the franchise package
everything you will need for your first year
The franchise package includes all of the IT hardware, mail sort furniture and training necessary for your chosen territory; plus, of course, access to ProPost and enough consumables to meet your Mail Centre's projected sales for the whole of year one.
. . .remember, you can call our development team anytime for an informal chat on 0333 789 0011
web & social media sites
your mail centre's permanently open shop front
Every mail centre has it's own, stand alone, website on an independent domain name, with all of the features you can see in our core site at expost.uk including account registration and customer log-in. Your site will be search engine optimised for placenames throughout your territory, manually listed with Google, Bing & Yahoo. . . and is published in its final form one month ahead of launch, so sales can begin even before you officially begin trading.
Whilst these sites are all created using the same model, additional content specific to your territory's individual market conditions can and will be added as your business matures.
Your territory will also benefit from independent websites designed and built to target specific user groups.
( go to sales & support to find out more about our marketing schemes. )
Networks such as Facebook are rapidly becoming the first point of contact for local businesses and B2C services, so we will create, initiate and continually manage a cross platform social media campaign, targeted at traders wanting a local accommodation address and expats seeking to retain a connection with their previous place of residence.
( visit sales & support to see how social media is used to drive customers to your mail centre's site )
fixtures & fittings
mail centre hardware & equipment
computer & it systems
We supply a PC with the latest Windows operating system and dual monitors that will allow you to display ProPost and external systems such as the Royal Mail On-line Business Account simultaneously. The IT hardware also includes a premium branded A4 laser printer & scanner, a dedicated address label printer and all of the necessary software, pre-loaded and set-up ready to switch on and go!
Our bespoke mailsort frames, used to sort and store customer's mail, are made from powder coated steel and guaranteed for ten years. Each 900 x 400mm flat-packed frame provides 60 account slots and can be positioned against a wall, or back to back as freestanding units to make the best use of available floor space. The package includes the number of frames necessary to accommodate the first year's projected account sales for each territory, a further 'shelf-only' frame unit for parcel storage and a desk mounted 'sorting' frame, used during the despatch process.
mailsafe dropbox or chute
Fabricated to our specifications from heavy gauge, weatherproof, stainless steel and powder coated in mid grey or green to make it less conspicuous, this secure mailsafe is anchored to the wall or ground alongside your premises and can accept parcels as large as 410 x 210 x 300mm.
Where a free-standing drop-box is not appropriate, either because of space constraints or vulnerability, a 'through-the-wall' mail chute option can be installed in an outer wall of the premises or secure outbuilding. With either solution, we provide a wireless bell to alert you, inside the mail centre, when mail has been delivered!
The franchise package also includes sundry items such as; magnetic frame labels, an electric envelope opener, mail size gauge, a self-inking date stamp, digital letter scales and a paper shredder. Although these items may seem small and unimportant, they are crucial to operating a mail centre efficiently and without fuss!
for the first twelve months
anti-tamper postal bags
All outgoing mail is consolidated into opaque, tear-proof, postal bags for despatch. As part of the franchise package we supply sufficient bags, in four different sizes, to meet all of your first year's projected mail handling needs.
PPI ( Postage Paid Impression ) labels are what we use in place of stamps when despatching mail. . . see the example illustration above. Each is printed with our Royal Mail business account number and your mail centre's return address.
As with the hardware element of the package, we include enough printable address labels for the first year's despatching, A4 printer paper and ad-hoc consumable items such as laser toner cartridges, wide packaging tape, Sharpie pens and clear sellotape.
Although some of the sundry items we include in the package may seem trivial, the absence of even the meanest of them can stop, delay and frustrate what would otherwise be a stress free process!
You secure further consumables directly from our authorised distributors list to ensure that all goods meet the required quality specifications.
interested? . . .call our development team for an informal chat on 0333 789 0011
training & support
in a busy, fully operational mail centre
There is no substitute for real, hands-on, experience. . . so you (and your partner if you wish), will travel to Pembrokeshire and spend five days receiving practical instruction in our original Philbeach mail centre.
