River Point Church has operated just Southwest of Houston in Richmond, TX, for almost 25 years. With steady growth since inception and a congregation size of over 6000 members, RPC is one of the most recognizable Religious Organizations in the Greater Houston area. RPC prides itself on hosting services through an “environment where the stories and truths of Jesus Christ are communicated in a context that looks, feels, and sounds like the world we live in.”
With RPC’s main campus operating in Richmond, and Function4’s corporate headquarters being in Sugar Land, an initial partnership was easily fitting. Function4 became RPC’s vendor for a single Multi-Functional Printer placement in the early 2000s and has since formed a strong relationship with RPC staff. “We have been partners with Function 4 for many years. They always meet our copier needs. If ever we need anything, their customer service is second to none! I would recommend them to anyone.” – Kirsten Hauenstein, River Point Church Missions & Care Administrator
As RPC’s congregation grew, so did the need for printed collateral to promote services and holiday events. In 2012 it was recognized that printing graphically rich content in house could save money and time over outsourcing to local print shops. When RPC’s printer lease was up later that year, they decided to explore adding a machine to handle their quality graphics. This meant it had to print on extra heavy stock, produce different types of professional-level graphics, and run fast enough to keep up with the growing demand. Function4 helped RPC to meet these needs with a graphics production unit commonly found in Commercial Print Shops. The RPC staff was thoroughly trained on using the new device and began creating and printing their collateral in house.
As RPC continued to grow and new ministries were added over the years, the ideas and needs for printed output began to grow. Some of the RPC staff began outsourcing “specialty” items such as welcome cards and mailers that could not be finished in house. In meeting with RPC during an account review, the idea of going back to outsourcing for all their graphics printing was brought up. Multiple Church employees were involved in discussions on the costs and capabilities of printing in house vs. outsourcing.
A significant challenge to address related to items that were printed in-house were time-sensitive, and employees were worried that some print files could not be produced until the day before the prints were needed. Mistakes were also caught right before or during a run of prints, which would not be corrected if outsourced. Additionally, when precise cutting was required, they were outsourced. Though RPC owned a cutter for document finishing, some of their items were cut unevenly, which gave an unprofessional appearance. RPC shared all outsourced and in-house print files, along with the costs and turnaround times. With the help of RPC staff, Function4 put together a cost comparison spreadsheet of both in-house and outsourced printing. Paper cost, cost per print, machine cost, and turnaround time were evaluated to determine which printing method was more cost-effective.
The Function4 Solution:
After reviewing the cost comparison spreadsheet and taking into consideration the specific needs of all involved staff, RPC determined that a mix of in house and outsourced printing would be best moving forward. An onsite graphics unit was needed for their quick turnaround printing, and with the help of a business/postcard slitter, RPC could bring many additional print jobs in-house. Adding this slitter took the human element out of cutting and allowed for pieces to have a professionally finished appearance. It was determined that certain specialty/large run jobs made since to continue outsourcing. Holiday postcards were recognized as a job to continue outsourcing due to the bulk mail indicia utilized by the print shop. Additionally, jobs over a specific print volume made sense to continue outsourcing – a print shop using an industrial printing press can offer significant price breaks for jobs of very high volume.
By moving some of the formerly outsourced jobs back in-house, savings of almost $1000 a month, and a significant amount of time spent waiting on print shops eliminated. With an upgrade in equipment speed, the staff is now able to print jobs in-house even faster, and the addition of the automatic slitter prevents miscuts and saves time by eliminating the need for manual cutting on a guillotine.
Function4 was more than happy to help RPC better understand their printing situation – even if outsourcing all graphics was the best option. For these reasons, RPC and Function4 have enjoyed a 20-year relationship.