Contrary to popular belief, faxing never became a thing of the past. While traditional bulky fax machines can indeed be considered a relic from ancient times, faxing, just like many other business communication tools, is going digital today. This change alone allows it to remain one of the most convenient and efficient forms of sending and receiving business correspondence, from invoices and marketing materials to business contracts and simple legal documents.
Moreover, digital faxing enables businesses to cut ink and paper costs, not to mention the considerable amount of money saved on a full-fledged company fax machine. To understand what factors contribute to the actual value of digital fax solutions, keep reading. Below, we explore the main reasons why faxing is alive and thriving in 2023.
Digital faxing (or virtual faxing) is a method of sending and receiving fax documents electronically, via the internet. This business communication solution eliminates the need to use a traditional fax machine and its associated phone line by switching to electronic faxes that can be exchanged within emails or desktop applications. As such, you can easily fax from an iPhone on the go or by using your work computer when in the office.
Digital fax solutions cross-functionally support many business processes, especially financial (invoice processing, expense tracking, credit applications), customer and patient transactions (claim processing, lab results, RFP), and legal (contracts, patents,
records management). As such, some of the industries that benefit the most from virtual faxing include healthcare, banking institutions, real estate, business marketing, and law firms.
And with more and more businesses incorporating workflow automation and digital solutions into their operations, digital fax solutions are only gaining momentum. According to the 2019 research done by IDG Market Pulse among IT marketers, 76% of respondents reported
inbound fax volume growth over the past two years. This study has been further backed up by the 2021 VCR forecast stating that the online faxing market is projected to reach $8,340.58 million by 2027.
From the description above, you might have already identified some of the most prominent advantages of switching to online faxing. Let’s take a closer look at the ways businesses can benefit from using digital fax solutions in 2023.
1. Ease of Use
First and foremost, the main reason faxing is a real thing even in 2023 is the convenience and ease of use of digital faxing solutions. There is no need to wrestle with clunky hardware, staying in line to a fax machine, and worrying if there will be enough ink to send your message. The absence of a company fax machine also means there is no maintenance to handle.
With an internet-based fax service, you’ll have access to your faxes if you have access to a browser – it’s that simple! Moreover, by enabling the fax-to-email function, you can receive faxes directly to your inbox. Digital faxing requires no additional learning – a person familiar with email and the web will find it very intuitive to send, receive, and manage faxes using a mobile app.
This, of course, is the most significant advantage of implementing digital fax solutions in a company’s business processes. The price of a traditional fax machine typically ranges from $100 to $500, depending on the machine’s functionality, and you will need to add maintenance fees, budget for fax supplies, and monthly payment for your phone line to it. Depending on the company’s size and faxing needs, the total might sum up to a couple of thousand dollars per month.
In contrast, digital fax services charge starting from less than $10 per month, and you can find plenty of those offering free 30-day trials, while the phone line alone can cost $25 to $40 a month for residences and even more for businesses. This makes virtual faxing a much more affordable solution for businesses that use faxing on a day-to-day basis, as well as small firms that don’t send faxes that often.
3. Secure Data Transmission
When using a traditional fax machine, you send a document expecting someone particular to receive it on the other end. However, considering that in most cases there is only one fax machine in the office, there is also a high possibility of the scanned documents being exposed to someone unauthorized. This can lead to department miscommunication or even a massive security threat.
On the other hand, online faxing allows you to send documents directly to intended recipients, meaning that documents with sensitive information will never sit out in the open on the fax machine. Moreover, files are encrypted during transmission, which is especially important in the age of cyber threats and can only be accessed from a recipient’s personal account, which is, in turn, protected by a password.
With digital fax solutions, businesses can no longer worry about unauthorized parties accessing sensitive information.
4. Location Flexibility
Since faxes now can be received and sent out from your inbox or an application, you can rely on this business communication method wherever you are in the world – you need a stable internet connection.
For instance, this capability enables you to remain efficient on your business trips without having to bring in any paperwork or wandering around looking for a nearby fax center to send a single message.
5. Effortless Recordkeeping
Digital solutions are designed to make our work easier in the first place, and online faxing isn’t an exception. Since all your faxes sent and received are stored in your inbox or fax portal, you can electronically sort and file all your documents for easier access whenever you need them.
This also eliminates the need to deal with bulky physical files or have to scan them for electronic storage, making virtual faxing also a space-saving solution. As such, you not only save money on paper but also don’t waste your precious time.
6. E-Signed Documents
With nearly every business going online today and the opportunity to collaborate with other teams remotely or hire talents from all over the world, there is also an increasing demand for signing important documents remotely – via the internet.
While you can find third-party e-signature services, many digital fax solutions allow you to sign documents electronically as well. This eliminates the need for printing out the documents to append your signature and helps businesses avoid incurring costs associated with shipping the documents to employees, partners, suppliers, etc. Besides, the ability to keep both faxing and signing in one place reduces the risk of exposing important documents to unauthorized parties.
7. Going Paperless
The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Conventional fax machines are responsible for consuming more than 200 billion pages of paper each year in the US alone, with an average of 5,000 sheets of paper annually for a single fax machine. That’s a lot of paper. And the most important thing – you don’t typically need all the files printed out.
Other factors that negatively affect your company’s sustainability are old toners and ink cartridges. They can pollute soil and waterways with heavy metals, and those that ended up in landfills take approximately 1,000 years to decompose – not to mention the highly harmful manufacturing processes.
Digital faxing, on the other hand, can be a great support in your business’s effort to go paperless and reduce its environmental impact. Online faxes appear in your inbox, so there is no paper and ink involved in the process altogether – unless, of course, you’ll need a physical copy for some reason.
By switching to digital faxing solutions, businesses can dramatically reduce their operating and supply costs, while also becoming more consistent with their going paperless initiatives. But it goes beyond just that. In this article, we’ve explored some of the most significant advantages of virtual faxing – but there is more.
From reducing the number of human errors within the organization to saving storage space and increasing customer satisfaction, digital fax solutions can be a small yet highly impactful change for an organization, regardless of its industry and size. If you’re looking for digital solutions to make your business more manageable and efficient, incorporating online faxing is a great starting point.