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In-Plants: “The Times They Are A-Changin’”

In just in the past few months, the print service operations at the University of North Carolina and Johns Hopkins University made headlines by shutting their doors. Printing is declining, so the volume of work has dropped. More and more of work is being done electronically. The small-run printing that most universities need is being completed with digital equipment, basically high-end digital copiers. In-plants need to change with the times if they hope to survive.

By Barb Pellow
Published: April 12, 2012


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A digital printing and publishing pioneer, marketing expert and Group Director at InfoTrends, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave. Barb brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity.

Please offer your feedback to Barb. She can be reached at barb_pellow@infotrends.com.



By Diane Dragoff on Apr 12, 2012

Interesting article, interesting stats and graphs. While our small "in-house" is based on multi-purpose output devices, the work now being done is with networked document assembly, imposition, copy correction and personalization of printed forms. We Our operators are technically skilled. We will automate our staff ordering,inventory management and scheduling later this spring, to allow all to see what is in process and gather information on operations metrics, previously anecdotal.
The times have changed too,for our workspace. Our previously dingy copy and warehouse space has been tranformed to a working/meeting space for consulting and conversation amongst staffers and operators for planning, approvals and general interest while jobs run. The educational piece is invaluable, if we have time, we even allow a bit of hands-on experience. Operating a comb-binsing machine or assisting in wide-format mounting on a job you have ordered is magic tO those that have never done this sort of work. Participation gives staff more appreciation for these operators and builds cooperation and good will amongst colleagues, espcially needed since our time and resouces are stretched.


By Carl Gerhardt on Apr 12, 2012

Great insight into what is happening to in-ilants as well as the general printing market. While this might be a threat to many in-plant operations it is also an opportunity for printers. If in-plants close or scale back operations there should be opportunities for printers to provide those products and services that the in-plant no longer has critical mass to support. The times are a changin' indeed. Time to get on the new road and provide help where needed and appreciated


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