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UNIT 7 INWARD AND OUTWARD MAIL

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UNIT 7 INWARD AND OUTWARD MAIL Powered By Docstoc
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UNIT 7 INWARD AND OUTWARD MAIL


7.0      Objectives        (
7.1      Introduction
7.2      Nature and Importance of Mail Service
7.3                     al
         Organking the Mi Smrice
                               al
         7 -3.1 Cenhahtiqn of Mi Service
         7.3.2 ~ e c e n t t a l d o n Mail Service
                                     of
7.4      Stages in Handling Inward Mail
7.5      Stages in Handling Outward Mail
         7.5.1   Stages in Making Outward Mail Ready for Despatch
         7.5.2   Stages in despatch of Outward Mi
                                                al
7.0      Equipment for Mail Handling
         7.6.1   Letterwniag Machine
         7.6.2   Folding Machine
         7.6.3   Addressing Machine
         7.6.4   Franking W n e
7.7      Let Us Sum Up
                       1
7.8      Key Words
7.9      Answers to Check Your Progress
7.10     Terminal Questions




After going through 'this unit, you should be able to :
 a explain the nature and importance of mail service in the office


 .
 a distinguish between centralised and decentralised organisation of mailing servke
      describe the stagb in handling inward and outward mail
 a identify and explain the uses of equipments and machines for mail handling work!


7.1 INTRODUCTION
One of the basic functions of an office is to receive and transmit information relating
to the operations of the organisation. This is particularly important in a business
office. A business concern has to keep           contact with its customers, creditors,
investors and dther organisations in             of conducting its business operations.
Mail service plays very important


                                                      P
 In this unit, you will learn the nature and im rtance of mail service, the
 organisational set-up required to handle the mail and the routine steps involved in
 handling inward and outward mail. You will also be acquainted with the equipments
 and machines used in a modem office for handling mail.


 7.2 NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF MAIL
     SERVICE
Correspondence r d v e d or sent through the post office or through messengers is
called 'mail'. Mail may be classified into three distinct categories : Inward mail,
Outward Mail and Interdepartmental mail. The value and effectiveness of mail to an
                        thi s~eed effjcjencywith which it is handled or deal,
                                    and
                                                                    (7   -
                           mdOutward mail Every u f f i ~ e ,
                                                            lall;   ir
                           :for nmm-+ --
                                                 fficient handling of mail n :- xt up
                                                                            must
                                                                            .
         of mail service to an organisation should not be underestimated. It is the focal point                             Handling Incoming a
                                                                                                                                   Outgoing Me
         of most business activities.

         An effective and economical mail service enhances the efficiency of the organisation
         @ various ways. By helping to improve interbranch and interdepartmental relations,
         it ensures better functioning of the organisation. Mail service is an indispensable and
         integral part of office operations. It supplements other office operations like
         correspondence, typing and duplicating and record keeping. These operations lose
         much of their effectiveness unless their efforts are backed by an efficient mail service.
         Prompt and correct handling of mail by the mailing department also helps in
         reducing the overall cost of office operations by eliminating unnecessary
                                                                                  im
         correspondence. Moreover, it helps in promoting the goodwill of the f r among
         customers and the public through prompt and correct handling of mail.


         7.3 ORGANISING THE MAIL SERVICE

 I
         Where people work in a group, their combined efforts can be productive only when
         their individual efforts are organised and coordinated. Organisation helps to achieve
         the desired objective in the most efficient and economical manner. Like any other
                                                                                      f
         office service, mail service also requires the combined efforts of a number o staff
         working as a team. The purpose of organising the mail service is to ensure
         performance of mail handling work with maximum efficiency and at minimum cost.

         Organising ir~volves           bringing together functions, personnel or staff and physical
         facilities (vi7. ai'cc)ln~~~trlatic)~~, u-~)rk condition and equipment) and
                                                              lay out,        i1.g
                                                                       .
         estahli! hing thci~r c l i ~ ~ ~ o n ~ : ~ ! j ;a well-planned system. Organising the mail
                                                            LV~:I.J!~

     .                        .
         service invcdv~~i ; ; : : ! . ? , i : ~ i i ~!!i t '
                                  :                      . :             :.tw tcir handling mail, assigning the task of
         r>crf(,rming   11ic~. . > . u i , i - - ~ , . . -r > l r tpossc\sirig tiif necessary skills, providing the staff
                                            I.)


