An interview with Tony Seaman, director of Graphics Services
Printers have their challenges.
But when you look at this closely, you realize how some of them have it in double scoops. Printing and Graphic Services, an in-plant print operation at the University of Mississippi provides printing-related functions to academic, administrative and support departments, as well as faculty, staff-affiliated organizations, and students. These services include design, digital and offset printing, and mailing. Examples are course packs, stationery, envelopes, brochures, posters, newsletters, and catalogs.
Thanks to Impostrip, Ultimate contributed in the organization of a very efficient prepress production department at University of Mississippi, one that addresses both offset and digital printing in a very demanding environment.
We asked Tony Seaman, director of Graphics Services and architect of these advancements to draw a live picture of these accomplishments.
Tony chases any ambiguity from the start: ‘We shouldn’t assume that because universities receive state funding, in-plant printing operations have it easy. On the contrary. The Printing and Graphic Services at the University of Mississippi is an un-funded auxiliary and is responsible for all facility rentals, utilities and other costs. This makes a huge difference.’
‘We have to be prudent on how we spend our resources and we have to select most cost effective solutions that can answer to all facets of our production, from imagesetters to digital printers, explain Tony. Our goal is to provide services that contribute to the success of The University of Mississippi. We can facilitate all print and mail needs in an efficient and productive manner.
QUESTION: Tony, do you benefit from the fact that you are on campus and thus, so accessible to the students, teachers and the administration departments? Does this put you in a better competitive situation?
ANSWER: Not really. It’s all about price. We do not have “first right of refusal” in other words, they DO NOT have to use us and can go off campus, therefore we have to be very competitive in pricing and service.
‘We are a $2 million operation with basically one customer with 300 departments. Because we operate on campus everyone expects that a job coming in at 9:00 a.m. is going to be delivered after lunch. We do not have ‘first refusal’ so we have to be efficient and cost competitive both in hardware and software. We had to take into consideration that we have multiple offset presses and multiple digital printers and presses. We chose Ultimate Impostrip because it can impose for our production needs including all our offset and 4 color press and at the same time it can impose for our Nexpress and our Xerox printers. This is very important for us. We absolutely needed a one source solution; we did not want software for offset and a separate one for digital. We use a PDF workflow and we appreciate this very much. What is important for us also is that Impostrip is updated timely and Ultimate technical support department is amazing.’