MIT Develops Graphic Identity Program through MarcomCentral
Like any large decentralized organization, MIT is made up of many different groups who had evolved their own graphic images, their own “look and feel.” The PSB took on the responsibility of developing MIT’s graphic identity program, which would offer a new look and a new logo to the entire campus.
The PSB viewed this as the ideal time to add an e-procurement system for stationery items. MIT already had an e-procurement system linked with six other electronic partnerships for buying products such as office supplies, computer supplies, scientific supplies, and maintenance and repair supplies. All those e-catalogs were connected to with ECAT, MIT’s e-procurement system to handle authorization, approval, and electronic purchase orders; the print e-procurement system had to interface with the same system.
To deliver a printed stationery project, the PSB works with the designer, shepherds proofs back and forth, gets approvals, and sources the print production — a process that can take several weeks for each project. And delivering a new graphic identity program to thousands of users involves complex project management and can take a huge number of “person-hours” to execute efficiently. As a result MIT envisioned a fully integrated print e-procurement solution to support the image program launch.
Minuteman Press of Cambridge, an MIT print partner for many years, proposed MarcomCentral Web-to-Print in conjunction with PrintGateway, an application that allows MIT to control the look and feel of the stationery products and to link directly to the ECAT e-procurement solution.
While the PSB championed the project within MIT, planning and implementation required cooperation and involvement from many other teams across the Institute. Minuteman Press and MarcomCentral collaborated with several MIT offices in addition to the PSB, including the campus computing technologies team, the purchasing team, and the design team.
In developing the online system, the team used a careful process of investigation and testing to identify the solution that best met MIT’s needs. Criteria for evaluation included the quality, integrity and sustainability of the system, the quality of the printed materials, the customer service of the online provider and printer, and the ability to integrate with MIT’s SAP financial system.
The results speak for themselves
MIT launched a new online business paper ordering system that provides desktop access to a catalog of business cards, letterhead, and envelopes in three different designs and two paper stocks. After selecting a design, the faculty or staff member can customize the item with their own departmental and individual contact information, view a proof online, and take delivery of the printed product within seven business days.
There are more stationery products in development, and products such as notepads, mailing labels, and additional envelope types will be added. Departmental “sub-identity” catalogs are being developed for departments with their own graphic identity to be paired with the new MIT logo for their own branded print items.
The catalog serves more than 400 users, with more joining everyday. As a result, PSB staff can now focus on customer support, marketing the new graphic identity program, and planning for new products and new departmental catalogs. PSB’s skilled advisors concentrate on new projects and the automated system takes care of the repetitive processes for procurement of office stationery and business cards. And, MIT’s faculty and staff can all use their talents, time, and energy in the areas where they originally came to the Institute to contribute.