Cut-Sheet Products Continue to Rise
Laser printer technology plus creative form designs equal new opportunities for distributors and end-users.
It's been many years since laser printers infiltrated the print market and began affecting the buying behaviors of end-users. Since the modern equipment came on the scene, dot matrix printers became passé, and soon everyone wanted in on the new trend. As a direct result, cut-sheet products became increasingly popular, while continuous forms experienced a, well, continuous slump.
While this is old news for some, it's still big news for many others in the business forms industry. According to those interviewed and many others, there are end-users out there still making the switch from dot matrix to laser, only now they tend to include a growing number of small companies—those who can afford the equipment once only purchased by larger companies with big budgets.
Products in Demand
This influx of smaller-company business, combined with usual orders, has increased the sales of both traditional and not-so-traditional cut-sheet products for many companies.
For instance, Robert Harmison, president of Team Forms, Phoenix, indicated that, for him, the demand for cut-sheet checks is growing by leaps and bounds. "Smaller businesses can now afford programs to print checks on laser printers," he said. "I've noticed that the quantities have been dropping. So, instead of 5,000 continuous, I'll get more frequent orders for 2,000 laser checks, which helps end-users keep down inventory."
Sandra Shepard, marketing manager, DFS Business Group, Townsend, Mass., has experienced the same rise in demand for checks, particularly since DFS produces checks compatible with more than 2,000 software packages.
But, not only are smaller businesses taking advantage of the efficiency of cut-sheet checks, but they're also going for the efficiency of products such as integrated forms and pressure-seal mailers.
"Our manufacturing niche has traditionally been short-run, fast-turnaround checks, forms and spot-color commercial print cut-sheets, but we're also offering specialty products now, such as integrated form/label pieces and pressure-seal mailers," said Bill Reid, director of marketing, Printegra, Peachtree City, Ga. "Even small companies are taking advantage of the efficiency our specialty products offer."