Franking machines have been in existence for the past 90 years. They are used to produce stamp impressions called franking labels, which are normally used for mailing purposes.
The stamps must match the mailing item format. Especially for businesses who regularly post letters, parcels, and other types of packages to clients and associates, having a franking machine can make a huge difference as far as improving efficiency, saving time, and cutting costs on postage is concerned.
Below are five facts that you should be aware of when it comes to franking machines.
1Acquisition, Regulation, and Licensure
Franking machines require the business owner to have a license to operate and own it. In the UK, for example, you will need a license from the Royal Mail for you to own a franking machine and its ink. The same body regulates manufacturers and suppliers of these machines. In other words, this makes it important for businesses to ensure that the franking machines they purchase are Royal Mail-Approved.
As long as you visit their offices or their official website, purchasing a legitimate franking machine for your business from these suppliers is usually a simple and straightforward process. You can request pricing and additional information online from the comfort of your home or office, or even while on the go. The machines are strictly regulated in most other countries as well. In Sweden, for instance, only four companies are authorized to produce and maintain the machines.
2Two Main Types Exist
There are two types of franking machines in the market: manual and automatic franking machines. The manually fed type enables your business to send a few mails in a day as it requires labels to be manually inserted in the machine per envelope requirements. For small businesses, this type is highly recommended.
The automatic type, on the other hand, is controlled from a central location and is capable of handling bulk postage tasks more efficient. Labels are done automatically and each envelope can have its own distinct label. If your business sends out tens or hundreds of mail on a given day, then you should consider using an automatic franking machine.
3Allows You to Cut Costs
When using franking labels on your mails, instead of the traditional stamps, your business will receive a 4% discount just for using it, one of the many reasons you need a franking machine. This basically means that the more mail you send, the higher the amount of money you can save.
Studies have shown that by switching from stamped to franked mail, you can be able to save up to 16,380 pounds per 350 mails sent a year. Using franking machines is, therefore, a great way for your business to cut down mailing operational costs.
Using a franking machine ensures your mails go faster through the system and to your intended address. This is made possible by the date that is printed on the franking labels, making your mails very date-sensitive.
Staff time on mailing is also reduced as the mails are checked by machines in the post office as opposed to manual checking by the post office staff in the case of traditional postage.
Since the franking labels are generated by machines, it is natural that machines are the ones to sort them according to urgency, making mailing a highly efficient process. Additionally, your staff can say goodbye to hours spent applying postage stamps on a bunch of letters, not forgetting the long queues at the post office in the case of traditional postage.
The franking labels allow your business to market itself due to its flexibility when it comes to customization. The labels are branding tools that contain information that can show your business the mail status and also give you crucial data about the entire process, which could be useful to the business.
Moreover, franked mail looks more professional and appealing to the recipient as well as any other person who may come across the envelope.
The franking machines and their inks are strictly regulated to ensure that only genuine products are used in the market. Maintenance is also restricted to the authorized manufacturers to ensure that the labels created are traceable to specific models of the machine that created them.
7It Requires Topping Up
For your franking machines operate, it needs to have postage credit, which is issued by Royal Mail and other postage regulators. Refilling your postage credit may depend on the franking machine type and model.
It can be done via Fax, a phone line or network, so be sure to read the machine’s manual or contact the manufacturer to find out how you can top up your postage credit.
As shown above, using a franking machine is definitely a great way to save on the mailing costs of your business. Having a dedicated postage room in your office will also help save a great deal of time and resources, which can be utilized in other areas of your business.
You’ll also forget the woes that come with traveling to the post office, lost postage stamps, and much more. It’s a must-have piece of equipment for businesses that send a considerable amount of mail weekly or monthly.