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.
We had the pleasure of catching up with our very first Print Shop Pro® customer, John Gildner, Graphic Services Director at Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD). John connected with edu over 15 years ago at a CASBO user group meeting. It was great fun reminiscing with John about the good ol’ days and reflecting back on how PSP has progressed over the years to meet the changing needs of today’s inplant print shop.
Jane Yoshimura, Reprographics Specialist, joined the department 6 years ago and works as John’s right hand. Jane is also a member of the edu User Group Steering Committee. Jane contributes topics and content to be presented at the annual PSP User Group meeting and is a power PSP User. DSUSD is a public school district whose main offices are located in La Quinta, California a resort city in Riverside County located in the Coachella Valley between Indian Wells and Indio.
DSUSD is one of the top 3 employers in the city and the district consists of eighteen elementary schools, one charter elementary school, six middle schools, one charter middle school, four comprehensive high schools, two continuation high schools, one alternative education school and a preschool.
DSUSD recently celebrated 50 years as a unified school district. John shared, “We have a unique socioeconomic situation. We serve some of the poorest in the country with our immigrant farmer population in the Coachella Valley and Indio. We also serve some of the most affluent in the world in Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells which are home to individuals like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and the Obama family.”
John is a career printer and a California native. He grew up in the South Bay area of San Diego County and got his start in printing working in the private sector. He graduated with his B.S. from Sonoma State University and recognized a growing need in the market for a vendor to provide convenient copy services to the general public. Kinko’s, also a San Diego based start up, was the leader in the market at the time and John took notice. He found a partner and John says, “We risked everything we had to open In-and-Out Copies in San Diego in 1980.”
In a 500 sq ft space in a Chula Vista strip mall, John purchased a Xerox 9500 Analog copier, put up a sign and opened for business. “We were a full service shop then offering everything from printing and mail services to office supplies and complete finishing and binding services”, says John. The operation proved to be successful and grew to 5 copy machines in 3,500 sq ft of space and services expanded to include rented use of apple computers and paid fax services. “We were the first to offer this service,” said John.
12 years later John sold his shop and went into managing a wholesale import company and also worked as an Operations Manager for San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He realized that working in print was some of the most pleasurable times in his career and he missed the business. He found his way back to print when he responded to an ad for a Graphics Service Manager position with DSUSD in 1998 and was subsequently hired. He has been in the position for 18 years now.
John is responsible for managing a team of 8 employees in a 4k sq ft shop. The department has 2 Reprographics Specialists who handle customer service, document creation and pre-press operations, 1 Reprographic Technician who handles workflow on the production floor and 4 Reprographic Operators who run the shop’s equipment and are responsible for production, shipping and distribution of all finished materials.
DSUSD Reprographics department processes over 3 million impressions per month using PSP. The shop is 90% digital and 10% offset. John says, “We do about 2.7 million digital impressions in color and black and white printing and about 300 thousand in offset printing, not including large format jobs.”
DSUSD customers consist of their schools, district departments and students. The department also serves local non-profits, municipalities and the personal needs of district staff. John says, “We will do everything from large posters and billboards for departments to small jobs like wedding announcements and holiday cards for our staff.”
The print shop runs all Xerox equipment for digital printing. The shop has two Xerox Nuvera™ 144 black and white printers and five 95 copy per minute copiers that John says are the heart of the production floor. They also have two Xerox Color 1000 digital printers, one Xerox DocuColor 250 for back up and color proofing, one AB Dick 9985 2 color printing press, one Ryobi 3200 1 color offset press and a full array of finishing equipment including creasers, paper cutters, folders, collators and booklet makers.
The shop’s newest gem is an Aerocut Velocity with associated Variable Data Printing (VDP) software that allows the shop to target market with variable imaging. The shop can access templates and personalize any printed cards using this system. The Aerocut slits, creases and perforates via a barcode reader. DSUSD is using this to create personalized postcards to promote their Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. These programs help kids who are not interested or cannot attend college to obtain a career in the legal, medical and aeronautics fields.
Other fun items the shop prints are point of sales (POS) banners, stickers for programs at schools and truck wraps. One of the biggest challenges facing the shop is providing exceptional customer service to ensure they keep customers happy and keep jobs in house. John said, “When taking this position I didn’t realize that school sites have complete autonomy to spend their printing dollars wherever they want.” John regularly attends Principal meetings to showcase new products and services to promote his offerings. John went on to say, “I do email marketing whenever I hear about a customer who went outside for something and I also emphasize to staff how important our customer service is. We set ourselves apart by our service, the value for the price and quality.”
John is constantly looking for ways to increase his value and bring his shop more projects. A unique program he designed and got approved is offering Quick Copy services to teachers at school sites for free. John said, “8 years ago I learned school sites were doing approximately 4 mil impressions per month. I designed a program to offer a credit to departments to perform the printing they were already doing at the school sites in my shop for free.” Also approved was the ability to limit use of copiers at school sites to encourage use of the free credit. John continued, “This allowed us to transition 1 million of those impressions per month into our department. And, using PSP’s Quick Copy feature, teachers can easily submit an order for any basic instructional materials (no color prints, black and white only, limited selection of paper and finishing options) they need printed electronically with a guaranteed 24-48 hour turn around. This allows our instructors to focus on teaching instead of lining up at copiers and they get printing and great service for less than what they can do on their own.”
John’s favorite PSP feature is the ability to separate quick copy orders from print orders in PSP Webdesk. “The Quick Copy form is pretty vanilla,” says John. Teachers can easily submit orders right from the classroom.
We asked Jane her favorite feature in PSP. Jane shared, “I have a “go to” favorite feature and my new favorite feature. I love the report writing tool. This is my “go to” favorite since it makes our monthly billing so easy and fast! Plus, the data analysis from the various Sales and WIP reports assists with marketing and production decisions.” She continued, “My new favorite feature is the Projects Feature. We used it for the first time this month for a fund raiser. The event had multiple jobs that ranged from large format printing to regular printing and finishing. We did everything from tickets and programs to posters and banners, and we were able to link all the orders together, track the status for all components and verify status. When all of the jobs were ready, we were able to tie everything together and provide our customer with a detailed order summary including pricing for each line item. It worked great!” Jane continued, “I will also say the customer service response from edu is excellent. I submit a ticket and get a response within a few hours at the most.”
When we asked John if he could recall why he selected PSP as his print management system back in 2002, John said, “We’re located one hour away from Riverside and one hour away from San Bernardino, so we’re in a little bit of a remote location. We’ve been a bedroom community for all of our existence and we were the last to get a Wal-Mart and a Costco. This makes it way more important for us to analyze a vendor by their service capacity after the sale and not just their ability to sell us something. This is more important, in a lot of cases, than the product we’re actually buying in the first place. I worked a lot with edu in developing the software. I had it written into our contact that edu would develop a web-based system for order entry, you didn’t have that when we purchased your PSP Manager system in 2002.”
John’s feedback contributed to the development of PSP Webdesk which allows for the easy submission of print orders via the web. DSUSD has also recently transitioned from PSP Deployed to PSP Hosted. edu now hosts their system and manages all system updates. “I’ve been really impressed with the company’s ability to continue to develop the product and keep up with technology to meet our needs”, said John.
Outside of printing, John is a dog lover, enjoys cycling and traveling. And, while John loves to travel he says, “I love Southern California with the mountains and beaches. It’s one of the only places where I can surf in La Jolla in the morning and snow ski in the mountains in the afternoon.”
We are proud to have had DSUSD as a satisfied edu customer for the past 15 years and look forward to continuing to service their team for years to come.