Friday, July 1, 2016

Postage Meters: An Inside Look at Business Mailing Technology

Postage meters and postage scales are perhaps the most crucial components to any company's mailing system. Postage meters and scale come in many different models based on varying levels of sophistication and output. Let's examine some attributes of each.

Your postage meter system handles to print postage amounts based on mail pieces according to the current rates and regulations of the Postal Service. Since these rates are usually estimated based on the weight of the package being shipped, it is necessary to have a postage scale to weigh packages and letters to figure the correct cost.

By utilizing a postage scale, you can eliminate the likelihood of extra and over payments that occur when you are supposed to affix additional stamps to mail packages due to lack of "proper change" so to speak or when indecisive of cost. Studies have indicated that savings to the average business can be up to 30 percent.
Postage Meters

Scale-Integrated Postage Meters

A number of digital scales have a direct relation to your postage meter, resulting in automatic recording of the postage amount. This is helpful when you often send mail of variety of weights and can also facilitate costs for other carriers, like Federal Express and United Parcel Service.

Spring scales on the other hand do not handle all the features of digital scales. If however you have fairly low volume and mostly ship just letter and envelopes, spring scales offer a reasonable solution, sometimes costing as little as $35 as opposed to a digital scale which can run upwards to a few hundred dollars. Scales can also be rented and a small digital scale will run you about $5 each month.

When it comes to service and support for postage meter systems, the meter itself does not require a service contract because the manufacturer is the owner as you merely lease it, and they are responsible for repairs. Prior to leasing a meter, be sure you understand how repairs will be handled, whether you must send it or will a technician come to your office?
Postage Mail Machines

Features & Components of Most Postage Meters

Most postage meters will offer the following features and components to help improve the overall mailing process.
  • Base: It is the seat on which mail is moved through a postage meter.
  • Postage scale: It weighs consignments calculating required postage amount. Interfaced postage scales automatically apply the calculated postage amount. Digital postage scales charge correct postage automatically.
  • Feeder: Your mails and packages run through feeders before being stamped on the postal mark by the meter. You can opt for manual, semi-automatic and automatic feeders. Automatic and semi-automatic feeders are more suitable for handling large mail stacks. Feeder come in different dimensions and their speeds vary from 15 to 270 letters per minute.
  • Sealer: They glue, moisten and seal mail envelop flaps. Sealers require comprehensive maintenance.
  • Stacker: Stamped mails are moved to the stacker or collection. Low-end stackers hold a few metered mails in a tray while power stackers move stamped mails onto a tray through a conveyor system.
  • Tape dispenser: Pre-cut and rolled tape dispensers allow you to fix tapes or postage strips on irregular shaped packages. Tape dispensers along with the base ensure proper placement and sticking of postage strips on packages.

Advantages of Postage Meters for Businesses

Postage meters are a vital asset for all types of businesses. They can help save time and money on postage, not to mention the labor invested making frequent trips to the post office. Some of benefits of postage meters are:
  • Easy stamping: With postage machines, businesses can print and pay postage without leaving the office. You don't have to stand in long queues at the post office to get shipments weighed and metered. You only need to make the trip to drop the consignments or you can arrange to have them collected from your office.
  • Easy management of all types of mails: Postage machines can take care of all kinds of mails
  • Parcel Post, Priority, Domestic First-Class, Express, International parcels, International First-Class etc. As it is very easy to print directly on envelopes, large volume of mails can be weighed and stamped speedily and correctly.
  • Cost savings: Postage meters always print packages with precise postage unlike the occasional case at post offices where precise postage is not available all the time or when you weigh the package on a scale and estimate the postage from a lookup table. Consignments are weighed on a scale on the meter and postage is calculated on that basis along with the type of mail and its destination.
Postage meters continue to evolve as some of the most technologically-advanced mailing systems. They provide a solid ROI for businesses that engage in high volumes of postage.

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