RR Donnelley provides a range of communications and printing products and services to ensure that its clients can effectively communicate their ideas and products to end-users around the world.
RR Donnelley organises its operations into five reportable business segments:
Publishing and Retail Services, which publishes and manufactures magazines, catalogues, retail inserts, books, directories, and packaging;
Variable Print, which operates short-run and transactional printing operations, including commercial and digital print, office products, direct mail, labels, statement printing, forms, and packaging;
Strategic Services, which provides logistics services, financial print products and related services, print management offerings, digital and creative solutions, and book publishing;
International, which comprises the Company’s non-U.S. printing operations in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Canada, offering publishing of magazines, catalogues, retail inserts, books, directories, direct mail, packaging, forms, labels, manuals, statement printing, commercial and digital print, and the provision of logistics services and digital and creative solutions; and
Corporate, which comprises the Company’s unallocated selling, general and administrative activities.
RR Donnelley traces its roots back to 1864 and Richard Robert Donnelley’s (“Donnelley”) establishment of a print shop in Chicago. The shop began printing operations immediately, but activities were disrupted after the shop was burned down in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The shop was rebuilt in 1873 and resumed operations. Donnelley’s business began to make a name for itself printing telephone directories in the 1880s, and in 1890 the Company was officially incorporated under the RR Donnelly and Sons name.
Throughout the 20th Century RR Donnelly expanded its operations, opening new facilities across the US and abroad, and making several strategic acquisitions. The Company has also diversified its operations to cover a broad spectrum of corporate communications needs, including digital products and services, serving a wide range of commercial and public clients.
RR Donnelley is one of the largest specialist communications and printing companies in the world. It is ranked 255th on the Fortune 500 lists and is placed 1,957th on the Forbes Global 2000 list. The Company trades a portion of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange and has a current market capitalisation of $1.12 billion.
Business model of RR Donnelley
RR Donnelley provides a broad range of communications solutions to companies across all segments of the private and public sector. On its website, the Company lists several core industries in which it targets clients:
Automotive, creating marketing and other external communications for automotive manufacturing companies;
Industrial Manufacturing, providing various specialist packaging and labelling service to manufacturers of appliances, chemicals, construction equipment, electronics, medical devices, testing equipment, and other products;
Insurance, offering multi-channel communication services to small, medium, and large insurance providers and specialist insurers;
Pharmaceutical, providing cGMP-compliant packaging labels to pharmaceutical manufacturing companies and distributors;
Consumer Goods, providing packaging and labelling services to various consumer goods companies, including food and beverage producers, confectioners, and others;
Non-Profit, offering various communications services to non-profits, charitable organisations, and community foundations; and
Government, offering a full suite of communications services to local, state, and federal government bodies, as well as various public institutions.
RR Donnelley’s core market is its native US. The Company, however, also serves an international customer base spanning overseas markets in North America, Asia, and Europe.
RR Donnelley provides value to its customers in the following ways:
Its reputation and industry standing, with the Company established as leading provider of communications services, both domestically and internationally, serving a number of high-profile clients around the world;
Its international reach, with the Company serving a large customer base across Asia, the Americas, and Europe in addition to its large domestic customer base in the US;
Its portfolio of offerings, with the Company offering a diverse range of communications products and services, including digital and print publishing, labelling, packaging, and other related services, catering to the needs of numerous sectors;
Its industry expertise and experience, with the Company having considerable experience of its market and the likely issues it may face, employing specialist personnel and experienced industry executives.
RR Donnelley operates a website at www.rrdonnelley.com, through which it provides information on its various products and services, target industries, and corporate activities. The Company does not operate an online sales platform, but does provide its clients with an online portal through which they are able to manage and track orders.
RR Donnelly makes its sales through an in-house direct sales force which deals directly with the Company’s clients. These sales personnel operate out of the Company’s various offices and facilities located across the US, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe. The Company operates its own publishing and printing facilities through which client orders are completed.
RR Donnelley’s products are distributed to end-users through the US or foreign postal services, through retail channels, electronically or by direct shipment to customer facilities. Through its logistics operations, the Company manages the distribution of most customer products printed by the Company in the US and Canada to maximize efficiency and reduce costs for customers.
RR Donnelley does not sell products to customers on a self-service basis. It does, however, offer a client portal that enables customers to view order histories and manage their transactions.
RR Donnelley makes its sales after direct consultation with clients, in order to establish the exact brief and requirements of each individual client communication, and ensure that every product and service meets the customer’s needs. The Company principally makes sales to customers on a project-by-project basis.
