5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Postage Meter
Many companies use online services for their daily correspondence, partially eliminating the need to visit the post office. However, 63% of small businesses still depend on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to receive checks and send invoices. Another 53% of businesses ship their products to their customers via the postal service.
Your business probably does, too. In addition to this, does your company mail a lot of letters and small packages? Are you tired of the logistics of getting them to the post office to ensure they're mailed out on time?
If so, you should consider incorporating a postage system into your business. Not only will it save you time, but it can also lower your postage costs. Read on to find out what factors you should consider to choose the best postage meter for your business needs.
What Is A Postage Meter System?
A postage meter system is a machine used by businesses or that can be used in a home to print postage. The postage is either printed directly onto the letters or packages or onto meter tape, which is then placed on the mail items.
Any business or person that uses a postage meter requires a permit from the city they're mailing from. The USPS regulates all meters, which means companies can only lease, not purchase them. They can do this through an authorized dealer or postage meter manufacturer.
This usually involves signing a contract for one to five years that includes a monthly leasing/rental fee.
Benefits of Using a USPS Meter at Your Business
One of the fastest ways to improve customer satisfaction is not only to sell high-quality products but get them to your clients on time. An effective supply chain that includes a postage meter can facilitate this.
This is just one of the many benefits that an in-house mailing system can provide. Here are a few others:
- You can get a mailing system to facilitate your business as it grows
- It can save you the time it takes to individually stamp each piece of mail manually
- It's convenient and, unlike the post office, you have access to it at any time of the day
- The discounts included save you money
- It can increase productivity, as staff no longer have to focus on this task
- It allows you to brand your mail or print marketing messages
- It facilitates better budgeting, as you can track how much you spend when you mail items
It's a minimum investment that allows you to enjoy many benefits that can help your business in the long run.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Postage Meter
The postage meter you choose will depend on various factors associated with your business. There are five suppliers you can choose from. The main difference among the machines they provide is how fast they print the postage.
But before you decide which is best for your business, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. Volume of Mail Your Company Sends Out Daily
Businesses have a choice of a small, medium, or large postage meter, depending on their business needs. Most small companies will have lower volumes of mail going out daily. This can be adequately handled with an entry-level postage system.
These are often hand-fed machines that allow you to weigh and then print the postage for your package.
Larger businesses with higher volumes of mail will find a meter capable of printing postage on 45 to 120 pieces of mail more suitable. These larger machines often perform multiple tasks, including stuffing and folding envelopes, weighing, and postage placement.
2. The Types of Packages Your Business Mails Out
Most postage meters have built-in scales that can usually accommodate mail weighing between two to fifteen pounds.
If your company sends out bulk packages, especially heavier ones, you may need to consider a machine with an external scale. These can weigh packages up to 70 pounds. You should choose a meter that can accommodate the weight of the largest packages you ship regularly.
Leasing is the only option available to businesses that require a postage meter. The cost of leasing a machine will vary depending on its size and features. Basic machines cost as little as $20 a month, while larger machines can cost as much as $1,000 or more every month.
Some suppliers provide the option of a fixed-fee lease or a usage-based lease. However, this is just one cost you need to consider. Other costs include:
- Postage meter supplies, including ink and stationery
- Hardware repair and maintenance
- Software support
Despite these, meters also provide cost savings including a 9% discount on direct mail costs. In addition, companies can also enjoy presorted mail discounts.
The cost of each machine will vary based on the supplier. Many suppliers offer additional discounts and services, especially for larger volumes of mail.
4. The Amount of Office Space Available
Most postage meters, despite their capabilities, are fairly compact and can fit on the average office desk or workstation. Some may require additional space, especially ones with external scales.
Take note of the space you need and the best location for your machine. This will ensure you get the best functionality and usage from it.
5. If You Intend to Expand Your Business
It may be hard to anticipate your mail requirements, especially if you have a smaller business. However, if you're planning to expand, you should consider leasing a postage system that will facilitate this.
Alternatively, you can discuss upgrading your machine with your supplier. But don't wait until it's too late. If you find:
- You're doing a general technology upgrade throughout your business to increase capacity
- There has been an increase in the volume of packages you're sending out
- There's been an adjustment in postal rates or services
- You don't have enough staff to manage the volume of mail
- You no longer want to deal with the logistics of going to the postal service or outsourcing the process
Then it's time to consider upgrading your postage meter. Your supplier can advise you on the best machine to service your needs.
Get Your Products to Your Customers on Time
A high level of customer satisfaction is one of the main objectives of any business that can also contribute to greater profits. Companies often ensure that they implement processes to facilitate this, including ensuring products are delivered to customers on time.
If you have a smaller company, you should consider getting a postage system to help get your products out faster. But before you do so, there are other factors you should consider to ensure you get a machine that suits your needs.
Side By Side Reviews can help you choose the best postage meter for your business. We take an in-depth look at the postage meters available from all five suppliers. Check out our site for a complete postage meter review.
Author: Hudson Piccini
Hudson Cynar, a Harvard University alumna and the owner of three prosperous enterprises, is a distinguished business consultant, author, and writer. Her expertise spans multiple business sectors, with a particular emphasis on storage containers, commercial copiers, payroll services, and medical billing software. Dedicatedly investing thousands of hours into product and service research, Hudson crafts insightful reviews to guide entrepreneurs in making informed decisions for their businesses.