Watercom Offers Extra Convenience Of Fax Machine Message Transmission

—Literature Available Subscribers to Watercom are discovering a unique feature of the only direct dial, marine telecommunications system available. They're discovering that Watercom operates with facsimile (FAX) machines.

Prior to the advent of Watercom, essential vessel information had to be transmitted verbally or through the mail. Errors frequently occurred through misunderstanding of verbal information, and delays of up to two weeks were commonplace when sending information via regular mail. Now a vessel captain can transmit exact copies of information in less than a minute and retain the originals for his records.

John G. Smith, vice president of marketing and sales for Watercom, said the company's customers see FAX capability as an efficient, money- saving tool. Vessel captains find FAX machines especially convenient, because they can transmit information after regular business hours or on weekends, and they can send up to 99 copies of reports during one transmission.

New, state-of-the-art FAX machines currently in use with Watercom are similar to copy machines. The FAX machines at the home office may be placed on "auto record," allowing the captain to transmit when he has time. When he is ready to transmit, he enters the home office FAX number on the Watercom keypad. After receiving a tone, he pushes a button on the FAX machine and begins his transmission. The information transmitted will then be available to home office personnel when they arrive the next morning, after a holiday or weekend.

Reports which may be transmitted using FAX include: boat order; deck logs; tow diagrams; vessel status; fuel levels; engineer logs; requisitions; personnel records; and for insurance claims, even photographs of boats or tows that have been damaged.

Richard A. Baker, president of Waterway Communications Systems, Inc., commented, "The time and communications cost savings our customers realize when they purchase FAX in conjunction with Watercom are significant.

There is no chance of misunderstanding, saving the vessel captain time and the company money." Watercom commenced commercial service in March 1987, along 4,000 miles of inland waterways, including the Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois rivers, as well as the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 84,  Jun 1988

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.