By almost any measure, the future is now… We watch movies on devices that we hold in our palms while sitting in the park. Few people actually fly to the office, but business processes that used to take an entire office staff weeks to complete can be now be accomplished by a just few people in a matter of days. Which leads us to the topics of paper and working with financial printers.
Finance is one industry where paper and printing remain a pivotal part of business operations, and something that many financial professionals would love to be able leave in the dustbin of history. The paperless transition in finance is in fact underway, but for reasons both positive and negative, the transition will continue to proceed slowly.
In the meantime, while we wait for truly paperless proxy statements (and hotels on the moon), here are a few ways that digital tools can improve the financial printer process:
Cyber Templates, Paper Templates
The content management system (CMS) industry for finance has reached a stage where the products address the entire document lifecycle – including paper. The templates in a good CMS not only dynamically pull in data and provide algorithmic quality checks, but also interface with most printing technology. A quality financial printer should be knowledgeable about the CMS a company uses and have systems that seamlessly reproduce its digital documents in place.
Not long ago, the standard used to judge financial printers was slightly more relaxed. Document management systems were in a period of rapid development mixed with flux, and the gaps between printing and other technologies meant that printers could be forgiven (somewhat) for playing catch up.
It’s not that development has slowed, but financial printing as an industry has generally mastered the uncertainty prompted by innovation. Digital systems easily provide the tools for companies – large and small – to expect the highest performance from a financial printer.
How Many Do You Need and When?
Historically, issues of volume and timing are responsible for some of the biggest headaches experienced in working with a financial printer. These are still challenges, but digital innovations have made it much easier to get smaller batches of customized printed material, while also drastically shrinking the time it takes to execute a printing job. These innovations are very much in progress.
A good financial printer should enthusiastically discuss the state of relevant technology and proactively inform the client company as these changes take shape.