Who’s Still Printing and Why? OKI’s Carl Taylor Explains

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Not Carl Taylor.

This is an interesting blog post from OKI Data America’s Carl Taylor, vice president of marketing for OKI North America, who looks at what vertical industry sectors are still printing and why: “Much has been written – and much has been discussed – about the future of printing and its evolution over the next few years. We have heard that we’ll be a paperless society with the advancement of technology and the increase in the use of smart phones, tablets, and mobile devices. As it is now, we still have paper, we (as a society) are working harder than ever, and we’re still printing – some professions and industries more than others.

You’re probably thinking, “Really, who’s still printing?” Well, according to a recent study from InfoTrends (“Multi-client Study Review for Oki Data; Printing Trends”; March 2014), more than half (62.2 percent) of those polled predict that their printing will either remain the same or increase over the next two years.

The industries that are still printing or expect to print more are: retail/wholesale, graphic arts, infosystems, healthcare, and social assistance (including manufacturing/transportation). Some of this is driven by mandate, while other demand for print is just the nature of the business.

Here are a few reasons why (according to the Infotrends study):

  • Healthcare: From patient files to forms, this industry is paper-intensive, and predicts to be even more so over the coming years. HIPAA regulations (a government mandate) are contributing to the volume of printed materials within the healthcare setting.
  • Retail: Within the retail environment, there is a lot of printing that goes on. These key trends for retail, which are the major reason for the increase in printing include retail signage, POP displays daily reports, forms, receipts and point-of-purchase, all to which is prepared in-house.
  • Legal: In the legal industry, hardcopy files are part of the landscape. In fact, certain documents are printed in duplicate or triplicate for filing with the courts or sharing with opposing counsel. With all the forms and files required as part of the legal/judicial system, it is anticipated that the amount of printing will increase.
  • Social Assistance/Finance: Due to various government regulations, these organizations require a variety of printed materials. So even with the ability to complete and submit certain forms electronically (like annual income tax filings), there will always be need for printed materials…well, at least for the foreseeable future.
  • As our society becomes increasingly mobile, and the idea of a paperless society becomes more likely, it’s interesting to see that industries are still printing…if not printing more. And, as technology continues to advance, we still find ourselves hitting “File…Print.”

So, how much do you print? Do you find yourself printing more or less than in years past? Where do you think printing will be in the next few years?”

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