Businesses will probably always have customers who want to place their orders by fax. When there are manual tasks involved in processing those orders, they can present a serious problem because companies may fall short in meeting expectations of the customers who place them. There is a fundamental conflict between the level of service that customers expect and the costs of meeting those expectations with orders received via fax.
Companies have come to understand the day-to-day pain of in-bound fax orders. They know manual processing causes errors that drive up costs -- not only the hard costs of productivity that can be quantified, but also the soft costs of low customer satisfaction and lost customers. They realize EDI is not the answer for everyone, and there are limits to what optical character recognition (OCR) and templates can do. But no business is about to refuse an order, and many end up accumulating numerous tools and technologies to process orders received by fax.
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