California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State, informally Sac State) is a public university located in Sacramento, California. Founded in 1947, it’s the eleventh oldest school in the 23-campus California State University System. The university offers 151 different Bachelor’s degree programs, 69 Master’s degrees, 28 types of teaching credentials and 2 Doctoral degree programs. The University sits on 300 acres of land and is covered with over 3,500 trees, with over 1,200 trees located in the University Arboretum.
Director of Reprographics & Mail, Laura Lockett, is a long time employee of Sacramento State (over 33 years with the University) and is a new Print Shop Pro® (PSP) User. We sat down for a telephone Q&A session to discuss her print shop operations and her goals for the newly launched print management and web-to-print system.
edu: Laura, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Before we get into the details of your department’s operations, can you quickly share with me how you began your career in print?
Sacramento State: I started with what used to be called Reprographics in May of 1986 as the Department Secretary. The Manager at the time was a friend of our family and asked my mom if she knew of anyone looking for a clerical position. My mom told me about the position, and I applied and started the job about 6 weeks later. I’ve always loved art and thought the world of printing sounded interesting. Little did I know… I was a Department Secretary for about 2 years, then a Graphics Specialist (designer) for about 12 years. I actually got my degree in Graphic Design while working here. My next position was Print Production Manager and then Assistant to the Director in 2010. At that time I was also given the responsibility for supervising the campus mail center. In 2014 I was asked to teach the print production clss that is part of the Graphic Design major. I did that for 4 years and absolutely loved it!
NOTE: Read more on Laura’s story in InPlant Impressions.
edu: Wow! That is quite an accomplishment, 33 years with the University. And, how long have you been in your current position?
Sacramento State: I started as Interim Director in March of 2016 and have been Director of University Print & Mail since October of 2017.
edu: I’m sure given your time with Sacramento State that you have seen a lot of change in how projects are requested and fulfilled. Did you have a system in place prior to making the decision to acquire PSP?
Sacramento State: With regard to an MIS system, we were using PrintSmith Classic. We’d found that upgrading to the cloud based Vision version was cost prohibitive. With regard to a web-to-print solution, we had what I refer to as “Failure to Launch” for two systems. Some of the hurdles we experienced with those systems included the need to maintain multiple pricing databases and systems that did not meet our stringent campus security requirements. Our customers were asking for a web-to-print system because they didn’t like filling out our old carbonless form. Another issue we were having was that our MIS had been managed by several different people over the 19 years that we had it. Each person who took on billing and estimating managed the system a little differently. This created a lot of anomalies in how things were priced. We needed consistency and had to make a decision to either wipe the system, or get a new system altogether. We decided to look at other options because we don’t have the bandwidth to update two systems when we want to make a change or have a price increase. We needed a fully integrated system and after extensive research by us and review by our IT department, we chose PSP.
edu: And tell me about your customers. They are obviously pushing for automation, how have they responded to PSP?
Sacramento State: We service the whole campus community. The feedback has been positive. Our largest customer is the College of Continuing Education. We support all of their courses, in addition to their Conference and Training Division which coordinates conferences for state agencies throughout California. They put on events for recycled waste management for example, and we print all of the flyers, name badges, save the date cards, conference programs, booklets, easel large format signage and things of that nature. We also do printing for Athletics. We print the line up cards for our baseball team. We also have athletics signage we’ve printed and placed in the Sacramento Airport. We won an award at SGIA last year for our pillar wraps in the airport. And, customers can do all of their ordering online with Print Shop Pro®.
edu: Do you have a favorite type of job or printed piece that you’ve produced?
Sacramento State: Yes, I report to the Senior Director of University Support Services. In addition to University Print and Mall, he also oversees University Transportation and Parking (UTAPS). We partnered with the UTAPS and the Department of Design to create a parking “way finding/beautification” project. We opened a new parking structure last Fall. Instead of doing a traditional nomenclature of PS1, PS2, we wanted to have things identified by the look and feel of the structure. And, so PS5 was given the theme of the Arboretum because it is next to our Arboretum and the graphic design students turned it into a research and design project. They submitted designs to convey the theme using visual graphics and the color schemes already outlined. This project set the tone for revamping other structures. Every floor has a different color and theme and we printed all of the graphics and wrapped elevator banks. It was really cool and the wide format prints allowed us to really make a visual impact on campus to engage students and visitors. It’s really important for my unit to find ways to integrate our services with the educational process and support students. The Parking structure project is just one of several ways we are helping our students succeed.
edu: What is your average monthly or annual print volume?
