When working on an international level, it's important to have a focused and balanced approach to every aspect of your business. From the way that a company negotiates with clients, to the products and services a business provides, everything has to be carefully managed in order to gain a foothold in international markets.
Modern technology has made this a lot easier for many companies. Orders for products can be received worldwide through websites, and communication has become more simple and manageable thanks to new technology like email, broadband phone services, and Internet fax. However, many businesses don't take advantage of this last item--many traditional fax machines are still in use today, despite the fact that faxing over the Internet is superior in nearly every conceivable way. Considering some of the differences between a traditional fax service and an Internet fax service can be well worth the time for any business that's competing in international markets.
For one, Internet fax services allow a single fax number to be used for all of a company's incoming orders. This can be difficult, costly, and even impossible for traditional fax lines, as hundreds of machines and separate lines would need to be installed to avoid dropped orders. Internet fax services receive all of their data through broadband connections, and never report a "failed call" to a fax machine that sends them an order, because no fax is ever dropped. Regardless of how many faxes are being received at any one time, an Internet fax service can handle all of them.
This can create the impression of a large, well run, established company, and image is everything in international markets. It's not just an image, either; Internet fax services make a company more organized, as every received fax can be automatically filed. Faxes received through Internet services arrive as common document types such as PDFs, and it's incredibly easy to search through all received faxes for certain keywords or order numbers. The more business a company handles through its fax service, the more they'll benefit from this better form of organization. Customers' past orders can be easily located, cutting down on the time that customer service centers spend to resolve each complaint or issue with an order. The ordering process becomes faster from the client's end, which results in more satisfied clients that are more likely to return.
Internet fax works through existing Internet technology, and as such, any worker who's trained to use email will learn how to use Internet fax services almost immediately. Training can be a major cost for international businesses, but Internet based fax services require almost no training that would otherwise be necessary. This is particularly advantageous for large companies with several international locations, as training becomes more expensive when language barriers are in place.
For those companies with multiple offices, Internet fax services also help with space, as large, unwieldy fax machines become completely obsolete. As mentioned earlier, Internet fax services bring a new sense of organization to a company's fax systems, and less room needs to be budgeted for filing cabinets, printer ink, and paper. These small expenses add up quickly, especially for many of the world's international companies.
The best benefit of Internet fax might be the way that it allows an international business to function as a single, cohesive unit. It's a technology that allows the different branches of a company to act as one, following the same procedures, taking orders in the same way, and handling customers identically (at least for customers that use fax to interact with the company). All international businesses try to project a positive image of their company and brand, and the most fundamental element of a positive image is good communication. Internet fax drastically improves client relations, and as with other digital technologies, it's a vast improvement over its predecessor. Just as letters have gradually been replaced by emails, Internet based fax services are replacing their modem-connected ancestors. For many businesses, it can't happen soon enough.