Running The Business Of Print
For a quarter of a century, Jerry Grouzard has been using his business expertise to make Allstate's printing operation one of the country's most respected.
By Bob Neubauer
The Allstate Print Communications Center is a true in-plant success story. Ranked second on the IPG Top 50, the $100 million operation has won numerous leadership awards and is a model for in-plants everywhere.
For the past 25 years, one of the primary engines behind the operation's growth has been Jerry Grouzard, print communication manager. His understanding of the business end of printing has helped propel the in-plant to where it is today.
Born and raised in Chicago, Grouzard was not looking for a career in printing when he enrolled in Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale, to study business. But he found his way into printing anyway when, after three years at the university, a relative told him about Allstate's tuition reimbursement program.
Grouzard started working in Allstate's print production area while finishing school at Elmhurst College. He received technical training in printing, prepress and bindery. In the process he saw that, while Allstate's in-plant had plenty of good technical managers, it didn't have a lot of business managers. He realized that, if he could develop the business side of printing, he could create opportunities for himself.
At the time, Allstate had nothing close to the 375 employees it now has, employing more like 75 people and running smaller duplicating equipment and a conventional prepress department. Grouzard's first step up the ladder was as a line manager overseeing the press and prepress areas. In 1984 he become a division manager and moved to the fulfillment and distribution side of the operation, where he stayed for about five years. He next became the division manger overseeing operations. In 1996 he moved into his current role, and is in charge of customer service for print projects, estimating, scheduling, planning, project management, internal sales and external commercial sales.