“Even a small office can benefit from using a franking machine. Take a look at our selection of five of the best franking machines designed for the small office.”
In many ways it’s a blessing that Royal Mail is a little bit selective with companies it allows to manufacture franking machines; otherwise business people and start-up entrepreneurs could be swamped by too many choices.
As it is, there are only four companies entrusted with the design and build of franking machines, with another 20 or so independent firms offering Royal Mail-approved distribution and servicing of the sophisticated machines that help UK businesses save money on their postage costs.
The four licensed manufacturers are Pitney Bowes, Neopost, Frama and Francotyp Postalia (FP). Mailcoms of Staffordshire has its own approved and licensed machines on the market, even though it is strictly speaking a distributor.
The following list features our top 5 low volume franking machines that have been specially designed for small businesses looking for an entry-level introduction to franking.
“Possibly the easiest and most eco-friendly franking machine currently available”
Designed and manufactured in Switzerland by Swiss company Frama, the Ecomail has been specially designed to use rechargeable ink-ribbon cassettes in tandem with its patented ComTouch touch screen technology. This makes the Ecomail arguably the easiest (and most eco-friendly) franking machine to use currently available on the market today.
Described by Frama as the ‘franking machine for small postal volume’, the Ecomail can actually handle 2000 frankings per hour. It can hold up to 8 company slogans/messages in its memory and is capable of changing dates automatically. It also automatically calculates tariffs and you can program 9 fixed values into the machine for regular mail recipients.
2. Optimail 25
“Has a lot of wonderful features for a small machine”
The Optimail 25 is designed and produced by Germany-based Francotyp Postalia (FP), a company which has always been at the forefront of innovative technology for businesses. The Optimail 25 is the company’s offering for low-volume users, with the capacity to frank up to 30 items a day.
The Optimail 25 has a lot of wonderful features for a small machine: free postage top-ups, auto postage value resets, teleset postal loading, plus it can warn you if your postage is high or low. It can connect digitally through the FPConnect software for tariff updates. You can also program up to 6 advertising messages or slogans into your franking stamp. You can also add an envelope sealer to your machine to make your mailing tasks even easier.
3. Pitney Bowes DM50
“Customisable machine with a PIN code security system”
The DM50 is the entry level machine on offer from Pitney Bowes, a company which has enjoyed nearly a century of excellent reputation.
The DM50 can frank up to 30 pieces of mail per day and comes with an integrated scale which can weigh up to 2.5 kg of mail. You can customise your franking stamp with promotional slogans or messages or your company logo. You can also set up a PIN code to prevent unauthorised use of your DM50. This machine can be updated with the latest postage rates online, and you can even top up your postage credit by phone.
4. Neopost IS240
“Easy to use”
It is the ease of use that many up and coming businesses enjoy about the IS240 from Neopost. The shortcut keys give quick and easy access to your most popular and frequently used settings.
Designed for up and coming businesses, the IS240—also known as the AutoStamp2—offers high-quality digital printing, an integrated 2 kg scale, PIN-protected access, and up to 10 customised slogans to give your business mailings that unique personal touch. It can frank up to 20 letters per minute.
5. Mailstart 2
“Compact and ideal for first time franking machine users”
Awarded the accolade of approved Royal Mail Independent Maintainers and Inspectors of Postal Franking Machines in 2008, Mailcoms is a £1 million-turnover family-run business offering business customers a first-class, low-cost service.
It has now been approved to market its own range of low to high volume franking machines.
One of these is the compact Mailstart 2 which has been designed for low-volume postage users or stamp users ‘looking to switch to franking for the first time.’ The Mailstart 2 boasts of a 2 kg digital posting scale, PIN security setup, automatic date changes, and can handle letters up to 8 mm thick. It also allows you to incorporate advertising messages and other marketing tools into your franking stamp.