True but not always tried
Selling to insurance markets hasn’t gotten any easier. Since e-forms started to topple traditional, paper-based markets, nothing has surfaced to put distributors and manufacturers back in high demand in this field. Laser forms have also usurped much of the work from traditional printers. With each passing year, it seems distributors have a harder time making in-roads into the insurance market.
The problem is further augmented by the merging of insurance providers. While the conglomeration of corporate giants may benefit the largest printers and most prominent distributors, it has proven detrimental for smaller companies and independent printing professionals. “I think years ago there were a lot of smaller distributors who might have [had] a foot in the door at a big insurance company,” said Terri Pummill, vice president of Concept Forms, Grand Rapids, Mich. “But, like any industry, the insurance companies merge. ... Their purchasing goes somewhere else, and the little guy doesn’t have his foot in the door anymore.”
With little chance of winning business back from the country’s most massive printing businesses, other companies must play to their strengths and capitalize on holes in the market that mega-companies have overlooked or deem unprofitable. Concept Forms produced center-glue policies before the laser revolution and continues to produce them. Pummill noted, although demand has decreased, her company still finds business in this particular niche market. “A lot of it has gone laser,” she said, “but there are still insurance companies out there that use [center-glue policies] and there aren’t that many people who make it.”
The market is quick to forget old methods in light of new technologies, even if the old methods are more efficient. Pummill explained, “[Insurance companies] certainly didn’t help their mailing costs by switching to laser, but then again a lot of peoples’ business processing fees went up after they went laser. ... You can’t tell anyone in this day and age that there are better ways to do things than laser.” She especially pointed out the fact that younger generations entering the workforce have grown up using laser printers and are thus reluctant to embrace older technologies.