No more scurrying down the hall to retrieve confidential faxes or fishing for lost pages? For the Leavitt Group, a Cedar City, Utah-based insurance firm that works with its affiliate agencies to provide risk management and risk transfer solutions, the death knell for traditional faxing may have sounded. Upon reevaluating its business processes and technologies, the insurer honed in last year on an area in which it could trim some fat: faxing. Since then, it has gradually phased out traditional fax machines and reaped the cost, convenience and structural benefits from Internet faxing, which enables users to send and receive faxes through their e-mail accounts or a secure online server anywhere they can get an Internet connection. In an industry teeming with small offices, independent workers and paper documents, the Leavitt Group’s group-wide standardization drive may not be an aberration for long.

“In the insurance industry, faxing is still an important part of the business,” explains Randy Wilson, an IT consultant in the Leavitt Group’s service division, who assessed the insurer’s cost and productivity challenges in its fax environment. The Leavitt Group typically sends and receives some 20,000 faxed pages per month in one of its busiest offices alone, either through a fax machine or fax server. Through Internet faxing, it has found efficiencies in myriad ways, from reducing the need for a gatekeeper to review and distribute faxes to hacking costs spent on phone lines, which, for faxing, each typically run $40 monthly in a remote office. It also slashed paper and toner costs.

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