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Ravings of a Mad Printer…..Dealing with Illness in the Workplace

By: John Sarantakos, February 2017

This is an incredibly difficult topic to discuss and deal with inside your workplace. Let’s face it, people get sick and I’m not just talking about the flu. Real life, down and dirty, crappy kind of sick. Whether it is an employee, one of their family members or even yourself. It happens. The ripples created will affect everyone within your work group.
If you have been a manager for any length of time, you have probably had to deal with this exact situation. It is personal and upsetting. Yet we must actively make decisions and take actions that will lead the “business” forward, while not marginalizing or minimizing the personal aspect. Compassion has to be the center piece. But what happens when we must choose a direction that is contrary to a person that is suffering? A perfect example would be a staff member that has been on FLMA for the allotted 12 weeks. They perform a critical job and their absence has put a huge stress on the operation. Overtime and missed deadlines are just a few of the issues. So, do you exercise your rights as an employer and fill the position? Do you limp along and hope the person returns soon? What if that person is you?
I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Stage one, very treatable. Will it kill me? No, but only because I’m too damn mean. Can it be deadly? Sure it can. Does every man that has ever lived have or will have prostate cancer? Yes, it is just that most don’t know it and almost all die of something else before it ever shows up on a test. My doctor told me that if men lived to be 150, we would all eventually develop this type of cancer. This statement is not to minimize the disease because it can be deadly if left unchecked.
I am telling you this not because I want sympathy. Although I will readily accept any prayers directed my direction. I wanted to emphasis a point; anyone’s life can change in an instant. Even your own and how will you “manage” it?
There is no prescribed method or set of rules to follow. Each person must look deeply into themselves and choose a course of action that they can live with and still allow the work to continue. The reality is that sometime the two don’t mesh. Difficult decisions wouldn’t be called difficult if they were easy.
Whether your work group is five or fifty strong, long term illnesses have an impact. At some point the “whole” begins to suffer and while it sounds heartless, you have to do what is best for your company and your employees. Can one person becoming ill jeopardize your operation? Maybe and maybe not. Everyone has a different situation. The only truth is that you can’t plan for anything like this.
That, my friends, is called management.
Postscript: As of May 4th I have completed my treatment. After 44 sessions and 3000 driving miles, I can rest easy and not worry, at least about this type of cancer. I want to thank my wonderful staff for handling my absences flawlessly and the administration for their complete support. I want to especially thank my family and the special people at ProCure Oklahoma City for their caring and supportive treatment. I had the opportunity to meet many people from around the world and several young children that were facing much worse situations than myself. These kids are the real hero’s in my book. All the folks had a special story to tell. Knowing that you are not making a fresh path, but walking one that many others have taken is very comforting.

