From the massive, framed placards listing room names and numbers in every building to course schedules, brochures, event posters and more, throughout Bellarmine University’s campus, you’ll find items from Bellarmine’s copy center. John Kissel, Director of Print, Mail and Vending for the university since 1991, remembers when they used an offset printer to take care of more complicated jobs.
Where the presses and their messy inks and chemicals used to be there is now a finishing area for production work like cutting the edges and bleeds off of full-color posters or for binding workbooks the students use. Bellarmine expanded their capability exponentially with modern equipment that barely takes up any room.
Kissel oversees a lot. “We do shipping and receiving, printing, and I receive the vending, which includes Cokes and snacks and laundry equipment. We do quite a bit. Billy [West] is the manager for the print shop, and he oversees and does most of the work down here,” he said, adding that he chips in as needed.
There are a lot of moving parts, including getting the mail out, stocking the machines (copy and vending), supplying the book store with in-house printed course books, making full-color posters for events, clubs, and meetings, and printing programs for basketball and other sports. Students end up in the print shop looking for mail they were expecting. Professors come in to check on their syllabi and worksheets. Diplomas, blank without their recipients’ names, are stacked in a cream-colored pile with gold-leaf embossing for the day they put a button on students’ college experiences.
Throughout campus, there are about 30 black and white multifunction copiers for student and faculty use, and many printers that are part of offices. The print shop has two light-production, full-color machines that can handle 50 pages a minute. Finding the right mix of equipment to handle such a wide array of printing needs has not been as much of a struggle as it might have been.
Kissel said that when it comes time for a large purchase, like a light-production, full-color machine that can knock out hundreds of full-color posters in ten minutes, the university bids and he sees other vendors’ outfits. The local supplier they end up with time and again is Duplicator Sales and Service.
“It’s helped us immensely,” he said of the family-owned company’s strong customer service. “That’s the big difference. They listen. They really want to get your business and get it done right for you.”
John Kissel’s salesperson at Duplicator Sales and Service is John Ruffra, who’s been with the company for over 33 years. During a Saturday basketball game a few years ago, the university ran out of toner to print the programs.
Toner and supplies are kept behind a wall of wire mesh called “the cage” at the Louisville company headquarters, which, over the weekend, was locked up. So Ruffra climbed up the wall and straddled the top to retrieve the needed toner. “It was wobbling. I was holding on. Finally, I was able to grab hold of something and get down there.” He made it in and out and down to the game with no time to spare.
“That’s them,” said Kissel. “They’re very customer-focused. They pride themselves on it.” He explains that the staff at Duplicator Sales and Service have shown them tricks which let them fix many common issues on their own.
“The majority of Duplicator’s people, they’ve been there for 10 or 15 years and that makes it easy for us,” he said. His contact person in the service department, Mike Hynson, has been there as long as he’s been working with the local office equipment supplier.
“I’ve been here 26 years, and I’ve been dealing with Duplicator ever since I started. They’ve been fantastic. What helps us the most is their customer service. We can call them and they’re here within four hours and sometimes quicker, depending on what we need — if it’s an emergency or not. They’re always very responsive to our needs,” Kissel said.
About Bellarmine’s newest machine, Kissel said, “It fits our needs perfectly and it gives us better opportunities to keep more of our print work in-house. They walked us through it, gave us demos and whatnot. We were also sold on what we knew of their service already with the previous equipment we’ve had… The equipment is fantastic, but when we’ve got a problem, we call them. Within four hours, they’re here. That keeps us running.”
For more information about Duplicator Sales & Service, click here.