Donnelley – Covering All Bases

CHICAGO—When you’re one of the biggest print solution providers in the world, there’s a certain amount of pressure involved in maintaining the status quo. In essence, companies need to change in order to just remain the same.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons rattles more windows in Chicago than the House of Blues. Its sales for 2000 mirrored 1999’s, a lusty $5 billion. At first blush, one could surmise that the company exhibited no growth, but it takes a high degree of activity just to maintain such a dizzying sales pace.

The year 2000 was an active one for R.R. Donnelley, capped off by its being named the top U.S. printer in Fortune magazine’s list of “America’s Most Admired Companies.” Donnelley improved its previous score by more than 16 percent, and placed in the top 20 percent of all companies in the survey.

According to William L. Davis, chairman, president and CEO, Donnelley is committed to revolutionizing communications effectiveness by partnering with customers to build their businesses and brands.

Donnelley spent much of 2000 expanding print-related services to cover its customers’ all-around communications needs, according to Mike Allen, executive vice president. On the printing end, Donnelley set a high-water mark in terms of number of impressions in its long-run business—without making significant equipment additions. The book printing segment produced more than 520 million hardcover and softcover books, also a record volume for the company.

Donnelley augmented its print-related services with five acquisitions, as well. One plant was purchased from Communicolor and another, bought from printer/publisher Penton Press in 1999, was integrated. The printer also snapped up a pair of premedia facilities: Omega Studios, of Irving, TX; and Iridio, of Seattle. Lastly, Donnelley enhanced its logistics network with the acquisition of CTC Logistics.

Allen expects to see this same formula for success to be used in 2001. “We’re going to continue to invest in manufacturing training—the Six Sigma training that we have in all of our manufacturing operations—because that’s paying dividends,” he says. “At the same time, we will continue to invest in expanding our print-related services to satisfy the multi-channel needs of customers.”

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