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Banta Corp. -- Pursuit of Excellence

April 2005
To paraphrase a quote from legendary Green Bay Packers head football coach Vince Lombardi, Stephanie Streeter is not remotely interested in being "just good."

The commercial printing industry's most powerful woman is adhering to the philosophy that while perfection may be out of reach for her company, Banta Corp., the relentless pursuit of it will produce an enterprise that can attain its personal best.

FROM THE LEFT: Dave Engelkemeyer, VP, worldwide operations; Dennis Meyer, VP, marketing and planning; Geoff Hibner, CFO; Stephanie Streeter, chairman, president and CEO; Mike Allen, president, printing services sector; Frank Rudolph, VP, human resources; Sara Armbruster, director of business development; and Ron Kneezel, VP, general counsel and secretary.
"This is about performance in everything we do—everything we touch," says Streeter, chairman, president and CEO of the Menasha, WI-based company's quest for operational excellence.

"There's a quote from Lombardi that goes something like, '...we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we cannot catch it. But we are going to relentlessly chase it because, when we do, in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in being just good.'

"That sums it all up for me," she adds. "It's not just about reducing costs, it's about becoming excellent in everything we do. We want to make sure that we do the ordinary things extraordinarily well—every day, every time."

Top of the List

It's difficult to argue otherwise. Banta ranked seventh on the 2004 Printing Impressions 400 with more than $1.4 billion in sales and reaffirmed its commitment to the print and supply chain management disciplines by recently divesting its single-use healthcare products subsidiary, Banta Healthcare Group, for $74 million in cash and by investing a total of $135 million in new technologies and equipment during 2003 and 2004.

And the corporation, which boasts about 8,400 employees in 40 manufacturing facilities, has been able to sustain its lofty standing in the industry rankings due, in large part, to the leadership of Streeter, and the performance of her management team and employees company-wide. She has carved out her own managerial niche while keeping the corporation focused on the things it does best.

Some of the challenges Streeter and her management team have faced include economic/marketplace issues, including pricing pressures, Asian competition and economy fluctuations that impact the supply chain and print markets; technology advancements; developing and maintaining quality employees; and crossing over from "good" to "great" company status through strong business discipline, culture, focus and building around the right people.
 

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