University of Illinois Illini Document Services Meets Student and Staff Needs

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by Greg Cholmondeley, Workflow Practice Director, PODi and Caslon & Company

UofII usually write about commercial printers and direct marketing companies, but occasionally I get a chance to meet with an in-plant manager. I had just such an opportunity earlier this year when I spoke with Duane Fitch, Production Manager for Illini Document Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They operate under a self-funding, profit-driven model with no financial support from the University. While, in some ways this makes life challenging, it’s probably a good thing, given the recent and current Illinois state budgets. What it means is that they have to make smart business and investment decisions and made for an interesting interview.

Their investment decisions have historically been made in ways which made Illini Document Services a technology leader in the region. Years ago they were one of the first universities to install a Xerox iGen, which they’ve recently replaced with a Ricoh Pro C901 and a Xerox Color C75. They offer wide format printing and robust bindery capabilities. And, in terms of software, they’ve invested in Marcom Central Web-to-Print and Marcom Central FusionPro.

What this has done is to enable them to not only support their own 44,000 student campus, but also other sites like the Chicago campus for which they provide a considerable amount of personalized annual giving and other fundraising campaign mailings.

Besides personalized direct mail and general color printing, they produce wide format work and personalized business cards. In fact, their wide format printing business has been exploding and, after adding Marcom Central Web-to-Print, their business card line of business grew 18 percent in 2014 and another 5 percent in 2015!

I’ve written up my interview with Duane in a PODi case study up on our website. Most of the time these are only accessible for PODi members, but we’re giving everyone access to download this one. Enjoy!

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