Despite the fact that fax machines turn 50 this year, many offices still rely on fax technology. There are many reasons why certain types of businesses continue to use faxes. If your office still uses a fax machine and you’re in the market for a new model, here are five things to think about before making your purchase.
1. Stand-alone machines vs. multi-functional device
The first question to answer when purchasing a fax is considering whether to go for a stand-alone model or a multi-functional device. Stand-alone faxes have one function: faxing. The benefit is that their purpose is clear and you’ll never need to wait because a device is tied up doing other things. Multi-functional devices often multitask as scanners, copiers, and printers. These devices may be more cost effective. But multitasking devices often sacrifice fax related functions such as speed and other features, so consider how important these areas are to your business.
2. Basic model or specialized fax features
The most basic faxes send and receive faxed documents. But more sophisticated models offer a wide range of features to optimize fax performance. One important feature is caller ID which can help you quickly identify who is sending you a fax. Features such as auto redial and fax forwarding can simplify sending and sharing information. Fax broadcasting and speed dialing can be useful if you use your fax for marketing purposes.
3. Speed considerations
Fax machines come at a wide range of price points, and one of the key factors determining price is speed. Modern fax speeds range from as slow as about 20 seconds per page to as fast as 2 seconds per page. These speeds cover both the sending and receiving functions of transmissions. Depending on the volume of faxing that your business does each day, speed may be a primary consideration when selecting your fax model.
4. Lifetime cost of ownership
When evaluating fax machines, there are several factors that can influence price. The first is the base cost of the model itself. A second component to look at is ink usage. This includes both the cost of the replacement ink cartridges as well as how many pages a typical cartridge will supply before needing to be replaced. Another aspect of lifetime cost of ownership is repairs and maintenance. Consider the value of any warranty or service plan that comes with models you’re considering.
5. Memory and printing quality
The amount of memory in the fax model that you choose determines how many pages the fax machine can hold as it prints. Lower end models tend to range in the 25 pages capacity, while higher end models can hold up to 500 pages. This feature is useful in case you lose power or need to reprint a fax that you’ve received. Printing quality is also an important factor to consider. Lower end models can produce gray, pixelated text that’s hard to read. Better printing capabilities today are on par with laser printers.
Som offices still require fax machines to protect information security, maintain audit paper trails, and find new avenues to reach customers. If you’re currently considering purchasing a fax machine, it’s important to look at both features and lifetime cost. Choosing the best fax machines for your needs can streamline your business’ administrative processes.