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Oxx-te.   X  U-     "^-«M  l*--/^    '94-9 

Liyi      0-<-^  ^u-n-wiX-^Z^ 

Digitized  by  the  Internet  Arciiive 

in  2010  with  funding  from 

University  of  British  Columbia  Library 

Office  Management 
Its  Principles  and  Practice 

Covering  Organization,  Arrangement,  and 

Operation  with   Special  Consideration 

of  the  Employment,  Training,  and 

Payment  of  Office  Workers 



Head  of  Department  of  Business  Management,  Professor  of  Com- 
merce and  Industry,  and  Former  Director  of  School  of  Retail 
Selling,  Xew  York  University:  Vice-President  Ronald  Press  Com- 
pany; Former  Secretary  of  National  Association  of  Corporation 
Training;  Educational  Director  of  the  National  Gas  Association; 
Author  of  'Business  Organization  and  Management  ";  "  Principles 
of  Advertising";  "Credit  and  the  Credit  Man";  "  Econom.ics  of 
Dock  Management  ";  Consulting  Editor  "■  Department  Store 
Merchandise  Manuals." 

( Fifth  Printing) 



Copyright,  19 is,  by 
The  Ronald  Press  Company 

Dedicated  to 

Hugh  Ronald  Conyngton 

founder  of  the  ronald  press  company 

whose  high  ideals  as  a  publisher  of 

business    books    have    inspired    many 

authoks  to  do  their  best  work 


Modern  business  appeals  to  men  because  it  offers  worth- 
while problems  for  them  to  solve.  The  impelling  force  in 
business,  as  in  every  other  profession,  is  constructive  imagi- 
nation. The  real  lawyer  is  the  man  "who  works  up  the  case," 
not  the  person  who  draws  the  brief  according  to  the  facts 
presented  to  him.  Similarly,  the  real  busincLS  man  is  he 
who  attacks  the  problem  before  him,  whatever  his  official 
position.  The  clerk  may  be  attacking  his  problems  with  the 
spirit,  energy,  and  methods  characteristic  of  the  true  pro- 
fessional man,  while  the  manager  may  be  in  a  narrow  rut, 
following  rules  and  prejudices. 

The  man  with  a  constructive  imagination  finds  a  rich 
field  in  the  office.  But  he  must  first  realize  that  the  office 
is  a  positive,  not  a  neutral,  factor  in  the  business  scheme. 

"My  greatest  office  problem,"  said  an  office  manager, 
"is  inefficiency."  Such  a  statement  reflects  as  much  infor- 
mation as  the  negro  minister's  exclamation,  "The  trouble 
with  this  world,  brethren,  is  sin !"  Inefficiency  is  a  gen- 
eral term  covering  a  multitude  of  activities  that  have  missed 
the  mark  aimed  at.  Constructive  management  attacks  the 
problem  of  office  control  in  a  specific  way  by  first  segregating 
each  activity  and  then  studying  its  relationship  to  all  others. 

The  president  and  directors  of  a  business  show  their 
capacity  for  management  through  the  success  achieved  in 
capitalizing  opportunities  for  investment;  the  general  man- 
ager, the  sales  manager,  and  other  executives  responsible  for 
the  operation  of  the  plant  and  the  distribution  of  the  product, 
stand  or  fall  on  their  ability  to  capitalize  the  advantages 
of  location,  new  machinery,  labor  supply,  and  the  like.  The 
office  manager  on  the  other  hand,  while  not  directly  respon- 



sible  for  the  financing,  production,  or  selhng  of  the  prod- 
uct, must  capitaHze  the  subtlest  of  all  business  resources — 
he  must  capitalize  the  good-will  of  the  company,  if  he  would 
claim  success.  Upon  the  office  manager  falls  the  task  of 
rendering  that  indescribable  service  which  flows  from  an 
organization  where  all  the  activities  function  smoothly — 
with  speed,  accuracy,  and  dependableness.  He  deals  with 
the  invisible  capital  of  the  organization. 

The  office  cannot  be  adequately  conceived,  either  as  merely 
a  place  or  as  merely  a  system.  Many  of  the  functions  of 
office  work  are  carried  on  in  connection  with  the  manufactur- 
ing processes,  far  removed  from  the  "office"  itself  where 
stenographers,  typists,  and  bookkeepers  sit  and  work.  A  work- 
man fills  out  his  own  time  slip;  the  shipping  clerk  signs  a 
receipt;  the  credit  man  files  away  his  credit  memoranda; 
a  salesman  fills  out  his  daily  report  for  the  "home  office." 
Neither  is  system  the  chief  element  in  the  conception  of  an 
office.  System,  in  its  narrow  sense,  implies  forms,  rules, 
regulations;  in  its  wider  sense,  it  implies  organization,  the 
material  framework  for  classifying,  recording,  and  dispatch- 
ing the  manifold  activities  of  business.  A  system,  however, 
like  the  nerves  of  a  body  may  stand  complete  in  itself,  yet 
want  the  life  to  act,  and  the  brain  control  to  co-ordinate  its 
activities.  An  office  is  more  than  the  room  which  houses 
the  operatives,  or  the  framework  or  system  which  ties  the 
parts  together.  When  we  speak  of  an  office  we  should  think 
of  a  living,  active  organization. 

We  say  that  the  business  activity  is  justified  economically 
when  it  can  prove  that  it  adds  to  the  sum  total  of  economic 
goods.  Thus  the  lighting  of  a  factory  aids  in  promoting 
manufacturing  and  in  the  reduction  of  losses  through  ac- 
cidents, mistakes,  and  waste.  Telegraph  and  telephone 
systems  promote  the  distribution  of  goods  by  transmitting 
selling  terms,  conditions  of  trade,   and  schedules  of   trans- 



portation.  Similarly,  an  efficient  office  conserves  time  and 
energy.  The  production  and  distribution  of  goods  today 
would  be  greatly  handicapped,  if  the  co-ordinating  activities 
which  bind  our  enormously  complex  business  systems  to- 
gether had  not  expanded  into  what  we  call  the  modern 

The  simplest  form  of  a  business  organization  would  con- 
sist of  an  individual  producing  all  that  he  needed — food, 
clothes,  shelter,  etc.  Such  a  person  would  need  no  records, 
would  not  need  to  send  out  orders  to  employees,  or  provide 
means  to  receive  and  file  reports.  He  could  dispense  with 
all  buying,  selling,  and  collection  systems,  and  his  only  "wel- 
fare work''  would  be  the  satisfaction  of  his  own  conscious- 
ness of  hunger. 

With  the  progress  of  society,  men  gather  by  the  thousand 
in  factories,  using  tools  and  machines,  and  turning  out  goods 
to  supply  whole  nations.  The  larger  their  business  enterprises 
grow,  the  more  difficult  and  important  become  the  prob- 
lems of  management.  Orders  must  be  given  to  employees  by 
the  managers,  and  reports  of  work  performed  must  be  re- 
corded. Inspectors,  superintendents,  foremen,  senior  clerks, 
and  office  managers  increase  in  number — their  function  be- 
ing to  keep  the  employees  and  machines  working  har- 
moniously. At  first  one  of  these  supervisors  can  give  in- 
structions verbally  and  keep  the  details  in  his  memory,  but 
as  the  subdivisions  of  work  increase  the  necessity  grows 
for  continual  communication  between  the  various  ranks  of 
authority.  Letters  and  memos,  production  orders  and  work 
tickets,  speaking  tubes  and  telautographs,  cost  statistics  and 
controlling  accounts,  time  clocks  and  messenger  boys,  multiply 
to  keep  pace  with  the  growing  complexity  of  business  and 
to  save  the  time  of  executives  and  workmen  alike. 

The  modern  office  is  a  congeries  of  such  co-ordination 
and  economies.     The  office  force,  occupied  with  such  tasks, 



is  no  more  unproductive  than  the  factory  machinists,  or  the 
crew  of  the  train  which  carries  a  load  of  wheat  from  Minne- 
apolis to  Chicago.  Each  group  is  necessary  to  modern  large- 
scale  production  processes,  for  as  each  machine  needs  its 
tender,  so  does  each  tender  need  to  have  his  efforts  co-ordi- 
nated with  those  of  every  other  man,  if  the  productive  gain 
due  to  specialization  is  not  to  be  neutralized  by  the  wastes 
due  to  misjudgment,  friction,  and  unbalanced  production. 
Specialization  is  only  one-half  the  cause  of  modern  indus- 
trial development.  Co-ordination  is  the  other  half.  A 
modern,  highly  specialized  business  enterprise  would  be  as 
helpless  as  a  jellyfish,  if  it  did  not  have  its  specialized  activi- 
ties controlled  and  co-ordinated  by  a  highly  developed  office. 
Early  office  activities  were  closely  associated  with  cor- 
respondence and  bookkeeping  and,  since  these  were  not  con- 
sidered important  agents  in  the  promotion  of  business,  the 
ofifice  work  was  naturally  looked  upon  as  an  unproductive 
expense.  Books  of  account  and  letters,  after  a  brief  transi- 
tory usefulness,  were  relegated  to  the  domains  of  "records," 
useful  merely  as  the  documentary  evidence  of  past  transac- 
tions. But  the  modern  corporate  organization  and  the  newer 
industrial  enterprise  have  turned  bookkeeping  into  something 
more  vital;  the  financial  budget,  controlling  accounts,  cost 
keeping,  perpetual  inventories,  and  the  like,  are  not  merely 
records  of  past  achievement,  but  are  standards  of  performance 
or  current  information  essential  to  guide  the  policies  of 
business  executives.  The  correspondence  of  business  has 
been  similarly  affected  by  the  development  of  advertising 
and  modern  mail-order  methods.  Correspondence  files,  in- 
stead of  being  dead  depositories  for  closed  transactions,  are 
today  active  and  prolific  sources  of  new  business.  Even  the 
collection  letter,  with  such  a  house  as  Marshall  Field  and 
Company,  is  no  longer  the  old-time  dun,  which  simply  "got 
in  the  money,"  but  has  been  turned  into  an  active  construe- 


tive  agent,  whereby  weak  businesses  are  made  strong  and 
"bad  risks"  are  elevated  to  the  credit  grade  of  an  "A  No.  i'' 

Wrong  economic  concepts,  once  fixed,  die  hard,  but  the 
long-distance  record  is  held  by  the  "non-productive"  theory 
of  brain  work.  In  the  ranks  of  industry,  the  men  who 
supervise,  plan,  and  schedule  the  work,  handle  systems,  com- 
pute figures,  write  letters,  and  the  like,  have  been  often 
classified  as  non-producers.  Even  today  the  suggestion  in 
the  word  "non-producer"  often  creates  an  unconscious  prej- 
udice against  the  worker  whose  labor,  though  essential,  hap- 
pens to  be  indirectly  applied,  and  the  first  impulse  when 
retrenchment  is  considered  is  to  "slash  into  the  overhead" 
on  general  principles.  The  fact  is  that  the  work  of  the  office 
is  highly  productive.  The  file  clerk  is  just  as  essential  to  the 
steel  business,  under  modern  conditions,  as  the  puddler.  Just 
as  the  harness  upon  a  dray  horse  helps  the  latter  to  draw  his 
load,  so  the  office  system  facilitates  the  whole  work  of  produc- 
tion and  distribution.  The  man  who  would  dispense  with 
the  harness  because  it  is  indirectly  responsible  for  results, 
would  probably  be  capable  of  reasoning  that  he  had  now  in- 
creased the  profits  by  lessening  "overhead  charges,"  since  he 
was  now  using  "direct  labor"  solely  in  making  the  horse 
pull  the  load  by  his  tail. 

When  it  is  seen  that  the  activities  of  production  and  dis- 
tribution are  made  possible  only  through  the  operations 
covered  by  the  term  "office  work,"  then  we  approach  the  truer 
appraisal  of  the  office  as  a  necessary  economic  factor.  The 
office  managers  and  employees  cease  to  be  passive  agents 
in  the  promotion  of  business  and  their  labor  is  no  longer 
charged  to  a  non-productive  account.  They  at  once  rise  to 
the  dignity  of  active  forces  which  furnish  constructive  ideas, 
and  co-ord,inate  the  activities  of  the  business  into  smoothly 
working  units  of  enormous  size  and  power. 


The  purpose  of  this  book  then  is  to  lay  down  the  basic 
principles  of  office  administration  in  its  widest  sense. 

To  do  this  in  a  categorical  manner  would  be  a  simple 
matter,  but  to  state  these  principles  in  connection  with  ex- 
amples of  successful  practice — numerous  and  vital  enough 
to  carry  information  as  well  as  conviction  to  the  reader — 
has  called  for  extensive  research  among  many  types  of  busi- 
ness and  among  many  methods  of  operation.  A  glance  at 
the  contents  will  show  that  such  an  investigation  could  not 
be  carrii^d  on  by  the  author  without  the  unselfish  co-opera- 
tion of  a  number  of  other  persons.  I  wish  therefore  to  ex- 
press my  feeling  of  obligation  to  Harry  A.  Hopf,  organiza- 
tion expert,  who  furnished  the  method  and  forms  used  in 
making  an  analysis  of  an  office  layout;  to  John  AI.  Clapp  and 
Eskholme  Wade  of  The  Ronald  Press  Company  for  editorial 
assistance  as  well  as  valuable  suggestions  pertaining  to  sub- 
ject matter — especially  for  Mr.  Clapp's  contribution  to  the 
subject  of  the  language  of  business. 

It  would  be  impossible  to  give  due  credit  to  all  the  persons 
who  have  united  in  the  efforts  which  make  this  book  possible. 
Among  the  many  executives,  however,  who  have  contributed 
liberally  of  their  experience  and  advice,  the  author  wishes  to 
thank  particularly  A\'allace  Clark,  Office  ^Manager  of  the  Rem- 
ington Typewriter  Company,  who  placed  at  his  disposal  his 
office  manual  and  furnished  a  number  of  cuts  for  the  chapters 
on  the  stenographic  department ;  \\'alter  D.  Fuller,  Comptroller 
of  the  Curtis  Publishing  Company,  for  many  original  papers 
on  bonuses,  standardization,  time  studies,  and  other  investi- 
gations pertaining  to  the  office ;  A.  S.  Donaldson,  Educational 
Director  of  R.  H.  ]\Iacy  and  Company,  who  presented  a  com- 
plete report  of  his  company's  educational  work,  and  O.  G. 
Van  Campen  of  the  systematizing  department  of  the  Yawman 
and  Erbe  Manufacturing  Co.,  who  furnished  valuable  original 
material  upon  filing  systems. 


I  feel  personally  under  great  obligation  to  Madison  N. 
Cartmell,  Eric  Bodine,  and  Edmund  R.  Rex,  assistants  in  the 
Department  of  Management,  New  York  University,  for  the 
aid  given  in  many  investigations  connected  with  the  purchas- 
ing, sales,  and  accounting  departments  of  large  ofifices. 

Forest  Hills,  L.  I.  Lee  Galloway. 

October  15,  1918. 


Part  I — Principles  of  Office  Administration 

Chapter  Page 

I    The  Field  of  the  Office  Manager 3 

II     Development  of  the  Modern  Office ii 

-    Ill     Departmental  and  Unit  Methods  of  Organization  17 

IV    The  Analysis  of  Functions  and  Duties      ....  24 

Part  II — Location,  Layout,  and  Equipment 

,           V    The  Selection  of  an  Office 43 

VI     Leasing  an  Office 53 

VII     The  Layout  AND  the  Flow  OF  Work 62 

VIII     Labor-Saving  Devices  in  the  Office 74 

IX    The  Desk  and  the  Dispatch  of  Work 89 

Part  III — Methodizing  the  Means  of  Communication 

V        X     Handling  the  Office  Mail 100 

XI     The  Organization  of  A  Messenger  Service           .  126 

XII     The  Routine  of  Filling  Orders 136 

XIII  Filing — Nature,  Scope,  and  Personnel      ....  145 

XIV  Filing — Standardization  and  Centralization      .  159 



Chapter  Page 

Part  IV — The  Control  of  Correspondence  and  Related  Activities 

XV    Stenographic     Department — Equipment     and     Or- 
ganization     175 

XVI    Standardization  of  Stenographic  Work     ....     198 

XVII     The  Measurement  of  Stenographic  Output    .      .      .     220 

XVIII     Methods  OF  Controllng  Stenographic  Output     .  231 

XIX     Handling  the  Office  Detail 245 

Part  V — The  Work  of  the  Business  Departments 


XX  Purchases  and  Stores 

XXI  The  Work  of  the  Traffic  Department      ....     289 

XXII  Handling  Credits,  Collections,  and  Complaints  3'o8 

XXIII  The  Sphere  of  Sales  Management        324 

XXIV  Home  Office  Control  of  Sales         338 

XXV  Reward  and  Training  of  the  Salesman      .      .      .      .356 

XXVI  Work  of  the  Sales  Promotion  Department    .      .      .     375 

XXVII  The  Advertising  Department  and  its  Work   .      .      .     396 

XXVIII  The  Organization  OF  the  Accounting  Department   .     419 

XXIX  The  Control  of  Accounting  Activities      .      .      .      .432 

Part  VI — The  Training  and  Development  of  Office  Workers 

XXX  The  Selection  of  the  Right  Employee       ....     447 

XXXI  The  Training  and  Education  of  Employees    .     .     .     464 


Chapter  Page 

XXXII  Organization  of  an  Office  Training  School        .      .  484 

XXXIII     Outlining  a  Course  of  Study 501 

XXXV  The  Language  of  Business — Writing 521 

XXXV    The  Language  of  Business — Speech 541 

XXXVI  Language  of  the  Executive 553 



1.  General  Organization  Chart 5 

2.  Route  of  an  Order 7 

3.  Administrative  Diagram 8 

4.  Statement   of   Duties   Blank 27 

5.  Symbols  Designating  Duties 29 

6.  Weekly  Survey  Blank 30 

7.  Summary   Sheet   of   Weekly   Survey   Blank 31 

8.  Personal  Communications   Blank 33 

9.  Summary  of  Personal  Communications  Blank 34 

10.  Detail  of  Absences   from  Department 3S 

11.  Departmental  Arrangement  under  Old  Organization     ....  37 

12.  Departmental  Arrangement  under  New  Organization     ....  38 

13.  An  Office  Layout 65 

14.  An  Office  Layout 67 

15.  Charting  the  Course  of  an  Order 70 

16.  The  Modern  Efficiency  Desk 89 

17.  Standard    Double-Pedestal    Flat-Top    Desk 91 

18.  Upright    "Tub"    Desk 93 

19.  Sitting    Style    of    "Tub"    D^sk 93 

20.  Single-Pedestal  Drop-Top    lypewriter  Desk 95 

21.  Double-Pedestal  Center-Drop  Typewriter  Desk 95 

22.  Combination  Clerical  and  Typewriter  Desk 96 

23.  An    Executive    Office 97 

24.  Floor   Salesman's   Order  Form 141 

25.  Field   Salesman's   or   Mail   Order   Form 142 

26.  A   Stenographic   Desk   Cleared    for    Action 187 

27.  A   Stenographic   Desk   with   Special   Foot-Rest 190 

28.  (a)   Adjustable  Desk— Stenographer  Sitting 192 

28.  (b)    Adjustable   Desk — Stenographer   Standing 193 

29.  Scale  for  Measuring  Typewritten  Matter  by  Lines 223 

30.  Weekly  Record  of  Work 226 

31.  Daily  Report  of   Work 230 

32.  Work    Ahead    Report 232 

33.  Work  Schedule 233 

34.  Daily    Summary    Report 236 

35.  Graphic   Chart   of    Stenographic   Output 237 

36.  Weekly   Stenographic   Summary         239 

37.  Weekly    Copying    Summary 240 

38.  Weekly    Time    Summary 240 

39.  Weekly    Dictation    Summary 242 

40.  Purchase    Order    System 274 

41.  Requisition    for   Supplies 275 

42.  Request    for    Quotations 277 

43.  Record  of  Bids  Received 278 

44.  Purchase  Order 279,  280,  281 




45.  Stock  Slip 284 

46.  Maintenance  and  Description   Card         285 

47.  Stock  Record 286,  287 

48.  Straight    Bill    of    Lading 299,  300,  301 

49.  A   Collection   Card 315 

50.  Sales    Map        331 

51.  Monthly  and  Yearly  Record  of  Results  of  Salesman's  Work  with 

Expenses         335 

52.  Salesman's  Customer  Report 339 

53.  Salesman's  Report  by  Towns 340 

54.  Sale-.' nan's  Expense   Report 342 

55.  Index    of    Customers 343 

56.  Blank  for  Salesman's  Report  on  Interview  with  Prospect  or  Cus- 

tomer     348,  349 

57.  Route  Board 350 

58.  Salesman's  Daily  Address   Card         351 

59.  Envelope  Used  for  Permanent  Record  of  Prospects  and  Customers  352 

60.  Record  of  Calls  and  Quotations 354 

61.  Record  of  Goods  in  Salesman's  Line  Used  by  Prospect     .      .      .  354 

62.  Prospect    Card 385 

63.  Chart   of   Course   of   Letter  and    Follow-Up    for   Securing   New 

Customers 387 

64.  Chart  of  Series  of  Letters  to  Users 388,  389 

65.  Mailing    List    Sources 390,  391 

66.  Mailing  List  Classification  and  Filing 393 

67.  Correspondence  and   Follow-Up   Sections  of   Promotion  Depart- 

ment       _ 394 

68.  Card  Index  Record  of  Advertising  Rates 403 

69.  Method  of  Checking  Results  in  a  Mail-Order  House     ....  405 

70.  Quarterly  Analysis  of  Advertising  Results 405 

71.  Inquiry  Follow-Up  Card 406 

72.  Monthly   Record    of   Advertising    Expenditure   and    Distribu- 

tion        408,  409 

73.  Rubber  Stamp  for  Advertising  Invoices 411 

74.  Relation  of  Invoice  Section  to  Accounting  Department     .      .      .  425 

75.  Report  of  Units  Done     .  439 

76.  Employee's  Monthly  Record  Sheet 440 

77.  Group    Record    Cards 442 

78.  Recapitulation    Sheet 442 

79.  Requisition   for    Help 458 

80.  Application   for  Position 459 

81.  Reference   Form 461 

82.  Impression  Blank  462 

83.  Employee's  History  Card 470 

84.  Personal    Analysis    Card 472 

Office  Management 





The  Office  Function 

The  organization  of  a  business  is  the  mechanism  by  means 
of  which  the  plans  and  orders  of  its  executives  are  carried 
out.  The  factory  manager  first  plans  the  making  of  his 
product,  and  then,  through  his  organization  of  buildings, 
equipment,  and  men,  drives  forward  to  the  goal  of  a  manu- 
factured product.  The  financier,  after  planning  his  campaign 
for  raising  money,  sets  about  the  realization  of  his  project 
through  the  organization  of  syndicates,  brokers,  and  banks. 
The  marketing  manager  plans  a  selling  campaign  and  the 
organization  of  his  advertising  and  sales  departments  trans- 
forms these  plans  into  sales  and  orders.  Thus,  throughout  all 
the  ramifications  of  business  there  exists  this  close  relation- 
ship between  planning  and  executing. 

In  every  business  of  any  size  the  various  kinds  of  clerical 
activities  are  classified  and  segregated  into  separate  depart- 
ments in  charge  of  an  executive  head.  Each  department 
works  "on  its  own,"  so  to  speak,  each  is  responsible  for  the 
carrying  out  of  certain  routine  duties,  and  each  is  more  or 
less  self-centered,  coming  into  contact  with  other  departments 
only  in  so  far  as  the  work  of  one  department  bears  upon  or 
directly  affects  that  of  another.  A  business,  however,  is  a 
complete  organization  which  is  only  divided  into  departments 
for  the  purposes  of  convenience  of  management  and  of  spe- 
cialization in  distinct  spheres  of  work.  It  still  functions  as 
a  whole,  the  departmental  division  being  a  convenient  arrange- 
ment for  carrying  its  plans  into  execution. 

Execution  implies  control — control  of  the  factory  organ- 



ization — control  of  the  financial  organization — control  of  the 
marketing  organization.  It  is  the  work  of  the  office  organiza- 
tion, under  the  supervision  of  the  office  manager,  to  devise 
records,  methods,  and  systems  for  carrying  out  the  function 
of  control  and  for  co-ordinating  the  activities  of  one  depart- 
ment with  those  of  another. 

Figure  i  shows  how  these  activities  converge  in  the  office 
division  under  the  control  of  the  office  manager. 

This  function,  therefore,  is  not  limited  to  the  supervision 
of  a  few  clerical  activities  connected  with  bookkeeping,  stenog- 
raphy, filing,  and  other  miscellaneous  office  work — as  is  some- 
times supposed.  This  is  altogether  too  narrow  a  conception 
of  its  field.  The  lines  of  the  office  function  weave  in  and 
out  of  every  department  of  a  business  and  every  transaction 
into  which  it  enters.  It  is  the  co-ordinating  element  which 
binds  the  various  activities  together  and  provides  a  permanent 
record  of  results. 

The  Office  Manager  the  Co-ordinator  of  Office  Functions 

The  connecting  link  between  these  various  activities  is  an 
order  or  report  of  some  kind.  A  customer's  order  is  a  request 
for  goods.  The  sales  department  transmits  this  order  to  the 
factory,  where  it  is  translated  into  the  terms  of  a  production 
order  authorizing  the  manufacture  of  the  goods.  When  their 
manufacture  is  completed,  the  shipping  department  is  notified 
by  another  order  to  send  out  the  goods.  The  shipping  depart- 
ment, in  its  turn,  sends  a  notice  to  the  accounting  department 
to  record  the  shipment  and  notify  the  customer  of  the  dis- 
patch of  the  goods  by  means  of  an  invoice — which  in  effect 
is  an  order  to  pay  for  the  goods. 

Each  step  of  a  business  transaction  is  thus  controlled,  first 
by  an  order  which  the  office  issues  to  start  the  machinery  of 
business  going,  and  then  by  a  notice  or  report  issued  by  one 
department  to  inform  another  that  its  part  of  the  work  is 


All  methods  used  to  bring 
to  public  attention  the  pro- 
duct  or   service    sold    and 
to  deliver  it  to  the  public 

Provides  records  and 
system   for   recording 


Sole  Proprietorship 



2  o 


«.=  & 

2  S  6 




o  £ 

^  !r 


Kaw  material  proiluction 


Purchase  from  others 



fc  .2 


completed.  Progress  reports  are  sent  by  the  productive  de- 
partments to  the  factory  superintendent's  office;  shipping  no- 
tices are  sent  from  the  shipping  room  to  the  invoice  section; 
the  customer  sends  back  an  acknowledgment  of  the  receipt  of 
the  goods — and  so  on  throughout  the  whole  intricate  process 
of  recording  the  financial  and  other  facts  of  the  business 

The  order  and  the  report,  therefore,  constitute  the  basic 
records  of  the  office.  These  documents  link  department  with 
department  and  trace  out  the  field  of  supervision  covered  by 
the  office  manager. 

Figure  2,  representing  the  organization  of  an  electric  light- 
ing company,  shows  the  important  part  played  by  orders  and 
reports  in  the  administrative  program  of  modern  business. 
Thereon  are  illustrated  the  course  of  an  order,  and  the  dupli- 
cates growing  out  of  it — from  the  customer  through  the  vari- 
ous office  departments  until  it  has  been  filled  and  the  records 
relating  thereto  are  collected  in  the  files.  Figure  3  illustrates 
the  orders  and  reports  in  their  relation  to  the  administrative 
control  of  the  physical  work. 

While  it  is  not  the  intention  of  this  book  to  cover  the  fac- 
tory side  of  organization  and  administration,  it  is  well  to  keep 
in  mind  that  the  office  function  covers  this  field,  as  well  as  the 
department  usually  included  in  the  term  "office." 

The  Office  Manager's  Job  Is  What  He  Makes  It 

In  some  organizations  the  superintendent  or  factory  man- 
ager is  nothing  more  than  a  chief  foreman  in  charge  of  the 
factory  employees  and  the  mechanical  equipment  of  the  plant ; 
in  other  concerns  he  is  an  executive  who  gives  orders  to,  or 
receives  reports  from,  the  operating  end  of  the  business.  In 
other  words  he  is  an  officer  of  the  company,  because  his  work 
counts  in  planning  as  well  as  in  executing  the  plans  of  the 




An  examination  of  the  office  function  shows  that  the  field 
and  the  responsibiHties  of  the  office  manager  may  vary  to  the 
same  extent.  Some  managers  are  httle  more  than  chief  clerks 
of  the  accounting  or  correspondence  departments;  others  may 
exercise  general  supervision  over  the  work  of  stenographers, 
typists,  filing  clerks,  telephone  operators,  messenger  boys,  and 
other  office  employees;  while  others  again  delegate  the  super- 
vision of  much  of  the  office  detail  to  subordinates,  so  as  to 
be  free  to  control  and  co-ordinate  the  office  work  as  a  whole. 

The  office  manager  who  conceives  broadly  of  the  duties  of 
his  position,  does  not  have  the  accounting  details  under  his 
direct  supervision — a  head  accountant  is  in  charge  of  them; 
he  does  not  hire  stenographers  or  typists  or  messenger  boys — 
an  employment  manager  does  this ;  he  is  not  concerned  with 
the  routine  or  the  detail  of  the  credit,  or  purchasing,  or  any 
other  department — competent  department  heads  direct  their 
activities.  But  when  the  activities  of  any  department  are  such 
that  the  plan  of  their  execution  affects  the  office  work  of  other 
departments,  it  is  largely  the  function  of  the  office  manager 
to  co-ordinate  such  activities.  The  head  of  the  purchasing  de- 
partment or  the  credit  department,  etc.,  may  wish  to  introduce 
new  methods,  or  adopt  a  "fine  system"  which  requires  the  co- 
operation of  other  departments;  before  the  plan  can  be  safely 
adopted,  it  must  first  meet  with  the  approval  of  the  office  man- 
ager. His  advice  as  an  executive  is  asked  and  taken  on  any 
question,  plan,  or  project  which  requires  th*at  adjustments  be 
made  between  the  office  work  of  one  department  and  that  of 

Thus  in  one  case  the  office  manager  may  have  the  title  of 
''organization  officer"  and  be  a  vice-president  of  the  company; 
in  another  he  may  be  the  comptrollc*  and  treasurer;  in  still 
another  he  may  hold  the  title  of  secretary  and  act  as  business 
manager.  Whatever  the  title  held,  the  fact  remains  that  the 
position  is  largely  what  the  man  himself  makes  it.     Only  the 


man  who  exercises  general  supervision  over  the  business  plans 
and  policies  that  are  carried  out  by  the  clerical  workers  of  a 
concern,  acts  in  the  capacity  of,  and  can  be  truly  termed,  its 
office  manager. 

The  Making  of  the  Office  Manager 

Office  administration  is  growing  in  complexity  every  day 
and  the  old  narrow  systems  must  either  be  made  elastic 
enough  to  stretch  out  and  cover  the  new  activities,  or  men  who 
fail  to  measure  up  to  their  responsibilities  will  be  superseded 
by  keener  business  men  who  see  the  office  function  in  its  true 
perspective.  The  need  in  every  branch  of  business  adminis- 
tration is  for  men  able  to  assist  intelligently  and  constructively 
in  the  preparation  of  plans  and  in  the  systematic  control  of 
details.  No  junior  clerk,  however  obscure  his  position,  can 
long  remain  at  the  bottom  of  the  ladder,  if  he  has  the  ability 
to  organize  and  control  the  work  of  others.  Such  ability  must 
inevitably  come  to  the  attention  of  his  superior  officer.  The 
passive  qualifications  of  age,  length  of  service,  and  so  on, 
which  were  long  the  determining  factors  in  the  promotion 
of  employees,  are  now  being  supplanted  by  the  more  positive 
qualities  evidenced  by  the  capacity  for  mastering  details  and 
improving  methods  of  work,  supervision,  and  control. 

The  frame  of  mind  with  which  an  executive  approaches 
the  problem,  of  office  management  will  have  a  great  influence 
on  his  future  career.  His  position  will  remain  that  of  a  subor- 
dinate executive  if  he  sets  out  with  a  narrow  conception  of 
the  sphere  of  his  work.  No  man  can  rise  above  his  own  con- 
ception of  the  possibilities  of  his  job.  A  man  with  organiz- 
ing ability  develops  in  measure  as  he  is  ready  to  shoulder  re- 
sponsibilities. Therefore,  a  comprehensive  view  of  these 
responsibilities  and  a  determination  to  measure  up  to  them, 
will  set  the  potential  office  manager  on  his  way  with  a  win- 
ning stride  from  the  start. 



The  Mobility  of  Modern  Industry 

Modern  facilities  for  the  transmission  of  power,  the  trans- 
portation of  goods,  and  the  dispatching  of  information,  have 
exerted  a  profound  influence  upon  the  organization  of  pro- 
duction, distribution,  and  office  activities  respectively.  The 
effect  of  the  development  of  power  transmission  upon  produc- 
tion is  familiar  enough.  When  a  factory  or  mill  depended 
upon  the  waterfall  for  its  power,  the  range  in  the  selection 
of  a  location  was  limited.  The  coming  of  steam  power  en- 
larged the  radius  of  productive  operations,  but  the  choice  was 
still  restricted  until  the  railroad  and  steamboat  permitted 
greater  mobility  of  the  fuel  supply.  Today  as  electricity  and 
gas  come  into  greater  use  as  sources  of  motive  power,  they 
bring  to  bear  a  new  influence  upon  the  location  of  industries. 
Instead  of  a  factory  being  compelled  to  select  a  site  where  a 
steam  power  plant,  with  its  attendant  smoke  and  fumes,  is 
permissible,  a  location  may  be  chosen  miles  away  from  the 
primary  source  of  power.  In  proportion  as  this  influence 
makes  for  economies  in  operation,  so  will  the  present  regula- 
tions pertaining  to  the  selection  of  factory  sites  tend  to  change, 
and  the  economies  involved  in  the  choice  of  location  grow  in 

Also  changes  of  similar  importance  have  been  taking 
place  in  distribution,  owing  to  changes  in  the  means  of  trans- 
portation. Through  freights,  express  trains,  and  pipe  lines 
have  modified  methods  of  marketing  and  distribution  in  a 
striking  and  fundamental  way.  Wholesale  and  jobbing  houses 
are  giving  way  to  agencies,  and  the  local  store  must  now 



divide  the  retail  trade  with  the  chain  store,  the  mail-order 
house,  and  the  department  store.  The  studies  made  by  these 
concerns  in  the  economies  of  store  location  furnish  some  of 
the  most  interesting  examples  of  the  control  of  distribution 
by  means  of  a  central  office  organization  which  holds  the  reins 
of  management  over  hundreds  or  even  thousands  of  stores. 

The  Economy  of  Centralization 

While  these  changes  in  the  economic  location  of  produc- 
tion and  in  the  facilities  for  distribution  are  a  subject  of 
obvious  and  frequent  comment,  the  changes  which  the  office 
and  its  administrative  activities  have  undergone,  as  a  result 
of  the  development  of  means  of  transmitting  information,  are 
seldom  thought  of  or  referred  to.  Yet  one  has  only  to  con- 
trast the  complexity  of  the  relationship  of  the  modern  city 
to  the  outside  world  with  the  parochial  or  purely  local  char- 
acter of  the  commercial  cities  of  the  past  age,  to  note  how 
startling  the  change  has  been.  The  transmission  of  informa- 
tion by  telephone,  telegraph,  and  wireless,  to  say  nothing  of 
speedy  mail  trains  and  special  delivery  service,  enables  the 
modern  executive  to  control  hundreds  of  activities  at  long  dis- 

The  successful  operation  of  every  business  depends  upon 
the  judgment  of  men  capable  of  making  correct  decisions 
and  the  promptness  with  which  these  decisions  are  commu- 
nicated to,  and  acted  upon,  by  subordinates.  In  one  build- 
ing in  New  York  City  are  collected  the  administrative  head- 
quarters of  several  hundred  .business  houses,  many  of  them 
of  national  or  international  importance.  The  underlying 
reason  for  this  concentration  is  that  if  the  policies  of  a  busi- 
ness organization,  which  extends  over  a  whole  state  or  nation 
and  even  has  an  international  status,  can  be  decided  upon  in 
one  place,  and  these  decisions  can  be  instantly  communicated 
to  all  the  interested  parts  of  the  organization,  such  a  concen- 



tration  means  large  economies.  Without  these  faciHties  of 
communication  no  business  of  any  size  could  be  successfully 
operated  today. 

M'odern  and  Ancient  Business  Methods  Compared 

Take  a  single  illustration — the  handling  of  a  transaction 
involving  credit  information  obtained  at  a  distance.  The  gulf 
between  ancient  and  modern  business  may  be  realized  if  we 
imagine  a  modern  banker  compelled  to  send  a  personal  rep- 
resentative with  every  ship  upon  the  cargo  of  which  he  had 
loaned  money.  Owing  to  the  lack  of  information  and  the 
lack  of  control  over  business  transactions  carried  on  at  a  dis- 
tance, the  early  Carthaginian  money-lenders  who,  it  is  said, 
introduced  the  principles  of  bottomry,  i.e.,  the  lending  of 
money  upon  the  bottom  of  the  ship,  were  compelled  to  send 
an  agent  with  the  ship  to  receive  payment  of  the  loan  as  soon 
as  the  cargo  was  sold.  Compare  with  that  method  the  bank- 
er's draft  of  the  present  day,  or  the  transmission  of  money 
by  telegraph  and  cable,  or  the  methods  of  the  modern  insur- 
ance company. 

Examples  of  Centralized  Office  Control 

The  last  case  cited  furnishes  a  striking  illustration  of 
growth  based  on  highly  centralized  office  control.  The  suc- 
cess of  a  life  insurance  company  largely  depends  upon  the 
reduction  of  the  risks  which  it  takes  in  insuring  individuals, 
the  economy  with  which  it  can  carry  on  the  inspection,  and 
the  celerity  with  which  it  can  close  the  contract.  An  appli- 
cant who  is  physically  fit  and  is  prepared  to  take  out  a  heavy 
life  assurance  may  be  an  unsafe  risk  because  of  his  occupa- 
tion and  environment  or  his  inability  to  meet  the  financial 
obligation  involved.  Furthermore  he  may  live  in  any  part  of 
the  North  American  continent.  How  is  a  decision  as  to  the 
suitableness  of  the  application  to  be  reached?     Obviously,  a 



highly  organized  system  of  inspection,  capable  of  covering 
the  population  of  the  United  States  and  Canada,  is  the  first 

The  final  decision  in  each  case,  however,  must  be  handled 
by  a  staff  of  experts,  and  it  is  obviously  impracticable  to  cover 
the  continent  with  these  highly  paid  officials.  Therefore  this 
work  is  centralized  at  the  home  office,  which  furthermore  con- 
trols a  large  staff  of  district  inspectors  stationed  at  central 
points,  and  these  in  their  turn  control  a  still  larger  corps  of 
local  agents  or  correspondents  who  are  scattered  throughout 
the  land. 

Such  an  organization,  involving  as  it  does  in  one  case, 
one  superintendent  and  thirteen  clerks  in  the  home  office,  with 
ten  district  inspectors  and  30,000  correspondents  in  the  field, 
must  be  tied  together  by  a  thoroughly  reliable  system  for  the 
collection  and  prompt  transmission  of  information. 

The  old  Carthaginian  money-lender  with  his  half-dozen 
agents  sailing  over  the  Mediterranean  and  the  North  Sea 
might  hear  from  a  venture  within  a  period  of  from  six  months 
to  two  years.  The  Equitable  Assurance  Company  must  hear 
from  and  pass  upon  90,000  risks  per  year.  To  do  this  eco- 
nomically requires  the  perfect  co-ordination  of  the  work  of 
the  home  ofiice  with  that  of  the  district  and  field  forces  which 
come  in  direct  contact  with  the  solicitor  and  the  customer. 
Speed  and  accuracy  must  pull  a  parallel  course  in  the  handling 
of  inspections.  Under  ordinary  circumstances  300  reports 
reach  the  home  office  daily  and  at  times  these  approximate 
600.  Although  these  reports  are  made  up  from  information 
gathered  from  remote  points  the  home  office  is  able,  in  the 
great  majority  of  cases,  to  render  its  decision  and  notify  the 
local  agent  of  its  decision  before  the  policies  are  received  by 
the  latter,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  33  per  cent  of  all  poli- 
cies issued  are  sent  out  from  the  home  office  on  the  same  day 
that  the  application  comes  to  hand. 



Economy  of  Mass  Control 

Thus  we  see  that  if  development  in  power  transmission 
and  the  use  of  machinery  have  brought  about  division  of  labor 
and  mass  production — changes  which  have  revolutionized  the 
economic  world  of  production  and  distribution — so  have  the 
postal  service,  the  telegraph,  the  telephone,  and  the  wireless 
brought  about  an  equally  important  change  in  the  field  of 
administrative  control.  One  central  office  can  direct  the  poli- 
cies of  hundreds  of  scattered  productive  and  distributive  units 
with  a  comparatively  small  force  of  highly  specialized  em- 
ployees under  the  direction  of  a  few  experts,  whose  services 
the  separate  units  of  production  and  distribution  could  not 
afford  to  employ  even  individually.  We  may  call  this  the 
economy  of  mass  control.  Thus,  the  Stone  and  Webster 
Company,  by  centralizing  administrative  control  in  its  Boston 
office,  can  give  to  a  small  gas  plant  in  Oregon  the  advantages 
of  a  scientific  accounting  system,  the  benefits  of  a  highly 
organized  purchasing  system,  and  innumerable  other  aids 
from  technical,  selling,  and  advertising  experts,  the  salary  of 
any  of  whom  might  exceed  the  profits  of  the  small  plant  in 

Effect  of  Mass  Control  on  Internal  Organization 

A  common  saying,  probably  derived  from  observing  large 
animals  in  motion,  is :  "Big  bodies  move  slowly."  This  is  not 
true  in  business.  The  bigger  the  unit  the  more  likely  it  is 
to  move  rapidly.  A  large  business  organization  gains  its 
chief  ascendancy  over  smaller  rivals  because  of  its  ability  to 
acknowledge  orders  more  quickly,  turn  out  the  products  faster, 
set  delivery  dates  and  keep  them,  make  fewer  accounting  mis- 
takes, fewer  misjudgments  in  extending  credits,  and  fewer 
errors  in  collections.  This  is  in  response  to  necessity.  Not- 
withstanding the  advantages  which  go  with  centralized  con- 
trol, due  to  quick  communication  with  the  outside  world,  most 


of  these  would  be  neutralized  if  like  gain  were  not  made  in 
the  control,  the  operation,  and  the  dispatch  of  the  internal 
activities  of  the  office  itself. 

The  head  of  a  large  Eastern  wholesale  house  speeded  up 
its  work  by  reorganizing  the  office  and  equipping  it  with 
every  practical  device  for  rapid  internal  communication.  Be- 
fore the  change  the  usual  time  allowed  to  get  out  an  order 
and  ship  it  was  twenty-four  hours.  The  new  method  reduced 
this  time  to  three  hours.  The  strain  put  upon  the  office  activ- 
ities had  forced  the  management  to  remodel  completely  the 
organization — in  response  to  necessity. 



The  Unit  of  Organization 

In  most  businesses  the  unit  of  organization  is  the  depart- 
ment. In  the  abstract  a  department  has  neither  definite  form 
nor  size  nor  any  precise  function.  The  name  is  appHed  to  any 
division  of  work  into  which  the  activities  of  a  particular  busi- 
ness may  be  divided. 

Departments  vary  in  size  from  a  small  room  to  a  whole 
floor  or  more.  The  editorial  department  of  a  small  publish- 
ing concern  may  consist  of  desk  room  in  a  newspaper  office. 
The  commercial  department  of  the  United  Gas  Improvement 
Company  of  Philadelphia  occupies  a  number  of  rooms  on 
several  floors.  Although  the  term  is  vague  and  suggests 
very  little  as  to  the  size  or  number  of  the  activities  which  it 
segregates,  nevertheless  anything  called  a  department  con- 
notes a  unit  of  organization  under  executive  supervision,  and 
indicates  that  definite  lines  have  been  drawn  around  certain 
functions  or  groups  of  functions.  Thus,  in  every  modern 
business  the  accounting  activities  are  grouped  by  themselves, 
while  the  credit,  selling,  purchasing,  producing,  and  other 
activities  tend  to  be  drawn  into  a  natural  association  or  divi- 
sion of  their  own.  As  a  business  grows  in  size  the  gain  in 
administrative  and  operative  efficiency  by  such  division  is 

Concurrently  with  this  growth  the  problem  of  supervision 
and  the  routing  of  the  work  within  each  department  becomes 
progressively  difficult,  while  the  control  of  the  relations  be- 
tv/een  departments  themselves  rises  to  an  administrative  prob- 



lem  of  major  importance.  To  avoid  the  temporary  dislocation 
of  business  which  a  reorganization  of  personnel  and  a  change 
in  its  supervision  and  location  always  cause,  it  is  well  to 
consider,  before  the  problem  becomes  too  acute,  the  principles 
on  which  the  segregation  of  departmental  activities  depend. 

The  Centralized  Office 

Business  offices  may  be  broadly  classified  into  one  of  three 
types  of  organization,  though  the  lines  of  demarcation  are  by 
no  means  clearly  defined.  A  common  type,  which  we  may 
call  the  "centralized"  type,  brings  most,  if  not  all,  the  office 
activities  into  one  room  or  "general  office."  This  is  the  type 
to  which  most  businesses  belong  in  their  early  stages.  A  few 
desks,  a  stenographer,  and  one  or  two  bookkeepers  are 
grouped  together  in  one  room,  while  the  desk  of  the  proprietor 
or  manager  may  be  separated  from  the  group  by  a  partition 
or  a  simple  railing  only.  As  the  business  grows  the  groups 
become  more  and  more  distinct,  but  still  all  the  work  is  done 
in  one  central  room.  Usually  this  form  of  organization  is 
adhered  to  until  some  one  group,  such  as  the  sales  section, 
feels  it  can  work  more  efficiently  in  a  room  by  itself  under 
the  control  of  its  own  supervisor — frequently  the  sales  or 
assistant  sales  manager.  Seldom  does  the  centralized  office 
remain  true  to  its  type  after  the  clerical  force  numbers  a  hun- 
dred or  more  miscellaneous  employees. 

