Five Questions Every Customer Should Ask Before Getting a Postage Meter
The quest for the perfect postage meter match is a serious one, and identifying the volume of the mail you typically handle will be your best guide. But there are other business-specific needs that you might want to factor into your decision. Luckily we’ve pulled together the top five questions you should ask yourself before getting a postage meter. Your answers will get you the best meter for your needs whether you are speaking with a specialist on the phone, doing research online or speaking with colleagues.
- How much do I mail a week? Mailing equipment is designed for specific usage levels, so it’s important to know your demand before diving in to a lease or rental. If not, you risk underestimating your mail volume and negatively affecting machine performance as a result, or overestimating volume and paying too much for the machine. Try tracking your mailings for a week or two to determine just how much mail you’re sending.
- How fast do I need the machine to work? This can depend on mail volume, or how often you have an influx of mailings to turnaround quickly. Each postage meter manufacturer outlines the amount of letters per minute that a machine can process. These are just a guideline and may be different from your actual speed, especially if you need to weigh each piece of mail prior to processing. But, it's a good benchmark for meter comparison.
- How much hands-on service do I want? You can either have a technician come to your office to service equipment, or “depot” service where you ship the damaged machine back and get a replacement one. Note that if your machine is used far above the recommended volumes, you may find yourself calling for frequent service.
- Do I need to track postage spending? Whether you need to track postage spending by department or cost centers, or just track postage budgets in general, there are options available for any desired level of detail. Choices range from a report of each individual transaction to a consolidated month-end summary. You can access the data from the mailing system screen, a meter tape print-out, through a connected printer, PC or laptop, or vendor website in some instances. Be sure to ask about your options.
- How much space to I have? Consider the amount of space you have in which to place the physical meter and see if is in an ideal location for those who will be using the machine most. Choose an optimal location and make good use of the physical space in your office
So if you're shopping around for a postage meter, don't forget to consider (1) number of mailings per week, (2) letters per minute, (3) service needs, (4) tracking and reporting capabilities and (5) physical space requirements.