by Lee Hogan
Posted 7/21/2014 04:11 pm
Updated 5 months ago
PMC Solutions will keep 23 positions to complete digital printing, mailing and photocopying needs of the campus. The university says it will work with those affected by the cuts, whether it be through other job openings or training for other positions.
"While most people don't want to hear their position is being phased out, our plan is to give ample notice to the 16 affected employees, giving them approximately two years to make an orderly transition to other employment or to plan for retirement," Tim O'Donnell, interim vice chancellor for finance and administration, said in a news release. "Some employees might undergo re-training or take jobs requiring less training, and we will work with those who wish to remain with the university to find a position that fits their qualifications."
The cuts will not affect the works published by the University of Arkansas Press, which is a separate unit, the university said.
The move to end its offset printing operations is hoped to save the university hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. PMC Solutions' offset printing has been operating at a loss for several years, the university said.
PMC Solutions offers graphic design services, on-campus mail delivery and departmental pick-up and distribution, a full-service post office, digital printing and photocopying services, in addition to departmental photocopy machines and services campus-wide.
PMC says it will continue to meet its offset printing commitments through the next 24 months. The university said its future needs for offset printing services can be met "better and more economically" through a mix of in-house services and purchasing from vendors.
"The print industry has changed vastly over the past 10 years, with an explosion of web-based communications," David Martinson, associate vice chancellor for business affairs, said in the release. "This trend has made competition for printing business even greater — with the larger print houses that offer high-speed, large format printing able to offer superior economies of scale. We simply don't have the business volume to run our press multiple shifts, which is the industry standard in order to be profitable."
The existing offset printing equipment will be sold as surplus, and a small reinvestment in printing services will be made to meet the equipment requirements of a modified set of in-house services.
After reviewing its financial viability in 2009, university officials decided to continue operations, but also look for more ways to control costs and generate more revenue. PMC Solutions has revenue of $1.4 million, with about 52 percent coming from internal billing to university departments. The rest of its revenue comes from external clients, the majority being other state universities and state agencies.
“Eliminating this function from the portfolio of services we provide will result in projected savings of several hundred thousand dollars per year and is essential to our mission of supporting teaching, research and service in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible,” O'Donnell said.