The  Departmental  Office 

Those  offices  where  the  force  is  large  enough  to  make  it 
profitable  to  segregate  such  general  service  activities  as  typ- 
ing, filing,  etc.,  into  rooms  or  sections  by  themselves  belong 
to  the  second  or  departmental  type.  In  such  offices  the  work 
may  be  divided  into  a  typing  department,  an  accounting  de- 
partment, a  filing  department,  a  supply  department,  and  the 
like.     Here  the  tendency  is  to  segregate  any  activity  just  as 


soon  as  it  occupies  the  attention  of  a  large  enough  number  of 
employees  to  justify  the  management  in  putting  this  group 
into  a  section  by  itself  and  under  separate  supervision.  Such 
groups  are  really  specialized  departments  in  which  each  indi- 
vidual does  the  same  kind  of  work,  or  work  which  is  related 
to  a  special  activity.  The  advantage  of  the  departmental 
method  of  growth  comes  from  the  specialization  due  to  super- 
vision rather  than  to  operation. 

Mixed  Type  of  Office 

A  third  form  of  organization  is  characterized  by  a  rough 
division  of  the  service  activities  between  the  general  office 
and  the  departments.  The  sales,  and  perhaps  the  advertising 
and  credit  departments,  frequently  employ  their  own  filing, 
stenographic,  and  clerical  help,  while  the  other  departments 
are  content  to  draw  upon  a  general  stenographic  force  and 
to  use  the  general  files.  This  form  of  organization  may  be 
called  the  mixed  type  and  is  a  common  method  of  dividing 
up  the  office  work.  In  fact  all  large  offices  show  traces  of 
both  centralized  and  departmental  practice,  but  generally  they 
lean  more  to  one  type  than  to  the  other.  The  term  "mixed" 
is  applicable  only  to  the  office  in  which  the  work  is  about 
equally  divided  between  the  two  different  methods. 

Organization  Within  the  Department 

In  some  offices  the  principle  of  specialization  on  which  the 
departmental  development  is  based  has  been  applied  to  the 
internal  arrangement  and  control  of  the  activities  of  the  in- 
dividual department;  in  other  words  the  department  work 
is  subdivided  into  what  is  called  the  "unit  method"  of  opera- 
tion. This  is  a  development  of  the  departmental  plan,  it 
should  be  noted,  and  not  a  departure  from  it.  The  unit 
method  is  based  on  the  principle  of  subdividing  certain  gen- 
eral activities  into  closely  allied  unit  operations  and  putting 


them  into  convenient  working  groups  or  "teams."  The  de- 
partmental plan,  as  generally  found,  does  not  divide  the 
activities  so  finely  but  groups  such  operations  as  typing,  mail- 
ing, invoicing,  etc.,  into  departments  by  themselves.  These 
distinctions  are  important,  for  the  methods  of  carrying  out 
the  work  under  the  unit  plan  are  very  different  from  the  meth- 
ods used  under  the  departmental  plan. 

The  Unit  Method  of  Operation 

Under  the  unit  method  a  certain  number  of  operations  are 
decided  upon  as  a  unit  of  work  and  so  accurately  divided  are 
the  tasks  that  a  definite  time  limit  can  be  given  to  each.  As 
the  work  of  each  unit  is  carried  on  according  to  a  prearranged 
schedule,  the  manager  knows  at  any  time  whether  or  not  his 
force  is  large  enough  to  handle  any  increase  in  work  put  upon 
the  department.  If  he  finds  there  is  more  work  than  any  unit 
or  group  of  units  can  attend  to,  he  can  increase  the  output 
by  simply  adding  more  workers  to  one  or  more  units. 
This  demands  that  the  manager  have  a  clear  understanding 
of  the  nature  of  his  office  work  and  be  prepared  to  devote  the 
time  and  energy  required  to  standardize  the  departmental 
procedure  after  careful  analysis  and  study  has  been  made  of 
the  time  needed  to  complete  each  unit  of  work. 

As  yet  this  method  is  more  generally  met  in  other  fields 
of  business  than  in  the  office.  The  manufacture  of  clothing, 
for  example,  lends  itself  particularly  well  to  the  unit  or  "team" 
method,  as  it  is  sometimes  called.  In  the  highly  organized 
mechanical  industries  the  method  is  used  in  assembling  the 
various  manufactured  parts  step  by  step  into  the  completed 
machine  product.  Again  all  automobile  factories  work  on 
the  principle  of  unit  assembly,  some  going  so  far  as  to  assemble 
any  two  pieces  which  may  be  put  together  and  returned  to 
"unit  assembly  stock." 

The  significant  features  of  this  method  are  the  emphasis 


put  upon  the  analysis  of  the  work,  i.e.,  its  division  and  sub- 
division into  operations;  and  the  close  check  and  control  of 
the  flow  of  work  within  units  and  between  the  various  groups 
of  units.  The  one  great  advantage  of  the  unit  method  of 
organization,  as  applied  to  either  factory  or  offlce  work,  is 
that  it  saves  time,  though  in  the  office  it  is  not  necessarily 
economical  of  labor.  An  instance  taken  from  the  factory 
office  will  illustrate  this  point. 

The  Unit  Method  in  Inventory-Taking 

Factory  managers  find  the  unit  method  useful  in  taking 
their  inventories  as  every  hour  saved  is  then  of  great  value. 
While  as  a  rule  labor  is  plentiful,  the  whole  works  being  shut 
down,  usually  only  the  office  force  is  qualified  for  inventory 
purposes.  The  steps  in  taking  an  inventory  may  be  divided 
into  three:  (i)  preparation,  (2)  actual  count,  (3)  extension 
and  computation.  For  the  purpose  of  illustration  we  need 
only  consider  the  third  step.  The  computing  of  the  inventory, 
which  is  purely  an  office  function,  is  simplified  by  applying 
the  unit  method  to  the  handling  of  the  clerical  work.  The 
organization,  as  usually  formed  for  this  purpose,  is  made  up 
of  groups  so  distributed  as  to  permit  the  work  to  flow  from 
one  group  to  another  in  the  natural  sequence  of  the  clerical 
operations.  The  first  group,  for  example,  puts  the  price 
opposite  each  item  on  the  tag;  the  second  group  makes  the 
price  extension;  the  third  checks  the  extension;  the  fourth 
adds  up  the  figures ;  and  the  fifth  classifies  the  sheets  and  adds 
up  their  totals. 

To  distribute  the  work  between  groups  the  tags  and  sheets 
are  placed  in  wire  baskets  and  drawn  from  one  to  the  next 
group,  the  fulness  of  any  basket  indicating  the  good  or  poor 
balancing  of  the  work  between  groups.  Thus  the  person  in 
charge  of  the  inventory  can  readily  add  employees  to  weak 
units  or  reduce  the  overmanned  units. 


The  Applicability  of  the  Unit  Method 

The  unit  method  demands  a  close  analysis  of  the  work  to 
be  done  and  an  equally  close  adjustment  of  the  duties  of  the 
workers  to  correspond  with  the  analysis  of  operations.  The 
example  of  the  method  as  applied  to  mventory-taking  shows 
the  working  plan  under  favorable  conditions.  We  have  (i) 
a  major  operation  (that  of  computation)  which  can  be  readily 
and  equitably  subdivided;  (2)  a  large  quantity  of  work  insur- 
ing a  constant  flow;  (3)  a  demand  for  speed  in  service;  (4) 
an  abundant  supply  of  labor;  (5)  simple  operations  making 
it  easy  to  transfer  clerks  from  one  unit  group  to  another. 
When,  however,  an  attempt  is  made  to  introduce  the  unit 
method  into  the  regular  routine  of  the  office,  many  difficulties 
bar  the  way.  In  the  first  place,  the  quantity  of  work,  except 
in  the  largest  offices,  is  seldom  sufficient  to  keep  highly  spe- 
cialized units  continuously  at  work.  Moreover  the  division 
of  the  major  operation  into  practical  parts,  each  of  which 
must  be  completed  in  approximately  the  same  length  of  time, 
is  difficult  and  in  some  cases  impracticable.  Unless  the  opera- 
tion is  so  divided,  one  group  of  workers  may  be  idle,  waiting 
for  another  to  complete  its  part  of  the  task.  This  results 
in  studied  efforts  ''to  keep  busy"  or  in  unbalanced  output  or 
"necks"  as  they  are  called,  i.e.,  the  piling  up  of  work  in  one 
group  with  a  consequent  dearth  of  work  in  the  next.  Never- 
theless, where  service  dependent  upon  time  is  of  paramount 
importance,  such  a  system  works  very  effectively.  j\Iail- 
order  houses,  insurance  companies,  and  large  banks  have 
adopted  this  method  in  those  departments  of  the  business 
where  orders,  policies,  checks,  etc.,  must  be  put  through  in  the 
minimum  time  even  at  some  sacrifice  of  economy  of  labor. 

The  Unit  Method  in  Operation 

The  methods  employed  by  the  mail-order  department  of  a 
large  New  York  publishing  house  are  typical  of  the  system 



in  general.  The  performance  of  a  certain  sort  of  clerical 
work,  for  instance,  requires  seven  different  operations.  After 
carefully  determining  the  time  required  for  each  operation  and 
the  number  of  forms  to  be  handled  per  hour,  the  exact  num- 
ber of  clerks  required  for  each  operation  are  seated  in  a  group 
called  a  unit.  There  are  seven  groups  in  all.  Their  desks  are 
so  arranged  th^t  the  work  passes,  piece  by  piece,  from  one  to 
the  other  and  the  operations  are  as  follows : 

1.  Sorting  morning's  mail  for  each  division. 

2.  Sorting  division  mail  into  four  divisions — advertis- 

ing, editorial,  subscription,  and  general. 

3.  Slitting  envelopes  by  machine. 

4.  Taking  letters  from  envelopes  and  pinning  to  papers. 

5.  Separating  paid  from  time  subscriptions. 

6.  Stamping    paid     subscription     letters     with     rubber 

stamps  and  entering  amount  remitted — indicating 
whether  check,  money  order,  or  cash. 

7.  Checking  off  entries. 

It  is  only  by  such  methods  that  mail-order  houses  receiving 
as  many  as  50,000  letters  a  day  can  live  up  to  a  schedule  which 
claims  to  get  out  all  orders  the  same  day  they  are  received. 
The  time-saving  features  of  this  method  are  well  shown  by 
the  experience  of  a  large  Chicago  concern.  Before  the  adop- 
tion of  the  unit  method  orders  passed  through  four  hands 
and  the  average  time  taken  to  fill  each  order  was  thirty  min- 
utes. Now  orders  are  handled  by  groups  of  twelve  employees 
and  the  average  time  is  four  minutes. 

As  before  stated  the  unit  method  of  operation  is  applicable 
only  to  those  businesses  in  which  a  large  volume  of  routine 
work  needs  to  be  handled  in  the  quickest  possible  time.  It 
should  not  be  introduced  unless  a  thorough  analysis  of  routine 
duties,  as  described  in  the  following  chapter,  shows  that  it 
can  be  practically  applied  in  a  given  case. 



Importance  of  Planning  and  Scheduling 

If  the  work  of  the  office  is  to  be  carried  on  smoothly,  accu- 
rately, with  the  utmost  dispatch,  and  with  least  effort,  it  must 
be  planned  and  scheduled.  To  plan  effectively  the  office  man- 
ager must  know  what  work  is  to  be  done,  who  is  to  do  it  and 
be  responsible  for  its  doing,  where  it  is  to  be  done  and  what 
physical  arrangements  need  to  be  made  to  carry  it  out  smooth- 
ly and  efficiently.  The  scheduling  of  the  work  will  indicate 
when  it  is  to  be  done  and  the  approximate  time  it  requires. 

To  most  executives  the  routine  of  the  ordinary  office  seems 
of  so  simple  a  character  that  the  forethought  and  analysis  im- 
plied by  the  terms  planning  and  scheduling  hardly  seem  to  be 
necessary.  There  is  a  certain  amount  of  clerical  work,  clerks 
are  hired  to  do  it,  and  if  they  are  competent,  understand  the 
nature  of  their  work,  and  are  told  what  is  required  of  them 
from  time  to  time,  nothing  else  is  required.  The  work  will 
be  done  and  is  not  that  all-sufficient? 

Such  an  attitude  may  be  defensible  in  the  case  of  a  small 
office  organization  the  head  of  which  is  capable  of  supervising 
the  whole  of  the  work,  from  the  opening  of  the  mail  in  the 
morning  to  the  dispatching  of  the  invoices  at  the  close  of  the 
day.  But  when  the  work  increases  so  that  departmental  divi- 
sion becomes  necessary,  the  details  can  no  longer  be  carried 
in  one  head.  The  office  manager,  who  then  apportions  among 
others  responsibility  for  part  of  the  general  office  work,  volun- 
tarily abdicates  his  position  as  organizer  and  controller  of  the 
office  activities  and  duties,  becoming  instead  the  head  of  a 
minor  department.     The  common  results  in  such  a  case  are 



all  the  evils  of  uncontrolled  decentralization — pressure  in  one 
department  and  slackness  in  another,  inequalities  in  salaries, 
inconveniences  in  arrangement  and  layout,  overlapping  of 
duties,  and  a  general  scramble  to  get  the  work  done  without 
any  clear  conception  of  what  is  being  done  by  every  person 
in  the  office  organization. 

Analysis  of  Work  as  a  Preliminary  to  Planning 

In  planning  and  scheduling  the  office  work  so  that  the 
activities  of  all  employees  can  be  closely  controlled  and  the 
routine  and  arrangement  of  the  office  so  organized  that  back- 
wash, overlapping,  and  lost  motion  are  eliminated,  a  detailed 
analysis  needs  to  be  made  of  the  functions  of  the  office  force 
and  the  duties  of  each  employee.  It  is  well  to  concede  here  that 
this  preliminary  investigation  is  laborious  in  the  extreme, 
much  of  it  at  first  must  necessarily  seem  futile,  while  its  util- 
ity, as  a  whole,  can  only  be  grasped  when  the  data  gathered  by 
the  analysis  is  properly  sifted  and  formulated. 

To  present  any  cut  and  dried  methods  of  making  an  analy- 
sis of  routine  and  duties  which  would  be  applicable  to  all 
cases  is,  for  obvious  reasons,  impracticable.  Offices  differ  in 
their  routine  and  their  departmental  arrangement  and  an  an- 
alysis must  be  made  to  fit  the  needs  of  an  individual  case.  The 
principle  on  which  the  analytical  survey  is  based  is  simple  and 
is  the  same  in  all  cases,  viz. :  to  get  down  in  black  and  white 
as  exhaustive  a  description  as  possible  of  just  how  each  em- 
ployee spends  his  time. 

Gathering  Data  as  a  Basis  for  Reorganization 

The  general  plan  to  be  followed  in  gathering  data  can 
perhaps  best  be  made  clear  by  a  description  of  the  methods 
actually  used  by  a  typical  concern. 

The  concern  referred  to,  a  large  New  England  insur- 
ance company,  found  itself  under  the  necessity  of  reorganiz- 



ing  its  home  office  and  readjusting  it  to  the  growing  needs 
of  its  business.  The  forms  used  in  making  the  survey  and 
those  showing  the  result  of  the  investigation  are  comprehen- 
sive and  illustrate  the  general  procedure.  The  forms  or  blanks 
used,  which  were  filled  in  by  employees  and  which  will  be 
described  presently,  yielded  information  about  the  actual 
working  conditions  which,  when  fully  analyzed,  served  as  the 
basis  for  the  complete  reorganization  of  the  office. 

The  purpose  of  such  a  survey  is  to  obtain  data  whereby 
the  activities  of  each  department  can  be  divided  into  practical 
working  units.  These  should  be  balanced  in  output  and 
arranged  in  sequence  so  that  the  work  may  flow  regularly, 
and  without  undue  accumulation  at  any  one  point,  in  the  most 
direct  line  from  the  receipt  of  an  application  (equivalent  to 
the  order  of  a  mercantile  business)  to  the  filing  of  the  records 
and  mailing  of  the  policy  (i.e.,  the  invoice).  To  quote  H.  A. 
Hopf,  organization  expert  of  the  company :  "Inasmuch  as  the 
tendency  in  almost  any  office  is  gradually  to  depart  from  the 
scheme  of  organization  laid  down,  it  is  of  importance  to  make 
surveys  periodically  and  in  such  a  manner  as  to  produce  for 
study  a  cross-section,  so  to  speak,  of  the  entire  office  activities." 

Statement  of  Duties 

The  first  information  required  is  a  description  of  the  duties 
of  employees  within  a  department.  Hence  a  "Statement  of 
Duties"  blank  (Figure  4)  is  sent  to  each  employee  with  a 
request  to  describe  the  duties  of  his  position  as  he  sees  them. 
To  help  him  classify  these  activities  with  some  regard  to  the 
purposes  of  the  report,  he  is  given  the  four  headings: 

1.  Routine 

2.  Periodical 

3.  Special 

4.  Fill-in 




Statement  of  Duties 


Sex                                   Position                                    Section 


Per  Cent 






Figure  4.     Statement  of  Duties  Blank 

On   this  form  each   employee  describes  the  duties  he  performs  and  the  precentage  they 
bear  to  bis  work  as  a  whole. 


Routine  functions  are  defined  as  those  which  recur  every 
day,  such  as,  for  example,  opening  and  sorting  the  mail,  re- 
cording and  transmitting  papers,  writing  policies,  etc.  Period- 
ical functions  are  those  recurring  regularly  at  intervals  of  a 
week  or  month,  such  as  drawing  up  statements,  paying  medical 
examiners,  closing  books,  etc.  Special  functions  are  those 
activities  that  cannot  be  foreseen  and  provided  for  in  advance, 
but  which  are  incidental  and  necessary,  such  as  preparing  new 
application  blanks,  printed  matter,  etc.  By  fill-in  functions 
are  meant  those  which,  though  not  immediately  essential,  are 
to  be  performed  when  opportunity  permits  because  of  their 
bearing  on  other  essential  work,  such  for  example  as  making 
statistical  compilations,  revising  bulletins,  and  those  extras 
which  belong  to  every  business. 

The  oblong  space  across  the  top  of  the  form  is  divided  into 
three  sections  for  the  purpose  of  showing  the  salary  earned 
and  the  standard  pay  for  the  class  of  work  mentioned  on  the 
form.  The  first  section  shows  the  grade  to  which  the  em- 
ployee belongs;  the  second  section  states  his  present  salary; 
and  the  third  section  gives  the  maximum  and  minimum  salary 
for  the  employee's  grade. 

Use  of  Symbols  to  Designate  Duties 

As  the  data  gathered  on  the  "Statement  of  Duties"  blank 
are  to  be  entered  on  other  forms  for  the  purpose  of  computing 
the  actual  time  spent  b}'  the  employee  on  each  specific  duty, 
it  is  necessary  to  devise  a  system  of  symbols  so  that  the  dif- 
ferent duties  can  be  briefly  designated.  Figure  5  shows  the 
classification  of  the  duties  arrived  at  and  the  symbols  adopted 
to  represent  them. 

As  will  be  shown  later,  by  grouping  the  symbols  together 
after  a  departmental  or  office  survey  has  been  made,  much 
valuable  information  may  be  gained  about  the  relative  im- 
Dortance  of  the  routine  functions  and  the  time  and  energy 



Spent  in  their  performance.  This  information  affords  a  work- 
ing basis  for  the  formulating  of  plans  and  methods  of  sys- 
tematic management. 






Dictating  to  niachine 


Dictating  to  stenographer 


Interviews    (between  tvro  persona) 


Conferences    (three  or  more  persons) 


Absent    from  department   for  any  reason 


Absent   from  office 



Unoccupied  time 


Miscellaneous  work  not   classified 


Revision  work  pertaining   especially  to   section 


Supervising  work  by   section  heads 


Reading,    sorting,    and  routing  mail 


Messenger   service  of  all   kinds 


Information  service  to  other  departments 


Ordering  supplies 


Preparing  bulletins 


Filing  correspondence 


Checking  figures  or  proof-reading 


Figure  5.     Symbols  Designating  Duties 
By    using  these   symbols   the   various   duties    ot    employees    can    be    briefly    desig- 
nated on  various  blanks. 





















— 1 

— ] 

— 1 


— 1 



§    0 


















































































£     g 



<     p 



o  S 
































































































p*  C   u 

3  "  3 

CO  "  S 

U  O  CI 

^  5^ 

u.  .s 



Weekly  Survey  of  Work  Done 

Having  obtained  a  statement  of  the  general  functions  car- 
ried on  by  the  employees,  the  next  step  is  to  describe  in  detail 
the  work  done  by  each  clerk.  The  use  of  the  symbol  system 
explained  above  enables  this  to  be  done  with  the  least  time  and 
effort  on  the  clerk's  part.  A  blank  is  ruled  off  into  small 
squares,  each  representing  a  five-minute  period,  and  headed 
as  shown  in  Figure  6.  A  complete  and  detailed  description 
of  the  work  performed  by  each  clerk  for  a  week  can  thus  be 
secured  by  entering  in  the  proper  spaces  the  symbols  which 
represent  the  kind  of  work  which  occupied  the  clerk's  atten- 
tion during  the  five-minute  periods  designated. 

Summary  Sheet  of 
Weekly  Survey  Blank 

Name                                                                           Dept. 
From                                    to                                    Section 












Figure  7.     Summary  Sheet  of  Weekly  Survey  Blank 

The  blank  is  designed   to  summarize  the   time  each   clerk   devotes   to   a  particular  duty 

in   a  given   day. 



Summary  of  Time  Devoted  to  Each  Duty 

As  one  of  the  objects  of  the  survey  is  to  concentrate  hke 
duties  within  as  few  hands  as  possible,  the  work  of  the  clerks 
needs  to  be  analyzed  with  a  view  to  adjusting  or  eliminating 
activities  which  are  incongruous  or  otherwise  poorly  mated. 
Such  an  analysis  is  carried  out  on  the  "Summary  Sheet  of 
Weekly  Survey"  (Figure  7). 

This  blank  is  designed  to  summarize  the  time  each  clerk 
devotes  to  a  particular  duty  on  a  given  day.  It  shows  the 
number  of  hours  and  fractions  of  hours  spent  daily  on  the 
different  kinds  of  work  as  indicated  by  the  various  symbols, 
the  symbol  representing  the  largest  number  of  periods  being 
listed  first.  It  also  gives  the  percentage  of  time  devoted  to 
each  duty  during  the  week. 

Record  of  Time  Spent  in  Interviews 

A  survey  which  took  into  consideration  only  the  actual 
time  spent  in  working  at  the  desk  would  leave  untouched  a 
large  number  of  time-consuming  activities  which  are  only 
indirectly  associated  with  the  main  task  of  getting  the  work 
done.  Most  of  these  activities  consist  of  interviews,  and  ab- 
sences from  desks  and  the  department  for  purposes  other  than 

To  obtain  a  record  of  the  time  each  employee  spends  in 
communicating  with  other  employees,  a  blank  (Figure  8)  is 
prepared  on  which  he  is  asked  to  report  all  interviews  with 
persons  coming  to  his  desk  and  also  those  interviews  which 
he  holds  at  the  desks  of  Other  employees.  The  blank  is  ruled 
to  indicate  the  days  of  the  week  and  the  business  hours  of 
the  day,  the  latter  being  divided  into  half -hour  periods.  On 
the  back  of  the  sheet  employees'  names  are  listed  in  alphabeti- 
cal order  and  each  is  given  a  number  which  is  used  as  an 
identifying  symbol  in  making  up  the  reports  of  employees' 








1             :            1            : 



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An  analysis  of  this  report  shows  not  only  the  number  of 
communications  which  a  particular  employee  holds  with 
others  during  the  day,  but  also  identifies  the  individuals  who 
find  it  necessary  to  visit  him  and  those  whom  he  himself  visits 
during  the  course  of  his  work. 

Summary  of  Personal 
Communications  Blank 

Name                                                          Dept. 

From                                   to                                    Section 

NOTE: — List  on  this  Sheet  a  Summary   of   Personal   Communications, 
incoming  and  outgoing,  stating  as  accurately  as  possible,  in  a 
general  way,  the  reasons  for  such  communications.      If  com- 
munications between  specific   individuals   occur   for   different 
reasons,  summarize  them  separately  as  accurately  as  possible. 









Figure  9.     Summary  of  Personal  Communications  Blank 

On  this  form  each  employee  summarizes  the  number   of  communications  he  has   made 
for  various   reasons  with   other   employees. 



Summary  of  Reasons  for  Interviews 

Having  ascertained  how  much  of  each  employee's  time  is 
spent  in  communicating  with  others,  it  is  necessary  to  sum- 
marize the  reason  or  purpose  of  the  interview.  A  summary  of 
this  information  is  gathered  upon  a  "Summary  of  Personal 
Communications  Blank''  (Figure  9).  If  communications  be- 
tween specific  individuals  occur  for  different  reasons,  the 
reasons  are  listed  separately. 


Detail  of  Absences  from  Department 



NOTE :— List  on  this  sheet  all  absences  from  department  for  the  purpose 
of  consulting  records,  procuring  correspondence,  documents, 
etc.,  from  files,  and  doing  all  work  which  does  not  require 
interviews  with  others. 







Figure  10.    Detail  of  Absences  from  Department 

On  this  form  is  indicated  the  time   each  employee  left  his  desk  and  returned  for  pur- 
poses  other   than    that   of   interviewing   other   employees. 


Analysis  of  Reasons  for  Absences  from  Department 

To  complete  the  analysis  of  the  time  spent  by  employees 
away  from  their  desks  still  another  blank  (Figure  lo)  is  used. 
This  is  ruled  to  provide  spaces  in  which  the  employee  can 
indicate  the  time  he  left  his  desk  or  department  and  the  specific 
reason  for  doing  so.  These  reasons  of  course  vary,  but  in- 
clude all  absences  not  based  on  personal  interviews  such  as 
consulting  records,  procuring  correspondence,  documents,  etc., 
from  the  files.  Among  other  things  the  resulting  information 
indicates  clearly  whether  or  not  the  office  files  and  records 
are  conveniently  located  for  the  employees  who  have  to  use 
them  most. 

General  Purpose  of  Survey 

The  many  valuable  purposes  which  a  survey  as  described 
above  may  be  made  to  serve  will  be  fully  explained  in  later 
chapters.  For  the  present  it  is  sufficient  to  note  that  such  an 
analysis  unerringly  reveals  the  faulty  arrangement  and  layout 
of  departments,  the  overlapping  of  work,  divided  responsibil- 
ities as  to  duties,  time  lost  through  needless  interviews,  the 
amount  of  time  consumed  in  "productive"  and  "non-product- 
ive" activities — in  short,  when  sufficiently  complete  and  made 
with  the  requisite  attention  to  detail,  it  furnishes  all  the  in- 
formation required  for  planning  and  scheduling  the  work  so 
that  it  may  be  done  with  the  utmost  dispatch  possible  with 
the  existing  personnel  and  equipment. 

Result  of  Survey 

In  the  case  under  discussion  many  defects  of  organiza- 
tion were  revealed.  The  management  of  the  company,  how- 
ever, was  not  convinced  that  radical  changes  were  necessary 
until  graphic  charts  visualized  the  time  lost  through  inter- 
views and  other  interruptions  of  work  and  through  the  zig- 
zag course  of  a  policy  as  it  traveled  from  room  to  room.    The 


























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departmental  activities  of  the  company  were  then  carried  on 
in  nine  rooms.  The  first  chart,  showing  the  visits  of  em- 
ployees to  a  particular  department,  showed  hundreds  of  lines 
running  through  openings  in  the  side  of  a  square  represent- 
ing a  department  with  its  doors.  These  lines  were  so  numer- 
ous that  even  the  most  skeptical  had  to  admit  that  "something 
ought  to  be  done."  The  second  chart  (Figure  ii)  on  which 
the  departments  were  listed  in  the  order  of  their  proximity  to 
each  other,  showed  how  frequently  steps  were  retraced  in  the 
progress  of  a  policy  through  the  organization. 

The  investigation  disclosed  two  other  important  things : 
(i)  the  analysis  of  duties  showed  that  in  its  journey  through 
the  office  a  policy  did  not  require  the  actual  presence  of  a  clerk 
or  a  messenger;  (2)  the  analysis  of  interviews  showed  that 
no  direct  line  of  communication  was  possible  so  long  as  the 
departments  were  housed  in  separate  rooms.  The  plan  of 
reorganization  proposed,  among  other  things,  that  all  depart- 
ments handling  the  make-up  of  the  policy  should  be  located 
in  one  open  room,  as  illustrated  in  the  floor  plan  shown  in 
Figure  12,  and  that  mechanical  overhead  conveyors  should 
be  used  as  a  means  of  intercommunication.  The  final  out- 
come of  the  reorganization  was  to  reduce  the  time  required 
to  get  out  a  policy  from  nearly  3  days  under  the  old  method 
to  3  hours  under  the  new  method. 




Adaptation  of  Building  to  Office  Use 

•  Since  most  offices  do  not  occupy  whole  buildings  their  lay- 
out is  not  a  primary  consideration  in  the  construction  of  the 
building  itself.  On  the  contrary  it  is  a  matter  which  is  deter- 
mined more  or  less  by  existing  conditions.  A  business  venture 
rarely  starts  with  a  large  office  force.  Usually  it  begins  its 
work  of  keeping  records  and  getting  out  correspondence  in  a 
few  rented  rooms  in  an  ''office  building."  If  it  is  a  manufactur- 
ing or  merchandising  concern,  the  office  will  probably  occupy 
a  few  rooms  in  the  factory  or  store.  Even  large  business 
organizations,  such  as  insurance  companies,  seldom  occupy  all 
the  office  space  in  the  buildings  called  by  their  names,  and 
when  such  a  concern  opens  a  branch  office,  the  branch  follows 
the  methods  of  the  smaller  concerns — it  moves  into  an  exist- 
ing building  which  is  remodeled  to  suit  its  particular  require- 

But  these  limitations  imposed  upon  the  office  layout  are 
not  so  great  as  one  might  at  first  suppose,  unless  the  building 
is  old  or  unsuited  for  office  purposes.  Owners  of  modem 
buildings  generally  consider  the  basic  questions  of  light,  heat, 
sanitation,  and  service  requirements  in  so  far  as  they  are  de- 
pendent uporf- materials,  construction,  and  the  design  of  the 
building.  When  the  requirements  of  a  new  tenant  call  for  a 
different  layout  than  that  existing  in  the  dej)artmental  arrange- 
ment, the  walls  and  partitions  can  be  readily  removed  and  re- 
built to  conform  to  the  desired  plan.  In  most  cases  when 
office  buildings  are  used  for  the  first  time,  a  tenant  has  the 
aided  advantage  of  directing  the  layout  before  any  partitions 



are  erected,  since  the  whole  floor  space  is  open  and  free  from 
obstruction.  Disregarding  for  the  present  the  factors  of  lay- 
out, location,  and  construction  of  the  building,  let  us  consider 
the  office  location  from  the  point  of  view  of  the  great  majority 
of  office  managers  who  are  confronted  with  the  practical 
problem  of  providing  new  quarters,  or  of  increasing  the  effi- 
ciency of  the  old  office.  Before  a  decision  is  made  many  con- 
siderations must  be  weighed  carefully — some  pertaining  to 
outside  influences  and  policies,  others  relating  to  the  internal 
factors  of  space,  control,  and  dispatch.  A  consideration  of 
outside  factors  is  first  necessary. 

The  Location  of  the  Office  Building 

One  of  the  first  points  to  consider  in  selecting  an  office 
is  the  suitability  of  the  location  to  special  needs.  Nearness  to 
the  post  office,  for  example,  is  to  some  firms  such  an  important 
consideration  that  the  search  for  premises  is  confined  within 
narrow  limits.  Then  again  proximity  to  the  railroad  station 
may  be  the  determining  factor  for  a  business  depending  upon 
the  visits  of  out-of-town  buyers  for  much  of  its  trade.  Near- 
ness to  sources  of  supply  or  channels  of  distribution  may  be 
another  factor.  An  office  located  in  an  out-of-the-way  place 
generally  finds  itself  with  inconvenient  banking  connections, 
with  less  opportunity  for  seeing  salesmen,  and  lacking  the  nec- 
essary contact  with  similar  or  allied  industries.  In  general, 
districts  given  up  to  other  lines  of  business  should  be  avoided. 

Effect  of  Locality  on  Reputation 

After  the  district  has  been  decided  upon,  the  name  of  the 
street  should  be  carefully  considered.  In  some  lines  a  New 
York  address  on  Broadway,  Fifth  Avenue,  or  Wall  Street, 
has  a  special  significance.  A  Fifth  Avenue  address  suggests 
"tone"  and  exclusiveness.  A  Wall  Street  number  reflects  the 
prestige  of  its  financial  environment.     Publishers  of  books  of 


literary  merit  generally  seek  the  Fifth  Avenue  environment 
while  the  high-grade  business  book  company  looks  upon  its 
office  in  the  financial  district  as  one  of  its  big  assets.  A  cor- 
respondence school,  with  its  office  situated  in  University 
Place,  has  an  asset  which  it  would  not  have  if  its  door  opened 
on  the  Bowery.  Perhaps  a  business,  even  more  than  a  person, 
is  judged  by  the  company  it  keeps. 

Effect  of  Reputation  on  Business 

Another  consideration  is  the  reputation  of  the  building. 
Some  landlords  are  careless  in  regard  to  the  tenants  they 
accept,  with  the  consequence  that  in  the  public  mind  the  street 
number  or  the  name  of  the  building  is  synonymous  with  get- 
rich-quick  schemes.  As  the  old  adage  that  "birds  of  a  feather 
flock  together"  is  firmly  rooted  in  the  public  mind,  it  is  impor- 
tant to  give  proper  consideration  to  such  a  prejudice,  if  it 
exists.  The  reputation  of  a  building  may  affect  the  credit  rat- 
ing of  its  tenants.  One  concern  selling  an  office  specialty  in 
wide  demand,  refuses  to  accept  orders  unaccompanied  by  a 
remittance  from  occupants  of  certain  buildings.  Salesmen 
are  given  a  list  of  these  buildings  and  are  prohibited  from 
soliciting  orders  therein.  The  list  has  not  been  made  up  from 
hearsay,  but  is  based  upon  an  analysis  of  the  concern's  ac- 
counts with  firms  located  in  large  office  buildings.  This 
brought  out  that  the  risk  in  the  case  of  some  buildings  was  too 
great  to  permit  the  acceptance  of  further  credit  orders,  the 
price  of  the  article  being  too  small  to  justify  an  elaborate  in- 
vestigation of  credit  rating.  No  attempt  was  made  to  separate 
the  sheep  from  the  goats. 

As  a  rule,  buildings  in  which  light  manufacturing  is  per- 
mitted should  be  avoided,  unless  such  manufacture  is  com- 
plementary to  the  office  work  and  of  prime  importance.  The 
service,  in  such  cases,  is  generally  poor  and  the  surroundings 
usually  lack  refinement.     In  selecting  an  office  the  nature  of 


one's  neighbors'  business  must  be  considered,  because  of  the 
effect  it  may  have  upon  the  prestige  of  a  concern.  For  the 
same  reason  old  buildings  should  be  avoided.  They  are  de- 
pressing in  their  effect  on  workers. 

It  is  not  to  be  inferred  from  the  above  that  the  largest 
and  newest  building  is  always  the  best.  A  room  or  two  on 
the  top  floor  of  a  modern  skyscraper  may  be  so  remote  as  to 
consume  a  great  deal  of  time  in  coming  and  going — incon- 
venient for  both  employers  and  employees.  The  listings  on 
the  board  may  be  so  numerous  that  the  firm  name  cannot  be 
readily  found.  Then  again,  in  the  more  modern  offices  front- 
door and  window  advertising  is  not  permitted  and  it  may  be 
advantageous  to  announce  one's  name  boldly  to  the  public 
at  large. 

The  Service  of  the  Building 

In  selecting  the  building  some  regard  should  be  given  to 
the  service.  Is  the  elevator  service  adequate  to  handle,  with- 
out loss  of  time,  employees  and  visitors?  Is  there  an  all- 
night  elevator  service?  Is  ample  heat  provided  for  comfort 
during  the  coldest  months  of  the  year?  A  shivering  office 
force  is  not  conducive  to  good  discipline  or  cheerful  service. 
The  quality  of  the  janitor  service  and  the  sanitary  system 
should  be  investigated.  When  the  office  force  consists  mainly 
of  girls,  the  matter  of  rest  rooms  is  an  important  factor.  In 
the  modern  up-to-date  office  building  this  detail  is  generally 
well  taken  care  of. 

Location  Within  the  Building 

In  selecting  a  location  within  the  building  itself,  several 
factors  need  to  be  considered.  A  location  above  the  surround- 
ing buildings,  say  the  seventh  floor  and  over,  is  generally  the 
best.  The  fifth  floor  should  be  the  lowest  limit  if  the  street 
is  noisy.    As  to  outlook,  the  outside  distant  view  is  considered 


preferable.  The  outside  view  over  a  large  court  is  the  next 
best,  while  the  outlook  upon  a  small  court  is  the  least  satis- 
factory. If  choice  is  possible  as  to  exposure,  the  east  is  gen- 
erally found  best,  north  a  second  best,  with  south  following 
as  a  third.  The  west,  because  of  the  afternoon  sun,  is  con- 
sidered least  satisfactory. 

It  must  be  remembered  that  every  office  building  has  both 
advantages  and  disadvantages  which  need  to  be  weighed 
against  each  other  and  a  balance  struck  in  conformity  with 
the  needs  of  the  business. 

Access  to  Supplies  and  Equipment 

The  influences  which  induce  factories  of  like  kind  to 
"hive"  in  one  locality,  such  as  the  hat  factories  congregated 
in  the  vicinity  of  Astor  Place,  New  York,  are  at  work  when 
the  business  man  seeks  an  office  location.  A  district  filled 
with  office  buildings  makes  it  possible  for  certain  clerical 
activities  to  be  carried  on  therein  with  the  maximum  economy. 
It  is  obviously  more  economical  for  business  in  general  to 
have  the  big  typewriter  companies,  with  their  repair  shops, 
supply  rooms,  and  expert  machinists,  and  the  office  supply 
houses  with  their  thousand  and  one  items,  all  located  within 
call,  than  it  would  be  if  the  services  they  rendered  were  de- 
layed by  distance  or  their  specialized  work  could  not  be  pro- 
cured locally.  A  big  office  supply  house  performs  the  same 
kind  of  function  for  the  business  man  that  the  bank  does. 
The  bank  carries  the  minimum  amount  of  currency  required 
to  meet  the  average  demand  and  can  afford  to  employ  special- 
ists to  handle  the  business  of  special  departments.  The  office 
supply  house  carries  the  minimum  stock  necessary  to  fulfill 
the  daily  demand  and  also  offers  the  expert  service  which  is 
alone  possible  when  specialization  can  be  made  to  pay.  By 
studying  the  demand  of  the  district  for  repairs  and  new 
machines,  correspondence  supplies,  and  the  multitudinous  re- 


quirements  in  office  stationery,  supply  houses  can  carry  stocks 
with  notable  savings  in  storage,  handling,  and  distribution  for 
all  parties  concerned. 

Advantage  of  Quick  Access  to  Supplies 

How  advantageous  this  is  to  the  office  centrally  located, 
can  easily  be  seen.  Thus,  in  the  office  of  one  large  trust  com- 
pany, only  a  two  or  three  weeks'  supply  of  stationery  and 
other  materials  is  ordinarily  carried,  because  whefi  the  bins 
run  low  they  can  be  replenished  within  a  few  hours  from  near- 
by supply  houses  When  office  space  rents  from  one  to  two 
dollars  a  square  foot,  every  inch  taken  up  by  supplies  unnec- 
essarily carried  adds  to  the  overhead  of  the  business.  There- 
fore, when  outside  and  cheaper  localities  are  being  compared 
with  those  of  the  acknowledged  business  centers,  the  extra 
space  needed  to  carry  and  care  for  stock,  the  delays  which 
arise  in  emergency,  and  the  less  expert  character  of  the  help, 
etc.,  should  be  weighed  against  the  savings  in  these  respects 
offered  by  the  numerous  concerns  which  cater  to  the  mechan- 
ical and  supply  sides  of  modern  business. 

Relation  of  Location  to  Getting  and  Keeping  Employees 

The  first  question  a  prospective  employee  asks  himself 
when  reading  "Help  Wanted"  advertisements  is,  "What's  the 
salary?"  the  second,  "Where  is  it  situated?"  To  hundreds  of 
businesses  in  New  York  and  other  large  cities,  the  facilities 
for  hiring  the  right  kind  of  employees  and  keeping  them  when 
hired  is  the  determining  factor  of  their  location  "in  the  heart 
of  the  metropolitan  district."  It  is  common  knowledge  in 
New  York  that  an  office  in  Manhattan,  say  within  walking 
distance  of  Forty-second  Street,  Astor  Place,  or  Battery 
Place  subway  stations,  can.  secure  employees  from  the  Bronx 
and  from  Brooklyn  with  greater  facility  than  it  could  if  the 
office  were  situated  in  the  Bronx  or  Brooklyn.     Probably  no 



more  definite  reason  can  be  given  for  this  than  the  "lure"  of 
certain  localities. 

Office  location  should  also  be  judged  from  the  point  of 
transportation  service.  Dependability,  carrying  capacity,  and 
fares  should  not  be  lost  sight  of.  Time  lost  in  tardiness,  the 
sapping  of  the  employees'  energies  by  hanging  to  a  strap  from 
thirty  minutes  to  an  hour  and  even  more  in  a  crowded  and 
poorly  ventilated  car,  are  matters  worth  considering.  One 
New  York  down-town  employer  considered  that  it  paid  him 
to  specialize  on  Staten  Island  clerks  since  the  ferry  service 
provided  comfortable  and  restful  transportation,  while  the 
half-hour  or  more  in  the  fresh  air  acted  as  a  tonic  both  before 
and  after  the  day's  work. 

Noise,  Dust,  and  Odors 

The  manager  of  a  New  York  office  noted  that  the  effi- 
ciency of  his  force  fell  off  fully  25  per  cent  on  Fridays.  The 
odor  of  fried  fish,  rising  from  a  restaurant  below,  continually 
diverted  the  minds  of  the  workers,  brought  out  frequent  ejac- 
ulations of  disgust,  and  so  irritated  the  office  force  that  it  was 
thought  to  be  cheaper  to  move  into  other  quarters  at  an  in- 
crease in  rent. 

Noise  is  another  factor  which  handicaps  the  concentration 
of  the  office  worker  and  irritates  his  nerves.  Not  only  is 
this  true  of  the  force  in  general,  but  especially  of  the  persons 
whose  duties  call  them  into  frequent  conferences  or  inter- 
views. Committee  rooms  should  never  be  exposed  to  the  con- 
stant rumble,  shrieks,  and  cries  of  the  street.  The  effort  to 
talk  against  such  distractions  is  wearing  in  the  extreme. 

While,  adequate  light  and  ventilation  are  usually  thought 
of  as  necessary  requirements  for  an  efficient  office,  noise  and 
dust  are  given  little  attention.  Dust  is  not  only  a  carrier  of 
germs  but  it  makes  working  conditions  uncomfortable.  Desks, 
furniture,  papers,  and  machines  covered  with  grit  breed  in- 


difference  to  neatness,  accuracy,  and  many  other  virtues  of  an 
efficient  work  place.  The  matter  of  dust  prevention  is  re- 
lated to  that  of  ventilation.  Unless  special  provision  is  made, 
the  windows  that  serve  for  ventilation  may  admit  noise  and 
dust  enough  to  counterbalance  the  good  effects  of  fresh  air. 

The  Location  of  the  Factory  Ofhce 

Much  would  be  gained  if  more  attention  were  given  to  the 
location  of  factory  offices.  When  a  factory  is  planned  the 
attention  is  focused  naturally  upon  production,  the  office  re- 
quirements are  frequently  slighted,  and  as  a  consequence  they 
seldom  fit  the  business  Moreover,  any  effort  to  better  office 
conditions  is  generally  confined  to  the  search  for  a  more 
commodious  or  convenient  floor  or  a  rearrangement  of  the  de- 
partments in  the  factory  building.  Seldom  does  the  alterna- 
tive exist,  or  if  it  exists  will  be  taken,  of  moving  into  a  new 
office  building.  It  is  highly  important  accordingly  to  find  the 
best  place  available  within  the  building. 

That  part  of  the  building  which  houses  the  co-ordinating 
activities  of  a  factory  should  protect  the  clerical  workers 
from  untoward  conditions  as  well  as  provide  for  the  safety  of 
valuable  records.  It  is  not  enough  for  the  building  to  be  fire- 
proof or  slow  burning.  Thoroughly  isolated  vaults  should 
also  be  provided  for  records,  drawings,  and  the  like.  If  the 
factory  floors  are  wooden,  the  vault  floors  at  least  should  be 
of  concrete  and  the  walling-in  structures  so  separated  from 
the  rest  of  the  surroundings  that  a  general  fire  would  still 
leave  the  vault  intact.  Natural  lighting,  isolation  from  out- 
side disturbances,  safety  against  fires — these  are  factors  which 
need  to  be  given  the  same  careful  consideration  in  the  design 
and  construction  of  the  office  departments  that  is  given  to  the 
shops  and  other  production  departments. 

In  a  multistory  factory  building  the  location  of  the  office 
within  the  factory  itself  vitally  affects  the  efficiency  of  the 


clerical  force.  Dust  and  noise  must  be  coped  with  at  short 
range  and  constant  contact  with  the  factory  operations  pro- 
vided for.  Experience  proves  that  an  intermediate  floor 
meets  the  latter  requirements  better  than  one  at  the  top  or  bot- 
tom of  the  building.  If  the  building  is  not  made  of  concrete, 
many  devices  are  employed  to  lessen  the  annoyance  of  noise, 
such  as  the  use  of  suspended  ceilings  of  matched  boards,  metal 
lath  and  plaster,  stamped  metal,  or  other  light  and  suitable 

When  the  outside  factors  are  detrimental  to  the  location 
of  an  office,  an  analysis  regarding  the  advantages  of  a  differ- 
ent location  should  be  made  and  weighed  against  the  expendi- 
tures involved  in  removal.  If  the  office  force  works  under 
any  of  the  handicaps  of  noise  and  dust,  or  lack  of  light,  space, 
and  air,  the  necessary  outlay  required  to  remove  these  draw- 
backs should  be  regarded  as  a  sound  business  investment. 

