Check Out Check Products
Educate customers about value-added features for profit-boosting results.
One product that distributors know will be in constant de-mand from customers is checks.
Although there may be fluctuations in the type of check products (continuous vs. laser, for instance), the product itself is still a necessity, say manufacturers. "Checks are growing every year," said Sandy Horner, president of Diversiform Software Compatible Checks, Alexandria, Va. Despite the economy's ups and downs, businesses still need to pay employees and suppliers, she said. "The dollar amount on the checks might change, but they still need the checks."
Product niches within the category reflect customers' desire for convenience. Continuous checks are declining as customers move to cut-sheet and value-added products, said Bill Reid, Printegra's director of marketing.
Horner echoed that assessment, adding, "We say continuous is losing ground, but my purchase of continuous stock is holding steady." Orders lost or converted to cut-sheets seem to be compensated for by new orders on a fairly even basis, she noted.
Add Value and Profits
Reid outlined another trend that Printegra has seen that can result in greater profits. "We have seen a consistent movement by distributors to add value to check products by upgrading the level of document security and/or fraud protection," he said. Features include those integrated into the paper, such as toner grip, artificial and true watermarks, and chemical sensitivity. Printed features such as thermochromatic ink, void pantographs, microprinting and warning borders are also popular. "Over 80 percent of the check business we get is a repeat for that distributor. Previously, distributors would often quote only on a customer's existing check and features," Reid said. "Now, our distributors want to know all of the options that are available so that they can propose the best solution for their customers."
He suggested that distributors provide customers with an annual review to determine if their current check product serves their needs or if an upgrade is in order. The manufacturer offers a variety of support materials to aid in the selling process, such as samples and end-user informational brochures.