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Manufacturing productivity gains at DST Output in Northern California

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 19, 2008

Last month DST Output celebrated its selection as one of Industry Week Magazine's "Top 10 Best Plants" in North America.  CMTA president, Jack Stewart, and I attended the facility-wide celebration at their plant in El Dorado Hills, California.

DST Output provides integrated print and electronic billing statements to many of the country's largest financial services, communications, healthcare, and utilities companies.

DST Output's Top 10 accolade was impressive but it was their exponential and jaw-dropping productivity growth over the last four years that gave me pause and once again made me ponder the old mantra, productivity gains = unemployment.

Get this:   DST Output's facility in El Dorado Hills is printing more than 32 million images a day .... and those are all variable images with complex and different billing data on each one.  This was unheard of in the industry just four years ago when DST output was printing only 17 million images a day.  Even more, these increased images are printed on fewer printers.  90 fewer to be exact -- down to 10 from 100.   I asked what happened to the number of employees.  Guess what.   They actually remained about the same ... possibly even added a few.  Go figure.  

Simply put, in four years, they nearly doubled production, used 90 percent less machines and at least kept the same amount of employees.

This is a reminder that California companies are doing more with less, and keeping our economy going with good paying technical careers.  More product ... more training ... less waste.   More technology ... less consumer product cost.

We need to do everything we can to supply our new and existing lean manufacturers with a skilled and ready workforce and, during the current economic downturn, we need to make sure the State's  business costs compete with the rest of the nation so more California workers can find family-wage jobs like the one's at DST Output.

Read Industry Week's write up

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