12 Reasons Why In-Plant Print Centers Should Attend Print 17

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in News | 0 comments

If you skipped Graph Expo last year, haven’t been in a while or have never attended, you may be wondering what’s new or why you should attend Print 17, September 10-14 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Transformed into a new experience after extensive input from thousands of stakeholders, including in-plants, NPES has a long track record of recognizing in-plants as a key attendee segment. PRINT 17 is still the largest gathering of printing, publishing and mailing/fulfillment communities in the Americas and the only place where you can see top equipment, software and services vendors under one roof, educate yourself and network with industry peers. 12 reasons Why In-Plants Should Attend Print 17: Make more money than managers who don’t attend conferences. In-plant Graphics’“2017 Salary Survey Report” shows that the in-plant managers who attend educational conferences make more money than those who stay at home. Explore new services. Offering new services is a key way to stay relevant, demonstrate value and prevent outsourcing. Hear three in-plants talk about the bold moves they are each undertaking in new services and new initiatives to assure their future in session R8, “In-Plant Panel: Bold Moves for the Future.” Monday, September 11. Register now. Learn from a robust seminar program with 37 sessions that in-plants can benefit from! Save $50 and get a free hall pass- use promo code SPSave50 when you register. OUTLOOK 17 (formerly the EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK Conference) a half-day session held September 10, prior to the opening of PRINT 17. This popular conference offers those in leadership positions an opportunity to learn, make connections and hear offer practical ideas for future success. See the program here. In-plant Place sponsored by IPMA in booth 1272, an exclusive in-plant networking hub, open to all in-plant professionals during show hours on the show floor. Stop in, chat with fellow in-plants, and even enjoy a happy hour reception on Monday, September 11. See IPMA’s Print 17 page for details. Learn about streamlining your workflow with Rochester Software Associates in booth 231. We’ll be showing the latest software releases of three products. You also can experience a technology demonstration of Amazon’s Echo voice recognition integrated with RSA’s QDirect output manager for “flash briefings” and giving verbal commands to control job flow. Learn more and register for many of the in-plant events here. The ninth annual FREE IPMA lunch & learn, Monday, September 11, 11:30-1:30 PM (Advance registration is required.). Enjoy lunch from IPMA while I moderate “Futurescape: The In-plant of Tomorrow,” a panel of four in-plant managers that will discuss what the future holds for in-plants and how they are preparing to meet the needs of tomorrow. Learn how “Award-Winning, Automated Workflow $aves $$$” in an exclusive In-plant Graphics lunch sponsored by RSA on Tuesday, September 12. The managers of Blue Valley Schools’ in-plant will reveal how their automated workflow has saved their district hundreds of thousands of dollars, while increasing their in-plant’s value, bringing in more work and improving its efficiency. Limited seating. Register here. Learning Experience Theater– a new section of the show floor (booth 3861) where you can attend sessions at no cost like The Future of the In-plant, an IPMA study, and open forum and networking happy hours and printer panels. Print Media Centr’s Printerverse (4425). Five days of “printspiration,” free panels, sessions, Girls Who Print Day and so much more! All programming is broadcast live. See the panel topics, schedule, event schedule and how to watch live here. Celebrate Print– A new “party with purpose” and chance to network with other in-plants while raising money for a great cause....

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A Broken (Copy)Watch is Right Twice A Day

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in Blogs, News | 0 comments

In May, I came across a news story involving Xerox and The Pennsylvania House of Representatives. According to the story, Xerox was over charging for its services there and a group called CopyWatch called them out. If you missed the story, CLICK HERE. It was not a happy ending for Xerox and this is not the first time I have heard of this kind of thing happening in our industry. It was however, the first time I had heard about this organization called CopyWatch. After doing a little digging, I learned that Copy Watch is a “contingent cost recovery service specializing in reducing copier and printer expenses.” In plain words, they claim to be experts on all matters related to managing in-house digital production equipment and our deployed, multi-functional convenience copiers. Their business model is simple. They come into an organization, plug into the network, and start gathering data. They assess printer types, printer volumes, and printer locations. They review contracts and leases. Then, once all of the information is collected, they evaluate it and return a report recommending cost saving measures. If they fail to identify any opportunities, there is no charge to you or your institution. If they do find a way to save on expenses and you choose to implement their recommendations, then they ask for 30% of the net savings. They make a little money, and they promise to save you a lot of money. Since there was no obligation, and CopyWatch was willing to sign a nondisclosure agreement, I thought it would be interesting to see if I was doing my job of managing these expenses as well as I should be or if this company I had never heard of knew more about my job than I did. I reached out to them in June and I was pleased to learn that the sales person who would be paying me a visit was an alum of Messiah College where I work. But that is where my experience with CopyWatch stopped being a positive one. For starters, we set an appointment for July 28 and my sales rep arrived one month early on June 28th, two days before the end of our fiscal year. At first, I thought it was an honest mistake but now I think it may have been intentional. I think this company was trying to catch me off guard to make me look incompetent. Unfortunately for them, I just happened to have all of my printer and copier data in front of me because I was reviewing it for an annual report to my VP. Questions from the vendor that were clearly designed to stump me or produce a hesitant response were answered quickly and accurately. My second issue with these folks was the manner in which they wanted to conduct our meeting. My sales rep, the Messiah graduate, wanted to sit in my office and conduct a conversation with me and his boss (via cell phone) who was sitting in traffic somewhere in New York City. So, I am at my desk rifling through excel spreadsheets and these guys both have me on poorly connected speaker phones. Our exchange went something like this: CopyWatch Guy: Do you own or lease your copiers? Dwayne: Our fleet is comprised of older...

