Omaha Print — History in the Making

OP’s executive team pictured here (from the left) includes Chuck Kinzer, president; Gary Smith, executive VP-Manufacturing; Joe Sequenzia, VP-Sales; and Steve Hayes, CEO.

A vintage shot of Omaha Printing's original location in downtown Omaha.

The 1927 Omaha Print baseball team, which hosted a charity exhibition game that included baseball greats Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth (back row center).

“Midwestern people have that hardworking, farming ethic. No matter what the weather or conditions, you find ways to make your crops grow. We find ways to make our business grow,” he explains. “And, we mean what we say. If we say we’ll do something, we do it. If a customer has a problem, we’ll help them resolve it. It’s all about relationships, building trust and doing what’s right. We’re still in business because our clients are still in business.”

Omaha Print has clients that have been with the company for more than 100 years. Union Pacific is one example. The printer produced its time tables when the company was just getting into the passenger business, and the printed material promoted visits (by train, of course) to the Grand Canyon when it first opened as a national park. Today, OP is still printing material for the mega train carrier.

Originally a newspaper publisher, the printer spun off into commercial work in 1885, after selling the newspaper. Omaha Print continued producing small jobs, like hand bills and invoices, but its main source of revenue was selling office supplies and furniture.

When Hayes took the helm of OP in 1991, office supplies accounted for 60 percent of the business and 75 percent of its profit. However, when the company started seeing the proliferation of big office supply stores like Office Depot and Staples in the early ’90s, it became difficult to support two totally different businesses. Ultimately, the office supply side was sold, and OP concentrated on printing.

“We refocused and decided not to try to be everything to everybody,” Hayes explains. “Our equipment was all over the board. So, we decided to focus on the 40? sheetfed format and phase out our smaller presses. A year later, we added a six-color, 40? Heidelberg, then, within four years, five-color, four-color and two-color Heidelbergs.”

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