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Choosing the right franking machine for your business
Franking machines are incredibly important for businesses, enabling companies to send out pre-paid post from their office throughout the day to ensure their letters and parcels are delivered as quickly as possible.
There is a huge variety when it comes to franking machines these days, with the technology having advanced considerably over the last few years, so choosing the right one will depend on the size of your business and how much you intend to post mail.
Manual or digital postage meter?
Before you look at the many features available on franking machines, it is wise to decide whether you want one with a manual, electronic or digital postage meter.
- Digital postage meter – These are very advanced machines with a microprocessor that senses the pressure of the mail to determine its weight. Using the latest information regarding postage rates – by downloading it from the internet – they can tell you the exact cost of sending the parcel based on how much it weighs.
- Manual postage meter – Conversely, the manual postage meter requires the user to place the package on the scale, read the weight and use a reference table to determine what the value of postage will be.
- Electronic postage meter – These are a slight step up from manual postage meters, offering an electronic display of the weight to reduce the chance of human error when reading the scales.
- Offices that deal with low volumes of mail will prefer manual or electronic meters as they are more cost-efficient. However, if you have to handle lots of outgoing post, it is worth investing in a digital one.
Choosing the right franking machine service
Like with all office products, it is not just important to get the right machine, but also to find a service that will meet your needs.
Make sure you spend time researching what level of service and support you will receive, what training you will get, how well the system will be installed and maintained, and the cost of the contract.
Only once you are happy with the provider, you will be able to choose a franking machine that will make your office run more efficiently.
Other features to consider
The technology of franking machines has advanced tremendously recently, offering users a huge host of additional features intended to make postal operations run as smoothly and quickly as possible.
1. Resetting the postage – Some machines allow users to reset the postage to a basic first class rate, preventing high postage rates to be used for other packages unnecessarily.
2. A rate chip – To store information regarding various postage rates, invest in franking machines with replaceable chips. These can be updated when rates change to provide the most up-to-date information about postage prices.
3. Passwords – To secure your franking machine, make sure it is password protected so it cannot be misused.
4. Automatic sealing – You can get your envelopes automatically sealed after they have put through the franking machine or seal envelopes that do not require postage at all.
5. Tracking costs – For a really advanced machine, opt for one that has accounting functions, tracking costs and sending this information to the right department via a system of account codes.
6. Stacking the mail – Whether you want your post sealed or with the flap kept open, you can have your franking machine stack your mail on a useful catch tray.
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