How do I Save Money on Fax

Advanced Global Technologies

 

 

 

 

Making Faxing as easy as Email

Email has overtaken fax in sheer volume for most businesses, but fax still plays an important role. Most businesses can't get away from sending faxes. Primarily, this is because fax is often used for sending and receiving invoices and purchase orders, and other official documents. This usage may not be high compared to email, but it can be far more costly.

Burning time by the fax machine

The reason that manually sending faxes is more costly than email is largely because of the difference in the way we send them. With email, you click the send button and it's gone. With fax, we usually fill out a cover sheet, print it out, take it to the fax machine, dial the number and wait there to check that it was sent successfully. That's a lot of time, and if there are retries or we've misdialed, then it takes even longer. All this adds up, and that's time that could be spent on core business activities.

When we put together all the rigmarole we've got to go through to manually send a fax, including a percentage for failures and mistakes we make, it can average more than 10 minutes per fax in lost time. Assuming your organization sends 25 faxes per day, that's over four hours spent on fax each day.

In business today, there are less and less personal assistants or administrative staff to take on these kinds of tasks. Faxes may be sent by people that are worth hundreds of dollars per hour to the organisation. We need to look at the total cost per hour of that employee, not just the hourly rate paid to them, and what we would prefer they spent their time on! If we still assume that faxing is done by the lower pay grades, a rate of $20 per hour is still conservative if we look at the total employee-related costs.

The time costs of sending faxes in our business per year are:

Faxes per day X Time spent per fax X Hourly rate X 250 working days per year

Putting the figures in we have above, we get a yearly cost of:

1..$20,833 per year

That is a surprisingly large figure we have for something that you may not even have thought twice about! So, what is the alternative, and how does it compare?

The alternative: Fax Servers

It would be great if we could make faxing as easy as sending an email, and that is exactly what modern fax software is designed to do. Depending on the software used, a fax server will provide these kinds of benefits:

When sending a fax:

 No paper, no need to leave your PC

 Web interface, or integration with existing email programs

 Address books, to minimize mistakes with dialled numbers

 Delivery reports, or notification only when there is a problem

 Automatic coversheets, or a coversheet library

 Often allow fax broadcasting; multiple recipients for a single fax

When receiving a fax:

 Distribution automatically, or to a specific person to redistribute via email

 Automatic printing at a network printer, or a totally paperless system!

General administration advantages:

 Multiple lines of fax available to all users, and controlled by one interface

 Track your usage, by destination and users

 Eliminate problems by finding out why some faxes fail

 Archiving of faxes electronically, both sent and received

 Control who has access for send and receive, rather than leaving faxes on the tray for everyone to see, take and misplace!

 Consolidation: Locate one server with multiple lines in a single secure area, rather than having several fax machines located around the building, each wired to a phone line.

As you can see there are a lot of benefits that go beyond a pure time saving. Fax servers allow you to take control of information sent from and to your business as well as dramatically reducing costs!

Coming back to the pure time saving, it generally takes around one tenth of the time to send a fax using a fax server - this has made it as fast and simple as sending an email! So if we take the calculation above, we have reduced the total time cost to 10%, which saves us:

2..$18,750 saved per year!

A fax system that would suit that rate of 25 faxes per day, is made up of 3 components:

Component

Specification

Estimated Cost

Fax software

Either priced per fax line, or per user. Assume 2 port system

$500 entry

Fax hardware

Suitable intelligent analog fax board. Assume 2 ports

 

$499

Server

Entry level system in speed/capacity, but with reliability features from a mainstream vendor

$1000

Total cost

 

2 port system, to easily handle 25 faxes per day

 

$1999

 

So in our example, we would have saved the entire cost of the system in under 2 months!

In this example, the fax server system has all of the advantages of a high-end fax machine that would usually cost over $1000 itself, such as:

Super G3 V.34 33.6kbps high speed faxing

MMR and JBIG Compression

Color Fax for high impact!

These additional features can save thousands of dollars from your phone bill.

As the connections are via your network, you can have a single fax server with multiple lines serving multiple floors on a building, multiple buildings, or even have home workers sending & receiving faxes remotely! This consolidation allows you to size your system for the total numbers of users rather than the location, make the most of your fax lines, and scale it as your needs grow.

If the entry-level system as described doesn't meet your current or future needs, you can expand it to a 4 port board, or an 8 port board, or multiple boards. You can easily build a system that starts with 20-30 people, and scales up to thousands!

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