         vgith nzct.sbiirv         ! > I . :,i fncilitics and sstablishing well-defined relationships bctween
         them within i i t t . , j b t e r n . This helps in controlling and coordinating the work of
         ~rltiividual staff 10 achieve the desired result. The type of organisation to be set up
         will depend on the size and nature of business. It also depends on the volume and
 t       frequency of mail handled each day, the system and routines established and the
         degree o mechanization of work. Mail service may be centralised or decentralised.
                   f
         Let us now discuss them in detail.
 t
F(       7.3.1 Centralisation of Mail Service
1
1
 I
         'Centralisation' of mail handling work means physical concentration of the work in
         one section or area of the general office. The central mailing section will b;l
         responsible for handling all inward and outward mail of the functional or operating
 b
         departments of the organisation. The main object of centralisation of mail &mice is
         to achieve greater effic~ency and economy through job sub-division and
         specialisation. The repeated performance of the same routine operation by the same
         worker leads to specialisation and greater efficiency. Routinization and
         standardization of the operations also facilitates mechanization resulting in greater
         efficiency and accuracy. Centrahsation of mail~ng   work also makes it feasible to
         appoint an expert supervisor to coordinate and control the work of individual
         workers.

         Advantages : Centralised mail service has several advantages :
         1) Systematization of work : It facilitates setting up of proper sy'stems and routines
              in mail handling work. This leads to elimination of duplication of work and
              unnecessary operations, thereby effecting saving in time and expense.
         2) Greater efficiency and accuracy : Each routine operation is performed by the
            staff having special aptitude and training for such work. This ensures speed,
            accuracy and efficiency in operation.,
         3) Better supervision and coordinatiort : In ccnrralicrd mail it is feasible to appoint
                                                                       work of individual
            a qualified supervisor to >upcXr! irrlcl coorctinate ~ l l c
                                           ibe

            workers. Proper allocar~on f u111 c ~ ~ c - distribution of work-load and
                                        o     k.        ri
            continuous supervision tnsurc I~crrer~?crfo~.nianct:.
itceadrmheenmemd
                   4) Prompt hndling of h a r d maif : Prompt and careful handling of inward mail
-Srr*tScr             and their proper distribudion to the proper departments and individuals ensures
                      prompt action on the mail. This contributes to greater efficiency of the entire
                      orghation.                I


                   5) Saving d derical bbow : Duplication-of work inherent in departmental mail
                      service is eliminated leading to saving of clerical labour and office cost.
                   6) ~ o n g e k i o nf mail avdded : Collection and despatch of outward mail from
                                      o
                      different departments d a y be so staggered that there 'will be no congestion or
                      over-load of mail durin rush hours.
                                                F
                   7) Better control over postage : Wastage and misuse of postage stamps can be
                      avoided. Better control over use of stamps and proper postage accounting
                      ensures economy in pustage expenses.
                   6) Eeolromiad use of mrlchines : A large volume of mail handled by central
                      mailing department jubtifies proper and fullest possible utilisation of mailing
                      machines. This ensures economy in use of office machines. *.

                   Diudvmtaga : The follc$bg are certain disadviintages of centralisation:
                   1) Costly : It is a costly Brrangement and proves uneconomic for small organisations
                      with small volume of~mail.   '


                       cin
                   2) A t o deiyed : s o b e delay in collection and distribution of departmental mail
                      is unavoidable in a centralised arrangement. Mail requiring quick action on its
                      receipt cannot be d d t with quickly.
                   3) Cwfidentiatity of +I:Central handling of mail results in loss of
                       confidentiality of mail. Mail dealing with confidential matters are best handled
                       departmental1y.
                   4) Physical l&tion :H the locatton of the functional departments is scattered
                      widely, speedy and proper distribution or collection of mail from the
                      departments becoyes difficult and costly.

                                               of
                   7.3.2 ~ e c e n t d d t i o n Mail Service
                   Deczntralised or Depatirmental mail service refers to arrangements whereby all
                   incoming and outgoing mail pertaining to each functional department is handled
                   within the department by the departmental staff. The actual arrangement will depend
                   on the size of the business and the volume and nature of mail.

                   Advaatnges : The a d b a n t a p of departmental service may be outlined as follows :
                   1) Less costly : It is less costly than centralised mail service and hence can be
                      adopted suitablyr by small and medium organiltions with small volume of mail.
                   2) Quicker ds o d of m a : Inward mail is received directly by the department
                               ip s
                      concerned and     be disposed off more quickly than in a centralised
                      arrangement. Special arrangement can be made for quick despatch of outward
                       mail of urgent nature.
                   3) Secrecy +Wined       : Secrecy and confidentiality of correspondence can be
                      better maintained in the departmental arrangement.
                   4) Fosters departmental loyalty : Departmental staff doing the mail handling work
                      develop a sense of loyalty towards the departmcnt which improves the quality of
                      their work. This enhances the reputation and image of the organisation.

