THE WORKPLACE & TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE FOR SMES

WWW.BINFO.CO.UK

ISSUE108

Franking for all
How Neopost franking machines can help you cut mailing costs
See page 10

BROADBAND • PORTABLE SCANNERS • POCKET PROJECTORS • MFPS

Cover Story

A mark of intelligence
Franking is now the most economical and productive option for businesses sending as few as five letters a day.
On April 30, Royal Mail increased the price of a 1st class stamp by 30%, from 46p to 60p, and the price of a 2nd class one by 39%, from 36p to 50p. Costs for franking also rose but, in line with Royal Mail’s strategy since 2005, at a significantly lower rate – 13% for a 1st class letter (39p to 44p) and 10% for 2nd class post (28p to 31p). As a result, the gap between the cost of a stamp and metered mail has widened so much that a first class frank costs less than a second class stamp. With savings of 16p on every 1st Class letter and 19p on every 2nd Class letter, the break even point at which savings on postage cover the costs of franking machine rental and consumables has now fallen to just five letters a day. This makes franking an economical option for small and micro businesses such as garages, dentists, doctor surgeries, garden centres, plumbers etc. that in the past might have considered metered mail beyond their means.

To work out the annual savings you can expect by switching from stamps to franks, download Neopost’s free Postage Saver app for the iPhone. Just follow the link on www.neopost.co.uk.
Free trial Franking doesn’t just save money: it is also more convenient, secure, accurate and professional than using stamps (see below). Today, even entry-level franking machines come with impressive, timesaving features. Neopost’s neat and compact Autostamp 2, winner of a Business Info Editor’s Choice award, has an integrated weighing scale and on-screen rate wizard to ensure you always apply the correct postage, and a LAN connection for 24/7 postage re-crediting, remote diagnostics and automatic postal rate changes.

A first class frank costs less than a second class stamp.

The more you send, the more you save The cost-savings and efficiency gains from franking are even greater for organisations with larger mail volumes. Businesses sending between 500 and 25,000 letters per mailing using Royal Mail Business Mail (previously Cleanmail, Mailsort and Walksort) can enjoy extra discounts of up to 23.5% on the cost of franked mail. In order to qualify for discounts, mail must be addressed in a way that can be read by Royal Mail sorting machines using approved OCR-readable fonts or barcodes containing the postcode and delivery point. The level of discount depends on factors such as the number of letters sent, how the mail is addressed, addressing accuracy and whether mail is unsorted or pre-sorted by the customer into specific postcode areas. vAT Reclaims Another recent change in the pricing of Royal Mail products is the imposition of VAT on retail mail services, bar those subject to the Universal Service Obligation i.e. 1st and 2nd class post. Introduced to provide fair competition between all postal service providers, VAT is now applied to Business Mail and many other services including Special Delivery 9am. This is not so much a financial burden as an administrative one, as VAT-registered businesses can claim back the tax. The process is made much easier using the latest generation of Neopost VATcompliant IS smart franking machines.

Experience the benefits of franking for yourself with Neopost’s free 30-day AutoStamp franking machine trial.

Neopost IS Smart franking machines frank at vAT-inclusive prices and produce vAT invoices to aid reclaiming.
Other benefits Substantial cost-savings, easier compliance with the requirements of Royal Mail discount schemes and simpler VAT accounting provide a compelling case for franking, but there are many other reasons why businesses of all sizes should invest in a franking machine: No more queuing. Franking machines can be re-credited with postage online at any time of day or night, saving you the time and trouble of queuing up at the Post Office counter; No over-stamping. Automatic tariff updates and Neopost’s on-screen rate wizard ensure that you always apply exactly the right postage. This eliminates unnecessary costs from over-stamping

