In-house printing services gain industry attention while reducing costs
Last year, Liberty University installed commercial-grade printing services at its downtown warehouse, a move that helped offset a large portion of the cost of producing marketing materials.
From booklets to signage, posters, flyers, handouts, and brochures, now almost all of the promotional materials produced by the Marketing Department for Liberty’s 16 colleges and schools can be printed in-house, significantly reducing costs. Other projects have included banners for athletics, campus-wide signage projects, and decals for university vehicles. Some specialty items are still produced by vendors, but the print shop now produces over 60 percent of Liberty’s marketing materials.
“Having these capabilities at our disposal has been an invaluable asset to our team as the marketing team continues to assist the various schools and departments in their promotional efforts,” said Ron Kennedy, executive vice president for marketing. “The print shop has significantly helped us reduce costs, which is certainly important to maintaining sound business practices. More importantly, the quality of the materials they produce meet our high standards of excellence time and again. The professionalism and flexibility of the print shop staff is also something we appreciate as they support us in reaching thousands of people across the country. We strive to reflect Liberty in the best light and having an effective and efficient support structure in place is vital to continuing to excel.”
Having in-house services does more than reduce costs; it adds a level of flexibility not otherwise possible. A recent feature story in FinishLine, a newsletter published by Standard, the leading North American distributor of print finishing and paper handling systems, highlighted the print shop’s ability to respond quickly when needs arise.
In the article, Bob Boyer, senior director of fulfillment, postal services, print shop, and warehousing, described a recent College For A Weekend event that drew an unexpectedly high attendance. Though 4,000 participants were registered, about 5,000 showed up. But thanks to the print shop, Liberty was able to print an additional 1,000 itinerary books, class schedules, information booklets, and campus maps to ensure every guest was given the information they needed to navigate campus.
“Certainly, putting in late hours at the last minute is not a standard practice, but by having these capabilities in-house we were able to step in and fill a need that otherwise would not have been attainable at the last minute,” Boyer said. “And as we are able to take on more printing projects — the capabilities of our equipment are professional grade — we are helping the university to be good stewards of its resources. It is a privilege to serve in this capability. My team does a tremendous job, day-in and day-out. Although the work is behind the scenes, it is a vital part of helping Liberty fulfill its mission.”
Boyer also noted that Hewlett-Packard is conducting a case study on Liberty’s print shop because of how successful it has been. Since institutions of higher education typically outsource printing services, the study will serve as a way to show schools an alternative model.