularly with marketing - heavily marketing the in-plant, which has led to growth. Recognizing that marketing drives print, but having no control over marketing, Slone began partnering with marketing, offering a discount for work sent through marketing, creating a win-win. Marketing retained brand control and the print center greatly reduced time repairing file issues. By working with the university's various departments, Sloan has been able to enlighten many about the value of the in-plant, increasing volume from Advancement and educating and utilizing graphics students.

Want More Insights?

Watch highlights of the higher ed session and individual presentations in a series of short videos.

visit RSA's higher education solutions page to learn how higher education in-plants are growing and meeting today's challenges.


About the Author

Elisha Kasinskas

Elisha Kasinskas is Rochester Software Associates' (RSA) award-winning Marketing Director. She is responsible for all marketing, public relations, social media and communications, and community building for the firm. Ms. Kasinskas joined RSA in 2010. She is a Marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience in sales, product management, and marketing in leading product and service business to business and business to consumer firms, including Pinnacle (Birds Eye) Foods, Global Crossing, Windstream Communications, HSBC, and a number of regional high tech firms. She holds a Rochester Institute of Technology MBA, and a BS in Marketing from Radford University. Ms. Kasinskas is a frequent moderator for industry speaking sessions. She was awarded the 2015 In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) Outstanding contributor award, is a 2015 OutputLinks Women of Distinction inductee, and has secured multiple awards from the American Marketing Association (AMA) for recent work at RSA.

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