Insurance Takes On a New Form
The insurance market offers distributors opportunities to think outside the box.
Digital printing, e-forms, the Internet, you name it—the electronic age has settled into the business forms industry and is here to stay. As a result, distributors find themselves in a position where services, creativity and attention to detail are the keys to high profits. And while the insurance market used to rely on a series of steady and unchanging reorders, in more recent years, it has become a market where distributors can be imaginative, expand their product offerings and build relationships. All it requires is the foresight to anticipate a company's wants and needs.
This foresight can be both a lucrative and fulfilling experience for distributors. Said Mark Davidson, president, PFI, Blair, Neb., "Distributors have an advantage because of their ability to think on their feet and react quickly to the marketplace."
Staying ahead means coming up with ideas, which can be anything from unique products to value-added services—all distributors need is a little flexibility and ingenuity, he added. One adjustment that distributors have had to make is to the arrival of electronic forms. Reorders—once a staple in the insurance market—are not as common as they once were. However, accommodating a company with its electronic forms oftentimes ensures that a distributor will receive orders for products like letterhead, business cards and ad specialties, which supplement and sometimes exceed in-come lost from declining reorders.
"We wish we were still selling a ton of snap-outs and continuous forms, but if we stuck with those we would have problems," said Brad Dorsen, president and CEO, F.I.A., Atlanta. "It's true we lost some of our customers' forms business, but we still hang on to all of their files and give them creative suggestions."
Another change that Dorsen has noticed is that the insurance industry seems to be consolidating. "It can be good or bad for us, but what we want to do is stay in tune with those who are making decisions. When we see a company consolidating, we take a proactive role, speak with its new owners and explain what we've done in the past," he said.