Are Financial Sales Secure?
The financial market demands a full array of services in addition to quality products.
Mergers, acquisitions, outsourcing and new technology are just some trends distributors must follow in order to stay competitive in the financial forms business. More often than not, maintaining a lucrative business involves branching out from traditional sales—financial institutions want more than just standard stationery and bank notices, they also want special needs items and products using the latest technology. In other words, they want total fulfillment.
When Michael Sampietro president of Sampietro Enterprises, Memphis, Tenn., started his business he saw the writing on the wall. "I realized that just selling business forms was not going to make money," said Sampietro. "Gone are the days of continuous statements, and computer paper is also declining."
With 20 percent of its sales from financial forms printing—customers include banks and large distribution clientele—Sampietro Enterprises offers financial institutions laser checks, continuous checks, MICR encoded forms, copy and computer paper, laminated pieces and manuals. The company is also heavily involved in commercial printing—including four-color process and digital manuals.
"It's a good market for repeat business," said Sampietro, "but all of it is driven by great customer service."
"We sell every consumable item a financial institution needs," said Patrick McMahon, president of Forms Plus, Scranton, Pa.
McMahon noted that the company supplies everything from forms, envelopes, stationery, computer forms and pens and pencils to toner cartridges, coin wraps, janitorial supplies, lollipops and promotional products. "But offering a plethora of products doesn't matter if you don't have great customer service," he emphasized.
McMahon services more than 60 financial institutions. "Our customers range in sales from $100 million to $2 million, but our target market is community banks."
Outsourcing has been a large part of Forms Plus' success. According to McMahon, "Banks are turning away from traditional forms and converting to imaging. They send us an image of a check and we print the order. Anyone can sell envelopes and labels, but outsourcing has become our specialty."