The City of Newark is the most populous city in the state of New Jersey. As one of the nation’s major air, shipping and rail hubs, it is an integral part of the Port of New York and New Jersey.
The City of Newark signed on as a Print Shop Pro® (PSP) customer in October of 2016. While reviewing a previous PSP Customer Newsletter, Manager of the Division of Office Services, Daphne Turner, became excited to share her PSP story. PSP has helped her to bring automation, workflow improvements and new management processes to the department that they had long desired. The following is a transcription of our interview.
Leeann (edu): I’m here with Daphne Turner with the City of Newark. Daphne, will you give us a little background into your entrance into the world of print. I understand that you’ve always had an interest in printing.
Daphne: I have always been interested in document processing and branding. In 2016 I was hired to manage the Division of Office Services, which consisted of printing, mail processing and telephone services. Since there was no established workflow system, or professionally trained printing personnel, I was excited by the challenge and opportunity to use my efficiency consulting skills to turn this division into a viable commercial grade print shop and administrative support resource.
edu: And, how long have you been in your current position with the City of Newark?
Daphne: I have worked in the Division of Office Services as the Manager since January, 2016.
edu: Can you share with me what system was being used when you took on the position, prior to purchasing PSP?
Daphne: Actually, there were no systems. The Division of Office Services “system” consisted of just a sheet of paper. Orders were requested on the order form and a copy of what was being requested for printing was attached to it and left in a basket. The print staff would then select the work from the basket at random. There was no tracking of orders and no way to monitor our turn-around-time on orders.
edu: Wow! About how many jobs were you managing that way?
Daphne: We print approximately 500,000 copies annually.
edu: And, who are your customers? Are they City employees?
Daphne: We primarily serve internal customers. We print and provide administrative support to all of the City’s agencies. There are approximately 55 agencies, including the Police and Fire Divisions. Since having our web portal, we have now become a revenue center with external customers through our shared services contracts. Having PSP will now serve to assist us in generating revenue for the first time in the history of the Agency.
edu: How would you say your workflow and processes have changed since implementing PSP?
Daphne: Now that we have tracking, we can track a job from the time it comes in all the way to the time it goes out. We can monitor and make sure we churn the work out in a timely manner which is really important to our customers. Before, they had no indication of when and order would be ready. It was basically “whenever”.
In addition, there was no way to prove if a mistake was made, that it was not the fault of the shop or our department. We had no way to show what was originally submitted to us versus what we produced. This caused some issues and customers would say “Don’t send work there, they don’t know what they are doing.” Our reputation has gotten a lot better and customers now know they can count on us.
It was a bit rocky understanding what we needed in a workflow system, considering that none had ever existed. So, we did some site visits at other facilities, and used lots of trial and error to set the workflow parameters. With added personnel to handle graphics, the workflow dashboard in PSP and quality control features, we are finally flowing with greater consistency than ever. It’s great to be able to track a print job from the beginning through all of its phases of production. And, it’s great to be able to close the order out with a nice thank you email to the customer when the job is completed. We are now working on how to incorporate our new Customer Experience Survey into our end process.
edu: That is great! What other challenges would you say you experienced in adopting an automated system?
Daphne: Since subscribing to PSP, it has been a challenge to get our many agencies to buy into the automated ordering process. Also, training my staff of “appliance operators” in the profession of printing, which includes managing, tracking, efficient printing techniques, packaging, delivery and reporting has also been a challenge. My vision of a full-service commercial grade print shop has certainly challenged all of my staff to bring their best every day. And to be willing to learn things that they have not envisioned until now.
This was quite a challenge for me, because I work with 15 different personalities and have to manage 15 different learning curves. Most of my staff have worked for the City of Newark for more than 18 years, and were challenged by a change in expectations. However, I used a lot of patience, understanding, positive reinforcement, clear direction, and PRAYER!!! I encouraged my staff to buy into the vision, and made sure to reward team commitment and participation. Although, I must admit we did loose one team member. But that is to be expected with the extremely high ambitions I have set for this Division.
edu: If you had to pick, what would be your favorite feature in PSP?
Daphne: Wow! Do I have to only pick one (Laughs)! If you insist. I believe the template ordering is the best! We no longer have poor David (team member) struggling to create business cards manually and then being verbally abused when he makes errors. He is not a graphic artist, and has very little software application experience. He was just trying to fill a void left after major layoffs in 2010. He would have to manually manipulate the contact information in the software we had for business cards. Then he would copy and paste the information into 10 boxes, but the text would fall out of line and the gutters would get messed up. Customers would just rip him.
