Ron Kramer - Offset Production Manager
1. Please describe your background (degree, field of training, related experience).
I have been doing print related work since around the age of 10. My father was in the business and I would frequently go in on weekends to help with things I could help with. This helped him out but more importantly gave me a chance to make some money.
2. What is your role now and how has it changed since you hired in?
When I first hired in full time (1990 by the way) I was our stripper and camera operator. That meant taking customer art boards, creating films of them using a very large camera, then attaching those films to flats and removing (stripping) portions of the flats where we wanted light to get through. As time went on and computers began slowly taking over this process, I gradually moved into our estimating and order entry department. Once I became proficient at that I added to my tasks by becoming our main purchasing agent, working with our paper vendors to ensure we had the necessary paper on hand as needed to complete our customers print projects. After a while I was also made production supervisor, overseeing the scheduling in our offset and bindery departments. Being a small company, I dive in as needed in any given area. That means you could also see me delivering jobs or possibly running a piece of bindery equipment.
3. What is the most satisfying part of your job?
The most satisfying part of my job is seeing a complicated job go through our company without any problems. Most customers don't realize the amount of work or steps that go into some of the projects we produce nor should they need to. However, we are very aware of it. The chance for a problem or mistake to happen is high. Having a competent staff as well as good procedures in place keeps the errors to a minimum. None of us here are perfect but our track record is at least very good.
4. Outside of work, what activities or hobbies are you passionate about? In other words, where might we find you on the weekends?
I have two college age daughters so although we love spending time with them, the opportunity to do so is limited as they are not home. You will find me with my wife out enjoying a nice walk ideally on a path in nature or at times just meandering downtown Ann Arbor. I also will never miss an opportunity to just go stare at Lake Michigan. Some of the overlooks up in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area of the state are just awe inspiring to me.
5. What was your first car?
My first car was a Dodge Omni 024. I paid $725.00 for it and it needed a new battery immediately to get it started. It was a stick shift. After a year or so, the clutch slipped so bad that it would not go up a specific hill on the road I lived on. There was also a hole that rusted through on the driver side floor. I had to be careful going through water or else it would splash up onto my feet.
6. What was your first job?
My first job was as a maintenance tech at Huron valley Swim Club in Ann Arbor. I worked there from age 14 to around 21. I'm relatively handy so learning the inner workings of the swimming pools was pretty easy. When I started this job, the pools were very old and had a lot of problems. There were two filter systems the size of small cars. These sat inside a pit inside the "filter room". They required frequent monitoring as even though they were not supposed to, they could sometimes overflow. If this happened and it was not caught soon enough, it could've easily caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage and the pools would have to be closed for repairs. As soon as probably around the age of 16, I would get calls from our night guard at 3 in the morning to tell me they were overflowing and I needed to get in to correct the situation. It was pretty much me and the two managers that knew how to deal with this.