Despite the advances in electronic communication many businesses still need to send out a large volume of monthly mail. From receipts to invoices and products a franking machine is an essential piece of office equipment for any business that is serious about saving money on their postage costs. Franking machines are helping to ensure that the long queue for the post office is a thing of the past.
How do franking machines work?
Franking machines negate the need for traditional postage stamps by printing a custom marking on letters and parcels, signifying to Royal Mail that the postage has been paid. The business will prepay for a number of units in advance which will be tracked by the machine and reduce accordingly as each item is stamped for delivery. Although franking machines are sold by private suppliers the machines are regulated by the postal authorities and the printed franks carry an ID which now comes in the form of a barcode. This barcode can link the post back to the machine it originated from enabling authorities to check for any irregularities or abnormal unpaid volumes.
How much cheaper are franking machines then normal post?
In the UK as of April 2010 post that has been franked is up to 30% cheaper to send than a standard stamped delivery. Savings of 5p per first class letter, 7p per second class and up to £1 on large parcels of around 2kg in weight. With both rental and purchasing options available, for most businesses it just makes financial sense to use a franking machine for all outgoing postage.
What mail room equipment do I need?
Franking machines are most commonly described in three sizes or levels.
Low Volume – These machines are designed for the smaller business or those who don’t send out a great deal of mail. Including features like a small auto electronic scale for accurate postage weights and remote 24/7 postage re-crediting. Low volume franking machines are perfect for businesses that send around 1000 letters a month and parcels of no more than 2 – 3 kg.
Medium Volume – Mid volume franking machines can handle the more demanding postal needs of a medium to large business. With many models coming with auto feed features, franking large volumes of post can be a breeze. If your business sends between 1000 – 3000 letters a month and medium sized parcels a mid volume machine should meet your needs.
High Volume – These top of the range machines are designed to be on the go around the clock. Heavier duty parts and lightening fast speeds come as standard in high volume franking machines. High volume franking machines support robust weighing platforms allowing items up to 30kg to be accurately priced. They also offer support for multiple users or departments, allowing the busy office to keep track of different sections postal spend. If you need to send 3000+ letters a month and large continuous runs of 1000 letters or more a high volume machine could be what your business needs.