                   DlsPdvamtsgea : Gertain disadvantages of departmental mail service should be noted:
                   1) toss of efsdeney and accuracy : Job subdivision and specialisation are not
                      possible under this arrangement to the same extent as in a centralised set-up.
                      Each departmental worker has to perform several routine operations single
                      handed. Thi$ results in loss of efficiency and accuracy in mail handling work.
                   2) Lack a proper supenision :.@ch department cannot afford to appoint an
                            f
                      expert supervisor to oversee mail handling work. The work cannot be properly
                      supervised and coordinated.
I 3) Duplication of work : The same operations are performed in different                                                                                   h d h g Incoming and
     departments by separate sebof staff. This results in duplication of work and                                                                                 Outgoing kInifs
I
'       increased labour cost.
    4) Vse of mqchines uneconomical : The volume of departmental mail is not
                                                                  .
       hfficiently large to justify economical use of mail handling machines.
                                                                      L


                                                    +   - - r ,

    Check YO&P~Q& A :                                             ..

    1) w h a t is meant by centralisation of mail servick?
        .............................................................................................................................................
                                                                                            b




    2) Your organisation has five departments. Each department receives and sends out
       hundred letters a day on an average. Mention three principal advantages to be
       derived from deeentralisation of mail service.


        ii)    ................:.......................................................................................................................:-

    3) Which of the following statements are True and which are False?
        i) Message received by telegram is not mail.
        ii)Mail service enhances the goodwill of the organisation.
        iii)
           Centralisation of mail service saves clerical labour.
        iv)Economical use of office machines is possible under departmental mail
           service.
       v) Departmental mail semce leads to duplication of work.
       vi) Proper supervision is ensured in both centralised and departmental mail                                                              .
           service.


    7.4 STAGES IN HANDLING -INWARD MAIL

    An important phase of planning a mailing service is the establishment of definite
    routines for handling inward and outward mail. Inward mail is the logical starting
    mint of the work of the mail service of an organisation. Planning and establishment
    of proper inwafd mail routine is very important. The efficiency in handling inward
    mail has a great impact on the efficiency and success of the business as a whole. The.
    principles underlying the routine stages in handling inward mail are those of speed
    and accuracy. The routine stages for handling inward mail follow the following
    pattern in most large organisations.
    1) Receiving tbe mail : The first stage in the routine is to receive or wUeectmail.
       Mail may be delivered by postmen, collected from the post office, or received
         through messenger. Ordinary mail is delivered by postmen once or twice a day or
         more often. Registered letters and money orders are delivered as and when they
         come. Telegr+ms and Speed Post letters and parcels are delivered by special
         messengers without delay. Some organisations hire post box or post bag at the
         nearest post office. In such a case, the mail is wllected from the post office by an
         employee of the mailing department at regular intervals. This is done to avoid
         delay in delivery of mail by postmen and also to maintain secrecy of mail. h i al
         from local organisations are also hand-delivered by messengers to avoid postal
         delay, particularly when the message is urgent. An employee of the mailing
         dephrtment is assigned the duty of receiving mail delivered by messengers and
         sign receipts or the peon book in acknowledgement.
    2) Opening the mail : The morning mail is frequently the heaviest. The work of
       opening the mail and sorting them for distribution to concerned departments
       should start earlier than normal opening time so that these may receive prompt
       attention of the dealing staff. Before opening the envelopes, a preliminary sorting
R c r o r 6 ~ u l
~ . ~ S e l r b a       of the envelopes and covers is done to segregate urgent mail f o ordinary ones.
                                                                                      rm
                        Envelopes may be opened by hand or with the help of m c i e .
                                                                                ahns
                    3) ScmtCny ofthe mail : The contents of the envelopes have to be scrutinised
                       camfully to ascertain theit nature, number of enclosures and idcntity of the
                         department concerned.Enclosures should be checked with the covering letter to
                        verify their correctness. In case of money enclosures like cheques, drafts, postal
                         orders etc., the amount indicated therein should be checked with the covering
                         letter. If there is any discrepancy, it should be noted on the letter and initialled
                         by the handling clerk. Ramittances received by money order, registered post or
                        'msured post should be e d t d in a separate register kept for the purpose.
                    4) Ihte-shmpimg of mail : It is a common practice to stamp on each piece of
                       inward mail with the date and time of receipt. 'Ibis is important for avoiding any
                       future dispute regarding date and time of receipt of the mail. A serial number is
                       a s printed on each piece of mail for the purpose of reference.
                        lo

                        Date-stamping may be cbone by hand or mechanically. Rubber stamps provided
                        with mechanism for changing the date are used for manual date-stamping.
                        Specially made metal stamps, having devices for stamping date, time and serial
                        number are also used. Mechanical devices like 'Date and Time Recorder' or
                        'Time Recording' machines may be used where the volume of mail is large. It
                        saves time and leaves no room and error.

