Framingham State University

Web to print boosts volumes by keeping more work in-house for less.

More work stays here when our customers can see in WebCRD exactly what we're capable of and how much less we charge than going outside.

Dillon Handy

Graphic Arts Technician, Framingham State University

Customer Background/Solution Overview.

Framingham State University Campus Building

Framingham State University in Framingham, MA runs an offset press room and print center with two full-time employees and two part-time student employees. They provide FSU's 4,126 undergraduate students, 1,565 graduate students, 334 Faculty and 347 staff with their course materials, signage, marketing pieces, and personalized business cards and stationery.

In early 2018, the print shop's main objective was to reduce the amount of money the university spends on outside printing and increase their ability to produce different types of jobs in-house. They realized they needed to automate and streamline their workflow to achieve their goals.

An existing manual process full of bottlenecks.

"We used to take in and handle jobs through email," explains Dillon Handy, Graphic Arts Technician, Framingham State University "There was no way to track the status of jobs beyond digging through a file cabinet of printed email requests." During their busiest times the print shop's inboxes would fill quickly and be overflowing with requests. "We also had 10 MB file limit on our email system," adds Ralph Massa, Offset Printing Specialist, Framingham State University. "Larger jobs had to be accompanied by a flash drive." The team knew an electronic workflow would enable them to increase their volumes enough to justify new hardware that had greater capabilities than their current equipment. The software and hardware together would keep more types of jobs and more volumes in-house. "With our old workflow, we couldn't do enough work to justify the more advanced hardware," says Handy.

Digital workflow means accurate input, trackable progress and higher volumes.

The solution to the new workflow was a virtual server on site from Rochester Software Associates. The solution of WebCRD, WebCRD Dynamics Desktop, the SurePDF™ print driver, and LDAP authentication was piloted, and the implementation was completed by the end of October 2018. Today, WebCRD supports both the digital print center, offset press and envelope printer. They're producing posters, banners, brochures, business cards, note pads and letterhead as well as faculty's color copies of quizzes, tests and class work.

Doing more work in-house will save more money and justify every piece of new equipment.

Ralph Massa

Offset Printing Specialist, Framingham State University

"WebCRD easily shows our customers what we've capable of so they know they don't have to go outside," says Handy. "They can see their finishing options, paper choices, document types, etc. It's keeping much more work in-house because customers can easily see how affordable printing here is vs. outside." The shop has increased color volume 21%. Handy projects color volume will grow another 50% as more of the Admission's office's projects come back in-house.

Affordable and fast variable printing is the key to satisfying customers.

Most of the variable work the print shop does is business cards. They have also used WebCRD Dynamics to set up templates for common, standard-sized documents that they can input data into and set up for duplexing. Customers can log into the system and see that their business cards can be printed for about 20% of what it costs outside. The print shop's largest client is Admissions who has reduced the cost of their outside printing by more than $45,000 because they can print on demand. For all customers, the print shop has brought enough volume inhouse to project $100,000/year in savings.

WebCRD Dynamics has also taken up to a week out of turnaround.

With variable data templates Framingham has greatly automated the production of business cards. With the old system, customers would fill in a PDF form, send it to the print shop where a specialist would recreate their order in InDesign, print it, proof it, and email it back to the client for approval or more changes. This could take more than a week at times. Now, customers just type into an online template, instantly see a preview of the final output and submit. Operators can also instantly reject the job if they spot any issues. Turn around now for business cards start to finish is about one day.

RSA workflows give customers more control.

Sometimes the key to improving a workflow isn't just automation; it's giving the customer more power:

  • WebCRD allows customers to say when they need a job so the print shop can better prioritize for the most efficient process. With the PDF system, customers would always just say work was due ASAP.
  • To tell customers the specs and quantities of past jobs, the print shop used to have to manually find their email in a file cabinet. Now customers don't even have to ask. They can find their past orders online themselves and just reorder whatever they need.
  • With SurePreview™ customers can see what their documents are going to look like with all their finishing and paper options presented. This has greatly reduced reprints, enabled customers to request options they might not have known were available, and apply them accurately.

Capturing every dollar automatically.

"We calculate chargebacks at the end of each month," explains Handy. "We used to have to go through Excel files and calculate requests by hand." Manual accounting would take as much as 30 hours a month for the print center to track and apply charges by department. With WebCRD, chargeback codes are assigned to every user when they sign in and work is automatically charged accurately from the start. With WebCRD monthly chargebacks only take 90 minutes a month. "Our shop can handle more jobs when we're not tied up doing paperwork," says Handy.

Sometimes great software is what leads to new hardware.

"Doing more work in-house will save the university more money and justify new equipment that will further improve our capabilities to meet even more of our customer's needs. We've already been able to justify the purchase of a new, high efficiency color production printer in only a few months since installing WebCRD and we're looking at a new splitter, creaser, and folder that will reduce the turnaround on standard pieces we produce," stated Handy.

© 2019 Rochester Software Associates, Inc. All brands and product names are registered trademarks of their respective companies. 4/2018

Study Quick-Look:

Application Study Industries

Solutions Used by Customer

Challenges

  • Losing work to outside vendors because of manual workflow
  • Manual design and production of business cards
  • Manual job submission, tracking and chargeback process

Statistics

Faculty & Staff:681
Students:5,691
Employees:2 Full Time
2 Part Time
Locations:2
Impressions:1.3m /Yr.
Jobs:2,700 /Yr.

Solutions

  • WebCRD™ Web to print
  • WebCRD Dynamics™

Results

  • Annual savings of $100,000 by bringing jobs in-house
  • Reduced turnaround 80%
  • Reduced monthly chargeback reporting time 95%
  • Savings justified new color production printer
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