Monday, November 5, 2007

Lexmark study shows faxing still alive

A recent Lexmark-commissioned survey studying workflow requirements of small and medium manufacturing businesses revealed some surprising findings. The survey, conducted in the US, the UK, France, and Italy, showed that these businesses, while paper-intensive, put a high emphasis on functions other than printing.

The survey asked users to classify various functions as “very important”, allowing them to choose more than one function. The results were:
● Making copies, 76 percent
● Faxing, 73 percent
● Scanning to e-mail, 35 percent
● Printing photos, 32 percent

It’s strange that straight-up printing is not included in the survey, but perhaps it is assumed that all MFP users have printing as a prime requirement. In fact, the number who needed to print photos in a manufacturing environment is strangely high.

But the real takeaway for us is that faxing is still much in demand, and that while scanning-to-email has some importance, at least in the manufacturing sector, faxing is still the technology of choice.

In addition, and this is no surprise, manufacturing sites are very concerned with machine performance and durability, since most machines have to working in rugged conditions, with dirt and variable temperatures. For that reason, laser machines are favored over inkjets.

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