                        Specially destgned rubber stamps are used where other particulars, besides date,
                        time and serial number, are to be printed. One cuch stamp includes date and
                        time of receipt as well a$ nature of action taken. Look at Figure 7.1 and
                        Figure 7.2

                        F i e 7.1 : Specimen Rubber Stamp                       F i p r c 7.2 : Specimen Ruhhrr   '   61'6'     L~JJ
                        for Date-Stamping                                       Date-Stempine


                          Marco\ & ('ompany lnd

                          Ne                                                       F~led


                          Ackd

                          Repled           .
                          hled..     ...       .

                    5 ) Rec,&g     Inward M d : Some record of the mail received each day has to be
                        kept as evidence of mail actually recelved and action taken on them. Different
                        methods are used for thls purpose. One such method is to record all mail
                        received each day in a register known as 'hward Mail Register' or 'letters
                        Received Book'. The mail is recorded chronologically and senally along with the
                        name of the sender, nature, ,subject matter, department to which referred and
                        action taken. However, this method is time-wasting and expensive and is
                        becoming less wmmom. A proforma of such a register is given below in
                        Figure 7.3
                                               Figure j.3 : Specimen Ruling d Letter Received Book
                                                          LETTERS RECEIVED BOOK


                                       Ref.                      Nature of Particulars I To whom        Date                  Initial
                       Dat of
                       Receip
                                       No.
                                                    Name &
                                                   address of
                                                    gender
                                                                Comnuni-
                                                                 cation 4
                                                                             (Short
                                                                            Subject)
                                                                                        /referred to   replied
                                                                                                         to
                                                                                                                                of
                                                                                                                              Officer
                                                                Enclosures

                       1990
                       Mar.      5    7R/c          A.B.Co        Letter                    Cashier



                                                                                                                  I-
I
          Another method used is less cumbersome and time-wasting. A Mail Room List
          is prepared on each batch of mail delivered t o a particular department on a
          particular day. Separate lists are prepared for each department and these are sent
          to the departments along with the mail. Carbon copies of the lists, duly
           acknowledged by the receiving department, are filled in the mail room for future
          reference. A proforma Mail Room List is given below in Figure 7.4.

                                             Figure 7.4 :Specimen of Mail Room Ust
                                                           MAIL ROOM LIST
                                                    Letters for ............... Department
                                                Day   ............ Date .......   Time...........

                      Name o f Sender                              Addms                              Remarks, if any




          In some offices, only letters are recorded or listed and other types of mail lihe
          Orders, Challans, Statements etc., are sent to the dealing departments where they
          are recorded qnd dealt with. Telegrams and messages are treated as mail and
          recorded or sent to the dealing departments for action.
    6) Sorting and distribution of mail : After date-stamping and recording, the
       inward mail has to be sorted out. To ensure correct sorting and distribution, the
       work should be assigned to an employee who is thoroughly acquainted with the
       organisation. To facilitate sorting separate trays, baskets or pigeon holes are used
       for each department or individual officer. Where the volume of the mail is large,
       hand or electrically operated Mail Sorter machines may be used. The sorted mail
       are sent to the respective departments by meqsengers.
    Check Your Progress B
     I)    What do you mean by date-stamping of mail?




    2) Enumerate the routine stages of handling inward mail.
       i) .............................: .............................. ii) ............................................................
       iii) ............................................................ iv) ............................................................
       v) ............................................................ vi ) ............................................................



    7.5 STAGEStIN HANDLING OUTWARD MAIL

    Handling outward mail is a much more complex affair than handling inward mail. 1        :
    requires a thorough understanding of postal regulations and rates. timings of postal
    clearance, postal facilities available for despatch of mail etc. Equally important is the
    setting up of well-planned system and routine for efficient and economical handling
    of outward mail.

    7.5.1 Stages in Making Oufward Mail Ready for Despatch
    Outward mail handled by the mailing department originate from different functional
    departments. Before the outgoing mail reach the mail room for handling, they have
    to pass through three preliminary stages which are performed departmentally. These
    are : (1) Production of the outgoing letters (2) Signature on the letters and
     (3) Referencing. Let us discuss them briefly
~ecawb-4    Production : It means drafting of outgoing letters or their dictation to stenographers.
~dlSmvicu   After drafting or dictation, the letters are transcribed and typed in proper form. At
            the same time, addresses of tGe recipientstsof letters are also typeh or printed on
                                                             the
            the respective envelopes.

            Signature : After. typing, the outgbiog letters have to be signed by someone
            authorised to do so. Important letters are signed by heads of departments or
            responsible officers.

