COURIER CORP. -- Textbook Example
"Morale in the plant is terrific because the employees get to work on the latest new equipment," Gluckow states. "When the new cover press was installed, the excitement throughout the plant was unimaginable. Our makereadies are probably 75 percent faster now. The same holds true for the bindery equipment that we installed. Our turnaround time is faster than ever before."
Diana Sawyer, vice president of human resources and a 16-year veteran of Courier, notes that despite a relatively large work force of 1,450 employees, the company still maintains a family-oriented atmosphere. In fact, the company has been named a "Best Workplace in America," award recipient by the Printing Industries of America (PIA) for the past three years—and a "Best of the Best" recipient the past two years.
An intensive training program has bolstered employee retention over the past four years, with the help of the web offset training curriculum from the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF).
"Not only has this helped increase worker skill levels and expertise, it has enabled employees to establish career paths," she notes. "The total training hours average 14 hours per year for each employee. This shows the ongoing commitment we have at Courier toward training."
Employee safety has also been a top priority, Sawyer notes, with an emphasis on ergonomics. In 2003, the printer established specialized focus teams to conduct job safety analysis. Courier has dedicated $800,000 in 2003 toward lifting devices and safety-related equipment alone, reaffirming its commitment to the ink-on-paper business.
The emergence of alternative media has actually bolstered growth in book printing, according to Conway, as opposed to scavenging product potential. He notes that there are more titles in print than ever before, with the total number doubling between 1990 and 2000. And, despite consolidation in the later half of the 1990s, the number of book publishers has also doubled.