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2018 IPMA Annual Conference

Posted by on Jun 17, 2017 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Check back soon for details of the upcoming 2018 IPMA Annual Conference in beautiful Costa Mesa, California – City of the...

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2017 IPMA AWARD WINNERS

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

May 19, 2017>Mike Loyd, IPMA Executive Director Kearney (MO)-The In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) is pleased to announce the 2017 winners of the IPMA Awards. The award winners will be honored at the annual conference, June 11-14, 2017, in Pittsburgh, PA. Print Center of the Year Award> Bloomberg Ink Purpose: To recognize a corporate publishing operation that excels in efficient management practices in furthering the objectives of the parent company. While contributions of individual managers are important, this award judges and recognizes the efforts of the entire in-house staff Mail Center of the Year Award> East Tennessee State University   Purpose: To recognize an entire corporate mail center for outstanding improvements to processes and procedures related to mail and mail handling   Print Innovation Award> Deer Valley Unified School District Purpose: To recognize an organization that has shown creative and innovative ways to improve a process or business model unique to its organization. This may be technology, customer or process driven. Organizational Impact Award> The World Bank Purpose: To recognize a corporate print/mail center for outstanding contributions related to non-production activities within the parent organization.   In-house Promotional Excellence Award> Navy Federal Credit Union Purpose: To recognize excellence in promotional vehicles and/or campaigns developed by and used to promote an in-house corporate publishing facility.   Outstanding Contributor> Bob Neubauer, Editor, In-Plant Graphics Magazine Outstanding Contributor> Richard Silver, Manager, George Fox University Purpose: To recognize an IPMA member or supporter in good standing for at least six months who has  demonstrated dedication and support to the association and made positive contributions throughout calendar year. Congratulations to all the award winners, along with all those who entered the competition!   IPMA is the largest association of in-plant printing and mailing professionals. We boast more than 650 members in all segments-higher education, K-12, government, manufacturing, finance, insurance, faith-based, corporate and health care. Our members are both national and international. IPMA offers its members:   A competitive-free environment to exchange ideas and offer solutions Access to the largest concentration of best-in-class managers and industry experts Professional resources that speak directly to an in-plant’s needs Outstanding educational programs with an in-house perspective.Please visit www.ipma.org for more...

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Ravings of a Mad Printer…..Dealing with Illness in the Workplace

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Blogs, News, The Ramblings of a Mad Printer | 0 comments

