EDSF Releases Document Communications Industry Trends for 20076 Jun, 2007
EDSF Releases Document Communications Industry Trends for 2007
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, CA -- A new EDSF report reveals document communications industry trends and provides insight on changes in overall budgets for document communications, electronic document delivery, and the use of digital color. Titled “Document Communications Industry Trends: 2007 Survey Results,” the report results from an EDSF research grant and mentor program. An EDSF grant was awarded to the Center for Research in Information Management (CRIM) at University of Illinois, Chicago, where faculty and students collaborated with Doculabs to conduct the research. The report, which is now in its fourth year of ongoing research to identify trends in the document communications industry, is available as a free download. EDSF is the international, non-profit organization dedicated to the document management and communications industries.
James K. Watson. Jr. Ph.D., CEO and founder, Doculabs, said, “This year’s study afforded us the opportunity to drill down into several important industry dynamics, including the use of electronic document delivery as a substitute for paper and the migration from bi-tonal print to digital color, particularly with the huge volume of transactional, service fulfillment-type documents. One of the striking findings is that these transitions may be slower than many industry insiders have forecasted.”
Key Findings from the Report:
---Budgets for paper-based communications increased modestly, with more than 43 percent of respondents indicating that they expect a slight increase (approximately 10 percent) in paper-based communications. This expected growth will be fueled primarily by overall business growth and marks a significant departure from the study’s findings in 2005 and 2006, where only 33 percent and 32 percent of respondents expected a slight increase.
---Firms are stepping up their electronic document delivery efforts, with more than 50 percent of the firms making more than half of their documents available over the Internet. However, only eight percent of respondents deliver more than half of their documents exclusively electronically.
---Firms have changed how they promote electronic document delivery, many of them now offering financial incentives to their customers. Financial incentives have become the preferred mechanism for convincing customers to switch to electronic document delivery. This is a remarkable change from 2006, when companies were more passive about promoting their electronic efforts, relying primarily on advertising.
---Companies continue to grapple with managing both print and electronic modes of document communications. Print costs have remained largely flat even though firms are experiencing slight increases in electronic delivery. It is mainly legal and regulatory compliance requirements and security/privacy concerns that inhibit the move to exclusively electronic delivery.
---The use of digital color is expected to grow for both marketing and transactional documents. While the use of color in transactional documents lags behind marketing communications, this is likely to change in future years. The industry can expect a gradual shift to color in service-fulfillment documents, as more than half of respondents indicated plans to increase their use of digital color by five percent or more in the future. The reasons for this intended shift were the impact of color on customers and management’s willingness to increase investment levels.
For a downloadable PDF of this report, visit www.edsf.org and click “Research and Publications” for the EDSF Industry Library. The report is listed under “EDSF White Papers.”