Provision  for  Future  Expansion 

If  every  business  man  had  capital  enough  to  meet  all  the 
requirements  which  he  sees  will  be  necessary  for  the  future 
expansion  of  his  business,  there  would  be  little  need  of  caution- 
ing him  against  precipitate  decision  in  the  matter  of  office  loca- 
tion and  layout.  But  the  majority  of  businesses  start  with  a 
limited  amount  of  capital  and  are  usually  compelled  to  meet 
extensions  out  of  income  or  from  borrowings  dependent  upon 
the  credit  which  the  profit  insures.  As  a  consequence  not  much 
thought  is  given  to  the  question  of  expansion,  and  whenever 
it  does  force  itself  to  the  front  it  is  deferred  with  the  thought, 
"This  bridge  will  be  crossed  when  we  come  to  it." 

Probably  no  expenditure  is  so  grudgingly  incurred  as  that 
on  the  office.  It  is  generally  referred  to  as  "non-productive"' 
and  consequently  office  extensions  are  usually  the  last  thing 
to  be  considered.  Yet  future  needs  are  not  difficult  to  antici- 
pate and  can  be  provided  for  without  an  expenditure  dispro- 


portionate  to  the  benefits  derived.  When  the  office  is  rented, 
the  manager  should  see  if  future  space  requirements  can  prob- 
ably be  met  by  the  leasing  of  other  rooms  or  floors  in  the  same 
building.  If  this  can  be  satisfactorily  done,  then  he  can  insure 
future  requirements  by  taking  an  option  on  such  space  as,  in 
his  judgment,  will  be  required  within  the  next  two  or  three 
years.  By  that  time  the  business  will  probably  have  struck 
its  stride  and  be  showing  the  natural  pace  of  its  progress. 

In  case  a  building  is  especially  designed  for  the  office  force, 
there  is  no  excuse  for  the  short-sightedness  that  fails  to  pro- 
vide for  future  growth.  This  does  not  mean  that  a  large 
outlay  in  buildings  and  equipment  need  be  made  long  in  ad- 
vance of  requirements,  but  that  the  building  should  be  so  con- 
structed as  to  permit  of  additions  being  made  with  economy 
and  without  unnecessary  delays  which  are  expensive  because 
they  encumber  progress. 

A  case  in  point  is  to  omit  a  basement  in  the  original  plan 
of  construction.  Later  on,  the  accumulation  of  records, 
dead  files,  and  catalogues  or  some  new  need  calls  for  extra 
storage  room.  A  basement  is  the  best  and  cheapest  location 
for  such  material,  but  to  excavate  after  the  building  is  erected 
costs  from  two  to  three  times  as  much  as  to  provide  for  it  in 
the  first  place. 



The  Form  of  the  Lease 

After  the  preliminary  negotiations  regarding  the  renting 
of  office  space  have  been  satisfactorily  concluded,  the  question 
of  signing  the  agreement  in  legal  form  comes  up  for  considera- 
tion. The  landlord  wants  to  bind  the  tenant  to  occupy  the 
premises  at  a  certain  rental  for  a  definite  period,  subject  to 
conditions  which  are  agreed  upon.  The  tenant  wants  to  be 
assured  of  a  permanent  place  of  business  from  which  he  can- 
not be  removed  during  a  specified  time,  and  that  the  conditions 
stipulated  in  the  agreement  shall  be  fulfilled.  After  a  lease  is 
made  out  the  rent  cannot  be  raised,  except  as  provided  for  in 
the  lease. 

The  lease  may  be  oral  or  written.  In  many  states  it  must 
be  in  writing,  if  for  more  than  one  year.  In  some  states  it 
is  not  necessary  that  it  should  be  in  writing,  unless  the  tenancy 
is  to  run  for  three  years  or  more.  But  regardless  of  what  the 
legal  requirements  may  be,  common  prudence  dictates  that 
the  rights  and  obligations  of  each  party  be  definitely  recorded. 
Duplicate  copies  of  the  lease  are  usually  made  so  that  each 
party  may  have  a  copy. 

Points  Covered  by  the  Lease 

Leases  generally  include  and  cover  the  following  essen- 
tials : 

1.  Names  of  the  parties  to  the  contract. 

2.  Date  of  the  contract. 



3.  The  date  and  sometimes  the  hour  at  which  the  term 

begins  and  expires. 

4.  Description  or  designation  of  the  space  leased. 

5.  The   rental  and   method  of  payment.     Usually   the 

annual  rent  is  stated,  subdivided  into  smaller  units 
to  be  paid  on  specified  dates. 

6.  Provisions  regarding  the  rights  and  obligations  of 

each  party  and  what  will  be  held  to  nullify  the  con- 

7.  Signature  of  both  parties  to  the  contract. 

8.  Acknowledgment  before  a  notary  when  required  by 


The  Wording  of  the  Lease 

As  practically  all  leases  are  drafted  by  attorneys  represent- 
ing the  landlord,  the  document  is  usually  so  worded  as  to 
protect  his  interests  in  every  way — sometimes  to  the  disad- 
vantage of  the  tenant.  It  is  true  tliough  that  tenants  are  not 
always  financially  responsible,  and  that  their  property  may 
be  protected  from  execution  under  some  exemption  statute; 
whereas  the  building  serves  as  security  for  any  claims  against 
the  landlord.  If  the  tenant  should  break  the  terms  of  the 
lease,  causing  a  loss  to  the  landlord,  the  latter  may  obtain  a 
judgment  but  find  that  he  cannot  collect. 

In  most  states  office  furniture  and  fixtures  cannot  be  held, 
if  the  tenant  sets  up  the  claim  that  they  are  essential  to  him 
in  earning  a  living.  For  this  reason  the  landlord  makes  the 
terms  and  it  is  very  difficult  for  the  tenant  to  have  any  of  the 
important  provisions  of  the  lease  changed.  IMoreover,  the 
various  points  covered  in  the  agreement  are  generally  those 
that  have  been  legally  tested,  and  the  landlord  does  not  want 
to  run  the  risk  of  inserting  other  clauses  which  cannot  be 
enforced  or  the  effect  of  which  may  be  uncertain.  Minor 
points  may,  however,  be  conceded,  depending  upon  the  circum- 


stances  of  the  case  and  the  attitude  of  the  landlord.  What- 
ever the  form  of  the  lease,  the  tenant  should  carefully  consider 
just  what  the  various  provisions  entail,  otherwise  he  may  sign 
his  name  to  a  document  that  is  at  variance  with  the  verbal 
agreement;  or  bind  himself  by  certain  provisions  which, 
though  ostensibly  just,  may  by  their  implication  run  counter 
to  his  business  plans. 

Authority  of  Agent  or  Broker 

The  parties  to  a  lease  are  the  landlord,  or  the  owner  who 
lets  the  property,  and  the  tenant  who  rents  it.  A  renting 
agent  is  generally  given  the  authority  to  rent  property,  to  re- 
ceive the  rent,  and  to  give  a  receipt  for  the  money  collected 
in  the  name  of  the  landlord.  The  extent  of  the  authority  of 
the  agent  depends  upon  the  agreement  between  him  and  the 
landlord.  If  the  landlord  acquiesces  in  the  acts  of  his  agent, 
the  latter's  authority  is  implied  or  established.  If  the  agent 
is  only  appointed  to  rent  and  collect  rent,  he  has  no  authority 
to  consent  to  a  transfer  of  the  lease  when  the  occupancy  is  for 
a  term  of  more  than  one  year  and  under  seal.  An  agent 
generally  is  given  authority  to  allow  deductions  to  be  made 
from  the  rent  for  the  cost  of  minor  repairs,  but  not  for  ex- 
tensive improvements — such  as  the  removal  or  setting  up  of 
partitions,  painting  and  plastering,  etc.  The  agent  has  no 
authority  to  execute  a  lease  unless  express  power  to  do  so  is 
given  him  by  the  landlord.  In  New  York  the  agent  may  in- 
stitute dispossess  proceedings  to  recover  possession  of  the 

Payment  of  Rent  to  an  Agent 

An  agent  authorized  to  receive  payment  must  receive  it  in 
money  and,  ordinarily,  only  when  it  becomes  due  and  not  be- 
fore. He  has  no  authority  to  commute  the  debt  for  any  other 
consideration,  or  to  compound  or  release  it  on  composition, 


or  submit  it  to  arbitration.  If  the  agent  collects  the  rent 
before  it  is  due,  the  prepayment  does  not  discharge  the  liability 
of  the  tenant  unless  the  landlord  has  ratified  the  payment  or 
has  accepted  the  money  paid.  Payments  made  to  an  agent 
after  the  death  of  his  principal,  even  if  made  when  in  ignor- 
ance of  the  fact,  do  not  bind  the  estate.  This  legal  techni- 
cality seems  to  be  based  on  the  presumption  that  those  who 
deal  with  an  agent  knowingly  assume  the  risk  of  his  authority 
being  terminated  by  his  principal's  death,  without  notice  to 
them.  It  is  possible,  however,  so  to  word  the  lease  that  the 
estate  of  the  principal  cannot  recover  money  paid  to  his  agent 
in  good  faith  after  the  owner's  death.  The  tenant  is  not 
liable  to  an  agent  for  commission  unless  some  service  has  been 
performed  at  his  request,  or  unless  there  is  some  obligation, 
expressed  or  implied. 

The  Length  of  the  Lease 

The  term  of  the  lease  is  an  important  factor  to  consider. 
If  the  rent  is  low  and  the  space  available  is  sufficient  for 
expansion,  the  common  practice  is  to  secure  a  lease  for  three, 
five,  or  more  years.  The  tenant  is  then  assured  that  the 
rent  will  not  be  raised  during  that  period.  The  landlord,  on 
his  part,  is  generally  willing  to  sacrifice  the  possibility  of  a 
larger  rental  because,  during  the  period  of  the  lease,  he  is  put 
to  no  expense  in  connection  with  renting  the  office  nor  has 
he  to  fear  a  loss  through  vacancy.  On  the  other  hand,  if  the 
locality  should  deteriorate  during  the  period,  the  loss  would 
be  sustained  by  the  tenant.  Generally,  however,  if  the  loca- 
tion is  good  when  the  lease  is  signed,  it  is  not  likely  to  undergo 
any  radical  change  during  a  short  space  of  time,  say  three  or 
five  years.  Office  rents,  as  a  general  rule,  tend  to  rise  with 
the  increasing  cost  of  materials  and  labor  and  the  growth  of 

Some  leases  provide  for  an  ascending  scale  of  rental  if  the 


lease  is  for  a  long  period.  This  metbod  of  providing  for  a 
possible  rise  in  rental  value  is  more  or  less  a  speculation,  with 
the  risk  thrown  on  the  tenant.  Unless  there  are  other  obvious 
advantages  connected  with  the  renting  of  the  premises  besides 
that  of  price,  a  lease  of  this  kind  is  a  rather  risky  proposition. 

The  Renewal  of  the  Lease 

Another  important  point  to  consider  is  the  privilege  of  re- 
newal at  the  same  rental.  If  this  clause  is  inserted,  it  is  for 
the  tenant  to  decide  whether  he  wants  to  continue  the  occu- 
pancy or  not.  If  the  prices  prevailing  at  the  time  of  the 
expiration  of  the  lease  are  higher  than  the  rental  stipulated  in 
the  renewal  clause,  the  privilege  may  turn  out  to  be  a  valu- 
able asset.  If  in  addition  there  is  nothing  in  the  lease  to  pre- 
vent subletting,  it  may  be  profitable  for  the  tenant  to  sublet 
the  office.  If  the  business  should  be  sold,  the  renewal  privi- 
lege would  in  some  cases  be  an  important  consideration.  In 
most  cases,  however,  the  landlord  stipulates  for  a  higher  rental 
for  the  renewal  term,  as  the  privilege  at  best  is  one-sided  and 
in  favor  of  the  tenant. 

Length  of  Tenancy  Term 

There  are  three  kinds  of  leases  in  respect  to  duration — 
the  monthly  tenancy,  the  yearly  tenancy,  and  the  tenancy  at 
will.  The  monthly  tenancy  is  the  shortest  term  that  is  legally 
recognized.  In  practice,  it  is  a  self-renewing  month-to-month 
tenancy.  If  the  tenant  should  remain  one  day  beyond  the 
monthly  term,  he  is  responsible  for  the  month's  rent.  As  a 
rule  a  tenant  under  this  arrangement  must  be  given  one 
month's  notice  and  the  same  applies  to  the  giving  of  notice  to 
the  landlord.  In  New  York  the  statute  provides  for  only 
five  days'  notice.  Because  of  the  indefiniteness  and  short 
duration  of  the  monthly  term,  it  is  rarely  used  in  the  renting 
of  business  premises.     The  tenancy  for  a  number  of  years  is 


the  most  common  and  satisfactory  term,  the  lease  ending 
without  notice  on  the  last  day  of  the  term — usually  at  a  defi- 
nite hour.  If,  after  that  day  or  hour,  the  tenant  continues  to 
occupy  the  premises  the  occupancy  may  be  viewed  in  one  of 
three  ways :  The  landlord  may  consider  the  premises  to  be 
let  on  a  monthly  basis  until  a  new  lease  is  signed;  or,  in  the 
absence  of  any  agreement,  he  may  presume  that  the  tenant 
is  staying  for  another  year  upon  similar  terms  as  before;  or, 
if  the  tenant  is  considered  undesirable,  or  the  landlord  asks 
for  an  increase  in  rent  which  is  refused,  the  occupant  may  be 

The  tenancy  at  will  differs  from  other  leases  in  that  the 
term  is  indefinite  and  that  there  is  no  limit  to  the  length  of  the 
period.  The  rent  is  usually  paid  monthly,  but  differs  from 
the  monthly  tenancy  in  that  no  term  is  stated  in  the  lease. 
The  lease  can  be  terminated  at  will  by  the  landlord  or  the 
tenant.  In  New  York  City,  tenancies  at  will  end,  by  statute, 
on  May  i  each  year.  At  this  time  the  tenant  may  move  with- 
out notice  or  the  landlord  may  take  possession  in  the  same 

Reasons  for  Eviction 

A  tenant  is  required  to  pay  the  stipulated  rent  or  he  may 
be  evicted.  But  if  the  lease  is  broken  in  this  way  and  the 
landlord  afterward  accepts  any  part  of  the  rent  due,  the  ten- 
ant cannot  be  dispossessed.  The  only  remedy  in  this  case  is 
to  bring  suit.  A  tenant  is  required  to  keep  all  property  in  as 
good  condition  as  found,  reasonable  wear  and  tear  excepted. 
He  is  also  required  to  protect  the  landlord's  interest  and  give 
prompt  notice  of  matters  affecting  this  interest,  which  he 
learns  of  by  reason  of  his  occupancy. 

The  landlord,  on  his  part,  must  assure  the  tenant  of  quiet 
possession  of  the  premises  leased  and  must  protect  him  in 
that  possession.     If  the  landlord  should  take  possession  of 


the  whole  or  a  part  of  the  premises  during  the  term  of  the 
lease,  this  would  practically  amount  to  an  eviction  and  would 
constitute  a  breach  of  the  lease  on  the  part  of  the  landlord. 
The  tenant  need  not  pay  rent  thereafter  even  if  he  has  been 
evicted  from  only  a  part  of  the  premises.  If  the  landlord 
permits  anything  which  renders  the  property  unsuited  to  the 
purposes  for  which  it  was  rented,  this  is  termed  construc- 
tive eviction.  The  tenant  has  then  the  right  to  move  out  and, 
if  this  be  done  promptly,  to  refuse  to  pay  rent;  if  he  remains 
he  is  liable  for  the  rent. 

Liability  for  Maintenance  and  Repairc; 

When  the  landlord  is  responsible  for  the  maintenance  of 
hallways,  stairs,  etc.,  he  must  keep  them  in  usable  and  safe 
condition.  If  the  lease  does  not  provide  for  repairs  to  the 
premises  he  is  not  bound  to  make  them,  except  where  some 
defect  in  the  property  is  revealed  later  which  could  not  readily 
be  discovered  by  the  tenant  at  the  time  the  lease  was  signed. 
As  a  general  rule,  the  landlord  makes  all  repairs  which  are 
due  to  ordinary  wear  and  tear  and  which  are  required  to  keep 
the  property  from  deteriorating.  He  is  not  obliged  to  replace 
a  window  broken  by  the  tenant,  or  other  damage  done  by 
accident  or  otherwise  by  the  occupant  or  his  employees. 
Should  there  be  a  leak  in  the  water  or  the  sanitary  system  due 
to  poor  workmanship,  the  landlord  is  held  responsible.  But 
if  the  damage  is  caused  by  the  omission  or  commission  of 
some  act  on  the  part  of  the  tenant,  the  landlord  cannot  be 
held  responsible. 

The  extent  to  which  a  tenant  may  be  held  responsible  for 
necessary  repairs  depends  upon  the  express  stipulations  in  the 
lease.  If  no  such  provision  is  made,  he  is  only  liable  for 
those  repairs  found  necessary  because  of  his  own  or  his  em- 
ployees' acts.  In  the  absence  of  any  proviso  for  permanent 
repairs  in  the  lease,  the  tenant  is  not  liable  for  them. 


Assignment  and  Subletting 

In  the  absence  of  any  clause  prohibiting  the  assignment  of 
the  lease  or  the  subletting  of  the  premises,  the  lease  is  the 
tenant's  personal  property.  He  may  assign  or  mortgage  it  as 
a  lien  on  his  term  or  right  of  occupancy.  The  first  assignee 
may,  on  his  part,  assign  the  lease  to  some  other  person  and 
in  these  transactions  the  assignees  need  not  come  in  contact 
with  the  landlord  as  the  original  tenant  is  held  responsible. 
If,  however,  the  original  tenant  should  fail  to  pay  the  rent  and 
thereby  give  cause  for  the  ejectment  of  the  subtenant,  the 
latter  would  have  no  redress.  He  would  have  to  vacate  at  the 
option  of  the  landlord,  even  if  the  assignee  had  paid  his  rent 
in  full  to  the  original  tenant. 

Usually  the  lease  provides  that  it  shall  not  be  assigned  to 
others.  If  an  assignment  is  made  notwithstanding  the  pro- 
visions of  the  lease  and  the  landlord  accepts  payment  from 
the  assignee,  the  provision  is  deemed  to  have  been  waived. 
The  original  tenant,  while  bound  to  pay  the  rent  stipulated, 
is  entitled  to  be  credited  with  any  money  collected  from  the 
subtenant.  The  latter  cannot  be  held  for  the  rent  stipulated 
in  the  lease  unless  an  agreement  has  been  made  to  that  effect. 
The  subtenant  could,  however,  be  sued  for  a  fair  rental  for 
the  time  during  which  he  actually  occupied  the  premises. 

Termination  of  Lease 

A  lease  may  be  terminated  before  the  expiration  of  the 
term  by  voluntary  surrender  on  the  part  of  the  tenant,  if  the 
landlord  accepts  the  offer.  This  surrender  need  not  be  in 
writing  or  even  expressed;  it  may  be  implied  by  the  actions 
of  the  tenant  or  landlord.  All  that  is  necessary  is  that  the 
tenant  vacate  and  the  landlord  re-enter  the  premises  which, 
if  there  is  nothing  in  the  lease  to  the  contrary,  may  be  inter- 
preted as  an  acceptance.  Usually,  however,  some  provision 
is  made  in  the  lease  to  prevent  a  technicality — such  as  the  en- 


forcing  of  entrance  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  the  prop- 
erty— from  being  construed  as  terminating  the  lease. 

A  tenancy  may  also  be  terminated  by  the  breach  of  some 
condition  expressed  in  the  lease.  The  tenant  may  be  dis- 
possessed for  non-payment  of  rent  or  some  other  charge  which 
he  has  agreed  to  pay,  or  for  unlawful  use  of  the  premises.  If 
any  other  provision  of  the  lease  is  broken  before  the  term  has 
expired,  the  tenant  may  be  dispossessed  by  ejectment  pro- 
ceedings. These  are  generally  expensive  and  usually  some 
provision  is  made  whereby  the  landlord  is  given  the  right  to 
dispossess  the  tenant.  The  conditions  in  the  lease  which  do 
not  in  themselves  constitute  causes  for  ejectment  may  be 
drawn  up  in  such  a  form  that  the  condition,  when  violated,  is 
made  an  additional  rental  charge  if  it  is  reducible  to  money; 
if  it  cannot  be  expressed  in  monetary  terms  it  may  be  made 
to  modify  the  length  of  the  term. 



The  Factors  of  Time  and  Space  in  Judging  Efficiency 

The  manager  of  a  large  New  York  oJEfice  found  the  space 
required  for  the  work  of  the  general  correspondence  depart- 
ment to  be  seemingly  inadequate.  The  work,  he  at  first 
thought,  could  only  be  handled  properly  by  adding  more  space 
and  more  employees,  or  by  rearranging  the  space  now  occu- 
pied and  speeding  up  the  work  of  employees.  An  analysis 
of  functions  and  duties,  as  described  in  Chapter  IV,  showed 
that  in  each  executive  office  a  separate  stenographic  and  cleri- 
cal force  was  maintained.  Furthermore,  each  department 
felt  it  necessary  to  employ  help  enough  to  meet  the  require- 
ments of  the  "peak  load"  of  its  busiest  periods.  This  left  a 
number  of  workers  unemployed  during  a  considerable  part  of 
the  day.  The  manager  proved  to  himself  that  nearly  one- 
fourth  of  the  present  space  and  one-third  of  the  time  of 
workers  could  be  saved  by  a  complete  rearrangement  of  execu- 
tive offices  and  by  centralizing  the  work  of  stenographers  and 

Space  and  time  are  so  interwoven  in  all  problems  of  man- 
agement, that  no  final  judgment  of  the  efficiency  of  a  depart- 
ment or  other  production  unit  is  complete  without  the  con- 
sideration of  both  factors.  To  say  that  an  office  is  equipped 
with  the  most  modern  appliances  and  employs  75  expert 
stenographers  tells  nothing  about  its  efficiency  as  a  working 
force.  It  tells  no  more  than  a  statement  which  describes  a 
boy's  athletic  performance  by  saying  that  he  ran  100  yards. 
Not  until  we  inject  the  time  element  and  say  that  the  boy 
ran  100  yards  in  twelve  seconds,  are  we  able  to  judge  of  his 



performance.  So  with  an  office.  Not  until  we  know  that  its 
force  of  75  stenographers  can  turn  out  so  many  letters  a  day, 
or  handle  a  certain  amount  of  clerical  work  within  a  given 
time,  are  we  able  to  judge  of  its  efficiency. 

Routing  and  Scheduling 

In  speaking  of  the  working  efficiency  of  a  department  in 
factory  or  office,  when  we  wish  to  emphasize  the  importance 
which  the  space  factor,  i.e.,  the  arrangement  of  the  office,  plays 
in  the  expeditious  handling  of  work,  we  designate  the  flow  of 
work  by  the  term  "routing."  When  we  wish  to  speak  of  the 
element  of  time,  we  discuss  the  flow  of  work  in  terms  of  the 
''schedule."  Because,  among  factory  production  engineers, 
this  distinction  is  not  always  clearly  kept  in  mind,  confusion 
exists  in  the  use  of  the  terms.  The  difference  can  be  made 
perfectly  clear  by  taking  an  illustration  from  railroad  practice. 

First  the  road-bed  is  decided  upon  and  stations  are  located. 
This  is  the  basis  of  routing.  Next,  when  trains  are  run  over 
it,  a  time  for  leaving  and  a  time  for  arriving  at  stations  is 
set;  that  is,  a  schedule  is  arranged  by  which  trains  are  dis- 
patched. Thus  the  efficiency  of  the  railroad  is  measured  by 
the  directness  of  the  route  and  the  time  required  by  the  trains 
to  cover  it. 

In  planning  a  new  office  layout,  or  in  the  rearrangement  of 
an  existing  office,  it  is  necessary  to  consider  not  only  the  pres- 
ent and  future  space  that  will  be  required  by  the  departments, 
but  so  to  divide  the  space  that  the  layout  of  departments  and 
the  propinquity  of  one  to  the  other  will  be  based,  in  the  main, 
upon  the  flow  of  work  in  the  natural  sequence  of  its  opera- 
tions. This  cannot  be  done  without  the  close  analysis  of  office 
procedure  already  referred  to. 

When  speed  is  of  first  importance,  as  for  instance  when 
orders  must,  so  far  as  possible,  be  filled  on  the  day  they  are 
received,  the  allotment  of  space  and  its  arrangement  become 


most  essential.  Where  work  is  carried  on,  however,  in  a  more 
or  less  leisurely  fashion,  and  it  is  unimportant  whether  it  is 
finished  today  or  tomorrow,  the  layout  is  of  relatively  small 

For  example,  the  preparation  of  a  large  contract  by  the 
Bureau  of  Supplies  of  New  York  City  takes  i88  days  on  an 
average.  The  time  consumed  between  departments  is  rela- 
tively small  as  compared  with  the  length  of  time  taken  in  the 
departments  themselves.  Little  would  be  gained,  therefore, 
by  arranging  the  departments  to  conform  to  the  sequence  of 
operations  or  the  "flow  of  work."  On  the  other  hand,  speed 
may  be  the  essential  thing  to  be  gained,  even  at  the  expense 
of  the  convenience  and  comfort  of  workers.  Mail-order 
houses  make  it  a  rule  to  get  out  orders,  which  often  number 
thousands,  on  the  day  they  are  received.  Here  space  con- 
siderations are  of  prime  importance  in  saving  time.  Every 
foot  between  the  clerical  operations,  connected  with  filling 
these  orders,  counts.  The  routing  of  the  work  in  accordance 
with  the  sequence  of  operations  is  then  the  chief  consideration 
in  establishing  an  "express"  line  schedule. 

The  Simplest  Method  of  Planning 

Most  office  layouts  are  largely  haphazard  and  are  arrived 
at  by  a  series  of  makeshift  adjustments.  The  routing  of  the 
work,  the  establishment  of  schedules,  the  allotment  of  desk 
space  to  departments,  are  matters  dependent  upon  "business 
practice"  in  general.  Shipments  in  many  trades  run  "about 
ten  days  after  receipt  of  the  order."  The  routine  of  the 
office  runs  at  a  leisurely  pace.  Trial  balances  are  required 
only  once  a  month.     Financial  statements  are  made  annually. 

If  the  space  in  the  building  where  the  office  is  located  is 
already  arranged  in  a  certain  way  when  the  office  is  rented, 
the  simplest  planning  involves  the  placing  together  of  the  de- 
partments  most  closely   related  to   each  other.     The   book- 


keeping,  billing,  and  credit  offices  are  placed  in  close  proximity 
to  each  other  to  eliminate  waste  of  time  in  the  constant  inter- 
change of  information  and  to  avoid  the  temptation  to  let 
doubtful  credits  creep  in  because  the  credit  man  is  not  in 
convenient  proximity  to  the  bookkeeper,  or  the  like.  Such  a 
layout  is  feasible  in  even  a  small  office  where  the  partitions 
are  poorly  placed  and  where  the  departmental  arrangements 
depend  upon  years  of  growing  up  on  the  plan  of  Topsy.  A 
little  systematic  planning  in  such  a  case  will  be  worth  while 
even  if  it  is  confined  to  narrow  limits.  Illustrations  are 
legion,  but  one  will  suffice. 

Illustration  of  Faulty  Arrangement 

An  office  manager  was  sent  to  act  as  assistant  to  the  sales 
manager  of  a  branch  agency  which  had  found  it  difficult  to  get 
its  reports  through  on  time.  The  first  thing  the  assistant 
manager  did  was  to  chart  the  layout  of  the  office,  when  he  dis- 
covered the  conditions  illustrated  in  Figure  13. 

The  assistant  sales  manager's  desk  was  situated  at  the 
entrance.  He  was  thus  continually  interrupted  by  every  mes- 
senger or  visitor  who  came  in.  If  he  wished  to  confer  with 
the  manager,  a  long  trip  through  every  department  was  neces- 





File    Room 




Figure  13.     An  Office  Layout 
This  ofijee  is  an  example  of  fayJty  arrangement. 


sary,  thereby  not  only  losing  his  own  time  but  disturbing  the 
clerks  as  well.  The  file  room,  it  will  be  •  noticed,  was  so 
located  that  the  file  boy,  who  frequently  ran  on  outside 
errands,  had  to  pass  through  two  departments  and  the  assist- 
ant manager's  office  besides. 

The  order  of  the  office  work  was  next  studied.  It  was 
found  that  little  or  no  attention  was  paid  to  the  arrangement 
of  departments  or  desks  to  secure  sequence  of  operation.  Con- 
tracts and  orders  brought  in  through  Department  A  and  taken 
to  the  manager's  office  were,  after  inspection,  returned  again 
to  A  to  begin  operations. 

The  Effect  of  Rearrangement 

The  diagnosis  of  the  assistant  manager  was,  that  in  addi- 
tion to  poor  arrangement,  the  offices  were  too  crowded  and 
fresh  quarters  would  have  to  be  found  at  the  end  of  the  year. 
Meanwhile,  the  first  step  in  the  direction  of  reorganization 
was  to  base  the  arrangement  of  departments  and  desks  on  the 
flow  of  work.  To  this  end  the  assistant  manager's  desk  was 
placed  next  to  the  manager's  private  office.  Departments  A 
and  C  were  interchanged  and  the  desks  rearranged  to  permit 
the  flow  of  work  when  it  left  the  manager's  office  to  go  directly 
through  to  the  outer  office  where,  after  passing  through  the 
checker's  hands  in  A,  the  tonnage  clerk  in  B,  and  on  to  the 
billing  clerk  in  C,  it  was  filed.  The  file  boy's  work  was  so 
arranged  that  he  could  spend  part  of  his  time  at  C  to  answer 
inquiries.  Conditions  were  greatly  improved  by  these  simple 

Layout  of  a  New  Office 

Shortly  after  the  first  of  the  year  new  quarters  were  found 
for  the  agency  offices.  After  a  close  study  of  the  situation  in 
conjunction  with  an  architect,  the  floor  space  was  laid  out 
according  to  the  diagram  in  Figure  14. 




_y/  Clerks'    OFf/cE 


AssiSTAMT  Manager 

Stationery      /knd 


Figure  14.     An  Office  Layout 

Providing  for  executive's  office  and  centralized  clerical  department. 

In  this  layout  the  stationery  and  stock-room  was  placed 
out  of  the  direct  line  of  travel  in  the  office ;  the  stenographers 
were  all  put  in  one  department ;  the  manager  and  his  assistant 
were  provided  with  separate  private  offices;  and  all  the  clerks 
were  assembled  in  one  large  central  office  where  the  original 
idea  of  arranging  the  desks  according  to  functions  was  carried 
out.  The  company  also  acquired  the  use  of  part  of  the  hall- 
way of  the  building  by  having  the  freight  elevator  of  the 
building  open  into  the  stock-room.  That  year  the  office  not 
only  handled  more  business  than  formerly,  but  did  it  with 
one  clerk  less  and  the  consequent  saving  of  money. 

Layout  Based  on  Service  Facilities 

The  methods  to  be  followed  in  the  layout  of  a  large  office, 
even  though  it  may  occupy  many  floors,  are  fundamentally  the 
same  as  those  used  in  the  case  cited  above.  The  chief  aim 
should  be  to  save  space  and  time  through  a  geographical 
arrangement,  whereby  the  related  departments  and  operations 
are  enabled  to  work  closely  together.  The  important  factors 
to  be  considered  in  bringing  about  this  relationship  are :  ( i ) 
the  departmental  functions,  and  (2)  the  location  of  the  stairs, 
elevators,  chutes,  and  other  delivery  and  communicating  facili- 


The  layout  of  the  eleven-story  building  of  the  Y.  W.  C.  A. 
New  York  headquarters  shows  especially  how  the  facilities 
mentioned  in  the  second  factor  may  be  utilized  to  the  best 

At  either  end  of  each  floor  is  a  stairway  which  is  used  for 
short  trips  up  and  down,  saving  elevator  service  and  the  time 
lost  in  waiting  for  it.  About  midway  on  each  floor  is  the 
opening  of  the  chute  and  the  electric  dumb-waiter.  The  cen- 
tral position  of  these  facilities  makes  them  equally  accessible 
to  any  department  on  any  floor — often  an  important  service 
feature  in  determining  the  location  of  a  department.  Thus, 
the  filing  room  is  put  midway  down  the  corridor  and  on  the 
floor  where  the  automatic  dumb-waiter  comes  to  a  stop. 
The  mailing  room  is  on  the  same  floor  and  connected  with  the 
filing  room  by  a  door  and  slide.  This  last  room  contains  the 
terminus  of  the  chute  which  collects  all  the  outgoing  mail  and 
intercommunications.  Next  to  the  mailing  room  and  acces- 
sible to  the  chute  is  the  supply  department.  This  much  fre- 
quented room  is  also  situated  with  due  consideration  to  the 
elevator  and  stair  service.  Other  general  oflices  such  as  the 
central  stenographic  bureau  and  the  duplicating  department 
are  also  located  on  the  floor  where  the  automatic  dumb-waiter 
and  chute  end. 

This  grouping  accomplishes  many  things.  The  supply 
room  distributes  its  supplies  by  means  of  the  dumb-waiter  and 
chute;  the  file  clerks  can  send  immediately  the  correspondence 
called  for  to  any  floor  by  the  same  means;  and  when  corre- 
spondence is  returned  by  way  of  the  chute  it  is  shoved  through 
the  slide  door  into  the  filing  room.  It  is  said  that  errand 
service  in  this  eleven-story  building  is  reduced  to  the  equiva- 
lent of  one  person  on  a  twenty-minute  route  every  hour. 
Other  floor  and  between-floor  arrangements  have  been  planned 
with  the  same  purposes  in  mind,  i.e.,  of  saving  both  time  and 


Charting  the  Course  of  an  Order 

After  an  analysis  of  functions  and  duties  has  been  made, 
it  is  a  simple  matter  to  draw  up  a  floor  plan  of  the  office  on 
which  the  course  of  an  order  from  desk  to  desk  and  from  de- 
partment to  department  is  traced.  The  purpose  of  such  a 
chart  is  to  visualize,  as  it  were,  the  flow  of  work  which  largely 
centers  around  the  course  of  an  order.  With  the  defects  of 
the  existing  system  thus  clearly  shown,  a  new  floor  plan  can 
be  drawn  up  with  departments,  and  desks  within  departments, 
laid  out  so  far  as  possible  in  line  with  the  flow  of  work. 

The  ofiice  manager  of  one  concern,  after  making  an  ana- 
lytical survey,  drew  a  plan  of  the  office  on  a  large  piece  of 
cardboard,  using  colored  tacks  to  indicate  the  various  depart- 
ments, strings  of  dififerent  colors  to  represent  the  walls,  parti- 
tions, and  railings,  and  small  pieces  of  cardboard  cut  to  scale 
to  show  the  position  of  desks  and  equipment.  (See  Figure  15) 

An  analysis  of  the  movement  of  work  showed  that  after 
tlie  mail  was  opened  and  sorted,  orders  were  first  sent  the 
length  of  the  office  to  the  sales  manager's  private  room  for 
his  inspection.  After  this  they  returned  over  half  the  length 
of  their  journey  to  the  sales  record  clerk  for  the  purpose  of 
entry  on  the  sales  record  book.  Then,  if  one  of  the  partners 
happened  to  arrive  in  the  office  before  the  entry  was  com- 
pleted, they  again  covered  half  the  length  of  the  room  for  his 
inspection.  After  returning  for  the  entry  to  be  completed, 
they  were  switched  to  the  advertising  department  to  be 
checked  up  against  inquiries.  A  trip  to  the  correspondence 
section  of  the  office  followed  where  they  were  acknowledged, 
after  which  came  the  regular  routine  of  credit  inspection, 
order  filling,  and  so  on  to  the  billing  and  shipping  of  the 

The  dotted  lines  in  the  chart  show  the  zig-zag  course  of 
an  order  under  this  arrangement.  By  analyzing  the  opera- 
tions and  shifting  the  cardboards  representing  the  desks,  a  new 


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layout  was  drawn  up  which  eliminated  the  defects  and  loss  of 
time  due  to  the  wanderings  of  an  order  to  and  fro  throughout 
the  department.  Furthermore,  as  an  obvious  means  of  get- 
ting down  as  soon  as  possible  to  the  chief  business  of  the  day, 
multiple  copies  were  made  out  for  the  use  of  the  credit,  adver- 
tising, and  correspondence  departments  and  for  the  inspection 
of  executives  interested  in  the  orders.  Under  the  new 
arrangement,  the  desks  at  which  the  recording,  abstracting, 
numbering,  and  billing  were  carried  out  were  brought  close 
to  the  mailing  desk — as  illustrated  by  the  heavy  black  line  on 
the  floor  plan.  The  new  procedure  appreciably  cut  the  time 
required  to  get  out  the  orders. 

Scheduling  the  Order  Work 

In  general  the  time  needed  to  perform  the  work  connected 
with  a  specific  order,  depends  as  much  upon  the  lapses  of  time 
occurring  between  the  various  steps  into  which  the  work  is 
subdivided,  as  upon  the  actual  working  time.  The  elimina- 
tion of  an  operation  or  its  transference  to  another  department 
may  mean  a  saving  not  only  in  time  but  in  transportation  as 

Furthermore,  a  rearrangement  of  the  operations  may 
eliminate  accumulations  of  work  at  some  desks.  If  some 
operations  require  more  time  than  others,  care  should  be  taken 
in  selecting  their  positions  in  the  line  of  routed  work;  for  the 
speed  with  which  an  order  passing  through  several  hands 
can  be  routed,  depends  upon  either  the  operations  being  of 
equal  length,  or,  if  of  unequal  length,  then  the  shorter  opera- 
tions preceding  the  longer  ones.  A  careful  analysis  of  the 
work  generally  reveals  how  the  various  operations  can  be 
divided  or  combined  so  that  each  subdivision  or  unit  will 
consume  about  the  same  amount  of  time.  How  the  adjust- 
ments based  on  such  an  analysis  are  to  be  made  is  illustrated 
in  the  following  section. 


Division  of  Work  Into  Equal  Operations 

The  work  on  one  order  passing  through  a  certain  depart- 
ment required  seven  operations  performed  in  the  following 
time  and  sequence : 

1st  operation 3       minutes 

2nd  "  i'^> 

3rd  "  i>. 

4th  "  6 

5th  "  3 

6th  "  3 

7th  '•  7 

Total  time        25  " 

Theoretically  the  time  needed  to  perform  the  complete 
work  should  have  been  25  minutes,  but  a  study  of  the  actual 
office  practice  showed  that  some  of  the  shorter  operations 
tended  to  slow  down  unconsciously  as  they  waited  for  the 
longer  operations  to  be  finished.  The  routing  permitted  a  loss 
of  i>4  minutes  of  the  worker's  time  on  operations  2  and  3. 
as  in  neither  case  could  clerks  work  faster  than  -the  material 
was  supplied  to  them  by  operation  i.  Likewise  3  minutes 
were  lost  at  each  of  the  stations  5  and  6  owing  to  the  stoppage 
of  the  flow  at  operation  4.  At  best  the  operation  on  7  always 
left  work  undone  at  the  end  of  the  day  or  required  overtime 
work.  Three  minutes  lost  at  operations  2  and  3  and  6  min- 
utes at  operations  5  and  6  brought  the  actual  time  up  to  34 

These  two  conditions  were  remedied  or  much  improved  by 
adding  operators  to  the  slow  work  and  by  changing  the  se- 
quence of  operations.  A  study  of  the  case  revealed  the  fact 
that  number  4  was  an  inspection  operation,  which  in  no  way 
affected  5  and  6  and  could  be  performed  just  as  well  when 
placed  after  them.     Also  operations  2  and  3  could  be  com- 



bined  with  no  less  efficiency  since  each  simply  checked  certain 
items  on  the  order,  while  7  was  divided  into  two  operations 
and  the  operators  released  from  3  put  in  charge  of  one-half  of 
it.  By  making  these  changes  the  sequence  of  operations 
worked  out  as  follows : 

ist  operation 3 







double  force 

3     mmutes 


(combined  2 






(old  6) 


(old  4) 




(/2  0ld7) 

This  arrangement  eliminated  all  lost  time  due  to  unbalanced 
production  and  is  typical  of  the  method  usually  adopted.  In 
most  cases  a  close  study  will  reveal  faults  in  routing  which 
when  corrected  will  put  certain  rapidly  performed  operations 
together  and  certain  slow  ones  into  groups  by  themselves. 
This  may  be  the  only  way  the  problem  can  be  solved. 



Applying  the  Principle  of  Division  of  Labor 

In  recent  years  the  application  of  the  principle  of  division 
of  labor  has  brought  about  a  great  improvement  in  the  produc- 
tive capacity  of  the  office  force.  In  the  development  of  in- 
dustry it  was  natural  that  specialization  should  first  be  reached 
in  the  manufacture  of  goods.  Then,  as  large  surpluses  of 
stocks  accumulated,  the  processes  of  production  began  to  clog 
because  the  power  to  direct  and  organize  the  marketing  of 
goods  had  not  kept  pace  with  the  ability  to  make  them.  Busi- 
ness men  sought  a  remedy  in  adapting  the  same  principles  of 
the  division  of  labor  to  the  innumerable  office  activities  in- 
volved in  sales,  credits,  purchasing,  and  other  administrative 
functions  of  the  business.  This  adaptation  has  had  as  marked 
an  effect  on  the  business  office  as  in  the  factory,  and  the  result 
as  seen  in  the  organization  and  management  of  the  modern 
office  affords  an  equally  striking  example  of  the  efficient  man- 
agement of  diverse  activities. 

Three  important  developments  of  this  division  of  labor 
as  applied  to  the  modern  office  are : 

1.  The   increased   dexterity  or  skill   of   the   individual 

operators  who  have  become  specialists. 

2.  The  saving  of  time  which  would  otherwise  be  lost 

in  changing  from  one  occupation  to  another. 

3.  The    invention    of    innumerable    office    devices    and 

machines  which  not  only  cut  down  the  amount  of 
labor  but  enable  one  person  to  do  the  work  of 



Of  these  three  factors,  all  fundamental,  the  first  two  will 
be  considered  later  on.  At  present  the  part  which  equipment 
plays  in  a  properly  planned  and  maintained  office  will  be 

Automatic  Office  Work 

Much  of  the  routine  work  of  the  office  employee  resembles 
m  one  respect  that  of  the  factory.  The  tasks  of  both  fre- 
quently entail  reproductions  of  copies  from  a  model.  Work 
of  this  kind  can  be  done  equally  well  by  machines  at  a  great 
saving  in  labor  and  cost.  In  the  textile  mill  the  Jacquard 
loom  reels  off  harmonies  of  woven  patterns  with  no  more 
effort  or  attention  on  the  part  of  the  employee  than  a  school 
girl  may  give  to  an  electric  piano  player — and  all  on  the  same 
principle.  In  the  office  the  automatic  principle  has  recently 
been  applied  to  copy  work  by  the  typewriter.  By  its  means 
an  "original  copy"  may  be  sent  out  to  every  person  on  a  list 
of  several  hundred  names.  These  letters  are  individually 
written  on  an  ordinary  typewriter,  electrically  operated.  Al- 
though the  main  body  of  the  letter  is  the  same,  provision  is 
made  for  the  insertion  of  names,  prices,  date,  or  whole  para- 
graphs of  interest  only  to  the  actual  recipient. 

A  sales  manager  who  sends  daily  letters  to  the  men  in 
the  field  is  thus  enabled  to  dictate  a  letter  covering  some 
general  policy  or  item  of  common  interest,  and  yet  at  the 
same  time  insert  such  personal  references  as  may  be  neces- 
sary, into  letters  to  certain  salesmen.  The  stenographer  who 
takes  the  original  letter  needs  only  to  indicate  the  special  in- 
sertions under  the  names  of  the  men  to  receive  them.  When 
the  stencil  (a  paper  reel  very  similar  in  appearance  to  the 
kind  used  in  a  piano  player)  is  cut,  a  similar  economical 
method  is  followed.  In  operation  one  girl  can  easily  run 
three  automatic  machines  and  do  the  work  of  ten  average 


Specialization  in  the  Use  of  Machinery 

With  the  introduction  of  the  machine  method  into  the 
office  many  of  the  old  standards  of  procedure  have  been  ehm- 
inated.  Handwriting  has  been  superseded  by  the  typewriter 
and  dictaphone.  The  messenger  boy  has  been  outdistanced 
by  the  telephone  and  telautograph.  The  mathematical  prodi- 
gies have  been  displaced  by  adding  machines.  Even  old 
standard  processes,  like  bookkeeping,  are  being  revised  funda- 
mentally. For  over  500  years  bookkeepers  followed  time- 
worn  methods.  Their  work  was  one  continuous  series  of 
postings,  checkings,  and  recheckings,  "the  trial  balance"  al- 
ways looming  up  as  a  nightmare  at  the  end  of  every  month. 
Now  comes  the  bookkeeping  machine  which  eliminates  the 
burden  of  tne  trial  balance,  relieves  the  bookkeeper  of  ledger 
posting,  and  puts  all  previous  aids  and  devices  for  preventing 
errors  and  proving  footings  into  a  class  of  mere  makeshifts. 

New  Devices  as  an  Aid  to  Efficiency 

An  office  may  fall  far  behind  a  competitor  by  not  watch- 
ing for  new  uses  to  which  a  well-established  appliance  may 
be  put,  as  well  as  by  delaying  too  long  the  introduction  of 
entirely  new  devices.  The  portable  typewriter  has  added 
much  to  the  effectiveness  and  value  of  the  reports  of  salesmen 
and  other  field  men.  "We  find,"  says  Charles  B.  Moore, 
Vice-President  of  the  Oxweld  Railroad  Service  Company, 
"that  reports  written  by  our  18  men  using  portable  typewriters 
are  superior  to  hand-written  reports,  since  they  not  only  save 
the  time  of  the  traveling  experts  who  write  them  but  the  time 
of  the  home  office  where  they  are  studied,  filed,  and  referred 
to.  Carbon  copies  provided  by  the  typewriter  are  kept  by  the 
men  for  personal  use  and  are  available  if  the  other  reports 
are  lost." 

