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UALR Chuck Werninger's advice to peers

Published on January 14, 2011

Chuck Werninger, Director of Printing Services for UALR, offers advice to fellow printers and universities in a competitive business.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Chuck Werninger who is Director of Printing Services for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and you've been able to reinvent, as we've talked about before, reinvent your print shop basically.

Chuck Werninger:  Absolutely.

Cary Sherburne:  And maybe you could offer some advice for your peers that might be facing similar challenges.

Chuck Werninger:  Absolutely.  You know, the printing industry is an extremely competitive, but in other universities they're facing a similar challenge that we did in that you've got to be cost effective but you've also got to provide a product that is competitive in the marketplace.  I think we've got to figure out not just what our customers are trying to buy from us today but what they need to buy from us next week, what they would like to buy from us three years from now and we've got to make sure that we're on a path that takes us there ahead of them.  Wayne Gretzky used to say, "You've got to skate to where the pucks going to be, not to where it used to be."  That's one of my mantras that I operate by and I think we really have an obligation to be cost effective but we also have an obligation to report up our chain of command about our productivity and about our efficiency, even when they're not asking those questions.  Because a lot of times what happens I think our enemy is not who we think it is.  Our enemy is people who are trying to run businesses but they don't know the printing aspect of it and we really have an obligation to help them make informed decisions.

Cary Sherburne:  And also especially in the university environment there's a big push to sustainability and if your shop is structured right you have a huge contribution to make to that sustainability objective of the institution.

Chuck Werninger:  Absolutely.  In the state of Arkansas, they're not asking a lot of questions about sustainability yet but one thing that I know absolutely certain is that we've probably got the most sustainable print shop in the state and nobody knows it and I can't wait for them to start asking those questions because we have an enormous recycling program.  We have a waterless press, we have a chemistry-free plate making entirely.  We don't do any chemistry whatsoever inside our shop.  We have the coolest running copier in terms of temperature, in terms of electricity consumption.  I mean, our print shop is cutting edge.

Cary Sherburne:  And in the waste, the whole waste reduction thing, by fast make-ready or no make-ready, as you have on digital.

Chuck Werninger:  Extremely low.  That's exactly right.  I mean, we're saving it on the front end, we're saving it during production, we're saving it afterwards and then we're getting it directly into the recycling strip.  I think we're doing the right things and I would urge everybody who's in a similar position to get involved in your sustainability efforts because that is where the world is headed.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah.

Chuck Werninger:  And we have to make sure that we build a print shop that answers the questions they're going to ask three years from now.

Cary Sherburne:  That's great.  You're doing a great job.  Thanks for sharing with us.

Chuck Werninger:  Thank you very much.

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By Jake Timmins on Jan 17, 2011

Great interview. Chuck get's it.


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