It's Distributors Vs. the Desktop
Distributors can prevail over printer technology to increase cut sheet sales
FOR YEARS NOW, the underlying story in the cut sheet world is one of man against machine. As end-users entertain ideas of saving money by churning out forms on high-tech laser printers, they are depriving distributors of cut sheet business. In essence, distributors are fighting against the desktop—a situation causing some to push cut sheet promotional efforts further down the priority list. And, recent advancements aren't helping.
"The widespread use of laser printers means individuals can use cut sheets to create forms at their desks for applications that previously required computer programmers and large continuous form printers," said Rick Vullo, manager, Hospital Forms & Systems, Dallas. "Hospital Forms & Systems recently made innovations for improving cut sheet integrated labels including pattern adhesive labels that lie in flat stacks and have adhesive-free edges, which feed more efficiently into high-speed laser printers."
Despite the seeming rise of printer technology, profits still exist for distributors as do opportunities to convert laser printer users back to the purchasing world. "It's just more cost-effective to purchase cut sheet products through a distributor," said Rick Pasco, salesman for Data Papers, Muncy, Pa. "When end-users factor in the time, the cost of toner, maintaining inventory and everything else that goes along with creating their own forms, they soon realize it takes a lot of time, energy and money to do it all in-house. Distributors can focus on this fact to win back cut sheet sales."
While a percentage of cut sheet business continues to be cyclically lost and regained by those investing in laser printer technology, there are products experiencing a steady and consistent increase in demand. Some of those forms are currently circulated throughout the health-care industry, reported Vullo.
"The demand for cut sheets is increasing all the time despite continued technological advancements," he said. "I'm talking specifically about the forms we manufacture, such as integrated membership cards, which are used by many associations across the country, and multiple-use integrated label cut sheet forms—such as picking tickets—which include address labels, product information and instruction sheets."