Case Study: Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC)

Community College – Belleville, IL


SumnerOne was able to help the print shop at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) improve their uptime, streamline their billing, and drastically reduce their service calls.

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Chapter 1

Education Print Shop Partner

When people think about printers and print services, their first thoughts probably lean toward books and pamphlet printing—they’re most likely not thinking about schools.

Education, however, is a huge user of print technologies, and SumnerOne does its best to use its expertise to digitally transform these spaces with the latest technology and their exceptional commitment to service. From easy-to-understand billing to cutting direct-print costs, SumnerOne is your partner in the education space; and they’re ready to help you, just like they did at Southwestern Illinois College.

SumnerOne is ready to help you, just like they did at SWIC.



Chapter 2


Commuting to the three main campuses of Southwestern Illinois College, in all types of weather, you’ll see overwhelmingly smiling faces across the over 20,000 students, faculty, and staff coming there to learn, teach, and serve each week.

Since 1946, Southwestern Illinois College, SWIC, (or Belleville Area College or even Belleville Junior College, if you’ve got a very long memory), has served the greater Belleville, Red Bud, and Granite City communities—and beyond—helping students of all ages earn associate degrees, gain certifications, and continue their educations. If you were to travel just below the surface, however, just a few short months ago, to the lower level of the main Belleville campus, you would have seen a few frowning faces.

The main sad face belonged to Robert Hall, the Print Services Manager at SWIC. He’s been there for about five years and there are four part-time staffers who keep the shop running. And the print shop is always running. From faculty syllabi to tests, student papers to visual aids, there’s a lot of work to be done across the three main campuses. In fact, if a student needs copies, posters, or some other print job associated with a SWIC class or project, Print Services will take on the job happily. There are sometimes playbills to be run for the SWIC Theatre, and the athletics program leans on Hall’s team when needed as well. Print Services also supports the Southwestern Illinois College Bookstore—operated by Barnes & Noble—and the associated promotional materials—ads, banners, and signage associated therein.

Chapter 3

The Problems

Confusing Billing & Broken Machinery

With all the projects coming through Print Services, it is necessary for their equipment to operate at full capacity all the time. The staff there doesn’t have time to take a break for slow or broken equipment. Hall can’t speak to the 20 years that the print shop has been open, but for the five years he’s been working there, unfortunately, it’s been plagued with confusing billing, inconsistent machinery, and unreliable service.

"The last company wouldn't get here as fast as SumnerOne. It was always the next day. SumnerOne comes the same day."

- Robert Hall, Print Services Manager, Southwestern Illinois College

Hall says, “[their previous vendor] would use four or five different leasing companies and couldn’t decipher all the machines we had.” Losing print time by having to spend hours on the phone with the billing department, explaining again and again which machines were in use at Print Services, what programs were in use on those machines, and how they shouldn’t be charged for the downtime they were constantly experiencing, Hall was getting fed up. Not only was he dealing with the headaches with the leasing and billing of their equipment, Print Services was preoccupied with a larger issue. “Their machines always broke,” Hall says. In order to stay on top of print jobs, the shop needed to have extra machinery that they didn’t really need—backups for when they’re main copiers would break. More equipment, unfortunately, simply meant more issues with billing and leasing and more opportunity for things to break.

Chapter 4

What Set SumnerOne Apart?

First of all, simplified billing and leasing. Now that Hall and team are able to understand their billing and leasing, they save hours in phone calls to accounts payable and customer service and are able to focus on completing their ever-growing queue of print jobs.

Secondly, the service and maintenance SumnerOne is able to provide is head and shoulders better than what they had before. Hall explains, “The last company wouldn’t get here as fast as SumnerOne. It was always the next day. SumnerOne comes the same day.” When you’re servicing over 20,000 students, faculty, and staff, you can’t afford to be unable to print. Even being down for a day can cost a faculty member an exam she needs to administer or a student a presentation he needs to deliver.


Chapter 5

The Solution

SWIC Print Services Becomes a Place Where Everything Works

Fed up with billing and service issues, Hall went out to do hands-on research with several different vendors and service-providers looking for a better fit. His asks shouldn’t have been so difficult to fulfill. 1) Bills he could understand—he didn’t want to spend hours on the phone each month breaking down his costs and lease agreement. And 2) if equipment needed maintenance, “The fact that they could come out and fix things in a timely manner.” Finding a provider proved tougher than expected, however. Hall’s smart-shopping endeavor took about a year and a half from start to finish. He spent the last four to five months in the beginnings of a partnership with SumnerOne, from first meeting to installation.

Chapter 6

The Outcome

Fitter, Happier, More Productive

Hall says the equipment was a big decider. The new Canon machines Print Services decided on as replacements are, “Faster; [the] quality is better; and they don’t break.” SWIC Print Services decided on four pieces of equipment to replace their constantly breaking older machines. A C910 Canon digital color press, 2 black and white Canon varioPRINT 130, 1 large format Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000, and an Intoprint MP200, which is a piece of specialty equipment for printing envelopes. Their new set up utilizes the Canon PRISMAsync platform, which allows SWIC Print Services to organize workflows, manage jobs remotely, and preview and change jobs with an intuitive interface.

In fact, when using Canon equipment running on PRISMAsync, there is enhanced security to help prevent unauthorized access to crucial documents. Hall explains they were using a different system before they partnered with SumnerOne, but the switch to PRISMAsync wasn’t difficult for staff. “It was a drastic change, but they caught on really easily.” Between the new equipment and the new software platform, SWIC Print Services has a completely new operation—one with a lot more uptime, saving a lot of time and money. And although their offices are still technically underground, it’s a lot sunnier there now. It must be all the smiles.

Chapter 7

The Future

What's Next for SumnerOne and SWIC?

Hall says that he’s very happy with the SumnerOne partnership and the benefits he and his team have gotten from the equipment and the services. He raves,
“SumnerOne's technology is good quality.” About the benefits, “It saves time, cost, and there's less maintenance time.” Technology should be the silent partner in any business’ success—it should get out of the way, so you can do your job better. Hall says that his customers hadn’t been complaining about the slow jobs or downtime they’d been experiencing, but that he and his staff have definitely seen improvements. “We’ve noticed it being faster.”

“SumnerOne's technology is good quality. It saves time, cost, and there’s less maintenance time.”

- Robert Hall, Print Services Manager, Southwestern Illinois College

SumnerOne and SWIC hope to continue a long, successful partnership into the future. Hall has big plans for the equipment in his shop, utilizing the large format Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 to make some personalized printing applications and maybe creating some backlit movie-style posters for the SWIC theatres and possibly local theatres as well. SumnerOne will continue to support SWIC with their easy-to-understand bills and super-fast maintenance, and SWIC Print Services can dream big about what they can provide for the happy community they support.


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