Komori Debuts LS40 PressSeptember 2002
First American Manager
The event, which consisted of two groups of about 50 printers each, was also a coming out party of sorts for Stephan Carter, newly named president and COO of Komori America. A 20-year R.R. Donnelley veteran in sales and operations management, Carter noted that his executive appointment marks the first time in the Japanese press manufacturer's history that its U.S. subsidiary is managed by an American.
"Komori has worked to develop a 40˝ press that exceeds printers' expectations," he enthuses, "and we're confident that the LS will do just that."
He also revealed that four orders had already been received from U.S. customers prior to the North American introduction of the press, including one contract for a digital version featuring the Creo SQUAREspot thermal imaging option. A perfector option for the LS40, according to Carter, will be available in 2003.
In providing overall financials for Komori America's Japanese parent, Carter admitted the last fiscal year has been a difficult one. He referred to a business climate of weak press sales, reduced operating margins, high inventories and even press repossessions.
Carter noted that Komori is responding to these business conditions by developing strategic alliances, by maintaining "open architecture" platforms and by increasing efficiency throughout its operations. He mentioned, as examples, key Komori business partners such as GE Capital (press financing), Printcafe (links to job management systems), X-Rite (color measurement) and Creo (digital imaging).
One way Komori is creating internal efficiencies will be through its new press manufacturing plant in Tsu Kuba, Japan, which will manufacture the new LS40 and SuperPerfector sheetfed presses.
In response to the stagnant economy, Carter also says his company will strive to manage its inventory of presses better, better standardize its product lines and maintain critical parts centers in key locations, rather than a centralized location, to more rapidly serve existing customers.