Are Multipart Forms On the Outs?
Forms distributor aren't the least bit nervous about a decline in the sales of multipart forms.
Multipart forms are among the oldest of forms in this industry, but with the advent of the laser printer, they are quietly moving to the back of the line, and distributors don't seem a bit concerned.
Brandt Morrell, president and COO, Altec, Laguna Hills, Calif., spares no love for the antiquated forms. In fact, he considers them to be a necessary evil that is fortunately becoming less necessary. "They used to be the only way an individual could share certain information like purchase orders and invoices with another party, but that's changing with technology," he said.
Dan Rosswog, vice president of sales, western region, Consolidated Graphic Communications, Bridgeville, Pa., agreed that they're on the decline, and noted the economic impact that it's having on manufacturers and distributors alike. "Currently, the number of companies that can print multipart forms exceeds the demand, so the plants just aren't as busy as they've historically been," he said. "And as manufacturers lose this business, prices increase for distributors."
These distributors cite laser printer technology as the culprit behind the initial decline in multipart forms. Advanced technology has paved the way for intelligent electronic forms, document imaging and automated output management solutions, replacing the need for hard copy output.
With this shift towards e-documents, Altec has sought ways to provide clients with means of storing and distributing information electronically. One of its solutions is Doc-route, which allows a user to distribute information to various departments electronically, on paper or both.
Morrell added that since Doc-route allows a form to be sent electronically, it eliminates the cost of the paper, envelopes, postage and handling that would be required of a mailed multipart form, and it arrives at its destination within seconds.