Serving The Global Customer p.15

By: MARK FITZGERALD GOSS GRAPHIC SYSTEMS has new owners, a new name and a new logo.
It also has a new focus on customer service and global technology, its president says.
"We are not an engineering company ? we are a customer-driven company," Goss President Robert M. Kuhn said.
In a wide-ranging interview at this year's Nexpo ? the first time at the newspaper industry trade show for both renamed and independent Goss and its president ? Kuhn and other Goss executives repeatedly returned to two themes: serving customers better and creating products for a global market.
"We are not going to force people into technology," Kuhn said.
Goss, which both manufactures and sells in the Americas, in Europe and in Asia, is emphasizing a global design approach that accommodates local markets.
A good example is the Goss Global Newsliner, a new model of the Newsliner press that was introduced at Nexpo. Among other changes from the Newsliner, this press offers three inking options: an open fountain, digital injection system or its ColorFlow positive-feed keyless system.
"We're an open fountain inker in Europe for a reason, and an injection inker in the Americas for a reason . . . and in Asia we offer a mix of the two ? for a reason," Kuhn said.
As an example of customer service, Kuhn said Goss is putting renewed emphasis on product support.
"All of us [press manufacturers] let that slip," Kuhn said. "In a very thin market, everybody is selling against each other, and some of us forgot there's another part of the market beyond selling the original equipment."
In fact, Kuhn said, product support has been the topic customers have raised most frequently with him in recent weeks.
"They all say after-market support is very important to us: 'Please don't forget product support,' " Kuhn said.
Interestingly, what customers are not talking about, Kuhn says, is the $600 million sale of what was once Rockwell Graphic Systems to Stonington Partners Inc., a New York investment firm. The sale was announced in April and is expected to close soon.
Kuhn, a former aerospace and automotive executive who was appointed president of Rockwell Graphic Systems last October, has a major financial stake in the company.
Taking Goss independent from Rockwell International Corp. was the main attraction of taking the Rockwell Graphic Systems job, Kuhn said.
"When I came aboard in October, the possibilities of a spinoff were very apparent," he said. "This was an opportunity to not only manage the process but lead an independent company."
Like the aerospace and automotive industries, Kuhn said, publishing involves an engineered product ? and "very provocative customers."
With its 111-year history, substantial market share in a wide variety of printing products and "a lot of goodwill in the marketplace," Kuhn feels good about Goss' future on its own.
"Several of our competitors are private companies, and Goss' returning to being a private company now is not a surprise," Kuhn said. "They've always thought of us as being Goss and now being a standalone [seems] very natural to them.
?("When I came aboard in October, the possibilities
of a spinoff were very apparent. This was an
opportunity to not only manage the process but lead an independent
company.") [Caption]
?(? Robert M. Kuhn, Goss Graphic Systems president) [Photo]


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