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April 07. 2013 3:59PM

Durham-based Goss will reorganize, diversify


DURHAM - The printing industry has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, and Goss International is planning some big changes to adapt successfully.

Last week, CEO Rick Nichols announced a global transformation of the company, including a reorganization of the business, streamlining of operations in Europe and a focus on diversifying products.

The company's organizational structure will be simplified and focused around regional parts, service and support centers for customers.

"Goss continues to manufacture the highest quality print machinery, but I believe that where and how quickly customers can access service and support is now more important than where products are manufactured," Nichols said.

He said customers are looking for service, support and a lower cost for the products they are buying.

"Most pieces of equipment are long-term assets for them so we need to be sure to provide a real baseline capability for taking care of them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through most of the year," Nichols said.

How these changes will affect local operations and local jobs remains to be seen.

Goss International is headquartered in Durham. The company had about 700 national employees as of last April with most of them based in Durham, and 2,200 employees around the globe.

"My mission as CEO of this organization is to, number one, build stability in the organization and to grow the business, and I think all these activities will have some meaningful impact on the New Hampshire business," Nichols said.

In Europe, the company is looking to develop a unified pan-continental sales and service organization while undergoing a judicial reorganization process as a result of insolvency proceedings involving the company's French subsidiary, Goss International France.

Lastly, the company will look to continue diversifying its product portfolio to drive revenues in markets where the company's technology and engineering expertise give it a competitive edge.

Goss has already made inroads into the multibillion dollar packaging market and will continue to target growth in this industry.

"It is historically a very strong industry, which has different economic elements than traditional printing. It is more based on GDP, and the number of people in a country and presents an opportunity for us . to be a much broader player in that marketplace," Nichols said during a phone interview from France on Thursday.

He said the company is also looking at how it can align itself with the growing digital printing market.

"Those are two of the many beginnings to consider as opportunities to grow the business and provide more stability in the business in the long run," Nichols said.

He said the company needs to radically change the direction it has been taking and to simplify the organization globally, from back office operations to being more present in local markets.

"This transformation of the company and refocus on growth is critical for the future of our business. Goss has been through a decade of change, but I am confident we are near the end of that period," he added. "We have had to make some very difficult decisions, but these were absolutely necessary in light of the facts."

gmacalaster@newstote.com


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