These are financially testing times for all businesses, whether large or small, and finding new ways to reduce expenditure and running costs are becoming more and more of a necessity. OFCOM’s (now the UK’s postal regulatory body) recent proposal that the Royal Mail should ultimately be free to set its own tariffs for mail delivery services on top of annual is unwelcome news for businesses which send out mail in volume, especially following the increases in postage costs which came into effect in April 2011.
Regardless of the size of your business, investment in an appropriate mail franking machine makes financial sense. If you’re inclined to ask “do franking machines save you money?” the answer is invariably “yes”. Franked post attracts significant discounts from the Royal Mail and there are no minimum or maximum volumes since the reduced postage costs are applied on a per-item basis.
How much money do franking machines save?
At current postal rates (November 2011), you’ll save at least seven pence on every item of first-class franked mail you send, and eight pence on every second-class franked item. However, a franking machine not only saves you money on first- and second-class postage costs, but also on a range of other mail services including recorded and special delivery items, clean mail and mailsort deliveries, ParcelForce worldwide deliveries and international and airmail services.
Whilst a franking machine can benefit a business even if it sends out small volumes of post the economies of scale applicable to larger volumes result in significant reductions in postage costs for medium to large businesses.
For example, if your business routinely sends out one thousand first-class items every week, your postage costs could be reduced by up to £3,360 per year by using a franking machine:
Weekly saving = £70.00 (1000 x 7p postage discount for first-class franked mail)
Monthly saving = £280.00 (4 x £70.00)
Annual saving = £3,360 (12 x £280.00)
If your business regularly uses a combination of Royal Mail services or sends out significant volumes of second-class post the savings can be even more substantial.
Additional benefits of using a franking machine for business post
Besides reducing your expenditure on postal costs, a franking machine relieves you of the time-consuming task of purchasing stamps and affixing them to every item of post you send out.
Franked mail is easier to process at sorting offices which means that your business mail is less likely to suffer from loss or delayed delivery.
You can also use your franking machine to personalise your business mail, adding a corporate logo or sales message to every item you send out. Not only does this lend an air of professionalism which builds customer confidence, it also makes your mail instantly recogniseable and positively reinforces your company’s brand identity.
How much will a franking machine cost?
Franking machines are available in a vast range of sizes and complexities that will meet the needs of businesses of any size. To purchase a new franking machine for your business can cost anything between five hundred pounds and several thousand pounds. However, it is possible to rent machines from various manufacturers with prices starting at around twenty pounds per month. Alternatively, greater savings may be made by purchasing a second-hand franking machine for your business.
Running costs for your franking machine may include Post Office inspection charges, maintenance, ink cartridges and, if applicable, collection charges for your franked mail. These running costs are usually quickly offset by the savings made in postal charges.