Economic Development News

Command Web celebrates 20 years in Jefferson City
Published: Thursday, December 11, 2014 4:00 pm
By: Shaun Sappenfield

There’s a printing company located on the eastern edge of Jefferson City, just off of Militia Drive, that you may have never heard of - Command Web Missouri.  Even their name is a little vague as to who they are and what they produce, but the majority of households across America probably possess at least one of their products.  Command Web provides printing and binding services for paperback books and provides millions of books to their largest customers Scholastic, Inc., Disney, Hachette Book Group and John Wiley.  The majority of their customers publish juvenile and young adult books including top selling series such as Harry Potter, Hunger Games and the Dummies® series of computer/software training manuals. 

Command Web originated in New Jersey in 1971, where the company continues to operate various printing related businesses.  In 1994, Command Web expanded in Jefferson City by building a new high-volume book manufacturing facility designed to service book distribution facilities located in the Midwest.  Command Web broke ground in May, 1994 with a 130,000 square foot facility operating two shifts and employing 50 full-time positions.  In their first year of production, Command Web produced 100 million books. 

Command Web Facts:
Business Type - Paperback book manufacturing, serving juvenile & educational book publishers
Provides - printing, binding & shipping of up to 1 million books/day
Well-known titlesHarry PotterHunger GamesDummies Series
Plant converts approximately 1 million lbs of paper into finished books each week
Timeline:
1994 New Plant Start-up
* $25 million investment  * 130,000 sq. feet  *50 employees 
* One roll/web fed printing press, bindery equip., sheet-fed press
        
1996 - Expansion
* $10 million investment   * addition of 25,000 sq. ft.
* Second web press & binding line    * 100 employees
2002 - Expansion
* $10 million investment  * addition of 30,000 sq. ft.,
* Third web press & additional bindery equipment  
* 150 employees
2009 - Expansion
* $20 million investment   * Addition of 45,000 sq. ft.
* Fourth web press, bindery equipment, new sheetfed press
* Total employment - 200
 

Since 1994, Command Web has experienced three separate expansion projects with their most recent expansion coming in 2009, coupled with expansions in 1996 and 2002.   In 1996, Command Web added 25,000 sq. ft. to accommodate a second web press, installed a second major binding line and total employment rose to 100 positions.  Command Web added a third shift after their 2002 expansion which increase total employment to 150 full-time positions and added an additional 30,000 sq. ft. and a third web press.  In 2009, Command Web embarked on their largest expansion project since breaking ground in 1994.  Their third expansion added 45,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space to accommodate new bindery equipment, raw material, work-in-progress and needed shipping space.  Shortly thereafter, employment peaked at 200 and continues to be maintained today. 

“We have experienced positive growth in Jefferson City over the years even as the printing industry is experiencing extreme competition, recent industry consolidations and excess equipment capacity,” said Chris Huckleberry, General Manager.  “We have maintained our competitiveness by providing high quality products and quick turnaround times for our customers.” 

In May of this year, Command Web celebrated 20 years of operation in Jefferson City and currently produces, on average, one million books per day.  In October, Command Web reached a milestone of 3 billion books produced – and yes, that’s 3 billion with a “b”.  For the past 20 years, Command Web has not only produced billions of books for young readers around the world but has also pumped millions of dollars in wages into the local economy.  The company’s slogan is very fitting, “Your wish is our COMMAND.

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