Red Cross Bucks Trend, Print Volumes Skyrocket Following 9/11 Attacks
Press release from the issuing company
(*International Publishing Management Association) Dec. 12, 2001 - Print volumes have nearly quadrupled at the American Red Cross following the events after the World Trade Center tragedy on September 11.
"They have had a tremendous impact on our operation," says Ervin Wiggins, the organization's print production manager. "The need for forms to gather information, training materials and additional materials to help the American public better cope with the events has caused our workflow to leap from 1.4 million pieces monthly to over 1 million impressions weekly."
Best known for serving the public in times of disaster, the American Red Cross, a humanitarian non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, was among the first to race to the sites of the attacks to help to those in need.
To support the field efforts, the five-person print shop located in Lorton, VA, put their presses in high gear, churning out millions of forms for record-keeping and materials used in disaster training.
"The attacks occurred during our shop's traditionally busiest time, mid-summer through late fall, placing an even greater burden on our resources," explains Wiggins. "That's the time of year that the lines of service we support usually introduce new products and a lot of products are revised. But we pulled out all the stops to produce whatever materials are needed."
In operation since 1989, most of the shop's printing is done on two high-volume Xerox Docutech 135 and Docutech 6180 production copiers while a small amount is done using a Hamada 665 and a Multigraph 1250/T51 two-color press. Without making any equipment upgrades in the past three years, they've been able to generate impressive volumes.
"Probably our biggest challenge is convincing customers to accept four-color reproduction from a digital copier," says Wiggins. "By continuing to emphasize the cost savings, we are slowly leaning in that direction."
In-plants are traditionally bombarded with projects, exaggeratingly called "emergencies." But for the American Red Cross' Print Shop those words ring true. "We play an important role in ensuring our customers have the materials they need in times of need," says Wiggins.
Because the shop is located in the organization's distribution center, they are always aware of inventory levels. As soon as any materials are depleted, the shop immediately reproduces them using just-in-time printing, keeping inventories lean and printing costs much lower than quoted by outside printers.
"For us, the customer is our number one priority and reason for existence," adds Wiggins. "That's why we do everything possible to provide total satisfaction."
*Reprinted with permission. IPMA is the leading association, exclusively dedicated to the in-house professionals who provide graphic design, page layout, copy, print, mail and distribution services to their enterprise. IPMA exists to provide the in-house professional the resources to attain greater productivity and cost effectiveness. Visit their web site at http://www.ipma.org
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