TR114 LAN Fax Application
Office Supply Companies May be All The Same, but Brooktrout And
Copia Help BSC Stand Out From The Ten-Pack
"How can we use faxing to increase our order
rate?" Dan McLean, Vice President of Marketing at BSC,
which supplies businesses across the country with technology-related
products like headsets and DAT tapes, asked himself this question
as he pondered how to increase revenues and productivity.
"Ten years ago, we could support an outside
sales force, but not today," says Mr. McLean. "price,
service, availabilitybeing in the right place at the right
timethose are what help cut expenses and give the customers
an immediate turnaround."
Many solutions were evaluated before BSC saw the inherent value
in the Brooktrout/Copia approach. They tried broadcast faxing with
a long-distance carrier, but found the cost per minute too high,
the range of acceptable documents too limiting, and the reporting
capability too shallow from what amounted to a service bureau. Their
next long-distance carrier recommended a board-in-a-PC solution.
They found that buying a board strictly on price wasnt the
answer. One manufacturers board and Windows interface
were inflexible, another board provider offered bad customer service,
but, once on this path, they found Copia and Brooktrout.
Copias approach, called FaxFacts, unites
the Brooktrout TR114 Universal Port card and Copias
unique approach to solving high-volume faxing problems with a single
card solution. Its open, nonproprietary, and digital, with
flexible software, features, and direction.
"Copias FaxFacts solution gives fax
broadcast and fax-on-demand right out of the box," says McLean.
"Its also got a fax routing module (which works directly
with Brooktrouts patented Direct Inward Dialing), credit
card processing, optical character recognition, and other capabilities.
Other enhancements can be added modularly. What we like best about
it is the MS Word mail merge/print feature. We can send
a very nice cover sheet similar in concept to doing a mail merge
to a printer except it prints to the fax. This feature also allows
you to attach other pages to that feature, and its installable
With the Copia system in place, the next piece of the
solution was to go totally digital. Both BSC and Copia identified
Brooktrout as the preferred vendor. "Copia selected the Brooktrout
TR114 card for three reasons," says Dorothy Gaden, Vice President
of Marketing at Copia.
- Brooktrouts support of the Windows NT®
environment, which helped Copia bring FaxFacts for NT to market
- The Brooktrout technical support staff and its willingness
to "go the extra mile" in resolving issues.
- Brooktrouts wide range of products-from
a simple two-channel fax board to four or eight channel combined
voice and fax cards opened a wide range of larger applications
to Copia; e.g., a network solution could handle upwards of 9,999
lines of faxing capabilities.
"We felt that Brooktrout was pushing the
envelope, taking a technology they had perfected for large fax
volume with a UNIX orientation and making it available
to the little guys who want the leading-edge features of a fax
and voice board that could sit in a PC," adds McLean. "Using
NT off the shelf, we got it up and running with one person managing
the whole operation! The NT solution is relatively new and easy
to use. All you need is a CD-ROM to install it. We havent
even turned on all the boards features yet. Its
low maintenance and low investment but provides an upward mobility
BSC and Copia put together three TR114 8-channel digital
boards with 24 lines terminating in a Brooktrout TREA-24. The telcos
T1 interface plugs right into the back of the card. The server is
an off-the-shelf 486/D66 and the network is a Novell 3.11 dedicated
to the fax solution. Sales, marketing, and accounting are all being
folded into one LAN. Theyll give everyone a real-time capability
for fax order processing, fax mail for the sales reps, and other
functions which now are done only at certain times of day. Standalone
fax machines are being eliminated-they dont want someone standing
at a machine watching a piece of paper go through. Having the Copia/Brooktrout
solution increases productivity for BSC.
"We had budgeted $10K/month for direct mail, but even
with telemarketing backing it up, the postal charges and inability
to track each delivery led to a six-week sales cycle," McLean
recalls. "We needed to get information to customers fast
and turn around shipments in one to two weeks.
"With the new system, weve significantly reduced
the cost of the sales process, which includes providing written
information to clients about price and availability, by delivering
the information ourselves electronically rather than using U.S.
mail or a service bureau. They especially like being able to adjust
prices for different parts of the country, which gives an immediacy
that direct mail cant match. In addition, BSC will reduce
the number of phone bills from three or four to one that contains
information on all its fax and voice traffic.
"We were one of Copias first
customers for this solution," says McLean. "When they
upgraded to the Brooktrout board, that became the fully digital,
open solution we were looking for."
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