Burgeoning costs for supplies, salaries, equipment, and institutional overhead had put the University of Louisville’s Printing and Copier Management unit into a very tight spot. After years of operating at a loss, it had racked up a seven-figure deficit. The UofL administration charged Bob Knaster to either fix or close the operation.
“Coming from another position within the IT department, I was experienced at turning budgets around. But I knew less about printing—and I had some tough decisions to make,” says Knaster. “So I asked our vendors to help us turn this situation around, and Xerox did not hesitate to step up.”
To begin the critical transformation to a self-sustaining unit, Xerox first provided a black belt analyst to identify areas for improved operational efficiency. The list of recommendations included suggestions for redesigning the work space, reorganizing workflow, consolidating responsibilities, and improving metrics and documentation. These efforts helped, but weren’t enough.
“The in-plant was busy, had solid revenue, and great people,” says Knaster, “but its operating costs were completely out of control.”
So Xerox turned its focus to the in-plant’s digital printing equipment. Here, two key issues were identified: the underutilization of some assets, and the inability of others to serve as true backups. What was needed was to “right size” the equipment mix in order to meet quality, turnaround, and availability needs while also reducing costs.