Zion: At par with the big players and going strong

There will be no changing the trajectory for Zion Accuprint Publishing Inc.

At 10 years young, the company has surprised even itself with the realization that it has been able to establish parity with the big players in the printing industry in a relatively short time.

It was a goal it has set its sights early on certainly, like a hunter glued to its prey. But that it could be realized in quite a brief stretch may be described as amazing.

General Manager Olivia D. Velasco cites several factors that clinched it for the company. On top of the list is the dedication of people working with Zion.

“They are our No. 1 asset because of their passion and love for the work,” she said.

The company also took care its suppliers were paid promptly. “I do not recall a single bouncing check returned to the office,” she said.

A satisfied clientele helped spread the word and soon the company began to establish a solid reputation for reliability and quality of work. “It exceeded our expectations,” she added.

For this year’s anniversary celebration, Ms. Velasco said the theme “Fierce and fearless” encapsulates the company’s zeal and passion to excel.

“If we were not aggressive we would not have reached this far,” she said. “That said, we also recognize there is still room for improvement.”

Here is how Zion came about, courtesy of Lorie A. Cascaro:

“Before Zion Accuprint Publishing, Inc. joined the publishishing industry and proved to be a competitive player, there was Olivia Velasco, a lady who already had years of experience in the business as general manager of another publishing company.

Velasco was not content being employed in a business which she had come to believe she could run better if she was the boss. She decided to reinvent herself within her forte.

That was when she opted for early retirement to follow her longtime dream, which was to establish her own company, Zion Accuprint Publishing, Inc.

As it turned out, Velasco was not venturing into the unknown. Her vast experience in the business proved valuable. Her 23 years in publishing helped her overcome the hurdles that usually stand in the way of starting up a business as she ventured into her expertise.

“Capitalization was a challenge, but thanks to friends and the network I developed through the years, I was able to assemble a team and the basic equipment needed to start a publishing venture,” she said. It had been decided that the best way to begin, was to start small and grow from there.

“The little money that we pooled together was augmented by friends and network connection. Being a member of PIADI is also a big help,” she said, referring to the multi-purpose printing industry cooperative.

With her huge experience in the “ins and outs” of the business, Zion invested in the right machines, giving Zion the advantage of a more advanced technology than that of her former company.

On April 21, 2007, Zion was launched with a team of five persons headed by Velasco.

Only a year after, the Edge Davao weekly business paper was born, with Antonio M. Ajero as editor in chief, winning journalistic awards along the way and, after four years, has transformed itself into a daily.

Publication is Zion’s core competence, Velasco bared, adding that the management is prudent while maximizing with a lean, but mean, organization.

“We give incentives to our employees. Asset gyud ang workforce,” she said.

Aside from the two color machines, Zion acquired a multi-million computer-to-plate (CTP) machine to cater its own needs.

After five years, the publishing house has increased its capacity by three-fold. It has established clientele in printing and publication.

Its clients and business partners include multinational and local companies such as Camella, SM City Davao, Kisan Lu, Abreeza Mall, Santos Land, DMCI and other big companies and non-government organizations.

Cheree Pajarillaga, an awardee of the company for her five years service, has witnessed the fast growth of Zion from its infancy.

“Sa five years, gikan sa gamay nga collection hangtud sa first million peso nga naresibuhan nako,” she said, admitting her blooper on the first million-peso receipt she issued as she was only used to hundreds of pesos.

Responsible for accounting, delivery and collection, Pajarillaga, fondly called “Buga” by officemates, was one of the pioneers of Zion, together with Zaldy Nemenzo, Rogelia Mamaed, Imelda Lee and Velasco.

“I learned that it is not easy to achieve your goals. Paghirapan gyud nimo kay sama sa Zion, nagsugod gyud mi nga dili sayun as not all things come on a silver platter,” she said.

She has been motivated to excel in her field of expertise, especially that the “boss” (Velasco) manages her people with a personal touch.

“Tanang klaseng bonus naa. Gikan sa bugas padulong sa tambal. From 13th to 14th month pay naa,” she said.

Buga has woven her dreams along with Zion’s, seeing herself advance in life as the company progresses.

Having seen how the company has developed, she said, five years from now Zion will have its own building, and will become one of the top players in the industry.

“Ang mga tao diri well-trained kay dili lang siya sa job description. Multi-tasking diri. Gwapo nga training ground. Kung wala ang isa, makapadayon gihapon kay kabalo ang tanan sa tanang trabahuon,” she said.

Zion has been the training ground for machine operator Zaldy Nemenzo as well, also a five-year service awardee.

Coming from different printing companies for years, Nemenzo has remained with Zion ever since.

The company is strict in implementing quality and prudence, and he can attest to that.

“Sa amo pa lang daan dili na makapasa imong trabaho, unsaon na lang sa customer? Charge gyud na sa akoa kung mamali,” he said.

However, he admits that he was disciplined and trained with precision and efficiency, especially when Zion started printing Edge Davao daily.

But, it was not really a problem to him at all working on both commercial printing and daily newspaper.

Walay problema basta wala lang koy waiting time. Dako na kaayo ang isa ka oras nga wala pay plate,” he said, adding that he was the only operator for a year before Edge Davao hit the streets.

Comparing himself to fellow operators in other companies, he said working in Zion is quite an advantage as he has to deal with delicate tasks every day.

Delikado permanente. Basta mga delikado nga trabahuon, dili na na bag-o sa amoa. Lahi man sa uban, magtira silag resibo unom ka bulan, resibo ra. Kung naay colored mokalit og abot, siyempre mawala ka sa rhythm nga pang commercial nga tirada. Ang instruction gani sa amoa bisan dyaryo dapat commercial gani ang quality. Dili kay dyaryo nga lamo-lamo lang basta madisplay,” he said.”

Zaldyboy Nemenzo, awardee for having served the company for five years said he particularly like five things about the company:

  1. “Naanad na mi sa sistema (We have been accustomed to the system.
  2. “Maka diretso og istorya sa tagdumula o tag-iya (We can talk directly with managements or the owners)
  3. Zion uses modern equipment and technology
  4. Close na nako ang mga kauban sa trabaho. (I enjoy the close camaraderie and cooperation with my fellow workers)
  5. “Sure Ball ang suweldo (Salary is always on time)

Cheree “Boga”  P. Pajarillla,  awardee for having served a total of 10 years with Zion Accuprint Publishing, Inc. Interviewed, she bared that the best things that happened to her during the years with Zion, include:

  1. I have developed confidence in myself, after meeting so many new friends and acquaintances at the rate of 10 to 20 people a year.
  2. I feel that my co-workers and officemates are my extended family; no hassle at all.
  3. It was during my employment with Zion that I acquired a house and lot; partner na lang ang kulang.
  4. The company gives me an opportunity to travel; and
  5. It was during my employment here that I gained 200 pounds because I am happy and satisfied.

Everly “En-en”F. Codino, awardee for having served 5 years, is happy because:

  1. Pay has never been delayed.
  2. Hard work is rewarded by the company in so many ways,
  3. “We get the full benefits under the law and even beyond”

“You can say, this is the reason I stayed long in the company.”

  1. It was during my employment with the company that I got married and started building a family with my loving husband and my cute son.

Agustin “Dodoy” Miagan Jr., awardee for 5 years of service to Edge Davao:

  1. Management is considerate and kind
  2. Salary is always on time.
  3. Co-workers are kind and cooperative.
  4. I love my work as circulation-in-charge
  5. All the workers benefits are given by the company.