Printech Archive, May, 1999: Minnesota Great Printer Notes

Minnesota Great Printer Notes

Wayne Pferdehirt (
Mon, 3 May 1999 14:51:14 CST

Thank you to Donna Peterson of MnTAP and Scott Schuler of Printing Industries of MN for passing along these notes re progress of the Minnesota Great Printers Project. I asked for permission to pass these along to Printech and Printreg, since there were several items that I thought would be of interest beyond those directly involved in the Great Printers project. I was particularly interested in the cutomer education workshops.


Minnesota Great Printer Notes for Great Printers and Associates - March 1999


Associate Members and Great Printers

A current list of each is provided. Remember, a Great Printer Associate member
has made a commitment to promote Great Printers principles and program with their customers. It is also important to note that associate membership does not
constitute endorsement of any product or service of a vendor.

DPD Print Management, Estimates $10,000 Annual Savings

Patrick Maloney, owner of DPD Print Management, credits employee training for the company's waste reduction success. DPD conducts a comprehensive training program for new employees that teaches them to understand customer specifications and expectations so that the job is done right the first time. In addition, whenever a mistake is discovered, workers are required to complete a variance report that identifies not only the problem that occurred, but how it could have been prevented and what steps will be taken to make sure it doesn't
happen again.

What started out as a customer satisfaction issue soon resulted in major material and labor savings. Maloney estimates that the company saves $10,000 per year as a result of training and tracking programs. Over 98% of their printingjobs are accurate and on-time.

Once DPD began its waste reduction program, participating in the Great Printers Project was a natural next step. Maloney said that being a part of the Great Printers Project has enabled PDP to consistently improve its waste prevention and recycling program, but at a pace that is manageable for small businesses. To get started, he recommends that printers "break the project down into small components and divide and conquer." The PDP staff put together a written waste reduction plan that lists projects by month, making it easy to track progress.

(taken from Minnesota Waste Wise Notes, Summer 1998)

Educating Your Customers - Workshops

One strategy Bolger Printing uses is a series of workshops to educate their print customers. Recently thirty print customers (including the communication staff from the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program) and designers attended a workshop titled "Demystifying the Pressroom." Since this particular seminar focused on press operations, the company brought in Heidelberg staff for the classroom presentation and press tour. It was a great way for Bolger to educate their customers about the pressroom and steps that make the print job go more smoothly and reduce problems and waste. It also provided a great opportunity for Bolger Printing to talk about their commitment to continuous environmental improvement along with some of the changes the company has made to reduce waste and the use of hazardous chemicals. Other topics for their 1999 seminar schedule include: Paper Power, Think Ink and Print Buyer's Workshop.

The University of Minnesota Printing Services has scheduled a day of one hour concurrent workshops for their customers. Topics for the one hour sessions include; Addressing & Mailing and On-Demand Printing; Proofs, Press Checks and the Perfect Job; Specks-Spots-Fibers-Lines-Papers; and Guidelines forProducing Electronic Files. The word environment may not appear in the title but information learned in these workshops will help customers cut costs and
waste during production and help in making better choices for jobs.

Educating Your Customers - Newsletters

Sexton Printing publishes a quarterly newsletter. A while ago theydevoted a whole issue to "It's Still Easy Being Green." This included information about Sextone's commitment and efforts as well as information to help print customers produce a more environmentally-friendly product. Other issues may have a column titled ,Eco-Notes, or suggestions for cutting waste and costsmay come as part of topics like "Improving Digital Workflow."

DPD Print Management publishes a monthly 4 page newsletter. Each month,short notes about 'green' printing appear. For instance, a recent column was titled 'Eco-friendly copying.' Another column titled 'Green questions' highlights some of the questions print customers should ask earlier in theplanning stage---questions taken from the Minnesota Blue Ribbon Task Force's Print Buyer Guidelines. [These guidelines developed in conjunction with the Minnesota Great Printers Project are available on the web at]

Outreach to Print Buyers with EPA Grant Money

Starting in March, The Saint Paul neighborhood Energy Consortium (NEC) will begin presentations to a number of printers, graphic designers at companies who purchase large quantities of print. The presentations will focus on the importance of using Great Printers as well as encouraging customers to consider otherenvironmental aspects in design specifications. Attendees will receive a list of Great Printers along with information about requirements to register as Great Printer. The goal is a heightened awareness of the Great Printers Project and increasing demand among the print purchasing community. Printers may be able to use some of the presentation materials to help train their customers. For more information, contact Anne Frisch at the NEC at 651-644-7678.

On The WEB

The list of Minnesota Great Printers can be accessed on the web at:

Feedback or questions should be directed to:

Donna Peterson at the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP)
612-627-1910 or 800/247/0015 or

Scott Schuler at Printing Industry of Minnesota (PIM) 612/379/6006 or



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