Print distributors in today's business environment are forced to reevaluate virtually all aspects of their marketing initiatives. When a major shift has taken place in an industry that significantly impacts the type of approach traditionally used by organizations, it can be disruptive, to say the least. The knee-jerk reaction for most companies is to roll with the changes and adjust operations to move in the same direction.

For most print providers, this has meant steering away from selling transactional business forms, checks and other paper products to focus more on digital processes and offerings. Unfortunately, by doing so, many distributor companies are passing on the opportunity to drive revenue. 

It would be unrealistic to argue against the essential role technological innovations and electronic systems have had on improving the efficiency and operational performance of many organizations. It would be extremely difficult to come across a successful executive who encourages companies to abandon any use of digital solutions. However, it is important to note that the rise of the Internet of Things does not negate the need for paper products and transactional business forms in the market today.

Promoting and selling these materials is an important aspect of print distributor success. Those who buy into the idea that they should transition toward becoming marketing service providers are missing out on the chance to provide various customers with the products they both use and want, as well as overlooking the essential revenue growth these items provide. A Printing Industries of America survey revealed an increase in industry profitability and indicated that the strategies used by different organizations play an important role in their outcomes.

Below are some of the top reasons why print distributors should sell more transactional forms and documents.

It is the road less traveled
Sellers shouldn't be discouraged or dissuaded by a decreasing number of competitors taking this approach. Quite the opposite, actually. They should be motivated by the chance to onboard new customers that everyone else is failing to target. A 2015 PSDA Distributor Benchmark Study revealed that just 6 percent of participants expected to see future growth for printed business forms. That is nearly all of any given printer's market rivals. The majority of these firms are now competing to gain share in markets that are becoming increasingly crowded.

The more that is sold, the higher profits a distributor has
The same study that indicated most paper providers have a diminishing view of the value of transactional documents and printed materials also showed that the sales of these products accounted for almost 30 percent of net revenue for average distributors. And high-profit companies can attribute 40 percent of net revenue to these forms and documents. Put simply, if a seller wants to increase profits, it should be prioritizing these items.

Transactional business forms are very repeatable
Streamlining workflow, increasing production efficiency and uncovering cost-savings opportunities are cornerstones of any successful, profitable organization. And, for print distributors, this means selling more products that don't require a large amount of time or resources to be used for customization processes. The ability to seamlessly repeat the orders of transactional documents significantly increases their value. This is especially true when using online portals and Web-based platforms that allow the customers to place orders for refill themselves.

Whether it is for unit sets, continuous forms, labels or cut sheets, there are are wide range of  business documents and transactional products print distributors can sell to improve profitability and enhance customer service. Although an increasing number of organizations are beginning to use electronic systems for the processes originally handled through paper forms, there is still a significant window of opportunity for providers to improve their respective bottom lines by promoting these assets.