Pitney Bowes is one of the world’s leading suppliers of franking machines, offering a huge range of models to assist businesses meet their mailing needs. The collection of franking machines they supply range from the low volume models (30 letters per day) through to those larger organisations having a much higher level of outgoing mail generation (hundreds of mail items per day). This scaled approach is reflected not only in the size of the desktop footprint of the machines but also in the increased functionality of the higher capacity franking machines.
Compared to the traditional method of postage stamping mail, the digital mailing systems on offer from Pitney Bowes provide a sound business solution in dealing with all mailing requirements in an efficient and effective manner, while gaining from the cost benefit savings that digital mailing systems can bring.
The Pitney Bowes DM300C is a medium volume (up to 75 letters/day) semi-automatic digital mailing system, which can mail up to 65 letters per minute. This model has three rear facing interfaces: an RJ11 analogue phone socket, a USB-B socket for connecting to a LAN via a directly connected PC and a twin set of USB ports which can also connect directly to a LAN or other peripherals such as a scanner or a scale. It is a mandatory requirement that the DM300C connects to the internet to allow not only a postal inspection audit, but software/postal rates and postal code updates.
The DM300C also comes with an integrated 5 kg weighing platform enabling the correct postage to be calculated for letters and small packages. For larger parcels and packages there is an option to upgrade the scales to a 7, 12 or 35 kg rating; this removes the need for a separate set of scales. The DM300C can process envelopes up to 9.5mm in thickness.
Although there are some functions of the DM300C which cannot be covered in depth within this review, the following key features should provide an indication of the capability, versatility and range of use that the DM300C has to offer.
- The Operator console provides the main interface with the DM300C via a set of designated keys and an alphanumeric keypad with entries appearing on a small LCD display panel. An integral QWERTY keypad is also available to enter text messages.
- The DM300C comes with three rear-facing interfaces, an RJ11 analogue phone socket, a single USB-B port to enable connectivity to a PC and two twin USB ports for connecting directly to a LAN and other peripherals.
- When ‘Running’ mail, the mail item may have its postage calculated by simply placing it on the integrated scales or by entering the item weight manually.
- One of the convenient features of DM300C is Differential Mail, this simply involves placing a pile of mail on the integral scales, then as each item is removed the correct postage value is calculated for that item.
- The DM300C can be linked to a range of Royal Mail services including Special Delivery, Recorded Signed for, FrankPay, Airsure and CleanMail.
- An Envelope Message feature which can display a graphic advert and/or text message may also be printed alongside the postal frank.
- The DM300C allows up to 100 departmental accounts which can be set up with their own unique passwords and PIN Number. This is quite handy should cross-charging across departments be employed within the organisation.
- A handy and time saving feature called a Preset (pre-defined set of inputs activated by the touch of a button) can be used for ‘normal’ mail. Additionally, up to 10 custom presets can be stored.
- A number of basic system options, including time/date setting, postage limits, lock codes, weight change options and passwords are performed through the operator console.
- Apart from changing the Ink cartridge, topping-up the moistener (for sealing envelopes) sealing solution reservoir, replacing/cleaning the moistener wick/brush and printing test images, maintenance is generally low-level.
- Troubleshooting the DM300C is generally straightforward and normally involves responding to an alert or error message on the operator display panel. A short section on troubleshooting is also contained within the user manual.
- Reporting on the DM300C is comprehensively covered through an extensive list of reports including, Funds, Last 5 Refills, Error, Configuration, Permit, Software Version and Rates Summary Reports.
- An optional Inview/Budget Accounting package can be installed and set up on the DM300C but requires a dongle (memory stick) to be plugged into one of the ISB ports.
Data Centre Connection
Connecting to the Datacentre is important and necessary for the DM300C to operate. The addition of postage funds to the machine can be done either through the LAN connection to the PC, utilising the IntelliLink Constant Connection kit or by accessing the LAN directly using an online Postage by Phone account. It is also possible to dial up a connection using the available analogue phone line, although this would be much slower and not offer a cost effective ‘live’ connection. The LAN connection however, remains live, unless disabled, thus enabling all domestic and worldwide postage rates to be installed on the machine automatically, as well as other required software/postal rates updates.
Note: The LAN connection and access is a mandatory requirement for software/postal rate updates and postal auditing purposes.
The indicative cost of a new Pitney Bowes DM300C could be in the region of £3,500 – £4,000, depending on what optional extras are bought. Pitney Bowes now offer a machine rental facility which would cost £49 to £99 per month depending on the model.
Second user DM300Cs are available and can be purchased for around £1,300.
To find out further information, including specific prices you’ll have to get a quote. Click here to find out more.