Business forms are not dead—they are simply succumbing to old age. But, like fading celebrities still craving the limelight, some of the former workplace heroes are reinventing themselves. An affixed product here, a slick redesign there, perhaps some variable imaging and a smidgen of color or even an ultra-hip electronic makeover—these are a few ways seemingly extinct business forms have reclaimed some of their glory.
Undoubtedly, the numbers are declining, yet statistics show forms continue to be a driving force for manufacturer and distributor sales. So, which business forms products are still holding their own and what types of applications are they serving?
Richard Kline, vice president of distributor sales for Datatel, Monaca, Pa., observed a lot of the pre-printed products that used to run carton-to-carton have evolved into roll-to-roll formats. “Jumbo roll applications are growing, particularly for data processing and direct mail imaging within fulfillment houses and service bureaus,” he said. “Jumbo roll processing systems continue to be on the rise for things like monthly and quarterly statement processing, direct mail components requiring post-press imaging, checks and security document production.”
Still, marketplace changes will inevitably continue to impact forms, and Rick Vullo, customer service manager for Dallas-based Hospital Forms & Systems (HFS), sees use of narcotic control sets, for one, declining. However, he also commented on new looks and redesigns for long-established products bolstering their longevity. For example, integrated labels on laser-compatible cut sheets are being updated with pattern adhesives for improved performance. “Pattern adhesives provide flat, even stacking for fewer reloads in high-speed laser printers, and they eliminate adhesive oozing, which contaminates the
machines,” he explained. In addition to the health-care market, HFS manufactures pattern adhesive products for a wide variety of business operations, including distribution centers and mail order houses.
Certainly, privacy and security concerns have created new opportunities for value-added forms products, including the confidential sign-in logs HFS provides. One design features detachable, shingled tickets which patients fill out and detach, while a security screen on the first of the two-part log sheet prevents patient information from being viewed.
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