            Referencing : It means putting a reference number on the letter. The reference
            number consistsof letters and numbers which serve as a code or clue for identifying
            and locating the letter in futwe.

            7.5.2 Stages in Despatch of Outward Mail
            'Despatching' literally means 'sending off the mail', i.e., putting the mail in course of
            tnhsrnission to its destination by post or through messenger. Several routine steps
            have to be taken for collecting the outward mail from the departments, folding and
            inserting them in envelopes, sealing and stamping the envelopes, recording the
            outward mail and final despatch of the mail by post or m h g e r . Let us now discuss
            each step in detail.
            1) Cdlectiaa of Outward Mail : The first step is to collect the mail from different
               functional departments. A planned schedule of collecting outward mail should be
                'established to avoid ovet-loading of mail at any point of time and consequent
                delay in handling. An internal messenger service may be maintained to collect
                the mail from the d e p m e n t s 3 or 4 times a day according to a fixed time -
                schedule. The time schedule is so arranged as to correspond with the postal
                clearing periods.
            2) Fdding and Inserting : 'Usually outgoing letters are received from the
               departments along with the respective addressed envelopes. The letters and theii
               enclosures have to be folded and inserted into the envelopes.
                                         I


                Before folding, the enclosures of each letter are checked Carefully'Gith the letter.
                Each letter and its enclosures are then placed one inside the other and properly
                folded. Minimum number of folds are used to suit the size of the envelopes.
                Where a large number of letters have to be folded, hand or electrically operated
                'Folding' machine can be used to save time and labour. Window envelopes may
                be used to avoid insertion in wrong envelope.
            3) Sealing and Stamping : The next stage is to seal the envelopes and covers with
               gum or adhesive. Where sealing is done by hand, special methods are used to
               save time and labour. Envelopes of the same size are laid flat with their flaps
               overlapping each other. In such position, gum or adhesive can be applied to the
               end of a number of flaps at a time. Registered and Insured covers or articles sent
               by 'Book Post' have to be sealed as per Postal Rules. Where the volume of mail
               is Iarge, hand or electrically operated 'sealing' machines or 'Envelope Sealers'
               may be used to save time and labour.

                Before stamping, the zealed envelopes are sorted out into two groups: those to
                be sent by post and t h w to be despatched by messengers. Mail to be sent by
                post are also sorted into different categories : ordinary mail, registered mail,
                speed post mail, book-post articles etc. 'Ilk facilitates calculation of value of
                stamps to be used. ?he articles in each category are then weighed carefully to
                determine the value of stamps to be used as per postal regulation: 'Stamping',
                i.e., affixing of postag? stamps on envelops and covers may be done by hand or
                with the help of machines.
            4) Recording in Post Book : Maintenanceof a written record of mail despatched is.
               essential for two reasons : keeping a record of mail actually despatched and
                keeping an account of postage expenses. Outward mail sent out through
                messengers are entered in the Peon Book, which is signed by the addressee in
                acknowledgement of receipt. Mail sent by post are recorded in some offices'in a
                register @own as 'Outward Mail Register' or 'Despatch Register', which records
                                 f
                the partinilars o mail despatched each day in detail. However, this method is
  being discarded in modern offices as being ~ ~ m b e r s o m e expensive. A
                                                             and
  proforma of such a register is given below in Figure 7.5.


                      Figure 7.5 : Specimen Ruling of Outward Mnil Register


S1.
No.
   -    Date
               Ref.
               No.
                               Name & Address
                                of Addressee
                                                       Subject   Enclo. Sender     Post   Remark




   A better method of keeping record of outwrad mail is the 'Post Book' or 'Stamp
   BO&. ~t is much more simple and inexpensive. The Post Book mves as a
   record of outward mail as well as a means of controfig postage expenses. It
   keeps a check on'the stamps in hand and Stamps actually used each day. When
   maintained on the imprest system it reduces chances of misuse or pilferage of
   stamps. A proforma of the Post Book is &en below in Figure 7.6.


                                  Fig 7.6 : Specimen Ruling of Post Book
                                                                                   --

                                        Stamps                                  Stamps
        Date              No.           in hand          Name      Address       used     Remarks
                                         Rs.P.                                   s
                                                                                R . P.
        1989
        Mar.      5        7               -50                      Ksnpvr       0-50




5) Posting and Delivery : This is the posting stage in the handling of outward mail.
   Mail addressed to local addressees, particularly when they are urgent, are
                                                                                 k
   delivered to the addressees by messenger. These are entered in a Peon ~ o o and
   the addressee has to sign the book before taking delivery of the mail. Ordinary
   mail sent by post are delivered to the nearest Post Office and dropped in the
   appropriate post box.

