Mailing Equipment and Franking Machines
Businesses are increasingly looking to cut postal costs and improve efficiency by investing in franking machines and mailing equipment. Franking machines can be used for letters, parcels, international and recorded delivery as well as first and second class. The exact savings generated vary but can be up to thirty two per cent against stamped mail. To help increase the efficiency of the mail room there is other equipment companies can invest in, in addition to franking machines. Available equipment includes addressing systems, envelope inserters, envelope sealers, folding machines, label affixers, poly wrapping and shrink wrapping machines. There are also features which can be purchased for franking machines such as scales. Scales can often reduce a business's postage costs as the risk of paying excess postage is minimised.
Franking Machine Prices
Franking machines in the UK can only be purchased from suppliers approved by the Royal Mail. The cost of a franking machine varies greatly depending on how many letters it is capable of processing, the features it has, and the way in which it is purchased. The smallest franking machines cost from several hundred pounds to purchase new, and the largest bulk franking machines can cost several thousand pounds. As investing in a franking machine can be a significant outlay for a business most suppliers will offer the option of leasing. Leases are typically three to five years in length and can start from a few pounds a month for the smallest machine on a five year lease up to hundreds of pounds a month for the largest bulk machines. Lease costs are often negotiable and contacting several suppliers can help to cut costs. It is possible to purchase second hand franking machines for around half the price of new models. The cost will need to be measured against the savings achieved to identify the true cost of the machine.
Prices of Mailing Equipment
The cost of mailing equipment will depend on exactly what equipment is being purchased for the company. Again, especially if the equipment is being purchased alongside a franking machine, the prices can be negotiable. The prices for mail equipment start at a few hundred pounds for equipment such as basic envelope sealers up to several thousand pounds for sophisticated poly wrapping machines. Suppliers will often lease the equipment which makes it more accessible to businesses who might be deterred by such a significant investment. As with franking machines, it is possible to source second hand mailing equipment at a substantial discount.
Once a franking machine has been purchased there are several on-going costs and these should be discussed with your supplier in advance so you are not hit by unexpected charges. The largest cost is often for maintenance; Royal Mail stipulates that all franking machines must be serviced once a year as a condition of their licence, and if a machine does break down it will need to be repaired be a qualified engineer. Many lease include maintenance costs, but this should be clarified at the time of purchase. Other costs to be aware of are charges for topping up the credit, whether you can top up on a Freephone or premium rate number, the cost of ink cartridges and mailing labels if required. When comparing quotes for an ink cartridge the important figure to calculate is the cost per frank, as not all cartridges deliver the same number of franks.