Fax a dying technology? Not yet.

by | Sep 7, 2010

Faxing a Dying Technology? They said that 10 years ago!

Most regarded faxing as a dying technology in the late 1990s when email exploded. And while most business is slowly but surely moving towards a paperless environment, there still exists a strong need for faxing in a number of businesses. Many thought faxing would be gone by year 2000, but here we are at 2010 and general contractors are still sending millions of faxes per year. PipelineRFQ bid invitation software will send its 5 millionth fax for its general contractor customers this year.

There are several industries that the fax still has a valuable purpose in this world. Businesses that need proposals or legal documents signed immediately, for example, use the fax as an instant reliable method of delivery. In the construction industry, it is especially valuable for sending bid invitations, addenda, RFI Responses, and the ever-favorite “Bid Date Change Notice” that GC’s need to blast out quickly to all their subs. Some of the reasons faxing isn’t going away any time soon include:

1. Email isn’t always reliable.

a. Email servers can get delayed and emails can get blocked by spam filters because of certain content in the email (the word “invitation”, for example, could throw a red flag for spam filters).

2. A company’s contact can change along with their email, but a company’s fax number stays the same!

a. Let’s say your contact at your skylight supplier leaves the company and you really need a skylight number on your bid. His email is still valid, but gets dumped into the IT manager’s inbox who is buried in email and doesn’t forward the invitation to the new guy. He has been so reliable in the past, you are sure he is going to bid it even though he didn’t respond to your emailed bid solicitation. Then comes bid day, and no skylight number! This could have been avoided by faxing the invitation in addition to emailing (which you can set up to do automatically with pipelineRFQ bid invitation software from PipelineSuite).

3. It may take another generation to wean itself off the fax machine.

a. “Old school” subs who are used to a fax bid invitation, and who did not grow up using computers will eventually be replaced by the new generation who did. Scan/email should gradually reduce the need for a fax machine, but that still may take another 10-20 years.

4. Sending a fax can save time, especially for the recipient.

a. Think about it….if you fax, the receiver doesn’t have to print. If you scan and email, there is an extra step or two at each end depending on the scanner. There is definitely an extra step for the email receiver to:

i. Click on the email to open it.

ii. Click on the attachment to open it.

iii. Click the print button (and then you have to click ok on your printer popup preference).

PipelineSuite bid management software allows general contractors to send their bid invitations, addenda, RFI’s, RFQ’s, Memos, Bid Date Change notices via email, fax, or both in just a few clicks. In addition, plans, specs, and bid documents can be uploaded and organized into GC’s customized folder structure so that subs can quickly find what they need and download for free.

Its core advantages versus other methods include:

– Time saving. Less time to prepare a bidders list and automatically send out an invitation to bid customized with each subcontractor’s contact on each one, via email and/or fax based on each subs individual receiving preference (set by the GC).

– Cost saving vs. old fashioned non-automated method. Compared with hand faxing or other non-automated methods, save money by reducing overhead. Bid more jobs with less people.

– Cost saving vs. other bid invitation software systems. Compared to other construction bid management and bid invitation software programs, PipelineSuite provides the best value for the money. Compare and see for yourself!

– Ease of use. PipelineSuite keeps its process concise, without a lot of extra complicated features you don’t need. Less complication means more of your employees will use and benefit from the program, thus improving overall productivity.

While faxing may become a dying technology some day, it may be ten or even twenty years before we see it completely go away. In the mean time, PipelineSuite’s pipelineRFQ bid invitation software will continue to offer its easy to use, productive, economical fax service for years to come.