Case Study

In-Depth Analysis Leads
Prestigious College to Informed
Decision on Print Management

Click Here To Read A Detailed Account of Findings and Recommendations


A prestigious liberal arts college with several thousand students, based in the Northeast, spends about $1.2 million annually on print. This is provided by the college’s internal print shop as well as outside sources. The Admissions and Development departments are the largest consumers of print, responsible for about 75% of the commercial print purchased by the college. The brochures, catalogs and direct mailings they develop are outside the scope of in-house capabilities; however, they are also the biggest customers of the print shop. Faculty use the print shop for course guides, handouts and stationery.

As an initial step, we were engaged to conduct a print audit to help discover the best options for the school. The study’s scope included documenting copy center processes, identifying costs (i.e., maintenance, consumables, click charges, wages and benefits), and recommending ways to streamline the process of procuring print. 

Our analysis showed that the print shop was operating at only 8% utilization. Furthermore, the center was recovering only 47% of its costs through user chargebacks. When compared to outside resources, the college was paying as much for the print shop, which produced about 25% of its print volume, as it was for all externally produced print, which comprised about 75% of the total volume.


Curtis 1000 conducted interviews with multiple stakeholders as part of the analysis. In the course of its research, many gaps were discovered that are not uncommon when there is no process owner for print management. Through the assessment, we identified some quick steps the school can take to improve transparency and accountability.

By putting clear policies and procedures in place, the college will save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually while providing good customer service to end users.


By adopting best practices in print procurement, the college is making real progress toward improving service and savings.

The benefits they can gain include: 

  • Dramatic reduction in per-impression print costs
  • Avoidance of $500,000 capital investment
  • Auditable processes for procurement of print and promotional products