Print Shop Pro® is a fully automated web-to-print management system designed exclusively for in-plant print shops and copy centers. You're invited to our webinar to learn more.
“I tell everyone,
Print Shop Pro® has rocked our world!”
Mitch Barnum, Manager, Image Processing—Arlington Independent School District
Located in Arlington Texas, Arlington Independent School District (AISD) is the 11th-largest school district in the state of Texas. The district is responsible for overseeing 12 Senior High Schools, 10 Junior High Schools and 52 Elementary Schools. AISD has a population of more than 61,000 students each year and is also the largest employer in the city with a staff of approximately 8,500.
AISD has been a Print Shop Pro® (PSP) User since February 2017 and was one of the fastest system implementations. After having the system configured and successfully completing training, AISD was able to accomplish having 90% of the district’s customers submitting orders online through PSP in less than 30 days.
I met with Mitch Barnum, Manager of Image Processing at AISD to learn more about the district’s print operation and to understand how this was accomplished in such a quick turn around.
From Operator to Operations Manager
Mitch began his career as a technician. He shared, “I serviced copiers for 12 years and later transitioned to a management role where for many years I was in technical service management and oversaw a team of technicians.” Mitch also worked for Xerox Business services (XBS) for 10 years, where he would set up print shops and mail delivery shops for customers at their sites.
Mitch has been employed with AISD for 2 ½ years. I asked Mitch how he landed the position at AISD and he shared, “I was the Field Service Manager for Canon for several years. I had 17 technicians that serviced the entire Dallas/FT Worth area and AISD was our largest customer. The print shop manager retired and the district spent months trying to find someone with the right credentials to take over the shop. After several months went by and the position being left unfilled, I decided it was time to raise my hand and throw my hat in the ring. Fortunately I was selected and I absolutely love it. It was a great move for me.”
Team & Equipment
Mitch is responsible for managing a team of four in the Image Processing Department at AISD. Mitch shared, “everyone has their unique talents but we all are cross trained in each other’s jobs. We do full color printing, black ink printing and a full array of finishing.”
I asked about the types of print jobs the department produces and Mitch shared, “We print everything from booklets to spiral binds and carbonless paper jobs. We are printing pads and inserts for mail outs. We also do large format printing including printing on gloss and standard bond as well as self adhesive prints of anything up to 42 inches mounted. And, we produce full bleed prints on foam core as well as mail outs of anything up to 10k pieces.”
Supporting Internal & External Customers
Mitch’s team services all of AISD, AISD Administration and all local non-profits. Mitch said, “We print for our local churches and other non-profits throughout the metroplex. Our external customers pay COD. They are able to submit their jobs using PSP and they bring a check when they pick up their jobs.”
Prior to using Print Shop Pro®, AISD was using a system called TEAMS by Prologic. I asked Mitch what motivated him to begin his search for a new Print Management System and he shared, “I started looking due to the cumbersome dual order process through the old system. It was challenging for secretaries at schools to submit print jobs through the system. It would give the User a diluted description of what they wanted and they would go down a path and then would not be able to select the things they actually wanted (booklets, pads, etc.) We wanted customers to be able to see what their options were.”;
“We were manually tracking all jobs because there wasn’t a way to do that in the old system. Customers would also have to email their request if there was an attachment because there wasn’t a way to upload an attachment in TEAMS. There was also no automated notification to our print shop once a customer submitted an order. Jobs would sit in TEAMS unless someone checked or a customer called inquiring about the status of their job,” said Mitch.
Choosing a Print Management System
I then asked Mitch if he had looked at other systems and why he ultimately decided to go with PSP. Mitch said, “When we started evaluating systems we looked at RICOH and Canon. Both met with us onsite. I worked for Canon for several years and they actually had the upper hand early on. But, in my review PSP was hands down the better software. It was easy for Users to submit a job and it has many great features that really made it stand out It was a positive change for our schools being able to easily submit orders. And, it was a positive change for our print team being able to easily track orders.”
Mitch wanted to get PSP implemented quickly, but he experienced many challenges early on. Mitch shared, “I knew I wanted to get the system up and running but with my other job responsibilities and our workload it was difficult to dedicate the time needed for training and system set up. Chuck (edu VP Software Implementation & Support) was instrumental in setting a weekly meeting with me to keep pushing the project forward.”
Approximately 4-5 months after purchase, Mitch successfully completed training and was ready to start introducing PSP to customers. Mitch shared, “I started by going to individual schools and doing face to face trainings. I was new to AISD so I wanted to get face time with the secretaries and administrative staff. I met with high schools first then junior high schools and so on. But, after about a dozen of these meetings I decided it would take too long to meet with all 83 schools and 6 administrative areas and locations. I purchased a microphone and used Power Point’s Presenter Applications and put together a 15 minute tutorial that took Users through step-by-step instructions on how to register and use PSP. I sent it as a broadcast email to the balance of schools.”
Improved Customer Service
I asked Mitch how customers responded and he shared, “Many embraced the new process very quickly. Also, as customers would send jobs in via the old system we would send a thank you email letting them know we were processing their order and would send the same tutorial video advising them of the new process for submitting future orders through PSP. In 30 days we went from all orders being in TEAMS, about 200 orders, to only 7 in the old system. Word spread quickly about the new process too, so the positive word of mouth helped.”
I followed up by asking how PSP has impacted the department’s workflow. Mitch responded enthusiastically, “I tell everyone, Print Shop Pro® has rocked our world. With our old system, seldom if ever did the pricing reflect the correct cost. Jobs would be quoted at $3,200.00 when the actual cost of the job was more like $100.00. It was so bad that customers just didn’t pay any attention to it because they knew we would fix it. When orders would come in we would have to go in and manually calculate costs. We had spreadsheets, but it was too time consuming because we had to do it for every single job that came in. We would calculate the actual cost and change the price on the job ticket and take the corrected ticket to accounting and they would need to go in and change the charge to the real price. This involved multiple people to close out print requests. With PSP we no longer have to do that. Most jobs, short of a few special orders, come in and the job is calculated correctly and customers know before submitting what the cost of their job is going to be. They love that!”
I asked Mitch his favorite feature in PSP and he named a few. Mitch responded by saying, “I would have to say the pricing in PSP. When we have new employees in the shop it takes a while to comprehend pricing for spiral binds, jobs that are partially in color, partially on card stock with some pages that are on regular stock. With so many options and variables it can be challenging to calculate job costs correctly every time. What’s nice about PSP is they can visually see what every category is priced out at and learn. Also with our old system we had no way of notifying customers when their job was completed. They would put a desired due date and we would work hard to get the job done by that desired date. But, if our delivery system had a glitch or we couldn’t meet the due date there was no way to notify the customer other than calling. With automatic emails when a job is being shipped or ready for pick up, we have cut down significantly on telephone traffic and helped significantly improve our workflow.”
Outside of print Mitch is a proud husband, a father of three and has seven grandkids all within five miles of his home. In his spare time he enjoys playing the drums. He has played in local churches for 20+ years on worship teams. Mitch enjoys camping with his family. He also buys, refurbishes and resells drums as a hobby and for extra cash. For those that can get to the area, Mitch also highly recommends San Antonio as a great place to live and visit. He shared, “with Fiesta TX, Sea World San Antonio, bands playing on the riverwalk in downtown San Antonio and lots of great food it’s a wonderful place to visit with tons of things to do for the whole family.”
by Leeann Raymond,
Vice President of Sales and Operations, edu Business Solutions
You’re invited to our webinar to learn more.