If monotonous trips to the post office for stamps and parcel deliveries are hampering business productivity, digital postage meters can save the day. Postage meter companies offer a wide array of solutions that fit the way companies do business.
In an effort to ease the burden that post offices experience with respect to business activities and seasonal rushes, postage meter companies offer devices that allow businesses to handle postage onsite. Meters can store up to $1,000 worth of postage and can designate particularities such as first-class, express mail, or larger packages. And the speed is undeniable. For example, new digital meters can handle up to 16,000 mail pieces per hour.
Postage meters come in analog and digital styles. Digital models are much more security-centric because they print a two-dimensional image that identifies the sender and the destination site. An analog meter can be changed to digital with the purchase of an additional computer chip. Most companies buy postage meters that are digital to save on the cost of the extra chip. Meters are connected online to the U.S. Postal Service and download new information on postage costs and processes daily. The modular design of the meter allows for the addition of extra components to handle the needs of a growing business.
Besides the obvious advantages of performing mailing services onsite without the need for physically traveling to the post office, digital postage meters are equipped with several unique functions that streamline the entire process. Here are some of the major benefits of digital postage meters:
- Indicia: The main function of a postage meter is to print the indicia, which is the mark that replaces the traditional stamp in the upper right corner to verify that the postage has been paid.
- Weighing: Top-of-the-line postage meters have a scale incorporated in the design that calculates postage costs for larger envelopes and small packages.
- Postage storage: Digital postage meters keep track of the amount of postage purchased and spent on letters and packages. They can be updated to reflect changes in postage costs as dictated by the USPS.
It is important to understand that companies can’t buy postage meters. Federal regulations prohibit actual ownership of the devices. Rather meters are leased from postage meter companies that are authorized to trade in these devices. You can own parts of the meter outright, such as the scale or the sealer, but postage machines are leased on a monthly or yearly contract.
Lease rates vary widely from company to company, so comparison shopping is recommended for businesses that want to lease digital postage meters. Many postage meter companies offer an introductory period that features a reduced lease rate and free postage for a limited time. After the introductory period, a monthly service charge kicks in and postage is paid in advance at the going USPS rates. New models are introduced to the market at regular intervals to showcase the latest technologies; however, most standard digital postage meters are functional enough that they can handle basic processes without the need to constantly upgrade.