My Apple Is Not Your Apple – 5 Considerations When Comparing Mail Machines

By Paul Johnson, President Complete Mailing Solutions

We often come across companies who obtained new postage meter machines that they thought fit their needs only to find out they did not perform as expected or there were costs were higher than expected.

Decisions are often made based on the monthly rental or lease fee alone. However, you need to understand the total cost of operating a mail machine. There are 5 key areas to consider when comparing mailing machines:

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1. Equipment
2. Pricing / Fees
3. Postage – Funding / Managing
4. Customer Service – Training / Problem Solving
5. Supplies

Let’s take a look at each area.

    1. Equipment

The primary decision you’ll make is which mail machine best meets your needs. Consider:

      • Mail Volume

Consider daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal mail volumes. Your mail machine should easily handle your highest volume needs – don’t expect a low volume mail machine to handle heavy volumes.

        • Manual vs. automated feeding – The more automation during feeding, the faster mail can be sealed and imprinted with postage. Automation can reduce processing time up to 36%.
      • Types/Handling of Mail Piecesmail machine
        Consider the types of mail pieces you use – standard, oversized, flats, thick?

        • If you mail large pieces, be sure to get a wide deck so mail transports smoothly.
        • If you have a variety of mail pieces, look at differential weighing. Depending upon the type of differential weighing you can reduce the time to affix postage by 100%.
      • Accounting
      • Determine whether you will need to chargeback postage to internal departments or clients.
    1. Pricing / Fees

You’ll be living with your mail machine for many years so know what your costs will be.

      • Lease/Rental Fee
        Beware of low monthly rates. Vendors often increase the price up to 25% each subsequent year. CMS’s leases remain unchanged through the life of the lease.
      • Postage Feeshand held calculator
        Charges to reset (add) postage onto your machine (initially and over the life of the lease) can add up.
      • Maintenance
        Our most satisfied customers have a Preventive Maintenance program as part of their lease to ensure limited/no down-time.

If you opt out of a maintenance program, understand service charges (this can be a flat or hourly rate and include a trip charge and mileage fee).

    1. Postage – Funding, Managing
      • Funding
        Funding your postage account is generally available via:

        • Check – can take up to 10 days for postage funds to be available
        • ACH Debit Transfer – allow up to 48 hours for postage funds to be available
        • Line of Credit – postage funds are available immediately

        Costs vary for each of these options. Call CMS for more information.

      • Managing
        Online tools provide account visibility, invoice payment options and reporting. This is an invaluable time-saver.
    2. Customer Service – Training, Problem Solving

Support after the installation of your postage meter machine is critical.

      • Training
        Who (if anyone) will install and provide training on your new postage meter machine?
      • Questions and Problems
        • Is there a local resource providing help with problems or must you call a national (or international) Help Desk?
        • Will service be handled locally or remotely?

Complete Mailing Solutions (CMS) is a local resource providing training and personal help every time you call. We answer all your questions and resolve problems to save you time and frustration.

    1. Supplies

Supplies costs are generally not considered. Vendors often offer low monthly equipment rental/lease fees but have high supply costs.

You should compare:supplies

      • OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) vs. recycled cartridges
      • Low vs. high capacity cartridges (number of impressions for each)
      • Average shipping costs

There can be up to a 29% difference in the price of ink alone, depending upon the manufacturer.

CMS offers OEM supplies exclusively to ensure highest performance on your mail machine. We ship locally, which keeps costs low.

These are just a few areas to consider. Comparing apples and apples when considering different mail machines/manufacturers can uncover hidden costs. Use our comparison list to help: Mail Machine Comparison Checklist.

Need help finding the best mail machine solution for your business? Avoid the frustration of committing to equipment that is not want you want or need. Call us today – 303-761-0681.

It’s Just a Mail Machine – Or Is It?

By Paul Johnson, President Complete Mailing Solutions

mail machine
Oh the lowly mailing machine! If we don’t have one we don’t think we need it. If we do have one we don’t give it a second thought yet it makes quite a contribution. It’s an important tool in your business arsenal, a quiet helper that can make you look smart, save valuable time and money!

Here’s just a few things to consider:

  1. Save Money
    Just by merely using a postage meter machine, you save money versus having to buy stamps at the post office. Yes, it’s only half a cent, but it adds up over time! If you mail 500 First Class letters, you’ll save $25 without doing a thing.Dollar Sign

    If you use Certified Mail with Return Receipt (remember the old green cards?), you can save $1.40 each using Electronic Return Receipt on your machine. You’ll also have the convenience of automatically getting notified of delivery. And, no more having to store those green cards.

    If you ship packages, you can save a significant amount of money with Commercial Base Pricing (CBP), which provides a 13.9% savings from retail rates.
    These are just a few examples of the savings available to you with a postage meter machine.

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  3. Get Intel
    Department codes help you keep track of expenditures. Knowing how much postage each department spends is important information for budgeting each year. And, department spending give you the information you need to recoup mailing costs by being able to charge-back these expenditures to customers and clients, when possible.
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  5. Save Time
    Stamps always run out at the worst time – not so with a postage meter machine! Digital mail machines allow you to download postage in seconds. No more running to the Post Office at the last minute or needing to stand in in long lines once you get there!
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  7. Reduce Errors
    Mail machines automatically weigh and calculate postage for you (no more taking time to figure out what the correct rate is!). Helpful postal rate wizards make determining the correct postage easy and worry free. Any new changes the USPS makes to rates are automatically downloaded so you can be confident the correct amount will be used every time. And, Postal Rate Wizards give you the correct postage amount every time – no more guesswork!
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  9. Free Advertising
    Postage meter machines provide a professional image to your customers. You can add your logo to the imprint or, better yet, a short message or offer. It’s essentially free advertising for your company!

 
These are just a few of the benefits the lowly mail machine provides.

Need help in determining whether a mail machine is right for your business and which one will be the best fit? Call CMS for a FREE Evaluation and recommendation for your business – 303-761-0681.