C & C Offset Printing Co (C & C) has been awarded the 1996 Hong Kong Award for Industry: Productivity and the 1996 Industry Department Certificate of Merit in Quality. The company is a subsidiary of C & C Joint Printing Co (HK) and produces a wide range of books, calendars, postcards and albums. 'We are extremely pleased to receive the awards. They are a big event for all Hong Kong manufacturers,' said Zhuang Xian Qing, C & C director and general manager. The company's mission statement says it is committed to achieving first-class quality, service, management and results. Mr Zhuang said the pursuit of quality management was a never-ending process which had been central to the company's success. C & C carries out its printing according to customer requirements at its plant in Tung Lai Road, Tai Po. There are about 200 staff at the 14,000-square-metre plant which was occupied in 1992 after a $150-million investment. Mr Zhuang said the company had experienced tremendous growth in its overseas sales. 'C & C was founded to supply printing and binding for local customers,' he said. 'But Hong Kong is small, so we have expanded into the international market. More than 60 per cent of our sales are now in the United States, Europe and Japan.' From 1987 to 1995, overall sales rose by 300 per cent but overseas sales increased by 3,000 per cent. C & C maintains a network of 32 sales offices in the US and, last year, opened an office in Tokyo. In 1994, after an 18-month process, it became the first book printer in Hong Kong to be awarded ISO 9002 by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Association. The company's attention to detail, efficiency and overall productivity have resulted in several notable awards, including the Hong Kong Urban Council and Trade Development Council awards for the best produced books in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong print awards. Mr Zhuang said the company had paid great attention to quality as it had expanded. 'We have won more than 100 awards. The awards themselves are important but it is most important that we keep our books and other products up to the highest quality.' C & C Joint Printing has a policy of integrated strategic planning and continuous development. At the end of last year, the company was one of 10 in Hong Kong to participate in a Total Quality Management (TQM) pilot programme. Self-assessment has been carried out and directions for further improvement formulated. Employees have trained in TQM and ISO techniques since last year and they are rated for their performance in relation to the two systems. Computerisation reduced cycle times by 50 per cent last year and optimum use is made of the workforce through hi-tech fork-lifts and a pile turner. An old case-binding machine has been re-integrated into the production system and the graphic reproduction process has been restructured to handle the most up-to-date techniques. It is an environmentally friendly company which cares for the health of its workers as well as its impact on the community. It has cut waste paper by 43 per cent through carrying out ISO COPS (company operation procedures). Chemical waste disposal is handled by a qualified dumping agent and waste paper and plate are recycled through dealers. A substantial investment has been made in air-conditioning and ventilation at the Tai Po plant.