Remodeler Bill Medina's clients are spread within a hundred-mile radius of his Salina, Kan., office, so simple tasks such as getting signatures on change orders or submitting timesheets on a Friday afternoon can prove tiresome for his crew. That's why about 10 years ago Medina, of Medina Construction Co., started using fax machines that operate over cell phone lines to stay connected to his office from even the remotest of jobsites. For a company whose operation covers so much ground, the system has been invaluable.
“The time benefit is huge,” Medina says. “If we're working in another town and we can get a change order or proposal request out to the field quickly, then we save time and money.”
In 2000 Medina began using relatively inexpensive Sharp UX-510 fax machines on his jobsites. “We bought four or five of these for the field and got a separate cell phone service as well,” he says. But the machines —not to mention the analog phones through which they are operated — have become outdated.
Many remodelers have begun turning to Web-based fax services such as eFax to send faxes remotely via e-mail, but for contractors such as Medina who often work in more isolated locales, that solution isn't always reliable. “We've considered using scanners and laptops to do the same job,” he explains. “Some places where we work have Wi-Fi that's easy to tap into. But at the more remote locations we don't have that.” So Medina's next upgrade will likely be to take his current system digital.
Enter CellFax Command Post, a new product from Braley Communication Services ( www.ejourney.com/~braley) that lets users send and receive hard-copy faxes from anywhere in the country. The unit runs on AC or DC power so that you can plug it into a standard outlet or run it through the cigarette lighter in your vehicle. The interface also allows voice calling in addition to standard faxing.
CellFax is available as a complete fax and voice package — or the interface itself, which can connect any standard fax machine to a digital network, may be purchased separately.