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R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.

What do the World Book Encyclopedia, the latest upgrade from Microsoft, National Equirer and the Land's End fall catalog all have in common? They were formatted, printed and distributed from sites in Indiana.

The state's largest commercial printer, Chicago-based R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., is also the world's largest, With more than 32,000 employees at some 140 locations and production facilities worldwide, the Fortune 500 company has been a leader in print and information services since its founding in 1864.

Donnelley's Indiana operations, which include two plants each in both Warsaw and Crawfordsville, employ more than 5,000 Hoosier workers to produce, a full spectrum of publishing products.

The printer's first Indiana site, which opened in Crawfordsville in 1921, is the oldest of six facilities in Donnelley's Book Group, producing hard-cover and soft-bound books and electronic information-management services for trade, reference, religious, education, professional, book club/mail order and children's book publishers.

"We print millions of Bibles for hundreds of customers, and almost every student in the United States is using a textbook printed by Donnelley," comments Jim Gineris, process manager at the Crawfordsville division.

Employing some 2,600 in more than two million square feet of manufacturing space, the Crawfordsville plant represents the old guard of Donnelley's publishing business, including prepress work, printing and binding. But it's also one of the company's most modern and versatile facilities, Gineris adds.

The Crawfordsville operation and Donnelley's other Book Division facilities offer a variety of high-tech services. They can accommodate such diverse jobs as custom publishing for audience-specific versioned books and supplements, and technical consultation on desktop publishing system conversions. The division also does database consultation and implementation to help customers capture marketing data and to provide fulfillment services for remailing and returned-book inventory.

Donnelley's technological advancements in its Book Division are a response to market conditions demanding shorter publishing cycles and tightened distribution schedules, Gineris explains.

Similar innovations are slated for Donnelley's Warsaw operations, says Gary Nesemier, vice president and division director for the two northern Indiana manufacturing sites, which were built in 1959 and 1965.

Part of the catalog division in Donnelley's Merchandise Media Group, the plants are undergoing a $90 million expansion and upgrade that will "replace old equipment as well as create additional capacity for existing clients," Newsemeier says.

the expansion, which adds 200,000 square feet and should provide a long-term increase in the Warsaw operations' 1,700-member work force, is designed to offer more flexibility in product size, printing capacity and distribution, Nesemier continues. And those are important factors for customers like lands' End, Eddie Bauer, JC Penney, Dayton Hudson, Tandy and Spiegal, among others.

In addition to the manufacturing of catalogs, newspaper inserts and related promotionsl material, the Merchandize Media Group offers sophisticated mailing-list development and management, distribution planning and "best-cost" shipping and mailing services for its clients. The upgrades at Warsaw also will give Donnelley's clients the ability to target individuals with personalized offers and messages.

Personalized publishing also distinguishes the Documentation Services Group, which has its flagship site in Crawfordsville. The fastest-growing of Donnelley's 10 operational groups, it provides computer software and hardware companies with custom-packaged documentation and digital media products, explains Bill Schaller, vice president and director of the Crawfordsville division.

Originally part of the Book Division, documentation services is "by far the fastest growing group," Schaller says. Began just 10 years ago, it now claims more than 15 sites worldwide and produces some 10 percent of Donnelley's annual revenues. "What began in Crawfordsville is now an international operation," Schaller comments.

Serving such customers as Microsoft Corp., Lotus, IBM, WordStar and Sun Microsystems, the Indiana division is a "full-turnkey" facility, offering software-replication services, complete packaging, kitting and assembling, and publisher fulfillment services. If a software company releases a product upgrade, for example, Donnelley will duplicate the product, label it, package it and ship it directly to the end user.

A 24-hour telemarketing center in Crawfordsville takes calls directly from its clients' customers, maintaining a database of user information and distributing upgrades, diskettes, CD-ROMs, user manuals and informational supplements "as needed," Schaller explains. "We are essentially the inventory manager of our customers."

The division's global business should be boosted in the future by its recent ISO 9002 certification. The achievement followed a yearlong effort and an extensive three-day audit, Schaller says. The Crawfordsville division, he adds, is the largest print site in the United States to achieve ISO certification, which signifies that the company meets uniform standards in quality management and assurance.

Collectively, then, Donnelley's Indiana divisions represent the past, present and future of publishing and information management. But to the company's thousands of Hoosier employees, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. represents much more. "We don't look at ourselves as printers," explains Warsaw's Nesemeier. "We're here to serve our customers' needs and to find solution to their problems.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Printing & Graphics; profile of world's largest commercial printer
Author:Nelson, Eric
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Oct 1, 1993
Previous Article:A good brochure.
Next Article:Western Indiana update.

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