PrintIT is available in a choice of formats and media – printed page, PDF or page-turning e-book. I bet you are reading the printed version. Some things are just better on paper: magazines, books (a personal preference, I admit), possibly even presentations. As we report on page 8, there are even some businesses that still send out printed meeting agenda – that’s just crazy. Xerox company NewField IT used to talk about good paper and bad paper; Infotrends talks about required vs optional printing (see page 34). Whatever you want to call it and however you classify it, paper still has a place in the offie, even if just for a few hours before being put in the recycling bin.
The theory used to be that paper was a baby boomer habit and that as millennials and digital natives entered the workplace, it would disappear. Infotrends’ new research suggests that this is a myth. Paper is here to stay and we’d all better get used to it, learn to love it or at least develop a survival strategy. That said, no one in their right mind wants to be surrounded by stacks of documents and fies. The key is to get rid of paper when it is ineffective, as Hollybank Trust has done with its new digital requisition process (see page 32), and use it when it adds value (e.g. for creating, imparting or absorbing information).
One area where paper can be effective is direct mail. There is evidence, much of it from Royal Mail Group (surprise, surprise), that people still like to receive marketing communications in printed form. OKI suggests that this tendency is growing as people become disenchanted with the ever increasing volume of digital communications. As we report on page 19, it has just expanded its printer range with a number of new colour devices optimised for on demand colour printing. The addition of touchscreen user interfaces on OKI smart devices enables users to retrieve, customise and print documents locally for distribution to customers who prefer printed marketing material, without the delays, expense and waste associated with pre-printed material. Smart printing indeed.
James Goulding, Editor