Bank On It
More than 130 U.S. banks have collapsed this year due to bad loans and a crippled economy.
The pace of bank failures exceeds that of 2009, which was already a brisk year for shutdowns with a total of 140, according to an Associated Press article published in October. By this time last year, regulators had closed 106 banks. The pace has accelerated as banks' losses mount on loans made for commercial property and development. Many companies have shut down in the recession, vacating shopping malls and office buildings financed by the loans. That has brought delinquent loan payments and defaults by commercial developers.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an independent agency that preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by insuring deposits in banks and thrift institutions, expects the cost of resolving failed banks to total around $52 billion from 2010 through 2014, according to the article.
Suffice it to say, banking isn't the best business to be in these days.
Allen J. Simon, president of Monaca, Pennsylvania-based trade manufacturer Datatel Resources Corporation, said those issues definitely are impacting his business. Datatel specializes in long run/high volume printing applications: 50" jumbo rolls (pre-printed and blank), laser cut sheets, long run custom forms and high color print utilizing UV drying. Nevertheless, the banking and financial industries remain the largest users of these products.
"Financial end-users are open to new suppliers who will provide stability and dependability in a marketplace being driven by many changes," Simon explained. "Financial and banking customers want to know that their suppliers are financially stable and will be there for them for the long term. This provides an opportunity for distributors and other re-sellers to aggressively partner with manufacturers like Datatel to pursue opportunities and win market shares that at one time [were] only reserved for the large direct companies."
In that same vein, Simon continued, "The current economic conditions force us to become an even more effective low-cost producer of our products. It has also demanded of us to take an even more aggressive and supportive sales position with our customers to help them earn the business that we can produce for years to come."
Regardless, Datatel constantly works to keep on top of clients' needs, including doing its part for sustainability. Datatel is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) label is a sign you are buying wood and paper products from a responsible source, backed by a rigorous, third-party certification audit.
And that's important, considering, Simon said, "The requirement for FSC and SFI Chain-of-Custody certification has grown in certain financial accounts that want to pursue the 'green' approach in their most visible documents such as customer statements."
Another important thing for customers is "flexibility and responsiveness." "It has become a requirement as it is not unusual to produce truckloads of product in a very short time frame of days instead of weeks," he noted.
Another positive is Datatel provides 100 percent clean rolls on many roll applications. Simon stated this improves data processing efficiencies tremendously and provides a "tangible selling point."
In addition, Datatel can produce 18 by 11 rolls two-wide up to two colors across its 36½" wide press.
"This 'two-wide' capability is unique amongst trade suppliers and caters to the growing trend in some applications to pre-print less while still requiring a certain level of customization such as perforating, tick marks or limited print," Simon added.
When it comes to the latest innovations in the banking/financial market, Simon said it has to be laser imaging. It continues to dictate the data processing requirements within this marketplace.
"The growing requirements for pre-printed 50" jumbo rolls and laser cut sheets continues to be strong. This is especially true for the production of monthly statements, quarterly reports, credit card carriers and shareholder communications documents. Many times the utilization of UV printing is required to optimize consistent print quality and the processing of the product. Additionally, the ability to provide product that processes "without a hitch" is imperative to earning continual business. These trends fit well with Datatel's core product strengths of jumbo rolls and cut sheets as well as our commitment to work with the customer to exceed productivity expectations."
Giving customers what they want isn't the only thing that sets Datatel apart from the others.
Simon said it's big picture thinking.
"We work with our distributor partners in a manner that recognizes the opportunity to acquire long-term contractual business. This requires a proactive approach to support and invest in the selling process and help our reseller partners earn the business hopefully for years to come. Datatel will work hard to find that competitive advantage that the other suppliers may not be thinking about or be unwilling to implement."
(The Associated Press article was published on Oct. 22.)