A Bullish Bowne
"As the Internet drives personalization, and as our clients learn and understand more information about their customers, the 'printing' is going to have to be done that way," Swanson remarks.
In February, Bowne was recognized for its commitment to helping its clients deliver personalized information when it was awarded first place in the One-to-One Communications Category of the Print-on-Demand Innovation Leadership Awards at the On Demand Digital Printing and Publishing Strategy Conference & Exposition. Bowne used database technology and its typesetting, composition and design savvy to process and produce the Merrill Lynch Group Employee Services' (GES) new "Millennium" retirement plan participation statement in print and electronic media.
"To qualify for an award like that takes an enormous amount of effort and commitment on both the client's and Bowne Digital's part," Varty says. "We work with our clients to improve not just what their statement looks like—the physical appearance—but also how they want to communicate with their plan participants. There's a lot of interaction between us and the customer—we work very closely throughout the entire process. We're very proud of receiving the award with Merrill Lynch.
"Once we have burned in all the technologies that we use to do personalized one-to-one communications—be it print-on-demand or the Internet—we plan to take that service out across the Bowne network to service our customers throughout the world. That's a major, long-term plan that we have. We didn't get into the digital printing business to build one standalone plant in New Jersey."
Bowne suffered a setback shortly into the new year when it lost its president, leader and good friend. James P. O'Neil passed away in January following a brief illness. According to Varty, it was O'Neil who recognized the need to broaden the managerial base at the New York headquarters, which prompted the company to bring in Swanson from the Secaucas, NJ, plant and Varty from Cleveland.