We pride ourselves in being prepared to go to great lengths to help our clients.
We also like to think we work with the best technology to keep things simple.
We also like to do the right things for long term positive outcomes.
We were reflecting on something we did recently and thought it reflects well on how easy it is to do business in New Zealand…
Our client is in a country where they are not able to get an international fax line. We don't know why that is, and it wasn't within our grasp to solve their problem by changing things at their end.
They are quietly getting their new New Zealand banking arrangements underway and were at a stage where they were relying on faxed instructions. These would then be followed up by a phone call from the Bank. No, we weren't involved in setting that up.
We were asked if we could help by receiving the clients faxes and sending them on to the bank in question. We know and trust our client and happily ruled out that this might be a scam.
When we set the new office up recently we went totally VOIP and Cell and there is no fax machine / fax line in the office. We did however put in a fax service with the VOIP provider where they catch the faxes and email a file to us. We suspect that at the price this is all electronic and there is no manual intervention. We used to have a fax card bolted to our server, back in the day when we had a server.
So how could we help? That fell into three parts:
1. How could we help, if at all? and,
2. How could we help in a way that took us out of the rather lengthy manual chain.
3. How could we talk them around to a better business process in the longer term.
After a quick team discussion Zach leapt into action and asked our VOIP guys, 2talk, about an outwards fax service, something we hadn't bothered with to date. No problem, send an email with specific headers and an attached file and the image would be faxed onwards. Only "our" registered email addresses would work for this.
Zach carefully set up and then tested this outward fax. Zach was very pleased with himself although when pushed he did agree we had basically found a difficult way to get an image from us to us, slowly and with image degradation.
Ok, we can help at all, step one passed.
How can we make this really work for the client? We added their addresses to our "VOIP" account and then they were able to use the service directly and have their emails converted into faxes delivered to NZ.
So that was two out of three and not bad. We all felt pretty good about getting a strange set of constraints solved and a customer solution implemented.
The overall difficulty of their banking arrangements wasn't lost on us and we are now working on the third part of the equation, getting the client on to Xero, and then having a bank that interfaces to Xero nicely. Won't the client reflect back on today as the bad old days once they can load their bills directly to Xero, attach the invoices as a PDF, batch pay them in Xero, and log on to their Kiwibank internet banking to approve the payments without fiddling with a file. Are the other banks there yet?
Experiences like this remind you that doing business in New Zealand really is easy. Always happy to help! Thanks too to Martin and Bill for their guidance and help with our VOIP setup.