Do you still find yourself queuing up at post offices? It is about time to save the lengthy wait times with a franking machine. The endless hope that a staff member will come forward and offer assistance and the pain point of the processing times can now all wary away.
What is a franking machine?
Also known as a ‘postage metre’, it is typically used for printing barcodes on letters or parcels. In this, franking machines print the postage directly onto the envelopes, postcards, packages or adhesive labels. These barcodes stand to replace traditional stamps. A franking machine can download and securely store funds. Another helpline is that it serves as a guide when exploring the different mail classes and special services.
A standout aspect is that a franking machine weighs and measures letters and parcels. Once done, it prints the correct postage amount. It is all automated! You no longer need to fret over approximations and estimates. The bottom line? Franked postage prices are lower than traditional stamps, no matter the type or class. With franking machines, you can also imprint your corporate logo and message onto the letter – a subtle promotion. It is an excellent way of creating a lasting impression.
A common feature in all these advantages is that franking machines help cut off the middleman. Businesses or individuals can now ‘stamp’ outgoing mails and pay appropriate postage. The result? The process of sending mail is streamlined and at discounted rates.
Benefits of using a franking machine
There are numerous advantages of using a franking machine. These are next.
– One can save considerable time over inefficient wait times and queues at post offices
– You get to eliminate costly surcharges
– Lower price points compared to traditional postage system
– Businesses can incorporate their company logo, messages and details. With this, the franking machine becomes an indirect marketing tool
– Faster delivery timelines
– Usage reports help monitor costs
What about phone lines? Does a franking machine need one?
Today, a lot of the functions have gotten upgraded to digital! The older franking machines relied on telephone line connections for updating tariffs and downloading information, among others.
The newer models can connect using a LAN connection through the internet. This enhances the upload and download speeds of information and helps save on communication costs. The telephone line is free to cater to more pressing conversations – internally among business co-workers.
The essential features of a franking machine
Automatic Envelope Feeder
Most of the modern and newer versions are built-in with this feature. Earlier, one had to feed envelopes for processing manually. Today, with the latest ones, all you need is to place a stack of envelopes at the feeder tray, and they get processed automatically. Plus, several franking machines include settings for manual and semi-automatic modes.
Apart from franking, the equipment has a feature that enables automatic sealing of envelopes. This sealing can take place post franking and flap-opening before the process. What this does is that it saves time and maximises workplace efficiency. People can also avail themselves of a dedicated folding machine that gets used before the envelopes go through the franking process.
Automated envelope stacking
Alternatively known as stack weighing, this feature complements the automatic feeding and stacking of envelopes.
Automated postage rate metre
This is among the most crucial features of a franking machine. Today, franked equipment can automatically download and update the latest postage rates. In this way, it can accurately calculate the postage costs using parameters such as weight, size and thickness. What this does is that it helps eliminate the chances of over-or under-paying for postage tariffs. Thus, you get to avoid unwarranted and costly surcharges.
Accounting is automated
Every transaction that goes through the franking machine can get tracked and traced. This procedure provides the business with the much-needed ease and convenience of monitoring the postage costs. And the best part? The same gets done at the touch of a button. Also, it enables corporations to stay within the postage budgets or make adjustments where necessary. Another aspect is users can get a breakdown of the services and prices used.
All one has to do is go digital or online, using the account credentials, and monitor the outgoing mail expenditure. The monitoring can be done daily, weekly or monthly, and even at other frequencies.
Protection and safety of the user account
Accountability and transparency are vital aspects of the growth and sustainability of business ventures. User account or PIN protection renders control over which personnel has and does not have access to the equipment and what they can or cannot do with it. Also, this feature helps streamline the processing of outgoing mail and ensures a tight grip on the financials.
Enterprises can leverage the franking machine to promote the brand image, making for a promotional tool. What’s more, businesses can use full-colour optimisation to make their mails instantly cognizant of their clientele.
Franked postage and mails are a whole lot cheaper compared to standard mail. The discount stems from the fact that most processing costs are lower. Plus, frequent users get to avail of higher discounts, especially when sending bulk mails and postage. The feature is known as business mail and only requires a minimum of 250 letters to be dispatched in one transaction to qualify.
At the end of the day
Franking machines are way more valuable than one might like to think. They are especially crucial for businesses that deal with the voluminous daily mail. While savings and productivity are the primary benefits, franking machines today have much more to offer. With the digital aspect, the ultimate factors are autonomy and control. The Quadient franking machines render free access through MyQuadient, an online portal catering to accounts and expenses management.