In-plant Panel Champion: Michigan Farm Bureau Engages for the Future at Upcoming GRAPH EXPO Panel

By Elisha Kasinskas, Marketing Director, Rochester Software Associates, Inc.

This article is the first of an in-depth series introducing each of the four in-plant panelists on the GRAPH EXPO panel I’ll be moderating on September 14th, titled In-Plant Panel: Champions Engage for the Future.” The session features in-plant leaders in Banking, Government, Higher Education, and Non-profit.

Karen MeyersIntroducing: Karen Meyers, Michigan Farm Bureau, Panelist

Karen Meyers is the Business Manager for the Michigan Farm Bureau Centralized Print and Mailing Services Department. With the department for over eight years, Meyers has a background in Graphic Design and Marketing and a degree in Industrial Supervision and Management. Her marketing background has been helpful promoting the department, which has seen double digit percent increases in digital volume over 2014. In addition to overseeing day to day in-plant operations, the fleet, and all business management decisions, Meyers is an active member in a software vendor’s User and Strategic Partner Groups.

Known as the state’s largest general farm organization, the non-profit in-plant operation serves the Farm Bureau family of companies and outside clients. The shop’s staff of 6 produces over 6 million digital and offset impressions (about 75% digital and 25% offset) and over 5,500 feet of wide format materials, as well as processing 1.3 million pieces of mail annually, with a total budget of $1.4 million. Services offered by in-plant include: graphic design; dimensional printing; personalized direct marketing; printing; binding, finishing and mailing. Typical pieces produced include business cards, postcards, brochures, newsletters, letterhead, envelopes, signs, and banners.

Future focus: Governance Committee Engages Customers for the Future

Michigan Farm Bureau focuses on partnering with internal and external clients to enhance the in-plant’s success. Their goal is to be THE source for all printing and mailing needs. After hearing how in-plant University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) successfully utilized a “Print Governance Committee” during a presentation given by UPMC at Graph Expo in 2013, the Farm Bureau implemented the same concept. The committee consists of key staff throughout their family of companies and is a cross-company committee. The Governance Committee has allowed the in-plant to be proactive rather than reactive, and get in at the start of projects to offer advice, partnership, and better project preparation. This approach also enables analysis of potential upcoming equipment needs and future changes that the department will need to make to remain relevant. Due to the committee and relationship approach, the operation secured a very large project that might otherwise have been outsourced. Meyers states, ”We are all champions when we work together.”

Register Today and Watch this Blog for Stories about each Panelist

Watch RSA’s In-plant Insights blog for in-depth stories about each of the panelists and their operations in the coming weeks. These stories will offer a sneak peek at what sets these in-plants apart, the tools and technology they are using to grow, and the valuable information that they will share in the session.

About the Author:

Elisha Kasinskas is Rochester Software Associates’ (RSA) award-winning Marketing Director. She is responsible for all marketing, public relations, social media and communications, and community building for the firm. Ms. Kasinskas joined RSA in 2010. She is a Marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience in sales, product management, and marketing in leading product and service business to business and business to consumer firms, including Pinnacle (Birds Eye) Foods, Global Crossing, Windstream Communications, HSBC, and a number of regional high tech firms. She holds a Rochester Institute of Technology MBA, and a BS in Marketing from Radford University. Ms Kasinskas is a frequent moderator for industry speaking sessions. She was awarded the 2015 In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) Outstanding contributor award, is a 2015 OutputLinks Women of Distinction inductee, and has secured multiple awards from the American Marketing Association (AMA) for recent work at RSA.

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