Fax machines have been a constant feature in offices for decades, but with the rise of digital communication technologies, it’s easy to assume that they are edging closer toward the exit.
But that’s far from the truth: fax machines still have a place in modern offices, especially in places that need secure, fast, and reliable transmission of documents.
In this article, we will discuss how a fax machine can be used for sending signed documents to remote colleagues and receiving contracts in modern offices.
1. Sending and receiving documents
One of the most common uses of fax machines in the modern workplace is to send and receive files.
This is true for signed documents or those that require a physical signature.
While e-signatures are now legally acceptable in some countries and industries, there are still some situations where a physical signature is required.
When a business needs to obtain a signed contract or agreement from a client or vendor, it can be challenging to do so digitally.
In these cases, a fax machine can be useful for quickly sending the document and receiving a signed copy in return.
This is because a faxed document is deemed an official record and can be used as legal evidence.
2. Transmitting confidential information
Fax machines are often used to transmit confidential information because they offer a more secure method than email or other digital methods.
When a document is sent via fax, it is transmitted over a phone line as analog rather than over the internet.
This makes the information less susceptible to hacking or interception.
Likewise, modern faxing solutions also have security features like password protection and encryption.
These features ensure that only authorized individuals can receive the document in transit.
Fax machines are still common in healthcare and legal sectors, where privacy and security are primary concerns.
Also, some government agencies and regulatory bodies may require certain information to be transmitted via fax for security or legal reasons.
3. Confirming transactions
Businesses often use faxes to confirm orders, deliveries, and other transactions between their partners or clients.
When a business buys something from a supplier, they send a purchase order via fax to confirm the details.
The supplier then reviews the order and faxes back an order confirmation to the business, indicating that they have received and processed it.
The use of fax machines and digital faxing solutions to confirm transactions can help reduce errors and misunderstandings between businesses.
It also provides a clear record of the transaction details.
4. Sharing large files
You can use fax machines to share large files when email or other digital means are not feasible.
They are designed to transmit files over a telephone line, so they can handle larger files without needing online file-sharing services.
You need to use a fax machine equipped with a scanner to send a large file via fax.
First, you scan the file and convert it as an image (such as a TIFF or PDF). Then, you can use the fax machine to dial the recipient’s fax number and send the file.
But there are limitations. The transmission speed might be slower than digital methods, especially for large files.
And the quality of the image can be affected if the fax machine has a low resolution or a faulty ink cartridge.
5. Communicating with clients
For clients and partners without access to the internet or not conversant with digital tools, the use of fax machines ensures that vital information reaches everyone involved in a transaction.
This is important when handling legal documents, contracts, or other paperwork.
Fax machines are also more reliable than digital methods in certain aspects.
Emails can get lost in spam filters or get accidentally deleted, whereas fax machines send the document directly to the intended recipient.
Using a fax machine can also help you stand out from competitors who rely solely on communicating digitally.
Businesses can prove their commitment to exceptional customer service by offering multiple communication methods.
6. Communicating with government agencies
Fax machines are frequently used when submitting important documents and paperwork to government agencies.
For instance, the IRS demands that businesses send their tax returns using a fax machine. The same applies when filing paperwork with other government agencies.
In addition to providing a paper trail, faxing documents to government agencies can also help ensure that those documents are received on time.
Many government agencies have strict deadlines for submitting paperwork, and this can be a reliable way to guarantee punctuality.
7. Backing up files
Businesses can use fax machines during network blackouts to send and receive important documents without interruption.
This is critical for professionals such as healthcare providers or emergency responders.
If there is a power outage, fax machines can still operate if connected to a generator or backup power source.
Additionally, some businesses may keep a dedicated fax machine as a backup system in emergencies.
This allows them to continue sending and receiving critical documents, even if their primary digital communication methods are unavailable.
Despite the rise of digital communication tools, fax machines still play an important role in modern workplaces.
They are reliable, secure, and widely used in healthcare, finance, and law.
The function of fax machines has evolved to include features like internet faxing and email-to-fax capabilities, making them even more convenient.
As technology evolves, it will be interesting to see how fax machines adapt to remain relevant in the workplace.
If your company wants to pivot from fax machines and incorporate modern solutions, then Online Fax is the perfect solution for you.
It is free, secure, reliable, and easy to use.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can send and receive a fax without a fax machine. All you need is a digital solution like PandaDoc Online Fax, and you can send files to intended recipients securely and instantly.
Any industry that handles massive piles of paperwork needs a fax machine on standby. Industries and entities that still use fax machines include:
- Real estate
- Government agencies
- Banking and legal
Yes, you can send a fax for free. Many online fax services offer free faxing but with some limitations.