What is a Franking Machine Used For?
The Franking Machine Explained
The franking machine is used to weigh and correctly frank all of your outgoing mail, meaning you no longer need to waste time standing in lengthy Post Office queues to wait on mail being processed. It will do all of this and more for you, allowing you to run your office and manage your time more efficiently. You are effectively cutting out the middle man, by doing the job of the person behind the counter at the Post Office.
Although things are gradually improving, the country is still recovering from recession and businesses simply cannot afford the high cost of postage stamps. Indeed, the larger your volume of mail output, the more you could be saving by having a franking machine installed.
It is your choice whether you decide to buy or lease a franking machine (this largely depends on your financial position and mailing requirements) however, always make sure that machines are approved by Royal Mail, especially if you decide to purchase second hand.
A Great Way to Save on Postage
The franking machine is a must have piece of office equipment these days. Some companies have claimed that installing a franking machine has saved them hundreds, even thousands of pounds each year.
More people than ever before have been driven away from purchasing Royal Mail stamps this year (2012) as the price of a first class stamp has now gone up by 33 per cent and a second class stamp by a massive 39 per cent. However, what business owners and, indeed, personal users are now catching onto is that Royal Mail is still offering a generous discount to all franking machine users.
Today's franking machines are not only used for letters, but for large packages (where labels can be printed), recorded mail, special delivery and even overseas mail. There are many different types of franking machine on the market to suit the individual needs of your business, ranging from the older style sturdy and reliable to the modern, high tech/high output digital machines, most of which come with integrated scales.
They range greatly in size, some being suitable for a small volume of mail, i.e. 10 letters per minute, to machines that are capable of franking somewhere in the region of 250 letters per minute. There are some useful online tools, including one on the Royal Mail website, which will give you an idea of what you could be saving.
Payment for postage is prepaid into your franking machine and topped up as required, either online or by telephone. Each item franked is then deducted from your balance. This is an efficient and reliable way to keep an eye on postage costs. Needless to say, end of year VAT returns are greatly simplified as user friendly, straightforward reports can be printed from most machines. Most modern digital machines enable various formats and can even print separate reports by department, etc.
There are many other advantages of owning or leasing a franking machine. When using an office supply of stamps, mail is consistently stamped incorrectly by employees in a hurry or misjudging the weight of their letters and/or parcels. Companies lose a fortune each year due to these errors - errors that do not happen when using a franking machine as the correct weight and cost will be applied each and every time.
We have all done it - thought a letter may be a little too heavy for just the one stamp, and so we have put two on just to be sure: that's potentially two first class stamps when only one is required, doubling the cost. Something else to take into consideration is when mail is under stamped. No reputable business wants their client to receive mail where the postage wasn't enough, resulting in them having to pay for it themselves, along with an additional charge from the Post Office. This looks entirely unprofessional and will often get your mail put in the bin instead of collected.
Modern, digital franking machines allow you to incorporate your business name or a company slogan in high resolution, colour printing. You can also print easily changeable promotions and important notices onto envelopes, turning your franking machine into a clever piece of marketing equipment. Everyday slogans and promotional messages can be set into the memory of the franking machine, allowing you to easily access the one you require, and change if necessary.
You now know exactly what the franking machine is used for and why more and more people are looking into owning or leasing one. Online searches will show you what is available, as well as some great special offers and discounts.