Located in Northern Santa Barbara County, Allan Hancock College is ranked one of the five best public community colleges in California. With 4 locations (Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang and Vandenberg Air Force Base) the college has approximately 11,500 credit students enroll each semester and offers degrees and certificates in more than 100 areas of study. The college is well known for its English as a Second Language program, its professional theatre program, a much accomplished athletics program and is one of the top 120 community colleges in the nation.
Gordon Rivera has been with Allan Hancock College since 1996. He grew up in the area and has lived in Santa Maria since grade 3. His first job right out of high school was involving graphic design and print. Gordon said, “My sister was a burgeoning designer and hired me to assist with a local classified. I’ve always had a job and every job since graduating has been in screen printing, actual print or in graphic design.”
Since his first foray into print, Gordon has established quite an impressive resume for himself. He received his degree in Graphic Communication from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He has successfully completed Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt training and he is a G7 certified print professional. He has completed the body of work to equip him with the skills to effectively calibrate his equipment and ensure process control on devices for 4-color printing. Gordon is especially proud of his certifications and shared, “My black belt certification was hard work and has been a long time in the making. To obtain G7 certification, we had to pass the test with a score of 90% or higher and it was a tough test covering some very technical stuff like process control, LED color and being an engineer of color to maintain consistency.”
Gordon is also a contributing writer for In-Plant Graphics Magazine. Gordon shared, “I enjoy writing about operational efficiency and applying lean and six sigma principals to the world of printing.” Gordon has also been teaching evening classes in Graphic Communication at Cal Poly for 10+ years.
The Allan Hancock Team
Gordon runs a tight ship and manages a team of 5 including Robert his Production Coordinator, Josue – Daytime Copy Technician, Elizabeth – Nighttime Copy Technician, Matt – Graphic Designer, Lauren – Fulltime Graphic Artist and two student volunteers. Of the team Gordon says, “It’s the best team I have had since I’ve been here. The level of talent… they are incredible.”
Customers include faculty, staff, administration, student services and the shop’s highest volume customer is Marketing. Gordon shared, “Our jobs consist of lots of collateral, brochures and promotional pieces. This consumes most of our resources. Wide format is off the chart. We print everything from mounted posters and banners to pop up displays, flags, and high-end canvas prints. This is the part of the print industry that is really taking off. We also do a lot of tests, exams, syllabi, handouts and course packs. One of the unique things we do is take on work for select non-profits in the area like foundations and chambers. If we didn’t do the printing for these groups at the prices we offer, they may not be able to afford to have the printing done. And we’re able to take cash payments or credit cards through Print Shop Pro®.”
The department reports to Marketing and is pretty unique in the services offered. “We offer broker work on occasion. If another school needs brochures or assistance with a re-branding or service outside of the scope of their expertise, they can use our resources and skills to get the work done and we simply charge by the hour and bill through PSP,” said Gordon.
Print Shop Pro® Managing the Shop
On average the shop prints 6 Million impressions per year. Gordon added, “We have grown our print volume significantly using PSP. When we first installed PSP it took us 7 years to get to 100k jobs. It has taken only 4 years to get to 200k jobs so that speaks to the exponential growth we have achieved using PSP. Our work doubled in almost half of the time. We wouldn’t be where we are today without PSP.”
Gordon was actively involved in vetting edu in 2006 and purchased PSP in March of 2007. The shop went from a manual operation using NCR forms to receive and process orders. They had no way to track orders, inventory or the true cost of what they were providing customers. Quoting customers was manual and calls to the shop took up valuable time. The shop’s volume grew and it transitioned to an Excel based order form. Gordon shared, “The Excel form worked well, but we had no way to track orders for customers. We lacked the data and resources to really gauge our growth and the quality of what we were providing. PSP was the only solution at the time that had the necessary bones to meet our need of 100% online intake of jobs and the ability to track orders and report on our results all in one system.”
The shop includes tons of equipment in a very small space. Gordon joked, “We have all this in 2,200 square feet of space. They call us the ‘Crampus’ Graphics Department.”
When asked his favorite feature in PSP, Gordon said, “I tell the edu team all of the time, we probably use PSP for more than what is intended. Again, if it wasn’t for PSP we wouldn’t be where we are today. The data we’re able to pull out of the system enables us to justify or quantify changes. It’s critical for proving our livelihood as in-plants. PSP gives us tremendous tools. About a year and a half ago we went from a non-chargeback system to 100% chargeback and were able to do it easily with PSP. Everything we do is in PSP. We can generate reports for our parent organization. Without this ability we have no bargaining chips to get the resources we need. We have to know how much things cost and how much we are providing or not providing. All of our records, retail data and interior chargeback are managed in PSP. If it wasn’t for the robust nature of the system we may not been able to get new equipment or hire new staff. PSP is our partner in campus graphics, not just a supplier or vendor.”
… we probably use PSP for more than what is intended. Again, if it wasn’t for PSP we wouldn’t be where we are today. The data we’re able to pull out of the system enables us to justify or quantify changes. It’s critical for proving our livelihood as in-plants.
Gordon is also planning to significantly improve his operation by implementing PSP Delivery Tracker. Gordon commented, “Delivery Tracker is going to be a huge game changer for us in terms of process improvement. We’re expecting to see a 30- 40% improvement in job tracking and acceptance with proof of delivery and documented signatures.”
Gordon has attended several of the PSP User Group Meetings and consistently contributes valuable feedback and suggestions to make PSP even better, including ideas on modules to help track efficiency and the true costs of services provided. Outside of printing Gordon is happily married to his wife Candy. He lives in the country and has a mule, a peacock and 3-4 cats. Gordon is an avid saltwater fisherman. His largest catch was a marlin but locally he caught a 65lb sturgeon which is a really tough catch.
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