It’s simply not good enough to just get any old franking machine – it has to be approved by the Royal Mail.
This is a crucial factor to bear in mind because if the machine you buy or rent does not come with the official stamp of the Royal Mail it is as good as useless and your franked mail will end up costing you more than you bargained for.
The Royal Mail run a very tight ship where franking machines are concerned; in fact there are only 4 manufacturers in the whole of the UK producing them:
- Neopost (Essex)
- Frama (Hertfordshire)
- Pitney Bowes (Essex)
- Francotyp Postalia Ltd (Kent)
These firms by the way also provide distribution, inspection and maintenance services.
If you are offered a franking machine that doesn’t have any of those names on it, stay clear for they will not have passed the Royal Mail inspection or been officially awarded a license.
When it comes to suppliers however, it is a different story and there are some 22 reputable companies across the UK who distribute and service machines, again all with the approval of the Royal Mail.
- Digital Post Solutions (Bedfordshire)— formed in 2004, utilising over 40 years of combined experience in the franking machine industry.
- Annodata Ltd (Hertfordshire)— n business since 1988, one of Europe’s largest independent franking machine firms with 4,000 clients.
- NSL Mailing (Middlesex)—competitive supplier with a diverse range of machines, including Pitney Bowes, Neopost and Frama.
- OMM Group (Essex)— supplying London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland since 1990 with an accent on exemplary service.
- Twofold Ltd (Berkshire)— A trusted Royal Mail supplier, Twofold’s franking machine strategy is simply to be twice as good as everyone else.
- FPIMS Southern Ltd (Berkshire)—a family-run business since 1988 with a strong client base of satisfied customers, supplying ongoing service throughout the UK.
- SMarTech UK plc (London)— In business since 1988, the company prides itself on its impartiality and provision of total mailroom solutions.
- European Postal Services Ltd (Kent)— One of the UK’s largest suppliers of franking machines, their promise is to look after you from “start to finish.”
Mailing Systems (Europe) Ltd (Somerset)— Focusing mainly on the South West and Wales, this company was one of the first to achieve Royal Mail accreditation.
- Mailcoms Limited (Staffordshire)— Only in existence since 2005, family-run Mailcoms has risen to prominence enjoying a turnover of £1 million and an extensive range of franking services.
- Westmore Business Systems Ltd (Warwickshire)— a proactive supplier to all businesses, industry and private sector, offering Frama machines and extensive financing options.
- Ashcroft Mailing Solutions Ltd (Warwickshire)— one of the UK’s largest suppliers servicing Birmingham, Leicester, Coventry, Milton Keynes and the surrounding area.
- NCS Group Ltd (Lanarkshire)— Based in Glasgow but with offices throughout the UK, NCS is one of the largest franking companies, having been in operation for 22 years.
- Northern Services (Lanarkshire)—supplying franking machines for over 20 years from its East Kilbride HQ offering 10 year guarantees on all machines.
- Digital Communications Systems Limited Northumberland)—growing from strength to strength since 1992, has forged strong partnerships with some big multinationals.
- Totalpost Services plc (Cumbria)— a fully-fledged and comprehensive international supplier based in Cumbria with a notably big-name customer base.
- Nationwide Franking Sense Ltd (Lancashire)— Bolton-based business for over 20 years, built on strong knowledge and high level of experience, and hand-picked industry talent.
- Franking Machine Company (Merseyside)— founded in 1986 with 30,000 satisfied customers to its name in the public and private sector.
Kane Mailing Systems Ltd (Caerphilly)—family-owned and controlled since 1989, the first independent mailroom company to obtain the ISO9001:2000 quality standard.
North Time and Data Ltd (Country Antrim)— Northern Ireland’s premier supplier of franking machines for a wide range of businesses for more than 20 years.
Of course, it is important to note these are the main officially licensed and approved distributors of franking machines across the UK, there are many more suppliers and resellers countrywide too in an area close to you.
So…How Do I Choose The Best Franking Machine & Supplier?
First and foremost you need to be clear about your requirements. It would be pretty pointless going for a machine that processes dozens of letters a minute if you are only sending out a handful a day.
So have a careful look at what your business needs are and consider:
- Volume of mail
- Future volume (will it increase or lessen?)
- Letter or package or both?
- Budget (remembering to factor in consumables/servicing)
- Purchase outright or rent
Once you are clearer on these the next important aspect to consider is support and servicing. Again this could be crucial as you don’t want to get lumbered with a contract that is low on providing the extras that go with running a franking machine – especially if you are going to opt for the new Smart machines which provide digital online services but might not do what you are hoping it will if you haven’t completed the proper checks.
Meeting Your Business Requirements
Before you begin the process of choosing your franking machine supplier it’s worth spending a little time to work out exactly what you need your franking machine to do. If your business sends out little more than a dozen letters a day, you’re not going to be looking at suppliers who specialise in high volume franking machines that can frank two hundred letters per minute. The following questions illustrate some of areas that should be considered before you choose a franking machine supplier:
- What is my budget for a franking machine?
- Do I wish to rent a franking machine or purchase one outright?
- What is the maximum volume of business mail sent per day?
- Is the current volume of business mail likely to increase or decrease?
- Do I need a franking machine that allows multiple user accounts?
- Do I need a franking machine that can handle packages as well as letters?
- What is my budget for postage, franking machine consumables and maintenance?
Once you have an informed idea of your business requirements, choosing the franking machine supplier that best meets them should be easier.
In many ways you can’t go too wrong when choosing a franking machine because
a) there aren’t that many companies making them and
b) if your volume of mail is weighty using a franking system will always save you money in the long run.
If in doubt, why not use our comparison resource for a quick and informative response to help you make a more informed choice?