International Man Of Print
For 27 years, Steve Horton has produced printed materials for a worldwide audience.August 2014 By Chris Bauer
In his role as facility leader at the in-plant for Development Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI), Steve Horton is in a unique position. His in-plant not only prints materials for DDI, but also prints and ships products sold to DDI's customers worldwide.
"We're different than most [in-plants], as more than 95 percent of what we produce is materials we sell to clients," says Horton, a 27-year DDI employee.
Founded in 1970, Bridgeville, Pa.-based DDI is a global human resources consulting company specializing in selection systems that help companies hire better employees faster. The in-plant produces a variety of teaching materials and posters used to help develop leaders in the workforce.
Horton, a native of western Pennsylvania, took graphic arts classes in high school, and recalls enjoying the craftsmanship of printing from an early age.
"I have always liked art, but I have never been much of a painter," Horton reveals. "So I was able to create things through print."
After a stint in the U.S. Army, Horton worked at several copy shops and commercial printers, learning to run a variety of offset presses and bindery equipment. He eventually worked his way up to the position of foreman at a commercial shop, when he heard of an opening at DDI.
"I thought it was going to be a temporary gig," he admits, noting that he originally applied to be a press operator. "The company looked at my resume and saw that I had some leadership experience and offered me a supervisory position. So I accepted that job."
One of the first things Horton did was bring the shop up to date with new equipment and services.
"We were one of the first shops to figure out how to run Word files through an imagesetter," Horton proudly states. "That is how DDI wanted to run their work, so we had to learn how to do that."
DDI formerly had a huge warehouse facility that housed $20 million in inventory. Over the years, Horton and the 20 in-plant employees have become proficient in just-in-time techniques and whittled down the amount of products that were being stored.
"Now we do almost everything to order," Horton says. DDI operates two Xerox iGen4s and three wide-format printers.