Features of Online Fax Service That Will Save You Money
There is no doubt that online fax services are much more efficient for business processing than a traditional fax, even when the fax machine is combined with a printer/scanner. In the other articles, we looked at showing how faxing has evolved and detailed how online fax services increased your prospect pool and provided a foundation for expansion opportunities through a shortened sales process. The question that comes up over and over, however, is: How specifically will this service save me money?
The first point to understand is that faxing and emails are both important tools that must work together. Faxes reach executives that have tight schedules and rarely accept phone calls. A well timed fax with email follow-up can be a key to moving past gatekeepers to contact decision-makers throughout the sales process. In fact, some governmental and non-profit organizations use fax as their primary means of communication with business partners. Request For Quotes (RFQs) in the manufacturing or public sector work almost exclusively by fax and some more traditional businesses want your pitch on paper before they will consider you as a vendor.
Take a look at how many faxes you send and receive in a typical month and consider how many new customers you will need to contact to meet your growth goals. This will help you estimate how much of your budget is going to faxing and what the ROI looks like for comparison. By tracking the volume of faxes you typically send and receive, you can try out an online fax service and see budgetary impacts fairly quickly.
Here is where you will see cost savings in terms of materials, man-hours and administration:
Lower material costs as you help the environment. Going green doesn’t have to be expensive. Conserving materials saves you money while it helps keep waste out of the environment. Online fax reduces paper consumption from all the unwanted and unreadable faxes that are printed every day. Your organization can become more paperless by not printing faxes at all unless absolutely necessary. The secondary benefit of less printing is less use of ink and toner cartridges that currently pollute our landfills.
Lower man-hours per month from efficient use of time. The average fax takes approximately eight minutes from start to confirmation, not including miss-dials, disconnections and busy signals. That’s a significant number in itself and will scale proportionately as a business grows. Online fax allows you to send and receive faxes while sitting at your computer completing other critical tasks. The cost is not just man-hours spent at the fax machine, but also the opportunity cost of business that could be conducted at your desk while you fax by email.
Lower administrative burden. Online faxes save you time in terms of sorting through unwanted and unreadable faxes, and filing hard copies for later use. Faxes that come into your email can be automatically filed into specific folders by your email filters and macros. Faxes can then be shared across the enterprise or stored in a database for fast retrieval when your business partner is on the phone. Automated alerts can even send a message to your smartphone to let you know when an important document has arrived.