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Binding Survey: Comb Binding Is Top Choice of Print Buyers

Press release from the issuing company

Lexington, Kentucky, USA - March 19, 2001 - WhatTheyThink, a leading Internet portal for the graphic arts industry, has just completed a study of print buyers in the United States. The study focused on the procurement of 3-ring binders and preferred types of binding. The survey was conducted with 274 print buyers from a variety of industry segments. The questions asked: When binding documents under 100 pages, which type of binding do you prefer? When having documents printed for use in a 3 ring binder, which best describes how you procure the binder? A majority of buyers (40%) selected spiral (comb) binding as their top choice. Only 6 percent of buyers said velo binding was their favorite and 9 percent said they preferred tape (thermal) binding. 19 percent selected coil (wire) binding and 12 percent said they preferred simply stapling documents under 100 pages. (14 percent had no opinion.) When asked about procuring 3 ring binders, 78 percent of print buyers said they order directly from an office supply company. Only 9 percent of buyers ordered their binders from their printer and 7 percent said they send most documents without the needed binder. (6 percent had no opinion) Randy Davidson, President of WhatTheyThink, explained his view of the study. “Comb binding is an easy process for most companies to implement in-house and therefore know what to expect when outsourcing a binding job. Buyers spending over $500,000 on print were twice as likely to prefer tape or thermal binding than buyers spending less.” When asked about the rare choice of velo binding, Davidson predicted an even lower use in the future. “In terms of flexibility, velo binding is the most restrictive because documents do not open flat. In the past, velo binding was specified and required for certain legal or government documents. It was interesting to see that 13 percent of buyers spending less than $5,000 annually on print, preferred velo binding.” Regarding the purchase of binders, Davidson said the results were expected. “Print vendors have never really pushed print buyers into ordering all items around a project - like binders or packaging material. Most likely, the reason relates to low margins, limited exposure to wholesale pricing and strong relationships print buyers have with office supply reps. Print vendors should examine this opportunity as it may be an additional service that makes it easier on the buyer.” WhatTheyThink provides news, interviews and research daily at their web site. The portal has nearly 15,000 subscribers who get valuable information about print buyers, printers and suppliers to the industry. For more information, visit www.whattheythink.com.