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.
Purple, purple everywhere. Purple and gold are the school colors for Western Carolina University and it is all over the campus – thanks to the print shop and their amazing staff. It is on signs, banners, buildings, buses and even on the ground. And it is also on students, faculty and employees. They have football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, cross county and golf; and the team spirit is palpable. I know, because all of the attendees at the SUPDMC conference were bussed over for a tour of their in-plant print operation.
Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, about 50 miles west of Ashville, WCU is the westernmost campus in the University of North Carolina system and has been consistently ranked as one of the Top 15 public regional institutions in the South.
WCU is near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States. As a national park that you can drive through, the annual visitor count to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park exceeds the total number of visitors to all the other national parks combined.
Tom Frazier and the Print Shop
Tom Frazier, Printing Services Director at WCU was born and raised in North Carolina and has been with the university’s print and mail services operation for 21 years. He manages the day-today operations for the university’s in-plant print, campus mail and bulk mail operations that includes 9 employees, 25 part-time student helpers and serves 100-plus customers.
The print shop has Ricoh production equipment, a 901 and 651; a 2-color offset press and wide format equipment, including 5 plotters, a Duplo Booklet System and an Epilog laser engraver. They also have a super cool button maker that makes buttons and zipper pulls. We all got to take some samples home with us.
The shop does a lot of high end 4-color documents as well as signs, banners and photos. With Admissions and Athletics being two of their largest customers, they print all brochures and mail campaigns for the institution, letterhead, business cards, football game programs and banners for the stadium.
Admissions’ Special Touch
The Admissions Department has a rather complicated mailing that goes to accepted students. Each new student receives a unique weekly mailing for a 6-week period. It starts with a “We Choose You” letter printed in gold and is personalized to each student. The mailings that follow are related to scholarship opportunities, financial aid, summer programs and other opportunities for students to jump start their university experience. Mailings are interwoven with social media campaigns like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, which allows students to be online looking for housing, roommates, etc.
When WCU began investigating print management software, they checked with other schools. Based upon good comments and referrals from those institutions, chose Print Shop Pro®. The university has been using Print Shop Pro® Manager since 2007, and more recently has added additional PSP software components to support customers placing orders online.
Tom said, “Print Shop Pro® Manager has been a good program that works well for us.” He shared that in all the time they have been using PSP Manager they have had just one time of being down for more than a few minutes. That down time was due to an internal IT issue that resulted in them being down for 4 or 5 days. During that down time is when they realized just how critical the PSP program was to their operation.
Tom went on to explain that they use the PSP Statement Report as a packing list. They print out two copies. They leave one with the customer and bring back the signed second copy to reference when they do their monthly billing through Banner.
Tom said, “Print Shop Pro® is part of the fabric of our organization. We couldn’t function without it. I remind IT how critical the program is, and to not mess us up!“
Tom gives kudos to Chuck Bailey and edu’s entire support team, stating that they provide good support and always respond to their needs in a timely fashion. They are in the process of working with edu’s support team to configure PSP Webdesk in support of expanding their PSP system to include online ordering capabilities and customers being able to easily submit reprint orders.
Tom’s favorite Print Shop Pro® feature is the extensive search functions within the program that supports them providing the highest level of service to customers when there is a need to find their last job and start a new project.
Tom explained that staying competitive in an ever-changing world is a challenge that the print shop faces, and that every change in technology causes concern about remaining competitive and being a viable resource to the organization. Tom credited the extensive data and reporting functionality of Print Shop Pro® in allowing him to pull valuable information pertaining to their expenses and costs to present in support of the shop being retained as a competitive and valuable asset to the institution. The data and reporting from PSP not only supported the shop’s value, but resulted in them being moved to reporting to the Chancellor’s Division.
Tom has been a reference for Print Shop Pro® and edu Business Solutions as a vendor for years, and is happy to continue to do so.
While Tom made a strong pitch for a User Group Meeting to someday be held near his area, he is going to try and send someone to the meeting that will be held in San Diego next March.
We enjoyed our visit to WCU with the SUPDMC group and were so proud to say that they are using Print Shop Pro® to manage their amazing operation. Thanks to Tom and the entire print shop team for hosting us!