Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quad/Graphics Is Trying to "Fix" Worldcolor's Publication Printing Business

Quad/Graphics bought Worldcolor partly because it thought it could repair the rival printer's "underperforming" catalog and magazine printing business, according to Quad's CEO.

Worldcolor's publication business was the worst performing part of the company, "had been underinvested in and needed fixing," Joel Quadracci said in an interview published Friday by printing-industry site WhatTheyThink. "We felt we could fix the magazine and catalog business with a combination of upgrading plants and closing plants."

Cary Sherburne's entire interview with Quadracci, whose company bought Worldcolor in July, is worth a read. But here are a few highlights:
  • The adjustment of former Worldcolor employees: "What is interesting is that Worldcolor as a corporation didn't really have a defined corporate culture. They had a good culture at the plant level, but not across the entire organization. Quad culture is very production-employee-centric. It has been easy for the Worldcolor folks to understand our culture; they were looking for something to tie them together and connect them."
  • Industry rightsizing: "When you look at the industry, you have to look at it from the perspective of good capacity and inefficient capacity, and the industry has way too much of the latter."Also: "You can't simply continue down the same path when an industry experiences a 20%-25% reduction in volume because of a deep recession.There has to be a rightsizing."
  • Downsized employees: "We have been doing internal recruiting at all of the plants that will be closed . . . because we have transfer opportunities at other Quad/Graphics locations for customer service reps, press operators, finishing operators and more. We have a pretty sizable list of people interested in other geographic locations."
  • Becoming a public company: "My family has the largest equity block with 33% of the company and 80% of the voting control. That voting control is important, because we don't want to be pushed to decisions that don't make sense for the company."
  • His work uniform: "It is pretty unusual to see a CEO wearing the same uniform as the production staff, which is what happens here at Quad. When I am here, I am wearing a blue uniform just like everyone on the floor."
For other recent articles about Quad/Graphics, please see:

Quad/Graphics’ Joel Quadracci Speaks about Worldcolor Acquisition: The entire WhatTheyThink interview with Quadracci

In Closing 5 Locations, Quad/Graphics Sticks With Its 'Mega-Plant' Strategy: A reminder that Quad's success has come mostly from innovation, not acquisitions

The New Quad/Graphics Still Has The Blues -- and Soul, Too: Quadracci's announcement, wearing a Quad uniform, of the Worldcolor acquisition

Does the Air in Printing Plants Make Employees Sick?: Another recent WhatTheyThink article about Quad -- this one on the printer's environmental innovations -- contained an interesting statement.

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