Can you remember what you read on holiday? If asked, could you recall and explain all the twists and turns of the latest blockbuster or celebrity biography? Could it be that your ability to do so is influenced by whether you read the book on-screen or in paper form? In a new survey by Two Sides more than four out of fie UK consumers said they understood or retained information better when read on the printed page. Invoices, bills and statements might be going digital, but paper clearly still has a future as an effective method of presenting information. As we discover on page 29, the secret is to make it relevant to the reader by taking advantage of developments in digital printing. Personalisation, integration with electronic media and new printing effects and paper stocks that appeal to people’s senses are all part of this trend.
The changing status of print and paper is being felt in offices too, and not just in declining print volumes. As Duplo’s Angela Osborne explains on page 42, greater appreciation of the value of print – and an understanding of where it works and where it has greatest benefit – inevitably leads onto the subject of finishing. “It’s now a discussion about selling a complete solution, not just talking about what comes off a printer,” she explains. “Adding finishing systems to complement MFPs and digital presses is increasingly becoming the norm. Anybody selling a printer these days is going to ask how they can turn the printed items into a finished product.” Duplo is benefiing from this trend and so could you. Its record turnover last year was driven by a 20% increase in channel sales.
Despite paper’s qualities as a means of communicating information, in other areas it is clearly much less effective. In a business context, electronic processes are generally faster and more reliable than paperbased workflws. Moreover, as its critics are fond of pointing out, paper is endlessly copied, takes up a lot of room and can easily be misplaced. This is unarguable. But can’t the same criticisms be levelled at electronic fies? On page 40, M-Files’ Julian Cook describes the thought processes involved in filing documents electronically and suggests that the system of folders and sub-folders used in business today leads to difficulties in search and retrieval, unnecessary duplication, inaccuracies and loss of version control. After the paperless office, how soon before we start talking about the folderless office?
James Goulding, Editor
Free Download Options: