Patricia Sorce


Three case studies were conducted to understand the factors that impact the demand for outsourced commercial printing by corporations. The cases included one university, one large retailer, and one food packager. For Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the purchase of a new offset press by the in-plant print shop resulted in a substantial increase in 2003 revenues, primarily through internal charge-backs. Many four-color jobs that formerly had been outsourced to external print services providers were able to be printed internally. One of the primary customers of the in-plant print shop is the Admissions Office. Their budget for printed recruitment materials has remained constant over the last 10 years because the growth in outreach to potential students has been through electronic media. Lately, internal printing by students and faculty is straining departmental budgets, and so many departments are considering document management strategies for the future. For Heluva Good Quality Foods, the change in primary and secondary packaging technologies in the last decade has decreased the need for printed labels applied to packages and increased the use of pre-printed flexible film. The locus of printing has shifted, in many cases, from the commercial printer to the packager/converter. Walgreens’ Printing and Mail Services unit sold its offset equipment in 2000 and purchased a digital color press (first an Indigo, and then a Konica). The unit maintained about 80% of its corporate print jobs but outsourced the printing of letterhead and envelopes to an offset print services provider. The Printing and Mail Services department is considering the purchase of a Duplo press to bring the envelope printing back in-house. In summary, the adoption of new printing technologies has resulted in an increase in the amount of printing for RIT’s in-plant printing operation, and a reduction of in-plant printing for Walgreens. The Heluva Good case study supports the claim that the locus of outsourced printing for some manufacturers may be shifting from commercial printers to packagers/converters.

Publication Date


Document Type

Full-Length Book


A Research Monograph of the Printing Industry Center (CIAS) at RIT

Department, Program, or Center

Printing Industry Center (CIAS)


RIT – Main Campus