Students, Faculty, and Staff Realize Efficiency of Web-to-Print

A Villanova University case study by Rochester Software Associates.

We’ve had a big shift to students submitting over the web and picking up their jobs. We’re seeing 200 to 250 orders a day coming through WebCRD.

Mike George

Director of Central Services

Customer Background/Solution Overview

Staff Geraldine Jackson, Bonnie Lyons, Eric Horn and Jenn Koder

Mike George, Director of Central Services, wanted a seamless way for Villanova's 6,000 students, 700 faculty, and substantial support staff to submit and print an extensive array of documents. The existing processes for job submission as well as production were unwieldy, costly and time consuming. George knew web-based print submission was the answer, but after several trials using web submission software intended for commercial print shops or small corporate in-plants, he realized Villanova's requirements were far more demanding. Because the needs of faculty, staff and students differed dramatically. George knew he needed a solution that could be customized - and even continually adapted - to meet Villanova's evolving needs.

"Students wanted to be able to submit their papers and reports - often a mix of color and black-and-white pages - anytime of the day or night and not have to think about the printing process," relates George, "Professors wanted to finish writing exams at home and then submit the exams to be ready for an early morning class."

At the same time, university staff needed to print a wide variety of documents throughout the year. For everyone, the system had to make job submission easy and eliminate the inevitable problems with fonts and graphics.

Working with Rochester Software Associates, Inc., he and Bonnie Lyons, coordinator of the print centers, began implementing WebCRD, a web submission tool that can be customized to meet the needs of even the most demanding environments.

"We had a lot of new ideas that we brought in and RSA worked very closely with us to try to make that happen," recounts George. "We talked with students and professors to find out what they wanted, and gave that input to RSA as we developed the system we needed."

iPRINT, Villanova’s branding for WebCRD appears to be working, with students, faculty, and staff all taking advantage of the more efficient web submission process. According to Lyons: “Web submissions have doubled each year. WebCRD is saving both money and labor while generating new business and revenue. This system has brought more choices and flexibility for faculty staff and students. A staff member can get a quote on demand. An adjunct professor who has no office on campus can request work and pick up at the center. Because of the quick turn around, rush jobs can be sent to the print center and turned around in hours instead of a day or two. This efficiency has helped us capture additional business.”

Secure error-free printing

A key implementation requirement was security. Professors needed to be sure that exams printed via the same system utilized by students would be secure. WebCRD offers LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), which ensures that anyone logging onto the system can access only their own documents, using their enterprise-wide login. Students, faculty, and staff log into their account on the system and submit their documents in a completely secure process. After production, Villanova faculty and staff orders are hand delivered, while students pick up their jobs at two convenient locations. LDAP support aligned with Villanova’s IT directives to centrally manage user access.

Another key requirement was ensuring that every job would print correctly regardless of the native application or fonts being used. SurePDF, RSA’s PDF Print Driver for WebCRD, delivered an efficient and predictable workflow for online submission. Jobs submitted are automatically converted to PDFs using fonts and software on the customer’s PC, with an on-screen proof provided for immediate review. Once approved, a job is ticketed and the order moves to production, ready for automated output with no re-keying.

Streamlined processes

With the RSA solution, we use less labor. The manual process had four or five people 'touching' a job. Now we have no more than one or two, which enables us to be a lot more efficient.

Mike George

Director of Central Services

Submission and production are streamlined from the antiquated and difficult processes  they replaced. Faculty and staff used to print a single copy of their documents on desktop printers and take the hardcopy to the copy center where they would manually complete a job order ticket and leave the job for production - a process that could take up to a day. Students completing a paper in their dorm room would email it to themselves as an attachment and go to one of the campus print labs where they would retrieve the email, print it locally on a shared printer. With the previous system implementations, jobs would sometimes get lost or have font and document re-flow issues; all job ticketing was manual with these other systems.

Now, jobs are submitted to WebCRD at any hour of the day from the web, automatically added to the print queue, and are ready within a few hours of submission.

Technology is the Wildcard

Villanova had already adopted campus card technology from CBORD to provide secure, access to a range of university services such as dining and laundry. RSA worked with Villanova and CBORD to give students the ability to utilize their University supplied print quota (CS Print) and also pay for premium print services such as digital color, bound reports, and even print résumés for the school’s popular Career Fairs via their Wildcard. “Students tell us they appreciate having one payment mechanism for all aspects of daily life at Villanova,” notes George. “It was only natural to card-enable printing services.”

Lessons learned

Using WebCRD has streamlined the production process as well as management and accounting for all print jobs. WebCRD talks to the production printer, tells it what the job specs are, and prints it without operator intervention. Lyons notes, “With the addition of one of RSA’s feature enhancements AutoFlow, jobs that fall within certain parameters are programmed to  print automatically to certain machines. This feature has allowed us to increase production without increasing staff. Student jobs print 24/7 enabling us to print smarter and faster than ever before. The job costing information is compiled into a single report at the end of each month and departments are billed automatically.”

“The ease of web submission and the convenience of not needing outside for printing is helping keep business on campus. In addition, we're able to offer things like wide format printing and various finishing options that also help drive up our revenue. We want to stay on the leading edge instead of playing catch up." George and his team have hosted some of the most well known schools in America who all want to see its state-of-the-art web submission system. When a university starts educating other schools, there is a lesson to be learned!

© 2011 Rochester Software Associates, Inc. All brands and product names are registered trademarks of their respective companies. 03/2011

Study Quick-Look:

Application Study Industries

Solutions Used by Customer

Challenges

  • Multiple sites with growing student, faculty and staff population
  • Desired a web solution to replace existing manual job submission
  • Offer student pay-for-print and integrate with print allowance program
  • Needed a customizable solution for evolving needs

Statistics

Students:6,400
Faculty/Staff:2,100
Staff:4 full time, 1 part time, 4 students
Volume:5,000 jobs/ month
Average job size:Faculty 620 pgs. Student 13 pgs.

Solutions

  • WebCRD - Web-to-Print submission software
  • CBORD integration (Wildcard student payment card)
  • LDAP custom real-time authentication

Results

  • Annual double digit revenue increase
  • Doubled submissions every year for five years
  • Fewer touches, less labor
  • Faster turnaround
  • Streamlined account and chargeback
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