Why do businesses still rely on old-fashioned mail? Because it works. People’s inboxes and social media are flooded with e-advertisements and other messages from companies. Direct mail has a higher engagement than e-mail and the like. It’s getting harder and harder to attract attention online, no matter how catchy a message’s title.
Traditional mail also lets you cast a wider net. Many seniors prefer paper letters and ads. Meanwhile, families living in America’s rural areas often find traditional mail more reliable than their internet connection. Hard copy mail helps businesses stay competitive. It can streamline workflows, but it also presents some challenges.
The bigger and busier your company gets, the more of a headache your mailroom can become. Employees may be spending a significant chunk of their workday running mail through the local post office. Postage meters let you bring a lot of that post office’s functionality right into your business. These specialized printing machines can weigh packages, calculate and print postage, and often do other mail-related tasks.
Postage meters are a sturdily built, hardworking solution for growing companies. However, they need to be maintained to keep functioning at their best. Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of In-House Postage Meters
In-house meters save time and money, along with creating more professional-looking mailings.
If you’re looking into postage meters, it’s because your company’s mailing needs have grown way beyond a couple of letters that need to be sent out each day. A big, complex mailroom eats away into employees’ working hours. They need to track down stamps, estimate how many are required, figure out which forms they’ll have to fill out, carry boxes of letters down to the post office, and more. An in-house postage meter handles many everyday mailroom tasks automatically and accurately, freeing up valuable employee time.
Postage meters rapidly and accurately determine your postage costs, eliminating wasted stamps. They give you a clear idea of how much to budget for your mailroom and recurring expenses. These meters may also offer small discounts per letter, which can rapidly add up in a busy office that sends out hundreds of pieces per week.
A mismatched handful of stamps stuck crookedly on the envelope doesn’t exactly broadcast a professional image. Postage meters print the postage directly onto your mailings. These clear, good-looking postage marks make your business competitive with all the other companies in your market who have their own meters.
Why It’s Important You Keep Your Postage Meters in Tip-Top Shape
Postage meters print the postage you need onto your mailings. They’re highly accurate, but productivity can drop over time as the equipment wears out. This can lead to rising repair costs and even equipment failure.
One of the attractive selling points of postage meters is how quickly they can process outgoing mail. However, that feature may fade away if the equipment isn’t maintained. Employees can find themselves struggling with longer calculation wait times, or need to repeatedly reboot the machine among other annoying and time-wasting issues.
There’s a good chance your in-house postage meter will need to be repaired at some point, especially if you have a long-term contract. How much will that cost you? It depends on several factors, such as whether you selected a machine for a heavy workload as well as how it’s maintained.
It can be tempting to skip maintenance and push repairs forward when your business’s schedule gets tight. Ironically, the busiest times for your company are also when your postage meter is most likely to fail catastrophically. A well-maintained machine holds up under hard use, while one that’s overdue for maintenance may buckle under pressure.
How to Keep Your Postage Meter in Optimal Health Between Service Visits
Want to prolong the life of your machine and keep it humming along, even in your busiest seasons? Maintenance is key. Some maintenance tasks require calling in the pros, but simply keeping the machine clean can help keep it in good working order. Here’s how:
1. Unplug the machine for safety.
2. Wear disposable gloves and an N95 respirator if the device is very dusty.
3. Wipe the visible surfaces with a slightly damp, lint-free cloth.
4. Canned air can loosen up dust that’s caked into the interior.
5. Use cotton swabs to get into crevices and around buttons.
6. Clean the postage meter rollers with a cloth dampened in a solution designed for this purpose.
7. Check the ribbon or tape to ensure it’s properly feeding in and hasn’t jammed or ripped inside the machine.
8. Do a final wipe-down with alcohol-free wipes to clear off residual dirt, fingerprints, etc.
It’s recommended to clean your postage meter about every two weeks.
One more tip: if something seems wrong, get the problem checked out ASAP. This includes strange software glitches, grinding noises in the machine, repeated tape jams, etc. Repairs are almost always cheaper when you don’t wait until the machine breaks down.
Prevent a Mailroom Meltdown With Postage Meter Maintenance
Postage meters can save your company money and free up employees to spend their time on other tasks. However, these devices are essentially printers, and printers wear out over time. Ignore this regular wear and tear, and you risk the machine becoming less efficient. It also raises the risk of your meter completely breaking down, leaving you scrambling at the worst possible time.
We’ve touched on some basic ways to keep your postage meter in good condition. However, nothing beats regularly scheduled maintenance. Any delay or equipment breakdown can trigger costly delays and missed opportunities in a busy mailroom. A trained professional can identify and fix problems before they turn into a full-blown equipment failure. This is a cost-effective way to keep your postage meter going strong even in your company’s busiest seasons.
Are you interested in keeping your Raleigh company’s postage meters in optimal health? Contact Anza Mailing Systems, Inc today to schedule a service with an experienced postage meter specialist.