Scan-to-Email Functionality. Save Money by Reducing Paper Use.


How useful is scan-to-email functionality?

Many new multi function printers offer this capability. However, a great majority of organizations prefer to print documents out, put them in envelopes, and send them to their respective destinations through the post.

While there are certain documents that must be sent via post – usually due to specific regulations requiring proof-of-delivery or recipient signature – most documents can easily be scanned and sent via email without consequence.

This saves money by reducing paper use and decreasing expenditure on postage stamps. Additionally, it can generate value by reducing the amount of time it takes for clients, customers, and partners to process documents on their end.

Scan-to-Email Benefits

In most cases, printing and sending physical documents requires that you keep a physical archive of document copies on-site. Otherwise, you have no proof that you ever produced or sent the document.

This requires on-site document storage, which requires office space. A typical metal filing cabinet occupies six square feet of space. Considering that average rental prices for office space in America’s largest cities often land between $20 and $60 per square foot, installing a single filing cabinet comes with the opportunity cost of between $120 and $360 per month.

Scan-to-email functionality lets you eliminate much of your document storage needs. You can use this functionality not only to send documents to clients and customers but also to send copies to a secure cloud storage inbox that you can access anytime you need to reference a document.

Multiply this cost by the cost of paper and postage stamps. Then add in the cost of waiting for customers and vendors to reply to mailed documents. In the end you have a clear case for scanning documents to email whenever possible.

How to Scan Documents to Email

Modern multifunction printers support a broad range of file formats and feature built-in connectivity options that include scan-to-email functionality. The procedure for scanning a document and sending it directly to someone’s email inbox is generally the same whether you are using a standalone scanner or a larger multi-function device.

First, you must select the right file format. In most cases, your primary choice will be either PDF or JPEG, the most common file formats for business documents.

  • PDFs are best for documents that include text and vector graphics. They are also useful for sending large documents as a single file, as your scanner can compress multiple pages into a single PDF.
  • JPEGs are ideal for photographs and image-heavy brochures. It sends each page as a separate file, but compresses the image so that the individual file size of each page is smaller than it would otherwise be.

Once you’ve selected the appropriate file format, you can introduce your document to the scanner surface. Clean the scanner glass with a soft cloth so that the resulting image is as clear and accurate as possible.

Navigate the device’s user interface to find the scan function, and scan the document. Now, you have two options for emailing the scanned document:

Send from Your Computer

Upon scanning the document, your computer will automatically open a window that shows the file containing the document. Your most recent scan will be the last on the list. Save the file with a descriptive name, right-click the file icon and select Send To, then Mail Recipient. Now, you can select the email address you would like to send the file to.

You may also open your email application, compose a new message, and attach the document to the message. To do this, you will have to search through your computer’s filesystem to find the image you just scanned – it’s helpful to give it a distinctive name and to put it in a convenient folder.

Send from Your Scanner

Modern Internet-enabled scanners and multi-function devices allow users to send documents immediately upon scanning without using a computer. The particular process varies from device to device, but if your scanner supports built-in scan-to-email functionality, you will see the option on the device’s interface.

Simply input and verify your email address and then select the recipient you wish to send the document to. If your scanner’s Internet capabilities are properly installed, it will immediately send the document to its intended destination. Try testing the document first by attempting to send it to yourself or a coworker.

Transforming to a Paperless Office

Scan-to-email functionality is one small step towards transforming your workplace to a paperless office. This should be the goal of any office setting, as office supplies are constantly increasing in price, and employees who rely on them may not be able to do their work when supplies run low. Consider scanning documents to email whenever you have the chance to reduce company overhead.

Ford Office Technologies can help with all of your scanning needs and provide additional solutions to transform your business to a paperless office. Call 800.633.3673 for a free consultation.


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