OMAHA PRINT -- Tradition. . . and a Future
BY ERIK CAGLE
Want perspective on just how old Omaha Print is in relation to our young country? When the company's initial flagship publication—the Omaha Republican—debuted in 1858, Nebraska was still nine years away from becoming a state.
Abe Lincoln and the Pony Express wouldn't bow for two more years, and the Civil War was three years away from the first cannonball being fired. And the new printer could count, as one of its first customers, a new company called the Union-Pacific Railroad.
Omaha Print has not only changed along with the country—it once sold furniture and stationery supplies from a retail outlet—it has also changed with the industry, setting a goal to embark upon a completely digital workflow. A largely Midwestern printer with the lion's share of business within a 250-mile radius of Omaha, the company is adding a dedicated national sales manager to develop a broader scope.
The senior management team of Omaha Print includes (from left to right): Gary Smith, COO; Steve Hayes, president and CEO; and Chuck Kinzer, CFO.
The 100-employee company shed the non-print aspect of the business in the early 1990s in order to focus its efforts entirely on general commercial printing work, according to Steve Hayes, CEO and president.
"As we saw changes coming, we found it difficult to fund both office supplies and print aspects of our company," Hayes recalls. "To be able to keep competitive, we felt that our long-range future was in the commercial printing area, so we chose a strategy to compete heavily in the local marketplace. We chose to consolidate on the 40˝ format—40˝ Heidelberg sheetfed and eventually heatset web presses—and to build an efficient workflow to support that format."
The company sold its office products division in 1995, which was just the beginning of a new age for the $15 million printer. Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology—an Agfa Galileo platesetter with a Barco (Esko-Graphics) front end—was installed in 2000, and Omaha Print also picked up a five-color Zirkon heatset half-web press (complementing a stable of two-, four-, five- and six-color sheetfed units). That the company has achieved ISO 9002 certification further underscores its objective of dedicated printing excellence.