It’s difficult to think of an industry that is more time-dependent than transportation and logistics. Businesses like yours survive and thrive based largely on how quickly you can move people and goods from one point to another, and how confident you can make your customers that you will always be able to meet their pickup and delivery deadlines.
Which means that any step in any of your business processes that forces your team to stop or wait has the potential to undermine your competitive advantage, damage your credibility with customers, and hurt your bottom line.
And that brings me to your company’s legacy faxing processes.
While you’ve almost certainly migrated many of your mission-critical business operations to the digital age, you are probably still maintaining an analog-era fax infrastructure. In fact, if you are like most transportation and logistics companies in 2017, your faxing processes are probably still comprised of desktop fax machines, in-house fax servers and, when necessary, a plan to have your drivers and other operators in the field look for a place on the road where they can send or receive a time-sensitive fax document.
Nor are you alone in maintaining this antiquated technology for transmitting key documents.
When IDC conducted a 2017 survey of various industries for its “Fax Market Pulse” report, the research firm found that businesses in all of the industries it spoke with were still seeing their fax usage increase from year to year. The number one reason these businesses cited for their continued use of fax technology to transmit mission-critical data was that “Customers and suppliers use it, which forces us to use it.”
Yes, your customers and vendors might very well insist on communicating with your company via fax — even for such mission-critical and time-sensitive documents as bills of lading, acknowledgments and confirmations, requests for quotes, purchase orders, change orders, invoices, and contracts. And because of this, fax is probably well integrated with your established workflow processes, including the ability to keep track of documents.
If it works, why fix it?
But if you have been assuming that maintaining relationships with your fax-dependent customers and prospects meant that your company had to keep operating an inefficient and expensive in-house fax infrastructure, I have good news for you.
For less overall cost than you are currently spending to maintain your company’s legacy fax infrastructure, you can outsource your business faxing to the cloud — and empower your employees to send and receive faxes by email, anywhere, anytime.
And as the IDC survey shows, the evolution of electronic fax technologies and the ability to integrate ‘eFax’ technologies with workflow applications are also among of the top reasons that companies continue to fax.
Here’s how this simple technology upgrade — and it truly is simple, taking virtually no time or IT resources — can benefit your company.
For a time-dependent business like your transport company, any process that forces you to stop or wait can harm your bottom line. So why are you still tied to a physical fax machine?
How Migrating to an Enterprise-Caliber Cloud Fax Solution Can Benefit Your Transportation Company
1. Your employees, even your drivers or other operators in the field, will be able to receive and send faxes immediately from anywhere — even while they’re on the road.
If yours is a small transportation company, or if you’re an independent trucker, you might often find yourself in situations where after a delivery you need to scan the load boards for a shipment for your return trip.
Because the broker in these situations often demands to communicate by fax, this can mean that if you find a load offer that interests you, you will have to race to an office supply store, a truck stop or some other location where you can print the required paperwork, sign it and fax it back to secure the deal.
With a online fax solution, however, you would be able to electronically sign and fax all of this paperwork through your standard email program — even using a mobile app on your phone. This means you wouldn’t need to print any documents or manually transmit those documents using a desktop fax machine. Which also means that you wouldn’t need to make a special trip to a local store or truck stop to find those printers, copiers and fax machines in the first place.
In other words, when you deploy the right cloud fax solution — ideally one designed for the unique needs and challenges of transportation and logistics companies — you will save time and be able to respond faster to requests from customers and new opportunities.
Which brings me to the next benefit of a cloud fax service….
2. Your company will gain a competitive advantage by being more responsive to new business opportunities.
One of the problems with having customers that require communication by fax is that it means someone in your organization always needs to be near your office fax machine. If a request for a quote or some other document representing new revenue hits your fax machine, and no one on your team is there in your office, your company could lose this business. Worse, if this opportunity comes from a new customer, your failure to respond quickly enough could cost you future business from this company.
These lost business opportunities left sitting on a fax machine can happen for several reasons. Perhaps the customer or prospect is in a hurry and will not wait more than a short period of time for a response before moving on to the next transportation company. Or perhaps the specific person in your organization who would reply to that RFQ simply isn’t in the office when the fax comes in, and even though other employees walk by the fax machine and see the inbound document, none of them deal with it because it’s not meant for them.
Unfortunately, the outcome of any of these common scenarios is the same: Your company loses out on a revenue opportunity, because a fax document sat on the machine for too long.
But with cloud faxing, this would never be an issue — because the right employee on your team would receive notification immediately, via email, anytime a new fax came in. In fact, that employee could access, review, edit, electronically sign and then send back the fax document all from her computer, smartphone, tablet or any other Internet-enabled device.
Moreover, the right online fax solution would allow your employee to do this all without having to print, scan or physically sign a single piece of paper, and without the need for a fax machine. She could accomplish the entire task — and even receive a delivery confirmation notice that all of the pages had reached the recipient’s fax number — using only her email or mobile app.
3. You can lower your organization’s overall fax costs.
Another factor to keep in mind about your existing fax infrastructure is that maintaining it is likely costing your business more than you realize.
If you’re a small company and use only desktop fax machines, you are paying for paper, ink, fax phone lines and probably some sort of maintenance service (or, if you don’t have such a service agreement, the repeated costs of actual repairs).
There are also the softer but nonetheless real costs of your IT team’s time and resources devoted to maintaining and troubleshooting problem fax equipment. Fax paper jams. Fax servers crash. Fax phone lines sometimes fail to successfully complete their transmissions.
If you operate a larger company, your fax infrastructure likely includes a mixture of distributed fax machines and servers, and you might also be paying hundreds of dollars a month for T1 high-capacity lines to support your team’s occasional need for volume fax bandwidth. The fax software licenses for those servers, the surprisingly high cost of a replacement fax board, the fixed monthly charges for those dedicated lines and even the electricity that fax servers consume account for additional costs of maintaining your legacy fax infrastructure.
But with a best-in-class cloud fax service — one developed specifically for the time-dependent nature of fax documents in businesses like yours — you can replace all of these ongoing, burdensome fax expenses with an affordable, pay-as-you-go plan for faxing by email.
To put it simply, with a cloud service, there are no paper/ink/toner costs, no software costs, no hardware costs, no telecom line costs and no power costs.
Yes, your company might well have invested a great deal of money in building the legacy fax architecture you are currently maintaining. But given how much your faxing processes could be slowing your team down, and even costing your company revenue, the smart move is to migrate as soon as possible to a faster, more efficient, less resource consuming and more affordable fax solution.
That solution is cloud fax.
As time-dependent as your transport company is, you can’t afford any process that makes you to stop or wait. That includes your fax machine.
Trust the Cloud Fax Industry Leader: eFax Corporate
If I’ve convinced you of the value to your business of cloud faxing in general, let me now suggest one partner in particular. eFax Corporate is the cloud fax provider of choice for more than half of the Fortune 500, and the company trusted more than any other by businesses for whom fast and reliable document transmission is mission-critical.
Our cloud fax services can help your transportation or logistics company improve employee workflows, empower your staff to be more productive and responsive on the road, and save your company money on faxing.