Is a Postal Scale Right for Your Business?
If you are like most business owners, employee efficiency and cost reduction is at the top of your list of priorities. You likely pay close attention to things like increasing office efficiency and minimizing the amount of time your employees waste chatting and browsing the internet. However, when is the last time you paid much attention to your monthly postal costs? Have you recently analyzed the amount of time and the payroll costs associated with taking a package down to the post office and waiting in line? There is a more efficient and inexpensive way to take care of your postal needs, and all you need to realize these benefits is a simple postal scale.
What is a Postal Scale?
A postal scale is an extremely sensitive scale designed to weigh pieces of mail and parcels to determine the postage rate for an item. Most large companies have a postal scale in their office because it makes shipping a much easier process and saves thousands of dollars in excess postage costs, wasted man hours, and trips to the local Post Office—where waits frequently exceed one hour. If the idea of a postal scale interests you, read ahead to learn about the two types of postal scales and the benefits that a postal scale can provide to your business.
Mechanical Postal Scales
The simplest and least expensive option is the mechanical postal scale. This analog scale, like most traditional kitchen and bathroom scales, uses a needle to physically indicate the weight of a letter or parcel. Once you have identified the exact weight of the item you would like to ship, you can calculate the shipping cost by multiplying the weight with the price per ounce associated with your desired shipping method.
While mechanical scales are reasonably priced and very easy to use, there are a couple of significant drawbacks in comparison to digital scales, which are discussed below. Mechanical scales use a set of springs to determine the weight of a package and these springs can stretch out over time, leading to inaccurate readings from your scale. This is why it is vitally important that you measure the accuracy of your postage scale at least once a month or, if heavily used, once a week.
Another thing to consider is that mechanical postage scales only provide the user with the weight of the package. It is up to you to calculate out the actual postage of the item by multiplying the weight with the price per ounce cost associated with your preferred method of shipping.
Digital Postal Scales
Digital postal scales can be significantly more expensive than mechanical scales; however, they offer a whole host of benefits not found on mechanical models. A digital postal scale that is connected to the internet uses current shipping rate information from the post office to calculate the exact rate for your package.
For example, if you have a package that you would like to ship via the USPS’ Priority Mail, your digital scale will provide you with both the weight and exact shipping cost by using current shipping rates from the post office. In addition, if your digital scale is an all-in-one or is connected to a postage meter, you can print out the shipping label right then and there, saving you a trip to the post office and the hour-long wait associated with each visit. On top of this, your digital scale will typically allow you to compare costs across different shipping methods.
In comparison to mechanical postal scales, digital scales offer the ability to easily calibrate the accuracy of your scale, without having to physically replace worn-out parts like the springs of a mechanical scale. Digital scales also remain accurate for a much longer period of time than mechanical scales, meaning that you won’t have to worry about replacing your equipment just months after purchasing it.
What Are the Benefits of Owning a Postal Scale?
There are several benefits associated with owning a postal scale, one of which is the potential to save your business thousands of dollars over time. For instance, overpaying for postage is a frequent problem associated with shipping packages. Oftentimes, it is easier to pay for too much postage on a package to ensure that it is properly delivered, rather than underpaying for a package and receiving a returned parcel a week later.
In addition, the use of a digital postal scale, combined with a postage meter, means that your employees never have to wait in line at the post office again. Instead of sealing a package and lugging it down to your nearest post office, you can weigh the package, create a shipping label, and have your local mailman pick up the package without ever leaving your office. Furthermore, since digital scales allow you to maintain a pre-paid postage account with USPS, you can no longer have to keep track of hundreds of shipping receipts, making your accounting department’s job much easier.