Quadient IS-480 franking machine review

In the realm of postal operations and mailroom management, franking machines have long been indispensable. For UK businesses that dispatch a significant volume of mail, an efficient franking machine not only expedites the mailing process but can also result in cost savings. The Quadient IS-480, formerly known under the Neopost brand, is a mid-to-high volume franking machine that has garnered attention in the business community for its robust capabilities and advanced features.

This article reviews the IS-480 from Quadient, delving into its features, performance, and potential impact on business operations.

Video: Common questions about buying or renting a franking machine

Overview of the Quadient IS-480 franking machine

The Quadient IS-480 is designed for businesses that have substantial mailing needs. It’s capable of processing up to 150 letters per minute, which places it in the higher echelons of efficiency when compared to other machines in its category. The machine boasts an intuitive touch screen and a suite of features that simplify mail processing for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger corporations alike.

Specification CategoryDetails
Processing SpeedUp to 150 letters per minute
Max. Envelope ThicknessUp to 16mm
Scale CapacityDynamic weighing option available
Job Imprint MemoriesYes (number of memories varies)
Envelope DimensionsMinimum: 89 x 127 mm<br>Maximum: 229 x 324 mm
ConnectivityLAN and Wi-Fi capabilities
Touch ScreenColour touch screen with intuitive interface
DimensionsWidth: 1,219 mm<br>Depth: 442 mm<br>Height: 351 mm
WeightApprox. 35 kg
Departmental AccountsYes (quantity varies based on model)
Differential WeighingOptional
Power Supply100-240 VAC, 50/60Hz, 3A Max
Automatic Feeder and SealerYes
Print ResolutionUp to 600 dpi for text and graphics
Advertising SlogansYes, with multiple custom slogan options
Ink Cartridge LifeApprox. 12,000 imprints per cartridge (varies by usage)
Postal Rate ManagementRate Wizard and online services for rate changes and updates
Quadient IS-480 specification
Quadient IS-480 franking machine

Key features and performance

The IS-480 comes with several noteworthy features that merit attention:

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  1. High-speed processing: With the ability to handle up to 150 letters per minute, the IS-480 is built for efficiency and can significantly cut down on the time staff spend preparing mail.
  2. Dynamic scale: The dynamic weighing platform is adept at processing mixed mail on the fly. This means users can feed different sized letters without pre-sorting, and the machine will automatically calculate the correct postage.
  3. Touch screen control: A modern, user-friendly touch screen interface allows for easy operation. This feature can reduce the training time required for staff and minimise user errors.
  4. Rate Wizard: The Rate Wizard feature ensures that the correct postal rates are applied to each item, which is particularly beneficial following the frequent changes in postal rates.
  5. Online management: Quadient offers online account management tools, which can be particularly advantageous for tracking and controlling postal expenditures.
  6. LAN and Wi-Fi connectivity: The IS-480’s connectivity options allow for seamless updates and online postal rate changes, ensuring the machine is always up-to-date with the latest pricing and software.

Quadient IS-480 prices and costs

When considering the addition of a Quadient IS-480 franking machine to your business’s operational toolkit, understanding the pricing structure is crucial. Pricing can vary based on several factors, including whether you choose to purchase or rent the machine, the inclusion of service agreements, and any potential promotions or discounts offered by Quadient or authorised dealers.

Pricing AspectEstimated CostNotes
Purchase Price£5,000 – £7,000One-time cost; can vary based on configuration and supplier.
Monthly Rental£100 – £300Based on a 12-60 month contract; includes maintenance and potentially some supplies.
Maintenance Contract (Annual)£200 – £600For purchased machines; includes parts and labor for repairs.
Ink Cartridges£50 – £100Per cartridge; cost varies by supplier and volume discounts.
Postal Supplies (Labels, Envelopes, etc.)VariableDepends on usage and purchase volume.
InsuranceVariableOptional; depends on provider and coverage level.
Quadient IS-480 pricing and costs

Purchase options

Purchasing the IS-480 outright is an option for businesses looking for a long-term solution without ongoing monthly costs. The upfront cost for a machine like the IS-480 can be quite significant, often ranging from several thousand pounds. Depending on the vendor and the specific configuration of the machine (such as higher-capacity feeding systems or added features), the price can fluctuate.

For example, the base price for a new IS-480 might start around £5,000 to £7,000. Keep in mind that this is an estimated figure and can vary widely. It’s advisable to obtain a custom quote from Quadient or an authorised dealer, as prices can differ based on the sales channel, promotions, and specific business needs.

Rental options

Renting the IS-480 is a popular choice for businesses that prefer to spread the cost over time or those seeking to avoid the responsibility of maintenance and repairs. Rental contracts often include service and maintenance, and can sometimes cover supplies like ink and labels. Monthly rental costs for a machine like the IS-480 may range from £100 to £300, though these rates can vary significantly based on contract length, volume commitments, and service inclusions.

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Many businesses opt for rental agreements that last anywhere from 12 to 60 months, providing flexibility to upgrade or change machines as needed. Furthermore, rental agreements may have the added benefit of keeping technology up-to-date, as newer models become available.

Additional costs

Whether purchasing or renting, it’s important to consider additional costs such as:

  • Maintenance and service: While rental agreements typically include this, purchased machines may require a separate service contract.
  • Ink and supplies: Ink cartridges, labels, and envelopes are ongoing costs that need to be factored into the total cost of ownership or rental.
  • Postal rates: The cost of postage is, of course, a separate expense, but franking machines like the IS-480 can access lower postage rates, thus offering potential savings.
  • Insurance: If you purchase the machine, you may want to insure it, adding to the total cost.

Ultimately, the decision between purchasing and renting will depend on your business’s cash flow, the volume of mail processed, and how you manage capital expenditures versus operating expenses. Businesses should thoroughly assess their mailing volume, financial situation, and operational needs before making a decision.

To get the most accurate pricing, it’s recommended to contact Quadient or an authorised dealer directly. They can provide a detailed quote tailored to your specific business requirements, including any current promotions or customisations that could affect the price.

Benefits for UK businesses

The adoption of the Quadient IS-480 can deliver multiple benefits for UK businesses:

  • Cost efficiency: By ensuring the correct postage is always used, the IS-480 can reduce the amount of overpayment on mail.
  • Time-saving: Its high-speed processing can free up staff for other tasks, boosting productivity.
  • Flexibility: The dynamic scale allows for a variety of mail to be processed without pre-sorting, which is ideal for businesses with diverse mailing needs.
  • Convenience: The touch screen interface and Rate Wizard simplify the operation, making it accessible for all users.

Challenges and considerations

However, there are a few considerations businesses should bear in mind:

  • Cost: The IS-480 is a significant investment, and businesses should weigh its cost against the expected savings and productivity gains.
  • Space: The machine’s dimensions require a dedicated space, which could be a constraint for smaller offices.
  • Maintenance: As with any complex machinery, the IS-480 will require regular maintenance to keep it in peak condition.

Quadient IS-480 – The verdict

For businesses with significant mailing requirements, the Quadient IS-480 presents a compelling solution. Its blend of speed, convenience, and cost-saving features can contribute to smoother operations and improved efficiency.

While there are considerations around cost and space, the productivity gains for medium to high-volume mailers could make it a worthwhile investment.

As with any business decision, it’s recommended to perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the IS-480 is the right fit for your postal needs.

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