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A Vertical-Market Approach to Document Services in the U.S.


The successful document services provider of today has evolved from the average provider of just a few years ago. Many of today’s providers are savvier, business-process-focused, and capable of delivering a broad range of document services beyond print.

This is a significant evolution that has occurred due to customer demand, and it has dramatically increased the need for service providers to understand their customers’ business situations. Core to this understanding is knowledge of customers’ vertical industries and the documents and document-intensive workflows of key importance to those industries. Vertical industry expertise forms the foundation for a business process approach to document services.

The document entitled A Vertical-Market Approach to Document Services in the U.S.: The Evolution from Printer to Partner provides the information that document services providers and their suppliers require to better serve their existing markets, grow share, and successfully target new opportunities. The study examines 11 vertical markets.

Print Buying Profile

There were a total of 1,396 respondents, including 630 document owners, 584 print buyers, and 182 print service providers. Just over 49% of document owners and almost 46% of print buyers reported the presence of a staffed copy center, in-plant print shop, or in-plant data center within their organization. Not surprisingly, smaller organizations were less likely to have on-site facilities.

The education, hospital, and telecommunications industries were more likely to have on-site facilities than the other industries. More than 50% of respondents from these industries indicated the presence of an on-site staffed facility, and this was true for document owners as well as print buyers.

Figure 1: Presence of an On-Site Copy Center, Print Shop,
or Data Center: Document Owners and Print Buyers

85% of document owners and 81% of print buyers reported that their internal staffed facilities were owned by their organization. Only 14% of document owners and 17% of print buyers told us that their copy/print facilities were outsourced to a third-party vendor.

Document owners and print buyers were asked if they expected the amount of print produced by their department or functional area to increase, decrease, or stay the same versus print produced at external facilities over the next two years. While only 3% of owners expected the amount of print produced to decrease, 64% expected it to increase. Print buyers also felt the same with 62% expected to see the volume of print increase.

There may be several reasons that respondents expect to see an increase in print produced internally. First, the increased capabilities and quality of production digital devices, along with decreasing ownership costs, enable a greater range of jobs to be produced internally at a lower cost than outside production. This trend may also be driven by security concerns.

Color Continues to Grow

Document owners indicated that almost half of their department or functional area’s internal and external print spending is attributable to black & white printing, while over one-third goes to work with four or more colors. The remainder is assigned to spot color jobs.

This is consistent with what print buyers say for their organizations as a whole. Print buyer respondents indicated that 44% of internal and external print spending is attributed to black & white printing, and 41% is spent on jobs with 4+ colors.

Figure 2: Percentage of Print Spending by Color Category for Department or
Functional Area by Vertical Industry: Document Owners (6 of 11 verticals)

Although there was little variation across vertical industries, the education and legal industries tend to use a higher percentage of black & white print than other industries. Values were also fairly consistent across company size for document owners and print buyers, although smaller companies tended to print more black & white documents.

Document owners and print buyers were also asked about the type of devices used to print their jobs. Document owners stated that almost 36% of their department or functional area’s internal and external print spending was spent on jobs run on digital black & white printers. Document owners reported that 29% of print spent was attributable to jobs produced on digital color devices, and just under 18% was devoted to offset press work. Just under 10% of print spend was attributable to large format devices.

There was some variation by vertical industry. As might be expected, those industries that indicated higher spending on black & white print (i.e. education and legal) also indicated that a higher percentage of print spend was attributed to digital black & white devices. Those organizations that might be more marketing-intensive (i.e. accommodation and retail) indicated a higher percentage of spend on offset print. There was little variation by company size.

The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends’ study entitled “A Vertical-Market Approach to Document Services in the U.S.: The Evolution from Printer to Partner.” The complete document is available immediately. To learn more about the report or to make a purchase, contact Alison Hipp at +1 , ext. 126 or .

Copyright © 2006 InfoTrends. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reuse of InfoTrends materials is strictly prohibited without prior written consent. If you are interested in referencing InfoTrends’ content, please submit your request to .


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