Document-Genetics-GlobeThe Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine if You Need to Replace Your Fax Machines with a Fax Server

17th August 2012

  1. Do Fax machines cost us big dollars in maintenance and equipment

Survey says, yes! Industry research proves that the fax machine sitting next to your desk could be costing your company as much as £3100 a year. Now multiply that by the number of fax machines scattered throughout your organisation. When you add it all up the cost could be staggering! Unfortunately, many companies do not realize that each time someone feeds paper into a manual fax machine they’re also feeding into higher overhead costs. Costs to consider:

  • Leases and maintenance plans on outdated devices
  • Phone lines and long distance every month
  • Labour costs of walking to the machine and waiting
  • Toner and paper costs
  • Office space these devices occupy
  • Electricity usage

2.   Does your organisation ever lost faxes or have trouble finding them?

Have you heard comments like these?

  • “Faxes are stacked up on the machine—which one is mine?”
  • “The fax machine ran out of paper—where did my fax go?”
  • “I’ll have to make a phone call to make sure they got it.”
  • “I spend a lot of time with customers asking me if I got their fax.”
  • “I’m headed to the dreaded file cabinet to find that faxed invoice.”

Not only is losing a document a pain-in-the neck for your employees, but the cost of a lost document is probably more than you would think. “Every lost document costs anywhere from $350 to $700.”1 What do you think happens to a worker’s productivity and concentration while they are looking for the information they need to do their jobs? Gartner Research says that “On average it takes 18 minutes to search for a document.”

3.     Is customer service suffering? (Your competition knows the answer to this one)

  • What kind of documents and processes are held up due to fax machines? Loans, claims, purchase orders, prescriptions, admissions, deliveries, applications or contracts?
  • How quickly do you respond to customer requests?
  • Do clients ever get busy signals when they try to send you a fax?
  • Do you ever request that a customer resend their fax because you can’t find it?

More than 75 percent of companies say inadequate information in commerce, marketing and service organisations is hampering their ability to deliver satisfying and profitable customer experiences, according to a survey by ATG (Art Technology Group, Inc.). Customer loyalty is on the decline and the quickest way to lose a customer is to provide poor customer service. Companies spend a great deal of money to recruit customers and earn their business, but if you don’t take great care of them, shopping a competitor is just a click away.

4.      Is paper a security risk? (customers lost sleep over this one)

  • Are your fax machines in compliance with your industry regulations and compliance mandates?
  • Do you know who has access to your paper faxes during every step of fax delivery?
  • Do your paper faxes contain sensitive customer information such as drivers’ license numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers or insurance information?

Today your customers are concerned with confidentiality and identity theft—and rightly so. The wrong information in the hands of the wrong person can cost dearly. Naturally, you want to assure that your company’s fax documents are safe both in-house and externally. Fax servers have security features that help ensure privacy and data integrity as well as provide a comprehensive audit trail of who has been in contact with that document. Additionally, government regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) can dictate how you do business and a fax server takes advantage of the latest computer security features.

5.      Can your employees collaborate effectively with paper faxes?

  • Are people wasting time pushing paper faxes around for interdepartmental routing?
  • Are sales orders and other transactions being delayed because paper faxes are being manually routed around for approvals or processing?
  • Are paper processes and manual transactions suffering from human error?
  • Are your fax machines fully taking advantage of your existing IT infrastructure investment and kicking off business processes?

Do you continue to allow document-based business processes to operate with no visibility into the status of documents even documents that need decisions or collaboration? A fax server is an easy way to digitize your documents, which is the first step in making all of the information within those documents accessible to everyone. Once digitized, your documents can be integrated with the applications you use to run your business.

6.      Has IT had it with fax machine support?

  • Would IT rather be spending cycles on fax machine support or strategic projects?
  • How much time does IT spend on telephony to support manual faxing, like PBX upgrades, dedicated telephone lines and fax modems?
  • Could your organisation benefit from integrating document delivery capabilities with the IT infrastructure you already have invested in?

The IT department has their hands full with strategic infrastructure planning and implementation. Getting a fax machine back online and touching multiple devices for maintenance can be a big waste of time. Fax servers provide centralized administration which makes adding users or troubleshooting a one-stop process.

7.      Are you reacting to problems instead of proactively executing your plan?

  • Have employees been known to “improvise” outside of company plan to solve their fax machine pain?
  • Have customer complaints stemming from fax machine problems caused you to make hasty investments in more machines—the same equipment that caused the problems in the first place?

When something isn’t working in an organisation, people tend to take the road of least resistance even if the decision doesn’t support organisational strategy. For instance, if a worker has to stand in line too long at a fax machine chances are good that they might take matters into their own hands and buy an unapproved fax machine to solve their problem or expense personal Internet-fax accounts for their desktop regardless of organisational guidelines.

8.      Are your business processes and workflows inefficient and cutting into your bottom line?

  • Are manual fax processes leading to a longer sales cycle?
  • Do you need to add process accountability to your inbound faxes?
  • Would you like to accelerate processes from days or hours to minutes?
  • Do you have data stored in systems like CRM, ERP, HR or ECM that you would like to integrate with your faxes?

How would you describe your paper workflows? Inflexible? Slow? Not integrated? Once a document is delivered through a fax server, that document can now be integrated with other applications such as Microsoft® products, and other systems such as ERP, HR, CRM and document management. This means you can take advantage of workflows and manage individual tasks within familiar Microsoft programs and help with business processes and transaction processing.

9.      Do you do business with people in remote offices who might not even have fax machines?

  • Do you have mobile workers?
  • Do you support international users with client application localisations?

You may be one of the many organisations who depend on people spread out all over the city, country or even the world, to do business. If you have remote offices or mobile workers this means someone has to manage the process of shipping out fax machines, approving the expense of a fax machine purchase, managing associated phone line expenses or dealing with faulty equipment or a rogue desktop fax application. Now consider your customers: How do you track who has a fax machine and who doesn’t, what the current phone number is and if they remembered to turn it on today?

10.  Do you have employees who spend a lot of time away from the office?

  • Do you have sales people in the field?
  • Does management travel often?
  • Do you have other workers who find it necessary to be out of the office to get their work done?

Let’s look beyond the remote office. One of the biggest drawbacks to manual faxing is that you have to be in front of the fax machine to send or receive a fax. That’s not how we do business today! Laptops and wireless connections give us the freedom to take our offices with us and do business from a customer site, a coffee shop or an airport. Many workers spend a large percentage of their time out of the office and can’t wait until they are “back at the office” to pick up incoming faxes or send out the documents they need to do their jobs.

APPLICATION OVERVIEW

FaxPress, FaxPress Premier and FaxPress Enterprise Network Fax Servers offer organisations every possible PC-based, network fax option: desktop faxing, production faxing, fax and email integration, workflow application integration, and tools for developing custom fax applications.

WHY CHOOSE FAXPRESS?

FaxPress is a complete hardware and software solution to network fax. This unique architecture makes the solution very robust as well as easy to install, maintain and manage.  These award winning network fax servers can be tailored to meet the needs of any type or size of business whether it’s a small company or a large enterprise.