Sacramento State: We run about 450 jobs per month depending on the time of year.
edu: Tell me about the implementation process and any challenges your shop faced rolling out PSP.
Sacramento State: Gosh, installing Print Shop Pro® and completely revamping our pricing from scratch has been a huge undertaking. As I mentioned, the older system had been maintained by 5 different people and we had to start from scratch. Print Shop Pro® handled this well because it allowed multiple people to be involved in the process and understand how pricing was achieved so we’re on the same page. But, it was a tremendous amount of work.
edu: How did you go about introducing PSP to customers?
Sacramento State: We have a quarterly Business Partner Roundtable. Whenever a department has new technology, training, a new form or new process to introduce to campus, it is rolled out at this quarterly meeting. In our April roundtable, we did a sneak preview of Print Shop Pro®. We allowed people to sign up for a pilot group in May. This allowed us to do some tweaking and then get sign ups for a full week of training. We offered 4 sessions for admins and 4 sessions for users. July 1 is the beginning of our fiscal year. As of July 1 we decided 100% of all orders would go into Print Shop Pro®. That forced us to understand how we can help customers and eliminate any double order entry.
edu: How has your workflow changed since implementing PSP?
Sacramento State: We have only been “Live” with the campus since July 1. But, not having to typeset business cards has probably been one of the biggest time savers for our department. We are holding 4 training sessions each month and the number of customers using Print Shop Pro® has grown exponentially.
edu: If you had to pick, what would be your favorite feature in PSP?
Sacramento State: Probably the templates for business cards, letterhead & envelopes. It’s a big time saver for our department and customers can see a proof before submitting an order. We also like the Delivery Tracker Module so we get proof of delivery with a signature when print jobs are delivered. We are also looking forward to rolling out templates to save our designers time and protect our brand using Design Conductor®.
edu: Can you think of a specific example of how PSP has helped make your job easier?
Sacramento State: Yes! The fact that customers can now get pricing for the majority of their projects online in addition to monitoring the status of their jobs has cut down the number of phone calls we receive daily. I’m also a fan of how easy the chargeback export is compared to our old system!
edu: What about your staff? How have they seen their work life improved?
Sacramento State: We are using the Dashboard in Print Shop Pro® daily in our production meetings and it helps the entire team have a better understanding of the volume of work in the shop and where they can assist as time permits. We’re able to use our resources and time better and it’s a huge improvement for everyone.
edu: Would you recommend PSP to other prospective users?
Sacramento State: Absolutely! I think the biggest benefit has been giving our customers more control over what they are able to see with their job – up front price estimates, email notifications when jobs are out for delivery and when their job is completely billed.
edu: Outside of printing, what is your favorite hobby? What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sacramento State: I like to spend my free time with family and traveling. We host family dinner each week for our 4 kids, 2 grandkids (2 and 4) and extended family including my husband’s grandmother who is 98 years old and an absolute doll. We really enjoy getting together, playing games and visiting. My husband and I also love to travel. Hawaii is a favorite and we try to go every year. I love to bake and I celebrate all of the office birthdays by baking. And someday, hopefully soon, we will take a trip to Europe.
California State University Sacramento At a Glance:
Interview with: Laura Lockett, Director Reprographics & Mail
Solution: PSP Manager (Hosted), PSP Webdesk, Template Builder, Directory Integration, Document Converter, Color Themes, Account Number Validator, Barcode Tracking Module, Delivery Tracker, Graphic Design Manager and Design Conductor®
Location: Sacramento, CA
Print Shop Staff: 2
Annual Production Volume: 450 jobs per month
Equipment: Konica Minolta Accurio 6100 Digital press, Canon 700 Color Copier, Oce 120 B&W Copier, Oce 140 B&W Copier, Neopost AS950 Inkjet Printer, HP 360 Latex Printer, HP 5400 Aqueous Printer, Direct Color 1800Z UV Printer, Graphtek Cutter, Phoenix Laminator, GFP Wide Format Laminator, Duplo 646 Slitter Creaser, Duplo 350i Digital Booklet Maker, Rhin-O-Tuff coil bind system, Challenge 30″ cutter and Miller Weldmaster
by Leeann Raymond