Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Stephen Yoss, President of mantisPRO, to see how his company became more efficient by moving from a postage meter to Stamps.com online postage. mantisPro is an IT solutions firm specializing in communication (VoIP) and document management solutions for businesses. Stephen Yoss started using Stamps.com over 10 years ago at his family’s CPA firm. His goal was to save time and money on his USPS mailings.
Stamps.com: How did you find out about Stamps.com and online postage?
mantisPRO: We’ve been with Stamps.com probably since the beginning. We originally heard about the service from a colleague in the accounting profession so we gave it a shot. We’ve always been the kind of firm that invested in technology, training, and support. It was a natural move for us. So we downloaded the software and instantly saw the value in it. We’ve been with Stamps.com ever since.
We probably sent back our Pitney Bowes machines with Stamps.com postage!
Stamps.com: What type of mailing program did you use prior to online postage?
mantisPRO: We used a variety of technologies. From something as simple to just putting a stamp on a letter to having an expensive postage meter. Our business gets very busy once a year during tax season. And during that time of the year, it’s great having a meter, but the rest of the year it didn’t really make sense to us because we weren’t really using it all that much.
We moved away from that postage meter because of the cost of leasing the equipment. There were maintenance fees and other costs that we didn’t really understand. With the Stamps.com subscription model, it was much more cost efficient and you just use print postage when you need it, right from your desktop.
Stamps.com: What type of features were you looking for with online postage that you were not finding with a Postage Meter?
mantisPRO: In our industry, we bill by the minute and if you’re not billing, you’re not making money. From a cost standpoint, we had to pay for the postage meter equipment, the account fees, and the fee to add more postage to the meter. All these fees really added up quickly. Over the lifespan of our postage machine lease, something that should have cost very little ended up costing a lot.
By moving to Stamps.com, we not only saved money but we also saved time, which is very important to us.
Our product is our knowledge and our ability to produce for our clients. With Stamps.com, we were able to free up the time of our associates. Instead of having to either call a company in order to buy postage for the meter or go to the Post Office for stamps, they can just print the postage that they need and move on to the next project. At the end of the day, our time is the most important thing to our business.
Stamps.com: Was it hard to get started? Did you find the software easy to use?
mantisPRO: Yes, absolutely easy to use. When you log in to the software, you select exactly what mail piece you are trying to send, whether it be a package, a postcard or a letter. Then you select how much it weighs. If it’s a flat rate mail piece, Stamps.com will tell you don’t even bother weighing this, just print the postage.
If you need additional services such as return receipt, certified mail, or insured mail, the software will print that particular piece and deduct the amount accordingly off your account balance.
Getting started was easy to do. Just download the software and you’re done, for the most part. Input your credit card information, buy the NetStamps, and you’re ready to go.
Stamps.com: What type of mail pieces do you commonly mail out?
mantisPRO: We send a variety of packages out — everything from basic letters to large envelopes with tax-returns, to packages, to whatever. We use the scale and either print the label or we’ll print a sheet of NetStamps.
We usually have a couple of different folders for our clients that we’re tracking costs for and we’ll keep postage in a folder for each of them. We’ll print out a sheet of labels and use them as need be.
We always have one sheet of labels with like 10 stamps or so missing because that’s when we need to print a stamp with $1.50 or a $2.51 denomination. Stamps.com gives us that flexibility. The cool thing is, Stamps.com tracks what stamps are gone from each label, so you’re never printing the wrong one to an empty space.
Sometimes we’re sending something as simple as a bill, or a letter, then we’ll just print First Class postage. If we’re sending a postcard, we have the flexibility to print $0.28 postage stamp. There are so many different things you can do within Stamps.com that really makes it effective for us.
Stamps.com: What type of cost tracking and reports have you used with Stamps.com?
mantisPRO: We have a lot of clients that we handle all of their back office support for. And for these clients, it’s very easy to track what you’re spending your money on with Stamps.com.
With Pitney Bowes, or a traditional machine, we would just meter the envelope and it would be done; we didn’t really track the costs to that level. But now, we have an account for each client that allows us to pass the cost of the postage on to them and track those costs more effectively. So instead of our company just eating the entire cost, we’re able to make sure we’re being reimbursed for the postage we use for each client.
Also, the only real expense is the labels, which is completely reasonable. There’s no equipment leasing fee or other hidden fees, and at the end of the day, a stamp costs the same no matter where you buy it.
Stamps.com: Does mantisPro ever send Certified Mail?
mantisPRO: When you’re an accountant, you’re dealing a lot with sensitive information, and for some things we need to know the tax return got there on time. We often encounter stragglers who come in on April 14th. We really don’t have time to complete their taxes, or we can’t e-file a return, but we need to make sure an extension gets to the IRS on time — you know, due to professional liability. So yeah, we’ll select Return Receipt and Certified Mail to make sure that that item is taken care of. We’ll do that on a case by case basis.
To learn more about mantisPRO, visit their site at www.mantispro.com