Omaha Print -- History in the Making
Hayes’ strategy was to narrow the product line, focus on more profitable products and sell to a 75-mile radius. While there were a hundred printers in the Omaha phone book, most were small, local shops, and OP became the go-to company for new technology, allowing it to grow at a manageable rate.
However, even as the business grew, one thing remained the same: The printer was in the middle of nowhere, where there are more cows than people. Hayes was in dire need of employees, so he recruited family members of employees to create the OP talent pool—fathers and sons, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, aunts and uncles.
Hayes is the second generation to run his family business, and three generations are still actively involved in the operation. His father, Harvey, 82, is chairman of the board and routinely visits the office. His daughter, Hilary Shank, 30, heads the company’s sales office in Dallas.
In 2001, OP invested in a Zirkon half-web. But then 9/11 hit and businesses suffered across the country. OP’s executive team knew it was time to reinvent itself again. “We reconfigured the business, let some people go, sold two of our presses, and we managed to survive,” Hayes says.
By 2005, the printer was back on the road to profitability. Its heatset web printing capabilities were now accounting for nearly 40 percent of revenues, with a majority of those sales coming from outside the 75 mile radius, explains Chuck Kinzer, president and COO. “The same customer focus and fundamentals developed in the Omaha region translated well to our national customer base.” So well, in fact, that OP’s execs decided to add a used Baker Perkins G14 full-web press.
Today, more than 60 percent of Omaha’s business comes from outside the state. It expanded its product offering and capabilities, which allowed it to compete nationally.