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Director Chuck Werninger details his print shop at UALR

Published on March 16, 2011

Chuck Werninger, the Director of Printing Services for the University of Arkansas Little Rock details some of the challenges he's addressed since joining in 2007.

Cary:  Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com, and I'm here with Chuck Werninger who is the Director of Printing Services for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  Welcome.

Chuck Werninger:  Thank you.

Cary:  Maybe you can talk to me a little bit about your shop, the size of it, how long you've been there, and then maybe some of the challenges you've found when you got there and how you've addressed them.  That's a mouthful.

Chuck:  Absolutely.  You bet.  We are a shop of 14 employees.  We are sales of about $900,000 a year in the shop that I inherited.  We're very much 1970s technology.  We had old multi-lifts, Ryobi's, duplicators, just kind of a copy shop.  A bunch of mid-line Xerox equipment and just really like a blast from the past.

Cary:  And that was what year when you joined?

Chuck:  That was three and a half years ago; so it was 2007.

Cary:  Okay, great.

Chuck:  Today we have made a number of changes.  We've added an Oce VarioPrint 6250 and a CS650 Pro and then their Prisma Full Prisma Workflow Suite with the web solution as well.  We get a lot of our jobs that way.  We've also added a Presstek 52di, which is a waterless 300-line screen fully digital press.  And we've added a **** Print 18 Presstek Dimension 800 platesetter, but we've made a number of changes but truthfully our people have done a fantastic job of growing with the times.  They were 40 years old, or excuse me, 40 years behind the times and today we're pretty close.  We're getting there real quickly and that's I think why we've been so successful.

Cary:  And then in terms of the relationship that you have with the campus, most campus' these days don't mandate that they have to use the print shop.  What's your situation with that?

Chuck:  We, at the moment, do not have an official mandate that goes into effect in about 90 days.  That was actually not my idea; it was really a matter of cost control and attempt to maximize our budgets to bring things in-house.  Of course, I did support it because I feel like it's a good thing to do, but it was not a requirement.  But interesting thing, the campus is only about a third of our business.  So we have really tried to be creative about the way we make this fantastic print shop service the university but also service the state.

Cary:  And then so do you do a lot of outreach to the departments and marketing and that kind of thing?

Chuck:  I try to.  The print shop had really fallen on bad times in the last -- probably the seven years prior and so it's been a lot of PR, it's been a lot of face-to-face meetings and trying to dispel the myths.  You can imagine in 2007 a shop that didn't have a four-color press, didn't have any kind of high-end imaging.  We were using Lino 330 Image Setter circa 1986 and we were using that in January of this year.

Cary:  Wow.

Chuck:  That's how far behind the times we were.  So we had lost a lot of the confidence of the university; it's been a big PR challenge, case-by-case, every single department.

Cary:  But you're working on it and you're making some progress.

Chuck:  Making lots of progress.  We've nearly doubled in size in a little over two years.  I think that's a sign that the university is behind us, that we're on the right track; although, we're still making some mistakes, but we're also being really creative on the ways we find new business.  So it's -- we're really trying to rethink the process and think outside the box.

Cary:  That's great.  Congratulations.

Chuck:  Thank you.

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