Oklahoma City, abbreviated OKC, is the capital and the largest city in the state of Oklahoma. OKC is well known for its cowboy culture, large Native American population and its capitol complex which is surrounded by working oil wells. It is home to the OKC Thunder, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and is famous for the Roger and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma” which the state adopted as its official state song and anthem. It was also the birthplace of many great musicians (Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton to mention a few). OKC has one of the world’s largest livestock markets and oil, natural gas, petroleum products and related industries are the largest sector of the local economy.
Located inside City Hall at the City of OKC is an in-plant print operation that services the print needs of all city departments including the City Clerk, The Office of the Mayor, The Office of the City Manager, Utilities Department, Airport, Municipal Offices and the OKC Department of Transportation.
We spoke with Eric Nazim, Print Shop Manager to discuss his print shop operations. The following is a recap of our conversation with Eric as he details his experience transitioning into printing, challenges he experienced in rolling out a print management solution and his thoughts on the pay-off and benefits received from his Print Shop Pro® implementation.
Eric has lived in the state of Oklahoma the majority of his life. He graduated from Oklahoma City University with a degree in theater, liberal arts and media. Eric worked for many years as a Media Coordinator for organizations like Fox Sports. He also worked as a Producer/Director/Editor for Cox Media. Eric joined the Public Information Management office for the City of OKC in 2015. After 2 years with the department he was asked to take on the role of Print Shop Manager. Eric explained, “I had some experience in printing small jobs from doing audio visual work during my college days, but managing an entire print department was largely a new experience and I had to learn a lot and learn it fast!”
Eric was assigned a team of 2 full-time print technicians and 1 full-time mail technician. The shop’s equipment consists of: DryLam Laminator, Graphic Wizard PT370A Automated Scoring Machine, Challenge Titan 230 Paper Cutter, Rhin-O-Tuff Onyx HD 770 Binder (hole puncher), Duplo Auto Air Folder, ISP Staple/Stitcher, Xante Impressia Color Digital Press, Ricoh 907EX, Canon C800, Ricoh Pro C751, Canon VarioPrint 153 and a Formax Folder/Inserter.
The shop processes between 5-6 million impressions each year, and solely supports city offices. Eric shared, “We do a lot of black and white printing for departments. We print everything from memos to informational pieces for the city, handouts, brochures, announcements and promotional items for our Parks and Recreation Department.”
In his new role, Eric’s first task was to complete the implementation of Print Shop Pro®. Prior to implementing Print Shop Pro® the department was using PrintSmith to track orders. Eric explained, “Most orders were being submitted hard copy or via email. We’re a small department and one of our technicians would have to enter all of the order details from the email or paper form into PrintSmith for tracking. I have to admit that I have limited experience using PrintSmith because the decision was already made to move forward with Print Shop Pro® before I moved into the position. But, I did use it to try and pull some reports and it was much more difficult than Print Shop Pro®. I can get the same information from Print Shop Pro® quickly with just a few clicks.”
Eric focused his first 6 months on the job learning and setting up Print Shop Pro®. Eric said, “I have to admit it took dedication and focus to get all of the order categories configured into the system and to add in all of our job types, inventory, paper and pricing. And, our chargeback process is very unique so it took a bit of work. But Print Shop Pro® is very intuitive and it just made sense the way things were laid out. Chuck (edu’s VP of Software Implementation and Support) and I worked well together and he really helped the process along. It was a lot of work but it all paid off in the end. Our customers absolutely love it and it makes our jobs a lot easier to manage.”
While discussing the pay-off Eric and his customers received from their Print Shop Pro® implementation, I asked Eric how his customers responded to the new system being introduced. Eric shared, “The majority of our customers were very receptive. We got buy-in fast and from a large number of our customers. As you would expect, there was a small subset of customers that resisted. They felt it was easier to just send an email and say “print me 50 copies of this.” But then they miss out on all of the benefits of having their order history and being able to easily submit re-orders in just a couple of clicks without having to completely start over. Once they saw these benefits we managed to get most of them on board. We have the order forms laid out to be pretty simple for most jobs. They don’t have to leave their desk or try and figure things out. They can submit a job easily without interrupting their day by walking a form over to the print shop or calling us to explain what they need to have printed.”
