The Good Fight
Roger Buck, CDC, director of marketing, elaborated on specific features. "Sizes range from 2" to 24" in length, and many will have one or more value add features for either increasing the efficiency of the form and process or protecting the document from counterfeit attack," he noted. Other value-added extras include foil, integration and camera verification.
Buck is observing some interesting trends in the market, including chain of custody applications requiring 1-D and 2-D barcoding and verification. "This area demands a high degree of accuracy due to the nature of the items that are being tracked," he explained. "We see many applications for multiple barcode labels, integrated into a continuous form for tracking medications, tests, forensics, lab results and other areas where an unbroken history of contact is mandated."
Continuous forms have many benefits—just ask Westhoff. "[They offer] reliability, multiple copies with one pass through a printer, [they are] great POS forms when receipts are needed and they are cost-effective compared to ink cartridges," he mentioned. "With the large amount of printing machinery still on-line, those that do need continuous forms have found the price to remain fairly stable, making the use of continuous forms, especially [for] big users, a consistent value."
Still, with the good comes the bad. Sometimes, continuous forms are no match for the availability and abundance of laser printers. While Buck acknowledged the blow served by electronic forms and laser printers, he wanted to clear up some misconceptions for companies contemplating a transition to a laser format.
"If the client is considering moving to a laser format, there still needs to be a study of the information flow process," Buck insisted. "How will multiple copies, each with a different user, be handled? How much variable data is applied versus static print? Will switching create a loss of brand integrity? Will multiple printers be required to replace one multiple part form? What about toner cost and maintenance?"