Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Fax Servers Cut Errors, Add Speed. (in Brief)

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Fax Servers Cut Errors, Add Speed. (in Brief)

Article excerpt

Around in one form or other since the early-nineties, fax servers, as a group, are generally more blandly utilitarian than flashy office gadgets that marvel the crowd. Yet the software

The term refers to network software that is typically launched from a PC or other "fax node device" and that can be configured to support shared fax resources over a local area network or via internet protocol computer networks for use by multiple end-users.

Solutions vary from those that support single platforms to those that are more ambitiously open. They can be as "plain vanilla" as those that capture incoming faxes for a single PC user or as complicated as facilitating two-way exchange among many end-user devices.

By any name and model, though, fax servers translate into more automated workflow, fewer errors, and an easier-to-track data trait.

One early adopter and enthusiast is Marc Farfel, vice-president and manager of the real estate owned department of Countrywide, Calabasas, Calif.

"It basically came down to using one phone line [in the initial installation] versus a bank of 15 to 20 faxes," Farfel explains of the decision he made back in the mid Nineties, a time when the operation was trying to remove paper and manual process from the mix. "We knew to grow our volume we needed to improve operational efficiencies and add staff."

Knee-deep in paper connected to the sale of repossessed properties, Countrywide -- which then processed about 100 valuations a month manually -- suffered with overworked fax machines and customer service issues related to slow delivery of paperwork or the occasional lost document.

This would be bad news for any growing business, but it was particularly vexing for the high profile mortgage lender, which had shifted the emphasis in its revenue model from production toward servicing as part of a broader strategy to lift return on equity.

In short, Countrywide needed to curb all processing costs to help its plan pay off.

High cost of paper

When paper was king, deal files used to be stored in physical folders, which had to be handed off between departments for approvals and processing throughout the management process, recounts Farfel. …

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