The Need For Speed
More growth is expected: "Acquisition will play a major part in our future," primarily to add functional capabilities in core markets, Mead adds.
You might think that for the United States printing divisions of Bertelsmann, the acquisition of Random House by the parent company, international publishing magnate Bertelsmann AG, means instant clientele.
That's not necessarily so, reports Wayne Taylor, who oversees the U.S. book manufacturing divisions of Bertelsmann, which include Berryville Graphics (strong in adult trade and four-color juvenile books) Offset Paperback (a specialist in mass market and trade book manufacturing) and other business units. Because Bertelsmann is a very decentralized company, says Taylor: "We have to earn whatever business we get."
Company activity includes Dynamic Graphic Finishing's acquisition of Fell Brothers; Berryville installations including a Timson press, a softcover binding line, a wide-format four-color sheetfed press and a warehousing operation; and Offset Paperback additions including a Heidelberg six-color press and, most recently, the incorporation of Xerox DocuTech 6180 publishing systems and related equipment at its Dallas, PA, plant to bring the company into the short-run printing arena.
Taylor emphasizes the importance of CTP technology in helping Berryville reduce cycle times. And both Berryville and Offset Paperback are engaged in a "constant effort" to automate with robotics, says Taylor.
Offset Paperback recently received ISO 9002 certification.
Courier, whose six plants produce a wide range of books, from religious books on lightweight paper to two- and four-color educational text and trade titles, also is focusing on digital advancements. Courier recently installed Creo CTP equipment and a new four-color Heidelberg M-130 press at its Kendallville, IN, plant. Other technology strides include an established high-speed wide-area network that links all plants; PDF as an integral part of company workflow; and soft proofing and document exchange via the Internet.
Courier has recently launched what Peter Tobin, vice president of sales and marketing describes as an "aggressive" year 2000 compliance program that will include a new back-office system connected to all of the plants.