      Distribution of despatch work throughout the day also facilitates the work of
      both the mailing department and the post office concerned. Special category of
      mail, like Registered, Express delivery and Speed Post Letters and parcels have
      to be sent separately to the post office within the prescribed time for posting.
                                                                           rt                       I


   Check Your Progress          c
         Which of the following Statements are True and which are False?
         i) Despatching means sending out letters by post.
         ii) Franking machine may be used for affixing postage stamps.
         iii)        sent by Post as well as by messenger are recorded in the post ~ ~                  k   .
                                          t
         iv) The Mailing D e ~ a m e nis not concerned with the reference of outgoing
              letters.
   2 ) Fill up the blanks in the following statements :
         i,   .......... envelopes are used to ensure that letters are not inserted in wong
              envelopes.
        ii)           Book serves as a ........ of outward mail and as a check over ............
            , expenses.
        iii) outward mail sent out by .......... need no postage stamps.
        iv) Letters sent by ............... Post have to be delivered at the post office
              counter.
Rear& M.intc-   and
M.U Services          7.6 EQUIPMENT FOR M[IAIL HANDLING

                      Mail room equipments for handling mail consists of simple inexpensive items like
                      sorting trays, pigeon hole, paper knife, weighing scale, staplers and gum. Where the
                      volume of work is large, costly mailing machines like Letter-opener, Folding and
                      Inserting machines, Envelope Sealers and Franking machine may be used. In any
                      organisation, equipment and machines provided for mail handling depend on factors
                      like volume of work, number of mail room staff, nature of mail and the system and
                      routines established. Some impdrtant types of mailing machines used in modem
                      offices are :
                      1) Letter-opening machine
                      2) Mail-sorter
                      3) Folding machine
                      4) Inserting machine
                      5) Mailing machine (Folding, $serting and Sealing in one operation)
                      6) &nvelope Sealer
                      7) Addrhing Machine or Addressograph
                      8) Stamp-affixing machine
                      9) Franking machine

                      The function, working and advantages of some of these machines are discussed
                      below.

                      761 Letter-opening Machine
                       ..
                      Opening envelopes by hand is a laborious, time-wasting and expensive process.
                      Letter-opening machine can turi~ the work much faster and saves labour and
                                                        oc!
                                                                        with a large volume of inward mail.
                      expense. It can be profitably used in large offices

                      Letter-opening machines may be hand-operated or electrically operated. Both are of
                      the 'guillotine' type. The machine has a revolving knife-edge which cuts off a thin
                      strip from the top end of the envelope. It can be adjusted to accommodate any size of
                      envelope. The electrical variety can automatically feed, open and stack the envelopes
                      at high speed. Envelopes can be opened at the rate of 75 to 500 per minute.

                      The advantages of using this machine are :
                      1) It saves time and labour leading to saving in labour cost.
                      2) Sorting and distribution of inward mail is speeded up. This helps the
                         departmental staff to deal wth the mail promptly.
                      3) It relieves monotony of the staff and enhances their morale and efficiency.

                      However, this type of machine shbuld be used provided (a) the volume of work is
                      large enough to justify its cost, (h) regular power supply is available, and (c) repairs
                      can be arranged quickly when necessary.

                      762 Folding Machine
                       ..
                      Folding machines are used to speed up the work and to save time, labour and
                      expense. It may be hand-operated or electrically operated. The machlne can fold
                      papers in one, two or three parallkl folds or even in cross folds, according to the size
                      of the envelope. It can be adjusted to fold papers in different numbers and sizes of
                                         operated machihes can automatically feed the papers ~ n t o
                      jolds. EIL.ctr~callv                                                           thc
                      mach~ne  and fold them In the desrrcd manner at the rate of 10.001) t o 1i.000 \!I( i b l \


                      The advantages of using fold~ng       alc
                                                     mach~nc. .

                      1) It can fold papers :it high s p e ~ d
                                                             rr\ulf~np prest saving of tlmt', labo~i
                                                                      In                              ;la.! : # ) \ I .

                      2) Papers at$ f.jlded neat!! dnd uc curtrtt.1~.\\hlch ensures )mooth . I >  > i s (\f !!I.
                                                                                                      1 : I


                         papers urto the envelopes
                      3) It relleves morotonv ot ih, : i f f .     .    thcm happy and contended and cnh:rnccc
                                                                        i
                                                                       ;;

                         the11 efficlenc~
                                                                                                    -a
                                                                                                   -. d
4 s in the case of letter-opening machine, the advantages of using a folding machme
a n be realised only if there is adequate volume of folding operation to justify its cost.
                                                                                                          wwu-
Besides regular power supply and quick repairs service is essential for electrical
operation

7.6.3 Addressing Machine
Addressing machine or Addressograph machine is used to save time and labour.
Besides printing names and addresses on envelopes'etc., the machine can also be put
to various other uses. Machines fitted with special 'Form feed', 'Listing' and other
attachments are now-$-days used for all types of form-filling, listing and billing work.
It can be used to prepare lists of customers, wage or pay-roll sheets, invoices and
notices etc.