By: John Sarantakos, February 2017 This is an incredibly difficult topic to discuss and deal with inside your workplace. Let’s face it, people get sick and I’m not just talking about the flu. Real life, down and dirty, crappy kind of sick. Whether it is an employee, one of their family members or even yourself. It happens. The ripples created will affect everyone within your work group. If you have been a manager for any length of time, you have probably had to deal with this exact situation. It is personal and upsetting. Yet we must actively make decisions and take actions that will lead the “business” forward, while not marginalizing or minimizing the personal aspect. Compassion has to be the center piece. But what happens when we must choose a direction that is contrary to a person that is suffering? A perfect example would be a staff member that has been on FLMA for the allotted 12 weeks. They perform a critical job and their absence has put a huge stress on the operation. Overtime and missed deadlines are just a few of the issues. So, do you exercise your rights as an employer and fill the position? Do you limp along and hope the person returns soon? What if that person is you? I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Stage one, very treatable. Will it kill me? No, but only because I’m too damn mean. Can it be deadly? Sure it can. Does every man that has ever lived have or will have prostate cancer? Yes, it is just that most don’t know it and almost all die of something else before it ever shows up on a test. My doctor told me that if men lived to be 150, we would all eventually develop this type of cancer. This statement is not to minimize the disease because it can be deadly if left unchecked. I am telling you this not because I want sympathy. Although I will readily accept any prayers directed my direction. I wanted to emphasis a point; anyone’s life can change in an instant. Even your own and how will you “manage” it? There is no prescribed method or set of rules to follow. Each person must look deeply into themselves and choose a course of action that they can live with and still allow the work to continue. The reality is that sometime the two don’t mesh. Difficult decisions wouldn’t be called difficult if they were easy. Whether your work group is five or fifty strong, long term illnesses have an impact. At some point the “whole” begins to suffer and while it sounds heartless, you have to do what is best for your company and your employees. Can one person becoming ill jeopardize your operation? Maybe and maybe not. Everyone has a different situation. The only truth is that you can’t plan for anything like this. That, my friends, is called management. Postscript: As of May 4th I have completed my treatment. After 44 sessions and 3000 driving miles, I can rest easy and not worry, at least about this type of cancer. I want to thank my wonderful staff for handling my absences flawlessly and the administration for their complete support. I want to especially thank my family and...

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2017 In-Print Awards

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Blogs, News | 0 comments

Monday, March 20, 2017, IPMA & InPlant Graphics Magazine, represented by Bob Neubauer, came together for the judging of over 400 entries received for the 2017 InPrint Awards Contest.  Judging began at 8:00 AM and continued throughout the day finishing at 6:00 PM. IPMA & IPG would like to thank the award judges for their time and expertise in printing for making this possible: Front left to right: Nathan Thole – Iowa State University, Marcia Doll – University of Missouri(retired), moderator Bob Neubauer – IPG, Paul Ackerman – Blue Valley USD#229.  Back left to right: Ben Fowler – Shelter Insurance Companies, alternate judge/photographer, Larry Clements – Redlands Community College, Chris Donlon – Kohler Company Of the 415 entries received, 65 received Gold, Silver or Bronze awards. There were 33 different in-plant winners.  University of Texas at Austin won seven awards making them the top winners of the day.  University of Oklahoma received six awards coming in second.  Congratulations to a new face in the top three, Bloomberg LP are receiving five awards in 2017. All of the 2017 IPMA / IPG InPrint Award Contest winners will be announced once we have checked, double checked and confirm our...

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IPMA CGCM/CMM CERTIFICATION

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in News | 0 comments

IPMA’s Certification Program includes The Certified Graphic Communications Manager and Certified Mail Manager programs. These tests will provide an opportunity to gauge your knowledge and provide you with an industry recognized certification. These types of certifications can help reinforce your position with in your organization and provide CEU credits for advancement. The CGCM and CMM tests are constantly being updated to stay current with technologies and processes. Join the elite group of the Franklin Stamp and Ink Society, whose 55 members have completed the exam. These are the industry leaders of today and tomorrow....

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JAMES M BRAHNEY SCHOLARSHIP

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Blogs, News | 0 comments

The Brahney Scholarship presented annually by InPlant Printing and Mailing Association is in memory of James M. Brahney, a founder of IPMA and its first international president. This scholarship serves to promote education in the field of in-house print, mail, and management. Applications for the James M. Brahney Scholarship are now being accepted. The Scholarship is available to an IPMA member, child, or grandchild of a member who wants to advance his/her education related to Graphic Arts, Printing, Design or Mailing. A Scholarship is also available to help members defray a portion of the registration fee for IPMA 2017 Educational Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. You are encouraged to include any additional information/materials that may be helpful to the judges when making their decision. All entries must include the official entry form and...

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