Send And Receive Faxes Without Printing
In the never-ending pursuit of lower operating costs, office managers are being asked to do more with less. Sometimes it gets to feeling like you should poke an extra hole in the belt before you can tighten it any further. In this article, we will discuss reducing waste by sending and receiving faxes without printing!
This is the same advice I’ve given to doctors, lawyers, accountants, and many other business offices who were looking to cut costs. In the most extreme case, paper usage was reduced from 3 cases per month to just 1.
Here are 10 signs that it’s time to use your office printer as a tool rather than an expense.
1 – Go Through Paper Like Crazy
The most obvious sign of out of control faxing is paper usage. Paper reams are 500 sheets. There are 10 reams of paper in a case. I’m no math major, but I know there are 5,000 sheets of paper in 1 case.
Sending and receiving faxes electronically reduces paper usage and saves money. As a bonus, you can save a tree or three… (John Muir would be proud)
2 – Have Printers With Low Yield Toners
If you are lucky enough to have a printer whose toner cartridge has a “yield” of 5,000 pages, then you will go through 1 toner cartridge for every case of paper. Most toners (or inks) available at the big box store are less than 5,000 pages though. Translation, lots of paper means lots of toner, which equals lots of money.
3 – Receive Unwanted Solicitations
We’ve all received one… An all-inclusive trip to Cancun sound familiar?
Cold callers have found their way around your secretary and call screening. They can’t get through on the phone, so they fax a graphic which uses far more toner than a normal print job.
As if solicitations aren’t annoying enough, now they cost you money! (Imagine a world where you could press delete rather than feel guilty about killing those trees).
4 – Print First Then Fax
How often do you print something, take it off the copier, and put it right back in the doc feeder to send a fax? Many printer models can send a fax directly from the computer without first printing the file.
5 – Line At The Copy Machine
Some offices have a central “multifunction” copier that everyone uses for everything (print, scan, copy, and fax). Others have a few printers or “all-in-ones” at or near individual workspaces. No matter how many printers a company has, they often only have 1 or 2 fax lines.
If you notice a line at your office copier, sending and receiving faxes without printing them might be the cure.
6 – Bottleneck Print Jobs
It should go without saying that a line at the copier is going to create a backup for all that need to use it.
A classic example is someone who prints 4 different files. Between the 2nd and 3rd file, a fax is received, printed, and delivered. The original print job continues to print files 3 and 4, leaving the fax sandwiched between the other documents.
User 1 looks at the top few pages and the bottom few pages, completely missing the fax, but still removing it from the printer. User 2 (the intended recipient of the fax) does not receive the fax, and must:
- wait for User 1 to notice and return it
- call and request the sender re-fax
- miss the information entirely because they didn’t know to look for it
Another example is 2 or 3 people standing at the printer, while one of them sorts through the stack of papers, passing out the print jobs like a mama bird feeding her young.
7 – Multiple People Access Faxed Documents
When a single fax is used by multiple people or departments, sending and receiving faxes without printing them can create a more efficient process.
The inbound fax is directed to a shared folder on a computer, server, or network. Anyone who needs the file can access it when they need it, rather than when it’s given to them. They also don’t have to leave their desk to “check the box”.
8 – Healthcare Office
Healthcare offices should be using electronic faxing or fax routing (whatever slang you want to call it). Not only can it eliminate HIPAA vulnerabilities, but it eliminates multiple copies of the same fax.
With the rise of electronic health/medical records, transitioning faxes to send and receive without printing makes sense.
9 – Scan And Store To Digital Files
Scanning and storing documents is a popular trend now because digital storage space is ridiculously affordable. Companies that need to scan and store documents related to a customer, case, record, or file can benefit from electronic faxing.
Not only does it reduce paper and toner/ink usage, but its more efficient (by eliminating a few steps in the process).
10 – Sensitive Information
If your office works with any type of sensitive information like social security numbers or protected health information, printing faxes can leave you vulnerable.
Human error is a major culprit for information leaks. Don’t believe me? Did you hear about the CPA that has been receiving medical faxes? Think of the money wasted on useless pages.
Worse yet, think of the fines those healthcare agencies will receive when the HIPAA folks finally catch up with them.
Unsecured documents sitting in the copier tray can be grabbed and seen by anyone. ANYONE! The cleaning crew, the custodian, customers walking by, etc.
In conclusion, electronic faxing can save companies hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The printer that is currently in your office may have this feature. Check the spec sheet or the operations manual to learn more.
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