In the past, relationships between buyers and suppliers were wholly dispensable. Buyers wanted a product and the suppliers provided it. Simple. Back then, suppliers knew that they could be replaced immediately and therefore put little effort into maintaining the relationship.
Today, however, businesses are under constant pressure to reduce the costs of their activities and to obtain products and services that are not only affordable but of good quality. Businesses now are focused on building strong relationships with suppliers, partnering with them to get access to the best deals and services, as well as benefitting from their expertise to streamline specific business functions.
Franking, as a business staple, is no exception. Every business prints and sends mail – some more than others – but the fact remains that it can be costly for businesses, especially when it comes to the maintenance and repair of machines, as well as the replenishment of consumables. Partnering with a franking machine supplier, however, can yield tremendous business benefits.
You might already have a franking machine supplier – but are they operating as an extension of your business? Are they helping you to reduce costs? Are they providing insight into how to improve your franking function? If you are working with a partner and not a supplier, below are just a few of the benefits you can expect.
1. Inventory Management
For example, imagine if your franking machine inventory and consumables were automatically managed and restocked on your behalf? With a franking machine partner, it’s entirely possible. As your partner has access to your stock level information (including how much ink and paper you use on a monthly basis) whenever your stock levels are low, they automatically send a shipment of consumables to replenish them, and analyse your consumable usage to provide you with the exact amount you need, helping you to reduce costs and minimise inventory turnover.
2. Inventory consolidation and upgrades
Having your franking machine partner as your key supplier allows you to consolidate your franking inventory – pleasing your finance team as they only ever have to deal with one invoice – and over time, your partner becomes aware of the products you need and will look for better, more effective products to offer you. Rather than having to engage with another supplier to get the products you need, your partner will get the products you need in stock and at a discounted rate for your business.
3. Around-the-clock, on-site support
Also, what if you need multi-site support and franking machine maintenance on site? No problem; your partner has already provided dedicated on-site technicians to provide support where necessary. With a partner outsourcing their expertise to your business, instead of waiting two days for a technician to show up and take a look (and potentially not be able to solve the issue) any issues with your franking machines can be resolved within hours, reducing your downtime and costs.
4. Reduced long-term costs
Finally, partnering with a franking machine supplier will help you to reduce your supply costs significantly. For example, if your franking machine partner is aware of what you need well in advance, they will be able to minimise delays and expenses resulting from stock availability and stock quality, not only ensuring that you get your goods on time – but also at a discounted rate as it costs them less to supply. Your partner can also work with you to build a finance plan that allows you to access the best franking solutions/consumables at an affordable rate.
5. Someone who understands your business
As you continue to work with your franking machine partner, they develop an intricate understanding of your business and how it operates; they start to think about how they can help to improve your business’ print and franking function – and suggest potential upgrades and solutions that will help to scale your activities whilst keeping costs low.
Many organisations around the world today have partnerships with their suppliers, and collaborate with them to ensure they have the necessary business services, functions and support in place to flourish and succeed. These businesses have embraced the fact that by enlisting the expertise of their supplier for other functions outside of their business’ remit, they can improve productivity and quality, whilst reducing costs and labour. Nowadays, it’s about building close-knit networks with your suppliers to streamline supply chain management and procurement, as doing so will allow you to improve supply efficiency and grow your business.
Franking is no exception. The printing and processing of mail is (and will continue to be) a key business process and, depending on your scale of activities, partnering with a trusted franking machine supplier will help to reduce your costs and will add more value to your business.