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"Bonding" with Paper in a Digital World

15 Oct, 2003 By: Margaret Carter imageSource

"Bonding" with Paper in a Digital World

your dealership sell the right papers for the equipment you sell? Or any paper
at all? Digital printing is behind the wheel of paper industry growth. Analysis
shows that the print-on-demand color market generated $17 billion in retail
value in 2001, and is expected to grow to $32 billion by 2006, a compound annual
growth of rate of 14 percent. CAP Ventures also estimated that the retail value
of print for black-and-white on demand was $9 billion in 2001, growing to $22
billion in 2006, at a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent.

definition, digital printing devices include personal and network printers,
black-and-white and color copiers, black-and-white production printers, and
digital presses. Digital papers are specifically manufactured to run on all
kinds of digital printing equipment, from desktop ink-jet color or
black-and-white printers to color copiers to commercial presses, and are a
viable "side" market for any dealer who sells technical equipment.

is plenty of paper to sell, and plenty of customers to sell it to-from the
entrepreneur with a small setup to the business that needs to purchase larger
paper quantities by cartons or skids for their document technology output. You
needn't stop with your equipment sale: keep your customers returning; not only
for extended services or upgrades, but also for paper!

demand for business paper continues to rise, a solution must be offered to
satisfy the demand, and your business could be a viable part of the solution.
Your after-sale service could extend to becoming your equipment customers' paper

to a RISI North American Graphic Paper Forecast earlier this year, investment in
new technology and computers has been stymied since the recession, which also
helped to dampen paper demand since a purchase of a new computer is usually
accompanied by the purchase of a supply of paper. The good news is a projection
that the stronger economy will fuel some new investment in late 2003 and 2004
that should help propel uncoated freesheet demand up by four percent in 2004 and
another one percent in 2005, and continue to grow the market for coated and
digital papers.


Uncoated free sheet paper, which includes 20 lb. bond (a standard copy and
offset paper), should soon see a rise in demand. Uncoated free sheets are
considered the standard shelf item to stock for basic copier and computer
printer use, for either laser printers or inkjets. The popular papers today,
however, are laser sheets and coated paper, used for document technology in the
digital business world. Equipment dealers will be amazed at the tremendous
selection of papers currently available from paper suppliers and distributors
for the digital print marketplace.

papers are high-bright coated papers engineered to perform in dry-toner and
laser applications. These papers are specifically designed to produce optimum
black and white and color results on dry-toner copiers, laser printers and
digital offset presses, and are available in gloss and dull finishes. Papers are
produced for curl resistance, better paper-tray feeding and trouble-free
high-speed operations.

are a wide variety of papers available for inkjet printers. From standard 20#
copy paper-bond-to high gloss photo papers and pre-printed specialty papers, the
market is vast. Many personal computer owners now use inkjet gloss photo papers
and could become as regular a customer as is their photo-taking habit.
Photography is surely moving away from film and embracing all things digital,
which completely turns around the way photographs are developed. In fact, a good
percentage of photographs and images now are not developed, but processed
digitally, through business and home computers and printers. The growing
household use of digital cameras has contributed to the increase in demand for
photograph papers for everyday customers, and your business could easily profit
from this demand.

category that could prove profitable is specialty computer papers. Pre-printed,
colorfully designed papers are pre-scored, pre-perforated and ready for users to
print or copy brochures, business cards, invitations, flyers, or any variety of
products for business use. These pre-designed papers make it affordable for
customers to produce their own printed products straight from their computers.


Selling paper isn't much different than selling any other supplies to your
customers. The sales staff is often called upon to recommend a particular toner
cartridge that a dealership stocks-it's the same with paper. By offering quality
papers to your customers, you are providing a necessary product to them and
generating ongoing revenue for the dealership. Training salespeople on the
different types of paper and its uses will allow the salesperson to
intelligently make suggestions based on a company's needs. Knowing the equipment
they sell, a salesperson can, based on the estimated number of copies or prints
per month, even contract with a business to automatically ship of a few cartons
of paper per month. And, with paper manufactures offering next day delivery to
your dealership (and often direct to the customer) dealerships can often
maintain a nearly stockless inventory. Contacting customers every few months
about their paper needs will maintain name recognition, keep the dealership
up-to-date on possible machine problems like paper jams, and most of all, allow
the dealership to record more information about a client. The more information
you have about a machine and its supplies, the easier it is to sell new or
upgrade existing machines in the future.

A quick
visit to the Internet will take you to many paper distributors looking for
dealerships to resell paper. Most of today's paper distributors have devoted
their efforts towards the digital paper marketplace and are more than willing to
teach a dealership everything they need to know to send your customers along the
right paper path. Discounts and deals are available and you can not only profit,
but easily broaden the bandwidth between your business and your customer as

industries change, your business strategy must change along with it to reap the
benefits. In our new digital age, concurring with an economic recovery period,
many things are different. Selling office equipment has always been a
service-based business and, by expanding on the services you offer by offering
paper, dealerships can find business success when they begin to really
"bond" with clients.

- - -

Carter is a contributing writer to imageSource and Office World News on topics
relative to the quick printing and paper industry. Carter and husband, Bob, have
owned BoMar Printing in New Jersey since 1992. She can be reached at
609.758.2140. For more information on the types of paper available to the
market, see Margaret's feature, "Pump Up The Pulp to Pump Up The
Industry" in the September/October issue of Office World News.

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