John H. Harland Co. said it will restructure its operations, eliminating 100 of its 5,500 jobs.

The Atlanta-based check printer, which in recent years had expanded into offering marketing and loan software, said it will divide its printing operations into three geographic regions. Each will be responsible for manufacturing, sales, customer support, and administration.

"Decentralization puts decision-making closer to the customer," said Timothy C. Tuff, who became president and chief executive officer of Harland in October. "By dividing the company into manageable business units, we increase responsiveness to our customers without sacrificing major efficiencies gained over the last few years."

Harland also said it will create a software division consisting of its marketing unit in Orlando and its loan compliance business in Denver. The company earned $527.9 million in 1997, down 14% from a year earlier.

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