I went to a meeting yesterday and met an interesting guy who is an investment banker/venture capital funding specialist. After he was done he offered to send us the deck from which he presented. So like I do when I receive any card from someone I have met I entered in his contact information into my contacts. But I took pause when I set to enter in the fax number.
Will I ever fax anything to this person? Probably never. So then I thought about how infrequently I send or receive a fax. Yes we use them occasionally in our business for bills of lading or proof of deliveries on shipments we have made on behalf of clients. But even those could be scanned and emailed.
So many of us (me included) are trying to cut down on the office paper we use on a daily basis. Emails often include a line to ‘please think about be sure printing this email is necessary’ or something to that effect. A good and useful message to be sure. But what about faxes?
I have been around long enough to have been there at the outset of faxes – rolls of paper in a big bulky machine that went around and around, took forever to print out and to boot were printed on awful paper that would want to roll up on itself once half the roll had been used.
Today we get a couple of faxes every morning from local eateries notifying us of their daily specials. I would think that it would be to their (and our) benefit to create an email list and then email the specials each morning. Then they have a list and we do not have to waste paper or energy (or a phone line) for a fax machine. Maybe during the day we get or send a fax or two but that’s about it.
And what could be less private than a fax machine in the middle of an office where everyone has access? An inexpensive scanner could easily do the trick to replace the fax and a service like eFax (which is free for the basic version) would allow faxes sent to you to be received as emails.
So when I meet with my team next week I will discuss jettisoning the fax machine. I am sure that idea is will be met with some trepidation and discomfort since it will be difficult for some to imagine losing the perceived convenience of the fax machine. But one less phone line, less paper and removing the need to go look for a fax far outweighs the benefit. We can do this. So can you. What do you think?