RR Donnelley provides support to its customers, who are able to contact members of the appropriate team or office over the phone. Customers are also able to make more general enquiries through an online contact form via the RR Donnelley website. The Company additionally operates social media accounts, including with Twitter and LinkedIn, through which it is able to interact directly with existing and prospective clients.
RR Donnelley creates, manages, produces, distributes and processes content on behalf of its customers to ensure effective communications.
The Company operates through five reportable business segments: Publishing and Retail Services, offers products such as magazines, catalogues, retail inserts, directories and packaging; Variable Print, which offers products such as commercial and digital print, direct mail, office products, labels, statement printing, forms and packaging; Strategic Services, which provides logistics services, financial print products, print management offerings, and creative solutions; International, which covers the Company’s international printing and publishing operations; and Corporate, which is concerned with other corporate activities. RR Donnelley serves an international client base across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
RR Donnelley works in close collaboration with a broad network of companies and organisations, in order to ensure that the need of its clients are met efficiently and effectively. These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:
Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of raw materials, principally paper and ink, that is used in the Company’s printing processes, as well as suppliers of services, technologies, and equipment that are used more broadly across the enterprise;
Distribution and Logistics Partners, comprising various distribution and logistics service providers that assist the Company in delivering the Company’s products to clients and end-users; and
Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising market-leading companies across multiple sectors, with which the Company collaborates on various branding, marketing, and other joint projects.
RR Donnelley has launched a number of partnerships in recent years. This includes a tie-up with Adobe to deliver multi-channel communications solutions, a partnership with Context Labs to bring blockchain technology to the publishing industry, and a strategic partnership with Mediant Communications.
RR Donnelley’s key resources are its intellectual properties, its raw materials and supply chain, its printing and publishing facilities, its sales and distribution infrastructure, its IT and communications infrastructure, its partnerships, and its personnel.
RR Donnelley owns and number of intellectual properties that are utilised in its printing and publishing processes. Searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified a number of patent applications filed in RR Donnelley’s name, including applications entitled ‘Electrolyte material composition and method’, ‘Method of measurement of aromatic varnish application’ and ‘Sealed cards and methods of producing the same’.
RR Donnelley also owns a network of key physical properties across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe. This comprises 368 US facilities and 137 international facilities, including warehouses, offices, distribution centres, and printing facilities.
RR Donnelley incurs costs in relation to the procurement of raw materials – namely ink and paper, the procurement of services, the operation of its printing and publishing facilities, the operation of its sales and distribution channels, the management of its partnerships, the implementation of marketing campaigns, the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, and the retention of its personnel.
RR Donnelley generates revenue through the provision of various printing, publishing, and other communications products and services. The Company principally derives revenue via sales contracts and in the form of related service fees.
In 2015 RR Donnelley recorded total net sales for the year in the amount of $11.26 billion, down slightly on the $11.60 billion recorded by the Company in 2014. The bulk of these sales, around $9.32 billion, was attributed to product sales, with the remainder attributed to service sales. The Company’s largest revenue generator was its Variable Print segment which alone accounted for 33.4% of the Company’s consolidated net sales in 2015.
President and Chief Executive Officer
info: Daniel Knotts (“Knotts”) has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at RR Donnelley since 2016. He oversees the overall strategic direction of the Company. He also serves as a member of the Company’s board of Directors. Knotts is a long-serving RR Donnelley employee, having first joined the Company in 1986. He held positions of increasing responsibility within finance, operations, sales management and business unit leadership at various locations in the US. From 1998 he went on to hold senior leadership positions, beginning with a spell as Senior Vice President of Operations for the Magazine Business, followed by periods as President of the Specialized Publishing Services business, President of the Magazine, Catalogue and Retail businesses, and Chief Operating Officer for Global Print Solutions.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
info: Terry Peterson (“Peterson”) has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at RR Donnelley since 2016. He is responsible for leading the Company’s various financial functions across its global operating divisions. Peterson is an experienced finance executive. He began his career in various finance and audit roles at Ecolab Inc, Provell Inc, Jostens Inc, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP. In 2004 he joined Deluxe Corporation, where he held a series of senior leadership positions before joining RR Donnelley. This includes spells as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Investor Relations and Chief Accounting Officer, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, and Director of Internal Audit.
Chief Information Officer
info: Ken O’Brien (“O’Brien”) has served as Chief Information Officer at RR Donnelley since 2004. He oversees the Company’s global infrastructure and computing operations as well as the development and management of business systems platforms. O’Brien was Chief Information Officer at Wallace Computer Services from 1995 to 2000, when the company was acquired by Moore, forming MooreWallace. O’Brien worked at MooreWallace for several years, until it was acquired by RR Donnelley in 2002, following which he took on senior positions at RR Donnelley.