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Paper Manufacturing Operations & Document Trends

Greening the paper stream involves design, conservation, reduction, recycling and innovation

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Paper Manufacturing

Paper manufacturing evolved from the use of discarded rags to a manufacturing behemoth that consumes forests of virgin trees.

Paper has been the base for ideas traveling around the country and around the world...and at the same time, the price has been polluted rivers, clearcut timberland and insatiable appetite for more, cheaper, whiter and more variety.

Paper companies struggle with balancing demand against their awareness of the natural resources they consume.

Paper Sustainability Practices

"We continually seek ways to expand our sustainable practices," states Tom O'Connor, Mohawk Fine Paper's Chairman and CEO. "We're acutely aware that, as a paper manufacturer, we are part of an industry that depends heavily on energy, water, and other natural resources in the production of ephemeral, non-durable goods.

Trends in Document Management 2007

Key Findings from the "Document Communications Industry Trends: 2007 Survey Results," include:
  • 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.
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 at EDSF is the international, non-profit organization dedicated to the document management and communications industries. Print Industry Info

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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