I remember the countless choices offered during the last several decades. As I sit in my writer’s garret pondering the changes, I realize, in the end, one always wins out. Is it the best in quality, or is it the best due to other forces?

Some of you younger readers won’t remember this battle, but for a time we were confronted with VHS or Betamax. Which format did you want when recording your favorite TV shows? In the end VHS won, but does that mean that Betamax wasn’t better? Personally, I preferred Betamax as I felt it provided superior quality.

Then we encountered the conundrum at the grocery store: paper or plastic (as in bags, not currency)? In the end plastic won out. Probably not due to having better quality, but more likely due to the fact that it is less expensive to manufacture, ship, and store. Personally, I prefer paper bags over plastic.

I am sensing a pattern — that I prefer the underdog.

Now we come to the heart of the current challenge: digital or print?

We are bombarded daily with requests from our service providers (telco, finance, and insurance) to select digital distribution, which is fine, except that I am a creature of habit and like a printed document. Sure, I like to see the documents digitally, but I want the printed document in the mail. The outcome has not been written for this yet. Depending on the demographic, some prefer digital while my demographic still prefers paper. The challenge is to provide the correspondence in the form the recipient wants — digital or paper. Or, in my case, both!

I have written articles in the past about producing the various forms and how workflow is important to provide them in the format the recipient wants, while also creating a non-redundant workflow. The key is building your print (and mail) center with a preference database that can address the various methods.

As you look at your document creation methodology, be sure to look for redundancy and how you can eliminate unnecessary processes.

David Day, EDP brings over 39 years of experience in the document management and mail industry. As an active member of Xplor for over 20 years, David frequently presents at local and global Xplor meetings. He has also been a guest speaker at various company user and industry groups including National Postal Forum, Graph Expo, and Mailcom. David, Product Marketing Manager at CrawfordTech, is responsible for their Enterprise Output Management Products. He works with customers, prospects, sales, and product development to identify customer requirements, evaluate solutions, and make product recommendations.