Another  case,  typical  of  the  adaptation  of  mechanical  means 
to  the  speeding  up  of  clerical  work,  is  the  experience  of  the 


Toledo  Machine  and  Tool  Company,  which  substituted  the 
addressograph  for  the  common  practice  of  copying  by  hand 
all  the  names,  amounts,  dates,  and  clock  numbers  onto  pay 
sheets.  The  new  mechanical  method  enabled  the  firm  to 
change  from  a  two  weeks'  pay-day  period  to  a  weekly  basis 
with  a  saving  in  time  and  accuracy,  since  the  machine  proved 
to  be  ten  times  as  fast  as  the  hand  or  typewritten  method. 

Specialization  in  the  Use  of  Accessories 

How  closely  a  manager  of  a  department  must  study  the 
technique  of  his  departmental  activities  is  indicated  by  the 
growth  of  highly  specialized  accessories  in  almost  every  line. 

When  carbon  paper  took  the  place  of  copy  clerks  the  sala- 
ries of  a  whole  class  of  employees  were  saved.  Further  saving 
may  still  be  made  by  a  selection  of  the  grade  or  quality  best 
suited  to  some  particular  operation.  There  is  a  pencil  carbon 
paper,  for  example,  as  well  as  a  typewriter  carbon  paper  and, 
moreover,  a  different  kind  is  required  according  to  the  number 
of  copies  desired.  Where  only  one  copy  at  a  time  is  needed, 
the  paper  is  made  from  very  durable  material  and  the  coating 
is  so  prepared  that  it  will  not  come  off  easily  and  single  copy 
sheets  can  be  used  50  to  75  times.  On  the  other  hand,  if  20 
copies  are  wanted  the  best  results  come  from  using  thin  sheets 
coated  with  carbon  that  comes  off  freely.  How  closely  the 
adjustment  of  material  to  the  various  needs  has  been  studied 
is  shown  in  the  case  of  one  manufacturer  who  makes  350 
different  types  and  weights  of  carbon  paper.  This  is  typical 
of  all  office  appliances  and  accessories. 

Effect  of  Specialization  on  Office  Manager  and  Manufacturer 
The  rapid  development  of  refinements  in  specialization 
keeps  the  progressive  office  manager  continually  on  the  alert 
to  the  value  of  a  new  device.  Managers  who  are  at  first  satis- 
fied with  a  simple  adding  machine  soon  find  it  advisable  to  put 


in  non-listers  for  multiplication  work,  calculators  where  divi- 
sion is  needed,  visible  and  portable  typewriters  where  ma- 
chines of  this  kind  increase  efficiency,  and  so  on.  The  manu- 
facturers of  office  supplies,  moreover,  by  constructive  methods 
of  selling  and  advertising,  force  conservative  managers  and 
reluctant  employees  to  select  their  equipment  with  minute 
care,  and  to  try  out  new  methods  and  new  devices. 

Recently  bond  paper  houses  have  tried  to  teach  their  cus- 
tomers how  to  select  the  best  paper  for  a  particular  purpose. 
One  maker  carries  a  stock  of  over  i8o  different  sizes  of  bond 
papers  so  that  any  size  can  be  procured  without  waste  in  cut- 
ting or  waiting  to  have  it  made.  Makers  of  office  furniture 
publish  books  of  great  practical  value  on  filing  methods,  cost 
systems,  storage  plans,  and  the  like;  others  keep  a  staff*  of  ex- 
perts ready  to  investigate  and  suggest 'remedies  for  poor  office 
arrangement  and  inefficient  equipment. 

The  makers  of  a  well-known  fountain  pen  recently  re- 
ported, after  an  extensive  investigation  on  the  comparative 
saving  in  fountain  pens  over  pencils  in  bookkeeping  and  in 
stenography,  that  "assuming  5  cents  is  paid  for  a  pencil,  one 
stenographer  in  a  year  would  use  up  55  pencils,  or  $2.75  per 
year.  Each  sharpening  uses  approximately  3/16  of  an  inch 
of  lead;  the  actual  time  for  sharpening  is  at  least  half  a  min- 
ute. Therefore,  to  sharpen  pencils  and  use  them  up  to  their 
maximum,  would  require  825  minutes,  or  13^  hours.  Figur- 
ing the  wage  at  25  cents  an  hour,  the  cost  per  year  would  be 
$3.44."  Add  to  this  the  cost  of  the  pencils  and  it  makes  a 
total  well  worth  the  consideration  of  the  management. 

Simplicity  and  Ease  of  Operation 

The  mere  use  of  machine  substitutes  for  mental  processes 
does  not  in  itself  insure  that  the  results  obtained  will  be  accu- 
rate. A  good  deal  depends  upon  the  simplicity  and  ease  of 
operation  of  the  machine  as  well  as  upon  the  operator  selected. 


The  keyboard  of  an  adding  machine,  for  example,  that  can 
be  operated  by  the  touch  method,  not  only  enables  the  operator 
to  attain  great  speed  because  no  time  is  lost  in  turning  from 
the  copy  to  the  machine  and  then  back  again  to  hunt  for  the 
next  figure,  but  makes  for  greater  accuracy  as  well.  The 
simple  keyboard  provides  the  conditions  necessary  for  profi- 
ciency based  on  an  easily  formed  habit.  R.  H.  Tennant, 
Chief  Accountant  of  the  H.  H.  Franklin  Manufacturing  Com- 
pany of  Syracuse,  claims  that  such  a  keyboard  increased  the 
efficiency  of  his  department  some  25  to  30  per  cent. 

Far-Reaching  Effect  of  New  Methods 

Often  the  effect  of  an  improved  method  does  not  end  with 
the  single  operation  involved.  The  gain  produced  in  one  de- 
partment may  be  reflected  throughout  the  whole  organization 
by  relieving  the  stress  at  some  strategic  point  in  the  office  sys- 
tem. Cost  reports  which  are  incomplete  or  incorrect  may 
impede  the  work  of  a  whole  organization  by  retarding  impor- 
tant decisions  involving  broad  business  policies.  The  Barney 
and  Berry  Company  of  Springfield,  Mass.,  found  that  the 
efficiency  of  the  entire  organization  increased  after  it  substi- 
tuted the  mechanical  process  of  cost  computation  for  the 
mental  method.  The  feeling  of  security  which  the  new 
method  inspired,  because  of  the  timeliness,  accuracy,  and  com- 
pleteness of  the  reports,  aided  the  executives  in  making  quick 
decisions  pertaining  to  buying  and  selling  policies.  "Be- 
sides," says  H.  C.  Hyde,  the  Assistant  Treasurer  of  the  com- 
pany, "all  this  work  and  much  more,  including  the  figuring 
of  the  pay-roll  and  all  invoices — work  that  kept  four  clerks 
busy — is  done  by  two  girls,  with  a  saving  of  $1,200  a  year." 

The  Scope  of  Duplicating  Devices 

Perhaps  there  is  no  place  in  the  office  organization  where 
improvements  have  been  more  prolific  than  in  the  mailing  and 


correspondence  departments.  The  demands  and  needs  of 
big  selling  and  advertising  campaigns  have  been  responsible 
for  many  of  the  nev/  accessories.  When  business  men  found 
it  necessary  to  reach  and  to  keep  in  touch  with  tens  of  thou- 
sands of  prospective  and  regular  customers  instead  of  a  few 
hundred,  they  began  to  develop  the  means  whereby  letters, 
circular  matter,  and  the  like  could  be  produced  on  a  large 
scale  instead  of  individually.  Hence  the  modern  duplicating 

There  are  many  ways  by  which  letters  and  other  forms 
of  communication  may  be  duplicated,  but  all  of  them  are 
based  on  one  of  four  principles,  viz. :  the  printing  principle  by 
means  of  the  multigraph;  the  impression  by  means  of  the 
typewriter  with  carbon  copies;  the  ordinary  stencil  and  the 
mimeograph;  and  the  photographic  principle  by  means  of  the 

Considerations  in  Selection  of  Duplicating  Method 

If  the  selection  of  a  duplicating  method  depended  only  on 
a  comparison  of  the  cost  of  machines,  or  the  quantity  of  work 
to  be  turned  out,  an  office  manager  might  need  no  more  guid- 
ance than  that  afforded  by  a  price  list  and  a  "demonstration." 
But  in  making  the  selection  there  are  many  indirect  eft'ects  to 
be  considered,  hence  decisions  should  not  be  made  until  the 
true  function  of  the  machine  in  the  scheme  of  office  organiza- 
tion is  thoroughly  uncovered.  The  announcement,  for  ex- 
ample, of  a  meeting  to  10,000  stockholders  may  well  be 
printed.  Such  a  notice  is  recognized  as  being  of  a  general 
nature,  purely  impersonal  and  designed  to  convey  information 
in  the  most  readable  form.  On  the  other  hand,  a  letter  that 
is  to  go  to  a  hundred  salesmen  might  fail  to  get  the  required 
response  to  the  manager's  appeal  for  more  orders  if  "cold 
type"  were  used  in  conveying  the  message.  A  salesman's 
letter  is  personal,  the  information,  while  of  a  more  or  less 


general  nature,  must  often  be  given  a  particular  application. 
Even  carbon  copies,  or  copies  of  any  sort,  often  fail  to  get  the 
desired  action  from  the  salesmen  receiving  them.  The  utility 
of  a  duplicating  machine  is  not  settled,  therefore,  until  the 
effect  of  its  output  has  been  thoroughly  examined. 

Even  in  cases  where  duplicate  copies  are  needed  only  for 
records,  the  office  manager  must  bring  into  play  his  judgment 
of  values,  depending  upon  the  comparative  advantages  of  the 
"short  run""  as  a;:;:ainst  the  "long  run.'"  Records  that  are 
constantly  referred  to  must  stand  the  wear  and  tear  of  use. 
Carbon  copies  that  smear  or  rub  off  easily  may  not  be  an 
economical  or  even  a  safe  method  of  providing  important 
records.  Constant  recopying  may  nullify  the  low  first  cost  of 
production,  and  open  up  many  chances  for  errors  to  creep 
into  the  work. 

Rapidity  of  Production 

Tied  in  closely  with  all  other  considerations  is  the  demand 
for  rapidity  of  production.  Stencil  machines,  i  or  instance, 
while  admirable  for  some  purposes  are  surpassed  by  other 
machines  in  speed  and  variety  of  work  done.  "Before  adopt- 
ing the  duplicator  method,"'  says  George  Taylor  of  the  Loco- 
mobile Company,  Bridgeport,  "we  used  carbon  copies  and 
stencils ;  but  we  needed  something  faster.  Price  changes  com- 
ing into  the  office  in  the  morning  must  be  on  their  way  by  that 
evening's  mail  to  the  branches,  if  losses  due  to  undercharging 
for  certain  parts  are  to  be  avoided.  It  takes  only  a  minute  to 
run  off  a  hundred  copies,  and  as  only  one  checking  against 
the  master  copy  is  needed,  a  perfect  register  is  obtained  in. 
every  instance.  Thus  the  modern  duplicators  do  the  work  of 
nine  persons,  saving  the  company  $5,400  a  year  in  salaries."' 
The  modern  duplicator  has  become  a  very  flexible  office  acces- 
sory. One  firm  runs  off  a  100-page  booklet,  another  prints 
its  monthly  bulletins,  and  a  third  produces  an  interior  house 


organ,  printed  in  three  colors,  by  means  of  this  dupHcating 

The  Speed  and  Accuracy  of  the  Photostat 

Whatever  may  be  the  advantages  of  dupHcators  dependent 
upon  type,  transfer  paper,  or  the  stencil,  none  of  these  devices 
can  compare  with  photographic  copying  when  speed  and  accu- 
racy are  the  chief  essentials.  Long  and  complicated  contracts, 
which  may  have  taken  days  or  even  months  to  perfect,  can  be 
copied  with  absolute  accuracy  in  a  few  minutes  by  means  of 
the  photostat.  The  Commonwealth  Edison  Company  of  Chi- 
cago cites,  as  an  example  of  the  time-  and  cost-saving  feature 
of  this  appliance,  that  a  contract  of  six  sheets  was  photo- 
graphed, developed,  washed,  dried  in  an  electric  drier,  and 
made  ready  for  distribution  in  20  minutes.  Stenographic 
copies  would  have  taken  hours  to  make.  Moreover,  as  each 
stenographic  copy  required  the  original  signature  of  seven 
executives,  the  additional  time  spent  in  bringing  each  copy  be- 
fore these  men  was  also  saved.  Either  the  contracts  or  the 
executives  would  have  waited. 

All  large  insurance  companies  use  the  photographic  method 
of  copying  their  policies  and  one  company  uses  the  photostat 
for  making  copies  of  important  records  which  are  too  valuable 
to  be  trusted  out  of  the  record  department  even  for  clerical 
purposes.  Two  photostat  rooms  are  maintained.  One  room 
is  adjacent  to  the  policy  division,  where  a  copy  of  each  appli- 
cation (as  required  by  law)  is  photographically  made  and 
attached  to  the  policy.  Two  cameras  here  turn  out  reproduc- 
tions of  200  applications  in  less  than  90  minutes.  Prints  are 
produced  directly  on  sensitized  paper  fed  from  350-foot  rolls. 
In  the  course  of  a  year  24  miles  of  this  paper  are  used  for  this 

The  other  room  is  in  the  "History  Card  Section,"  con- 
veniently located  for  making  photographic  copies  of  the  cards 


which  contain  the  complete  record  of  each  policy.  Four 
machines  are  employed,  each  capable  of  making  500  reproduc- 
tions a  day.  Therefore,  when  some  department  wishes  the 
record  of  John  Jones,  and  the  information  cannot  be  given 
over  the  phone,  a  photographic  copy  is  made  of  the  history 
card  and  sent  to  the  department.  The  photographs  each  day 
number  about  1,000.  In  the  same  way  copies  are  made  of 
other  important  papers  desired  by  the  various  departments  of 
the  office.  Thus,  as  in  the  case  of  other  office  appliances,  the 
photostat  can  be  used  for  many  special  purposes.  To  refer  to 
the  Commonwealth  Edison  Company  again :  "We  copy  the 
music  for  our  orchestra,  statistical  sheets  that  would  take  days 
to  recheck,  material  for  our  detective  bureau,  blue-prints,  etc., 
with  a  speed  ten  times  that  of  typing." 

The  Field  of  Calculating  Machines 

Accounting  is  a  highly  specialized  form  of  statistics  and 
many  types  of  machines  have  been  devised  to  perform  mathe- 
matical calculations  and  thus  meet  the  needs  of  the  accountant. 
As  adding,  dividing,  subtracting,  and  multiplying  constitute 
a  large  part  of  most  accounting  work,  it  is  not  strange  that 
computing  machines  were  first  used  in  the  accountant's  office; 
and  that  slide  rules  and  other  calculating  devices  are  every 
day  being  increasingly  employed  in  handling  the  work  of  the 
cost  and  estimating  departments  of  large  companies.  Under 
modern  conditions  of  competition,  cost  statistics,  to  be  valu- 
able, must  often  be  available  on  short  notice.  A  company 
dealing  in  pig  iron,  lumber,  or  chemicals,  for  instance,  must 
secure  the  unit  cost  per  ton,  foot,  or  gallon,  of  the  various 
products  and  this  frequently  involves  calculations  carried  out 
to  eight  or  nine  decimal  points.  Without  the  aid  of  these 
calculating  devices,  the  frequent  analysis  of  the  cost  of  such 
products  would  be  almost  prohibitive  because  of  the  expense 
and  time  involved. 


Bookkeeping  Machines 

Bookkeeping,  although  the  forerunner  of  all  other  forms 
of  clerical  work,  has  been  the  last  to  be  affected  by  mechanical 
aids,  so  far  as  concerns  the  actual  entry  of  data  upon  the  books 
and  other  records.  The  modern  bookkeeping  machine,  which 
is  a  combination  of  the  typewriter  and  the  adding  machine,  is 
a  comparatively  old  invention  as  office  devices  go.  Though 
its  progress  is  slow,  it  is  steadily  displacing  the  old-time  book- 
keeper for  the  reason  that  a  competent  girl  operator  can  do 
the  work  of  three  bookkeepers  with  greater  speed  and 
accuracy.  This  statement  is  borne  out  by  the  experience  of 
many  large  office  organizations. 

"All  the  bookkeeping  of  this  company,"  says  M.  R.  Bell, 
Recorder  of  the  Warner  Sugar  Refining  Company,  New 
York,  ''and  that  of  the  community  of  interests,  doing  a  busi- 
ness of  $40,000,000  to  $50,000,000  a  year,  is  done  by  three 
girls  and  three  bookkeeping  machines.  They  post  a  thousand 
accounts  a  day,  when  necessary,  write  out  brokerage  state- 
ments, and  write  up  all  outgoing  checks.  In  one  operation  we 
enter  up  the  cash  book  and  post  to  the  ledger.  At  three 
o'clock,  when  our  deposits  to  the  bank  are  made,  we  could  if 
we  desired  actually  close  our  books.  With  the  aid  of  the  six 
adders  on  the  three  machines  the  work  is  always  in  balance 
and  one  operator  takes  the  place  of  three  men." 

Tabulating  Machines 

The  use  of  tabulating  machines,  by  means  of  which  any 
desired  data  are  recorded  on  cards,  is  becoming  today  more  and 
more  common.  Many  companies  now  employ  these  machines 
for  the  keeping  of  their  sales  ledger  and  the  similar  records, 
includhig  sales  by  dealers,  by  salesmen,  by  territories,  by 
brands,  and  by  factories.  In  applying  the  principles  of 
mechanics  to  the  sorting  of  records  into  such  classifications 
as  are  demanded  by  the  needs  of  any  business,  the  liollenth 


and  similar  machines  have  become  almost  indispensable  in 
large  offices. 

The  influence  of  the  Hollerith  machines  has  been  such  as 
almost  to  revolutionize  the  work  of  the  United  States  Census 
Bureau.  This  device  consists  of  three  parts  and  may  be  used 
to  make  a  wide  range  of  records,  sorting  and  counting  them 
and  adding  the  amounts  entered  thereon  in  a  remarkably 
short  time.  The  equipment  comprises  :  ( i )  a  key  punch  or 
perforating  machine,  (2)  a  sorting  machine  which  is  governed 
in  its  operation  by  the  perforations,  and  (3)  a  tabulating 

The  scope  of  the  machine  may  be  best  judged  by  listing 
the  purposes  for  which  it  is  used  in  the  actuary's  department 
of  a  large  insurance  company.     The  device  is  used : 

1.  To  keep  account  of  the  new  business  done  and  the 

policies  changed  and  terminated. 

2.  To  classify  and  total  the  outstanding  business  in  its 

proper  groups. 

3.  To  classify  and  analyze  the  foreign  business. 

4.  To  classify  the  data  as  to  mortality  experience. 

5.  To  analyze  receipts  and  disbursements  by  states. 

6.  To  control  the  policy  loan  record. 

A  first-class  operator  can  prepare  with  a  key  punch  from 
300  to  400  cards  an  hour,  depending  upon  the  amount  of  in- 
formation to  be  shown  by  the  perforations.  The  sorting 
machine  will  sort  the  same  number  of  cards  a  minute.  The 
tabulating  machine  adds  them  at  the  rate  of  170  a  minute, 
and  counts  them  while  the  adding  process  is  going  on. 

Storage  and  Filing  Devices 

The  age  of  steel  has  finally  penetrated  to  the  office.  "Im- 
agine risking  a  railroad's  right-of-way  in  pasteboard  bo.xes !" 
says  the  Art  Metal  Construction  Company  in  one  of  its  adver- 


tisements.  Most  concerns  are  beginning  to  recognize  good 
storage  facilities  as  one  of  the  best  forms  of  insurance. 
Hundreds  of  cases  might  be  cited  where  steel  files,  desks, 
safes,  and  other  steel  equipment  have  saved  invaluable  papers 
and  records.  Modern  methods  of  finishing  steel  office  furni- 
ture overcome  the  earlier  objection  to  it  on  the  ground  of 
appearance.  It  can  be  made  to  harmonize  with  the  surround- 
ings in  color  and  tone.  Appearance,  however,  is  the  least  of 
several  important  considerations  to  be  taken  into  account  in 
the  selection  of  this  type  of  office  equipment.  Two  of  these 
are  the  space  occupied  and  ease  of  operation.  Floor  space,  in 
metropolitan  districts,  rents  at  from  $2.50  to  $3.50  per  square 
foot.  The  space  problem  sometimes  taxes  the  ingenuity  of 
the  office  manager  to  the  utmost.  The  use  of  a  safe  or  a 
system  of  files  that  saves  20  per  cent  of  the  space  generally 
used  for  the  purpose  makes  an  appreciable  saving. 

One  manager,  by  installing  a  new  vault  interior,  saved  one- 
half  its  former  space;  another,  by  modeling  a  new  vertical 
card  file,  saved  floor  space  that  was  much  needed  in  the 
cashier's  department.  Instead  of  spreading  the  filing  cases 
over  the  floor,  he  devised  a  movable  card  file  by  which  the 
space  above  the  floor  might  be  utilized.  The  operator,  in  a 
few  seconds  and  by  simply  pressing  a  button,  can  bring  within 
reach  any  one  of  the  23,000  cards  arranged  in  16  boxes. 

Handling  Equipment 

A  saving  may  also  be  effected  by  reducing  the  labor  of 
handling  equipment.  One  firm  says  that  the  difference  in  the 
pull  of  the  same  load  in  opening  filing  drawers  may  vary 
from  ^y^  ounces  in  one  type  to  10  pounds  in  another.  Since 
few  office  managers  have  investigated  the  losses  due  to 
useless  motions,  few  realize  the  cumulative  eft'ect  of  this 
wasted  effort.  By  actual  count  one  manager  determined  that 
the  employees  opened  and  shut  the  drawers  of  six  filing  cab- 



inets  500  times  during  the  day.  Assuming  a  saving  of  156 
ounces  on  each  pull  (the  difference  between  3^  ounces  and  10 
pounds)  this  represents  a  daily  saving  of  4,874  pounds  or 
2^  tons  of  extra  labor  lifted  from  the  shoulders  of  the  ofifice 
workers.  The  M.  A.  Hanna  Company,^of  Cleveland,  claims 
that  a  change  of  systems  in  its  file  room  work  (embracing  the 
use  of  57  file  drawers,  with  about  100  calls  for  correspondence 
and  some  500  letters  to  file  a  day)  now  enables  two  girls  to 
handle  the  work  with  ease. 

Modifications  of  old  ideas  are  the  sources  of  most  im- 
provements. Storage  places  and  safes  were  once  thought 
of  only  as  stationary  devices  built  into  the  wall,  or  the  like. 
The  modern  vault  into  which  books  and  other  valuable  records 
can  be  wheeled  on  specially  designed  trucks,  replaces  the  old- 
time  inaccessible  safe.  A  company  employing  50  bookkeepers 
and  keeping  its  heavy  loose-leaf  books  in  a  vault,  found  that  it 
lost  valuable  time  and  energy  in  unnecessary  carrying.  By 
using  a  "vault  truck"  it  estimated  that  it  saved  10  per  cent  of 
its  bookkeepers'  time.  The  same  idea  of  economy  can  be 
followed  into  the  storage  of  old  records.  Every  business 
uses  a  large  number  of  "transfer  cases"  during  its  business 
life.  Old  records  are  valuable,  and  should  be  stored  in  acces- 
sible places.     In  choosing  transfer  cases  they  should  be : 

1.  Easy    to    handle,    i.e.,    of    rigid    construction    with 

drawers  on  rollers. 

2.  Durable. 

3.  Have  large  capacity,  say  5,000  letters  to  a  case  (to 

obviate  the  necessity  of  buying  a  large  number). 

4.  Flexible  in  arrangement,  so  as  to  take  up  little  space. 

5.  Proof  against  vermin,  dust,  fire,  and  water. 

Stressing  Utility,  Rather  Than  the  Device 

It  is  unnecessary  to  describe  in  detail  the  special  features 
of  every  modern  office  device.  The  point  of  the  illustrations 


given  is  that  as  much  of  the  office  routine  consists  of  virtually 
the  same  kind  of  work  repeated  at  regular  intervals,  much  of 
the  work  can  be  handled  mechanically  with  almost  the  reliabil- 
ity and  dispatch  of  a  machine  process  and  with  the  same 
notable  economy.  The  factory  manager  who  employs  human 
labor  to  do  that  which  can  be  done  at  much  less  cost  and  more 
efficiently  by  a  machine,  is  neglecting  one  of  the  most  im- 
portant means  of  increasing  his  profit  even  if  he  still  sells  his 
product  at  a  profit.  The  same  is  applicable  to  the  office 



The  Modern  Efficiency  Desk 

The  change  in  office  equipment  that  has  come  about  in 
the  last  few  years  is  indicated  by  the  care  and  study  which 
the  Equitable  Assurance  Company  gave  to  the  replacing  of 
its  desks  when  the  burning  of  their  old  building  made  it  neces- 
sary to  purchase  new  equipment. 

The  desk  finally  selected  for  the  use  of  employees  engaged 
in  routine  duties  is  little  more  than  a  table  with  three  shallow 
drawers  as  illustrated  in  Figure  i6.  The  center  drawer  holds 
the  employee's  tools  and  the  side  drawers  his  stationery.  The 
advantages  of  a  desk  of  this  simple  type  are  that  clerks  cannot 
stow  within  it  papers  which  will  later  be  overlooked.  As 
there  is  no  room  for  placing  current  work  in  the  drawers,  any 
tendency  to  defer  until  tomorrow  what  can  be  done  today  is 
nipped  in  the  bud.     The  simplicity  of  this  equipment  reflects 

Figure   i6.     The  Modern  Efficiency  Desk 

This  desk  is  little   more  than   a  table  with  three   shallow  drawers.     This  construction 

makes   it    impossible    for   clerks   to   stow   away    and    so   overlook   papers. 



the  celerity  with  which  business  is  conducted  today.  The 
desk  is  no  longer  a  storage  place — nor  even  ornamental — 
but  a  tool  for  making  the  quickest  possible  turnover  of  busi- 
ness papers. 

The  roll-top  desk  still  lingers  in  many  offices,  the  reason 
for  retaining  it  being  the  desire  of  executives  and  employees 
to  protect  uncompleted  work  left  upon  the  desk  top  or  in  its 
drawers.  The  chief  fortress  of  its  defence  today  is  in  the 
sales  office,  the  reason  being  that  as  salesmen  are  frequently 
called  away  from  their  desks  upon  business,  they  find  it  con- 
venient to  close  down  the  roll  top  with  the  assurance  that  any 
unfinished  work  will  be  undisturbed  until  they  return.  This 
practice,  however,  encourages  disorder  and  lack  of  neatness 
and  for  this  reason  the  modern  flat-top  type  of  desk  is  pre- 
ferred in  most  businesses  for  the  use  of  both  executives  and 

A  desk  in  an  executive's  office  is  a  center  of  consultation 
and  conference — where  orders  and  instructions  are  issued. 
Accordingly,  it  should  provide  the  aids  necessary  for  expedi- 
ting the  executive  function.  On  the  other  hand,  a  clerk's 
duties  are  to  carry  out  orders  and  to  get  the  work  done.  His 
desk  should  be  trained  down  to  fighting  trim,  supplied  with 
emergency  rations,  and  all  camouflage  removed. 

The  Executive's  Desk 

Since  the  efficiency  of  an  executive  is  measured  by  the 
rapidity  with  which  all  matters  coming  to  him  are  disposed  of, 
i.e.,  prompt  dispatch,  his  desk  should  be  free  from  encum- 
brances. A  type  widely  used  by  department- heads  and  others 
is  a  double-pedestal  flat-top  desk  of  the  standard  size  of  36  by 
60  inches  (see  Figure  17).  If  a  larger  desk  is  required,  this 
style  comes  a  foot  wider  also. 

While  one  business  man  may  prefer  a  standard  flat-tog 
desk  together  with  a  work  table  over  which  interviews  may 



be  held,  another  may  find  it  desirable  to  use  the  double  flat- 
top desk.  The  latter  is  a  space-saving  device,  since  it  fur- 
nishes a  place  where  a  secretary  or  assistant,  when  summoned, 
may  take  dictation.  In  the  drawers  on  the  secretary's  side 
may  be  stored  the  equipment  needed  by  him  in  taking  dictation 
or  any  papers  required  for  reference  purposes. 

Figure  17.     Standard  Double-Pedestal  Flat-Top  Desk 

A    type    of    desk    widely    used    by    executives,    providing    free    working    surface    and 
ample    drawer   room    for    necessary    storage    purposes. 

Whatever  the  form  of  executive  desk  adopted,  the  test  of 
its  usefulness  is  based  on  its  effectiveness  as  a  working  tool 
and  not  its  use  as  a  store  house.  Progressiveness  in  business 
today  is  marked  by  the  movement  of  goods  on  as  direct  a 
route  as  possible  from  manufacturer  to  consumer.  Pressure 
is  constantly  being  put  upon  those  parts  of  the  organization 
that  keep  business  moving.  At  best,  any  type  of  storage  sys- 
tem is  a  passive  agent  in  business,  and  when  the  executive's 
desk  takes  on  this  function,  it  shows  that  his  activities  are  not 
in  harmony  with  the  methods  of  modern  business. 


The  General  Clerical  Desk 

The  general  clerical  desk  does  not  differ  in  style  from 
that  of  the  executive  desk.  However,  its  use  is  very  different 
and  the  standardization  of  its  contents  and  their  arrange- 
ment has  a  definite  bearing  upon  the  efficiency  with  which  the 
occupant  of  the  desk  carries  on  his  work.  When  a  particular 
place  has  been  selected  for  a  particular  article,  that  place 
should  be  used  habitually.  Any  variation  from  this  standard 
practice  means  a  loss  of  time.  "Something  is  wrong,"  says 
one  office  manager,  ''if  a  clerk,  in  seven  seconds,  cannot  put 
his  hand  on  any  paper  or  article  needed  which  is  temporarily 
in  his  possession." 

The  work  of  the  bookkeeper  is  still  so  dependent  upon  the 
use  of  large  size  ledgers  and  other  heavy  books  that  the 
old  style  bookkeeper's  desk  with  sloping  top  is  still  employed. 
It  must  enable  the  bookkeeper  to  stand  before  his  work  and 
move  from  side  to  side  while  making  entries  in  large  books. 
A  rack  on  which  the  books  may  be  placed  and  two  or  three 
storage  drawers  are  usually  provided  for  in  the  standing  desk. 

The  "Tub"  Desk 

The  development  of  the  card  ledger  and  the  card  record 
in  general,  has  brought  about  changes  in  the  structures  of  the 
desk.  At  first,  card  records  were  usually  stored  in  the  drawers 
of  a  filing  cabinet  and  brought  to  the  desk  when  entries  were 
to  be  made  upon  them.  To  save  time  in  handling  the  card 
file,  a  desk  has  been  devised  the  top  of  which  serves  as  an 
open  filing  cabinet,  while  the  space  required  as  a  writing  sur- 
face is  provided  for  by  a  narrow  sliding  platform  or  shelf 
placed  above  the  open  filing  divisions.  This  type  of  desk  is 
known  as  the  upright  "tub"  desk;  a  divided  desk  with  a  nar- 
row support  between  the  divisions  is  known  as  the  sitting  style 
of  "tub"  desk.  Both  types  are  illustrated  here  (Figures  i8 
and  19). 


The  top  of  ,hi.  d„k  ,3  1*"%*      "P"'8;l«  "Tub"  D=sk 

"■ZS&r^^?^:  """"  '"-^"«  P'a.f.r»  P„vi.„  . 


It  will  be  noted  that  the  upright  tub  is  modeled  after  the 
old-style  sloping  desk.  In  place  of  the  slanting  top  a  tub  of 
card  trays  appears.  The  sliding  table  or  shelf,  which  is  on 
runners,  can  be  moved  from  side  to  side,  making  it  easy  to 
pick  out  the  individual  cards,  place  them  on  the  sliding  top, 
make  the  entries,  and  return  them  immediately  to  the  proper 
tray.  In  the  second  type  of  tub  desk,  the  clerk  sits  at  the  side 
or  between  the  wings  and,  with  the  extension  board  as  a  writ- 
ing support,  he  can  by  half-turns  in  his  swivel  chair,  remove 
cards  from  either  side  of  the  top  trays,  make  entries,  and 
return  them  to  their  proper  place. 

The  use  of  these  desks  need  not  be  confined  to  the  book- 
keeping section,  as  they  are  equally  well  adapted  to  the  require- 
ments of  the  sales,  collection,  and  other  departments  in  which 
card  records  are  kept. 

Desk  for  Stenographic  Work 

While  the  desk  most  commonly  used  for  typing  purposes 
is  the  single-  or  double-pedestal,  drop-top  typewriter  desk, 
as  illustrated  in  Figures  20  and  21,  the  tendency  in  many 
stenographic  departments  is  to  return  to  the  simple  flat-top 
desk  or  table,  upon  which  the  typewriter  is  securely  fastened. 
This  simplicity  is  due  to  the  growing  specialization  of 
office  duties.  The  work  of  the  typist  is  not  supposed  to  em- 
brace any  clerical  activity  calling  for  much  desk  surface  or 
storage  place. 

Where  the  office  space  is  limited,  the  32  by  38  single- 
pedestal,  drop-top  typewriter  desk  with  three  drawers  is  used. 
The  size  of  the  double-pedestal  desk  is  35  by  54  inches.  This 
last  provides  ample  space  on  the  top  for  the  letter  trays,  copy- 
holder, and  other  accessories,  while  within  its  six  drawers 
there  is  room  for  the  various  records.  The  typewriter,  when 
not  in  use,  is  concealed  under  the  lid  which  fits  into  the  desk 
top.     To  bring  the  machine  to  the  writing  position  the  lid 


Figure  20.     Single-Pedestal  Drop-Top  Typewriter  Desk 
This  style   of  desk   is  used   where  space   is  limited. 

Figure  21.     Double-Pedestal  Center-Drop  Typewriter  Desk 

The   surface   of   this   desk   provides   ample   room   for   letter   trays   and   other  accessories, 
while  the  drawers  are  large  enough   for  storage  of  supplies  and  records. 



is  raised,  which  effort  also  raises  the  typewriter  to  the  proper 

Figure  22.    Combination  Clerical  and  Typewriter  Desk 

This  desk  is  useful  for  the  clerk  who  has  more  or  less  typewriting  to  do  and  who  also 
requires  a  large  working  surface. 

When  an  employee  does  both  clerical  work  and  typewrit- 
ing a  combination  desk  is  useful.  In  the  style  shown  in 
Figure  22  the  typewriter  when  not  in  use  is  lowered  into  a 
compartment  at  one  side  of  the  desk. 

Place  of  Desk  in  Executive's  Office 

A  matter  which,  to  some  slight  extent,  affects  and  reflects 
an  executive's  personal  efficiency,  is  the  selection  and  arrange- 
ment of  his  office  equipment  so  as  to  give  him  the  quickest 
and  easiest  service.  A  study  of  the  layouts  in  Figure  23,  which 
illustrate  the  advantages  derived  from  a  rearrangement  of 
the  offfce  furniture  and  equipment  in  a  given  case,  will  show 
the  importance  attached  to  these  details  by  some  executives. 

The  reason  for  the  rearrangement  as  shown  may  thus  be 
best  described  by  the  executive  himself :  "The  table,  to  get 
the  best  light  from  the  window,  should  be  in  the  center  of  the 
room.     As  this  is  my  working  surface,  the  light  should  come 



over  the  left  shoulder.  The  desk  containing  records  and  other 
'decision  data'  is  put  against  the  wall.  This  makes  the  desk 
easily  accessible  by  simply  turning  around  and,  in  case  of  an 
interview,  it  is  easy  to  collect  papers  lying  on  the  table  and 
put  them  on  the  desk  where  they  cannot  be  seen. 

"Furthermore,  the  location  of  my  chair  enables  me  at  a 
single  glance  to  see  persons  coming  into  the  office.  A  moment's 

Fj  uNG  C  ^DJ  ^itT 




VlS^tTOfi'if   CMAI^i 

VisTfoR's  Chair 

/iSiTowb— <^AIR 


Mat  (k  Coat    Rac  i^ 



VliiTOR'A  Chair 


Viii-foSs  Chair 

Filing  Ca(  a 


Figure  23.    An  Executive  Office 

A.   Poorly   Arranged.  B.    Well   Arranged. 

time  is  thus  allowed  for  a  mental  adjustment  before  greeting 
them.  The  positions  of  the  other  chairs  have  been  arranged 
to  meet  the  requirements  of  three  types  of  visitors,  viz.,  the 
customer,  the  employee,  and  the  business  caller.  In  case  a 
salesman  calls  I  motion  him  to  a  seat  opposite  the  window. 
The  light  by  striking  him  full  in  the  face  enables  me  to  read 
many  subtle  meanings  in  his  eyes  and  facial  expression  which 
are  not  revealed  by  his  voice,  or  his  argument.  On  the  other 
hand,  if  I  am  trying  to  sell  a  visitor  something,  the  chair 
near  the  radiator  is  selected.  The  visitor  is  permitted  to  look 
into  my  face  which  is  in  the  full  light  and  hence  I  add  to 


my  other  powers  of  persuasion,  the  influence  of  my  facial 
expression.  There  is  one  chair  to  the  right,  that  always  wel- 
comes the  employee.  As  a  rule,  no  employee  is  denied  a  con- 
ference because  someone  else  is  present.  A  word  of  apology  to 
a  visitor  enables  me  to  turn  to  the  employee.  A  few  moments' 
conversation  will  generally  settle  a  question  and  avoid  loss  of 
working  time. 

"The  location  of  the  hat-and-coat  rack  and  the  filing  cab- 
inets in  their  new  positions,  offers  increased  convenience  over 
the  old  locations.  The  hat  rack  no  longer  invites  the  casual 
visitor  to  prolong  his  stay,  and  a  count  of  the  number  of  trips 
made  each  day  to  the  filing  cabinet  shows  the  time  saved  by 
having  the  records  within  reach  continually." 

The  above  illustrates  the  close  relationship  of  the  desk  to 
the  rest  of  the  office.  By  using  the  filing  cabinet  as  a  con- 
venient storing  place,  the  executive  confines  the  use  of  his 
desk  to  the  dispatch  of  business  and  not  to  the  accumulation 
of  business  papers  and  records.  Accordingly  the  drawers  in 
the  desk  are  usually  empty,  while  the  top  of  the  desk  holds 
only  the  receiving  and  dispatching  trays,  for  correspondence 
and  other  papers,  a  telephone,  a  tickler  file,  and  a  glass  desk- 
pad  which  protects  schedules  or  data  constantly  referred  to. 

If  the  executive's  work  is  moving  rapidly  and  without  lost 
motion,  very  little  evidence  of  activity,  such  as  piles  of  cor- 
respondence and  other  papers,  is  seen.  The  appearance  of 
his  desk  should  never  indicate  pressure  or  complication  of  the 
day's  work. 

Index  File  and  Memorandum  Tickler 

The  executive  who  is  pushing 'the  business  and  not  letting 
the  business  push  him  must  be  continually  on  the  alert  to  de- 
tails that  require  his  attention  and  for  ideas  and  suggestions 
that  are  worth  nailing  down  for  later  use.  He  cannot  trust  his 
memory  to  hold  intact  every  symptomatic  detail,  nor  can  he 


hope  to  recall  every  good  idea  that  suggests  itself  at  unex- 
pected moments,  or  remember  all  future  engagements.  Hence 
he  should  provide  himself  with  some  means  whereby  mem- 
oranda of  events  and  ideas  can  be  systematically  written  down 
and  then  relegated  from  the  mind  until  needed.  Two  useful 
aids  in  this  respect  are  the  "idea  file"  and  the  * 'memoranda 
tickler."  The  first  of  these  displaces  the  old  scrap  book  which 
collected  a  varied  assortment  of  ideas,  but  in  such  a  ''hit  or 
miss"  fashion  that  it  proved  little  better  than  the  original  sys- 
tem which  depended  upon  a  vague  feeling  of  the  executive 
that  he  had  read  some  article  somewhere  at  some  time.  The 
idea  file  consists  of  a  vertical  file  of  envelopes  in  which  ideas 
and  suggestions  are  collected  and  classified  under  subject 
heads  pertinent  to  the  business.  The  memoranda  tickler  con- 
sists of  a  desk  file  the  guide  cards  of  which  bear  the  dates  of 
one  or  more  months.  Little  time  is  required  to  jot  down  an 
idea,  a  conference  date,  or  other  event  needing  attention  in 
the  future.  By  simply  putting  a  slip  behind  the  ''date  guide" 
which  shows  the  time  the  matter  must  be  taken  up,  the  exec- 
utive has  an  infallible  assistant — one  that  never  forgets. 

File  for  the  Executive 

The  executive's  office  needs  little  other  equipment  than  the 
desk  with  its  accessories  and,  for  his  personal  use  in  filing 
correspondence,  a  single  unit  vertical  file,  fitted  with  guides 
lettered  alphabetically.  If,  as  is  frequently  the  case,  other 
material  needs  to  be  stored  away,  such  as  catalogues,  circulars, 
trade  papers,  and  the  like,  these  may  be  put  in  bookcases  or 
shelves  properly  labeled. 

Planning  and  Dispatching  the  Day's  Work 

Routing  and  scheduling  the  daily  work  enables  the  execu- 
tive to  bring  only  such  matters  to  his  desk  as  need  his  atten- 
tion at  a  particular  time.     When  the  work  is  finished  it  is 


removed.  The  following  three  schedules  illustrate  practical 
methods  of  keeping  the  flow  of  work  moving;  the  methods 
have  been  devised  to  suit  the  needs  of  particular  cases.  The 
day's  work  of  the  average  business  man  may  be  roughly 
divided  into:  (i)  routine  duties;  (2)  appointments;  (3)  in- 
terruptions. Only  by  planning  ahead  and  allotting  a  definite 
amount  of  time  to  each  important  matter  can  the  busy  man 
clear  up  all  work  requiring  his  attention  day  by  day.  Ap- 
pointments should  not  be  permitted  to  overlap  the  time  re- 
quired for  routine  duties  nor  should  interruptions  be  allowed 
to  interfere  with  either.   One  manager's  schedule  is  as  follows : 

8.30  to    9 — Read  mail 
9        "  10 — Dictation 

10  "  II — Conferences — sales 

11  "  12 — Conferences — factory 

12  "    I — Luncheon  and  appointments 
I        "    2 — Minor  correspondence 

2  "    3 — Conferences — employees 

3  "    4 — Planning 

4  "    5 — Factory  inspection 

As  above  activities  rarely  if  ever  require  the  time  allotted 
to  them,  and  under  ordinary  circumstances  most  of  them  can 
be  disposed  of  in  a  few  minutes,  plenty  of  time  is  left  over  to 
take  care  of  interruptions  and  unforeseen  duties.  But  by 
adhering  rigidly  to  the  schedule  these  are  never  allowed  to 
interfere  with  the  work  which  has  to  be  done. 

Another  executive,  W.  H.  Ingersoll,  marks  out  the  ''five 
important  things  to  do  today"  and  adjusts  his  appointments 
and  other  duties  accordingly,  on  the  following  chart. 

Planning  a  Big  Sales  Campaign 

The  merchandise  manager  of  a  large  department  store 
provides  for  pressure  of  work  and  special  activities  by  means 








Daily  Program  of  Work 

of  a  special  schedule.  This  always  gets  the  right  of  way  over 
routine  duties  but  is  made  to  fit  into  the  regular  work  as  close- 
ly as  possible.  A  clearance  sale,  for  example,  is  planned  to 
begin  on  February  i.  At  least  three  weeks  will  be  needed  to 
make  adequate  preparation  for  it.  The  manager's  part  con- 
sists largely  in  keeping  tab  on  the  work  through  the  sales  con- 
ferences. Therefore,  meetings  are  held  at  regular  intervals, 
at  which  the  sales  plans  take  precedence  over  all  other  sub- 
jects for  consideration. 

The  schedule  as  planned  took  the  following  form : 



Work  Items                               Object  to  Be  Attained 

January  ii 

Executive  fleeting: 



I.  TSIame   of   sale 

Assistant  ^Manager 

2.  Duration  of  sale 


3.  Method   of   stimulating   inter- 

IMerchandise ]\Ianager 


Assistant  IMerchandise  Manager 

(a)   Among     clerks — p  r  i  z  e 

Advertising  ^ilanager 

contest,  for  most  sales. 

Display  Manager,  etc. 

and   for  starting  most 

customers'  transfers 

(b)  Among  customers — por- 

tion of  day's  proceeds 

to   charity 

4.  General    staff   meeting — when. 

how  many,   etc. 

January  12 


Decide : 


I.  Extra  help  needed 

Assistant  Manager 

2.  Supper  money 



I.  Selling  Facilities 

January  13 


Decide : 


I.  Date  first  buvers'  meeting 

Merchandise   Manager 

2.  Shall  assistant  buyers  be  pres- 

ent   at    discussion    of    sales 

methods  ? 

January  14 

First  Buyers'  Meeting  (Short)  : 

Announce : 

IMerchandise  Manager 

I.  Date  and  duration  of  sale 


2.  Departments  to  participate 

Department  Managers 

3.  Suggestions    from    department 

managers  invited 



Work  Items 

Object  to  Be  Attained 

January  15 


Merchandise  Manager 
Advertising  Manager 
Display  Manager 

I.  Sign   display 

(a)  Store  front 

(b)  Elevators 

(c)  Pillars  or  post 

(d)  Ads.  on  restaurant 



ary  17 

Conference : 
Merchandise  Manager 


1.  Advertising  of  proposition 

2.  Approximate  sales 

3.  Limit  "mark-downs" 


ary  18 

Conference : 

Merchandise  Manager 
Advertising  Manager 

I.  Advertising  media 

(a)  Circulars 

(b)  Circular  letters 

(c)  Announcement  cards 

(d)  Bill  boards,  etc. 


iry   19 


Merchandise  Manager 
Display   Manager 


1.  Window  display 

(a)  Type 

(b)  When  to  go  in 

(c)  Frequency   of   change 

(d)  Allotment  of  windows 

2.  Interior    display 

3.  Allotment  of  aisle  tables 



Work  Items 

Object  to  Be  Attained 

January  20 


Merchandise   Manager 
Advertising   Manager 
Display  Manager 
Card  Writer 


1.  Price  cards 

(a)  Where  put  on 

(b)  Size,  color,  etc. 

