Due to unprecedented price hikes on Royal Mail postage stamps, businesses all over the UK are now considering investing in a franking machine.
Not only will a franking machine save you money, it will also save you the time wasted standing in Post Office queues waiting for your items to be weighed and stamped correctly.
If employers were to count up the working hours spent by employees standing in busy queues over the course of a year, it would be quite significant, making for an unnecessary waste of company revenue. So how can franking your mail help with this?
Investing in a franking machine will give you more freedom, allowing you to more productively and costs effectively manage the time and workload of your employees. There are many options regarding the postage of franked mail: some involve still attending the post office, albeit without the weighing of each individual item, or a business account can be set up, enabling you to have your mail collected each night by Royal Mail.
This service is not only for letters; you can include packages as well as recorded and special delivery items - again cutting out the need for time wasted at the Post Office. Integrated scales will ensure that your letters and packages have the correct amount of postage applied every time.
Once Royal Mail issues you with a Franking Licence, you are then free to decide on the best option for you and your business. All the information you need will be contained within your licence information, including where and how to post.
First & Second Class
To differentiate your first and second class mail, you will be issued with red (for first class) and green (for second class) pouches or mailbags, which can hold a large number of items. These are issued free of charge after your Franking Licence has been set up.
Your franking machine will have both first and second class settings, so all you have to do once your mail is correctly weighed and franked, is place it in the correctly coloured pouch. This does not now require to be checked or weighed by Post Office counter staff.
Drop Off at Post Office
Should your business be based near a Post Office branch, then a quick trip to drop these pouches off should not waste too much time.
In most cases, there will be a separate business mail window available for your employees to simply drop the mail and return to work. The business mail will then be sent to the sorting office, cutting out the counter process completely. Your mail pouches should be returned to you the next morning with your incoming post.
Can I Still Use a Post Box?
You should always be careful not to put franked mail in a regular post box unless you are using low volume posting envelopes, which can be obtained from your franking machine supplier. These are only suitable where small volumes of mail (up to 30 items) are being posted per day.
Royal Mail now provide a service whereby your franked mail can picked up every day if required. This is a great option if you are not based near a Post Office, or if you would rather opt for an even easier, less time consuming method of postage. Royal Mail charge £750 per year to make a daily (weekday) collection from your business, though if you spend more than £15,000 annually, the £750 charge is dropped and the service is completely free.