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and the embarrassment and bad PR of under-stamping and passing surcharges on to your customers; Faster processing. Neopost franking machines are packed with time-saving features, from integrated scales and LAN connectivity on the AutoStamp2, to mixed mail feeding, dynamic scales and colour touch-screens on high end models. Up-to-date mailing lists. Print your business address on envelopes and Royal Mail will return all undeliverable franked mail helping you to keep your address lists up-to-date; Easier accounting. As a Neopost customer you will enjoy a free online account called myneopost where you can monitor and analyse postal expenditure by department or mail type; order consumables; and request service support. Free advertising. Improve brand awareness and boost revenue by printing sales messages next to the frank mark. Greater professionalism. Neat and consistent franking marks can help project a professional, business-like image; Improved security. Unlike stamps, a Neopost franking machine can be fully locked and PIN protected, so that only authorised users have access. The scale of April’s price rises came as a shock to many and forced Royal Mail to ration stamp sales to prevent stock-piling. Following Ofcom’s decision to remove restrictions on what Royal Mail can charge for 1st class post, such price increases could become a common occurrence further strengthening the case for franking. Get yours while stocks last!

Seven Ways to Beat Royal Mail Price Hike
1. Franked Mail Save 19p on a 2nd class letter and 16p on a 1st class letter and up to £1.41 on a 2 kg packet by switching from stamps to franked mail. 2. Utilise 2nd Class Postage Move from 1st to 2nd class post and save 13p – or an additional 29% – on every letter sent: 85% of 2nd class letters arrive the next day anyway. 3. Take Advantage of Pricing in Proportion Make the most of size-based pricing and switch from C4 to C5 or DL envelopes and enjoy a saving of 22p per letter or 41%. Folding mail into smaller envelopes is quick and easy with a Neopost folder inserter. 4. Postal Discount Programmes Use Royal Mail’s Business Mail Service to send 500 items in one batch and save 16% against standard franked postal tariffs. Royal Mail also provides volume discounts, beginning at 1,000 letters, with further discounts of 1.5% to 7.5%. By combining Business Mail and volume-related discounts, businesses that send between 500 and 25,000 letters per mailing can shave a further 16% to 23.5% off the cost of franked mail.

www.neopost. co.uk or call 0800 731 1334 quoting BINFO

5. vAT Services If you are regularly using VAT liable postal products, such as Special Delivery 9am or Business Mail, you could claim back the VAT by using a SMART technology franking machine – saving you an additional 20%. Neopost’s range of IS Smart franking machines are VAT compliant. 6. Rationalise mailings Save on postage and material costs by combining multiple mailings to a single addressee in one envelope. Neopost output management software makes rationalisation easy. 7. Address & Database Quality Royal Mail destroys an average of 25 million undeliverable letters, packets and parcels every year. Make sure your mailings reach their target by keeping your address databases up-to-date. Use Neopost address correction software to clean data against Royal Mail PAF address file.

Perfect companions
Desktop folder-inserters are the perfect complement to a Neopost franking machine. Neopost’s range will fold and insert documents at speeds of up to 12,000 envelopes an hour, then seal and stack the envelopes ready for franking. With even entry-level machines folding and inserting at least 13 times faster than by hand, folder-inserters are a productive, cost-saving solution for businesses that regularly send out invoices, statements and marketing campaigns. Neopost calculates that a folder-inserter with a monthly rental of £20 could save a company that sends 3,000 items a month as much as £1,920 a year in labour costs, on the basis that it costs 6p per item to fold and insert letters manually (100 insertions per hour at £6 per hour). Even if you only use it to fold A4 pages into DL or C5 envelopes and so avoid Large Letter rates, a folder-inserter will be a valuable addition to your office. To meet the needs of smaller businesses and 01732 759725

departments, Neopost recently launched the DS-35 desktop model with useful colour touch-screen, step-bystep job set-up wizard and programmable job memory for regular jobs. Despite its compact size, the DS-35 can still fold, insert and seal up to 1,350 items of mail per hour and if required can be linked to a Neopost franking machine in a fully automated mail flow. Another new model, the DS-85 can fold up to 10 sheets into a single envelope and accommodate up to six feed stations. It also has the ability to read barcodes and other optical marks printed anywhere on the page allowing users to specify different inserts for each letter. Make maximum use of this capability by installing Neopost’s new OMS-100 Output Management Software Solution to manage printing (with optical marks), folding and insertion of mailings. The software can also group similar envelopes and postage types together, saving at least 30-60 seconds of preparation per item.

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