Blogs

Be the first person to recommend this.
Make a Positive Difference One day a man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?” The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” The man laughed to himself and said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
NPF Offers Session on Outsourcing…or Not? Of the three work sessions I attended Tuesday, May 8 th ,  at the National Postal Forum in San Antonio, TX, How to Outsource Print and Mail Operations drew the most attendees. Tina Dickens, Agency Mail Manager and Scott Mastie from Ricoh drew approximately 45 folks. When asked how many were outsourcing part or all of their print and or mail operations, nearly all the attendees raised their hands. Of those who didn’t raise their hand and hadn’t outsourced, most indicated they were considering the option. This response was unexpected. I was expecting the majority to indicate they were considering the option and ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
There is an old Cherokee legend about a grandfather teaching his grandson an important life lesson. The grandfather explains to the young boy that we all have a battle going on inside of us. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. The black wolf is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The white wolf is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ...
0 comments

What IPMA Means to Me

Be the first person to recommend this.
Membership in IPMA has been the most valuable tool for me as manager of the City of Denton’s in-plant. I have been employed with the City of Denton for over 21 years. I have been manager of the print shop for 18 years. When the City first contemplated the idea of an internal print shop, we (myself and my then manager) went on a site visit to the internal shop for the City of Fort Worth. After the tour, the manager there gave us a copy of In-Print Graphics (It may have been called In-Plant Graphics back then.) and information on IPMA. She told us that it was a really good resource for her. I researched the organization, signed up, and it has been the best resource ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Shana Marie Farrell     Just like the printing and mailing industry, our lives continue to change and evolve as new chapters begin.  Sometimes when we least expect it, old chapters appear in new ways because of connections with others, shipping us to new opportunities to work with old friends.  I’m grateful for life’s gift to reconnect with IPMA professionals again, to offer webinars and monthly blogs to share perspectives and helpful ideas about life matters. I’ll share life-related resources with you and I encourage members to share ideas with me about future topics that you think will be relevant and helpful. First, I’d like to share part of my ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
We all have limited budgets with which to manage our organization. If we’re smart, we do our due diligence in deciding how we spend our money. So how do we make sure IPMA membership is a good investment? It’s really the same as any other purchase. If you buy a piece of equipment, for instance, you consider its utilization. You wouldn’t buy a piece of expensive equipment if you weren’t planning to use it. Likewise, you shouldn’t just purchase a membership with IPMA and not be connected to the organization. Just like a great equipment purchase, the more you use your IPMA connection, the more valuable it becomes. There are many opportunities for you to get the ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
One of my favorite cartoons growing up was “A Far Side” by Gary Larson.  Incredibly hilarious stuff because it always made you go “hummmm”.  I’ll beg forgiveness for using this image, but it was always one of my favorites. So how many of you worry about what is coming up on you or breathing down your neck?  I’ll guess it is probably all of us (including me).  The problem arises if we focus too much on what’s behind and don’t bother to look where we are going.  Honestly, there are a lot of things chasing us.  Budgets, FM’s, staffing issues, costs, rework, schedules, our bosses, and probably the real world.  I can see where folks could lose their way or easily ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Dear IPMA Members, Another year is coming to a close. At IPMA, we have much to celebrate as we look back on the events and accomplishments of 2017. We are celebrating 53 years of supporting in-plants and advocating for the in-plant business model. A lot has changed in the world of print and mail since IPMA’s inception, but the value that in-plants bring to their parent institutions still remains the same. We knew then and we know now, in-plants contribute positively to the overall business success of the organizations they serve. In addition to cost savings, they provide: Total focus on the business needs of their parent institutions ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
After deciding to write a blog my first thought was…I’m not a blogger I’m a mudder, referring to race horses who do better in the mud than on the soft smooth surface of a dirt track. I’ve heard about blogs, seen speakers on talk shows who write blogs, but have never written one.  So, knowing what I knew about blogs, I reached out for help. Thankfully I have contacts that were more than happy to offer guidance.  As a manager, I rely on others to complete many tasks and projects. I think about who can complete the project, who has the time, and sometimes who will need the least oversight.  Now I know that sounds bad, but we all do it whether you want to admit ...
0 comments
2 people recommend this.
My best friend in high school was a motorcycle junkie. He loved to ride and race. He started on dirt and trail bikes, and shortly after we graduated from high school, he started racing sport bikes (road bikes). I had the opportunity to travel with him and act as his unofficial pit and support crew as he traveled to different racetracks around the western states. I loved it. One of the things I loved most about traveling with my friend was the access to the paddock and interactions with the other privateer racers. I was mesmerized by the camaraderie, passion, innovation, and creativity of this disparate group of people. Some racers were well-traveled veterans ...
0 comments

