Franking Machines, also called Postage Meter Machine (even though there is some technical difference in their definition , we will use it here synonymously for the sake of convenience), are not a new invention but still an often overlooked vital piece of office equipment that can go a long way when improving office productivity in your organisation. A franking machine is used for franking envelopes by printing a mark on the envelope eleminating the need of stamps. It manages and records the postage amount spent, a bit similar like a cash register, and can be topped-up remotely. You can learn more about how to use a franking machine here.
Here are five reasons why your company should look into this investment:
1. Time Saving and Convenience
Simply do the exercise and recall the steps you do to post a letter: Printing – Folding – Stuffing the letter into the envelope – Sealing – Stamping. Now imagine your office clerk doing this dozens or even hunderts of times a day. Or think of the number of cheques you use to sign and mail out with manually stamped envelopes. Not to mention the trips to the post office for buying more stamps. What a bunch of tedious time wasters! All very time consuming and inconvenient which are somehow necessary to get the job done but do not really add value to your business.
Postage meters can support many of these steps automatically and so boost productivity of your back office: Batches of letters can be quickly passed through the machine and franked with the correct postage which can either be set on a simple press of a button or determined by weighing the items beforehand. Even sealing the envelopes prior to the franking can be done by the meter and you can top it up 24/7 in under a minute. So, even if the post office is already closed you will never run out of postage.
2. Rebates from Your Postal Organisation
Postal organisation usually grant you discounts on franked mail (in Singapore, SingPost currently grants 1%). This is because handling franked items is a lot cheaper for them than issuing stamps and processing stamped mail. So it is a win-win-situation for your company as well as for the carrier. If this doesn't sound compelling, you might be additionally eligible for Goodes and Service Tax (GST) rebate on your amount of franked postage for local mail.
Simply check with your postal organisation in your area in terms of what rebates they offer you.
3. Presenting a Professional Image
When you take the effort to send a letter you also want to present your business in a professional manner towards your business partners and customers. This is why many businesses choose to use envelopes with their logo and company information specially printed for them or even go to the extent of tailored envelopes for special occasions.
Beside of the stamp imprint, your postage meter can also be customised to print your company logo and promotional text or other business messages. In this way, you can advertise new services, promotions and offers of your company and sent your “Gong Xi Fa Cai”, “Hari Raya” or "Merry Christmas" greetings on every single envelope….for free! By using a franking machine that offers text messaging, you can even change the message on the fly.
4. Over-Stamping, Under-Stamping
Most people end up over-stamping at some point. You have something that needs to be posted urgently, but you are not sure of the weight, or don't have the correct value of stamps at hand. So you over-pay. You waste your money, but at least the job is done. With a franking machine, especially one with a connected scale, this is never a problem. You get the correct postage, key it into the machine and you are ready to frank it. Job done and rather than over pay you are getting discounted postage!
Under-stamping can fire back onto your business pretty badly, because it can cause the letter not to be carried at all or the recipient's receiving office asks the recipient to pick up the item, pay the difference and even charges a handling fee. If your company accidentally under-stamps your mail, it causes inconvenience to your customers and can even costs them money. Not good for your reputation! Your franking machine can spare you the embarrassment as it is easy to get the correct postage and to avoid under-stamping altogether.
5. Cost- and Access-Control
You hold your different company departments accountable for their postage expenses? You are afraid some non-authorised person could take it for a free ride?
Most franking machines allow the set up and tracking of multiple accounts so that you can easily keep your costs under control. You can create reports on the number of imprints and the postage expenses of your company which also comes in handy when claiming your tax returns.
Last but not least, your working horse will refuse to listen to any unauthorised operator. An access restriction mechanism (i.e. a chip card) will open up the treasure chest only to those of your staff members you authorised before and keep others at bay.