…Differences? We don’t got no stinkin’ differences!
By: John Sarantakos, OU Printing, Mailing and Document Services
Are In-Plants really all that different? Is Briggs and Stratton different than Blue Cross? Is the State of Colorado the polar opposite from the LDS Church? Is OU better than Texas (rhetorical question)!
This is the question that I’d like you to consider. Are we really different? Some of my colleagues say we are, but I just don’t see it. If you think differently, I wish you would speak up and enlighten me. Tell me what you’re doing that makes you different from in-plants in other segments. Although a large number of our IPMA membership is made up of college and universities, it also has a significant number of members representing each of the other segments.
As a longtime member of many different in-plant, printing and educational associations, I’ve had the opportunity to visit, talk, advise and learn from all shapes and forms of in-plants. All of them work toward the same goal, but not always in the same manner. Each and every one of my interactions provided me new ideas. This is the one thing that always stood out as the main advantage of our association, was that there is no competition between members and colleagues were always willing to share knowledge. Can’t say that about PIA or EPICOMM. Don’t believe me? Look at their websites and see who they serve. Heck, members of those associations would shut us down tomorrow if they could. Fact is, they can’t. They know it and we know that they know it. That doesn’t mean that in-plants can’t be closed. We’ve discussed the numerous reasons that contribute to such failings in the past.
So back to my question, how are we different? I have personnel, customer, technology, quality, budget, administration, commercial competition, good suppliers, back stabbing bad suppliers and mother in-law/father in-law issues. What different issues do you have? I can hear you thinking……and what, you got nothing right? That’s what I thought. That’s because there are no differences. Plain and simple. Case closed.
So to my higher education friends that think they are unique in their problems, you’re wrong. I live the university life every day and the problems I listed are universal to each and every in-plant in existence. Regardless of the size or the parent company’s main business.
Next time someone tries to tell you they have different problems, laugh in their face. Better yet, buy them a drink and set them straight.