Addressing machines happen to be a developed version of duplicating machine. The
only difference is that, it is designed to duplicate a number of separate names and
addresses once or twice instead of duplicating the same many times. The machine
may be hand-operated or electrically operated. In both types, the machine prints
names and addresses of customers or other data from 'masters' fed into the machine.
Names and addresses are cut on fibre stencils or embossed on metal plates which
serve as 'masters'. The stencils or plates are arranged in a particular order, indexed
and preserved for repeated use. When fitted with special devices, the machine can
automatically select the masters ip the desired order or sequence and feed them into
the printer. The electrically operated machine can print addresses at the rate of 800
to 1000 per hour.

T.he advantages of addressing machines may be outlined as follows :
1) It effects great saving in time, labour and cost.
2) It eliinates'chances of error in printing addresses and saves time and labour for
    checking and rechecking required under manual typing of addresses.
3) The work turned out is neat and flawless, which enhances the prestige and
   goodwill of the concern.
4) The work can be standardised which helps in measuring staff output.

The disadvantages of addressing machines are         :

I) The cost of installing the machine is high which car1 not be afforded by small
   concerns.
2) If the addresses of customers change frequently, preparation of new stencils or
   plates may take time which may hold up work.
3) It requires trained staff to operate. In case of temporary absence of the operator,
   it may be difficult to obtain a substitute.

7.6.4 Franking Machine
Stamp-affixing machines are suitable where the volume of stamping is large. -l'hese
machines can accommodate specially made rolls of stamps availat?lc i ~ o m post .
                                                                          t!:c
office. When a lever is pressed, a stamp gets automatically detached irom 1i.c roll,
moistened and affixed on the envelope. The major drawback of the niachi:~~that, it
                                                                               is
cl take up stamps of only one denomination at a time.
 al

Where stanips of different denomination< h:tve       11)      iac affixed or1 a large rlumber of
envelopes, Postal frank in^ machines pri)vc Iriorc ir\c.ful and economical. Inrraluced
after the Intcr~iati~,nalPostal Convc~~ti~)rl      o 1;/22. franking machines are
                                                    f
internationally recognised. I r a u k i i ~ ~            ar,tt
                                             tc~achincs licensed by Post Offices In ailj
                                                         and
all countries The user has t o i . 1 1 ~rhi. tr~i~cl~ineget it registered at the Post Offi'
on fulfilling the required torm:ir~tith     and payment o f necessary licensing fees. 'l'hc
Post Office allots a registered number to the user. Payment has to be made in
advance to the Post Officc for an agreed total value of postage to be used. The Post
Office sets the agreed \.;~iur (In the meter of thc machine and seals it. When the
machine is used t o frartk ictccr\, th? ,tlutbc ~ stamps uscd gets automalically recorded
                                                       f
on a dial. Wl!c:r~[hi. total :Irnc,Li.. ..)r viiluc of postage sei <.inthe meter is reached, the
~ecortb
      Ma~nurrc
             and       meter gets automati&lIy l6qked and nowfurther     postage can be franked. The m a m e
Mdlservkes             has to be taken back to the ,Post Office for resetting of the meter for postage on
                       further payment. Franking machine prints an indicia or design on a postage stamp
                       and a date of cancellation mark. The indicia of the postage stamp indicates the value
                       of the postage franked and the country of origin. l'he date of cancellation mark
                       indicates the registration number of the user, the post office of registration and
                       cancellation date. Specimen o indicias printed by the Franking machine are shown
                                                     f
                       below in Figures 7.7 and 7.8.




                       Figmre 7.7 :Speeiawo I.dW                                            Figure 7.8 :Specimen Indicia

                       Advantages :The following are the m i advantages of using a Franking machine:
                                                          an
                       1) It speeds up the work leading +osavlng of time, labour and cost.
                       2) Necessity of keepiag large stocks of postage stamps of differenttdenominationsis
                          eliminated. Loss due to pilferage and misuse of postage stamps is avoided.
                       3) Ccmtrol of expenses on postage becomes easier and postage accounting becones
                           simpler.
                                                                                  fie
                       4) Franked m i can be more quickly dealt with at the Post Ofc.
                                   al
                       5) Advertising slogans or special instructions can be printed on the envelopes
                           without extra cost or labour.