2.  Delivery   w^agon   dis-  ^ 

play                                1    By 

3.  Dining       room       an-    ^  Adv. 

nouncements                    ^Igf- 

4.  Other  announcements    J 

January  21 

Conference : 

Merchandise  ]\Ianager 

I.  Method  of  marking  merchan- 

(a)  Leave  old  price  tag 

(b)  Price  in  red  or  blue 

(c)  Entire   stock  "marked 


(d)  Just  enough  for  the  sale 

January  22 

Conference : 

Merchandise  Manager 
Advertising  Manager 

I.  Comparative  price — method  in 
advertising    and    on    price 

January  24 

Buyers'  Meeting 

I.  Plans   of   sale   and   extent   of 
advertising  and  display. 

January  25 

Staff  Meeting 

1.  Don't  tire  by  long-winded  and 

high-brow  talks. 

2.  Few  minutes  long. 



Work  Items 

Object  to  Be  Attained 


'  26-29 

Work    being    rounded    up    by    all 

I.  Superintendent — arranging  for 


extra  help. 

2.  Advertising     Manager — work- 

ing on  first  proof  and  copy 

for  follow-up. 

3.  Display     Manager — executing 


4.  Card    Write  r — working    on 

show  cards  and  price  tickets. 

5.  Merchandise      Manager — busy 

with     department     heads  ; 

planning  handling  of  goods. 

6.  Assistant  Manager — caring  for 

routine    work     for     General 


January  30 

Final  preparation 

I.  General  Manager — see  proofs, 

cards,  superintendent,  list  ex- 

tra help 

2.  Merchandise  Manager: 

(a)   See      all      mark-down 

sheets  are  in. 

(b)   Check  card-order  sheets 

of  the  card  writers. 

(c)   See    all    merchandise 

tables  are  ready. 

(d)   See   all    cards   are   pre- 


(e)   Inspect  windows  and  in- 

terior  displays. 

3.  Superintendent: 

(a)   Check   over   department 

lists     of     extra     help 




Work  Items                               Object  to  Be  Attained 

January  30  (continued) 

Final  preparation  (continued) 

3.  Superintendent     (continued). 

(b)   Check   over   plans   with 

display  manager. 

(c)   Inspect  finished  displays. 

(d)   Inspect    signs    in    win- 

dows and  on  wagons. 

4.  Advertising  Manager: 

(a)   See  proofs  of  advertis- 

ing of  opening  sale. 

(b)    Impress   buyers   on    im- 

portance of  good  fol- 

low-up matter. 

5.  Display  Manager — check  win- 

dows, price  cards  and  ticket ; 

windows'    appearance    "sale- 

like" not  "junky." 

Final  Staff  ^Meeting 

I.  Closing   time   on    last   evening 

before  sale. 

2.  Short  "pep"  talks  by  Manager. 

February  i 

Sale  starts 





Importance  of  Mail  Department 

The  mail  department  is  the  first  point  of  contact  between 
outside  customers  and  the  inside  office  force.  As  such  it  may 
be  said  to  be  only  an  extension  of  the  postal  system.  It  re- 
ceives the  mail  and  distributes  it  throughout  the  office,  or  it 
collects  the  letters  and  delivers  them  to  the  postal  authorities. 
To  be  effective,  therefore,  the  inside  postal  system  should  be 
keyed  up  to  the  same  requirements  of  schedule  that  exist  in 
the  national  system. 

The  efficiency  of  the  mail  department  is,  perhaps,  no  bad 
criterion  of  the  efficiency  which  exists  in  any  business  organi- 
zation as  a  whole.  Nothing  is  of  more  importance  to  a  busi- 
ness man  than  the  rapid  conveyance  of  information.  This 
applies  to  his  outside  connections  as  well  as  to  his  departmen- 
tal relations.  From  the  outside  he  must  have  the  earliest 
knowledge  of  events  that  may  ai¥ect  his  trade.  In  many  cases 
agents  of  large  concerns  are  instructed  to  use  the  telegraph  or 
telephone  even  in  the  minor  emergencies  which  arise  during 
the  course  of  the  day's  work,  such  as  market  changes,  busi- 
ness failures,  price  modifications,  and  the  like.  But  the  great 
bulk  of  commercial  correspondence  is  still  carried  on  by  mail. 

The  Dependability  of  the  Mail 

It  was  by  no  mere  accident  that  the  Act  of  Parliament 
of  1660,  which  inaugurated  the  post  office  in  England,  came 
during  the  period  when  she  took  her  first  stride  toward,  com- 
mercial dominance.  The  progress  of  great  economic  move- 
ments is  registered  in  many  new  institutions  and  technical 



devices,  hence  the  advancement  of  commerce  is  marked  by 
the  adoption  of  postal  systems  and  by  improvements  in  meth- 
ods and  devices  for  conveying  information.  A  London  firm 
that  received  one  letter  in  the  time  of  Charles  II  would  re- 
ceive i,ooo  today  with  much  greater  dispatch  and  dependable- 
ness.  But  the  2,000  to  4,000  letters  in  the  morning's  mail  of 
a  great  trust  company  indicates  something  more  than  that 
the  present  postal  system  is  more  dependable  than  the  old 
post  of  colonial  days.  It  shows  that  dependableness  in  com- 
mercial relations  has  grown  throughout  the  business  world 
and  that  these  4,000  letters  represent  not  merely  a  growth  in 
the  bulk  of  commercial  correspondence  of  399,900  per  cent,  but 
a  similar  increase  in  commercial  confidence — confidence  in  the 
postal  system,  in  the  promises  of  men,  in  the  business  organi- 
zation which  carries  out  the  details  of  long-distance  trans- 

Functions  and  Routine  of  a  Mailing  Department 

The  functions  of  a  mailing  department  are  the  same 
whether  the  office  it  serves  contains  one  desk  or  one  hundred. 
Briefly  described  they  are  as  follows : 

1.  Opening,  sorting,  and  distributing  incoming  mail  to 

all  departments. 

2.  Collecting,  putting  up,  sealing,  and  dispatching  out- 

going mail  from  all  departments. 

3.  Maintaining  messenger  service  on  a  regular  schedule 

throughout  the  office. 

The  mail  is  the  lever  that  starts  the  office  machinery  at 
opening  time.  Therefore,  long  before  any  of  the  other  de- 
partments start  work,  the  first  shift  of  clerks  in  the  mailing 
department  should  be  busy  getting  the  early  mail  ready.  A 
second  shift  of  clerks  should  wind  up  the  day's  business  after 
the  correspondence  has  been  signed  by  the  officers  of  the  vari- 


ous  departments.  The  letters  are  then  brought  to  the  mail 
room  where  they  are  enclosed,  sealed,  and  the  postage  "rated 
up,"  until  finally,  the  mail  is  delivered  to  the  post  office  and 
the  mailing  department  which  began  the  day's  work  now 
brings  it  to  a  close. 

Handling  the  Incoming  Mail 

The  methods  employed  by  a  large  New  York  banking  cor- 
poration illustrate  the  general  procedure  in  handling  a  large 
volume  of  incoming  mail. 

Beginning  at  5  130  a.m.  and  continuing  until  9  o'clock, 
when  the  post  office  letter  carriers  bring  the  first  regular 
mail,  the  mailing  clerks  make  hourly  trips  to  the  Wall  Street 
post  office.  By  9  o'clock  the  office  mail  is  sorted  and  ready 
for  distribution  to  the  department  managers  who  call  at  the 
mail  room  shortly  before  the  office  work  begins  for  the  day. 
Thus  valuable  time  is  saved,  for  checks  must  be  ready  for 
the  clearing  house  by  10  o'clock.  Seven  men  of  the  first  shift 
are  kept  busy  opening  and  sorting  the  letters  w^hich  run  from 
2,000  to  3,000  on  ordinary  days  and  reach  as  many  as  4,000 
on  Mondays.  After  the  mail  has  been  brought  to  the  office 
and  the  personal  mail  separated  from  the  official  letters,  the 
envelopes  of  the  latter  are  opened  by  electric  machines.  To 
insure  against  the  possibility  of  overlooking  any  enclosures  the 
envelopes  are  slit  on  three  sides  and  laid  open  flat. 

The  sorting  of  the  letters  follows  and  this  must  be  done 
with  great  care.  A  mistake  due  to  carelessness  or  poor  judg- 
ment at  this  point  may  cause  a  costly  delay.  The  mailing 
clerks,  therefore,  must  possess  more  than  ordinary  intelli- 
gence and  be  familiar  with  the  activities  of  all  departments. 
To  aid  the  clerks  in  putting  the  mail  into  the  proper  channel 
for  attention,  they  are  given  a  schedule  which  describes  the 
correspondence  that  goes  to  each  department  and  indicates  all 
changes  that  occur  in  the  character  of  the  work  of  a  depart- 


ment.     The  scheduling  of  the  delivery  is  still  further  carried 
out  by  defining  the  route  the  letters  are  to  travel. 

Handling  the  Outgoing  Mail 

Just  as  one  hour  gained  in  the  mail  delivery  at  the  be- 
ginning of  the  day  adds  to  the  working  time  of  the  whole 
office  force,  so  any  time  saved  at  the  close  of  the  day  in  getting 
the  mail  out  adds  to  the  effectiveness  of  the  service  rendered 
the  customer.  The  mailing  department  in  the  case  cited  is  made 
responsible  for  the  collection  and  handling  of  the  thousands 
of  letters  which  need  to  be  enclosed,  stamped,  and  mailed  and 
for  the  various  other  items  of  mail  matter,  such  as  printedi 
matter,  publicity  literature,  letters  and  packages  for  registra- 
tion which  must  be  weighed  and  the  proper  postage  stamps 
affixed.  As  soon  as  the  letters  and  circulars  are  enclosed  by 
one  set  of  clerks,  others  take  up  the  duty  of  sealing  them. 
Electric  sealing  machines  are  provided  for  this  purpose. 

Constant  attention  is  given  to  through  mail-train  connec- 
tions. Collection  checks  are  put  in  envelopes  and  sent  to  the 
post  office  for  dispatch  on  through  trains  to  cities  where  the 
company's  correspondent  banks  are  situated,  while  a  special 
messenger  service  is  provided  for  getting  important  letters  to 
the  post  office. 

As  a  further  example  of  the  varied  nature  of  the  mailing 
clerks'  duties,  this  company  demands  that  they  solve  the  many 
questions  that  come  up  in  connection  with  domestic  and  for- 
eign postage  rates.  Interesting  problems  arise  in  this  con- 
nection every  day  and  a  clerk  must  know  the  rates  of  postage 
applicable  to  domestic  or  foreign  points,  weights,  dimensions, 
zones,  and  class  of  matter  involved. 

Labor-Saving  Devices 

More  labor-saving  devices  have  been  invented  for  the  ex- 
peditious handling  of  mailing  matter  than  perhaps  for  any 



other  phase  of  office  activity.  These  include  such  things  as 
letter  openers,  pneumatic  mail  tubes,  envelope  sealing,  stamp- 
ing and  recording  machines,  rotary  letter  copiers,  weighing 
scales,  addressing  machines,  and  so  on.  The  place  of  these 
devices  in  the  general  scheme  of  handling  the  mail  is  indi- 
cated by  their  names  and  nothing  further  need  be  said  in  this 
connection  than  that  the  use  of  machines  instead  of  hands  en- 
ables large  economies  to  be  effected  in  the  mailing  department. 

The  Use  of  Sorting  and  Assembling  Racks 

In  the  sorting  of  either  the  incoming  or  outgoing  mail 
matter,  racks  may  be  made  to  serve  a  useful  purpose.  This 
kind  of  equipment  simplifies  the  distribution  of  the  incoming 
mail  by  providing  a  place  for  the  correspondence  which  is 
put  into  compartments — one  for  each  classification — where  it 
can  be  recognized  at  sight.  Most  incoming  mail  has  a  liberal 
amount  of  such  matter  as  freight  notices,  bills,  receipts,  agency 
letters,  and  the  like.  This  mail  can  be  sorted  before  going  to 
the  correspondent's  desk.  Several  styles  of  racks  are  avail- 
able, but  a  base-board  with  as  many  upright  divisions  as  the 
classification  calls  for  is  all  that  is  required.  It  is  a  sort  of 
departmental  post  office  and  may  stand  on  the  desk  before  the 
clerk.  There  is  a  separate  folder  for  each  department  and 
special  folders  for  mail  not  coming  under  the  standard  classi- 

In  assembling  the  outgoing  mail  all  letters  intended  for 
one  correspondent  are  grouped  together  at  the  close  of  the 
day.  To  this  end  the  rack  is  provided  with  compartments  for 
the  mail  of  those  firms  or  individuals  with  whom  correspond- 
ence is  regularly  carried  on.  In  these  compartments  the  out- 
going letters  from  different  departments  are  assembled  dur- 
ing the  day  and  mailed  under  a  single  cover.  Not  only  does 
this  method  insure  against  any  important  matter  being  over- 
looked when  customers  ask  about  several  things  in  the  same 



letter,  but  it  effects  a  big  saving  in  postage  during  the  course 
of  a  year. 

The  Elimination  of  Lost  Motion 

In  handling  the  work  of  the  mailing  department  some 
concerns  have  gone  so  far  as  to  analyze  the  various  operations 
with  a  view  to  eliminating  unnecessary  motions  by  so  arrang- 
ing the  sequence  of  the  operations  that  useless  effort  is 
avoided.  In  one  case,  as  an  example  of  some  of  these  refine- 
ments, the  operation  of  "mail  opening"  was  analyzed  as  fol- 
lows : 

1.  Letters  extracted  from  envelopes. 

2.  Envelope  pinned  to  its  former  contents. 

3.  Money  separated  from  letter  and  accounted  for. 

4.  Letter  rubber  stamped  and  amount  of  money  entered. 

5.  If  no  money  accompanies  letter  it  is  stamped  "No 


A  further  analysis  of  each  of  these  operations  showed 
that  operation  4  might  be  so  handled  as  to  save  much  time. 
It  was  necessary  on  this  operation  to  pick  up  the  rubber 
stamp,  use  it,  lay  it  down,  pick  up  the  pencil,  mark  amount, 
and  lay  the  pencil  down.  "The  average  output,"  says  Mr. 
Leffingwell,  the  organization  expert,  "was  80  letters  an  hour. 
By  omitting  the  rubber  stamping  of  the  letters  containing  no 
money  at  the  time  of  opening,  laying  them  all  in  a  basket, 
and  stamping  them  at  the  end  of  each  mail,  the  output  was 
increased  to  250  per  hour." 

The  savings  that  can  thus  be  made  may  seem  trivial  in  an 
isolated  case  and  yet  in  the  aggregate  they  may  be  well  worth 
making.  Shorter  and  better  methods  can  frequently  be  em- 
ployed without  additional  cost,  but  are  overlooked  because 
the  saving  in  any  individual  case  seems  at  first  sight  to  be  very 


Instructions  for  Folding  Letters 

That  some  concerns  find  it  worth  while  to  pay  attention 
to  small  m.atters  is  seen  in  the  Westinghouse  Air  Brake  Com- 
pany's instructions  to  mail  clerks  for  folding  letters  to  be 
placed  in  "window"  envelopes : 

1.  Fold  bottom  over  to  top  of  salutation;  this  marks  the 

line  where  second  fold  is  to  be  made. 

2.  Pick  up  letter,  holding  firmly  with  left  hand  while 

making  fold  with  right,  moving  right  hand  from 
left  to  right. 

3.  Hold  letter  in  the  same  position  with  left  hand  while 

grasping  under  edge  with  the  right.  Then  turn 
address  side  down  preparatory  to  placing  in  en- 

4.  Envelopes  should  be  placed  face  downward  along- 

side of  pile  of  letters,  with  flaps  next  to  letters. 

These  instructions  are  accompanied  by  five  simple  pen 
sketches  which  indicate  graphically  the  position  of  the  hands, 
the  various  stages  of  folding,  and  the  relative  position  of  the 
letter-heads  and  the  envelopes.  Copies  of  these  instructions 
were  run  off  on  the  mimeograph  and  distributed  among  the 
mail  clerks. 

The  rule  book  of  another  well-known  company  contains 
the  following  instructions  regarding  the  folding  of  a  letter 
for  an  ordinary  envelope :  "In  folding  a  letter  for  an  ordinary 
envelope  do  not  place  the  bottom  of  the  sheet  even  with  the 
top  before  folding  crosswise,  but  place  the  bottom  of  the  sheet 
an  eighth  or  a  quarter  of  an  inch  below  the  top,  then  fold  in 
the  usual  way." 

By  folding  in  this  manner  the  person  who  opens  the  letter 
finds  there  is  room  to  grasp  the  top  without  taking  hold  of 
the  bottom  of  the  sheet  at  the  same  time,  and  the  letter  may 
be  unfolded  or  shaken  open  with  a  quick  jerk. 


Controlling  the  Use  of  Stamps 

W.  F.  Dickinson,  Chief  Post  Office  Inspector,  asserts  that 
$2,000,000  worth  of  stolen  stamps  are  sold  each  year  in  the 
financial  district  of  New  York  City  and  that  there  are  at  least 
35  "stamp  brokers"  who  buy  stamps  from  office  boys  and 
others,  and  again  resell  them,  by  offering  a  rebate,  to  the  same 
persons  when  they  are  sent  to  the  post  office  to  purchase 
stamps  for  the  firm. 

Postage  stamps  are  money,  and  the  same  care  should  be 
taken  to  safeguard  them.  This  caution  applies  not  merely  to 
the  methods  for  checking  the  legitimacy  of  their  use  but  to 
checking  the  purposes  for  which  the  stamps  are  used. 

Centralized  control  in  issuing  stamps,  mechanical  stamp- 
ing machines  which  register  the  number  used,  the  imprest 
system  applied  to  stamp  accounts,  perforating  the  stamp  with 
the  firm's  initials  and  the  like  are  fairly  effective  in  assuring 
the  manager  of  the  legitimacy  of  their  use.  But  the  loss  of 
stamps  in  ^'personal  use"  is  small  compared  to  the  constant 
leakage  due  to  extravagant  circularizing  campaigns,  careless 
addressing,  duplicate  mailing  lists,  improper  mailing  classi- 
fication, excess  postage  dues,  sending  two  letters  when  one 
stamp  would  carry  both,  and  losses  due  to  lack  of  acquaint- 
ance with  postal  regulations  covering  return  postage  guaran- 
tee, and  the  like. 

The  correction  of  all  these  wastes  does  not  lie,  to  be  sure, 
solely  within  the  mailing  department.  Yet,  a  mailing  depart- 
ment that  is  alive  to  its  duties  can  make  investigations  and  rec- 
ommendations that  have  a  direct  money-saving  value.  Sug- 
gestions as  to  what  may  be  done  are  given  in  the  following 

Waste  Due  to  Duplication  of  Envelopes 

A  large  concern  doing  most  of  its  business  through  agents 
and  dealers  discovered  through  the  investigations  of  its  mail 



clerk  that  several  letters  from  each  of  a  large  number  of  these 
agents  came  to  the  home  office  with  the  sam.e  mail  delivery. 
To  ascertain  the  amount  of  this  waste  the  clerk  began  to  re- 
cord the  number  of  envelopes  from  all  agents  in  each  mail  and 
the  weight  of  each  letter  which  he  compared  with  the  post- 
age paid  to  carry  it.  The  investigation  disclosed :  ( i )  An 
average  of  i^  envelopes  came  by  first-class  postage  in  the 
same  mails  each  day  from  each  of  200  agents.  (2)  The  dupli- 
cate envelopes  usually  contained  paper  which  could  have  been 
enclosed  with  other  mail  without  extra  charge.  (3)  The 
waste  due  to  this  state  of  affairs  was  not  represented  solely  by 
the  extra  100  stamps  needed  to  carry  the  excess  mailings  of 
the  agents,  but  the  cost  of  the  envelopes,  addressing,  and  the 
mailing  of  the  extra  letters,  which  in  this  case  amounted  to 
5  cents  per  letter.  Counting  300  mailing  days  in  a  year,  the 
annual  waste  was  over  $1,500. 

Encouraged  by  the  possible  savings  thus  disclosed,  an 
investigation  was  begun  at  the  other  end.  Here  it  was  found 
that  the  outgoing  mail  was  stamped  and  sorted  as  it  came 
to  the  mailing  desk.  As  a  consequence,  the  firm  was  send- 
ing out  hundreds  of  envelopes  and  stamps  that  were  not  car- 
rying their  full  quota  of  mail.  There  was  a  loss  on  the  out- 
going mail  about  equal  to  that  on  the  incoming  mail  or  an 
annual  total  waste  of  $3,000. 

Checking  the  Mailing  Lists 

A  mailing  list  is  as  vital  to  many  businesses  as  spark  plugs 
to  an  automobile.  Let  the  list  get  well  coated  with  the  dead 
matter  of  "not  found"  names  and  the  spark  which  explodes 
the  energy  generated  at  great  expense  in  the  preparation  of 
catalogues,  booklets,  circulars,  letters,  etc.,  will  never  mate- 
rialize. A  New  York  clothing  house  sent  out  its  annual  fall 
style  book.  One  substation  of  the  Chicago  Post  Office  re- 
ceived 600  of  these  books,  but  only  one-third  of  them  could 


be  delivered  because  the  people  addressed  could  not  be  found. 
The  postage  cost  was  four  cents  but  the  catalogue  itself  was 
worth  twice  that  amount — and  this  was  not  all  the  loss  sus- 
tained. Since  there  was  no  return  postage  guarantee  on  the 
envelopes  the  firm  lost  the  opportunity  to  check  up  its  mailing 
list.  This  might  have  been  done  by  sending  the  list  to  the 
post  office  in  advance  of  its  mailings  and  "not  found"  names 
could  have  been  marked  off.  This  service  of  correcting  mail- 
ing lists  is  optional  with  postmasters,  but  most  of  them  prefer 
checking  up  the  lists  to  handling  the  unclaimed  mail. 

A  valuable  aid  in  gaining  the  postmaster's  co-operation 
is  an  offer  to  pay  the  clerk  (say  30  to  40  cents  per  hour)  for 
any  overtime  spent  in  checking  up  the  list.  Also,  it  is  well 
to  call  the  attention  of  the  postmaster  to  the  Postal  Laws  and 
Regulations,  Section  547,  page  270,  where  he  may  read  the 
law  giving  him  the  authority  to  comply  with  the  request.  A 
recent  letter  sent  to  1,500  postmasters  got  only  one  refusal. 

"Postage  Due  1^" 

It  is  more  profitable  to  have  a  good  "weigher"  rather 
than  a  good  "guesser"  at  the  mail  desk.  A  good  guesser  will 
miss  about  one  in  ten  and  it  only  takes  a  loss  of  one  cent  each 
time  to  run  up  a  high  percentage  on  every  hundred  stamps 
used.  Scales  cost  but  little  and  the  saving  in  postage  soon 
pays  for  them.  Moreover,  the  weighing  of  letters  eliminates 
one  of  the  minor  possible  causes  of  irritation  when  the  con- 
cern is  seeking  to  secure  the  good-will  of  the  public.  A 
"postage  due"  letter  is  never  welcome  and  generally  starts  a 
feeling  inimical  to  the  firm  sending  it  out.  There  is  no  place 
in  the  whole  business  world  where  the  lack  of  one  cent  counts 
for  so  much — no,  not  even  in  the  trial  balance  sheet. 

Return  Postage  Guarantee 

The  attention  that  must  be  given  to  distribution  costs  grows 
larger  every  year  in  American  business  policy.     The  growth 


of  the  mail-order  business  marks  a  new  era  in  the  methods 
of  merchandising — the  era  of  the  catalogue.  Sales  by  this 
method  today  amount  to  over  $600,000,000  annually,  one 
firm  alone  sending  out  50,000,000  catalogues  of  all  kinds. 
The  value  of  these  ^'silent  salesmen"  is  much  more  than  the 
postage  necessary  to  have  undeliverable  copies  returned,  hence 
the  importance  of  the  return  postage  guarantee. 

In  using  this  privilege  all  that  is  necessary  is  to  stamp  or 
print  on  each  envelope  or  wrapper  the  single  phrase,  "Re- 
turn postage  guaranteed."  This  is  all  the  postal  regula- 
tions require.  In  case  the  guarantee  is  not  lived  up  to,  the 
postmaster  may  thereafter  stop  mailing  notices  of  non-de- 
livery to  the  defaulting  firm. 

While  lack  of  knowledge  of  postal  regulations  may  cause 
large  postage  wastes,  mistakes  in  addressing  letters  constitute 
a  steady  drain  which  in  the  aggregate  far  surpasses  most 
other  postage  losses.  Placing  the  wrong  city  address  beneath 
the  correct  street  address,  or  the  reverse,  is  a  type  of  the  mis- 
takes made.  Every  firm  should  have  some  means  of  checking 
up  such  carelessness  and  one  way  is  to  have  a  return  postage 
guarantee  upon  all  mail  matter.  A  study  of  the  returned  en- 
velopes will  generally  furnish  much  food  for  thought  and  in- 
dicate to  the  office  manager  the  care  and  accuracy  with  which 
the  mailing  list  is  checked  and  compiled. 

The  Mail  Clerk's  Opportunities  and  Responsibilities 

Often  a  skilled  mechanic  will  discover  practical  ways  of 
handling  a  machine  that  never  occurred  to  the  manufacturer 
or  even  the  inventor.  Similarly  there  are  clerks  that  have 
become  masters  of  their  jobs,  who  can  suggest  improvements 
in  methods  of  carrying  out  policies  formulated  by  their  exec- 

Few  office  positions  offer  better  opportunities  for  show- 
ing initiative  than  the  position  of  mail  clerk.     Opportunities 


present  themselves  most  frequently  in  those  parts  of  a  busi- 
ness organization  where  the  greatest  number  of  activities 
converge.  The  necessary  adjustments  which  are  being  made 
continuously  call  for  the  exercise  of  judgment.  The  mail 
department  is  the  neck  of  the  bottle — the  "narrows"  through 
which  run  most  of  the  communications  which  lead  into  and 
out  of  the  organization.  The  drawing  up  of  time  schedules, 
the  discovery  of  the  best  means  of  conveyance,,  the  scrutiny  of 
the  various  expense  factors  and  even  of  the  general  condi- 
tions surrounding  the  handling  of  the  firm's  mail,  call  for 
alertness  and  judgment. 

Frequently  advertising  managers  plan  an  extensive  circu- 
larizing campaign  without  thought  of  the  part  that  the  post- 
age plays.  Circulars  prepared  for  enclosure  with  letters  are 
so  bulky  that  the  letter  requires  excess  postage.  Catalogues 
are  often  printed  on  heavy  paper,  when  a  lighter  stock  with 
its  postage  economies  would  serve  the  same  purpose.  Again, 
very  large  catalogues  are  sent  by  mail  when  they  could  be 
sent  by  express  at  less  cost;  or  large  deliveries  of  catalogues 
may  be  effected  with  still  greater  saving  by  using  the  freight 
facilities.  In  such  cases  the  sender  arranges  with  some  local 
delivery  man,  perhaps  with  telegraph  messenger  boys,  to 
make  the  distribution. 

The  mail  clerk  should  know  more  about  matters  affecting 
the  mail  than  any  other  person  in  the  organization.  If  the 
paper  for  letter-heads,  envelopes,  or  forms  is  heavier  than 
needed  from  the  point  of  view  of  postage  costs,  he  should  be 
ready  to  suggest  a  remedy.  Or,  if  an  emergency  arises  through 
some  hasty  decision  on  the  part  of  an  executive  who  has  not 
taken  the  mailing  factor  into  consideration,  he  should  be 
ready  to  inform,  or  if  need  be,  warn  the  executive  of  the  sit- 
uation. If,  say,  a  real  estate  agent  decides  late  on  Friday 
afternoon  and  on  the  last  day  of  the  month  to  send  out  excur- 
sion tickets  for  the  next  day  to  a  large  number  of  prospective 


real  estate  purchasers,  this  might  be  excusable  since  he  is  not 
familiar  with  mailing  conditions.  But  such  an  order  ought 
not  to  get  by  the  mail  clerk  without  objection.  He  knows 
from  his  familiarity  witli  conditions  that  the  mail  on  the  tirst 
of  the  month  is  heavy  with  the  regular  monthly  bills  and 
that  the  chances  of  the  timely  delivery  of  the  tickets  are  very 
slim.  Here  is  not  only  an  opportunity  to  save  stamps,  tickets, 
and  a  large  number  of  prospects  from  disappointment,  but  a 
chance  to  display  that  initiative  and  good  judgment  which 
every  employer  holds  to  be  the  main  reason  for  promotion. 

Tying  the  Outgoing  Mail  to  the  Railroad  Schedule 

Setting  standards  in  the  mail  department  does  not  need  a 
thorough  analysis  of  the  government  mail  service,  yet  a 
study  of  train  and  delivery  schedules  will  disclose  the  best 
time  for  scheduling  the  outgoing  office  mail.  H  the  company 
has  a  large  number  of  branch  offices  throughout  the  country, 
a  similar  schedule  can  be  arranged  whereby  their  mailings  will 
tie  in  closely  with  the  schedules  of  the  express  or  through 
trains  which  carry  the  mail  to  the  home  city.  Thus,  the 
Guaranty  Trust  Company  of  New  York  City  has  worked  out 
schedules  for  all  the  important  through  trains.  The  mes- 
sengers collect  the  departmental  mail  every  fifteen  minutes 
and  bring  it  to  the  mail  room  where  the  mail  for  the  agencies 
is  sorted  into  distribution  boxes.  As  the  time  approaches  for 
closing  the  mail,  the  correspondence  for  each  agency  is  gath- 
ered in  one  or  more  envelopes.  Special  messengers  then  take 
the  mail  to  the  post  office,  every  effort  being  made  to  get  it  off 
on  these  express  trains.    Such  a  schedule' might  be  as  follows: 


Send  Out  Alail 



For  New  York  City 



"     Chicago 




"     Richmond 



Etc.,  etc. 


This  method  not  only  insures  quick  deHvery  but  is  econom- 
ical as  well.  One  company  which  followed  this  method  found 
that  outgoing  mail  which  hereto  forced  been  sealed,  stamped, 
and  carried  to  the  post  office  five  times  a  day  was  now  done  in 
two  deliveries  with  a  gain  in  transportation  time. 

Special  Mailing  Departments 

The  outgoing  mail  of  some  departments  often  becomes  so 
large  that  it  does  not  pay  to  send  it  through  the  general  mail- 
ing department,  except  perhaps  for  the  single  purpose  of 
taking  it  to  the  post  office.  In  such  cases  special  mailing  de- 
partments must  be  provided.  These  are  most  frequently 
operated  in  connection  with  the  collection,  advertising,  billing, 
circulation,  special  service  departments,  and  the  like.  As  a 
rule,  the  correspondence  and  mailing  activities  of  these  de- 
partments are  so  highly  standardized  that  the  correspondence 
is  performed  almost  automatically  by  following  form  para- 
graphs and  the  mailing  work  is  done  by  following  addresso- 
graph  lists  of  names.  The  functions  of  such  departments 
partake  of  the  nature  of  the  correspondence,  filing,  and  mail- 
ing departments. 

For  example,  the  billing  room  is  in  reality  only  a  highly 
specialized  mailing  department,  while  the  general  duties 
of  a  collection  department  are  the  proper  recording  and  col- 
lection of  all  debts.  This  includes  the  preparation  and  mail- 
ing of  bills  or  notices  of  payment  and  the  preparation  of  re- 
ceipts of  payment;  and,  if  no  payments  are  made,  the  setting 
in  motion  of  the  machinery  for  bringing  pressure  to  bear 
upon  delinquents.  All  .this  requires  correspondence,  filing 
of  addressograph  lists,  and  the  sending  out  of  the  mail.  But 
as  the  conditions  surrounding  collections  (especially  where 
instalment  methods  are  used)  are  much  the  same,  standard- 
ized letters  may  go  to  whole  classes.  Likewise,  the  mailing 
lists  may  be  arranged  according  to  periods  of  payment  geo- 



graphically  and  the  like.  A  common  practice  when  a  certain 
group  of  collections  is  to  be  made  is  to  send  notices  on  which 
the  names  and  addresses  are  printed  to  the  mailing  section 
of  the  collection  department.  These  are  placed  in  window  en- 
velopes. Sealing  and  stamping  is  done  by  an  automatic 
machine  at  the  rate  of  about  150  per  minute.  In  some  cases 
where  it  is  important  to  have  a  record  or  receipt  of  matter 
mailed  as  in  the  case  of  the  collection  of  insurance  premiums, 
the  premium  notices  are  placed  in  locked  boxes  which  are  not 
opened  until  delivered  at  the  post  office.  There  an  affidavit 
is  made  and  attached  to  each  mailing  list  certifying  that  the 
notices  therein  mentioned  were  mailed  on  the  date  stated. 

Standards  of  Performance  in  Mailing  Department 

How  many  letters  can  be  opened  and  sorted  for  distribu- 
tion in  an  hour?  As  soon  as  such  questions  arise  the  office 
manager  begins  to  realize  the  value  of  standards.  He  may 
know  what  his  own  office  force  is  doing  but  he  wonders  if 
he  is  getting  as  much  work  done  as  other  office  managers. 
He  wants  a  standard  by  which  to  measure  his  own  efficiency. 

Although  little  has  been  done  in  establishing  time  stand- 
ards for  performing  the  routine  of  office  work,  it  is  now 
generally  recognized  that  such  performances  can  be  meas- 
ured. Answers  to  a  questionnaire  sent  out  to  a  hundred  or 
more  office  managers  by  W.  L.  Chandler  of  the  Dodge  Manu- 
facturing Company,  disclosed  that  each  concern  had  certain 
special  features  attending  the  opening  and  sorting  of  the  mail 
which  made  its  standard  vary  from  all  others.  Neverthe- 
less, it  is  very  helpful  to  an  executive  if  he  knows  the  limits 
within  which  the  majority  of  offices  of  his  class  are  working. 

From  the  replies  to  the  questionnaire  concerns  were  rough- 
ly divided  into  two  classes :  ( i )  concerns  which  open  their 
mail  with  great  care,  reading  each  letter  before  distribution; 
(2)  concerns  which  merely  read  enough  to  learn  to  whom 



the  letters  should  go  for  proper  attention.  For  the  first  class 
a  general  speed  of  60  an  hour  prevailed,  while  the  second 
class  showed  that  an  average  of  200  per  hour  could  be  main- 

To  indicate  the  wide  variations  that  exist,  the  report  shows 
that  one  firm  opened  and  sorted  400  letters  per  hour.  The 
conditions  here  were  particularly  favorable  for  standardizing 
the  form  of  mail  matter.  This  concern  had  many  branch 
houses  that  sent  their  letters  in  large  envelopes  without  fold- 
ing, with  the  subject  and  department  references  clearly  shown. 

Again  another  investigation  showed  that  a  high  average 
was  reached  by  a  concern  that  carried  its  standardization  into 
its  operations.  This  firm  studied  the  operations  carefully  and 
found  that  13  motions  were  used  to  open  the  mail.  A  further 
study  showed  that  this  work  could  be  done  in  6  motions. 
When  the  new  method  was  adopted,  the  output  jumped  at 
once  from  100  to  200  an  hour.  But  the  work  of  standardiza- 
tion did  not  stop  here.  By  adapting  the  mail  opening  desk 
to  the  special  work  required  of  it  and  by  arranging  the  opened 
and  unopened  letters  in  the  most  convenient  way,  the 
rate  was  increased  to  over  300  per  hour.  This  is  an  example 
of  the  true  scientific  method,  since  efficiency  is  gained  by  the 
elimination  of  false,  useless,  and  tiresome  motions  and  at  the 
same  time  the  worker  is  trained  in  accuracy. 

Standards  in  Folding  and  Enclosing  Letters 

A  second  leading  question  involves  a  consideration  of  the 
outgoing  mail :  How  many  letters  can  be  folded  and  stamped 
in  an  hour?  Here  it  is  possible  to  suggest  general  standards. 
The  conditions  are  under  the  control  of  the  office  manager 
and  there  are  fewer  variables  to  affect  them.  In  most  offices 
this  operation  takes  place  at  the  close  of  the  day  and  thus  a 
burst  of  speed  is  necessary.  The  output  as  shown  in  the 
report  referred  to  above  varied  from  575  in  one  concern  to 


as  low  as  200  in  another.  Five  hundred  an  hour,  however, 
did  not  seem  a  particularly  high  goal  of  attainment  where 
window  envelopes  are  used  to  obviate  the  necessity  of  look- 
ing for  the  correct  address.  An  experiment  in  "motion 
study"  worth  quoting,  since  it  emphasizes  the  rewards  to 
be  gained  through  a  careful  analysis  of  every  operation,  is 
the  following: 

"A  boy  was  taken  from  a  broom  factory  where  he  had 
worked  on  piece-work  and  put  at  a  bench  to  make  up  pack- 
ages of  various  pieces  of  printed  matter  preparatory  to  mail- 
ing. By  arranging  his  piles  of  printed  matter  and  wrappers 
to  suit  his  greatest  convenience,  he  turned  out  350  packages 
a  day  where  before  only  50  packages  were  made  up." 

Standards  in  Stamping  Envelopes 

A  clerk  who  can  affix  only  500  stamps  an  hour  is  not 
working  efficiently.  It  is  possible  to  raise  the  rate  from  500 
to  3,000  per  hour  by  arranging  the  work  properly.  On  the 
other  hand,  3,000  stamps  per  hour  is  excessive  if  the  rate  is 
kept  up  for  any  length  of  time.  Where  the  volume  of  out- 
going mail  is  large  its  stamping  is  most  economically  done 
by  machine.  An  electrically  operated  machine  will  seal, 
stamp,  and  count  from  7,000  to  15,000  envelopes  an  hour.  The 
stamps  are  locked  in  the  machine  and  recorded  as  they  pass 
upon  the  envelopes.  This  gives  an  accurate  and  automatic 
check  upon  the  postage  account.  An  ordinary  office  boy  or 
girl  can  operate  the  machine  and  do  the  work  of  eight  or  ten 
clerks.  The  Butterick  Publishing  Company  claims  that  its 
mailing  machine  saves  its  cost  twenty  times  a  year.  For 
smaller  concerns,  there  are  available  a  number  of  hand 
machines  capable  of  stamping  3,000  letters  an  hour. 



The  Need  of  a  Systematic  Messenger  Service 

While  in  many  offices  verbal  communication  between  de- 
partments is  carried  on  largely  over  the  telephone,  in  every 
business  house  there  is  a  constant  stream  of  papers  and  rec- 
ords passing  from  desk  to  desk  and  from  department  to  de- 
partment. The  mail  needs  to  be  distributed  and  collected, 
correspondence  has  to  be  sent  to  and  from  the  files,  written 
instructions  must  be  carried  from  executives  to  subordinates, 
and  employees  frequently  need  to  consult  documents  and  rec- 
ords in  the  custody  of  others.  When  the  communicating 
means  consists  of  a  number  of  office  boys  whose  coming  and 
going  is  not  regulated,  and  who  are  at  the  beck  and  call  of  all 
and  sundry,  it  not  infrequently  happens  that  no  boy  is  at 
liberty  to  carry  a  message  just  at  the  moment  when  he  is 
most  urgently  wanted.  This  spasmodic  and  unregulated 
messenger  service  results  in  much  coming  and  going  of  em- 
ployees with  its  attendant  confusion,  laxity  of  discipline,  and 
waste  of  time. 

If,  on  the  other  hand,  a  systematized  messenger  service  is 
organized  on  a  frequent  schedule,  and  boys  are  instructed  to 
make  the  rounds  of  departments  and  desks  at  stated  intervals — 
thus  acting  as  a  connecting  link  between  departments  and  desks 
within  a  department — such  a  service,  when  dependable,  is  an 
invaluable  aid  to  the  systematic  flow  of  work  and  the  efficiency 
of  all  departments.  The  confusion  resulting  from  haphazard 
service  is  eliminated  and  the  machinery  of  the  whole  business, 
from  the  highest  executive  down  to  the  lowest  clerk,  is  found 
to  run  more  smoothly. 




Steps  in  the  Organization  of  a  Messenger  Service 

The  first  essentials  of  good  organization  in  the  messenger 
service  department  are  well-defined  jobs,  definite  duties,  and 
close  inspection.  These  things  make  for  exactness  and  re- 
sponsibility and  bring  home  to  the  more  or  less  irresponsible 
nature  of  boys  the  seriousness  of  business.  The  messenger 
service  should  also  have  a  distinct  place  upon  the  organiza- 
tion chart  of  the  business  and,  if  its  personnel  is  large  enough 
to  warrant  it,  a  junior  clerk  or  the  head  office  boy  should  be 
in  charge. 

Such  a  service,  in  order  to  be  efficient,  must  be  carefully 
planned  and  controlled.  A  schedule  providing  regular  trips 
and  regular  stations  throughout  the  various  departments  is  the 
first  requirement.  The  frequency  of  the  rounds,  which  will 
of  course  depend  upon  the  nature  of  the  business  and  the 
requirements  of  dift'erent  departments,  may  range  from  the 
ten-minute  service  of  a  busy  manufacturing  concern  to  the 
hourly  service  of  the  small  mercantile  house. 

Having  determined  the  schedule  and  the  routes  to  be 
covered,  a  sufficient  number  of  boys  should  be  allotted  to  the 
duty  of  maintaining  the  service,  while  as  many  as  may  be 
required  should  be  held  in  reserve  to  handle  special  messages 
and  any  other  simple  and  general  duties  in  the  doing  of  which 
the  boys  can  serve  their  office  apprenticeships.  To  insure 
the  regularity  of  the  service,  two  things  are  necessary.  Each 
boy  must  be  told  exactly  what  he  is  to  do  and  when  to  do  it, 
and  means  must  be  provided  for  checking  up  the  regularity 
of  deliveries  and  collections  so  that  responsibility  can  be 
placed  for  delays  and  omissions.  Boys  in  particular  need 
this  close  kind  of  supervision.  The  responsibility  of  their 
work  can  only  be  brought  home  to  them  when  they  are  fur- 
nished with  a  list  of  individual  duties  printed  upon  a  card, 
framed,  and  placed  upon  each  boy's  desk.  The  following  is 
typical  of  such  a  list : 


John  Smith 
Messenger  Boy 
8  :oo.     Special  file  collection. 
Make   collections   and   deliveries   continuously   from 

Make  collection  of  dictated  cylinders  after  each  round 
of  deliveries. 
"  Count  envelopes  of  incoming  mail  right  after  lunch. 
Answer  buzzers  and  make  up  carbons  in  the  after- 

Regular  collection  and  delivery  stations  should  be  placed 
where  required  and  provided  with  baskets  into  which  certain 
kinds  of  matter  are  always  put.  This  saves  time  in  sorting 
the  material.  The  common  practice  is  to  have  three  com- 
partments or  baskets,  one  to  take  incoming  papers,  the  second 
to  hold  outgoing  matter,  and  the  third  for  correspondence  to 
be  returned  to  the  files.  A  suitable  carrying  device  should 
also  be  provided  with  compartments  into  which  the  different 
kinds  of  mail,  memos,  records,  and  the  like  may  be  classified. 
This  saves  time  at  the  end  of  each  trip,  for  the  sorting  is 
largely  completed;  and,  in  the  case  of  matter  returned,  the 
material  can  be  easily  sorted  as  to  destination  and  sent  out 
for  distribution  on  the  next  round. 

Checking  up  the  Service 

To  prevent  delays  and  errors  and  to  place  the  responsi- 
bility for  carelessness  upon  the  boy  causing  the  trouble,  the 
messengers  are  provided  with  sets  of  cards,  one  for  each 
basket.  Each  card  is  marked  with  the  time  of  collection  and 
every  time  the  messenger  empties  a  basket  he  leaves  in  it  a 
new  card  showing  the  last  delivery.  The  inspection  of  the 
service  by  the  head  messenger  boy  or  chief  clerk  is  thus  made 
easy,  since  there  is  always  a  card  in  the  basket  marking  the 
time  of  the  last  visit  to  any  station. 


Manual  of  Instructions 

Some  firms  go  still  further  than  the  list  of  duties  already 
referred  to  and  prepare  a  manual  of  instructions  covering  the 
work  of  the  department  as  a  whole.  The  boys  are  expected 
to  learn  these  instructions  and  be  ready  to  answer  questions 
concerning  them.  The  following  headings  will  indicate  the 
ground  covered  by  the  rules : 

1.  Learn  the  rules. 

2.  To  whom  responsible  (organization  of  department). 

3.  Courtesy. 

4.  General  conduct  (reading,  smoking,  etc.,  during  of- 

fice hours). 

5.  Personal  appearance. 

6.  Punctuality. 

7.  Accuracy   (enclosing  correspondence,  dusting  desks, 


8.  Economy    (pencils    and    stationery    vs.    money    and 


9.  Team-work. 

10.  Observation.     (Study  the  organization,  names  of  de- 

partments, kinds  of  work  done,  etc.) 

11.  Attention. 

12.  Concentration.      (Do  not  attempt  to   answer  ques- 

tions until  all  instructions  have  been  heard.) 

13.  Visitors   (treatment  and  how  to  handle  them). 

14.  Answering  annunciator. 

15.  Answering  the  telephone. 

16.  "Don'ts"  for  of^ce  boys  and  messengers. 