Color cost

Be the first person to recommend this.
All, Connecticut College has a copier fleet of 65 copiers. We are billing out at 5 cents bw and 9 cents for color 8.5 x 11 20# bond from our fleet. Internally, we step our pricing for color. We do not charge for labor. For a 2 page document, 50 prints, BtoB on 20# bond our field price is less than we would charge from the shop. What is your pricing policy for the scenario?
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
I bet many of you thought this day would never come. Well it has. I was not only wrong, but dead wrong. I actually believed that within our industry there were vendor partners that cared and supported In-Plants even though these “partners” had divisions that are counter to our goals. Naïve, uninformed, blind, or stupid all fit. Never again will I fall into a false sense of security with any vendor. I will qualify this by saying that I have great relationships with folks from many of our vendors. I also believe those friends place our industry ahead of other corporate goals. Problem is when it comes down to it, they have no vote as to what happens. Therein lies ...
1 comment
1 person recommends this.
In May, I came across a news story involving Xerox and The Pennsylvania House of Representatives. According to the story, Xerox was over charging for its services there and a group called CopyWatch called them out. If you missed the story, CLICK HERE. It was not a happy ending for Xerox and this is not the first time I have heard of this kind of thing happening in our industry. It was however, the first time I had heard about this organization called CopyWatch. After doing a little digging, I learned that Copy Watch is a “contingent cost recovery service specializing in reducing copier and printer expenses.” In plain words, they claim to be experts on all ...
1 comment
Be the first person to recommend this.
This is an incredibly difficult topic to discuss and deal with inside your workplace. Let’s face it, people get sick and I’m not just talking about the flu. Real life, down and dirty, crappy kind of sick. Whether it is an employee, one of their family members or even yourself. It happens. The ripples created will affect everyone within your work group. If you have been a manager for any length of time, you have probably had to deal with this exact situation. It is personal and upsetting. Yet we must actively make decisions and take actions that will lead the “business” forward, while not marginalizing or minimizing the personal aspect. Compassion has to be the ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Our team members are the “unsung heroes” at The World Bank. We’ve served behind the scenes and our contribution often goes unmentioned. In support of the institution’s mission of ending poverty and sharing prosperity, our function is vital in the transformation of the world. In that sense, the awareness month campaign is a self-driven initiative to look back on our past, to reinstate our position, and to remind our colleagues of our importance. As a first step, the team in Printing & Multimedia division conceptualized what our clients should know about us. As a central theme of the awareness campaign, we want to remind our colleagues ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Dave Letterman has been off the air for a few months now. So I feel comfortable stealing his shtick. As managers, our top priority is to keep our folks employed and our parent companies happy. Everything we do falls under those two ideas. So a person looking in our windows might think it is a simple thing to accomplish. As the old coach Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend.” Since I am swiping ideas and catch phrases from all corners, I will give you my Top Ten ways to ensure your in-plant closes. #10- Take at least 5 days to respond to customer calls. #9- Print your corporate colors one PMS shade up or down. Change this practice up weekly. ...
0 comments
2 people recommend this.
One way or another, many of us have been through some type of business transformation; and in the printing/publishing industry, it is inevitable. You have to reinvent and innovate or you will drift into obscurity. I think for those of us with any longevity in our industry, we have inherent traits that probably go largely unnoticed by us in our day-to-day, but it’s who we are and we don’t give those traits a second thought. A good friend and colleague of mine and a friend of the industry recently used an analogy comparing my absolute single most favorite past time/hobby with how I approach professional challenges. Elisha Kasinskas, Marketing Director ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
For those of us in leadership roles I think we can all relate to getting caught up in the whirlwind of day-to-day business operations. In the life of an in-plant manager with a wide array of responsibilities and conflicting priorities it seems to be a never ending battle. What I would like to share with you is some insight I have gained from a book and corresponding principles that I have found immensely helpful. The book is by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling; “ The 4 Disciplines of Execution .” All I can say is that after YEARS in management in what I would characterize as a relatively successful run, for the very first time I have ...
1 comment
1 person recommends this.
As Print and Mail professionals we all realize our responsibilities sometimes go beyond marks on paper. Those that know me have heard me say that sometime we have to work above our pay grade, you know other duties assigned. 14 years ago when I took over the directorship of Graphic Production here at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools one of the things I noticed was the lack of identity for the department. You know that sense of pride that often goes with teams that play nice together. So I thought I would create a small rewards and recognition program for our department. I wanted to go a little further than “Employees of the Month” and those kinds of ...
1 comment
Be the first person to recommend this.
As I look back at my career which began as forced child labor in the mid 60’s, I can’t help but be amazed at all that has transpired. At that time handset type, Linotypes, Vandercook, Chandler and Price and windmills were still in play. Offset press were the process of choice. Shooting film and under developing it so I could opaque the pinholes was a common practice. Hand collating, padding presses, paper cutters (scary for an 8 year old), folders and hall races with press carts were how I spent my youth. More important lessons like how to play cards and keep my mouth shut were hard learned. How working hard got you fed was much easier. So today’s ...
0 comments