Which technological era were you brought up in? Whether you are a baby boomer or Generation Z, it is impossible to deny the impact of technology on our society. Every technological advancement is born out of purpose. However, like fashion, technology is a victim of ever-evolving trends, and this rapid evolution has not spared the way we communicate with each other.
In the recent past, the fax machine was a favorable means of sending written messages. During this time, people living in different geographical locations would easily communicate and make arrangements by sending faxes. Surprisingly, fax machines are still fully functional but ever since the advent of the internet and especially the Electronic Mail (E-Mail), fax machines are slowly vanishing from our homes and office spaces. But all is not lost, there is still a group of die-hard fax machine fans who still treasure fax services due to its convenience and efficiency.
Still wondering whether you should invest in a fax machine? Or maybe you want to know how to operate one, continue reading our article for more information regarding fax machines.
Why Do You Need to Send a Fax?
Most businesses and huge organizations depend on faxes to receive and send official documents, and contracts. This alone proves that the fax machine is one of the most reliable and fastest means of transmitting information.
Despite the numerous options available for sending documents, having a fax machine in your office, guarantees fast business decisions due to its capability of sending genuine and accurate documents. A fax machine sends perfect duplicates of documents ensuring they retaining authenticity and low margins of error.
How Do Fax Machines Work?
Fax machines use an electric pulse to communicate with another fax machines. These pulses read the document you wish to send during the scanning period. It only reads the papers in black and white and feeds the same information to the receiving machine. This information is transmitted almost instantly on the other end. The recipient machine receives the pulses which control the printer to produce the data.
Is there a Specific Time to Send a Fax?
You can send a fax any time you want, but it is advisable to fax during working hours if you want your message to reach the intended audience. Sending fax during working hours also puts you in a better position of receiving a response within a few minutes or hours. Some faxes don’t require a response but instead commands the targeted audience to perform a particular task.
Sending a Fax: Step to Follow
Fax machines come in different brands, shapes, and sizes, and operating them is a relatively simple process. However, this experience can turn into a nightmare quickly especially when it is your first time operating a fax machine.
Below are the various steps you should follow before sending a fax.
- Create a Cover Letter
You wouldn’t want your fax message to fall in the wrong hands. Most fax machines are used in shared office spaces, where they are accessible to everyone.It is therefore advisable to include a well-detailed cover letter to ensure your fax will get to the right person.
On your cover letter, you should write your recipient’s name, the content of the fax, and number of pages. Also, it’s essential to include your name and fax number on the cover letter. A cover letter will make it easy for the recipient to respond to your fax.
- Dial the Correct Fax Number
Once you ensure the information on your cover letter is accurate, you can now dial the fax number. Depending on your machine’s model, you may not need to dial the area code when sending a fax to a local area. Dialing the fax number is similar to dialing a phone number on your phone. When in doubt you can always read the manual for more guidance on the procedures you should follow when faxing to long distances.
Tip: Always counter check the fax number to avoid dialing the incorrect fax number. In most business cards, fax and phone numbers are next to each other making it easy to misread a number or even dial the entire wrong number.
- Feed the Fax Machine in the Right Alignment
The fax machine scans your documents and sends them as you feed it. Therefore, if you feed the documents facing the wrong direction, you will end up scanning them halfway. It is also important to remember that not all fax machines are fed the same way. Before you start feeding the fax machine, it’s important to confirm the appropriate feeding alignment for your machine. All fax machines have labels that indicate how to place the papers.
- Use the Correct Materials
A fax machine will only accept standard size papers. If you want to send a fax successfully and still maintain the pristine condition of your machine, you must keep all your faxing documents in standard size. For instance, if you wish to fax a receipt, start by making a photocopy, then send the photocopied document which will be in a standard format.
Once you your document is completely scanned and bears the relevant information, you can now press the send button. After authorizing your fax machine to send your fax, the machine will automatically start to communicate with the recipient’s fax machine. The sound of the fax machine will tell you whether it has sent the fax successfully or you need to resend again.
Tip: As long as you have followed the above steps, sending a fax is easy. But you can always counter check your machine’s manual for more assistance or troubleshooting.
It is also possible to send a fax using online services or via email. Some times a small fee is required for an online faxing services, but it is possible to find the free one. You can also send faxes through your email. Emailing your files to a fax machine is not only free but convenient; however, one drawback is that emails are only capable of sending limited information.
Pros and Cons of Fax Machines
With all the significant benefits of using a fax machine, there are also some drawbacks you are bound to expect. These are the pros and cons of a fax machine;
- Convenient -Fax machines are simple to use, send and receive documents.
- Automated – Fax machines have an auto mode, meaning it requires minimal supervision.
- Time-Saving– Fax machines scan and send documents simultaneously saving time
- Secure– Fax machines maintain the confidentiality status of both parties – the sender and the recipient
- Time-wasting– Fax machines can be very inconvenient, especially when sending several pages of a document.
- Unreliable- Fax machines use low-cost thermal printers and easily burns documents especially with heat sensitive paper.
It is easy to fall victim to stereotypes who have the notion that fax machines have become obsolete. However, the fax machine has stood the test of time and proved itself as a reliable and convenient means of communication. You can use the fax machine in this digital era and still enjoy its merits. In case you had doubts before on whether to invest in a fax machine, we hope this article has steered you in the right direction.