Franking makes managing mails quick and easy. You save time and money and project a professional image for your company. There are many benefits to franking. There are also many models to choose from. It can be overwhelming if you are new to franking. In this article, we will help you decide which franking machine you should get by giving you the information you need to make an informed decision. For a faster choice, just fill out the form above and we put you in touch with the best franking machine suppliers for your needs.
Choosing a Franking Machine
In the UK, there are 4 major companies that offer franking machines. They are Pitney Bowes, Frama, Neopost and FP. Each company manufactures several lines and models that suit clients from home or small offices to large corporations. Naturally, these machines vary in features. Some are just basic models while some are incorporated with the latest state-of-the-art technology.
You can also get from other smaller retailers and manufacturers. The important thing is they are Royal Mail approved. You can get a complete list of approved dealers and manufacturers from their website.
To determine your range, think about the volume of mail you send daily. Franking systems are divided into small, mid and high volume processing. By determining the amount of letters you send every day, you limit your choices, making it easier for you to decide. Five to one hundred letters per day is in the small volume range. 200 to 500 is in the mid range while any number higher than that requires a device that can handle large volumes.
Another factor is your budget. This will determine if you should rent or purchase an equipment. You can rent a franking machine for as low as £20 per month. Purchase price usually starts around a few hundred pounds and they can go as high as £15,000. Some new models in the market are even priced more. Renting is cheaper on the first year but if you are sure that you will be using your system more in the coming months or years then you should consider setting aside some money to purchase your own equipment. Renting is more expensive in the long run.
Renting has its advantages though. Aside from being the more affordable option, you can also easily upgrade or downgrade your equipment as needed. When the latest model comes out, you can ask your vendor to change your machine. This is especially useful if you suddenly see a boom in your business and you need a system that can keep up with your mailroom demands. It’s not easy to replace machines once you buy one.
You also need to determine the features that you want in your equipment. You can get a basic model for a decent price. You can also get one with a lot of features that will make mail processing faster. Examples of these features are automatic sealer, automatic sorter, printing customized logos and messages and fast printing/franking speeds. The more features that you need (or want), the higher the price gets.
Do I need to buy a SMART franking machine?
First of all, what is a SMART franking machine? It is a machine that will allow you to reclaim your VAT. It facilitates account monitoring and general administration purposes online. It assists your accounting department in compiling your tax return and itemizes you company’s postage expenditure efficiently. If you are using any Royal Mail products that are VAT liable then yes, you need to buy a SMART machine. You can enjoy a VAT refund at the end of the tax year. This device is essential to your business as this is the only way to reclaim the VAT you spent on postage throughout the financial year.
Am I ready to invest in a franking machine? It sounds expensive.
Depending on the model you choose, yes, it can be expensive but there are so many benefits that you will experience by using one that the price would not even matter anymore. You can easily reclaim your investment just by sending letters and parcels every day. You get huge discounts from Royal Mail for every first and second class letter that you send. Franking is up to 34% cheaper than traditional stamps. If you frank your envelopes and labels properly, you can surely get great discounts from Royal Mail services. This is motivation enough for any business owner to invest in a franking system.
Another benefit is you get complete control over your postage spend. Some suppliers will allow you to pay for postage credit as you need them. Some will allow you to post now and pay later. Some will offer you credit plans that suit your budget. These services allow you to plan your monthly budget wisely.
Most franking machines also offer accounts reporting. You can review your expenses. You know where every penny is going. You can also group your expenses into accounts. You can group your letters by department, client or however you choose to group them to make accounting simpler.
Processing your letters in-house using this device will eliminate costly errors (mis-posting, over or under stamping). You can also finish your task in no time as you don’t need to commute to the post office, fall in line, buy stamps and process your letters or parcels there. You do everything in the comforts of your office. If you are sending bulk mail, you can even ask Royal Mail to pick them up. They will also bring you supplies that you need to organize your items such as trays and bags, all free of charge.
There is another surprise benefit to this device. You can turn your boring envelopes into marketing materials. If your model can print customized logos and messages, you are lucky! Now you can use your letters to target specific groups of customers and send them the message they need to read. With all the junk and promotional mail that people receive daily, it’s easy for consumers to automatically dump them in the trash. Your letters won’t share the same fate. They can easily stand out with colourful images and targeted promotions. You have a higher chance of getting your letter opened because of how it looks.
If you send at least 5 letters per day, you are ready to own a franking machine. If you see growth in your future that involves mail shots, bills or invoices to send, etc. you are ready to invest in this device.
I think I need more help in deciding
No problem! Each brand has their own advisors you can talk to if you have further questions or if you have any concerns about their products and services. You can also use a service that chooses the top vendors in your area. All you need to do is fill out a simple form and they will do all the heavy work.
Choosing the franking machine that is perfect for your business is easy as long as you know the volume of mail you need to send, the amount you are willing to pay and the functionalities that you need. With all the choices in the market, you will surely find the best one for you.