Page 28 - Print 21 Magazine May-June 2019
P. 28

Wayne Robinson
Inplant evolving into life
Once an essential part of every university in the country, inplants have been in retreat from higher education, but are still prevalent in schools, lawyers offices, and in specialist areas such as the ADF. Print21 editor Wayne Robinson assesses the state of play.
come in, with a sales focus and an eye to opportunity – drone photography for instance is now being offered by some inplants – and a focus on client relationships, all quite different from the more sedentary inplants of old.
The modern CRM or inplant
is no longer an dirty offset press
in the basement of its host, but a clean digitally enabled printroom offering on demand print. It also provides design, and crucially
print management, for both
internal and external print, and
for the production presses, and
the multitude of MFPs (multi function printers) that may be found throughout the offices and corridors of the host organisation.
New technology is providing
a serious help in enabling cost management, for instance Konica Minolta has a software which automatically finds the optimum print unit for any job. Grant Thomas, product marketing manager at the company says, “AccurioPro Flux is designed for optimum production, sending jobs to the unit best suited to that job, maybe the MFD in the corridor or to the printroom, so the non-print professional does not have to make the choice; it is rerouted according to the rules. With all organisations under cost pressure this software will always provide the most
cost effective route to print. The education sector is under continued print pressure, software is part of key to realising efficient returns.”
Thomas, as the person responsible for Konica’s relationship with the inplant CRD world, is fully aware of the evolving nature of the beast. He says, “The inplant world is changing, some universities have closed down their inplants, some outsourced the running of them, however plenty
of universities, private colleges and
Synonymous with every university in the country inplant printrooms have been under stress for the past decade, since the
internet came into full swing. The last annual inplant professionals Nippa conference was five years
ago, and that was a low key affair where suppliers almost outnumbered printers. Nippa itself – once a thriving association of inplant professionals – has been quiet for the past three years, no-one seems quite sure whether it is still in existence.
You could be forgiven for thinking that inplant print rooms, or CRDs as they are also known, have ceased to exist, but that would be far from the truth. In fact in some areas, schools and colleges a prime example, they are resurgent, as their hosts consider the benefits of speed and security worth the investment.
And not all universities have ditched their printrooms in favour
of digital communications, one well- known Uni in south east Queensland has a thriving inplant, which manages not only the university’s own inhouse printing requirements, but all its external work, acting as print broker, as well as meeting the staff and students printing requirements from its own equipment.
In schools, law firms, corporates, cruise ships, the armed services inplants are in full swing, with the new generation of digital colour and monochrome print solutions, with their inline finishing, including bookletmaking, able to knock
out great printed products at the
press of a green button, providing these organisations with those requirements of speed and security, allied with cost control and quality. No longer do inplants need the oily rag and the highly skilled print operator, nor the acres of space for finishing options.
Inplants or CRD (corporate reprographic departments) are these days virtually identical to any small or medium sized print operation. They face similar challenges; in cheapskate competitors, sales
“The non-print professional does not have to make the choice, it is rerouted according to the rules. With all organisations under cost pressure this software will always provide the most cost effective route to print.”
– Grant Thomas, Konica Minolta
pressure, cost pressure, paper documents being switched to digital, with the added pressure in inplants of having to provide a virtual annual reason for their continued existence. Growth opportunities are similar too, with the multi-channel world now enabling broader offerings, and new technology enabling product diversification.
The vast majority of inplants/ CRDs are run as stand-alone self- funding and sustainable units, rather than a recipient of the host organisation’s largesse. The evolution of inplants and their need to sell has caused a new breed of manager to
28  Print21 MAY/JUNE 2019

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