As  samples  of  the  above  rules  the  following  may  be 
quoted : 

"The  annunciator  shall  be  answered  promptly  and  mes- 
sages delivered  quickly  and  accurately.  Listen  carefully  to 
what  is  being  said  and  let  the  person  who  is  giving  you  the 


instructions  know  that  you  have  understood  him.  It  is  bet- 
ter to  ask  to  have  a  message  repeated  than  to  deliver  it  in- 

"The  telephone  shall  be  answered  promptly  in  the  follow- 
ing manner : 

1.  Remove  the  receiver  and  say,    'Mr.  A's  telephone.' 

If  there  is  no  answer,  repeat  the  statement.  Speak 
clearly  and  distinctly,  but  not  too  loudly,  directly 
into  the  mouth  piece. 

2.  If  Mr.  A  has  stepped  out  of  the  office,  you  will  say, 

'Mr.  A  has  stepped  out  of  the  office.     Do  you  wish 
to  leave  any  message?' 

3.  If  the  person  wishes  to  leave  a  message,  take  it,  to- 

gether with  his  name  and  telephone  number." 

As  examples  of  the  things  the  boys  are  not  to  do,  the  fol- 
lowing list  of  *'don'ts"  may  be  quoted: 

1.  Don't  try  to  do  things  without  understanding  the  in- 

structions or  directions  given  you. 

2.  Don't  take  a  chance  on  getting  things  straight.  Un- 

less you  understand  fully  what  is  wanted,  ask  for 
further  information.  Even  if  persons  are  impatient 
in  giving  further  instructions,  don't  hesitate  to  ask 
for  them.  The  request  will  be  excused,  but  anything 
done  stupidly  because  you  do  not  understand  what 
is  wanted  will  never  be  excused. 

3.  Don't  receive  instructions  and  then  do  nothing.     If 

you  don't  know  what  to  do,  ask. 

4.  Don't  try  to  cover  up  mistakes.     You  will  not  suc- 

ceed. Go  to  the  person  concerned  and  report  the 

5.  Don't  talk  too  loudly  or  act  disorderly  in  the  office  or 


6.  Don't  loaf,  kill  time,  or  neglect  your  duties,  but  move 

about  quickly  and  quietly. 

7.  Don't  interrupt  a  busy  man  merely  to  hand  him  a 

paper.    Wait  until  you  are  spoken  to. 


8.  Don't  guess  when  asked  for  information.    Unless  you 

know,  find  out  from  someone  who  does  before  you 

9.  Don't  be  careless  in  the  handling  of  papers.     Every 

paper  is  valuable  and  its  loss  may  cause  a  great  deal 
of  trouble. 
10.  Don't  be  late  and  don't  be  afraid  to  stay  a  few  min- 
utes overtime  at  night  if  your  services  are  required. 
The  boy  who  watches  the  clock  and  bolts  the  office 
at  exactly  five  o'clock  will  advance  but  slowly. 

Stimulating  Ambition  by  Rev^^arding  Service 

Another  means  of  adding  dignity  to  the  work  of  the  mes- 
senger service  is  the  grading  of  the  boys  according  to  salaries. 
One  large  company  employing  20  office  boys  divides  them 
into  three  classes.  The  wages  of  the  first  class  are  $6,  the 
second  class  $7,  and  the  third  class  $9  per  week.  Upon  enter- 
ing the  office  the  boy  is  put  in  the  $6  class  and  given  a  red 
button  to  be  worn  in  the  lapel  of  his  coat.  When  promoted 
to  the  next  class  he  is  given  a  blue  button  and  so  on  up  the 
scale  as  fast  as  the  quality  of  his  work  merits  it.  If  a  boy  in 
one  of  the  higher  classes  gains  a  sufficient  number  of  demerits 
through  disobedience,  negligence,  tardiness,  etc.,  he  is  put  in 
a  lower  grade,  his  salary  proportionately  reduced,  and  the 
fact  published  by  a  change  of  button.  Boys  of  the  highest 
class  are  further  graded  according  to  their  records;  but  other 
things  being  equal,  the  boys  longest  in  the  service  are  given 
the  preference  when  promotions   are   made. 

Tasks  involving  judgment  and  tact  are  given  to  boys  of 
the  highest  class  only.  Officials  can  tell  at  a  glance  whether 
or  not  the  boy  is  to  be  relied  upon  by  the  color  of  the  badge 

Piece  Rate  and  a  Bonus  System  of  Payment 

A  large  manufacturing  concern  with  hundreds  of  messen- 
ger stations  widely  separated,  found  it  difficult  to  control  the 



movements  of  its  messengers.  It  was  decided  finally  to  put 
the  responsibility  for  their  work  directly  upon  the  shoulders 
of  the  messengers  themselves  by  adopting  the  piece-rate  system 
of  payment.  For  each  message  up  to  70,  a  rate  of  one  and 
one-half  cents  per  call  was  allowed,  and  for  every  one  above 
70  a  rate  of  one  cent  per  call.  Although  the  rate  is  uniform 
for  all  messages  and  the  distance  traveled  is  not  considered, 
it  has  been  found  that  over  a  period  of  time  the  work  falling 
upon  the  messengers  is  about  the  same.  Thus  boys  who  exert 
themselves  to  do  their  work  with  thoroughness  and  dispatch 
are  paid  accordingly. 

By  putting  the  ofifice  and  messenger  boys'  jobs  into  their 
true  relationship  to  the  business  as  a  whole,  the  boys  see  and 
feel  their  responsibility  for  the  success  of  the  concern.  By 
affording  opportunities  for  instruction  in  the  duties  of  their 
department,  the  boys  become  interested  in  their  work — and 
once  interested,  efficiency  follows  as  a  natural  result.  Also, 
the  manager  who  follows  the  work  of  this  department  closely 
has  every  opportunity  afforded  him  of  testing  the  fiber  of  the 
boys,  and  when  a  vacancy  with  higher  responsibilities  occurs 
he  has  ready  for  the  position  someone  trained  and  tested  in 
the  spirit  and  policy  of  the  concern. 

Memorandum  Forms 

Interdepartmental  messages  should  not  be  written  on  any 
kind  of  letter  or  scrap  paper,  as  in  the  majority  of  cases  such 
messages  need  to  be  filed  for  future  reference  when  it  may 
be  necessary  to  place  responsibility.  Suitable  memorandum 
forms,  distinctive  in  color  and  of  two  or  three  standard  sizes, 
should  be  provided  for  such  correspondence.  The  special 
color  marks  the  source  of  the  message  at  once,  while  the 
sizes  make  it  possible  to  select  a  sheet  to  suit  the  length  of 
the  message.  Such  a  memorandum  form  may  be  had  as 
follows : 


Office  Memorandum 

To Date 

From In  re 


The  Standard  Memo  Slip 

In  offices  where  messages  between  departments  are  largely 
of  a  routine  nature  it  is  possible  to  economize  time  and  space 
by  standardizing  their   forms  and  expression,  as  follows : 

Deliver  to 


Mr.   Strong  Bookkeeper 


"      Jones    Credit  Dept. 

Return  with  papers 

"         —       Shipping   Dept. 

Note  and  file 

"        —       Discount  Dept. 

Note  and  return 

"        —      Files 

You  reply 

"        —      Genera]  Bookkeeping 

Prepare  letter — I  will  sign 

—       Note  Teller 

Investigate  and   report 

"        —       Securities  Dept. 

Draw  check  in  payment 

"        —       Statements 

Usual  course 

"        —      Transit  Dept. 

Confirm  signature 



Auditing  Dept. 


Credit  Dept. 

Directors'  Meeting 

From  Mr. 

Standard    Memo    Slip 

This  memo  is  employed  by  a  large  bank.  Its  time-saving 
feature  will  be  readily  understood  by  showing  how  it  is  used. 
If  an  officer  of  the  bank  receives  a  request  for  a  loan,  he  does 
not  need  to  write  out  a  memorandum  to  the  credit  department, 
but  simply  takes  out  one  of  these  standard  slips,  puts  a  check 
mark  before  "Credit  Dept."  in  the  column  "Deliver  to,"  and 
another  before  "Investigate  and  report"  in  the  column  headed 
"Instructions";  signs  his  name  at  the  bottom;  sticks  the  slip 
to  the  correspondence  (one  edge  of  the  slip  being  gummed)  ; 


and,  finally,  tosses  the  letter  into  the  outgoing  basket — all  of 
which  takes  only  a  few  seconds. 

Magazine  Delivery  Service 

A  variation  of  the  standard  slip  is  employed  by  concerns 
which  have  adopted  the  useful  practice  of  passing  certain 
magazines  among  interested  department  managers.  The 
librarian,  upon  the  receipt  of  a  magazine  which  has  been 
listed  to  go  regularly  to  a  number  of  persons,  pastes  a 
"sticker"  at  the  top  of  the  front  page  and  checks  off  the  names 
to  whom  it  is  to  go,  as  shown  below. 

Deliver  to 



Remarks  as  to  Clipping  and  Filing  | 


ON  Page 


Frank  Dodge 
Henry  Greed 
Alfred  Noycs 


Mail  Order 

After  reading  check  your 
name;  send  on  to  the  next. 

Magazine   Delivery    Slip 

This  slip  is  also  used  in  sending  books,  papers,  and  the  like, 
to  responsible  employees  who  have  left  instructions  with  the 
librarian  or  research  department  to  call  their  attention  to 
articles  bearing  upon  certain  subjects.  In  this  case  the  libra- 
rian puts  the  page  or  title  of  an  article  upon  the  slip,  writes  in 
the  name  of  the  person  and  the  department,  and  sends  the 
literature  to  him  through  the  messenger  service. 

The  Office  Envelope 

When  it  is  necessary  to  safeguard  messages  going  through 
the  office  mail,  an  "office  envelope''  is  used.  This  bears  the 
names  of  the  executives  to  whom  important  mail  matter  is 



sent,  thus  making  it  possible  to  send  the  matter  to  several  per- 
sons in  the  order  in  which  they  are  listed.  The  first  person 
to  receive  the  envelope  removes  the  material  intended  for  him, 
crosses  off  his  name  and  sends  the  envelope  on  to  the  next 
person  whose  name  appears  on  the  list.  Since  these  envelopes 
may  be  used  many  times,  they  are  made  of  durable  material 
capable  of  standing  many  erasures. 

An  ingenious  method  adopted  by  one  firm  saves  unneces- 
sary work  in  examining  the  inside  of  the  envelope.  A  series 
of  small  openings  or  windows  disclose  at  a  glance  whether 
or  not  any  mail  matter  has  been  left  inside. 



The  Place  of  the  Order  in  the  Office  Routine 

Perhaps  no  better  vantage  point  can  be  taken  to  get  a 
general  view  of  the  activities  of  an  office  than  in  the  order 
department,  for  two  reasons.  First,  the  original  order  for 
goods,  as  explained  in  Chapter  I,  is  the  basic  record  out  of 
which  grow  all  of  the  initiating  orders  to  the  various  depart- 
ments dealing  with  the  transaction.  The  order  department 
makes  out  these  various  orders  or  "copies"  and  distributes 
them  to  the  several  "heads."  Secondly,  the  order  department 
acts  as  a  center  of  control  for  the  various  activities  which 
these  "order  copies"  set  going.  In  every  office,  records  and 
a  system  must  be  provided  for  controlling  the  selling  of  goods, 
the  receipt,  acceptance,  interpretation,  and  filling  of  the  order, 
the  shipping  of  the  goods  to  the  customer,  the  collection  of  the 
money,  and  the  record  of  the  financial  results.  Therefore, 
the  method  of  communicating  the  contents  of  the  order  from 
department  to  department,  or  from  one  group  of  employees 
to  another,  is  important.  If  wasted  energy  and  lost  motion 
are  to  be  avoided  the  office  manager  must  lay  down  the  pro- 
cedure best  fitted  for  the  type  of  business  under  consideration. 
The  sooner  this  is  done  the  fewer  will  be  the  encumbrances 
and  time-wasting  methods  that  will  attach  themselves  to  the 
office  routine.  A  study  of  Figures  2  and  3  (pages  7  and  8) 
will  emphasize  these  points. 

Analysis  of  Forms  Required 

How  extensively  the  barnacles  of  needless  detail  tend  to 
collect  around  the  order  system  of  an  office  is  illustrated  by 



the  experience  of  a  large  typewriting  house.  After  making 
an  analysis  of  functions  and  duties  this  concern  found  that,  of 
the  29  operations  used  in  recording  and  filHng  an  order,  the 
majority  were  unnecessary.  What  was  essentially  one  piece 
of  information  was  actually  divided  into  29  parts.  All  these 
clerical  operations  were  then  combined  into  one  set  of  forms 
upon  which  were  transcribed,  at  one  writing,  the  entire  details 
of  the  order.  Each  of  the  forms  bore  the  same  serial  number, 
giving  a  quick  means  of  identifying  the  order  at  any  time. 
A  simple  analysis  of  the  functions  connecteci  with  the  order 
routine  quickly  separated  the  essential  from  the  unnecessary 
procedure  and  showed  the  number  of  forms  needed  to  con- 
vey this  information  to  the  departments  concerned.  It  was 
then  a  simple  matter  to  devise  a  set  of  records  to  furnish  the 
information  required  at  one  writing. 

Personnel  of  the  Order  Department 

The  head  of  the  order  department,  who  is  sometimes  a 
member  of  the  accounting  staff,  is  commonly  known  as  the 
"chief  order  clerk."  His  duties  are  largely  confined  to  the 
interpretation  of  orders;  i.e.,  he  translates  the  customer's 
order  into  the  terms  and  symbols  of  the  stock  and  of  the 
routine  of  the  business.  One  or  more  entry  clerks  usually 
record  the  order  with  its  number  and  manifold  clerks  make  as 
many  copies  of  it  as  the  routine  demands.  In  addition  to 
supervising  the  work  of  his  subordinates  the  chief  order  clerk 
is,  as  a  rule,  made  responsible  for  seeing  that  the  shipping 
schedule  is  carried  out. 

The  Routine  of  the  Order  Department 

Where  it  is  the  practice  to  let  each  department  head  decide 
the  working  schedule  of  his  department  under  the  general 
supervision  of  the  office  manager,  the  order  department  simply 
acts  as  a  clearing  center  through  which  each  department  re- 


ports  the  time  an  order  will  be^.put  through.  The  order  clerk, 
for  instance,  when  sending  the  stock  copy  of  an  order  to  the 
factory  or  stock  department  asks  for  a  statement  of  the  prob- 
able date  of  delivery.  He  then  files  the  office  copy  under  the 
delivery  date  in  his  tickler  (or  probably  a  few  days  ahead 
of  this  date).  This  date  is  also  sent  with  order  copies  to  the 
shipping  and  traffic  departments.  These  in  turn  file  their 
copies  and  report  back  to  the  order  clerk  the  probable  shipping 
dates  and  traffic  arrangements.  A  few  days  before  the  de- 
livery of  a  certain  order  is  called  for,  the  order  clerk  is  auto- 
matically notified  by  his  tickler  of  this  fact.  He  then  calls  up 
the  shop  or  stock  room  and  gets  these  departments  to  assure 
him  that  all  is  well — or  if  not,  to  give  him  another  approxi- 
mate date  when  the  order  will  be  finished.  Time  is  therefore 
allowed  to  readjust  shipping  and  billing  schedules  and  perhaps 
to  notify  the  customer  who  is  about  to  be  disappointed  by  a 
delayed  shipment. 

The  Clerical  Work  of  Filling  an  Order 

All  orders  should  be  numbered  consecutively  as  received, 
and  the  number  used  to  identify  the  order  throughout  the 
office  and  in  corresponding  with  the  customer.  To  this  end 
the  order  number  is  entered  on  all  copies  which  go  to  the  cus- 
tomer who  is  requested  to  use  this  means  of  describing  it. 

After  the  chief  order  clerk  has  classified  the  order  and  in- 
dicated his  interpretation  by  key  numbers,  it  is  taken  in  hand 
by  the  entry  clerks  who  make  the  required  number  of  copies. 
These  naturally  vary  with  conditions,  but  the  following  dupli- 
cate copies  are  typical  of  those  commonly  made : 

1.  Office  Copy.     To  serve  as  a  permanent  record  of  the 

order  and  kept  in  the  office. 

2.  Sales  Copy.     To  be  used  in  making  up  the  sales  de- 

partment's purchase  records. 


3.  Acknowledgment  Copy.     To  be  sent  to  the  customer 

as  an  acknowledgment  of  the  receipt  of  his  order. 

4.  Factory    Copy.      (Where    orders    are    filled    from 

stock.)  To  act  as  a  check  for  the  production 
manager  in  regulating  the  flow  of  production. 

5.  Stores  Copy.     To  be  used  in  filling  the  order.     Copy 

sent  to  stores  department.  (One  copy  is  sufficient, 
provided  the  entire  order  is  filled  by  one  depart- 
ment. ) 

6.  Shipping   Copy.     To   be   used   as   a   check   against 

goods  received  from  the  factory  or  stores.  Sent 
to  stores  department. 

7.  Traffic  Copy.     To  be  used  in  routing  and  checking 

shipment.  Sent  to  traffic  department.  (Stores  or 
factory  copy  may  be  used  for  this  purpose.  If  so, 
this  copy  is  not  needed.) 

8.  Invoice  Copy.     To  be  sent  to  the  customer  as  an  in- 


9.  Other  Copies.     Sometimes,,  depending  upon  condi- 

tions peculiar  to  the  business,  a  firm  finds  it  useful 
to  make  out  other  copies  as  follows : 

(a)  Advertising    Copy.      To    be    used    in    its 

records  of  classified  sales. 

(b)  Charge   Sheet   Copy.     To   be   used  by  the 

accounting  department  in  making  its  en- 

(c)  Extra  Invoice  Copy.     To  be  used  by  ac- 

counting department  as  a  ledger  record. 

(d)  Label  Copy.     To  be  used  as  shipping  in- 

structions when  pasted  on  shipment  by 
shipping  department.  (Only  such  part 
of  original  copy  as  is  needed  is  used.) 


(e)  Shipping  Receipt  Copies.     To  be  signed  by 

transportation  companies. 

(f)  Monthly  Summary  Copy.     To  be  used  in 

periodical  summaries. 

(g)  ^^^ork  Copy.     To  be  held  in  file  pending  the 

completion  of  any  work  attending  the  in- 
stallation of  some  machine,  equipment, 

Example  of  Order  Form  and  System 

To  illustrate  the  order  form  in  its  natural  setting,  the  order 
system  of  a  large  gas  company  conducting  28  branch  offices 
with  customers  varying  in  number  from  1,000  to  100,000  per 
office,  has  been  chosen  for  description.  Many  gas  and  electric 
companies,  as  is  well  known,  sell  not  only  gas  and  current,  but 
many  kinds  of  appliances  such  as  lamps,  stoves,  and  gas 
mantles.  This  business  is  promoted  by  salesmen  in  the  field 
as  well  as  by  local  advertising  and  finely  equipped  merchandis- 
ing rooms.  Thus,  orders  arise  from  three  sources :  floor 
salesmen,  solicitors,  and  by  mail.  In  the  first  case  the  money 
is  received  with  the  order  and  the  goods  are  taken  away  by  or 
delivered  to  the  customer.  To  provide  for  these  conditions 
only  three  copies  of  the  order  are  needed  and  the  form  itself 
is  comparatively  simple.  The  payment  of  cash  eliminates  the 
credit  risk  and  hence  the  attendant  investigation.  For  con- 
venience of  recognition,  each  of  the  three  copies  is  given  a 
distinctive  color — in  this  case  white,  pink,  and  blue.  The  form 
used  is  shown  in  Figure  24. 

The  white  sheet  is  retained  in  the  order  book,  the  other 
two  sheets  are  stamped  "Paid''  by  the  cashier,  the  pink  sheet 
is  handed  to  the  customer  with  the  merchandise,  and  the  blue 
sheet  is  retained  by  the  cashier.  At  the  end  of  the  day  the 
blue  sheets  are  sent  to  the  sundry  sales  department  where  they 
are  checked  against  the  white  sheets  which  have  likewise  been 





Gas  Company 


Am't  Rec'd 

2r's  Name. 


Nature  of  Order 


Meter  . 

.  .  Service House    Piped 

Figure  24.     Floor  Salesman's  Order  Form 

Only    three    copies    of    this    order   are    made    out,    customer    usually    paying    cash    and 
receiving    goods    at    once. 

sent  from  the  sales  floor,  after  which  a  summary  is  made  of 
the  cash  sales  for  the  day.  The  original  of  the  order  is  then 
forwarded  to  the  bookkeeping  department  and  the  blue  copy 
is  sent  to  the  storekeeper  as  a  record  for  material  issued  from 
his  department. 

If  an  order  originates  through  a  solicitor  or  comes  in  by 
mail  a  form  of  somewhat  different  nature  is  used  as  illustrated 
in  Figure  25.  Five  copies  of  this  form  are  made  up  in  the 
following  way : 



I.  Original  Record  (color — orange).  (Supposing  the 
order  calls  for  a  stove  which  must  be  delivered  and  set  up  for 
a  customer).  This  record  is  taken  out  by  the  fitter  who  does 
the  work,  to  serve  as  a  receipt  when  signed  by  the  customer. 
When  returned  by  the  fitter  the  order  goes  to  the  distribution 
office  clerk  to  be  compared  with  a  copy  of  the  order  there  and 
then  goes  back  to  the  commercial  office  where  it  originated. 
Upon   receipt  of  the   original  at  the   office,   the  office  copy 

Sundry  Sales  Order 


Service          Piped 


Original  Record 

Gas  Company 

Name Date 

Address Town  or  Section 

Nature  of  Order 



Ledger  folio 


Price  0  K'd  by 

Charged  by 

Credit  Passed  by 


Sign  name  here  upon  receipt  of  material 

Figure  25.    Field  Salesman's  or  Mail  Order  Form 

Five   copies   of   this   form  are   made   out,    facilitating   full    record   and   follow-up    until 
order   is  finally  filled. 


is  removed  from  the  file  and  the  original  is  forwarded  to 
the  bookkeeping  department. 

2.  Office  Record  (pink).  Remains  in  office  as  a  record 
of  the  order  until  the  order  has  been  executed  and  the  original 
returned  when  the  office  copy  is  destroyed. 

3.  Storeroom  Copy  (yellow).  To  be  presented  to  the 
stores-keeper  for  material  and  is  retained  in  the  storeroom. 

4.  Invoice  Card  (blue).  To  be  left  with  the  customer 
as  an  original  bill. 

5.  Work  Card  (pale  green).  To  be  filed  in  the  "pending 
order  file"  until  completion  of  work  thereon,  when  it  is  placed 
in  the  final  geographical  file. 

Order  Routine  in  Wholesale  House 

To  illustrate  the  general  organization  of  another  typical 
business,  the  method  followed  by  one  of  the  largest  wholesale 
grocery  houses  in  the  United  States  is  here  described. 

In  this  business  there  are  two  general  classes  of  sales 
orders,  viz.,  mail  orders  and  telephone  orders.  These  are 
handled  in  the  same  way,  after  the  orders  over  the  wire  have 
been  taken  down.  The  routine  followed  can  best  be  explained 
by  using  a  concrete  example. 

When  the  mail  is  opened  letters  containing  orders  are 
turned  over  to  the  order  department,  which  in  turn  copies  the 
order  upon  an  order  blank.  The  order  clerk  refers  to  the 
price  files  to  see  what  special  prices  or  terms  have  been 
allowed,  and  then  fills  out  the  order  accordingly.  The  order 
then  contains  the  name  of  the  firm  to  whom  the  goods  are  to 
be  shipped,  their  address,  the  salesman's  name,  the  bill  of 
goods  wanted,  and  the  prices  quoted. 

The  order  is  now  turned  over  to  the  credit  department 
where  it  is  O  K'd  and  numbered.  From  here  it  passes 
through  a  duplicator,  the  duplicate  being  held  for  reference, 
and  the  original  going  to  the  shipping  department.      (It  is  ob- 



vious  that  a  carbon  copy  of  the  order  blank  would  have  saved 
this  duplicator  work.) 

Here  the  order  is  assigned  to,  say,  door  number  3,  mean- 
ing that  the  goods  are  to  be  shipped  on  the  Pennsylvania 
Railroad.  The  door  number,  order  number,  and  name  of 
purchaser,  are  noted  on  the  order  register  in  the  shipping  de- 
partment and  the  order  is  turned  over  to  the  office  at  door  3. 

In  this  office  the  order  is  recopied  upon  "floor  slips,"  which 
list  the  items  wanted  from  that  particular  floor,  and  give  the 
order  number  and  floor  number.  The  floormen  on  each  floor 
then  take  the  slips  and  fill  the  order  on  trucks.  Each  pack- 
age is  marked  with  the  door  number  to  which  it  is  assigned 
and  the  initial  or  mark  of  the  floorman  to  make  sure  that 
everything  is  right.  The  floor  slip  goes  down  to  the  shipping 
department  with  the  goods  and  any  stock  shortages  are  noted 
upon  it. 

Finally  the  goods  from  all  floors  for  this  particular  order 
are  brought  together  on  a  truck  at  door  3  when  they  are 
checked  against  the  original  order.  If  there  are  any  shortages 
the  proper  floor  slips  are  again  sent  up  to  them.  Thus  the 
checker  O  K's  the  original  order  and  the  truck  driver  gives 
his  receipt  for  the  goods  by  putting  his  initials  in  a  proper 
space  on  the  bill.  These  orders  are  collected  at  intervals  of 
every  few  minutes  and  taken  to  the  billing  department. 

In  following  through  an  order  as  outlined  above  for  a 
specific  business  it  will  be  noted  that  the  forms  and  procedure 
conform  in  part  at  least  to  the  requirements  of  section  on  ''The 
Clerical  Work  of  Filling  an  Order."  The  essential  needs  of 
any  business  may  be  met  by  the  divisions  of  the  work  as  there 
outlined  and  any  variations  in  names  or  additions  to  the  out- 
line may  be  made  to  meet  varying  conditions. 



Development  of  the  Filing  Department 

In  the  past  the  expense  of  a  filing  department  was  regarded 
as  one  of  the  many  incidental  items  which  made  up  the  burden 
of  "overhead"  or  operating  expense.  The  problems  of  filing 
were  regarded  as  unimportant  and  left  to  the  solution  of 
junior  clerks,  or  were  disregarded  entirely  and  the  business 
"got  along"  without  a  filing  system.  Today  the  filing- depart- 
ment is  rapidly  coming  to  be  regarded  as  an  important  factor 
in  every  large  organization. 

Filing  began  with  unsystematic  devices  for  preserving 
letters,  records,  documents,  and  other  business  papers.  Stand- 
ardized methods  and  apparatus,  subsequently  worked  out,  have 
brought  development  in  three  lines,  which  may  be  summarized 
as  follows : 

1.  Methods  of  keeping  such  material  in  convenient  and 

systematic  arrangement. 

2.  Methods  of  preserving  new  kinds  of  material,  such 


(a)  Carbon  copies  of  letters,  forms,  records,  etc. 

(b)  Cuts,  graphs,  etc. 

(c)  Card  index  material. 

(d)  Reference  material,  books,  clippings,  etc. 

3.  Methods  of  utilizing  all  this  material  in  new  ways. 

Thus,  filing  has  become  an  important  part  of  the  entire 
business  and  most  large  concerns  have  now  a  distinct  filing 
department,  while  in  some  businesses  there  are  several  such 



Functions  of  Filing  Department 

Methods  of  filing  vary  greatly  at  present  in  different  lines 
of  business,  according  to  the  nature  and  problems  of  the  busi- 
ness and  in  individual  concerns  according  to  their  utilization 
of  possibilities. 

The  filing  department  has  been  called  a  systematized  mem- 
ory. The  term  is  correct  so  far  as  it  goes,  but  is  not  broad 
enough.  Its  functions  may  embrace  the  following  lines  and 
perhaps  more : 

1.  Systematic  care  of  records  of  all  sorts  of  material  not 
in  active  use.  Such  material  must  be  kept  safely,  in  orderly 
arrangement,  must  be  accessible  and  yet  not  in  the  way.  The 
function  here  is  that  of  a  safe  deposit. 

2.  Service  in  current  business,  that  is,  handling  and  keep- 
ing in  order  material  with  which  the  office  is  working.  Such 
material  must  be  kept  safely,  in  orderly  arrangement,  must  be 
quickly  accessible,  and  must  be  distributed  through  the  office 
as  needed — for  instance,  at  the  beginning  of  each  day.  Here 
the  function  is  that  of  an  internal  postal  system. 

3.  Collecting,  arranging,  analyzing  of  reference  material. 
This  may  include  information  compiled  by  the  statistical  force 
in  various  departments  on  cards  or  otherwise.  It  may  include 
clippings  and  suggestion  memoranda;  reports,  articles,  books, 
etc.  This  material  must  be  kept  safely,  must  be  sufficiently 
analyzed  and  catalogued,  and  be  reasonably  accessible.  Here 
the  function  is  that  of  a  library. 

Perhaps  no  one  business  house  engages  in  all  the  above 
branches  of  filing  activity.  Few  Concerns  have  studied  out 
and  developed  its  possibilities  systematically.  In  almost  every 
case  the  filing  department  has  just,  "growed,"  and  development 
has  come  by  departments.  One  department  of  a  concern  may 
have  a  highly  developed  filing  system ;  other  departments  may 
never  make  use  of  its  possibilities.  In  fact,  it  is  usual  to- 
day, except  with  a  few  large  and  progressive  concerns,  to  have 


several  files  in  their  various  departments  practically  indepen- 
dent of  each  other. 

Office  managers  have  given  attention  only  to  caring  for 
special  and  immediate  needs.  They  have  been  concerned  with 
immediate  convenience,  safety,  expense,  and  to  some  extent, 
appearance.  Attention  has  centered  upon  perfecting  the 
mechanical  equipment.  Such  discussion  of  filing  as  is  found 
in  books  and  periodicals  deals  with  the  subject  almost  entirely 
from  the  point  of  view  of  the  file  clerk,  treating  details  of 
classification  and  arrangement,  the  quality  and  variety  and 
equipment,  etc. 

The  tendency  is  now  toward  systematic  and  constructive 
treatment  of  the  subject  of  filing.  Progress  is  being  made 
from  two  points : 

1.  Business  houses  are  realizing  the  possibility  of  saving 
waste  and  eliminating  the  duplication  of  equipment  and  labor. 
Well-developed  filing  departments,  moreover,  are  studying 
possibilities  of  service  and  discovering  new  uses  and  applica- 

2.  Filing  equipment  companies  have  been  developing 
service  bureaus  of  their  own.  Some  of  them  now  have 
records  and  models  of  filing  systems  worked  out  in  a  large 
number  of  business  houses,  and  they  are  spreading  the  knowl- 
edge of  these  among  other  customers. 

The  Work  of  the  Filing  Department 

The  problem  of  the  filing  department  is  mainly  that  of 
devising  a  system  to  fit  the  needs  of  the  business.  Problems 
of  personnel  and  of  control  are  relatively  secondary.  The 
operations  to  be  provided  for  are : 

1.  Collecting  the  papers  to  be  filed. 

2.  Classifying  and  arranging  this  material — "filing"  it 

in  the  precise  sense  of  the  word.     The  system  must 
be  flexible  enough  to  provide  for  expansion. 


3.  Finding  material  as  called  for. 

4.  Distributing  material   from   the   files   in   connection 

with  tickler  service. 

5.  Recalling  papers  from  various  departments  after  be- 

ing used — what  is  known  as  the  collection  follow- 

6.  Replacing  papers  in  the  files  after  using. 

7.  Transferring  and  destroying  material. 

To  these  might  be  added: 

8.  Modifying  the  system  in  details  as'  may  be  found 


9.  Discovering  new  ways  of  using  the  material  in  the 


Examination  of  the  above  list  shows  that  it  may  be 
grouped  into  three  general  kinds  of  activity :  ( i )  devising 
and  improving  the  system;  (2)  collecting  and  distributing  the 
material  through  the  office;  and  (3)  handling  and  caring  for 
the  material  in  the  filing  room.  The  first  of  these  activities 
the  office  manager  can  supervise  more  or  less  directly.  The 
second  and  third  activities  must  be  attended  to  by  file  clerks 
and  other  employees.  The  matter  of  gathering  and  distribut- 
ing filing  material  with  promptness  links  up  with  the  general 
messenger  service.  The  method  of  handling  the  material  in 
the  filing  room  must  be  dictated  by  the  needs  of  each 

Similarity  of  Filing  Work  to  Other  Departments 

The  filing  work  is  similar  on  one  side  to  the  mail,  and  on 
the  other  side  to  bookkeeping  and  accounting.  In  the  case  of 
the  mail,  as  noted  in  Chapter  X,  the  problem  of  efficient  han- 
dling is  one  of  finding  ways  of  treating  numbers  of  individual 
items  by  a  standardized  procedure.  Its  chief  requirements 
are:  (i)  speed,   (2)  accuracy  in  checking  a  few  details,  and 


(3)  ready  knowledge  regarding  routing,  etc.  Machines  may 
be  used  to  advantage  in  certain  parts  of  the  work,  such  as 
stamping  and  folding. 

In  the  case  of  the  filing  department,  however,  the  problem 
remains  one  of  intelligent  hand-work.  The  individual  opera- 
tion remains  distinct,  although  it  may  be  performed  system- 
atically, and  very  swiftly.  The  needs  are :  ( i )  orderly  assort- 
ment of  a  multitude  of  items  in  logical  and  obvious  classifica- 
tion; (2)  sure  and  quick  finding  of  any  item  when  it  is  called 
for;  (3)  utilization  of  resources  in  solving  unlooked-for  prob- 
lems.    In  all  this,  extreme  accuracy  is  required. 

While  on  its  service  side  the  work  of  the  modern  filing 
department  approaches  somewhat  that  of  the  mailing  depart- 
ment, in  the  matter  of  care  of  material  it  approaches  some- 
what that  of  the  accounting  department.  For  instance,  in 
one  large  banking  concern,  most  of  the  bookkeeping  of  the 
bond  department  is  done  in  the  filing  bureau  of  that  depart- 

The  part  of  the  filing  department  activity  most  generally 
recognized  and  most  fully  developed  concerns  the  classification 
and  safe-keeping  of  papers  and  memoranda.  On  this  point 
the  practice  of  business  concerns  has  become  practically  stand- 
ardized, with  differences  merely  of  detail.  Performance  of 
this  function  requires  the  adoption  of  a  comprehensive, 
orderly  system  of  classification  or  indexing  which  will  pro- 
vide for :  ( I )  sorting  out  and  placing  every  item  which  it  is 
desired  to  preserve;  (2)  finding  any  item  readily  and  with 
certainty  when  it  is  called  for;  (3)  indefinite  expansion  of 
the  system  as  the  business  grows.  The  system  should  be  as 
simple  as  possible. 

Service  Activities 

The  service  function  of  the  filing  department  is  of  more 
recent  development.     One  part  of  this  connects  directly  with 



current  business.  For  example,  in  the  Remington  Typewriter 
Company,  instead  of  the  individual  official  keeping  in  his  own 
care  the  papers  and  memoranda  which  he  needs  from  day  to 
day  for  a  piece  of  work,  they  are  taken  in  charge  at  the  end 
of  the  day  by  the  filing  department,  to  be  returned  to  him  at 
the  time  the  official  appoints — the  next  day  or  some  future 
day.  This  clears  the  desks,  lessens  the  chance  of  forgetful- 
ness,  keeps  all  papers  in  orderly  arrangement,  catches  duplica- 
tion of  work,  and,  moreover,  enables  the  filing  department  to 
discover  and  collect  any  papers  which  have  been  kept  over 

The  advantage  of  such  use  of  the  filing  department  in 
connection  with  current  business  is  obvious.  It  requires, 
however : 

1.  A  prompt  and  efficient  system  of  collection  and  dis- 

tribution of  papers  from  all  parts  of  the  office, 
which  in  turn  implies  a  good  messenger  service. 

2.  A  careful  tickler  system  to  furnish  each  official  the 

papers  which  he  needs  at  the  time  he  needs  them.. 

3.  Co-operation  by  the  officials  in  all  departments.     Un- 

less the  officials  generally  make  out  tickler  cards, 
and  unless  they  refrain  from  keeping  papers  on 
their  own  desks,  the  system  cannot  work. 

Use  of  Tickler  System 

The  system  in  use  at  the  J.  F.  Tapley  Company  ofifers  a 
good  illustration  of  the  tickler  system.  It  is  founded  on  the 
principle  that  the  general  files  should  at  all  times  be  complete. 
Accordingly,  two  carbon  copies  are  made  out  for  every  letter 
sent  out  from  the  house,  the  two  copies  being  of  different 
color.  The  matter  is  not  left  to  the  stenographer's  discretion. 
The  copy  that  goes  into  the  general  files  is  signed  at  the  bottom 
with  the  initials  of  the  writer.  If  the  tickler  is  not  necessary 
it  is  simply  destroyed.     If,  however,  the  correspondence  per- 


tains  to  matters  that  should  be  followed  up,  the  writer  puts 
his  initials  on  the  upper  left-hand  corner  of  this  tickler  copy. 
This  is  in  case  the  writer  himself  wants  to  follow  it  up;  if 
the  follow-up  is  to  be  attended  to  by  someone  else,  that  other 
person's  initials  are  put  down.  Underneath  the  initials  the 
date  is  noted  on  which  the  copy  is  to  come  up  to  the  attention 
of  the  person  designated. 

During  the  course  of  the  day  there  arise  many  matters 
for  which  there  is  no  correspondence  and  which  will  require 
attention  at  some  future  date.  A  special  form  has  been  de- 
vised to  take  care  of  this.  Whenever  anyone  wants  a  certain 
thing  to  come  up  for  attention  at  some  future  date  he  simply 
jots  it  down  on  this  form,  which  has  space  provided  for  the 
name  of  the  person  to  whom  it  will  go,  separate  columns  for 
the  day,  month,  and  year  when  the  tickler  should  come  up, 

and  a  line  at  the  bottom  reading,  "Please  report  to 

when  this  has  been  attended  to.      (Signed) " 

Operation  of  Tickler  File 

All  these  tickler  carbons  and  tickler  forms  are  placed  in 
the  outgoing  basket  on  the  desk  of  each  person  and  are  sent 
to  the  tickler  file.  This  is  an  ordinary  vertical  file  made  out 
by  days,  months,  and  years.  Most  of  the  matter  falls,  of 
course,  into  the  folders  devoted  to  the  approaching  thirty  days. 
While  there  are  a  number  of  ticklers  for  matters  to  be  con- 
sidered two  and  three  years  hence,  they  are  naturally  not  as 

All  these  ticklers  are  picked  up  several  times  a  day  by  a 
filing  clerk  whose  special  duty  is  to  collect  or  distribute  them 
and  to  care  for  the  tickler  file.  Every  morning  the  ticklers 
for  that  day  are  taken  out,  sorted,  and  distributed  according 
to  persons  whose  initials  are  on  the  upper  left-hand  comer. 
This  system  permeates  the  whole  plant.  Nothing  is  left  to 
the  memory.     That  the  management  is  satisfied  that  it  should 


be  so,  may  be  inferred  from  the  fact  that  it  encourages  the  em- 
ployees to  send  even  personal  matters  to  the  tickler  file.  For 
this  purpose  a  sealed  envelope  may  be  used.  The  object,  of 
course,  is  to  get  every  individual  into  making  out  ticklers  as  an 
automatic  operation. 

It  should  be  noted  that  the  successful  operation  of  the 
system  is  largely  due  to  the  systematic  application  of  the 
principle  of  centralization  to  the  company's  files.  There  is 
only  one  exception ;  a  separate  card  index  tickler  is  kept  relat- 
ing to  prospective  sales,  bids,  etc.  The  convenience  of  having 
all  these  matters  separate  is  obvious. 

Another  part  of  the  more  recently  developed  service  ac- 
tivity of  the  filing  department  is  its  utilization  in  constructive 
work,  in  finding  business.  Through  careful  analysis  of 
material  collected  for  other  purposes,  in  the  correspondence  or 
credit  file,  for  example,  suggestions  are  gathered  for  new 
leads.  Special  information  files  may  be  maintained  for  the 
purpose  of  gathering  new  data  regarding  business  conditions, 
etc.,  which  may  serve  to  suggest  additional  new  leads. 

Material  Handled  by  the  Filing  Department 

The  range  of  material  handled  by  the  filing  department  is 
very  wide.  It  may  include  both  vertical  filing  and  card  in- 
dex filing,  as  follows : 

1 .  Correspondence 

2.  Credit  reports 

3.  Records  relating  to  sales  and  purchases 

(a)  Orders 

(b)  Accounts  and  collections   (card  ledgers) 

(c)  Invoices 

(d)  Quotations,  etc. 

4.  Other  records 

(a)  Production  and  cost  records 

(b)  Documents  and  legal  papers 


(c)      Blue-prints  of  drawings;  maps  and  charts, 
cuts,  etc. 
5.     Information  and  data  files — books,  articles,  clippings 

A  large  concern  keeps  matters  of  all  these  kinds  in  its 
files,  although  one  or  more  types  may  be  stressed  particularly. 
The  methods  of  handling  will  vary  with  the  material. 

Card  Index  Filing 

While  advancement  in  filing  papers — vertical  filing — has 
been  very  marked  in  recent  years,  the  development  of  card  in- 
dex filing  has  not  been  so  rapid.  This  is  surprising  in  view  of 
the  fact  that  the  average  business  house  actually  needs  and 
should  use  a  great  quantity  of  card  index  equipment.  The 
reason  for  the  neglect  is  probably  that  the  average  manager 
does  not  know  the  possibilities  of  card  indexing.  The  word 
filing  has  meant  to  most  managers  and  department  heads  only 
the  handling  of  correspondence  or  current  papers.  But  if 
the  filing  of  correspondence,  invoices,  etc.,  can  be  made  a  pro- 
ductive factor  in  the  organization,  the  same  thing  is  certainly 
true  of  card  indexing.     For  example : 

1.  It  is  possible  by  the  use  of  a  card  index  for  the  manu- 
facturer to  keep  his  fingers  on  the  actual  pulse  of  his  plant, 
knowing  at  a  moment's  notice  its  productive  capacity,  cost 
of  operation,  and  net  profits. 

2.  The  proper  card  index  installed  in  a  sales  organization 
means  maximum  sales  activity  and  a  tremendous  increase  in 
net  profits  to  the  house.  It  instantly  points  the  way  toward 
greater  development  in  the  sale  of  a  standard  product  and  the 
immediate  elimination  of  articles  in  the  "line"  which  do  not 
sell  readily  and  prevent  a  quick  turnover  of  the  money  in- 
vested. An  efficient  sales  follow-up  system  makes  it  possible 
for  the  sales  manager  to  focus  at  any  time  the  sales  energy 



of  his  firm  upon  any  given  article  for  circularizing  or  periodi- 
cal sales  campaigns. 

3.  A  "perpetual"  stock  inventory  system  installed  in 
either  a  manufacturing  or  sales  organization's  stock  depart- 
ment means  better  service  to  wholesalers  or  customers,  the 
elimination  of  slowly  moving  stock,  the  speedy  execution  of 
contracts,  and  prevents  the  loss  which  arises  from  "over 
stock/'  It  is  possible  to  tell  at  any  time  the  quantity  on  hand 
and  to  establish  maximum  and  minimum  amounts.  From 
these  cards  can  be  taken  a  survey  or  statistical  comparison  for 
use  in  manufacturing  or  buying  up  quantities  of  material  for 

4.  There  is  a  card  index  system  for  the  advertising  de- 
partment which  will  indicate  to  the  advertising  manager  his 
most  profitable  channels  for  advertising,  the  "pulling  power" 
of  his  "copy,"  and  the  actual  productiveness  of  his  general 

These  are  only  a  few  of  the  applications  of  card  index 

Problems  of  Special  Lines  of  Business 

The  filing  work  required  will  van,-  with  the  nature  of  the 
business,  e.g.,  a  bank  or  financial  concern  requires  especially: 

1.  A  Credit  File.     This  will  contain  confidential  infor- 

mation regarding  customers,  inquirers,  etc. 

2.  Information  File.     This  will  contain  information  re- 

garding business  conditions,  the  standing  of  con- 
cerns whose  securities  are  dealt  in,  etc.  This  file 
may  be  very  elaborate. 

3.  A  Permanent  Record  File.    This  covers  quotation  of 

stocks,  bonds,  etc. 

Thus  the  Guaranty  Trust  Company  maintains  four  large 
and  highly  efficient  filing  departments:  (i)  credit  file,  (2)  a 


central  or  new  business  file,  (3)  a  bond  file,  containing  infor- 
mation, and  (4)  a  general  file,  containing  the  general  corre- 

An  insurance  company  will  have  elaborate  files  regarding 
its  policyholders.  In  this  case  the  needs  are  two :  first,  a 
compact,  complete  record;  and  second,  extreme  quickness  of 
service.  They  do  not  allow  the  originals  of  these  papers  to 
go  out.  Instead  they  photograph  them  and  send  the  photo- 
graphed copies. 

The  central  file  of  the  Equitable  Life  Assurance  Company 
includes : 

1.  The  Application  and  Correspondence  File.   This  con- 

tains all  the  ''primary  papers"  relating  to  policies 
now  in  force — about  2,300,000.  All  the  papers 
bearing  on  one  policy  are  made  into  one  single  pack- 
age and  filed  under  the  policy  number.  This  num- 
ber is  placed  on  every  paper  which  relates  to  that 

2.  Subject  File.    Here  a  number  of  matters  not  relating 

to  policies  but  occurring  in  correspondence  are 
grouped  by  agencies  and  also  by  a  subject  classifica- 
tion containing  about  30  headings.  This  file  is 
relatively  small. 

3.  Death  Claims  File.     All  the  papers  relating  to  one 

death  claim  are  grouped  together  and  filed  accord- 
ing to  a  special  claim  number. 

In  other  departments  of  the  company  are  other  files  not 
under  the  immediate  direction  of  the  central  file  department. 
Some  of  these  are  outgrowths  of  the  main  file  referred  to. 
These  are : 

4.  An  Assignment  of  Policy  File.    The  assignments  are 

kept  in  connection  with  the  claims  department. 


