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Wilcox Press Determined to Stay Privately Owned

November 1998
ITHACA, NY—Nationally recognized Wilcox Press recently disclosed its plans to remain privately owned, ending months of speculation about potential buyers.

In addition to the announcement, the 73-year-old publications printer has restructured its management team, made up of individuals with diverse areas of expertise and backgrounds to foster the future of the company.

Despite losing some key personnel, including its former president and a vice president, Wilcox Press has remained strong by reorganizing its management team, placing four individuals in leading vice president roles—and not filling the position of president. As Brian Bostrom, director of purchasing, puts it, "This move has opened up the ivory tower found in most companies."

Though it has not yet been determined whether the company will maintain this management structure on a permanent basis, one thing is certain: Wilcox Press cannot directly account for the loss of any customers due to its restructuring. In fact, Wilcox's employees pride themselves on the long-term relationships they have built.

As with any change in management, there is a time for readjustment but, so far, customer feedback has been positive and clients are maintaining their loyalty. As for the 270 employees, the overall morale of the company has also improved.

Wilcox Press credits some of its sales success to the installation of Prograph software in 1996. Extending its services to include tabloid, digest and quarter-fold products, the $30+ million printer boasts clients such as Crain's New York and Pro Sports.

Even if the future plans of the restructuring are not yet known, Bostrom states, "What is certain are definite plans to continue the company's growth and expansion."

Wilcox Press operates a complete electronic prepress department, including Creo computer-to-plate imaging and a Creo Renaissance copy-dot scanner. Wilcox also has an assortment of Heidelberg Harris and Goss Hantscho web offset presses, a full-service bindery and a postal distribution center. It also plans to add one or two presses and more perfect binders, while continually building on its customer relations.

"However, the core of our success is the 'Can Do Attitude' of our employees," Bostrom emphasizes. "Without question, we have a good group of employees who are not only extremely accessible, but customer-oriented as well."

by A.L. Ruslavage
 

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