Office Document Strategies Blog

Postage Meter Choice Driven By Volumes and Cost

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 @ 07:08 AM

Francotyp-Postalia Canada Ultimail Postage MeterWhen you are trying to decide what level of postage meter to buy or lease one of the key variables is the volume of postage you will use.  The best estimate of your volumes if you don't know them exactly is to consider how much postage you purchase in a given period. 

Low volumes of postage use will lead to consideration of a basic machine like the myMail the smallest FP postage meter on the market.

Higher volumes of postage use, say over $200 per month causes you to look at a mid level unit with more features, more speed and lower consumable cost due to higher yields.  The same is true for the next several levels until you migrate to a full fledged production level postage machine usually when your postage purchase volume exceeds $1500 per month.

The are times however where the difference between the operating costs of two levels of machine can lead you to the higher level model since the difference in price can be pretty minimal, while the features of an upgrade can be significant.  Recently, one of our client support representatives was working out costing for a client on a renewal on the mid level, manual Optimail and their volume was such that it prompted her to look at the potential to move to the higher level, more automatic Ultimail. For a more detailed approach to how to do this comparison read our recent post postage machine shopping compare the consumables.

More Features, Better Performance, More Productivity for $14 per month

When the analysis was completed the end result was the client could move to the much higher performance model for only $14 per month in total operating cost, since the volume being processed offset the higher capital cost of the new unit.  The feature set gained, including a more automatic processing capability that improves productivity substantially, makes the pricing differential inconsequential.  The $168 in additional annual cost is easily weighed positively when looked at the reduction in manhours for processing the mail each day.

As volumes grow and the devices considered become more production oriented the differentials can be even greater when you move up a model.  Naturally you have to process enough volume of mail to make the step up a consideration in the first instance.

More Weight

Another consideration that can lead to a different choice of device is the potential to be processing mail which weighs more than the built in scale of the meter.  There are two ways to attack this situation. 

One is to move up a level of device to one offering a built in scale that handles heavier weights.  In most cases the maximum step here is a postage meter that can process 5 kg on an built in integrated scale.

The second way to attack this is to purchase or rent a secondary scale which integrates to the postage meter through a connection and which offers the higher level required.  Common scale sizes are 10 kg, 20 kg and 30 kg.  If you decide that this is the right route for you be careful to ensure that the postage rate schedule being provided with your meter will support the higher weight packages you will be weighing on the scale.  One of the main benefits of a connected postage scale is for the automatic rating of the parcel to match the published Canada Post (or whatever postal jurisdiction you are in) rate scale.  Having this calculated in the meter and producing the postage label at the exact level needed can save significant dollars if you use parcel rates frequently.

Finally, don't expect that every sales person you deal with will offer to look at the consumables pricing for you when they are quoting your device.  Often the focus is just to get your signature on an agreement and the exact configuration that best matches your needs is not sought out. 

There are many more considerations in acquiring your postage meter than on the surface seem evident.  Consulting with a knowledgeable supplier who takes the time to analyse your situation can often result in a better, more closely matched acquisition.  Given the long time frames of most postage machine contracts making the effort to work it through up front is worth the time investment for better long term results.

Are you struggling with too little postage machine capability?  Did you over deploy?  Have you tracked your volumes in advance of purchase?

Share your thoughts below....

Lee K

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Topics: Postage meter, meter rentals, postage machine