                       Dbdvanfages :The d&dvantag& of Franking machine are :
                       1) The value of postage that can be franked is limited in range, which sometimes
                          creates difficulty.
                       2) The need for frequent adjustment of levers to select different values of postage
                          slows down speed of franking and results in wastage of time.
                       3) Chances of overstamping and under-stamping cannot be eliminated altogether.
                       4) Where no Post Book is used, there is scope of misuse of tne machine for franking
                           private mail of the staff.
                       5) It does not totally elidinate the need for a Post Book.

                               zG=      i-tv             D                                                                                                         I.


                   1) What is meant by 'Franking' of an envelope?
                   4
                          .............................................................................................................................................



                       2) Your central &ding department h a d e s 200 pieces of outward mail daily.
                          Name thr& mpchines that you consider essential for such mrk.
                          i). ...................
                          ... .....-................. ii). ..........................
                                                ,.....
                          m)
77
 .    L r n US S U M UP
Written communication or correspondence of any type received or sent out through
the post oKce or messengers is known as 'Mail'. Mail may be classified as :
(a) lnward mail, (b) Outward mail, and (c) Interdepartmental mail. Prompt and
efficient handling of mail is vital for efficient and economical performance of business.
operations add effective fGctioning of management. Mail service refers to the
organisational set-up established for handling mail. Effective and economical mail
service is essential for the eKcient functioning of the organisation.

Mail service may be organised : (1) by centralising mail handling work in a central
mailing department, or (2) by performing the work departmentally, i.e.,
decentralising the work. Both the arrangements have advantages and disadvantages.
But for a large organisation with a large volume of daily mail, centralisation is
desirable. It ensures greater efficiency and accuracy, better supervision and
coordination, better control over postage,quicker handling of inward mail, saving of
clerical labour and economical use of office machines. Departmental mail service
lacks specialisation and efficiency in performance, lacks proper supervision, involves
duplication of work and makes use of machines uneconomical.

For efficient handling of both inward and outward mail, a planned system and
definite inward mail are : opening of the mail, scrutiny, date-stamping, recording,
sorting and distribution. Before outward mail can be handled for despatch it passes
through three preliminary stages : production of the mail, signature and referencing.
Routine stages involved in despatching outward mail are : collection of the mail,
folding and inserting, sea!in~and stamping, recording, and posting and delivery of


Use of proper equipments and machines ensure speed and accuracy in performance
 f
o mail handling work. Some simple equipments are essential for mailing work even
in small organisations and in departmental arrangement. Costly equipments and
mailing machines can be properly and economically utilised only in large
organisations with large volume of mail and centralised mail service. Some important
types o machines used in the mail room are : Letter-openers, Mail sorters, Folding
      f
machines, Inserting machines, Envelope Sealers, .Addressingmachines and Franking
machines.




78 KEY WORDS
 .
Centralisation : Physical concentration of mail handling work in a central mailing

Decentralisation : Performance of mail handling work within each department by the
departmental staff.
Despatching : Putting the outward mail in course of transmission to its destination
through the post office or messengers.
Franking : The act of printing indicias of postage stamp and date of cancellation
mark on envelopes with the help of Franking machine.
Mail Service : Organisational set-up established for handling mail.
Post Book : A book used for maintaining record of outward mail and account of
postage stamps used.
Referencing : Assigning a code number or symbol on each letter to facilitate future
reference.
&coda Maintenance and
MJI s-
     e                  7.9 ANSWERS TO CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

                        A) 3     i) False ii) True   iii) True   v) False v) True    vi) False
                        B) 2    1)Receiving ii)Opening iii)Scrutiny iv)Date-Stamping
                                v) Recording vi) Sortifig & Distribution
                        C) 1 i) False ii) Tnte iii) False iv) True
                           2 i) Window ii) Record Postage iii) Messenger            iv) Regibtered
                        D) 2    i) Folding machine ii) Addressing machine       iii) Franking machine


                        7.10 TERMINAL QUESTIONS

                        1) Discuss the nature and importance of mail service.
                        2) What do you understand by 'centralised' mail service? What are its advantages
                           and disadvantages?
                        3) Outline the routine stages for handling inward mail.
                        4) Draw up a routine stages for handling outward mail and name the equipments
                           used in this connection.
                        5) What is a 'Franking' machine? Briefly explain its working and advantages.
                        6) Write explanatory notes on:
                           a) Departmental Mail Service
                           b) Inward Mail Register
                           c) Stamp-a-g       Machine
                           d) Post Book


                           Note :These questions and exercises wl help you to understand the unit
                                                                 il
                                 better. Try to write answers for them. But do not send your answers to
                                 the University. These are for your practice only.

				
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