If you are a document imaging VAR you probably have your own pet markets. Many resellers apply their expertise and contacts to specialize in one vertical market such as retail, health care, or financial services. However, document imaging technology has broad-based applications in multiple vertical markets. If you become too specialized you could be leaving money on the table.
Recent research conducted by InfoTrends reveals that the largest vertical market for digital printing and scanning devices is the professional, scientific, and technical services arena. The top 10 CBSAs represent a total of 2.4 million devices sold, 42.3 billion pages, and 7.9 billion MPS pages. The New York metro area alone is estimated to produce 57.4 billon pages, which makes it a strong region for document imaging VARs.
Other markets such as healthcare, insurance, banking, and government also are seeing strong growth. When document imaging VARs position scanning technology as part of an overall strategy to protect privacy and address regulatory compliance sales go up dramatically. Buyers in health care, financial, and public education also emphasize the need for accuracy as one of the reasons they prefer digital over paper records.
There is a lot of potential business out there for a document imaging VAR. If you want to sell more imaging products, you need to decide if your region can support a highly verticalized strategy, or if you want to develop different strategies to sell to customers in multiple vertical markets.
Here’s a rundown of seven of the top vertical markets being targeted by document imaging VARs:
- Health care – One of the most robust markets for document imaging is health care. The New England Journal of Medicine estimates that for every dollar spent on health care, $0.31 is spent on administration. Electronic medical records (EMR) reduce costs and improve efficiency, and insurance companies and government agencies are driving EMR adoption for better record keeping, better diagnoses, and to protect patient privacy. And government regulations such as HIPAA demand closer tracking of patient documents and medical records. And then there are the advantages of greater efficiency in billing and practice management with EMRs. Document imaging VARs can provide invaluable support to HIT departments.
- Law offices – Perhaps no other profession has to track more paper than the law. Document management systems enable law offices to organize documents for easy storage and retrieval, saving time and resources by eliminating hunting for lost files. Scanned documents are easier to search, store, and secure, and they create an audit trail. They also enable remote access and electronic distribution for discovery and consultation.
- Financial services – Record keeping is more stringent than ever. Laws such as the Patriot Acts and Sarbanes-Oxley require more rigorous reporting and record keeping. Digitizing business documents makes them easier to archive, search, and share. They also promote eDiscovery in the event of an audit.
- Government agencies – More regulations mean more paperwork, which means government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels are all dealing with document archiving and retrieval. High-speed scanners are taking the pain out of paper processes by quickly converting and cataloging paper documents with intelligent document handing to make them easier to organize, store, and retrieve.
- Education – Digital record keeping is becoming more important in education to retain and protect student records. Students are also using more online tools in the classroom and distributing homework and other information via email so teachers need to digitize paper assignments.
- Construction – Builders and architects are finding digital documents easier to manage both in the office and in the field. Blueprints, designs, contracts, bills of materials, and other paper documents are being converted to digital form to make them easy to access and share. Contractors are increasingly using mobile tools on the job site so the ability to access and view job-related paperwork quickly and efficiently is critical.
- Manufacturing – You wouldn’t necessarily think of manufacturing as a customer for a document imaging VAR, but manufacturers have a lot of paperwork that need to be digitized for storage and retrieval, such as accounts payable and receivable, inventory, invoices, manuals, product specifications. Manufacturers want to eliminate paper like any other operation, and digitizing documents makes them easier to share with customers and suppliers.
These are just some of the markets that document imaging VARs can target. No matter what types of customers you serve, the criteria for those companies that can benefit from document imaging are basically the same:
- The business depends on paper processes to support operations.
- There is a need to file and track a large quantity of paper documents.
- Digitizing paper processes streamlines operations and creates operational efficiencies.
- Data security and regulatory compliance are a primary concern.
What markets to you see offering the best opportunities for document imaging sales? Is there a niche market or customer profile that you find has a greater need for document imaging?