Continuous Forms Refuse to Die
As prices increase, some distributors are discovering that business they had for years is suddenly being put out for bid by purchasing agents. “When that happens, more times than not, the margins tend to be cut a little bit, since someone else may not require the same margin as the distributor who has had the business for a while,” said Adams. “It is a process of trying to figure out if you are getting a fair price on a product. You have to go out and see if what your vendors are telling you is happening all across the board.”
Reconsidering specs and designs can create cost-saving opportunities. “We love to look at alternatives,” Adams continued. “Perhaps the whole process can be done less expensively as a pressure-seal application rather than a traditional business form. Even if you have to buy a different piece of hardware to do the folding and sealing, it might make sense from a total processing of the form. Or there may be some combination of medium that cuts out a step. Sometimes we have suggested a different weight or size of paper that reduced the cost of forms to our distributor customers, and that has been very beneficial.”
So, who is a good candidate for continuous forms? As with any application, Adams emphasized distributors need to investigate and analyze operations to discover where and how end-customers are using paper. “For instance, a company may have direct deposit, but employees still have to be notified that they received a paycheck,” he commented.
Said Daughenbaugh, “Distributors should look at where printers are being used. If it is a humidity-controlled office environment, where there is not a lot of dust or debris in the air, laser printers may be fine. But, if it is a hot, factory-type atmosphere, if there is a lot of paper dust or if printers are in locations where they are susceptible to being bumped or knocked into, there are going to be more issues for those using laser printers.”