When letters are dictated to stenographers, spoken names and addresses are often misunderstood. A good method to avoid error is to number the letters and simply designate them by number when dictating. In this way the correspondence may be turned over to stenographers to secure full addresses without danger of error.
To avoid the possibility of giving the same number to more than one letter, use a series of small numbered cards. Attach these cards to the letters with small clips, to be removed, arranged and returned to the stenographer at the close of the day.- C. E. Locke.
It will be found decidedly advantageous, especially in shops where a large number of people are employed, to use a workingman's card system. For each employe a card should be used, which should contain his name, residence and number and the department in which he is employed. On this card should be entered the employe's daily, weekly and monthly record, together with reasons for absence and cause of discharge, in such an event. In large factories it is almost impossible for the executive heard of the office to know personally the army of employes, and the record suggested will enable him at a glance to determine not only the qualifications of any certain employe, but to determine also whether one is deserving of advancement or an increase of salary.
The system is simple and effective.
The old style letter forwarding book with its record of millions of mistakes and countless inconveniences has been superseded by the modern system which is gradually finding its way into usage in hotels and post-offices. It is no longer necessary to depend on the book that has been worn out and many pages of which are missing. In its place is the neat desk drawer cabinet, with its system of alphabetical filing, the cards of which never show the wear and need never be lost. When an order for forwarding letters is received the name and necessary memoranda is written on a small 3x5 card which is filed in the cabinet in alphabetical order. The card provides space for full instructions for hotel clerk or postmaster and its use is a guarantee of accuracy.
To save time and energy in moistening the gummed flaps of envelopes, the following simple scheme is used by a number of business houses. The flaps of the envelope are extended and placed on the desk or table with the gummed surface exposed and overlapping the flap of the envelope placed on top of it. In this way the gummed surfaces of several dozen envelopes may be exposed at a time. A moistened sponge brushed gently over this surface will sufficiently dampen the gum to allow the envelope to be sealed. This process is much quicker than to moisten each flap individually, and it applies the moisture uniformly on all the envelopes.
To save time in sealing these flaps, a small clothes wringer may be used to advantage. The machine may be easily attached to the edge of a table or desk. By passing the envelopes with the moistened flaps through this machine several hundred envelopes an hour may be evenly and securely sealed.
Publishers of daily and weekly papers should have one system for keeping track of subscribers who receive their paper by mail, and one which makes each account directly accessible to any employe of the office, whether he keeps circulation books or not. Subscribers are likely to call for a statement of account at any time and the circulation clerk is liable to be out, or otherwise engaged.
When an order is received it should be made out on a card and sent to the mailing room for the name and address to be set in type on the mailing list. The card should at once be returned to the office, together with a copy of the mailing list. A clerk should check the list against the card to avoid error.
When a subscriber pays any amount on his subscription, it should be posted on the card and the correct date of expiration immediately placed on the mailing list.
To insure against errors and annoyances the mailing list should be checked with the card every time a payment is made.
Many firms use the Blue Book of large cities in their circularizing work. Sometimes it is necessary to issue letters and announcements quickly from a Blue Book list. If only one book of a city is owned, only one addresser can be employed on the list at a time.
As a book is somewhat expensive, and as the list is only used a few times each year, a small concern is not prepared to purchase five or ten copies simply for emergencies.
Though a firm has only one Chicago Blue Book, yet it can put ten or twenty addressers to work at it. The binding is removed and the "loose-leaf" man punches holes through the margin of the book and fits it in a loose-leaf cover. When the rush hour comes and the envelopes are wanted quickly, the book may be divided into as many parts as is required, and, with rings to hold each section together, the work proceeds. When the addressing is concluded, the parts of the book are brought together again and put into their proper places, and the book is complete.
This same short cut may be made with telephone subscribers' books and other lists of this class.- Alex. M. Damon.
The knowledge that each customer received the circulars each month without going to the expense of paying duplicate postage is easily secured by the following system:
Arrange the name and address of each customer on the ledger on an addressing machine list, in the same order as the accounts are arranged in the books. Each month let the office boy address a set of envelopes to all of these names. He can also print these same names and addresses, together with the date on the statements, thus leaving the bookkeeper nothing to do but put in the items and amount due. To avoid waste, the first time the list is printed a statement is headed for all. Those that were not used at that time, because some accounts were inactive or had discounted their bill, would remain over and be used the next time when no statement would be headed for these. Thus a statement is always on hand for every account. The bookkeeper would use all the envelopes addressed to those who were entitled to a statement, and those remaining would be handed to the credit man for his inspection, showing him who had not made any purchase during the month. A mark on the envelope by the bookkeeper would indicate those who had discounted their bill