Due to its security-enhancing elements, such as the four-sided Z-fold seal, pressure-seal technology has been embraced for documents like tax forms, earning statements and rebate checks, and Day remarked this is still a strong, developing area for distributors.
She also suggested targeting implant printers, mailing professionals, service bureaus and equipment dealers. “One of the greatest misconceptions a lot of people still have is that the cohesive is going to melt in the printer. Some distributors also mistakenly believe their customers wouldn’t want pressure-seal or that it is too expensive and complicated and involves a longer sale cycle,” commented Day.
As for electronic forms, they need not be harbingers of doom and gloom concerning distributors’ profitability. According to Omar Ayala, account executive for NowDocs International, Brea, Calif., e-forms entered the marketplace in 1980 as a replacement for traditional, pre-printed forms. They were part of the document imaging management space, helping people move away from multi-part dot matrix forms. “In terms of it being a replacement for pre-printed documents, e-form technology has matured. The emphasis now is on further developing document management and archival options, as well as digital copying and workflow functions,” he said. “Today, e-forms offer greater integration, and there are module systems that easily add functionality to existing set ups.”
Ayala went on to say once a system has been installed, distributors can still enjoy repeat profitability from consumables revenue, whether it’s special MICR toner, blank security stock or laser sheets printed with a customer’s logo. “The customer may be using an electronic form to replace a multi-part form, but distributors can still offer canary, pink and blue paper to those who need the different looks and feels the multi-parts offer,” he suggested.
Paper-intensive distribution and manufacturing environments are gravitating to e-forms, and Ayala noted there are many vertical markets within human resources, accounting, shipping and receiving that find e-forms quite appealing. “There may be some lingering notions within the marketplace that e-forms are too expensive and involve difficult installations, but this is overcome with education,” continued Ayala. “Most environments can benefit from e-forms. Customers save on ink and labor charges to have forms printed and stored, and eliminate obsolescence. There are hard and soft savings associated with [e-forms] everywhere.”
Related story: State of the Industry 2007