The post office can be an excellent option for individuals who mail the occasional package, but what about businesses? A company may need to put out hundreds of pieces of mail every day. These can range from promotional samples and seasonal advertisements to contracts and bills for customers who prefer paper over digital. It can get expensive and time-consuming having an employee take multiple daily trips to the local post office.
In-house mailing equipment is a smart and affordable solution for busy companies. However, many sophisticated machines need to be leased from a licensed vendor. Leasing contracts often cover years of equipment use, and not every dealer offers excellent customer service. That’s why it’s important to vet multiple vendors before picking the right fit for your business.
Familiarize Yourself with Current Mailing Equipment Options
If you’re new to in-house mailing equipment, you may only have a vague idea of what your business needs. The right vendor can discuss your workflows and budget and point you toward the right devices. However, it’s helpful to come into the conversation knowing a little about your options. Some of the most popular in-house mailing solutions include:
Postage meters. These machines allow you to buy and print postage directly onto mail pieces. Some of these meters support bulk mailing if you have the relevant permit. Along with convenience, these meters can offer discounts on postage prices.
Folders and inserters. Folders, also known as letter folding machines, create crisp and uniform paper folds in various patterns. Meanwhile, inserters can stuff the folded paper into envelopes.
Address and envelope printers. You can create professional-looking mail by printing addresses directly onto the envelope. Some print basic text in black and white. More advanced models can handle color, add logos, print small, personalized greetings on the envelope flap, etc.
Envelope sealers and openers. These machines process incoming and outgoing mail. Some can handle hundreds of envelopes a minute.
Along with these devices, you may want to consider more niche options like:
- Pressure sealers
- Label appliers
- Mail tabbers
- Paper feeders
- Conveyors and dryers
- Postal scales
How to Vet Potential Partners
Start by searching for certified mailing equipment vendors in your area. Choosing local companies can mean less red tape and faster service response times.
Verify any certifications on their website. These should be somewhere prominent and easy to find. Keep an eye out for relevant professional memberships, too.
While you’re on the site, take a minute to look around. Is their digital presence professional looking? Do you find it easy to navigate, or are you attacked by pop-ups at every turn? Is their contact information clearly posted? Do they offer case studies or other data to back up any claims?
Next, see if you can find reviews and recommendations. These may be available online on the site as well as on independent review pages. Take the most glowing 5-star reviews with a grain of salt. These may not be totally truthful. On the other hand, pay close attention to how many complaints have been handled. Were the customers eventually satisfied by this vendor’s response?
Some dealers can also put you in contact with their current customers. This can offer you a wealth of information on what the mailing equipment vendor is like to work with and which services they offer.
Determining If A Mailing Equipment Dealer Is The Right Fit For You
Hopefully, you’ve gathered a shortlist of several possible mailing equipment vendors. It’s time to narrow down the field. Take a more in-depth look at your options before signing on the dotted line.
Start with a deeper conversation with the dealers in mind. Ask:
- What services and support do they provide beyond renting or selling mailing equipment to you?
- What does the service process look like? Do you have to fill out an online form? Is their online portal easy to navigate?
- If you need to order over the phone, do they offer voicemail, or will you have to wait on hold? What are their average hold times?
- Are services available 24/7 or only during the standard working week?
- How soon are requests fulfilled when you need services and supplies?
Next, investigate what other value they can offer to help your business succeed. Does this vendor provide workflow assessments? This could help you choose equipment that can streamline the paper-based side of your business. Do they have experience working with other companies in your industry? If so, you can be confident they understand your business’s challenges and pressures.
Finally, what level of customer service do they offer? Every dealer says they offer excellent service, but how do they back up this claim?
- Do they have any relevant accreditations?
- Are their service calls audited for quality and compliance with company policies?
- What do other customers say about their experiences?
It takes a little more time, but these deeper conversations can give you a better sense of how each vendor is to work with. You’re looking at a longer term partnership here, not a one-time equipment purchase. Save yourself a future headache by finding someone who’s the right fit for your business.
Do Your Homework Before Choosing a Mailing Equipment Vendor
A wide variety of mailing equipment is available, from single-function devices to complex units that can handle almost anything. It’s helpful to get a general idea of what’s available before chatting with an equipment dealer about your options.
The right vendor will be knowledgeable, offer excellent customer support, and can point you toward the right items for your company’s needs and budget. However, not every dealer is a good fit for your company. Before signing on the dotted line, interview local candidates and see what their digital presence and customer reviews have to say.
Are you looking for a reliable mailing equipment dealer in your local Houston area? If so, contact On Demand today to speak with one of our dedicated and knowledgeable representatives.