Now, the agencies use the PSP Template Builder to prepare their own business cards. Any errors that are made belong to the customer! This has been a huge relief to David and other staff members. Let me just tell you, that man practically kissed my hand. He is so happy. Now that we have PSP Template Builder, customers can build the cards on their own and see an actual proof before they submit their order. This is huge, not to mention saving on the cost of reprints.
edu: And, I understand that is huge for your staff, but how do you feel customers are responding to PSP?
Daphne: For the most part they love it, because now they don’t have to re-invent the wheel when they want to re-order things they have ordered previously. They just go into My Orders, click copy and they walk away with a new ticket number. They don’t have to upload anything with the job or re-enter all of the old instructions. Everything is still there from the last time. They love it!
edu: Any other examples come to mind of how PSP has helped make your job easier?
Daphne: Just having a ticket number tracking system, complete with a history/email history feature has been fantastic! Now when agencies call to follow up on print jobs we can ask for their ticket number and track the job right from our desktop. No more going from desk to desk asking “did you do this job?” No more unidentified boxes of products being picked up by the wrong person, and no one knows who picked it up. No more having to contact the agencies to request better quality documents for printing. We simply forward it to Graphics and let them handle it. They re-create the form/document and upload it back to the job. Then it gets forwarded on for printing. And the most fantastic thing about that is the cleaned up version of the document remains a part of the job. When the customer copies and re-submits that job again, we don’t have to revisit fixing the document. It’s a beautiful thing!
Not to mention, it’s a website! I can leave work (once in a while) at a normal hour and just track jobs from home if necessary. I remember once when I was in the doctor’s office, I was able to provide permissions to a new customer right from my phone. I didn’t have to miss my doctor’s appointment, and the City of Newark agency did not have to wait until my return to get the service they needed.
Again, my staff absolutely cheers for the business card imposition feature. It is so easy, even my least technical employee imposes business cards with ease. And since we print in spot gold and spot silver, the impositions have to be perfect.
I have to say for myself that the tracking and reporting features are my all time favorite benefit. Now, when I attend my monthly meetings with the Mayor and I am asked what resources we are providing to the agencies, I just pass out my copies of the reports by site. All the answers are there. We get praises specifically from the Law Department who organizes an annual Breast Cancer Walk. The specialty graphic designed flyers, banners, post cards, badges and tickets that we designed last year are still in the job ticket. And they simply copy the job back to us with a note to just change the date and time. This proved to be a blessing when the previous event organizer left for a different job. The jobs and the documents that were attached to them were still there long after she left.
edu: Would you recommend PSP to other prospective users? Why or why not?
Daphne: ABSOLUTELY!!! Without question or hesitation. It is a life saver!
edu: Daphne, thank you so much for all of the praise and for your time today. We couldn’t do what we do without awesome customers like you. And, it is what brings our team job enjoyment. One final question, and it’s a personal one, outside of printing, what is your favorite hobby?
Daphne: I am actually a fashion designer. I design women’s contemporary clothing for tall goddess sizes. I have been sewing since I was 16, and I make most of my own clothes. They say “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I’ve always been tall so when shopping I have always been challenged to find something that I liked and would fit. So, I learned to sew in Home Ec. I really loved it and my mother bought me my first sewing machine for Christmas. I’ve been sewing and designing ever since. My clothing line is for women who are tall. There are no number sizes. My line actually takes into account each woman’s actual dimensions. And, that’s the name of my line “Dimensions.” I am also the President and founder of United Block Associations of Newark, a non-profit organization that assists communities in organizing block associations throughout Newark. When I retire I will be focused on these two occupations.
City of Newark Division of Office Services At a Glance:
Interview with: Daphne Turner, Manager of the Division of Office Services
Solution: PSP Manager (Hosted), PSP Webdesk (Hosted), Directory Integration, Template Builder, Document Converter and Color Themes
Location: Newark, NJ
Print Shop Staff: 15
Annual Production Volume: 500,000 Copies
Equipment: Xerox i1000 Color Press, Xerox Iridesse, Konica Color Press, HP Wide Format Printer, Xante Printer/Plate maker, Oki Color Printer, Duplo Precision Cutter
by Leeann Raymond