Investing in a franking machine for your business will save you money on postage, streamline the efficiency of you outgoing mail and give your envelopes a more professional, branded finish. Franking machines can be of benefit to both small and large business with a a range of models on the market. But which is the best franking machine for a small business?
Pitney Bowes and Neopost are the leading suppliers of franking machines and mailing services both in the UK and internationally. We’ve taken a look at comparable models from each brand to help you identify which is the best solution for your business.
Pitney Bowes DM160i vs Neopost IS-280C
Both franking machines are recommended for businesses sending up to around 100 items of mail per day and require envelopes to be fed through manually. The table below gives a direct comparison of their key features and functionality.
|Franking Machine Model||DM160i||IS-280C|
|Processing Speed||40 letters per minute||45 letters per minute|
|Integrated Scale Capacity||2.5kg||2kg|
|Scale Upgrade Available?||Yes, (7kg, 12kg or 35kg)||Yes, 3kg|
|Dimensions||345 x 400 x 230mm||316 x 194 x 225mm|
|Max Envelope Thickness||9.5mm||8mm|
|Preferred Connectivity Method||LAN||LAN|
|User Accounts||Up to 25||Up to 10|
|Advertising Messages||Up to 20||Up to 10|
|Re-crediting Methods||Online or by phone||Online|
|Typical Ink Cartridge Cost (Blue)||£130-£140||£90-£100|
|Low ink alerts?||Yes||Yes|
Things to Consider
If you are processing a high volume of mail, the speed of your franking machine is going to be an important factor. In this case, the Neopost has a slightly faster processing speed of 45 letters per minute. The Pitney Bowes is not far behind at 40 letters per minute but the Neopost’s efficiency could be an advantage.
Both brands have a UK presence with customer support available by phone, email or on their websites. With your franking machine you will be given access to an online web portal so you can control your account (including adding more credit and ordering suppliers) on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year.
Size & Weight
The Neopost IS-280C is considerably more compact than the Pitney Bowes in terms of both dimensions and weight. If your office space is restricted this could be a deciding factor for you.
Letters & Parcels
The Pitney Bowes DM160i’s 2.5kg integrated scale can not only cope with slightly heavier mail than the Neopost’s 2kg, but can even be upgraded up to a 35kg capacity. It also accepts slightly thicker envelopes with a maximum of 9.5mm compared to 8mm with the Neopost. If you send larger items then the Pitney Bowes could be a no brainer as the Neopost can only be upgraded to a 3kg scale at most.
Printing marketing messages, adverts or your logo on outgoing mail is a simple and effective way to promote your business and reinforce your brand with recipients. Both these machines enable you to do this and deliver a crisp, clean print quality. It’s worth noting that the Pitney Bowes wins in terms of the number of adverts you can use as it offers twice as many as the Neopost.
A great feature to look out for when considering any franking machine is the number of user accounts you can create. This means you can track and monitor your postage expenditure by user or department which gives you greater visibility and control of your budget. The Pitney Bowes enables you to create up to 25 accounts while the Neopost only permits 10 at most. If your business has less than 10 potential users this may not be an issue but slightly larger teams may be better served by the Pitney Bowes.
Both franking machines are Mailmark enabled which means they will print a Royal Mail Mailmark barcode on your mail. This barcode is then scanned at regular intervals during its journey to your recipient so can track its progress. This information could be particularly useful for marketing and communications.
Accurately calculating postage means you can avoid fines and charges from the Royal Mail. The integrated scale works with technology in the machine to download the latest Royal Mail tariff and calculate the right cost. This is called IntelliLink in the Pitney Bowes and Postal Rate Wizard in the Neopost. In both cases you can also add more credit to your machine via an online account whenever it’s needed.
It’s possible to rent or buy both machines but the exact cost of this is only available on request. In terms of running costs, however, the official branded ink cartridges for the Neopost are cheaper than Pitney Bowes so you may want to factor this into your ongoing budget.
Pitney Bowes DM160i vs Neopost IS-280C: Which is Right for Your Business?
Investing in either of these franking machines for your small business is a sound choice. Both Neopost and Pitney Bowes have excellent reputations for delivering high quality, reliable products with exemplary customer support.
It’s clear that the Pitney Bowes offers more flexibility in terms of number of user accounts, marketing messages and scale capacity. For growing businesses with intentions to expand this may be a more long term solution.
However, if you’re running a business with less than 10 employees and rarely send mail items over 2kg the Neopost could be perfectly adequate for your needs. This is particularly true if you have limited office space and resources as the Neopost is far more compact and lightweight and ink costs are generally cheaper.