First introduced by Xerox back in the 1964, the fax machine, or Long Distance Xerography as it was called then, was the hottest office productivity tool of its day. This new technology saved workers from having to send documents via mail, which dramatically improved office communications. Nearly fifty years later, and the fax machine has become a hindrance to office productivity.
In the 1960’s, the fax machine was where it was at! Thanks to this new fax technology, if you wanted to shave a couple of days off your order from the Sears Roebuck catalogue, all you had to do was fill out the form and send it to Sears over the telephone lines. Amazing! Today, ordering goods from catalogues is a forgotten practice, if you don’t believe us, then poll the twenty-somethings on your staff and ask them if they’ve ever used a catalogue. You will be sure to get a few blank stares, and some wise guy may even ask if “catalogue” is a new app.
The paper sales catalogue died with the advent of the Internet, yet miraculously, the paper-consuming fax machine is still found in modern offices; and not as some kind of cool display of retro technology, no, many offices still have their beige fax machines powered on, loaded with paper and ink, and still in use! Astounding! To say that offices should switch out their fax machines for a new and better solution is an understatement, because a better solution has been around for like twenty years.
Before we rip on the poor fax machine even more, we should take a break and explain why this antiquated technology is deserving of such ridicule. When it comes down to it, a fax machine actually hinders workflow in the modern office when compared to widely-used solutions like e-mail. While it’s true that fax machines are still a faster solution than snail mail, the convenience of digital communication makes going through the motions of sending a fax very inefficient.
Sending and receiving an e-mail is an instantaneous process. Sending a fax on the other hand can be quite the involved process. Consider the steps it takes to send one fax:
- After your message is typed up, you will need to print it.
- You will also need to find, open, and print the cover letter.
- You will have to make your way to the printer to retrieve your message.
- If you did not already type in the contact information on the cover letter, then you will have to manually enter it with a pen.
- You will now have to find your way to the fax machine and load the fax in the tray.
- Enter in the phone number and push send.
- Wait a bit for the fax machine to do its thing.
- Now you have to figure out what to do with your paper letter. Do you recycle it? Shred it? File it away?
- When it’s all said and done, you will make your way back to your desk, only to get up again when you receive an incoming fax.
In a situation like this, the more steps you have means the more chances there are for something to go wrong. What if the printer is out of paper? What if you get up from your desk and get asked about your weekend? What if you get lost trying to find the fax machine? All of these steps and risks can be circumvented by using e-mail instead. Using your e-mail account to send and receive faxes is not difficult; in fact, you can easily do it with a fax server solution from PACE Technical Services.
A fax server solution is a handy tool that processes all incoming and outgoing faxes through your e-mail inbox. By using a fax server solution, you will cut down trips to the fax machine and save money from having to feed the machine paper, ink, and electricity. A fax server solution will also free up a spot in your office where your fax machine used to sit, and it will increase productivity by saving people time from having to tend to paper faxes.
Maybe fifty years from now e-mail will be outdated by an even faster solution like sending messages via the mind and keyboards will be mocked. While we can’t be sure if the future will bring us mind-to-mind communication technology, there is one thing that we can be sure of about for 2064, and that is, fax machines will still be used in offices…in space.
Call PACE Technical Services at 905.763.7896 to learn more about switching out your inefficient fax machine for a fax server solution!