6 Best Mailroom Equipment: What Does Your Office Need?

People using mailroom

Choosing the right mailroom equipment can make a huge difference to your business. It can be the difference between an efficient department, and one which prevents a company from maximising profits. Even the smallest part of the mailing process can be vital to a smoother workflow.

For any smooth running mailroom, the less time spent licking stamps, the better. That’s why we’ve done our research, and found six pieces of time and money saving equipment for your business.

To help you make a decision on the right mail equipment for your business, we’ve compiled a list with a brief overview of each item, along with their benefits.

The six best pieces of mailroom equipment are listed below…

#1 Franking Machines

Lick, stick, repeat. Sound familiar? Save your coworkers from the mundane task of stamping with a franking machine.

These electronic pieces of mail equipment mark post according to weight and destination, all with the press of a button. Quite frankly, it’s the easiest way for businesses to send letters.

The benefits of franking machines are:

  • Royal Mail discounts
  • Professional postal presentation
  • Accurate postage payments
  • Easy to record expenses
  • Opportunity for marketing

When it comes to budgeting, franking machines are flexible. You can either rent a franking machine from around £16 per month – the best option for small businesses – or buy one outright, which can cost between £1,000 and £20,000+.

With a franking machine, you’ll save 12% on First Class letters and 6% on Second Class Letters. That may sound small, but it all adds up.

Stack of mail

#2 Vacuum Packaging Machines

Does your business handle fresh goods? Then vacuum packaging machines should provide some food for thought. They’re an essential part of any retail or hospitality business that sends produce, but can also be used for warehouse space management.

The benefits of vacuum packaging machines are:

  • Keep produce fresh without additives
  • Save warehouse packaging space
  • Food retains flavours
  • Reduce packing time for employees

For mailrooms, the space-saving benefits of a vacuum packaging machine can help improve the working environment, while saving time on packing, sticking, and labelling.

Prices range from £50 to £500, depending on the model in question and size of operation it’s needed for. For professional catering purposes and any other perishable goods you can expect to spend between £2,500 and £7,000.

Vacuum packaging a burger

#3 Shrink Wrap Machines

A more environmentally friendly alternative to vacuum packing, shrink wrap is made from recyclable plastic. In terms of protection, these machines can make items more secure, keep produce fresh, and deter the tampering of products. It’s ideal for cosmetics and bath products, art supplies, food and dried items like tea

The benefits of shrink wrap machines are:

  • Protects items from moisture and dirt
  • Easy to spot tampering
  • Strong and durable
  • Recyclable plastic
  • Save space (lower storage and postage costs)

Shrink wrap machines are more cost effective than most wrapping alternatives because they’re so easy to use. What’s more, the method allows your company to use less packaging materials, which can streamline the whole mailing process.

In terms of costs, the prices vary. Warehouse shrink wrap machines can cost from £3,000 upwards, but small mailroom models fall in the range of £400-£700. As an indication, three rolls of 1800mx500mm machine stretch wrap will cost you £44 from a generic online packaging supplier.

Man shrink wrapping a box

#4 Envelope Printers

Envelope printers are the perfect way to personalise your label printing. Not only can this be a hugely helpful machine for flexible and unique labelling, it can also save your company money by producing its own packaging solutions.

The benefits of envelope printers are:

  • Produce unique envelope designs
  • Print premium paper envelopes
  • Simple promotional feature for your brand
  • Personalise envelope for each recipient

Although envelope printing is a relatively simple process, the pricing options are complicated. Machines suitable for simple mailroom services cost as little as £70, but for complex ventures or warehouse environments, prices for an envelope printer can reach up to £500.

Enveloping a piece of paper

#5 Folder Inserters

Also known as an envelope stuffer or paper folding machine, the advantages are all the same – you can fill several thousands of folders and envelopes per hour, while making your post look as pristine as possible thanks to the electronic process.

The benefits of folder inserters are:

  • Very time effective
  • Remove human error when sending post
  • Saves money long term
  • Neatly packaged mail looks more professional

Allowing for professional looking printing of brochures and presentations, the folder inserter is perfect for companies who place huge importance on appearance and want their mail to be attractive.

A refurbished entry-level machine from Quadient will set you back £1,200 incl VAT.
A desktop model from Pitney Bowes handling 100-150 letters a day costs £3,600 incl VAT.
A mid-level Galaxy machine stuffing 2200 items per hour costs £7,000-£12,000 incl VAT.

Although the folder inserter is not the cheapest piece of mailroom equipment you will come across, in the long run, the initial few thousand pounds spent are usually considered a wise investment. Just think of all the paper cuts you’ll avoid.

Pulling a piece of paper out of an envelope

#6 Letter Openers

Even in the age of electronic communication, many companies receive a huge number of letters and rely on efficient mailrooms to keep the business on track. If that sounds like your business, then it’s worth investing in the latest range of letter openers.

The benefits of letter openers are:

  • Time saving for staff
  • Open documents without damage
  • Streamlined mail room processes
  • Cost effective in the long term

Having transformed into high-tech pieces of equipment, letter openers are no longer stuck in the past. These new machines are able to open huge quantities of mail automatically. This means that for a small fee, you can save time and let staff focus on other tasks.

A handheld battery-operated letter opener costs £24 incl VAT new or £6 used.
A small Intimus model opening 6,600 letters an hour costs £650 incl VAT.
A mid-range Martin Yale model opening 17,500 envelopes hourly costs £1,900.
A Galaxy that opens letters then scans, stores and updates data costs £7,700 incl VAT.

Industrial sized models can cost several hundreds of pounds, so make sure you pick the right machine for your mail traffic size.

Office worker opening an envelope

Next Steps

We’ve shown you the best mailroom equipment to help your business. Luckily we’ve written extensively about buying a franking machine to help you weigh up if it’s the right decision for you. With such varying prices, it can be difficult to know where to start when picking a product, but it all comes down to your postage flow.

In other words, the bigger your post flow, the larger the machine you should buy. For instance, an electronic letter opener would suit a small business, while an industrial sized shrink wrapping machine is best for large warehouse operations. Now let’s quickly recap what we’ve shown you.

The six best pieces of mailroom equipment are…

  1. Franking machine
  2. Vacuum packaging machine
  3. Shrink wrapping machine
  4. Envelope printer
  5. Folder inserter
  6. Letter opener

Like to know more? Compare franking machine equipment easily with this simple form – it shouldn’t take longer than a minute.

From there, you can compare products that are relevant to the size, requirements and budget of your business, saving you time, frustration, and headaches.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
Heleana Neil, Business Services editor
Heleana Neil specialises in Business Services, managing the strategy and production of content for SMBs, helping businesses with the challenges and opportunities they face today. Covering everything from payroll to payment processing, Heleana uses her expertise to help business owners make better, informed decisions and grow their companies.