The Case for Electronic Faxing

» Posted by on Jul 12, 2010 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I am a self employed IT consultant in Phoenix, AZ that offers support to small businesses in all types of industries. My specialty though is in the medical field. I am on the road about 85% of the time running from client to client. My primary tool is my iPhone which I use for email, contacts, calendar, maps and Google searches. But my iPhone is not the be all end all in my daily routine. I constantly find myself having to pull out my laptop for one reason or another; be it downloading drivers, remotely accessing a client’s server or even accessing my digital faxes.

Although I use faxing as a last resort, much of business today is still conducted via fax. Why is fax still around? Faxes are hard to intercept because they are transmitted over a hard line, it’s a fast way to send signed documents (contracts, forms, etc) and many old companies have been doing business this way for a long time and have not caught up with the times. I use digital faxing in my business because I like to have digital access to ALL my documents. The following is me trying to convince the digital nomad to consider a move to digital faxing.

When considering a move to digital faxing, remote accessibility should not be your only motivation, as there is a huge benefit to green in the environment and the green in your pocketbook as well. I tend to lean more toward the financial green, to be honest, but the fact that digital faxing is financially smart as well as environmentally kind is pretty cool. Let’s take a look at the benefits.

FINANCIAL: I support a medical office that sends and receives upwards of 350 faxes a day. Each fax on average is 4 pages long. The office has an EMR system and incoming faxes are either handled and deleted or saved directly to a patient’s chart digitally. Outgoing faxes consist mostly of prescriptions that are electronically transmitted to pharmacies, or medical referrals for patients being sent from the EMR.

Now let’s do the math…

  • One year typically consists of 280 working days.
  • 350 faxes a day X 4 pages per fax X 280 work days = 392,000 pages per year.
  • A case of paper has 5,000 sheets of paper and runs approximately $40 per case.

Now for a little more math…

  • 392,000 sheets a year / 5,000 sheets per case X $40.00 per case =
  • $3,136.00 saving to this medical practice EACH YEAR.

GREEN: The green impact is a little harder to measure so let’s look at it in terms of trees and carbon.

Just a bit more math

  • One ream (500 sheets) uses 6% of a tree. If the medical practice saves 392,000 pieces of paper a year by digital faxing then the math would look a little something like this:
  • 392,000 pieces of paper / 500 sheets per ream X 6% = 47 trees
  • 47 trees EACH YEAR saved by one particular location switching to digital faxing. WOW! That’s pretty cool!
  • 47 saved trees could absorb approximately two tons of carbon over a 25 year period.

CONVENIENCE: Accessibility of the faxes is the number one reason businesses should switch to digital faxing. New faxes can be received and sent from any computer on the network, and if the office is remotely accessible, faxes may be received and sent from home, the road or even the beach. Archiving is another amazing function. Instead of creating physical folders to store your old faxes away, digital faxing allows for the creation of folders, much as any email software does. No more misplaced faxes, or lost communication.

So the true question to ask now is why haven’t you switched to digital faxing? There are several products to match any need. Some products like eFax require a monthly fee and are more residential user-friendly. Others like Activefax (my personal favorite) are better suited for business solutions and require a one-time flat fee. Whichever solution is chosen, digital faxing will not only save time, money and trees, it will put you ahead in the long run. Inevitably, it will one day be the only way.

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