Mail room operations can be affected by many things but probably the most challenging for busy ones is the handling of mail runs which has various sizes and weights of items.Read More
Office Document Strategies Blog
Part of the Series from our Guide to Postage Meters in Canada:
Being notified your model or device is now obsolete? Is soon to be dropped from support? This may not be a bad message to receive. It may be an opening for you to modernize and improve your processes and review your current supplier relationship.
Options to consider if notified
Many organizations have received this kind of notice and immediately jump to the conclusion they must change their device and will just contact their current supplier. Obviously it may be a cause for concern about future availability of support, service and supplies.
Looking at such a notice another way - it may be perfect timing to check out the market and see what alternative suppliers have to offer. Look for options that give you control over how it is best suited for you to do business. Following this process lets many organizations make a switch, obtaining a better solution while planning for your future needs.
Are you feeling pushed into a Vendors Timeline?
Vendors may decide to use an arbitrary date for telling you when your machine will stop accepting postage downloads. For example one vendor Pitney Bowes has announced that the following series DM 400, DM500, DM800, DM1000, DM1100 may no longer be useable past December 2017.
NeoPost has made similar assertions, and this means that future rate changes made by Canada Post or the downloading of postage may no longer be possible for you.
The three Canadian approved postage machine manufacturers offer postage machines and the related metering devices to control postage. Over time they may inform you that your currrent model is no longer going to be supported. If this feels like you are being dictated as to when to stop using your equipment, this can be true. Why? It will take away your ability to 'fill' your postage machine with new postage, as without the meter it will no longer allow for downloading new postage or rates forcing it to be obsolete.
This could be more about trying to get you to upgrade, vs. your choice of trying to maximize your investment of a postage machine over the long term. Fundamentaly most postage machines/meters have not changed much over the last 10 years, other than recently Canada Post removed the ability for parcel rates to be built in. If parcel rates is not something you used thru your meter, then the need to update it may not matter to you and this may be more about your vendors want to change you into a new platform to support their parcel postage system.
What to look at:
There are six key components which make up a postage machine acquisition which can affect the long term value of that deal:
- Price of lease or purchase of the equipment acquired based upon the appropriate sizing and feature mix required to meet business needs.
- Process and cost for updating of postage rates when Canada post changes rates so that the postage machine will be able to produce valid postage as designed.
- Cost of supplies to keep the machine running, usually a form of ink and labels.
- Service and Support costs for any needed repair during the period of use.
- Ease of process for adding money to your account to top up the amount available within the device for payment for postage being generated.
- Ease of interaction with your vendor: after sale how easy is it to reach or contact and deal with your vendor when issues occur? Waiting on the phone for extended periods of time is unproductive use of your time.
Each of these six components becomes an integral part of the ability for an organization to use the device they acquire for postage production and control,
Rate changes critical
The ability for a postage device to have its rates upgraded quickly and easily in the event that Canada Post changes postage rates is a critical component of the functionality of the device and ideally you want this to be bundled in so you do not incurr fees everytime Canada Post decides to change their rates.
Ease of getting postage: the internet has arrived to postage
One of the things that you will learn if you look at the market today, rather than just renew on an older machine, is that the internet has come to the postage world. Using your internet connectivity vs. sharing your old fax line for update of rates or adding postage to your machine can add convenience.
Wrapping it all up:
When model changes happen by a manufacturer, this is often what forces an organization to change devices and be pushed into the uncomfortable position of the expenditure for new equipment creating unplanned budgetary costs. Hopefully this will happen at the normal end of a lease period, or a number of years after your purchase acquisition, but it is not always the case, especially if the vendor becomes the one to dictate the timing.
In evaluating a new device, ask about the date of introduction to detemine the potential lifespan of this new equipment for your organization. If it has been around a long time make sure you ask whether there is any pending obsolescence or at least that the lease term (if applicable) will be fully covered by maintenance and support? Don't take the Sales persons word for it especially if your have recently received an expiry letter from upper management.Read More
Folder Inserters are a category of mailing equipment that too many potential users either don't know about or don't understand. For organizations with a need for repeated mailings in medium to large volumes they can be a substantial time and cost saving solution.
Here's a quick summary of some of the things to consider when looking them over.
How many different jobs am I going to need to set up for?
What is the highest amount of sheets I am going to insert into one envelope?
- I need to insert adverts that are half page like a coupon (this will require a 2nd feeder called an insert feeder tray) - put it on your want list
- I need to insert a second full sheet advert after perhaps an invoice (this will require a 2nd full feeder tray) - Perhaps a third as well
- My confidential invoices are more than one page what are my choices here as to folding and inserting?
- Check – Is your printer OMR or BCR (optical mark recognition) capable? (This is the process of capturing human-marked data these barcodes can tell the folder inserter how many pages need to be put together for the one envelope.) Very important for confidentiality and security especially when pages are various sizes coming from different feeders. If this is the case you need to make sure the folder inserter is “OMR” capable as well. You also want to ask how the folder inserter “COLLATES” (In printing, the term Collate refers to the gathering and arranging of individual sheets or other printed components into a pre-determined sequence. Basically, Collating creates consistent, logical sets from multiple parts.) This means the pages are pulled separately then folded in order together. You also want to make sure your adverts can get nested within or folded on their own.
- If you manually separate your invoices you may want to staple together to avoid wrong information going into an envelope so your question is, will the folder inserter take “STAPLES?”
I have several different size envelopes and the address location varies -How does this work?
- How many different folds can the folder do that will assure the address is shown properly in the envelope window
- Make sure you understand what machineable envelopes are so you don’t create an issue when folding and inserting (example the dreaded invitation style envelopes)= non machineable
- How user friendly is the machine to be able to set this up if a job changes or does that require a service call.
- As a vendor, (Leppert Business Systems), we always request samples to test all the client's materials to make sure they meet the unit's specifications. This also stops clients from finding out after the fact the machine can’t do the job it was bought to do.
How do I figure out how robust a machine I need?Read More
Last post we introduced the beginnings of the new guide to postage meters in Canada, 2015 Second Edition. This post continues with more parts of the process including an outline of the components of the pricing and a short formula to show the pieces involved.Read More
One of the documents that is most frequently referenced from our collection of office document tools is the Guide to Postage Meters Canada. This document outlines many of the hidden and confusing practices of the postage meter industry.Read More
Here is the poop you need to know before you scoop!
Topics: Postage meter, postage rates, technology tools, e-mail, mailing equipment, workflow processes, Mailing, Postage, mailing machines, postage machines, total cost of operation, running costs, postage rate 2014, postage rate 2015