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150 Years And Still Strong

December 1999
California Office Of State Publishing

Sacramento, Calif.

Annual sales: $61,333,656

Operating budget: $57,996,000

Full-time employees: 456

Part-time employees: 21

Jobs printed per year: 24,380

When the California Office of State Publishing (OSP) installed a new eight-color Heidelberg M-1000B web press recently it was major news in the in-plant world, where such giant webs are rare. Still, for OSP the installation was, in a way, just a continuation of the growth it experienced through much of the 1990s.

"We went [from] having some of the most obsolete technology in our greater Sacramento area, to having some of the most current, sophisticated technology, especially in prepress and in our digital print applications—and of course our new, big eight-color press," says Celeste Maia Cron, State Printer.

This new technology is helping OSP streamline its operation and reduce its staff.

"We expect to have a drop in staff over the next seven to eight years," Cron reveals. "We're going to see a far more sophisticated and lean OSP because of technology."

The second largest in-plant in the country, OSP has had many years to build itself up to its current size. Next month will mark its 150th anniversary, making it eight months older than the state of California itself.

When Cron came on board six years ago, OSP comprised several scattered satellite printing facilities. She led the consolidation of these offices into a single 300,000-square-foot operation, with one satellite office near the Capitol.

In 1996 OSP went non-mandated, meaning that state agencies were no longer required to use the in-plant's services. This resulted in a drop in sales of 10 percent over two years. Cron has worked hard to build up business by marketing OSP to customers and improving customer service. In addition, an innovative program of soliciting paid advertising in state publications has increased business, saving state agencies $1.2 million last year.

OSP's workload is huge. Tax booklets alone require run lengths of 14 million. OSP prints more than 12 million ballot pamphlets, 5 million department of motor vehicles handbooks and hundreds of thousands of other projects for state agencies. The new web press, which can print two 64-page signatures at once, is helping OSP to handle this volume.

In addition to printing, the office develops Web pages and electronic forms, controls and sells standard state forms and handles CD-ROM replication. Cron says she expects OSP to increase the amount of fulfillment work it does in the years ahead.

As it prepares to enter the next century, OSP has plans to move out of its current building and into a new structure five to eight years from now. By then, Cron says, OSP will be even more digital and more involved in e-commerce.

As for the future of printing at OSP, Cron does not see it going away any time soon.

"I see us using a lot more paper in the next decade," she says. The Internet explosion, she adds, has made us hungry for information, and until a new generation comes along that is used to reading from a monitor, paper usage will continue to increase.

As for other future trends, Cron says we should expect the unexpected.

"Five years from now I don't think digital printing is going to be the big thing," she predicts. "There's going to be something radically new—and we expect to be there."

—by Bob Neubauer

Key Equipment

• Logic computer management system

• Color proofing systems

• Platemakers

• Scanners

• Eight-color Heidelberg M-1000B web press

• Five-color, 40˝ Heidelberg with coater

• Four-unit, 38˝ Hantscho Mark VI three-web press

• Two Halm Jet envelope presses

• One Diamond envelope press

• One Drent Gazelle press

• Muller-Martini forms presses

• Harris forms presses

• Two Xerox 6180s

• One Xerox DocuTech 135

• Four Xerox 5090s

• One Kodak ImageSource 70

• One Roll Systems DocuSheeter

• C.P. Bourg Signature Bookletmaker and Perfect Binder

• Folding equipment

• Automated bundlers, bundler lifts

• Stitchers

• Addressing systems


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