You will be taken, step by step, through the processes of logging mail in, managing and despatching customer's post by Royal Mail and private couriers. Even though we handle hundreds of active accounts, and will do everything a little slower than usual, this is unlikely to take much more than three hours. . . so we will also spend some time playing detective!
Discover how ProPost highlights suspicious activity on an account and learn how to monitor mail passing through your centre, spot the signs of possible fraud or smuggling and report your suspicions. To hammer this message home we will create and insert 'suspect' items into each of the following days' mail!
Today you will process the day's mail yourself, including scans, under supervision of course! You will log mail into ProPost, create the daily despatch list and use this to prepare all customer mail to be forwarded (including postal charge optimisation), entering each into the Royal Mail's Online Business Account and book whatever courier collections are necessary.
After lunch we will set aside some time for you to see how we manage sales enquires and customer support by telephone, Skype, text messaging and email. . . finishing up with an informal Q & A on the day's activity.
Our mailroom manager will retire to the support office whilst you get on with it, then review the prepared despatches and scanned letters with you before committing to send.
During the afternoon of Day 3 we'll take you through ordering mail supplies from Royal Mail and review the 'disaster recovery' procedures.
Today, you will process our Centre's mail and scans unaided. Should you need help, we will provide it by telephone.
In the afternoon, you'll carry out a full 'Friday Housekeeping' sweep to look for and correct any frame errors and then provide feedback at a final assessment meeting.
One further opportunity to process our mail and cement your familiarity with the system before travelling back to your territory around noon, ready to start trading!
You make your own arrangements for travel to Philbeach, where we will accommodate you in comfortable bed and breakfast for five nights, with dinner each evening at a local restaurant or gastro-pub. There'll be ample time to get to know the management socially and no shortage of 'war' stories about the things that customers have done, said or sent over the last 17 years!
Your PC is pre-loaded with a remote desktop programme which means that, should you be unsure about any aspect of log-in, despatch or external facility use, we can assert control of your PC and take you through the process again as if we were sitting alongside you!
( remember, we are always here on 0333 789 0011 or email@example.com to offer guidance and advice )
the training manual
instant information, help & downloads
The training manual is your guide and reference, helping us to ensure that each franchisee delivers consistent, quality service to our customers and is updated constantly to reflect improvements in the system, schemes or software.
For your convenience, every function in ProPost is linked to the relevant section of the manual, just in case you need a gentle reminder!
access to ProPost
proprietary mail management system
managing the mail
ProPost allows you to log mail in and out, scan and send mail. . . it produces a daily despatch list with posting instructions and even prints the postage labels. It manages housekeeping tasks like opening and closing accounts, allows you to check the number of letters and parcels in the frame and generates financial management reports in real time!
...and your customers' accounts
ProPost automatically debits the fees and charges from your customers' postage funds, sends them reminder emails, receipts and SMS alerts when mail is received or despatched and lets them know when their account needs renewing or topping up.
ProPost ( or our dedicated support team ) will inform you of any specific requests from an individual customer whilst their account status and the balance of their postage fund is clearly displayed, so that you always stay in control.
on-line account access
you use our credit, not your own cashflow!
Most mail is sent out by first class post, via our Royal Mail on-line business account or OBA, which allows you to use the Postage Paid labels we supply as part of your franchise package to despatch letters and parcels. The OBA calculates the postage for any weight or size of item, destination and service. . . you simply print the summary sheet and place it in a mail sack with the outgoing mail.
Our account with My Parcel Delivery gives you direct access to 14 top name couriers so that you can provide customers with the best price and service, whether it's an urgent letter to London or a large parcel going to Singapore.
... and we carry the cashflow burden!
Because all carriers, including the Royal Mail, take their postage and carriage fees directly from our expost credit accounts, there is no cashflow cost for you to cover!
Then, at the end of each month, your bank account is also credited with the additional revenue generated by our commercial discounts.