The print department at the City of OKC started tracking jobs in Sept 2017 with a goal of keeping the number of manually entered orders below 15% of all orders submitted. I asked Eric to detail for other Print Shop Pro® customers the steps taken to achieve this goal. Eric shared, “Customers would send an email to the department or bring in a paper form with details of their order. Our print technicians would either enter the order details into Print Shop Pro® alongside the customer if they walked in their order, or we would enter the order details from their email. After we entered the emailed order details we would send an email back to the customer with a link to Print Shop Pro® and instructions on how to easily submit their future orders. When we first began introducing Print Shop Pro®, the highest percentage of jobs entered by our department staff in a one month period was 32%. After only 3 or 4 months of introducing Print Shop Pro® we were below our goal of 15%. Now, we’re steadily at less than 10% of all jobs coming in being entered by our staff. Some people are just stubborn, but they lose out on being able to easily place re-orders, have a complete history of all of their orders as well as having access to track their orders while in production. The customers that use the system love those features. We have also seen a steady increase in the number of customers registering to use Print Shop Pro®. Again, when we first rolled out in September of 2017 we began with 169 customers. As of the end of May 2019 we have a total of 568 registered Users and we’re seeing a steady increase every month. We’re almost at one year live with it and we are yet to see the number of new Users level off.”
Eric also shared his favorite Print Shop Pro® feature. He said, “While our customers love the ability to order right from their desk and get on with their day, my personal favorite feature is the online store. I think this is going to be very popular with our departments as well. We haven’t used it to its full potential yet, but we have put in a few items for customers and it has worked great. The store is perfect for those items that don’t change and customers order over and over. The Print Shop Pro® online store allows faster ordering of things like forms in just a couple of clicks. We have one department we tested it out with which is our Action Center. They are the contact center for the city and direct inquiries to the appropriate city department. They also do fulfillment of requests for city brochures, booklets, public city guides and city directories. We added these items to the store so they can easily order these with just a couple of clicks. They love it. We’re now going around to other departments to get things they order over and over added to the store. It’s growing and we expect it will be very popular.”
Eric asked to share a few of his customer’s favorite features also. He said, “A few of our departments also like the approval feature. Our courts had issues with staff placing orders for forms and then attaching outdated forms. These are legal documents so once an error would be discovered city staff resources would have to spend time tracking down all of the misprints and removing them from circulation. Not to mention the cost the city incurred from having to discard and then reprint thousands of forms. With the approval process we can ensure the correct form is attached before printing, the turn around is faster and it saves us on the cost of reprints. We also love having the business cards in Template Builder. Now our department isn’t responsible if a name is misspelled or a telephone number is wrong. The departments enter all of their own information and can see a proof in real time. It’s great!”
Eric attended IPMA in Kentucky in June. He met with other in-plants and it brought to light how unique his charge back process is. Eric said, “I’m surprised Print Shop Pro® can handle our chargebacks. I learned that no one handles chargebacks in the same way that we do. For all black and white jobs we calculate the total number of impressions for the year, add in all of our costs (staff, paper, supplies, equipment and maintenance) then we take that number and divide it by the total number of impressions to come up with our actual cost per impression. Then we take each department’s print volume for black and white prints and multiply that by our total cost per impression to determine each department’s cost for black and white prints. We put that amount of money into their next year’s budget and take that amount out at the start of the proceeding fiscal year. So they never see an actual line item on their budget for black and white prints, the City pays for it. However, the departments are billed a surcharge for color printing which is $0.05 per impression. It’s complicated and having a system like Print Shop Pro® really saves us time.”
In wrapping up our call I asked Eric if there were any interesting trends in his business or unique things that his department does. Eric shared, “We have been outsourcing wide format printing of posters and wraps because we haven’t been able to justify the cost of purchasing equipment capable of handling these jobs. But, I see that becoming a bigger business so we’re keeping our eye on that. We also see our volume of color printing increasing and black and white decreasing. Color is now about 30% of all of our jobs. Also, something unique that we do is send out a customer survey from our department each year. We’re often surprised by the feedback. Someone completed the survey and said they wished we could do multi-part carbonless jobs. And, we were surprised because we do so much of that. These surveys help us develop promotions to advertise our services and keep customers informed of all the things that we can do.”
Outside of printing Eric enjoys playing tennis and working on home improvement projects. He and his wife both play on men’s and women’s competitive tennis teams.
City of Oklahoma City At a Glance:
Interview with: Eric Nazim, Print Shop Manager
Solution: PSP Manager (Hosted), PSP Webdesk (Hosted), Color Themes, Directory Integration, Document Converter and Template Builder,
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Print Shop Staff: 3
Annual Production Volume: 5-6 Million Impressions
Equipment: DryLam Laminator, Graphic Wizard PT370A Automated Scoring Machine, Challenge Titan 230 Paper Cutter, Rhin-O-Tuff Onyx HD 770 Binder (hole puncher), Duplo Auto Air Folder, ISP Staple/Stitcher, Xante Impressia Color Digital Press, Ricoh 907EX, Canon C800, Ricoh Pro C751, Canon VarioPrint 153 and a Formax Folder/Inserter
by Leeann Raymond