the licence package
everything you need for your first year
The licence package for the South of England includes all of the IT hardware, mail sort furniture and training necessary; plus, of course, access to ProPost and enough consumables to meet your Mail Centre's requirements the first year of trading.
( remember, you can call our development team at any time for an informal chat on 0333 789 0011 )
web & social media sites
your mail centre's permanently open shopfronts
This prime Mail Centre will have its own, stand alone, website portal on this domain name. The portal will include all of the features and functionality you can see in our national website at expost.uk, including account registration and customer log-in. It will be search engine optimised, manually listed with Google, Bing & Yahoo, and is published in its final form around one month ahead of launch, so sales can begin even before you officially start trading.
campaign & feeder sites
Your territory will also benefit from a number of other independent websites designed and built to target specific user groups, or towns, cities and regions within the geographical footprint of the Centre.
( go to sales & support to find out more about our web presence and national marketing activity )
Networks such as Facebook and Twitter are rapidly becoming the first point of contact for both B2B and B2C services, so we constantly operate a range of cross platform social media campaigns. The current Facebook Business Manager adverts, for example, are targeted at; expatriates, on-line traders seeking to protect their home address, static caravan dwellers, 'full time' motorhomers and canal boaters.
( visit sales & support to see how social media is used to drive customers to your website )
fixtures & fittings
mail centre hardware & equipment
computer & it systems
We supply a pre-formatted 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 900mm 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 expost south, a further 'shelf-only' frame unit for parcel storage, and a desk mounted sorting frame that is used during the despatch process.
Fabricated to our specifications from heavy gauge, weatherproof, stainless steel and powder coated in black 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 410mm x 210mm x 300mm.
We also provide a wireless bell to alert you, inside the premises, when mail has been delivered.
Our licence 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, the absence of even the smallest of them can delay, stop or frustrate what would otherwise be a stress free process!
for twelve months trading
PPI ( Postage Paid Impression ) labels are what we use in place of stamps when despatching mail, see the examples above. Each is printed with our Royal Mail business account number, facilitating the return of undeliverable mail.
anti-tamper postal bags
All outgoing mail is consolidated into opaque, tear-proof, postal bags for despatch. As part of the licence package we supply sufficient bags, in four different sizes, to meet all of your first year's mail handling needs at expost south. When you run low, just tell us and we'll top up your stock!
As with hardware, enough printable address labels for the first year are included, along with A4 paper and ad-hoc consumable items such as; laser toner cartridges, packaging tape, Sharpie pens and clear sellotape.
( 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 or employee if you wish ), will travel here to Pembrokeshire and spend five days receiving practical instruction in our Head Office Mail Centre.
Whilst you make your own arrangements for travel to Philbeach, 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 19 years!
Because of the early start time, training will usually be concluded between 12 noon and 1pm each day.
Starting at 8am, ( having arrived the previous day ) you will be taken step by step through the processes of logging mail in, scanning letters 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 will take more than three hours, so you'll also spend some time at our ID and Compliance desk 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 create and insert 'suspect' items into each of the following days' mail.
Today you will process the day's mail yourself, including scans, but under supervision of course! You will log mail into ProPost, print off 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.
We will set aside some time for you to see how we manage sales enquires and customer support by telephone 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 processing our in-house mail, then review the prepared despatches and scans with you before committing to send. After despatching on Day 3 we'll take you through ordering mail supplies from Royal Mail and review our 'disaster recovery' procedures.
Today, you will process our Centre's mail and scans unaided. Should you need help, we will provide it by telephone, exactly as we would do 'in the real world' after you start trading! To conclude day four you'll carry out a full 'Housekeeping' sweep to identify and correct any frame errors, and then provide feedback at a final assessment meeting.
The morning represents one further opportunity to process our mail and cement your familiarity with the system, before travelling back to the South of England around noon, ready to start trading the next morning.
Your PC is 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 screen and take you through any process, as if we were sitting beside you.
( remember, we are always here on 0333 789 0011 or firstname.lastname@example.org to offer guidance and advice )
the operating manual
for instant information, help & downloads
The training manual is your guide and reference, helping us to ensure that your Centre delivers consistent, quality service to its 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
You use ProPost to log in, despatch and scan mail. It produces a daily despatch list with posting instructions, and even prints the mailing labels. It also manages regular housekeeping tasks such as opening and closing accounts, calculates the number of letters and parcels in the frame, whilst generating both financial and management reports in real time.
...and your customers' accounts
ProPost automatically debits the fees and charges from your customers' individual 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 displays each customer's account status, postage fund balance, handling preferences, mailbox contents, a copy of their scan viewer and a 90 day transaction history, so that you can always stay in control. Our dedicated support team will inform you immediately of any special requests received from your customers.
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 ( OBA ), which allows you to use the Postage Paid labels we supply to despatch letters and parcels at our highly discounted commercial rate. 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 the shipping brokers My Parcel Delivery gives you direct access to all top name couriers so that you can provide customers with the best price and service, whether it's an urgent letter to Swindon or a large parcel destined for Singapore.
we carry the cashflow
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. At the end of each month, your bank account is also credited with the revenue generated by our commercial rebates ( applied as a mark-up of 30% on all postage and shipping charges ).
As a bonus, all revenue arising from this mark-up is exempt from Royalties, and is paid to you without deductions!