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Hudson Valley Community College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, serves approximately 13,500 students each semester, and is the second-largest institution of higher learning in the Capital Region of New York State.
Although most SUNY colleges offer basic printing services of some kind, Hudson Valley is one of the few institutions to offer a full-scale print shop. Printing services and the college’s associated graphic design department process between 500 and 700 job tickets each month, of which 99 percent are submitted online.
The shop is fully equipped with two Heidelberg 4-color DI presses, two Multigraphics 1250 presses; a Konica-Minolta C6500 color copier; two Oce’ 4120 black & white copiers and a Xante envelope printer. Additionally, they have a Duplo airfed collator with a booklet maker; hydraulic cutter; desktop folders/perforators; a creaser/scorer/slitter unit; tape binder; laminator; two wide format printers; two Epson Stylus Pro 4000 professional ink jets for digital photos and proofing for 4-color presses; and a Xante plate maker.
The Graphics and Print Shop offices have a combined staff of nine employees, who are led by Director of Graphic Design and Printing Services John Heiser. When John first took over the print operation, they were using a 5-part NCR work order form that they printed on-site and provided to their customer to fill out and submit to the shop. The entire process of estimating and tracking of jobs was manual and not always accurate. At the end of each month, someone would be assigned the tedious two-day process of going through all the forms and gathering the billing data to enter into an Access database system for chargebacks. Any misplaced paper forms would result in lost revenue.
John had a few objectives at the outset, not the least of which was having centralized data that was easily accessible. He wanted to offer online order submission for added customer convenience and to free up his print staff from filling out work orders. Perhaps the greatest objective in John’s quest for a print management software solution was to have good data to show that money was being saved for the college. John wanted a way to track volume month-to-month and year-to-year by number of jobs, hours spent, type of work being completed, etc.
With the data from Print Shop Pro® (PSP), John could show trends and growth in the print shop’s operation, helping them keep pace with technology and expand their services to the college.
John was first introduced to PSP at an ACUP conference, where he had an in-depth demonstration of the product. “I became fascinated with PSP following the presentation,” he stated. John evaluated a couple of other programs, but ultimately decided PSP was the best fit for his operation.
According to John, PSP’s comprehensive solution for managing both the offset press and digital copier business, coupled with a price point “that beat the pants off the competition,” represented the best value for the college.
According to John, the key differentiators that led to choosing PSP were:
- PSP had everything they needed in one fully-integrated program, with PSP Webdesk for online ordering, a configurable store front, document converter for on-the-fly file conversion to PDF, job tracking, accounting functions and robust reporting capabilities.
- PSP offered a solution for managing both offset press and copier business.
- PSP’s built-in pre-approval process was perfect for satisfying the college’s requirement that every work order be approved prior to being submitted for printing.
- PSP represented a much better value when compared to competitive products.
- PSP Webdesk provided customers access to previous jobs and ability to copy and resubmit as new jobs.
John said the implementation and roll out of PSP was quite smooth. They began their data gathering process around September. edu Business Solutions supported the remote installation of PSP, and then came on-site for a two-day training session. They did a soft release in January, and made it mandatory that all work orders be submitted through PSP Webdesk in March.
They conducted four open training sessions in the college computer labs to train faculty and college staff members on how to get to the website for the new work order system and provided step-by-step instruction on entering an online order through PSP Webdesk. They educated users on what services they offered, and what the turn around times would be for different job types. A handout was provided to each training session attendee that included an overview of the work order system and step-by-step instructions for both a Quick Copy and Print order request. They continue to offer training sessions a few times a year to introduce new features of the program and to train any new users.
John shared that edu’s customer service and support has been great. His experience has been that they consistently receive friendly, timely responses to all inquiries. He shared that edu’s support staff is competent, knowledgeable and able to provide quick resolutions. John also made a point of expressing how well edu’s staff works with their internal IT group.
- Customers’ ability to copy and resubmit jobs improves efficiency and reduces workload of staff.
- Accessibility to customers of online form and current job status.
- Billing and accounting all done within the system saves time and improves accuracy.
- Access to detailed data for analysis and reporting.
- Online order process has saved print staff time by eliminating them having to create work order forms.
After many years, John said they remain very happy with both the product and edu’s service. John has in the past, and will continue to be, a reference for both PSP and edu as a vendor.