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New Executives--Leading by Example

December 1998
The following new chief officers at Top 500 companies reveal their corporate strategies.


BY A.L. RUSLAVAGE


KAREN ALLEN, PRESIDENT
EU Services, Rockville, MD

EU Services, a full-service printing and mailing company, has enjoyed much success since it first opened its doors 30 years ago, and for the new president, Karen Allen, the biggest challenge will be to continue that legacy.

In 1984, Allen's first job within the printing industry was with EU Services as its controller. Allen worked her way up to president this past July, and feels as though her financial background provides her the proper background to run the company.

"By understanding what goes on behind the numbers, I can better assess the needs and strengths of each department. In addition, when I started with the company, there were only 100 employees and we were doing $10 million in sales. I've been around through the implementation of new equipment, the building of new facilities and the expansion of our business."

Today, EU Services employs 450 and generates more than $40 million in revenues. Allen plans to continue the company's direction of placing emphasis on individual customer relationships and the tailoring of products and services to the specific needs of its clientele.

"In the future, we can capture an even bigger share of the market. We've always had steady growth, and I see that continuing, but now we will focus on what differentiates us from competitors—our shared expertise, client education programs and consultation on different projects."

Much of this, she explains, will be done through an experienced sales group and through marketing efforts that include newsletters, seminars and informational bulletins.

"EU Services has always been an industry leader. We were awarded the NAPL Hall of Fame award this past year, its highest honor. I'm proud of our success, but continuing that success becomes an increasingly bigger challenge with today's cutthroat competitiveness and the growing impact of technology on the industry."

W. ED. TYLER, PRESIDENT/CEO
MOORE CORP., LAKE FOREST, IL

Although Ed Tyler took over the reins of Moore Corp. this past April, his history in the printing industry began 24 years ago in the bindery department at R.R. Donnelley & Sons. After working his way into various senior level management positions, Tyler is convinced this experience has fully prepared him for the challenges that lie ahead with the business forms powerhouse.

"I believe this is a great opportunity," stresses Tyler. "Moore is an industry leader with a history dating back more than 100 years. It has a great heritage, very solid financial and technical strengths, a strong and diverse customer base, and employees who are both loyal and committed to Moore's future."

Within months of taking over the helm, Moore announced, in July, a comprehensive restructuring plan to increase the company's competitive position in the North American forms and labels business. Tyler, responsible for drafting the restructuring program, saw it as a necessity to return Moore back to profitability. Recent third quarter results indicated a sales increase of 7 percent for the first nine months of 1998 over the same period in 1997.

Four key elements of the restructuring plan include: non-strategic asset elimination, manufacturing rationalization, organizational integration and enhancing the profitability in growth businesses.

Included in the plan, six U.S. manufacturing plants are scheduled to be closed by the end of 1999, and Moore's overall global headcount of 20,000 employees is to be reduced by 4,800 upon the program's completion.

As Tyler explains, "Our company requires a leader focused on the future, leading it toward change and growth. The restructuring program is the first step in the revitalization of Moore and in providing the platform for future growth. We intend to re-establish our leadership in the dynamic $11 billion U.S. forms and labels market."

Even with its restructuring, Tyler emphasizes Moore has not lost sight of its continuing goal to upgrade existing facilities and to continue its focus on customers and their needs. "We are constantly aiming to increase our ability to deal with customers, helping them, in any way possible, to continue reducing their costs and increasing their own revenues."

CLINT HUMPHREY, PRESIDENT
INFINITI GRAPHICS, ENFIELD, CT

Immediately following college graduation, Clint Humphrey began a career in the printing industry beginning with Western Publishing in Wisconsin. Now president of Infiniti Graphics, Humphrey is incorporating three simple rules by which to run the company: Be fair; do what's right; and, most importantly, have fun doing it.

"What I've come to realize about the printing industry is that when it all comes down to it, it's a people business. The only thing that may differentiate you from the other printer down the street is the level of service you offer your customers. As my colleague always says, 'We're not closing sales, we're opening relationships.' It's not about what we do, but how we do it."

When Humphrey started working for Infiniti Graphics 10 years ago, the company was generating $7.5 million in sales; today, the 22-year-old printer is estimating 1998 sales to be $21 million—a growth of about 11 percent from 1997.

"We share a small segment of the market here, and there is still plenty of room for us to grow and to become a significant player in the Northeast," says Humphrey. "In the upcoming years our goal is to continue to nurture the relationships we do have, and to open relationships with new companies we can service."

A strong key in providing stellar customer service, Humphrey believes, is the attitude shared by Infiniti's 115 workers. Employee-owned for the past 11 years, management feels it is important to share information, have monthly meetings and share profitability through bonuses.

"The environment our employees experience here is one where it's not just a job, but a career. Vital to the company's future and success is my role in encouraging and creating an environment where the employee-owners have a positive attitude about implementing change to better serve our clients and, ultimately, to enhance shareholder value."

NORBERT McDERMOTT, CEO
CLONDALKIN GROUP, PHILADELPHIA

A knack for words and the ability to write project reports gave Clondalkin Group's new chief executive, Norbert McDermott, his first exposure to the business side of the printing industry—and the opportunity to fulfill a longtime dream of one day running a company.

After receiving his degree in experimental physics and math, Ireland-native McDermott initially began his career in the research laboratories of Eastman Kodak. After making the transition to project manager, McDermott's business and graphic knowledge made him a prime candidate, in 1980, to join Clondalkin and evaluate its possibilities as a paper manufacturer supplying the Irish market.

With Clondalkin's decision to withdraw from papermaking and focus more on the converting end of the printing and packaging supply chain, McDermott moved to Philadelphia and started the company's first presence in the United States. That was in 1986.

Appointed this past May, McDermott, as CEO of the group worldwide, is "hoping to make some small organizational changes empowering the management team . . . while bringing on younger people and reorganizing the business units into cohesive divisions capable of sustainable growth." To be successful at accomplishing this, he has realized two steps are needed: first, charismatic leadership and, second, a shared focus.

Clondalkin, with 1997 sales of $600 million and expecting record sales in 1998 of more than $650 million, has tended to run each of its 35 operations as individualized companies. But through the reorganization, McDermott states, "the new structure will offer each facility additional support through the combined efforts and the complementary skills of the management teams. Our expectation for all operations is that they distinguish themselves in their markets as leading benchmark producers and service providers."

More recently, McDermott has headed up the development team on both sides of the Atlantic, focusing on both new and existing operations. Another area of focus will be on what McDermott calls "soft assets"—the people and marketing rather than "hard assets" such as the plants and equipment.

"We've done a lot of investing over the years, but the places where it has shown great success are at the facilities where the employees are 'switched on' to make it successful." McDermott continues by adding, "One of the incentives is profit-sharing and empowering people at the local level. Ultimately, this is what motivates. While the 20 percent growth rate achieved over the past 10 years has been fueled by the acquisition of other companies, the best investment is generally achieved by doing so in the existing businesses."

With invaluable experience acquired over the years, McDermott hopes to continue propelling Clondalkin at this level through organic growth and acquisitions. "While anyone can manage a business in good times," he notes, "it is only when faced with adversity, setbacks and tough decision-making that one's ability is truly honed and tested."

"I often tell our group managers that our model should be that of a duck on a lake: Above the surface we should look unruffled, but just below the surface, we need to paddle like hell."
 

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