Stir Up New Blends of Integrated Products
Creative thinking and new backings allow for more varied applications.
They're thin, they solve a lot of problems and they keep clients out of jams. They are integrated products, and they can be used for a growing number of applications within a growing number of markets.
From chain-of-custody forms, direct mail packages and Rolodex cards to visitor passes and membership and ID cards, integrated products have found a niche within venues such as health-care, banking, vacation/resort, nonprofit, education and crime prevention.
This kind of adaptability is attractive to customers wanting to take full advantage of integrated products' benefits, such as streamlined processing, greater handling efficiencies and long-term cost savings to their clients. This is why Jeff Russell, president of Major Business Systems, Hillsborough, N.C., suggested that distributors take time to thoroughly research customers' business practices and apply some creative thinking. By doing so, he said, they would be able to move beyond common integrated product usage—distribution and shipping invoices—toward innovative applications, including resort permits and chain-of-custody and admissions forms.
"For instance, a hot item right now is an integrated hotel check-in folio for gated, high-end resorts," said Russell. "By uncovering the varied needs of such a buyer, we were able to combine vehicle permits and laminated, waterproof identification cards into one piece."
Having recently manufactured approximately 50,000 integrated forms for a Florida account, Russell emphasized the need for such a product and the potential profits distributors can reap by offering them to customers.
"Distributors can enhance their traditional margin expectations by double-digit percentage points," he explained.
A not-so-new application that Russell reported is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds is the use of integrated labels on chain-of-custody forms—forms that are typically used for drug-testing programs in which a specimen is taken and a label is applied to the vial simultaneously. "This ensures that the specimen and the information of the person providing it are kept together at all times," said Russell. "We are producing a lot more of this type of product than we have in the past."