5.  A  Canceled  Policy  File.     The  canceled  policies  must 

be  kept  accessible.  Policies  not  in  force  and  over 
two  years  old  are  now  removed  and  kept  in  storage 
in  Brooklyn.  Even  these  apparently  dead  issues 
are  constantly  being  recalled  and  consulted. 

6.  A  Declined  Application  File.     All  applications  which 

have  been  declined  are  kept  with  great  care  as  a 
basis  for  subsequent  use. 

In  a  department  store — and  retail  selling  concerns  gener- 
all}- — the  special  problems  deal  with  the  index  of  customers' 
accounts,  and  the  filing  is  linked  closely  with  the  bookkeeping. 
Special  lists  kept  by  such  a  concern  include:  (i)  a  list  of 
customers'  names  and  addresses,  arranged  by  locality;  (2) 
the  stock  and  materials  record. 

The  mail-order  business  is  peculiar  in  two  points : 

1.  Perhaps  the  most  important  asset  of  such  a  concern 
is  its  stencil,  arranged  geographically,  as  in  the  case  of  the 
Charles  Williams'  Stores.  When  this  list  runs  into  several 
millions  of  names  the  need  for  accuracy  in  arrangement  and 
checking  becomes  imperative. 

2.  The  temporary  filing  of  orders  is  another  feature  in 
mail-order  houses.  For  instance,  in  the  National  Cloak  and 
Suit  Company,  New  York,  over  100,000  orders  are  received 
daily  in  the  busy  season.  These  are  filed  by  number  in  light 
wooden  boxes  about  the  size  of  an  ordinary  file  drawer,  but 
much  shallower,  kept  for  three  months,  and  then  destroyed. 

Manufacturers  will  give  special  attention  to  records  of 
purchases,  production  costs,  and  processes. 

Export  houses  file  geographically. 

Steamship  companies  file  according  to  names  of  ships. 

Engineers,  architects,  builders,  and  contractors  file  by  the 
job;  all  the  papers  relating  to  one  job  are  put  together. 
Lawyers,  accountants,   advertising  agencies,  etc.,  use  essen- 


tially  the  same  principle  and  file  by  cases.  All  of  these  may 
have  also  special  files  of  devices,  tools,  cuts,  formulas,  etc., 
useful  in  their  business. 

Personnel  of  the  Fihng  Department 

File  clerks  must  be  rapid  and  accurate  at  detail  work, 
attentive  to  operations  which  are  continually  repeated  but 
slightly  varied,  and  must  have  automatic  carefulness  in  replac- 
ing papers.  The  nature  of  the  activity  calls  for  intelligent 
and  trained  women  rather  than  men  or  boys.  Women  can 
handle  detail  work  with  more  persistent  accuracy  and  patience 
and  with  swift,  automatic  expertness.  The  head  of  a  cen- 
tralized filing  department,  however,  occupying  a  position  co- 
ordinate with  that  of  the  other  department  heads,  should 
preferably  be  a  man. 

When  the  work  is  confined  to  the  storage  of  papers  it  may 
be  standardized  so  as  to  be  handled  by  girls  of  little  experi- 
ence and  no  special  training,  at  a  salary  of  from  $8  to  $12  per 
week.  On  the  other  hand,  when  the  work  requires  individual 
care  or  power  of  analysis,  expert  employees  must  be  obtained 
at  much  higher  wages.  For  example,  the  bond  filing  division 
of  one  large  company  is  composed  of  college  women  whose 
salaries  are  considerably  above  those  of  most  wom.en. 

The  filing  clerks  of  large  business  houses  today  are  almost 
entirely  women  who  were  originally  trained  as  teachers  or  as 
librarians.  To  a  considerable  extent  subordinate  clerks  are 
now  being  trained  in  the  filing  departments  themselves. 

In  one  large  insurance  company,  the  filing  department  is 
in  a  considerable  degree  a  sort  of  training  school  for  other 
departments.  Clerks  who  have  obtained  from  their  work 
on  the  files  a  ready  general  familiarity  with  the  activities  of 
the  organization  are  in  a  position  to  be  advanced  to  higher 
paid  places  in  other  departments. 

The  number  of  the  employees  required  is  a  matter  to  be 


determined  by  the  special  circumstances  of  each  case.  It  is 
estimated  roughly  that  one  file  clerk  can  usually  care  for  the 
papers  of  three  other  persons  (stenographers,  billing  clerks, 
etc.).  This  is  in  reference  to  papers  dealing  with  ordinary 
current  business.  It  is  possible  thus  to  calculate  about  how 
many  filing  cases  can  be  attended  to  by  one  clerk  in  the  course 
of  a  day,  and  check  up  her  work  on  that  basis.  Such  calcula- 
tions are  subject  to  variation.  With  many  business  houses 
the  filing  involves  problems  of  the  peak-load.  The  later  hours 
of  the  morning  and  the  last  hours  of  the  afternoon  when 
papers  are  being  returned  and  carbons  are  to  be  inserted,  etc., 
are  very  busy. 

For  record  files,  library  and  suggestion  files,  etc.,  fewer 
helpers  are  needed  than  in  case  of  current  correspondence  files. 
The  work  here  is  more  like  that  in  the  catalogue  department 
of  a  library.  Where  the  record  and  suggestion  files  are 
utilized  much  in  the  business,  more  employees  are  needed 
to  care  for  them,  if  the  nature  of  the  business  brings  the 
peak-load  at  certain  times  in  the  day. 



Indexing  the  Basis  of  Filing  System 

The  vital  factor  in  any  filing  system  is  the  index,  as  upon 
the  use  of  a  proper  index  depends  the  efficiency  of  the  system, 
as  measured  by  the  speed  and  accuracy  with  which  any  desired 
record  can  be  found.  While  this  may  seem  elementary  infor- 
mation, the  fact  is  that  many  purchasing  agents  or  office 
managers  when  considering  the  purchase  of  filing  equipment 
view  the  purchase  almost  wholly  from  the  aspect  of  cost, 
giving  little  or  no  thought  to  the  all-important  matter  of  in- 
dexing. When  asked  as  to  how  the  records  are  to  be  indexed, 
they  have  no  answer  ready,  considering  that  this  is  a  matter 
to  be  decided  by  a  filing  specialist  or  the  firm  supplying  the 
equipment.  With  the  proper  kind  of  an  indexing  system,  the 
papers  stored  away  in  any  file  or  filing  department  should  be 
as  accessible  as  "yesterday's  mail,"  even  though  such  papers 
may  have  been  stored  away  5  or  lo  years  ago. 

The  fundamental  principles  underlying  the  indexing  or 
arrangement  of  a  "filing  system"  are  simple — so  simple  that 
often  they  are  disregarded  because  of  their  seeming  obvious- 


The   essentials   in   classification   are   systematic   arrange- 
ment, readiness  of  finding  what  is  needed,  and  adaptability 
for   expansion.     A    few    standard   classifications   iiave   been 
thoroughl}'^  worked  out,  according  to : 



States  and  towns  (geographical) 
Days  or  months  of  the  year  (chronological) 
It  simply  remains  for  the  office  manager,  or  other  executive, 
to  apply  the  fundamentals  to  his  organization  properly. 

System  Applicable  to  Organization  Routine 

In  contemplating  the  installation  of  the  filing  system,  great 
care  should  be  taken  that  the  general  routine  of  the  organiza- 
tion is  not  modified  to  fit  the  filing  system ;  and  a  filing  special- 
ist should  not  be  consulted  until  an  executive  is  absolutely 
clear  as  to  just  what  the  needs  of  his  particular  organization 

A  great  deal  of  trouble  in  the  filing  departments  today 
arises  from  the  fact  that  the  executive  has  been  induced  by 
some  clever  salesman  to  install  a  certain  system,  without  first 
having  analyzed  his  own  business  sufficiently  to  determine 
whether  the  proposed  system  is  entirely  suitable  or  not.  This 
is  not  meant  as  a  criticism  of  the  systems  that  are  on  the  mar- 
ket, because  most,  if  not  all,  of  the  systems  offered  to  the 
business  world  by  the  large  filing  manufacturers  are  very 
efficient,  if  properly  applied.  The  point  to  be  made  is  that 
the  responsibility  lies  entirely  with  the  executive  for  the  appli- 
cation and  future  success  of  the  features  adopted.  He  must 
have  at  his  finger  tips  the  needs  of  the  business  organization 
involved.  The  experience  of  one  of  New  York's  largest 
newspapers  in  organizing  that  part  of  their  general  filing  de- 
partment in  which  the  regular  correspondence  was  kept,  illus- 
trates this  point. 

In  this  instance  a  so-called  alphabetical-numerical  system 
was  installed.  This  consisted  of  many  thousands  of  cards 
filed  in  small  card  drawers  alphabetically  under  the  name  of 
the  correspondent.  In  the  upper  left-hand  corner  of  these 
cards  was  written  a  number,  and  this  number  corresponded 


with  numbered  folders  in  the  large  letter  files.  It  was  neces- 
sary, in  the  operation  of  this  system,  to  refer  first  to  the 
card  index  files  in  order  to  find  the  number  of  the  folder,  and 
then  to  the  folder  in  the  large  letter  files  to  get  at  a  specific 

At  the  close  of  the  day,  or  perhaps  the  next  morning  after 
the  incoming  mail  had  been  distributed,  it  was  necessary  for 
the  file  clerks,  when  filmg  away  the  answered  correspondence 
of  the  previous  day,  to  go  to  the  alphabetical  card  index  file, 
look  up  the  names,  and  enter  the  number  on  the  letters  before 
the  mail  could  be  finally  filed  in  its  proper  place. 

The  numerical  system,  when  properly  applied,  is  a  good 
thing  and  results  in  accuracy  of  filing.  The  fault  in  this  case, 
however,  was  that  the  numerical  system  was  unnecessary. 
The  executives  who  installed  this  system  did  not  realize  that 
if  it  were  possible  to  arrange  the  names  alphabetically  in  the 
card  file,  it  was  equally  possible  so  to  arrange  them  in  the 
large  letter  file  drawers. 

The  use  of  the  numerical  system  in  this  case  for  simple 
alphabetical  filing  resulted  in  additional  labor  and  expense 
without  any  direct  advantage  in  the  handling  of  papers.  The 
system  has  subsequently  been  discarded  and  a  simple  alphabet- 
ical method  has  been  adopted  in  its  place  to  the  satisfaction  of 
everyone  concerned. 

The  executives,  when  questioned  as  to  the  reason  for  in- 
stalling the  numerical  system  in  the  first  place,  gave  as  their 
excuse  the  fact  that  their  attention  had  been  centered  only  upon 
the  accuracy  of  the  number,  and  that  the  system  had  been 
installed  because  of  this  fact,  and  this  fact  alone. 

Preliminary  Analysis 

To  begin  with,  in  making  the  preliminary  analysis,  great 
care  should  be  exercised  in  determining  the  activities  of  the 
organization  involved,  laying  special  stress  upon : 


1.  The  names  or  titles  given  to  the  various  papers  to  be 


2.  What  they  are  technically  called  as  part  of  the  office 


3.  How  they  are  asked  for. 

4.  Why  the  papers  are  wanted. 

The  information  required  by  the  following  questions  will 
aid  the  executive  about  to  install  a  filing  system  in  estimating 
the  amount  and  nature  of  equipment  and  the  number  of  file 
clerks  that  will  be  advisable. 

1.  How  many  papers  of  a  given  kind  are  received  in  a 

month  and  how  many  carbon  copies  of  outgoing 
correspondence  will  accumulate  in  that  time  ? 

2.  How  many  individuals  must  have  access  to  a  speci- 

fied kind  of  paper? 

3.  How  many  departments  must  refer  to  these  records? 

Do  they  all  refer  to  them  from  the  same  angle  or 
by  the  same  name? 

4.  How  many  times  are  certain  kinds  of  records  re- 

ferred to  in  one  day? 

To  illustrate  the  above  questions: 

1.  With  regard  to  the  number  of  papers  to  be  handled — 
if  a  firm  has,  say  10,000  active  accounts,  at  the  end  of  a  month 
it  will  have  accumulated  approximately  100,000  incoming  let- 
ters and  100,000  carbons  of  replies.  To  handle  this  general 
correspondence  would  require  ten  4-drawer  letter  files,  with 
an  alphabetical  set  of  guides  divided  into  1,260  parts. 

2.  As  to  the  number  of  individuals  referring  to  papers 
— in  the  case  of  a  firm  with  10,000  active  accounts  probably 
30  people  or  so  would  refer  to  the  files.  Three  clerks  would 
be  needed  to  attend  to  the  filing  work.  A  certain  large  sell- 
ing organization  uses,  merely  for  general  correspondence — • 


not  for  orders — twenty  4-drawer  files,  and  employs  four 
clerks.    Some  20  people  use  the  files. 

Another  selling  organization  with  ten  4-drawer  files,  and 
15  people  referring  to  them,  employs  three  clerks. 

A  manufacturing  concern  has  thirty  4-drawer  files,  merely 
for  orders.  About  100  people  refer  to  the  files,  and  six  clerks 
are  employed. 

3.  As  to  the  varying  requirements  of  different  depart- 
ments— in  the  case  of  the  manufacturing  concern  just  men- 
tioned, the  order  files  are  used  by  six  departments,  each  from 
a  different  angle.  The  sales  department  refers  according  to 
the  town  where  the  customer  lives;  the  stock  department 
according  to  materials;  the  claim  department  according  to 
shipping  instructions;  the  bookkeeping  department  according 
to  date  of  billing;  the  advertising  department  according  to 
style  and  brand;  and  the  salesmen  according  to  customers' 

Six  different  card  indexes  are  maintained,  each  in  the  spe- 
cial care  of  a  different  file  clerk.  To  avoid  possible  clash  be- 
tween departments  asking  for  the  same  paper,  all  orders  are 
photographed  in  the  morning  before  being  sent  through,  and 
two  or  three  extra  copies  of  each  one  are  made. 

4.  As  to  the  frequency  of  consultation — in  the  first  of 
the  sales  organizations  mentioned  above,  the  correspondence 
files  are  consulted  about  300  times  daily — each  drawer  from 
three  to  four  times.  In  the  second  sales  organization,  the 
files  containing  correspondence  and  other  matter  are  consulted 
500  times  daily,  each  drawer  12  or  13  times.  In  the  manu- 
facturing company,  the  files  of  orders  are  consulted  1,200 
times  daily,  each  drawer  some  10  times. 

Standardization — Index 

The  aim  of  the  above  questions  is  to  establish,  as  far  as 
possible,  standardization,  both  in  equipment  and  method  of 


handling  the  various  records  which  pass  through  the  fiHng 

If  records  are  required  by  one  department  according  to 
subject  and  by  another  department  according  to  name,  they 
must  not  be  filed  by  either  name  or  subject  alone.  A  stand- 
ardized, cross-reference  index  must  be  adopted  that  will 
accommodate  the  various  departments.  Technical  or  depart- 
mental names  should  be  abolished  if  they  are  not  in  common 
use  throughout  the  organization. 

Standardization — Equipment 

Certain  standards  have  been  adopted  in  the  open  market 
by  manufacturers  of  filing  equipment,  and  every  executive 
contemplating  the  installation  of  a  filing  system,  or  the  solu- 
tion of  filing  problems,  should  first  find  out  what  apparatus 
is  to  be  had  on  the  open  market,  if  he  is  desirous  of  saving 
money  and  eliminating  delay  in  procuring  future  equipment. 

A  constant  difficulty  in  many  filing  departments  is  to  pro- 
vide storage  space  and  indexing  facilities  to  take  care  of  the 
thousand  and  one  different  forms  for  orders,  invoices,  vouch- 
ers, etc.,  that  are  in  use  today,  varying  in  size  anywhere  from 
5x3  inches  to  15x10  inches.  If  manufacturers  and  sales 
organizations  would  co-operate  with  each  other  and  with  the 
filing  manufacturers,  the  untidy  mess  which  results  from  the 
lack  of  standardization  in  vouchers,  invoices,  etc.,  could  be 
eliminated;  the  preservation  of  these  papers  in  the  filing  de- 
partment would  be  greatly  simplified,  and  the  expense  of 
handling  such  records  would  be  greatly  reduced.  There  are 
certain  standard  measurements  for  these  forms,  and  if  this 
standard  were  adhered  to  the  installation  of  systems  and  the 
purchase  of  equipment  would  be  much  easier.  Cases  are  not 
infrequent  where  purchasing  agents  have  gone  about  attempt- 
ing to  find  a  filing  cabinet  that  will  fit  some  thousands  of  forms 
already  printed  up.     In  many  cases  it  has  been  impossible 


to  obtain  such  equipment,  with  the  result  of  an  entire  loss  to 
the  organization  in  money  spent  for  useless  forms. 

Alphabetical  Filing 

The  alphabetical  method  of  filing  should  be  used  as  much 
as  possible,  as  it  is  the  simplest  and  most  expedient  method  of 
handling  papers.  Alphabetical  filing  should  be  used  when  the 
names  of  individuals  or  customers  are  important,  or  when  the 
names  of  departments  or  places  are  asked  for,  and  where  no 
subheadings  are  required. 

Business  organizations  have  frequently  made  the  mistake 
of  attempting  to  combine  subject  indexing  with  alphabetical 
indexing,  but  have  found  it  to  be  impracticable  because  the 
subjects  were  found  to  require  subheadings.  Moreover,  where 
attempts  have  also  been  made  to  substitute  subject  indexing 
for  alphabetical  arrangement,  the  subject  method  has  also 
been  found  inadequate  or  too  cumbersome,  as  the  subjects 
either  could  not  be  standardized,  or  were  too  numerous,  or 
changed  too  frequently. 

Subject  Filing 

Subject  indexing  is  the  most  difficult  method  of  filing,  and 
extensive  and  careful  analysis  is  required  to  make  such  a 
filing  department  efficient.  It  should  be  used  only  where  the 
activities  of  a  business  organization  are  divided  into  phases, 
districts,  etc.,  such  as  develop  in  manufacturing  plants,  con- 
tractors' offices,  with  exporters,  with  railroads,  in  law 
offices,  etc. 

To  begin  with,  only  such  subjects  must  be  chosen  as  are 
used  continually,  both  in  conversation  and  departmental  rou- 
tine, throughout  the  organization.  Standardization  of  subject 
is  all-important.  It  must  be  properly  classified  and  nothing 
must  be  left  to  guesswork. 

The  great  danger  in  the  installation  of  a  subject  index 


lies  in  the  possibility  of  making  it  too  complicated,  because 
of  the  necessity  for  cross-indexing. 

In  the  average  case  the  only  cross-reference  necessary, 
where  one  subject  relates  to  another,  is  to  take  a  blank  piece 
of  colored  paper,  note  on  it  that  subject  "A"  refers  to  sub- 
ject "B"  and  file  the  blank  sheet  in  either  one  of  the  two  sub- 
jects. Instead  of  doing  this,  many  business  organizations 
have  installed  a  numerical-subject  index,  with  two  or  three 
separate  cross-references,  and  these  card  index  files  contain 
almost  every  conceivable  subject. 

A  large  manufacturer  had  divided  the  numerical  cross- 
index  to  the  subject  file  into  four  different  parts.  One  card 
index  contained  a  record  under  folder  number,  a  second  an 
index  by  departmental  subject,  the  third  an  outside  or  cus- 
tomers' subject  index,  and  the  fourth  an  auditors'  or  account- 
ing index.  The  work  of  maintaining  such  an  elaborate  system 
was  tremendous.  The  force  in  the  filing  department  was 
considerably  larger  than  necessary,  and  errors  were  the  rule 
and  not  the  exception.  Three  out  of  four  of  these  separate 
records  could  have  been  eliminated,  leaving  only  the  general 
index  by  subject. 

Geographical  Filing 

Indexing  correspondence  and  other  records  under  the 
name  of  the  town  or  state  will  prove  successful  to  any  manu- 
facturing or  business  organization  with  branches  or  activities 
scattered  throughout  the  country,  and  with  which  sales  or 
shipments  are  divided  territorially. 

Sales  organizations  especially  find  the  geographical  method 
efficient,  because  of  the  opportunity  afforded  of  segregating 
reports,  prospects,  and  correspondence  for  the  attention  of 
the  salesmen  assigned  to  certain  parts  of  the  country. 

Filing  records  laid  out  geographically  are  often  made  to 
correspond  with  a  map  routing  system,  and  are  used  by  the 


sales  manager  as  a  pulse  by  which  he  gages  sales  conditions, 
or  stimulates  business  through  sales  campaigns  at  certain 
times  of  the  year. 

In  this  system  no  cross-index  is  needed.  Letters,  or  other 
papers,  are  simply  laid  out  in  the  larger  files  under  index 
"guides,"  which  bear  the  name  of  the  town  or  state,  the 
folders  containing  the  papers  being  filed  alphabetically  be- 
hind each  town  or  state  guide.  By  the  application  of  color 
schemes,  a  geographical  filing  system  can  be  made  very  simple, 
and  the  possibility  of  error  greatly  reduced. 

Chronological  Filing 

The  chronological  arrangement  (by  days  or  months)  may 
be  used  whenever  records  are  to  be  handled  from  the 
standpoint  of  the  date.  If  the  date  alone  is  important,  it 
follows  automatically  that  papers  will  be  referred  to  by  days 
or  by  months  of  the  year.  The  follow-up  or  tickler  file  is  an 
example  of  the  chronological  arrangement. 

Here  it  might  be  well  to  call  attention  to  the  fact  that 
while  letters  are  often  requested  under  "such  and  such  a 
date,"  they  must  not  of  necessity  be  filed  by  date.  Firms  have 
often  made  this  mistake  and  the  result  has  been  a  great  mass 
of  letters  accumulated  under  one  date,  making  reference  to 
a  specific  paper  extremely  difficult,  because  of  the  necessity  of 
going  through  a  large  number  of  papers. 

It  is  possible  to  combine  the  chronological  and  alphabeti- 
cal systems,  but  in  such  cases  the  alphabetical  is  the  main 
heading,  the  records  being  subdivided  under  days  or  months. 

Simple  chronological  filing  is  employed  where  expiration 
dates,  or  mail  follow-up  systems  (such  as  are  used  by  mail- 
order houses)  are  used,  or  when  following  up  prospective 
customers  from  the  angle  of  quotations  previously  rendered. 

The  principle  fault  to  be  found  with  chronological  fil- 
ing is  that  too  often  a  large  quantity  of  papers  are  permitted 


to  accumulate  under  one  date,  resulting  in  considerable  loss 
of  time  when  referring  to  specific  records.  An  important  aim 
in  all  filing  is  to  reduce  the  volume  of  papers  filed  behind  a 
single  guide,  or  in  a  single  folder,  to  the  smallest  possible 
number,  as  it  is  only  through  the  reduction  of  this  bulk  that 
speed  in  records  can  be  realized. 

Numerical  Filing 

The  numerical  system,  while  not  the  most  dif^cult  to  install 
or  maintain,  nevertheless  presents  a  difficult  problem.  It  is 
easy  for  the  executive  to  go  astray  because  of  the  seeming 
simplicity  and  accuracy  apparent  in  the  first  analysis.  To 
assign  a  number  to  a  customer,  department,  or  individual 
seems,  at  first  glance,  to  be  an  easy  way  out  of  all  sorts  of 
difficulties,  and  is  often  adopted  in  filing  departments,  both 
large  and  small. 

Numbers  should  be  used  only  where  cross-reference  is 
very  extensive,  as  when  combined  with  an  alphabetic  or  sub- 
ject index,  or  in  cases  where  one  complete  unit  is  distributed 
or  subdivided  into  many  smaller  parts,  such  as  in  manufactur- 
ing plants,  law  firms,  or  newspaper  morgues.  In  these  cases 
the  job,  client,  or  subject  is  given  a  number,  and  that  number 
appears  as  an  identification  mark  wherever  these  smaller 
units  are  collected,  or  reference  is  desired  to  any  part  of  the 
main  subject. 

Numbers  are  also  used  in  cases  where  the  records  are  con- 
fidential, and  are  accessible  only  to  department  heads  or  exec- 
utives. In  such  cases  the  account,  job,  or  firm  is  identified 
throughout  the  office  routine  by  the  number  only. 

Extensive  analysis  is  required  to  determine  definitely 
whether  it  is  absolutely  necessary  to  add  the  number  to  a 
subject  or  alphabetical  index,  and  because  of  the  expense  and 
supervision  involved,  the  numerical  cross-index  system  should 
only  be  adopted  after  careful  consideration. 


At  one  time  business  organizations  installed  a  system 
wherein  the  records  filed  in  the  filing  department,  or  kept  in 
books  in  other  parts  of  the  office,  were  made  to  conform  with 
the  folio  or  account  number  in  the  ledger.  But  because  of  the 
great  possibility  of  error  in  handling  records  so  indexed,  this 
method  is  rapidly  being  discarded,  and  these  various  records 
are  being  treated  from  their  individual  angle  of  reference  or 
with  regard  to  their  relation  to  the  other  departments  of  the 

Revising  and  Correcting 

Twenty  per  cent  or  so  of  the  time  of  the  head  file  clerk 
should  be  given  to  revision  and  correction  of  the  files.  This 
allows  for  one  day  per  week,  and  two  days  at  the  end  of  the 
month.  When  the  monthly  folders  are  made  out  for  new 
correspondence,  special  care  should  be  taken  to  have  them 

Transferring  and  Destroying  Old  Records 

At  regular  intervals  the  contents  of  the  correspondence 
files  should  be  removed  to  transfer  cases  to  make  room  for 
current  business.  Firms  generally  prefer  to  do  this  at  the 
end  of  the  fiscal  year,  or  semiannually.  The  time  must  be 
definitely  fixed  and  the  entire  body  of  material  transferred  at 
one  time.  Sufficient  equipment  must  be  provided  to  take  care 
of  this. 

The  usual  time  for  preserving  general  correspondence  is 
five  years — after  that  it  is  destroyed.  Interdepartmental 
memoranda  may  usually  be  destroyed  after  one  year;  orders, 
and  paid  invoices,  after  three  years ;  contracts  and  legal  docu- 
ments generally,  after  seven  years;  credit  reports  are,  of 
course,  kept  indefinitely,  and  modified  from  time  to  time ;  data 
files  also  are  constantly  being  renewed ;  or  may  be  revised  and 



The  ultimate  development  for  the  filing  activity  seems  to 
be  a  centralized  filing  division,  parallel,  say,  to  the  steno- 
graphic department  and  serving  the  whole  business.  This 
result  has  been  reached  in  only  a  few  concerns,  but  a  large 
number  of  concerns  are  approaching  it  steadily.  The  advan- 
tages of  the  centralized  department  are : 

1.  It  saves  duplication  of  plant  and  labor. 

2.  It  makes  possible  a  better  quality  of  labor  and  greater 

expertness  in  the  staff. 

3.  It  makes  possible  a  wider  use  of  filing  resources. 

With  the  exception  of  records  on  which  clerical  work — 
such  as  posting — is  being  continually  expended,  it  is  entirely 
practicable  to  group  together  all  the  papers  and  records  of 
even  a  very  large  organization.  This  has  recently  been  done, 
almost  literally,  in  R,  H.  Macy  and  Company.  The  corre- 
spondence, the  customers'  records  of  various  kinds,  and  many 
other  sets  of  statistical  information-  are  brought  together  in 
what  is  known  as  the  investigation  department  at  the  top  of 
the  building,  in  close  proximity  to  the  central  transcribing 
room  where  the  correspondence  is  written  off  from  dicta- 

The  disadvantages  of  central  filing  are : 

I.  Physical  difficulties  obtain;  it  is  inconvenient  not  to 
have  the  files  connected  with  one  department  immediately  at 
hand.  This  difficulty,  however,  may  be  overcome  by  a  good 
distributing  system.  It  involves,  of  course,  a  regular,  fre- 
quent, and  responsible  messenger  service.  It  may  be  noted 
in  the  above  firm  that  the  central  department  has  a  representa- 
tive and  a  sort  of  distributing  station  on  each  floor.  It  is  not 
necessary  that  the  records  be  assembled  physically  in  one  place 
— merely  that  they  shall  be  under  active  supervision  of  one 
central  authority. 


2.  Another  disadvantage  is  that  different  departments 
have  different  needs  and  may  call  for  different  systems  of 
arrangement,  etc.  The  answer  to  this  is  that  an  expert  filing 
staff  can  handle  even  several  systems  more  satisfactorily  and 
economically  than  a  large  number  of  less  trained  people. 

Here  again,  the  ]\Iacy  organization  offers  a  useful  example. 
The  30  or  40  clerks  in  the  investigation  department  operate  a 
large  number  of  different  indexes  and  systems,  adjusted  to 
the  needs  of  the  various  departments,  passing  from  one  to  an- 
other as  may  be  needed. 

Other  large  concerns  in  which  centralization  has  been 
carried  to  a  high  degree  are  the  Western  Electric  Company 
and  the  New  York  Telephone  Company. 

A  third  disadvantage  not  to  be  overlooked  is  fear  of  pub- 
licity as  between  individuals  and  departments  and  differences 
in  point  of  view  as  to  methods  of  conducting  the  business. 
This  difficulty  may  be  overcome,  however,  as  in  the  case  of 
the  stenographic  department,  once  the  conception  of  the  filing 
activity  serving  the  entire  organization  has  been  grasped  by 
the  executive. 

Any  attempt  at  centralization  involves,  as  a  matter  of 
course,  certain  requirements  :* 

1.  A  carefully  drawn  up  or  "standardized"  set  of  instruc- 
tions should  be  adopted  in  connection  with  the  filing  work. 

2.  The  retaining  of  papers  or  letters  in  individual  desk 
drawers  should  be  eliminated. 

3.  The  granting  of  personal  compartments  or  "personal 
files"  in  the  general  filing  department  should  be  eliminated 
entirely,  and  all  papers  relating  to  the  company's  general  busi- 
ness should  be  gathered  together  in  one  place,  and,  as  far  as 
possible,  under  one  common  index. 

*The  general  case  with  regard  to  centralization  has  been  well  set  forth  by 
W.  Herbert  Gilley,  Superintendent  of  the  filing  department  of  the  Mutual  Life 
Insurance  Company  in   the  July,    1918,  number   of  Filing. 



4.  No  individual  except  the  file  clerks  should  have  access 
to  the  files.  When  papers  or  material  are  withdrawn  a  regu- 
lar receipt  form  should  be  given,  duly  signed.  This  receipt 
or  "out"  card  is  usually  filed  in  place  of  material  withdrawn. 

Here  it  is  sufficient  to  say  that  systematic  centralization 
increases  largely  the  smooth  and  efficient  operation  of  the 
filing  activity  of  an  organization,  and  broadens  its  scope  very 
considerably.  As  to  the  cost,  it  is  probably  a  conservative 
estimate  to  say  that  systematic  and  wise  centralization  means 
a  total  saving  for  the  organization,  counting  salaries,  supplies, 
floor  space,  and  up-keep  generally,  of  40  per  cent  of  what  is 
now  spent. 





Elements  Necessary  in  Efficient  Control 

Adequate  control  of  a  department  depends  upon  proper 
organization  and  supervision.  The  organization  of  the  steno- 
graphic department  embraces : 

1.  The  location  of  stenographic  department  and  desks. 

2.  The  allotment  of  aisle  and  working  space. 

3.  The  location  of  files  and  similar  equipment. 

4.  Provision  for  light,  heat,  and  ventilation. 

5.  Arrangement  of  desk  drawers  and  placing  of  acces- 


6.  Adjustment  of  chairs,  foot  rests,  etc. 

7.  Covering  of  machines. 

8.  Standardized  forms. 

9.  Alanual  of  instructions. 

Supervision  involves  the  use  of  methods  necessary  to  keep  the 
organization  at  work  and  authority  to  discipline  the  workers. 
Methods  of  control,  in  turn,  demand  that  two  things  be 
provided :  First,  the  supervisor  must  have  standards  by  which 
to  compare  and  measure  the  output  of  the  group,  and  of  the 
individual.  This  enables  him  to  judge  of  the  general  trend 
of  the  department's  work  and  to  see  that  the  expected  require- 
ments of  individuals  are  met  in  quantity  of  work.  Secondly, 
the  supervisor  must  be  provided  with  reports  whereby  equip- 
ment and  conditions  can  be  inspected,  and  standards  main- 
tained. Good  discipline  involves  the  authority  for  enforcing 
orders,  assigning  work,  seeing  that  rules  and  regulations  are 



carried  out,  and  that  instructions  are  given  to  stenographers 
regarding  proper  methods  of  work  and  procedure. 

Location  of  the  Department 

In  selecting  a  location  for  the  stenographic  department, 
due  consideration  should  be  given  to  the  fact  that  typewriters 
are  noisy  machines.  Therefore,  they  should  be  removed  from 
the  hearing  of  the  other  departments  and  executives,  and  yet 
the  stenographers  should  not  be  so  far  away  as  to  lose  valu- 
able time  in  going  to  and  from  the  dictators'  desks.  To  be 
sure,  a  suitable  location  must  not  be  obtained  at  too  great  a 
sacrifice  of  light  and  ventilation,  for  both  of  these  elements 
bear  directly  upon  the  efficiency  of  the  workers,  and  should 
be  studied  carefully.  The  ideal  location  is  a  room  in  the 
northeast  corner  of  the  building  with  large  windows  to  furnish 
the  maximum  amount  of  natural  light.  For  dark  days  and 
evening  work,  semi-indirect  lighting  should  be  installed. 

Heat,  Ventilation,  and  Humidity 

While  the  heating  and  the  ventilation  of  an  office  are 
matters  worth  careful  consideration,  most  offices  still  depend 
upon  the  simple  method  of  using  the  window  to  bring  about 
the  conditions  desired.  Heaters  are  placed  under  the  win- 
dows, with  sufficient  radiating  surface  to  keep  an  even  tem- 
perature in  the  coldest  weather,  and  ventilators  are  made  into 
the  windows  in  such  a  way  as  to  provide  fresh  air,  and  yet 
avoid  drafts.  This  arrangement  should,  where  possible,  be 
supplemented  with  a  system  of  fans  by  which  the  exhausted 
air  is  drawn  out  from  the  top  of  tlie  room,  and  an  adequate 
supply  of  fresh  air  is  drawn  in  through  the  window  ventila- 
tors, and  so  controlled  as  to  bring  the  air  down  and  deflect  it 
just  above  the  heads  of  the  clerks. 

The  use  of  humidifiers  is  also  to  be  recommended  when 
necessary,  although  few  offices  have  installed  anything  more 



than  the  simplest  form  of  apparatus.  In  fact  the  importance 
of  this  factor,  as  it  bears  upon  the  efficiency  of  the  workers,  is 
not  generally  realized.  Going  from  a  very  warm  room  into  the 
cold,  damp  air  outside,  tests  one's  resisting  powers  to  colds 
and  sickness,  more  than  is  generally  realized.  By  equalizing 
as  much  as  possible  the  atmospheric  conditions  inside,  this 
risk  can  be  avoided.  One  firm  takes  as  its  standard  of  humid- 
ity the  atmosphere  as  it  exists  outdoors  on  a  clear  October 
day.  This  average  is  maintained  by  placing  humidifiers  on 
the  heaters  located  under  each  window. 

Reduction  of  Noise 

A  stenographic  department  in  which  two  people  cannot 
carry  on  a  conversation  in  a  normal  tone  of  voice  is  too  noisy. 
Quietness  is  directly  connected  with  the  maintenance  of  good 
discipline  and  the  maximum  degree  of  concentration.  The 
constant  hum  of  busy  machines  acts  as  a  steady  drain  upon  the 
nerve  force  of  the  stenographers.  In  most  offices  the  noise  is 
attacked  at  its  source — the  machine  itself.  By  putting  a  felt 
pad  an  inch  or  more  in  thickness  under  each  typewriter  the 
sound  waves  are  deadened  before  beginning  their  noisy  jour- 
ney throughout  the  room.  The  noise  which  escapes  in  spite  of 
this  precaution  may  be  further  reduced  by  covering  the  floors, 
ceilings,  and  walls  with  materials  which  "absorb"  the  rever- 
berations to  a  large  extent.  For  example,  linoleum  over  a 
layer  of  wool  felt  may  be  used  as  a  floor  covering,  and  it  is 
easily  kept  clean.  To  reduce  the  reverberating  qualities  of 
the  ceiling,  a  thick  layer  of  felt  may  be  stretched  over  it.  The 
appearance  of  the  room  is  not  marred  if  white  muslin,  which 
reflects  the  light  well,  is  stretched  over  the  felt. 

Arrangement  of  Desks 

The  poor  arrangement  of  desks  and  equipment  often 
causes  a  department  to  seem  overcrowded,  whereas  more  care- 


ful  arrangement  would  give  adequate  working  room  in  the 
same  space.  Hence  the  effective  use  of  space  in  the  steno- 
graphic department  should  be  given  close  consideration. 

When  a  stenographer  cannot  leave  her  desk  without  dis- 
turbing other  workers  something  is  wrong  with  the  desk 
arrangement.  It  is  difficult  in  this  connection  to  lay  down 
any  general  rules,  but  experience  has  shown  that  where  desks 
are  in  rows  there  should  be  at  least  40  inches  of  space  between 
them.  This  gives  adequate  chair  room  and  aisle  space  back 
of  the  chair.  Aisles  between  rows  of  desks,  where  much 
traveling  is  done,  should  be  at  least  three  feet  wide.  Where 
the  files  are  constantly  used  the  working  space  in  front  should 
be  about  five  feet.  In  the  opinion  of  one  office  manager  the 
floor  area  essential  for  highest  efficiency  is  about  100  square 
feet  for  each  individual.  This  includes  space  for  desk,  chair, 
aisle,  and  the  room  required  for  files  and  equipment. 

Another  frequent  cause  of  overcrowding  is  a  collection  of 
heterogeneous  and  unstandardized  equipment.  Perhaps 
double  typewriter  desks  are  used  when  smaller  desks  would 
answer  the  purpose,  or  large  and  small  tables  and  desks  are 
mixed  indiscriminately.  Often  in  such  cases  the  operator  at 
the  smaller  desk  may  be  in  need  of  storage  space,  while  the 
one  at  the  larger  table  may  not. 

By  lessening  the  causes  of  confusion  the  environment  is 
made  more  congenial  and  the  control  of  the  force  is  more 
easily  maintained.  One  manager,  after  studying  conditions, 
decided  that  small  tables  for  the  typewriter  with  a  large  table 
at  the  side,  the  length  of  which  was  limited  to  the  require- 
ments of  three  typists,  were  most  efficient  for  his  particular 

Selecting  a  Head  Stenographer 

As  the  work  of  training  the  girls  and  their  immediate 
supervision  fall  upon  the  head  stenographer,  it  is  essential 


that  the  person  chosen  for  this  position  should  not  only  be 
thoroughly  conversant  with  all  the  details  of  stenographic 
work  but  should  reveal  marked  executive  ability  as  well. 
Therefore,  four  considerations  should  govern  the  office  man- 
ager in  the  selection  of  a  head  stenographer  who  preferably 
should  be  a  woman.     These  are : 

1.  Character  and  personality. 

2.  Knowledge  of  the  concern's  policies  and  organiza- 


3.  Skill  as  a  stenographer. 

4.  Ability  to  teach. 

It  should  not  be  necessary  for  an  established  concern  to  go 
outside  to  find  the  right  person.  Usually  some  stenographer 
in  their  employ  who  is  familiar  with  the  ways  of  the  many 
dictators,  who  has  a  knowledge  of  the  details  of  the  organiza- 
tion, and,  what  is  equally  important,  whose  tactful  personality 
is  such  as  to  influence  others  to  do  their  best,  should  be  avail- 
able in  an  organization  of  any  size. 

Selecting  the  Stenographic  Force 

The  standards  to  be  maintained  and  the  complexity  of  the 
work  to  be  done  must,  to  a  great  extent,  control  the  selection 
of  the  stenographic  force.  A  company  manufacturing  and 
selling  typewriters,  of  necessity  demands  a  higher  standard  of 
work  than  an  ordinary  commercial  house.  While  no  definite 
rules  can  be  laid  down,  the  most  obvious  course  is  to  "use 
what  pays  best'' — only  be  sure  that  a  mistake  is  not  made  in 
selecting  cheap  material  simply  because  it  is  cheap.  On  the 
other  hand,  if  an  $8  a  week  girl  can  turn  out  work  that  meets 
the  requirements  of  a  particular  business,  it  is  obviously  poor 
policy  to  hire  one  at  $12  a  week. 

The  qualification  generally  required  seems  to  be  experi- 
ence, although  even  in  this  respect  concerns  differ.     One  will 


consider  only  an  applicant  having  several  years'  experience 
to  her  credit,  while  others  prefer  a  girl  with  little  or  no  train- 
ing in  other  lines  of  business.  A  large  New  York  company 
says :  "Our  best  success  has  been  obtained  with  stenographers 
who  have  had  not  more  than  two  years'  experience  before 
coming  to  us."  It  is  more  difficult  to  overcome  fixed  habits 
of  the  trained  girl  than  to  develop  comparatively  untrained 
stenographers  when  the  work  is  of  an  unusual  character. 

Points  to  Consider  in  the  Selection  of  Stenographers 

When  selecting  the  personnel  of  the  department  and 
weighing  the  qualifications  of  one  applicant  against  those  of 
another  the  following  points  are  worth  consideration : 

1.  Education 

(a)  College 

(b)  High  school  (part  time  plan) 

(c)  Graded  school 

2.  Technical  training 

(a)  Business  college 

(b)  "Picked  up" 

3.  Experience  in  type  of  business 

(a)  Professional  (legal,  accounting,  engineering, 


(b)  Commercial  (retail,  brokers,  etc.) 

(c)  Industrial  (factory,  etc.) 

(d)  Transportation 

(e)  Financial     (banking,     exchange,     insurance, 


(f)  Educational 

4.  Special  training  in  stenographic  essentials 

(a)  Grammar  (based  on  answers  to  all  questions 

during  interview) 

(b)  Business  forms 

(c)  Composition 


(d)  Tabulation 

(e)  Filing 

(f)  Elementary  computations 

5.  Personality 

(a)  Attractive 

(b)  Mediocre 

6.  General  appearance 

(a)  Simplicity  in  dress 

(b)  Neatness 

7.  Characteristics 

(a)  Overconfident 

(b)  Extremely  diffident 

Testing  the  Applicant's  Ability 

A  letter  of  medium  difficulty  dictated  to  the  applicant 
should  satisfy  the  head  stenographer  as  to  ability  to  take 
dictation  and  to  transcribe  notes,  although  an  arrangement 
for  a  week's  tryout  on  the  actual  work  of  the  department  is 
a  fairer  and  more  satisfactory  test.  A  day  or  two  on  copy 
work  will  bring  out  typing  defects  due  to  carelessness,  or  to  a 
heavy  or  erratic  touch,  while  the  girl's  manner  of  adapting 
herself  to  the  office  routine  and  of  handling  its  details  will 
give  the  head  stenographer  an  opportunity  to  judge  as  to 
capacity  and  general  fitness. 

Training  Stenographers 

If  the  test  of  an  applicant's  ability  proves  satisfactory,  tne 
period  of  training  should  begin  at  once.  The  head  stenog- 
rapher brings  to  the  new  employee's  attention  the  necessity 
of  mastering  the  office  manual — a  subject  to  be  taken  up  in 
later  chapters.  She  explains  in  detail  the  manner  of  keeping 
the  work  records,  of  checking  up  her  daily  progress,  handling 
the  equipment,  interpreting  what  is  meant  by  "quality  of 
work,"  and  the  standards  applied  to  the  form  and  arrange- 


ment  of  the  letter.  These  also  are  matters  to  be  discussed  in 
following  chapters. 

This  training  is  not  accomplished  in  one  day,  but  step  by 
step — from  addressing  envelopes,  filling  in,  etc.,  to  copying 
lists  of  figures  and  names,  form  letters,  statements,  and  manu- 
scripts— which  course  enables  the  new  girl  to  learn  the  tech- 
nical terms  of  the  business.  Then  comes  dictation  of  a  rou- 
tine character,  and,  as  knowledge  and  expertness  warrant, 
assignments  of  work  follow  which  demand  judgment  and 
technical  correctness. 

The  training  of  a  typist  is  along  the  same  lines  although 
more  limited  in  scope. 

Speed  Classes 

Some  firms,  with  the  endeavor  to  keep  up  the  highest 
standard  of  stenographic  output,  have  instituted  "speed 
classes,"  which  meet  once  a  week  at  a  stated  hour  (usually 
the  last  hour  before  closing  time  if  work  permits).  The  girls 
are  given  dictation  embodying  technical  terms  likely  to  be  met 
with  in  the  regular  course  of  duties;  the  notes  are  read  back 
by  different  members  of  the  class;  and  the  outlines  of  the 
more  difificult  words  are  written  upon  a  blackboard.  This  is 
done  for  the  purpose  of  inciting  a  general  discussion  in  which 
all  the  girls  are  encouraged  to  take  part. 

To  keep  the  enthusiasm  of  the  force  alive  it  is  well  to 
institute  reviews  and  to  oiTer  occasional  rewards  to  those 
attaining  a  certain  degree  of  proficiency.  A  visit  to  the  class, 
now  and  then,  from  the  office  manager  or  other  executive, 
with  a  discussion  of  the  stenographic  policy  of  the  concern, 
is  of  great  assistance  to  the  head  stenographer  in  keeping  up 
that  interest  on  the  part  of  the  girls  which  alone  can  make 
the  classes  a  real  success.  In  this  way  each  girl  is  made  to 
feel  that  any  special  effort  on  her  part  is  appreciated,  and  that 
a  wider  knowledge  of  the  vocabulary  pertaining  to  the  various 


branches  of  the  business  aids  her  in  taking  dictation  and  in- 
creases her  chances  of  advancement.  Experience  has  shown 
that  speed  classes  are  a  big  factor  in  keeping  a  stenographic 
force  alert  with  a  zest  for  the  work. 

Handling  Special  Problems 

Other  problems  which  indirectly  bear  upon  the  training 
or  discipline  of  the  force  are  those  relating  to  overtime,  punc- 
tuality, absence,  dull  periods,  salary  raising,  and  so  on. 

