Batch Faxing – Tech Tip
Increase Efficiency & Throughput while Saving Money with Batch Faxing
One of the most time-consuming tasks in faxing is loading the job onto the fax card, dialing the fax number, waiting for an answer, and then the negotiation between the sending and receiving fax equipment. When you send more than one fax job in a single phone call, all those steps are eliminated for the additional jobs being transmitted with the first fax. This means that a far greater number of faxes can be sent in less time. This provides much higher job through-put, and since the most expensive part of every long-distance phone is the first minute, you’ll save $$$ as well!
In this tech tip I’ll show you what’s involved. First, your FastFax Profile must allow you to have install/configuration authority. With that in place, you can access the batch faxing feature through either IBM i (iSeries) or PC/WindowFax screens.
Using the IBM i Interface (See Figure 1)
1. From an IBM i command line, type FFXMAIN and [Enter].
2. Chose Option #5 for the FastFax Configuration Menu.
3. Choose Option #1 for System/Environment Defaults.
4. Place a 2 (change) on General System Defaults.
At the bottom of the first page of General System Defaults, you’ll see four lines devoted to batch faxing.
Using the PC Client/WindowFax (See Figure 2)
1. Just open the FaxBar
2. Select FastFax Administration.
3. Select System Defaults
4. Navigate to the Retries/Batch tab.
When a fax job is in ‘position one’ in the send queue, FastFax automatically scans the entire queue for the same telephone number. If any other fax jobs are found going to the same number, and if it’s appropriate to do so, FastFax will automatically batch-fax. “Appropriate” means that  the jobs are in ready (RDY) status,  that they’re ready to go out at that time, and  they are types of jobs that you have indicated are appropriate to be batched.
Using “Batch send type of faxes to include” value, you can choose to batch all faxes going to the same number, or you can check off ‘Select’ to customize your batch faxing process (e.g., only batch fax types of jobs coming from an automated procedure like invoices, purchase orders, etc).
The “Batch send maximum number of pages” value specifies the maximum of pages that will be batched together. Twenty-five pages is the standard and I would not recommend setting this value much higher than that.
Since FastFax batches faxes by phone number (and not by sender or recipient) you could have faxes going from multiple senders to multiple recipients at the same fax number. This sounds like one, long continuous fax coming through to the person sitting next to the receiving fax machine. If there’s more than one sender and/or more than one recipient, FastFax is also capable of including a batch cover sheet. This is accomplished through the “Use summary cover sheet on batch” setting. You can use one of your own custom cover sheet designs for this.
Once you start using the batch faxing feature you’ll find significantly improved fax throughput, better utilization of your send fax lines, and cost savings.
Deb & Deb