Sending physical mail may sound interesting in the era of emails and instant messages. However, the novelty wears off quickly when you need to prepare tens or hundreds of business letters for mailing. The mail needs to be sorted, merged, grouped, collated, folded, and, finally, put into envelopes. Doing this process manually is as far from fun as imaginable. But worse yet, manual mail handling costs plenty of time and money, which is detrimental to every business. That’s precisely why folders/inserters represent an ideal solution.

If you’re considering getting a folder/inserter for your company, this article will provide all of the information about the device and explain how your organization can benefit from using it.

What Are Folders/Inserters?

Folders/inserters are also known as folding machines or envelope stuffers. Each of those names illustrates the basic function of the machine: The device folds paper and inserts it into the appropriate envelope.

While this functionality sounds simple enough, the automated process is considerably faster than the alternative – folding and inserting mail manually. With folders/inserters, all you need to do is load the documents into the machine, program the settings, and let the device do the rest.

When it comes to the available options, they will differ depending on the machine type. Essentially, mail folders come in three variants: standard folding machines, folders/inserters, and smart folders/inserters.

The standard variant only folds the paper but can’t stuff it into envelopes. A folder/inserter also stuffs and seals envelopes. Finally, a smart machine can handle document customization and collate the mail for easier, error-free sending.

Every quality folder/inserter can fold paper in several ways:

  • V-fold (Half or Single)
  • Z-fold (Accordion)
  • C-fold (Letter)
  • Engineering fold
  • Cross-fold (French)
  • Double-parallel
  • Gate fold

In addition to various folding types, a folder/inserter can work with different envelope sizes. Of course, the machines are designed to accommodate the widely used formats, but there are models that can handle uncommon sizes and different paper types.

On top of the folding/inserting functionality, certain devices may be connected to postage meters, representing a complete solution for your mailroom.

Essential Features of Folders/Inserters

When choosing a folder/inserter for your business, you should look for certain features that make the device more useful and highly functional.

Firstly, your folder/inserter should have the following basic capabilities:

  • Once loaded with paper, the folder/inserter should be able to perform the folding according to user specifications.
  • The machine should stuff the folded paper into the provided envelopes without issues.
  • Each envelope should be sealed automatically.

Moving on from the basics, folders/inserters can differ based on user interface. The devices can have a streamlined interface that only requires the user to specify how many pages need processing. Alternatively, in the case of more elaborate interfaces, the focus may be on an intuitive and user-friendly design that makes navigating the options easier.

Certain machines have the option to manipulate multiple sheets of paper per envelope. If your mailing needs include sending more than one document in an envelope, this feature can prove essential. Needless to say, every folder/inserter will be able to handle a single sheet.

Paper size is the next consideration. While standard formats will meet most requirements, you should consider whether and how often your business needs to send out more specific mail formats. Some folders/inserters can accommodate various paper sizes and types, providing more options for your outgoing mail.

Regardless of whether you’re using standard or uncommon formats, you’ll want to ensure that your machine can fold the paper in different configurations. This doesn’t only include the folding types we mentioned earlier – the folder/inserter should also be able to fold the paper horizontally and vertically.

Finally, not every folder/inserter can manage joined or stapled inserts. If your machine doesn’t feature such functionality, feeding it stapled paper could cause jams and similar malfunctions. Fortunately, you can find devices built with stapled material in mind. Better yet, some folders/inserters can handle the stapling themselves, automating another task in the mailing process.

Benefits of Using a Folding/Inserting Machine

Employing a folder/inserter in your business comes with several key advantages:

  • Speed
  • Versatility
  • Reliability
  • Scalability
  • Customization

Naturally, speed is the most notable advantage. Some folders/inserters, like the Quadient DS-64i, can process 2,500 envelopes hourly, surpassing manual speed by ten times or more. That time represents the free work hours your team members will have available for essential business operations.

In terms of versatility, an advanced folder/inserter can provide numerous options to meet every need. If you choose the right machine, your company won’t be limited to particular mail formats, configurations, or styles. Instead, you’ll be able to send out properly formatted mail for every purpose.

Reliability is the next major advantage of professional-grade machines. While the standard office devices may be prone to paper jams, speed reductions, and frequent malfunctions requiring constant maintenance, folders/inserters are built more robustly. These devices are designed for intense use and large volumes.

A quality folder/inserter will also be scalable. In other words, the device will have sufficient features to accommodate your company’s growing needs, both in terms of formatting and increased mail output. The same machine initially used for invoices and document sending may handle marketing material for a direct-mail campaign.

Lastly, a smart folder/inserter can come with a slew of options making mail customization pretty straightforward. Smart machines can allow users to create specific folding/inserting jobs and automate everyday repetitive tasks. Ideally, your folder/inserter will be programmable and have the ability to memorize particular projects.

Make Your Mailing Easy and Cost-Efficient

A folder/inserter transforms mailroom chores into near-effortless tasks. With sufficient automation options, your machine can potentially save hundreds of hours of mail work which will translate directly into lowered operational costs.

In addition, your employees will gain the benefit of higher work morale. Instead of performing the tedious task of manual folding and inserting, they’ll be able to undertake more valuable work. As a result, team members will be more inspired to engage with the company and become invested in business outcomes.

If you’re ready to give your company a boost by getting a folder/inserter, Anza Mailing Systems has the best solutions on the market. You can contact Anza Mailing Systems today and ask about the specific folders/inserters for your Cary, Raleigh, or Triangle business.