Swift Ready To Celebrate

November 3, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — Mayor George Heartwell won't be the only noteworthy individual on hand at the gala that Swift Printing Co. will host this week, as Anthony Federico will also be there.

Federico is vice president of platform development for the Xerox Production Systems Group. He engineered the Xerox iGen3 110 Digital Production Press that Swift Printing added to its arsenal in July. On Thursday, the family-owned print shop is hosting an open house to celebrate the fact that they're the first printer in the area — and one of the first the nation — to put the press into production and raise its technological capability.

"Tony, one of the top 50 employees at Xerox, is kind of a legend at Xerox. Well, he and I just hit it off. Our anniversaries are on the same date. Our dads are the same age. And that was kind of my omen to buy this machine," said Walt Gutowski Jr., who owns Swift Printing with his dad, Walt Gutowski Sr., who founded the company with his wife, Lorraine, in 1955.

"He has become a good friend of mine and he is actually coming to the open house. I mean, this guy is in Japan one week and in Switzerland the next week," he added.

Federico has been with Xerox since 1968 and became a corporate vice president in 1998, when the company made him its chief engineer. He is the holder of 24 patents and won the President's Award and the Individual Excellence Award in 1991.

"To tell you how close I've gotten to the Xerox corporation, I spoke to CEO Anne Mulcahy at least four times while we were buying this. I don't think that happens too often. I had lunch with her last week in Chicago," said Gutowski.

Mulcahy heads the $15.7 billion technology and services company that is based in Stamford, Conn. Xerox is 142nd on the Fortune 500 and has more than 55,000 employees scattered across the planet. The company says its goal is to help businesses find better ways to work, and that holds true for Swift Printing.

"They have really taken us under their wings and are really helping us to be successful," said Gutowski.

Swift Printing bought the iGen3 100 in order to be able to produce a four-color order in just a day, an effort the company calls its "extreme turnaround program." But apparently the turnaround came swifter than the Gutowskis thought it would when they announced the program in January. They began using the press in July, and, well, they've turned around and moved on since then.

"We've kind of left the extreme turnaround thing because we're already doing it, and we're putting our time to getting well-versed with one-to-one pieces, where we actually personalize each piece," said Gutowski.

"This machine merges data from an Excel spreadsheet with all the graphics. It goes even further, in that you can change all the graphics."    

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