This Is a Job for a Unit Set
For applications involving remote data collection or multi-copy documents in the field, nothing beats a unit set.
Technology tends to hog the spotlight these days, particularly when efficient workflow solutions with respect to data collection are at issue. However, Richard Miller, sales manager for Calibrated Forms, Columbus, Kan., pointed out that there is one good old-fashioned business form that has yet to be effectively replaced.
"Unit sets prevail in any remote data recording situation where there is no other efficient means for accumulating and duplicating information," Miller said. For example, route drivers and technicians in the field use unit sets for documenting information and making multiple, instant copies—situations where hand-held computers may not be available or are not practical.
Said Dave Wandling, vice president of marketing for The Flesh Company, Parsons, Kan., "I once heard someone say that the entrance and exit ramps on the information superhighway are paved with paper, and unit sets are a perfect example."
Still, Miller acknowledged that unit sets have been pronounced dead by many in the industry, but he strongly cautioned distributors against ignoring them. "From mid-sized manufacturers and distribution centers to direct marketers, there will always be a niche market for unit sets," he said. "Chances are good that the competition has forgotten about them, so unit sets remain a profitable market for distributors."
Wandling observed that many new distributors don't consider it very fashionable to be selling unit sets. "But, there are distributors we've been dealing with for 20 or 30 years who will always have unit sets as part of their portfolios. They continue to look for the business and find it because the customers they're calling on still use unit sets," he said. "Unit sets have held their ground because of the unique niche they fill. Markets for them are everywhere."