Courier Booking On Solid Investments
NORTH CHELMSFORD, MA—The economy may be slowing, but Courier Corp. shows no signs of such action.
As one of the nation's leading book manufacturers with 2000 sales of $188 million, Courier is seeking to enhance that standing with a number of investments in new equipment that have been made over the past year. Courier—which annually produces 150 million books at its five manufacturing facilities—earmarked approximately $16 million toward the acquisition of equipment during 2000, and the company expects to virtually match that standard with its 2001 acquisitions.
According to Joe Brennan, vice president of engineering, Courier is being aggressive at a time when many book manufacturers are not pursuing equipment additions. He feels it reflects Courier's confidence in the growing book market.
"This investment in state-of-the-art technologies further enhances Courier's competitive position while responding to market opportunities," Brennan says.
During the year 2000, Courier made the following purchases of new equipment and upgrades of existing models, with a total price tag of nearly $16 million:
- Added four units to a four-color Heidelberg M-130 web press, installed a two-color Goss Hantscho Mark 6 web press and purchased a Kolbus adhesive binding line for its Kendallville, IN, plant.
- Installed a two-color, 9˝ Goss Hantscho Mark 16 web press, rebuilt a one-color Goss Hantscho and added a Kolbus Compact 60 binding line at its Westford, MA, plant, as well as full computer-to-plate production with a CreoScitex system.
- Installed a five-color Heidelberg Speedmaster sheetfed press with in-line aqueous coater at the Stoughton, MA, facility.
Courier plans on making 2001 as productive as this past year by aggressively pursuing equipment additions totaling roughly $15 million. CTP is being added at the Stoughton, MA, plant. National Publishing, its Philadelphia-based operation, is installing a large format, lightweight paper Timsons book press, acquiring a Horauf cover maker and a Bombax sewn production line.
Book-mart Press, its North Bergen, NJ, facility, is slated to receive a Kolbus Compact 60 hardcover binding line. A 9˝ web press is slated for the Stoughton, MA, plant, while a Kolbus Compact casing-in line is planned for Kendallville, MA. Lastly, the Westford, MA, facility is scheduled to install a Kolbus DA 85 high-speed casemaker.
"We are very enthusiastic about the book market," points out Peter Tobin, executive vice president of the Courier Book Companies. "We've been asked by our customers to handle more volume, so we have committed capital toward expanding capacity and technologies to enhance service and speed up processes."
Tobin feels that Courier's three primary markets—education, religion and specialty trade—are experiencing solid performances. Education, in particular, shows a lot of promise in light of President Bush's planned initiatives that support increased government spending in this area.
The company acquired Dover Publications, of Mineola, NY, last October. Dover is a publisher of special-interest books with more than 7,000 in-print titles in over 30 specialty categories. Courier will handle the marketing and manufacturing needs for Dover after being its primary manufacturing partner for 50-plus years.
The company received a pair of accolades in 2000. The Printing Industries of America presented Courier with a "Best Workplace in America" award. Forbes magazine also listed it as one of the 200 best small companies in America and, in its profile, ranked Courier as one of 11 companies to watch.
Courier recently put the finishing touches on the fourth edition of Right from the Start, a guide to digital file preparation for publishers and their composition houses. An online version is available at www.rightfromthestart.com.
"In the past three years we've had record success and expect that trend to continue in 2001 and beyond," says Jim Conway, chairman and CEO. "We love the book business."