Golden State Giant
California Office of State Publishing
Sometimes when you're big you've got to get smaller to survive.
That's what happened in 1996 at the California Office of State Publishing (OSP), the largest state printing operation in the country. That was the year the Sacramento-based operation went non-mandated—when state agencies were no longer required to use the in-plant's services.
The result was a significant drop in sales—10 percent over two years—and a corresponding reduction in staff. But the move also reduced some of the privatization challenges being directed at OSP by private sector printers and won the operation a lot of support.
Though some of those early losses are now being recouped, Jim Davis, production manager, says the change was not an easy one.
"It put more pressure on us to perform competitively with outside printers," he notes. The in-plant now has to prove to customers that it is the least expensive, most efficient vendor.
This bold move was just one of the ways that State Printer Celeste Maia Cron has been trying to reshape and modernize OSP since she was appointed by the governor five years ago.
"Before Celeste there was more of a status-quo type of management," reveals Davis. "Technologically, the in-plant had really fallen behind. The biggest thing for Celeste and me is to try to identify appropriate technology for the plant."
This has resulted in several new pieces of equipment, including the recent addition of two Xerox 6180s for producing documents using variable data input. Fed by a Roll Systems DocuSheeter, the printers have inline C.P. Bourg signature bookletmaking capabilities and one has inline C.P. Bourg perfect binding.
The analysis of new technology never ends. At the recent Xplor conference, Davis looked at streamfed printers from Océ, Xerox and IBM in anticipation of a purchase next year.