The printed form is no stranger to criticism. But while tech enthusiasts may claim that print is on its way out, companies are still finding ways to produce strong business. According to Jeff Russell, president of Major Business Systems Inc., Hillsborough, N.C., creative thinking and perseverance can have a big payoff in the continuous and multipart forms sector. "[...] The continuous forms market still represents a viable segment that offers opportunity if you are willing to pursue niches with unique approaches," Russell said. "New technology has portrayed our industry as 'dying' with their aggressive marketing and, unfortunately, we have not countered this. Cost per unit efficiencies still prove that the form does add value on annual business system cost analysis."
Follow the Trends
Continuous and multipart forms might not have the same charms as Apple's latest mobile device, but that's not stopping suppliers from coming up with different ways to add value. Major Business Systems, for example, has been turning to integrated products. "Our approach has been to address niche markets with a value-added focus," Russell said. "We are layering the traditional continuous product with features such as press-applied barcodes, pressure-sensitive label combinations and integrated labels with a best-in-class service approach."
Brewer has found pressure-seal technology—a nice alternative for clients on a budget—to be another positive trend. "One of the products we have seen a switch to is in the VersaSeal (pressure seal) unenveloped mail piece market," he noted. "The end-user can still use the older impact type printing technology, while utilizing this newer type form to give their mailings a new, more modern 'skin,' and avoiding the cost of envelopes."