This is an example of an adaptable system and one of value, contributed by Lawrence L. Hall.
This system, which was installed in the factory of Hilliard & Tabor, at Haverhill, Massachusetts, after many weeks of experimenting and a careful study of the needs of the factory, has now been in operation for a year, and works to the entire satisfaction of the company.
At this factory the packing and shipping rooms are on the same floor. As the same man has to do with both departments, one card answers for two uses. The trade is divided between the jobbing and retail trade. The orders are entered in books, those from jobbers going into what is termed the "S" book, and retail orders in the "T" book.
On the customers' cards an initial is used to designate, such as "J" after the firm name of jobbers. The card also contains the page on which the order is entered. This is placed in the upper left-hand corner of the card (Figure I), and on the first ruled line is stamped or written "File Page," which will be referred to and fully explained later. On the next line appear the shipping directions, which are written in pencil, so as to be easily erased in case of a change in routing. If there should be a change in routing the change is made immediately on the card, and should this necessitate a change in the date of shipment, the entry and date is placed in the second column of the card (Figure I).
The routing order is posted in a file, such as many firms use for filing invoices, and the page number is placed in the second column, on the first line, in front of "File Page."
The entire correspondence from a customer is filed on this page, whether relating to shipping, marking cases, cartons, labels or any other detail connected with packing or shipping.
A note of the customer's request and the date is also placed on the card, and as the file is always in reach of anyone who uses the index, reference to the original letter is a matter of one moment.
"Special" Cards. - Some of the firm's customers re-quire special marks or cases, so after the word "Mark" the requirements are placed. Should a customer use a regular carton, under "Carton" on the card is stamped "White" or "Stock," and, as a rule, no entry is made after "Wooden Cases," but if a carton is used with a label, "Special" is stamped after "Carton" and "Stock" after "Wooden Cases," and a note is also made of where the label is obtained.
When a carton of special size is used, the word "Special" follows both carton and wooden case. The dimensions of a carton are given, and, after the words, "Stamp Carton," the request of the customer as to stamping is carried out.
All of the foreign buyers of this firm wish the number of the sample from which the shoes were ordered stamped on the carton as a means of ready reference in case of future orders.
Some of the customers have stores in two or more places, and a Shipment to the wrong store is not pleasing to the buyer. For instance, a customer has one store in Bakersfield, California, and another in Fresno. At the top of a card, similar to Figure III, a note may be made, reading, "Also at Los Angeles," and on the other card a notation will be made at the top, reading, "Not Pasadena."
Be it said in explanation of this system that the firm has cartons of different sizes for each store, varying considerably in dimensions, as the cards will be made to show. These cartons are designed to fit the shelves, and if a mistake were made, the ensuing trouble is apparent. At the time of shipment, before it is too late to mend matters, the index does its work admirably and trouble is saved both maker and buyer. Should shipments be made at the same time to both stores, the value of the index is even more appreciated.
"Capacity" Cards. - A feature which is of much service to this company, and one which has seldom if ever been used, is a card (Figure IV), showing the capacity of cases with cartons of a size different from the size it was designed to hold. Among the retailers orders have cases of a varying number of pairs, from one or two up, and it is quite necessary to see that every case is filled to its capacity. The notes on the card (Figure
IV) are not complete, but are of great use to refer to, as accurate estimates can be made from them.
On another card (Figure V) dimensions of cases for special size cartons are noted, and in an emergency the size of the special case demanded may be compared to the regular cases of about the same size, and a fairly good fit is secured in most cases.