What Fate Awaits Forms?
Distributors contemplate the present and future state of the industry.
Has this year's economy had an adverse affect on the forms business? And with endless possibilities for print popping up via ad-vanced online technology, do distributors stand a chance to stay in the forms business in the years to come? Whether or not the recent fiscal slump gives way to major changes within the in-dustry, or simply serves as an opportunity for industry professionals to refocus their efforts, remains to be seen.
To gain better insight into the concerns distributors have been facing of late, how they are handling them and where they see the industry heading in the long term, BFL&S contacted the following panel to form a roundtable discussion:
- Bob Cronin Jr., president, MAC Graphics Group, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
- Andrew Duke, president, Metrograhics Printing & Computer Services, Fairfield, N.J.
- Steve Hawes, president, Advent Print Resources, Seattle.
- Raymond Mahar Jr., Image-now by Mahar, Victor, N.Y.
- John Osborne, president, Midwest Single Source, Wichita, Kan.
- Jeff Martin, vice president of sales and marketing, Control Printing Group, Independence, Mo.
What are some of the major concerns within the industry and what should be done to handle them?
Cronin: "The main concerns right now are developing the effective use of electronics and surviving the downturn in traditional forms use. The tack we've taken is to diversify the lines and products we offer—for instance, we're adding promotional marketing materials to our offerings We're also looking into digital printing, the Internet and e-forms."
Osborne: "The biggest concern is that we don't have clear definition of the industry, because so many product choices exist. In the past we had three or four major manufacturers who defined the market by what they sold and many distributors simply followed their lead. These days only true entrepreneurs, who can offer the most innovative products and services, will be able to survive."