Overtime  work  is  due  to  many  causes  and  cannot  be  en- 
tirely eliminated  from  all  businesses,  yet  it  is  generally  con- 
ceded that  it  should  be  avoided  so  far  as  possible.  Where 
overtime  conditions  are  due  to  inefficient  management,  in  the 
way  of  unequal  distribution  of  work  or  like  error,  means  can 
readily  be  found  to  correct  it  by  the  adoption  of  the  work 
schedule  and  other  records  to  be  described  later.  Experience 
proves  that  employees  accomplish  more,  in  the  long  run,  if  the 
pressure  of  work  is  uniform  and  reasonable  in  amount,  rather 
than  if  spasmodic — little  today  and  perhaps  overtime  to- 
morrow. During  dull  periods  it  may  often  be  better  to  give 
a  few  of  the  girls  at  a  time  a  half  day  off,  rather  than  "invent'' 
work  which  is  not  necessary. 

As  regards  punctuality  and  regularity  of  attendance  there 
is  little  further  to  suggest  than  the  method  of  strict  account- 
ability for  time  lost,  i.  e.,  holding  employees  to  account  by 
means  of  reports  of  daily  attendance,  showing  the  time  they 
reach  their  desk.  These  reports  are  made  out  by  the  girls 
themselves  and  sent  to  the  office  manager  for  scrutiny  and 
comment.  Upon  his  attitude,  in  a  large  degree,  depends  the 
discipline  maintained.  A  report  which,  when  it  merits  atten- 
tion, fails  to  inspire  action  on  the  part  of  an  executive,  is  better 
not  made,  for  any  laxity  shown  by  the  office  manager  in 
matters  of  discipline  will  encourage,  rather  than  deter,  negli- 
gence in  the  employee. 


The  Salary  Problem 

In  fixing  and  raising  the  salaries  of  stenographers  and 
typists  it  is  well  to  bear  in  mind  that  this  question  should  not 
be  treated  as  an  "individual  proposition,"  but  as  a  matter  of 
strictly  business  policy  only,  which  is  fair  to  all  concerned. 
The  question  should  be  divested  of  all  personal  considerations. 
Every  employee  should  be  made  to  feel  that  his  or  her  salary 
is  based  upon  the  services  rendered  and  justice  to  all  em- 
ployees. A  sound  salary  policy  must  be  based  on  the  four 
following  guiding  principles : 

1.  Loyalty  and  length  of  service. 

2.  Market  value  of  services. 

3.  Comparative   improvement    in   work   over   her  pre- 

vious records. 

4.  Improvement  over  the  records  of  others  doing  sim- 

ilar work. 

A  policy  such  as  this,  backed  by  ready  recognition  of  superior 
merit,  without  the  demand  for  a  raise  coming  first  from  the 
employee,  will  ensure  a  loyalty  to  the  firm  where  other  expedi- 
ents breed  disloyalty  and  discontent. 

Having  discussed  the  organization  of  the  department  from 
the  viewpoints  of  layout  and  personnel,  there  remain  to  con- 
sider various  details  of  equipment. 

Position  of  Clock  and  Calendar 

Every  stenographic  department  needs  to  be  equipped  with 
a  clock  and  a  calendar.  A  clock  is  an  especially  important 
item  of  equipment  where  schedules,  the  time-standards  of 
business,  are  understood  and  enforced.  The  activities  of  a 
well-managed  stenographic  department  should  be  regulated  by 
certain  predetermined  time-standards  or  schedules.  If  the 
employees  are  to  keep  to  these  schedules,  a  reliable  timepiece 
must  be  in  plain  view.     This  is  easily  accomplished  by  putting 


a  large  clock  at  the  end  of  the  room  toward  which  the  major- 
ity of  the  stenographers  face.  Under  this  clock,  and  large 
enough  to  be  seen  from  every  part  of  the  room,  a  calendar 
should  be  placed.  With  these  two  guides  time  records  can  be 
made  out  and  letters  dated  without  constant  reference  on  the 
part  of  the  girls  either  to  the  head  stenographer  or  to  one 

Use  of  Annunciators  and  Callaphones 

To  avoid  the  confusion  and  waste  of  time  which  frequently 
accompanies  the  announcement  of  assignments  for  dictation, 
annunciators  and  callaphones  are  frequently  used.  When  a 
dictator  wants  a  stenographer  he  presses  a  button.  A  white 
disc  at  once  shows  on  the  annunciator  at  the  back  of  the  head 
stenographer's  desk.  Noting  which  dictator  has  rung  and 
what  stenographer  is  free,  she  speaks  into  the  callaphone  in- 
strument before  her  and  says,  "Aliss  Byer  to  Mr.  Stotz. 
please."  The  sound  intensifier,  which  is  placed  on  the  wall 
at  the  back  of  the  room,  repeats  the  message  loud  enough  to 
be  heard  by  everyone.  The  girl  addressed  answers  the  call 
and  the  others  go  on  with  their  work. 

Supplies  and  Surplus  Machines 

Details  of  equipment  of  minor  importance  are  supplies 
and  surplus  machines.  Much  time  may  be  wasted  by  running 
out  of  supplies  or  by  the  breakdown  of  a  typewriter.  A  stock 
of  supplies  should  always  be  on  hand  and  accessible  and,  if 
the  office  is  large  enough,  a  boy  should  be  kept  to  distribute 
them  to  workers  as  required.  As  for  typewriters,  it  is  advis- 
able to  keep  on  hand  a  spare  machine  which  may  be  substituted 
for  a  defective  machine.  If  repairs  are  to  be  made  on  the 
premises,  a  special  room  should  be  provided  as  a  means  of 
preventing  the  interruption  of  work.  Some  very  large  firms 
employ  a  man  who  devotes  his  whole  time  to  repairs.     Most 


concerns,  however,  rely  upon  the  service  departments  of  the 
typewriter  companies. 

Special  Equipment 

As  the  needs  of  the  stenographic  departments  vary  with 
the  nature  of  the  business,  it  is  impossible  to  cover  all  the 
special  aids  to,  and  equipment  required,  for  good  w'ork.  One 
firm  furnishes  dictionaries  placed  at  convenient  points  for 
consultation;  another  provides  a  library  containing  books  on 
English  composition,  grammar,  and  the  Hke ;  while  a  third  has 
a  number  of  telephone  extensions  in  the  department — one  for 
the  head  stenographer  and  others  upon  the  desks  of  sten- 
ographers who  must  keep  in  touch  \vith  certain  executives. 
In  general,  the  above  list  covers  the  equipment  which,  in  a 
sense,  should  be  the  common  property  of  the  department. 

Neatness  of  Personal  Equipment 

Close  study  is  constantly  being  made  of  the  personal  equip- 
ment required  by  the  individual  stenographer.  Unless  there 
is  a  place  for  everything  and  everything  in  its  place,  time  is 
wasted  and  mistakes  are  made.  An  untidy  desk  top  is  the 
frequent  cause  of  letters  being  mixed  with  carbon  copies,  de- 
layed mailings,  the  omission  of  important  enclosures,  letters 
written  on  wrong  letterheads,  and  many  other  avoidable 
errors.  Lists  should  be  made  of  the  things  each  stenographer 
needs,  in  the  way  of  equipment  and  stationery  to  be  kept  in  her 
desk,  and  the  drawers  arranged  accordingly.  A  good  rule  is 
that  nothing  should  be  kept  on  the  desk  top  but  the  machine 
(see  Figure  26)  and  at  the  back  of  a  machine  that  useful 
typewriter  accessory,  a  copy-holder. 

Use  of  the  Copy-holder 

An  indispensable  typewriter  accessory  is  a  copy-holder. 
The  earliest  form  of  this  device  consisted  of  a  small  stand  on 



which  the  note-book  was  placed  and  held  in  position  by  means 
of  an  elastic  band.  The  newest  development,  which  is  a  good 
improvement  over  the  old  method,  because  it  aids  both  accu- 
racy and  speed,  is  a  device  which  is  screwed  to  the  desk  behind 

Figure  26.      A    Stenographic    Desk    Cleared    for    Action 

With   all  papers  and  stationery  stored  in   drawers. 

the  typewriter  where  it  holds  the  note-book  or  the  matter  to 
be  copied.  By  pressing  a  lever  to  the  right  of  the  keyboard, 
the  copy  is  raised  one,  two,  or  three  lines  at  a  time  as 
may  be  desired.  A  "line  finder"  also  prevents  the  operator 
from  skipping  a  line  or  two  as  she  works.  The  device  pre- 
vents eye  strain  because  the  copy  is  directly  in  front  of  the 
operator,  both  her  eyes  are  equally  distant  from  it,  and  she 
does  not  need  to  keep  her  head  turned  to  one  side  as  she 


works.     She  is  thus  able  to  maintain  a  natural  and  easy  pos- 

Arrangement  of  Materials  in  Desk 

The  precise  method  of  arranging  individual  equipment  is 
usually  left  to  each  girl's  fancy — which  is  not  conducive  to 
orderliness  and  economy  of  effort.  The  "layout"'  of  the  desk 
is  w^ll  worth  consideration  with  a  view  to  determining  the 
kind  and  quantity  of  materials  and  stationery  required  by  each 
girl  and  the  best  method  of  arranging  and  storing  this  equip- 
ment in  her  desk.  The  supplies  most  frequently  used  should 
be  placed  where  they  can  be  most  easily  reached,  the  move- 
ment being  from  right  to  left;  that  is,  working  materials  are 
taken  from  the  right  side  of  the  desk  and  the  finished  work 
is  placed  on  the  left  side  of  the  desk.  The  following  instruc- 
tions as  to  the  materials  to  be  carried  and  their  position  in  the 
desk  are  taken  from  the  office  manual  of  the  Remington  Type- 
writer Company,  and  cover  all  that  needs  to  be  said  on  this 
point : 

Upper  right-hand  drawer: 
I.     Yellow  sheets 

Thin  white  paper  for  carbon  copies 

Interoffice  letter-heads 

Red  seal  letter-heads 

Heavy   white   paper    for   long  memos   and   second 

Supply  of  carbon 
Special  letter-heads 
Telegram  blanks 
Interdepartment  memos 

Lower  right-hand  drawer: 
I.     Small  envelopes 
No.  lo  envelopes 


2.  Interdepartment  messenger  slips 
Enclosure  slips 

Pyramid  of  pins 

3.  Erasers 
Rubber  bands 

4.  Well-sharpened  pencils 

5.  6x9  envelopes 

Left-hand  drawer: 

1.  Finished  work 

2.  Letters  to  be  answered  and  other  papers  being  used 

in  connection  with  work 

3.  Yellow  and  white  carbon  copies 

4.  Miscellaneous  supplies  and  forms 
Personal  belongings 

Cleaning  outfit 
Dust  cloth 

"Typewriter  Covers.  When  not  in  use,  fold  covers  neatly 
and  place  them  behind  machine.  Be  sure  machines  are 
covered  before  leaving  at  night.  Nothing  should  be  on  top 
of  desk.  All  papers  should  be  in  drawers  provided  for  them 
with  the  exception  of  copy  or  note-book  from  which  you  are 

Posture  of  Stenographer  at  Desk 

A  final  and  by  no  means  the  least  important  consideration 
in  helping  to  make  the  stenographer  efficient  is  her  position  or 
posture  at  the  desk.  Self -starting  machines,  copy-holders, 
special  stenographic  desks — all  came  before  the  physical  com- 
fort of  the  operator  was  considered  as  she  sat  at  her  work. 
Attention  is  now  being  paid  to  this  matter  with  the  result 
that  we  have  the  adjustable  chair,  the  knee  brace,  foot  rest. 



Figure  27.     A  Stenographic  Desk  with  Special  Foot  Rest 

This    type    of    foot    rest   is    designed    to    relieve    fatigue. 

and  the  adjustable  raised  desk  for  sitting  or  standing.  One 
firm,  for  example,  furnishes  a  special  type  of  foot  rest  as 
shown  in  Figure  27.  All  of  these  things  are  added  expense 
from  the  old  point  of  view,  but  from  the  modern  point  of 
view  the  savings  due  to  the  reduction  of  fatigue  has  turned 
these  extra  outlays  into  investments. 

Few  people  adopt,  naturally,  the  most  efficient  ways  of 




doing  things.  Piano  playing  was  taught  for  generations  be- 
fore the  simple  fact  was  discovered  that  the  least  fatiguing 
position  at  a  piano  is  to  hold  the  forearms  and  wrists  in  a 
horizontal  position  with  the  upper  arms  at  an  angle  of  30 
degrees.  We  seek  the  scientific  method  when  training  per- 
sons in  most  professional  activities,  such  as  surgery,  music, 
and  the  arts,  but  in  business  thought  is  rarely  given  to  the 
correct  posture  at  a  desk,  or  to  the  least  fatiguing  method  of 
working.  The  supposition  is  that  these  things  are  naturally 
done  in  the  best  possible  way.  Yet  investigation  in  the  fac- 
tory has,  in  recent  years,  shown  that  the  efficiency  of  factory 
workers  is  greatly  increased  when  their  method  of  working  is 
studied  with  a  view  to  eliminating  all  useless  motions  and 
when  they  are  taught  to  perform  the  necessary  motions  in  the 
easiest  possible  way.  These  "motion  studies"  as  they  are 
called,  are  now  being  made  in  the  office. 

After  experimenting  with  numbers  of  typists  and  studying 
the  methods  of  the  "speed  artists,"  experts  have  found  that 
typing,  like  piano  playing,  is  done  with  the  least  effort  w^hen 
the  operator's  forearms  and  wrists  are  level,  and  the  upper 
arms  30  degrees  from  the  vertical,  as  shown  in  the  illustrations. 
With  this  fact  established  the  position  of  the  machine  and  the 
position  of  the  chair  need  to  be  carefully  regulated.  As  a 
consequence,  the  old  style  typewriter  desk  and  the  regulation 
chair  have  had  to  be  modified.  The  tendency  of  almost  all 
typists  is  to  get  too  close  to  the  typewriter  and  to  sit  in 
too  low  a  position  for  comfortable  working.  Such  a  position 
hampers  the  rapid  manipulation  of  the  keys. 

Experiments  made  by  the  Remington  Typewriter  Company 
as  to  the  best  position  of  the  typist,  also  prove  that 
fatigue  is  greatly  lessened  when  the  sitting  posture  can  occa- 
sionally be  changed  to  a  standing  posture,  as  shown  in  Figure 
29.  The  iijiportance  which  is  today  attached  to  these  seem- 
ingly unimportant  matters  is  evidenced  by  the  following  in- 


structions  regarding  the  method  of  insuring  the  correct  pos- 
ture of  the  typist  at  her  desk.  These  instructions  are  taken 
from  the  office  manual  of  the  Remington  Typewriter  Com- 
pany and  the  positions  described  and  recommended  are  illus- 
trated in  Figures  28a  and  b. 

Figure  28.    (a)  Adjustable   Desk — Stenographer    Sitting 

The    desk    and    chair    are    placed    on    platforms    so    that    the    operator    can    work 
either    in    a    sitting   or   standing   posture,   as   she   prefers. 



Instructions  for  Adjusting  Position  of  Typist  at  Desk 

Making  Adjustable  Knee  Guard 

Make  two  end  blocks  6  inches  square  and  i  inch  thick  to 
fasten  to  the  sides  of  desk. 

Cut  square  holes  in  the  back  of  each  of  the  blocks  of 
proper  size  and  depth  to  hold  bolt-heads  and  prevent  them 
from  turning. 

Make  knee  guard  of  4  x  >^  inch  stock,  with  two  end 
pieces  6  inches  long  fastened  at  right  angles  to  the  main 
piece  by  dovetailing. 

Cut  slotted  holes  3  inches  long  in  each  of  the  end  pieces 
to  make  the  guard  adjustable. 

Figure  28.     (b)  Adjustable   Desk— Stenographer   Standing 

To  work  standing  for  short  periods  of  time  is  found  to  relieve  fatigue.     With  the 

chair   and   desk   raised,    as    shown   above,    the    change    from   a    sitting   posture    Cin 

be    made   almost   instantly. 


Fasten  the  knee  guard  to  the  end  blocks  with  ^  inch 
square-headed  bolts  supplied  with  washers  and  wing  nuts. 

Fixing  Position  of  Operator  and  Knee  Guard 

Loosen  wing  nuts  and  push  guard  as  far  back  as  possible. 
Have  operator  sit  in  proper  position  with  arms  and  wrists 
level,  upper  arm  30  degrees  from  vertical  and  back  resting 
lightly  against  chair,  move  guard  forward  until  it  touches 
operator's  knees  and  tighten  wing  nuts. 

Making  Adjustable  Foot  Rest 

Make  a  foot  rest  of  Yz  inch  stock  12  inches  square. 

Fasten  a  cleat  2  inches  wide,  to  and  flush  with,  the  back 
edge,  of  thickness  to  raise  the  foot  rest  to  the  height  required 
by  the  operator.  (Operator  should  always  wear  heels  of 
same  height,  preferably  low  heels.  A  change  in  the  height 
of  heels  would  make  it  necessary  to  change  height  of  foot 

Bore  a  series  of  holes  parallel  to  and  near  each  side  of  the 
foot  rest. 

Make  a  strip  of  wood  to  fit  between  the  inside  edge  of 
front  legs  of  desk  and  attach  two  metal  strips  at  each  end  to 
form  guides  to  hold  the  strip  to  the  desk  legs. 

Fasten  two  pegs  to  the  strip  centered  between  the  desk 
legs,  at  proper  distance  apart  to  fit  the  holes  in  the  foot  rest. 

When  required  height  is  greater  than  the  thickness  of  strip 
between  front  legs  of  desk  build  up  with  cleats  under  foot 
rest  until  it  is  level. 

Fixing  Position  of  Foot  Rest 

Place  operator's  feet  in  proper  position  on  the  foot  rest, 
by  disengaging  it  from  the  pegs,  moving  it  forward  or  back- 
ward, and  engaging  the  pair  of  holes  nearest  to  the  pegs  when 
the  foot  rest  is  squarely  under  operator's  feet. 


Instructions  for  Raising  Desk  So  That  Typist  Can 
Alternately  Sit  and  Stand 

Fixed  Quantities 

Efficiency  stenographic  desk  with  top  of  typewriter  bed 
2134  inches  from  floor. 

One  felt  pad  under  typewriter  (when  new  ^  inch  thick). 

Front  of  base  of  typewriter  placed  even  with  front  edge 
of  desk. 

Swivel  chair  which  can  be  turned  up  or  down  by  hand  and 
fixed  at  any  desired  height  by  tightening  set  screw,  having 
rigid  back  braced  to  sides  of  seat  and  made  to  support  opera- 
tor's back  and  shoulders. 

Measuring  Operator 

Have  operator  sit  back  in  chair  as  far  as  possible. 

Place  fingers  on  the  second  bank  of  keys,  move  chair  back 
and  forth  until  upper  arm  is  30  degrees  from  vertical  (measur- 
ing with  triangle). 

Adjust  height  of  chair  until  operator  reaches  the  following 
position : 

Forearm  level 
Wrist  level 
Hand  level 

If  adjusting  of  chair  has  changed  the  angle  of  the  upper 
arm  from  30  degrees,  move  chair  back  and  forth  until  angle 
is  correct. 

Measure  distance  from  front  edge  of  typewriter  bed  to 
back  of  chair  at  the  level  of  top  of  typewriter  bed,  17  inches. 

Place  support  under  feet  (keeping  heels  and  toes  level), 
and  raise  until  the  leg  above  knee  is  level  and  there  is  no 
pressure  of  front  edge  of  chair  against  leg. 

Measure  height  of  front  edge  of  chair  from  floor,  18 


Measure  height  of  support  under  feet,  2^  inches. 

With  operator  sitting  in  chair  and  arms  in  position  in- 
dicated above,  measure  distance  from  point  of  elbow  to  floor, 
27  inches. 

Have  operator  stand  up  with  arms  in  same  position  and 
measure  distance  from  point  of  elbow  to  floor,  41  inches. 

Subtract  and  get  difference  between  sitting  and  standing 
position,  14  inches. 

Building  Platforms  for  Chair 

The  difference  between  sitting  and  standing  (14  inches) 
plus  the  height  of  the  foot  stool  as  arrived  at  above  (23^ 
inches)  will  be  the  height  of  the  chair  platform  (163^  inches). 

By  turning  the  swivel,  lower  the  seat  of  the  chair  the 
difference  between  the  height  of  the  casters  (2  inches)  and  the 
height  of  the  foot  rest  i2y2  inches). 

Build  the  platform  just  large  enough  to  take  the  base  of 
the  chair  (23  x  23  inches)  and  the  legs  spread  so  that  it  will 
not  upset  if  the  operator  should  sit  on  the  edge  of  the  chair. 

Bore  holes  in  top  of  platform  the  proper  size  to  allow 
casters  to  fit  into  them.  When  lifted  up  straight,  the  casters 
should  come  out  of  the  holes  easily  but  when  chair  is  pushed 
horizontally,  it  should  take  the  platform  with  it. 

Casters  on  the  platform  should  work  very  easily  so  that 
the  operator  can  mount  platform,  sit  in  the  chair,  grasp  desk, 
and  pull  herself  closer  to  it. 

For  Desk 

Connect  the  two  sides  of  the  platform  with  a  guard  to  keep 
the  chair  platform  the  proper  distance  from  desk,  i.  e.,  from 
back  of  chair  to  front  edge  of  typewriter  bed  should  measure 
17  inches. 

Attach  guides  to  the  guard  to  guide  chair  platform  to 
proper  position  when  operator  pulls  chair  up  to  desk. 



Make  the  top  of  the  guard  %  inch  below  the  top  of  the 
chair  platform. 

Fasten  a  foot  rest  to  the  top  of  the  guard  made  of  a  board 
%  inch  thick  by  12  inches  wide  and  23  inches  long,  with  its 
front  edge  flush  with  the  front  edge  of  the  guard. 

Support  the  foot  rest  by  a  brace  connecting  the  center  of 
the  guard  with  the  center  of  the  back  of  the  desk  platform. 



Differentiation  of  Stenographic  Department 

The  evolution  of  stenography  as  a  highly  specialized  em- 
ployment is  in  harmony  with  the  development  of  industrial 
specialization  in  general.  The  early  cobbler  made  a  whole 
shoe  whereas  today  the  shoe  factory  divides  the  making  of  a 
shoe  into  150  operations  and  assigns  each  job  to  a  group  of 
workers.  Similarly,  many  distinct  branches  of  clerical  em- 
ployment have  gradually  evolved,  one  by  one,  out  of  the  gen- 
eral mass  of  office  work.  A  few  years  ago  every  clerk  was 
expected  to  be  a  correspondent,  a  bookkeeper,  and  a  general 
detail  office  man.  Bookkeeping  was  the  first  to  break  away 
from  the  general  mass.  Then  the  work  of  correspondence 
began  to  be  divided  into  a  number  of  separate  jobs.  Today 
we  find  the  miscellaneous  mass  of  work  known  as  "office  de- 
tail" coalescing  into  separate  departments  or  activities — such 
as  the  messenger  service,  the  addressograph  and  multigraph 
work,  and  the  like. 

Specialization  in  the  Correspondence  Department 

The  term  "correspondence"  covers  a  large  number  of  ac- 
tivities. For  this  reason  many  concerns,  while  calling  the 
department  which  dictates  and  cares  for  the  composition,  writ- 
ing, mailing,  and  filing  of  letters,  the  "correspondence  depart- 
ment," still  discriminate  between  these  activities,  finding  that 
the  greater  efficiency  lies  in  separating  them,  wherever  practi- 
cable, and  allotting  them  to  specialized  employees.  In  addi- 
tion many  progressive  businesses,  in  which  office  work  con- 
stitutes the  main  activity,  distinguish  between  planning  and 



performing.  Just  as  factories  find  it  more  efficient  to  sepa- 
rate the  engineering  and  other  planning  work  from  the  details 
of  shop  operations,  so  office  managers  are  beginning  to  recog- 
nize the  advantage  of  providing  separate  departments  for 
thinking  and  planning  and  for  doing. 

The  production  of  a  firm's  letters,  like  the  making  of  its 
goods,  must  be  first  "thought  out,"  their  structure  planned, 
and  manufacture  provided  for.  The  ability  to  compose  a 
letter  is  in  no  way  dependent  upon  the  skill  required  to  write 
shorthand  or  to  transcribe  from  notes  or  from  a  dictaphone. 
Therefore,  as  soon  as  a  business  is  large  enough,  it  should  be- 
gin to  divide  the  work  of  correspondence  among  employees 
whose  whole  time  is  given  to  the  branch  of  work  for  which 
they  have  been  specially  trained. 

Disadvantages  of  Separate  Stenographic  Force  for  Each  De- 

In  those  offices  where  the  clerical  force  is  recruited  as  the 
need  of  different  departments  seems  to  require,  without  an 
investigation  of  the  nature  of  the  work  or  any  definite  plan 
to  cope  with  it,  much  overlapping  of  work  and  duties  is  usu- 
ally the  result.  In  many  businesses,  for  example,  it  is  the 
practice  to  supply  each  department  with  its  own  stenographic 
and  clerical  service.  As  the  natural  tendency  then  is  for  a 
department  to  measure  its  necessities  by  maximum  rather 
than  minimum  requirements,  most  organizations  are  over- 
supplied  with  help  during  normal  periods.  Each  executive 
feels  that  the  surplus  help  will  be  needed  again  in  a  short  time 
and  he  naturally  strives  to  keep  the  force  busy  Dy  providing 
it  with  clerical  work  as  a  "fill-in."  How  demoralizing  this 
procedure  may  be  to  the  discipline  of  the  office  organization  is 
illustrated  by  the  experience  of  a  large  concern  which  left  the 
"office  management"  in  the  hands  of  the  various  department 


Disastrous  Results  of  Independent  Control 

With  no  co-ordinating  authority  over  the  stenographic 
and  clerical  help,  the  work  necessarily  became  unevenly  dis- 
tributed. Executives  had  become  imbued  with  the  idea  that 
the  routine  of  their  particular  department  was  more  difficult 
than  that  of  any  other.  This  led  to  widespread  discontent 
among  employees,  for  some  were  overworked  while  others 
were  comparatively  idle;  yet  they  received  either  the  same 
wage  or,  as  frequently  happened,  the  clerk  doing  the  least 
work  was  drawing  the  most  pay.  One  stenographer,  having 
perhaps  more  work  than  she  could  cope  with  and  seeing  an- 
other idle,  would  complain  of  unfair  treatment.  Others  do- 
ing good  work  and  getting  $12  or$i4a  week  felt  the  injustice 
of  a  situation  which  gave  $20  to  an  employee  who,  for  want 
of  sufficient  work,  pretended  to  be  occupied. 

The  investigation  also  showed  that  letters  were  dictated 
according  to  the  whim  or  mood  of  the  dictator  and  were  fre- 
quently held  over  from  day  to  day,  because  some  executive 
preferred  to  wait  for  the  return  of  a  regular  stenographer 
who  was  absent,  rather  than  to  accept  a  substitute.  Also,  the 
capacity  and  skill  of  stenographers  and  typists  varied  greatly 
and  executives  had  time  neither  to  select  carefully  nor  to  train 
properly.  The  letters  turned  out  varied  in  quality  and  form, 
and  were  not  always  to  the  credit  of  so  large  a  company. 

Such  were  the  chief  disadvantages  of  the  existing  system. 
After  making  an  analysis  of  function  and  duties  the  company 
decided  that  these  inefficiencies  were  largely  the  result  of  the 
"scattered"  type  of  stenographic  and  clerical  control,  and  that 
if  conditions  were  to  be  improved  the  centralized  form  of  or- 
ganization would  have  to  be  adopted. 

Advantages  of  Central  Control 

The  advantages  of  centralization  consist  ( i )  in  correcting 
maladjustments  between  the  number  of  employees  and  the 


work  to  be  done;  (2)  in  facilitating  the  adoption  of  standards; 
and  (3)  in  making  possible  adequate  inspection  and  supervi- 
sion. Instead  of  the  surplus  labor  being  scattered  among 
many  departments,  it  is  gathered  into  one  central  department 
where  the  combined  surplus  of  all  departments  can  either  be 
fully  utilized  or  dispensed  with  if  not  required. 

The  first  fruit  of  central  control  is  either  to  make  possible 
a  reduction  in  the  number  of  employees  while  still  doing  the 
same  amount  of  work,  or  to  undertake  more  work  with  the 
same  office  force.  If  any  department  has  an  unusually  heavy 
schedule,  it  can  be  given  extra  aid  by  using  workers  who  are 
not  busily  employed,  or  whose  work  is  not  immediately  press- 

The  second  fruit  is  concentration  of  effort.  By  separat- 
ing the  stenographic  from  the  clerical  work,  employees  are 
given  tasks  for  which  they  are  best  fitted.  This  not  only  in- 
creases the  efficiency  of  the  workers  but  separates  the  higher 
paid  from  the  lower  paid  form  of  employment.  Routine 
clerks  receive,  as  a  rule,  not  more  than  half  the  salary  of 
thoroughly  competent  stenographers. 

A  third  advantage  of  central  control  is  that  work  can  be 
distributed  equally  and  all  employees  treated  alike  in  matters 
of  salaries  and  training.  All  are  judged  by  the  same  stand- 
ards and  checked  by  the  same  central  authority.  If  the  steno- 
graphic work  happens  to  be  light  for  a  period,  employees  share 
alike  in  this  respite  from  labor. 

Chief  Functions  of  Stenographic  Department 

The  most  important  function  of  the  stenographic  depart- 
ment is  to  turn  out  perfect  letters.  A  business  impresses 
others  with  the  "personal  appearance"  of  its  letters  much  the 
same  as  an  individual  makes  a  good  or  bad  impression  with 
his  clothes.  To  make  the  right  impression  a  letter  must  be 
neat,  symmetrically  arranged,  and  letter-perfect.     These  fea- 


tures  depend  upon  the  careful  training  and  adequate  super- 
vision of  the  office  force.  Smudged,  poorly  arranged,  mis- 
spelled letters  are  a  handicap  to  a  concern,  and  will  seriously 
damage  any  firm's  business  reputation  in  time.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  output  of  the  stenographic  department,  if  it  func- 
tions properly,  should  not  only  be  above  criticism  but  the  let- 
ters should  strengthen  the  message  they  bear  by  the  neatness 
and  perfection  of  their  appearance. 

Testing  the  Department's  Efficiency  -^ 

The  weak  spot  in  a  poorly  organized  stenographic  depart- 
ment can  be  uncovered  by  an  investigation  designed  to  answer 
the  following  questions.  If  the  majority  of  the  answers  are 
in  the  affirmative  it  is  safe  to  assert  that  the  department  is 
badly  in  need  of  reorganization;  if  the  replies  are  negative 
in  character  the  department  may  be  considered  to  be  efficient. 

i.     Is  the  cost  of  the  stenographic  and  copying  work 
excessive  ? 

2.  Is  there  a  surplus  of  stenographers? 

3.  Is  the  work  unequally  distributed  among  the  work- 


4.  Do  the  workers  waste  their  time? 

5.  Are  the  wages  paid  inconsistent  with   service  ren- 

dered ? 

6.  Is  there  a  standard  of  quality  for  dictators  as  well 

as  for  stenographers? 

7.  Do  noises  and  other  disturbances  interfere  with  good 


8.  Is  work  held  over  by  executives  and  other  dictators 

for  special  or  "preferred"  employees? 

9.  Are  the  stenographers  and  copiers  poorly  trained? 
10.     Is  regular  and  competent  inspection  of  work  pro- 
vided ? 


After  investigating  and  finding  that  the  answers  to  most 
of  the  above  questions  were  in  the  affirmative,  one  small  con- 
cern decided  to  change  its  whole  system  of  stenographic  serv- 
ice, with  the  result  that  within  five  months  the  pay-roll  was 
cut  one-third  and  the  average  cost  per  line  on  dictated  and 
copied  matter  was  reduced  18  and  13  per  cent  respectively. 

Efficiency  a  Thing  of  Slow  Growth 

Not  every  change,  however,  will  give  such  rapid  results  as 
these,  nor  is  reduction  in  production  cost  the  only  end  in  view. 
A  business  organization,  like  every  other  living  thing,  is  of 
slow  growth.  Frequent  transplanting  is  dangerous  and  sci- 
entific pruning  is  the  natural  and  profitable  method  of  per- 
fecting it  after  the  right  plan  has  been  adopted  and  set  to 
growing.  Fundamental  changes,  therefore,  cannot  be  made 
over  night.  If  disruption  and  retarded  growth  are  to  be 
avoided,  change  should  be  made  only  after  careful  thought, 
planning,  and  preparation ;  and  the  bigger  the  office  the  great- 
er becomes  the  necessity  for  this  sort  of  preliminary  work. 
Months  and  even  years  are  taken  by  some  firms  in  carrying 
out  schemes  of  reorganization,  yet  time  is  saved  in  the  long  run. 

Standards  of  Work  and  Training 

Standards  of  quality  and  style  can  only  be  set  and  main- 
tained when  the  conditions  of  dictation  are  brought  under 
the  control  of  some  directing  authority,  when  stenographers 
are  carefully  trained,  and  when  standards  of  performance  are 
insisted  upon.  After  rules  pertaining  to  the  form  and  style 
of  letters  are  once  formulated  and  adopted  the  executive's 
or  correspondent's  dictation  can  be  watched  and  controlled. 

As  discussed  in  the  preceding  chapter,  employment  and 
training  of  stenographers  should  be  put  under  the  charge  of 
a  head  stenographer,  selected  for  her  special  fitness  for  the 
position.     Such  an  executive  can  train  better  stenographers 


at  less  cost  than  is  possible  where  their  development  is  left  to 
department  heads.  Under  the  old  method  stenographers  be- 
come accustomed  to  the  peculiarities  of  one  dictator  and  so 
gradually  lose  their  speed.  Under  the  direction  of  a  head 
stenographer,  and  a  plan  whereby  they  take  dictation  from 
different  men  and  upon  a  variety  of  subjects,  their  speed  is 
not  only  maintained  but  also  increased  while  the  individual's 
conception  of  the  business  is  broadened  as  well. 

Not  until  all  stenographers  begin  to  work  under  compe- 
tent direction  and  feel  the  pressure  and  stimulus  of  compari- 
sons of  performances  can  it  be  said  that  a  central  control 
exists.  The  principal  work  to  be  done,  therefore,  in  forming 
a  stenographic  department  is  the  setting  of  standards  where- 
by measurements  of  work  can  be  made  and  operations  con- 
trolled. When  sufficient  standards  have  been  formulated  to 
insure  a  sound  basis  for  judging  the  efficiency  of  the  em- 
ployees, it  is  then  time  to  give  attention  to  the  room  or  de- 
partment in  which  the  operators  are  to  work. 

Procedure  in  Adopting  Standards 

Before  standards  can  be  adopted,  a  thorough  analysis  of 
functions  and  duties  must  be  made.  Such  a  study  should 
disclose  which  work  is  of  a  routine  character  and  which  can- 
not be  reduced  to  routine.  It  is  obviously  easier  and  more 
practicable  to  select  first  for  standardization  those  tasks  and 
operations  which  recur  most  frequently.  In  stenographic 
work  the  most  frequently  recurring  activities  are  obviously 
the  taking  of  dictation  and  the  transcribing  of  notes. 

Each  dictator  has  certain  methods  of  procedure.  For  ex- 
ample, he  uses  certain  styles  of  salutation  and  complimentary 
closing.  The  stenographer  numbers  the  pages  of  her  note- 
book, enters  the  dates  of  dictation  and  of  transcription,  can- 
cels the  notes,  identifies  the  letters  which  accompany  the  notes 
— all  according  to  a  method  of  her  own.     Finallv,  between 


these  activities  of  the  dictator  and  the  stenographer  Hes  a 
field  which  may  belong  to  either.  Who,  for  instance,  is  to  be 
responsible  for  punctuation,  paragraphing,  date,  writing  of 
figures,  etc.  ? 

In  selecting  the  point  of  attack  for  the  setting  of  the  first 
standards  in  dictation,  a  very  slight  consideration  of  the  sit- 
uation shows  that  materials  are  more  easily  handled  than 
methods;  that  methods  are  more  amenable  to  standardiza- 
tion than  persons  and  human  relations;  and  finally  that  the 
employee  who  is  subject  to  the  commands  of  superiors  and 
whose  work  is  of  a  routine  character  is  more  open  to  sugges- 
tions pertaining  to  the  adoption  of  standards  than  the  exec- 
utive to  whom  is  left  the  initiative  in  matters  of  dictation  as 
well  as  other  things.  Therefore,  the  first  thing  to  be  stand- 
ardized should  obviously  be  the  form  of  the  letter  itself. 

Procedure  as  Applied  to  Standardizing  the  Letter 

Most  businesses  have  their  own  peculiar  stationery  re- 
quirements and  usually  good  reasons  underlie  the  selection  of 
certain  sizes  of  letter-heads,  envelopes,  interdepartmental 
memo  slips,  and  the  like,  as  well  as  the  use  of  a  standard  im- 
print. However,  standardization  usually  stops  here  and  the 
form  in  which  a  letter  is  written  is  left  to  the  vicissitudes  of 
individual  caprice. 

I'he  standardization  of  the  typewritten  matter  itself  elim- 
inates the  element  of  caprice.  But  since  dictators  and  stenog- 
raphers have  their  own  preferences  it  is  well  to  consult  all 
persons  concerned  as  soon  as  a  new  method  is  considered  and 
before  it  has  even  been  proposed  for  adoption.  This  permits 
each  interested  person  to  register  his  or  her  suggestions  and 
recommendations  before  the  standards  have  been  reduced  to 
instructions.  If,  after  discussion,  an  objection  is  raised  by  a 
minority,  it  is  well  to  ask  the  objectors  to  waive  their  opin- 
ions in  behalf  of  the  general  good. 


A  similar  method  should  be  followed  when  it  comes  to 
putting  the  description  of  the  new  standards  into  permanent 
written  instructions.  To  make  sure  that  everyone  under- 
stands the  instructions,  they  should  be  submitted  for  criticism 
to  the  stenographers  and  dictators  interested.  This  may  mean 
changes,  but  when  it  is  considered  how  minute  the  details  are 
that  must  be  covered  and  the  number  of  variables  that  must 
be  eliminated  before  the  simplest  operation  can  be  standard- 
ized, it  is  seen  how  carefully  the  work  must  be  done  if  the  in- 
structions are  to  be  carried  out  understandingly  by  the  stenog- 
raphers and  typists.  When  the  instructions  are  finally  com- 
pleted, a  copy  is  given  to  each  person  interested  and  carefully 
explained.  From  each  dictator,  as  the  copy  is  handed  to  him, 
a  promise  is  exacted  that  he  will  conform  to  all  instructions 
and  waive  all  individual  preferences  in  the  matter. 

Points  of  Letter  to  be  Standardized 

The  points  to  consider  in  standardizing  the  form  of  letters 
are  as  follows : 










Line  spacing 












Signature  and  complimentary  close 


Second  sheet  headings 


Identifying  initials 


Marking  carbon  copies 


The  envelope  and  certain  enclosures  should  be  included 
in  the  scheme  of  standardization.  The  envelopes  must  be 
considered  from  the  points  of  view  of: 

1.  Size 

2.  Addressing 

3.  Return  envelopes,  when  and  how  to  use 

The  standardization  of  enclosures  embraces  the  size  of : 

1.  Order  blanks 

2.  Circulars,  booklets,  etc. 

The  natural  method  of  developing  standards  is,  as  has 
been  said,  to  start  with  that  activity  which  has  the  largest 
number  of  constant  factors.  This  we  found  to  be  dictation 
and  the  letter  form.  By  adopting  this  line  of  procedure,  the 
germ  of  efficiency  is  introduced  into  the  heart  of  the  prob- 
lem without  causing  unnecessary  commotion  or  disturbance. 
The  advantages  of  uniform  practice  in  the  form  of  the  letter 
are  readily  recognized  and  usually  accepted  without  oppo- 
sition. This  makes  progress  toward  the  second  step  much 
easier,  since  both  the  dictator  and  stenographer  know  that 
the  letter,  the  common  goal  of  both,  is  standardized  in  form 
and  beyond  the  influence  of  their  whims. 

In  taking  the  second  step  the  office  manager  has  two  alter- 
natives. He  may  attack  the  methods  of  the  dictator  in  giving, 
or  the  methods  of  the  stenographer  in  taking,  dictation.  Ex- 
perience advises  the  latter,  leaving  the  dictator's  methods 
alone  until  the  departmental  activities  have  been  standardized 
generally.  Conditions  will  then  force  a  natural  compliance 
with  such  rules  and  regulations  as  may  be  found  necessary  to 
improve  the  methods  of  executives. 

Responsibility  for  Punctuation — Errors,  etc. 

The  work  of  the  stenographer  is  commonly  divided  into 
four  main  activities : 


1.  Taking  dictation. 

2.  Transcribing. 

3.  Copying. 

4.  Preparing  letters,  copies,  etc.,  either  for  mailing  or 

for  the  files. 

When  the  duties  of  the  stenographer  have  been  classified 
as  above,  it  is  not  always  easy  to  draw  the  line  where  her  re- 
sponsibility actually  begins  and  that  of  the  dictator  ends,  or 
where  the  mail  clerk's  and  file  clerk's  responsibilities  begin 
and  those  of  the  stenographer  leave  off.  Beginning  with  the 
taking  of  dictation  the  question  at  once  arises,  who  shall  be 
responsible  for  the  punctuation,  paragraphing,  name,  dates, 
and  figures?  The  answer  is  obviously  that  they  are  part  of 
the  composition  necessary  to  express  the  meaning  of  the  dic- 
tator and  he  should  be  responsible.  Therefore,  the  first  rule 
should  read :  "Correspondent  dictates  punctuation,  paragraph, 

But  this  rule  alone  will  not  ahvays  protect  the  stenog- 
rapher when  poor  judgment  is  used.  To  place  responsibility 
for  such  details  as  these  is  one  of  the  chief  reasons  for  w^ritten 
standard  instructions.  \\'hile  no  competent  stenographer 
would  let  mistakes  which  she  catches  in  her  notes,  pass  un- 
challenged, nevertheless  no  just  method  of  comparing  effi- 
ciency throughout  the  department  can  be  established  if  girls 
are  required  to  take  the  responsibility  for  errors  which  are 
made  by  others. 

To  insure  agamst  any  injustice,  this  rule  of  dictation 
should  be  supplemented  by  the  provision  of  a  "confirmation 
slip"  which  when  signed  by  the  dictator  makes  him  responsible 
for  the  punctuation,  etc.,  of  each  batch  of  letters.  This  slip 
accompanies  the  papers  and  is  used  by  the  head  stenographer 
when  inspecting  the  transcribed  letters  of  the  various  stenog- 
raphers. • 


Identification  of  Papers 

Besides  taking  notes  during  dictation  the  stenographer  is 
given  charge  of  important  papers — usually  the  original — with 
which  a  copy  of  the  dictation  is  filed.  A  simple  method  of 
identifying  them  is  to  number  each  letter  and  note-book  page 
as  the  dictation  is  taken  down.  In  case  the  dictator  uses  a 
phonograph  he  numbers  the  letters  and  the  identifying  space 
on  the  phonograph  slip  which  accompanies  each  cylinder. 

Points  to  be  Standardized  in  Typing  Letters 

The  stenographer  is  now  ready  to  type  the  letter  and  the 
standardization  of  this  work  covers  the  following  points: 

I.  Carbon  copies. 
Carbon  paper. 



Estimating  length  of  letters. 


Pinning  and  delivering  transcribed  letters. 

Typing  envelopes. 

Each  of  these  points  will  be  separately  considered. 

Carbon  Copies 

Typists  should  be  taught  four  points  about  carbon  copies : 

1.  The  number  required. 

2.  Purposes  of  colored  copies. 

3.  Aids  in  economical  use. 

4.  Methods  of  marking  copies  for  distribution  among 

persons  interested. 

Assuming  that  the  size  of  carbons  is  the  same  as  that  of  the 
letter-head  their  use  can  now  be  standardized.     For  example, 


the  rules  based  on  the  above  mentioned  points  may  be  as  given 
below : 

1.  Two  carbon  copies  are  required  when  letters  are  to 

be  filed — the  first  to  be  filed  with  the  original  papers 
and  the  second  under  a  subject  classification. 

2.  Colors  are  used  to  show  where  the  carbons  are  to 

be  filed,  i.  e.,  white  with  original,  pink  with  sales, 

3.  Economy  may  be  effected  on  two-page  letters  by 

writing  on  the  back  of  the  carbon  copies. 

4.  Carbons  which  must  be  sent  to  individuals  should  be 

treated  as  follows : 

(a)  Take  letter  out  of  machine. 

(b)  Lay  aside  the  letter-head  and  the  first  sheet 

of  carbon. 

(c)  Put  the  other  copies  back  in  the  machine  and 

write  as  follows  at  top  of  sheet : 

Copy  to  Mr 

(d)  Put  a  check  mark  after  the  name  of  the  per- 

son on  the  copy  he  is  to  receive.  This 
makes  it  unnecessary  to  address  and  attach 
interdepartmental  memoranda. 

(e)  The  following  description  will  aid  the  typist 

in  selecting  persons  to  whom  copies  are  to 

be  sent: 

Comptroller's  department — copies  of  all 
letters  authorizing  expenditures,  unusual 
transactions,  salary  changes,  or  changes 
in  salesmen's  drawing  accounts. 


District   sales   manager — copies  of  letters 

sent  to  district  offices. 
Office  manager — copies  of  all  letters  about 

leases  and  office  rentals. 
Branch  managers — copies  of  all  letters  to 

salesmen  or  employees  in  their  offices. 

Carbon  Paper 

Typists  should  be  taught  to  select  the  proper  kind  of  car- 
bon paper  for  the  number  of  copies  required.  Many  sugges- 
tions covering  the  use  of  carbon  can  be  given,  such  as : 
"Wrinkled  carbons  spoil  the  copy."  "Turn  frequently  and 
avoid  wearing  out  in  spots."  "When  inserting  a  carbon  be- 
tween sheets  of  paper,  place  it  half  an  inch  from  the  top  and 
side  of  the  sheet  of  paper.  This  method  enables  you  to  hold 
the  paper  with  the  left  hand  and  pull  out  the  carbon  with  the 
right."  "When  erasing  over  carbon  place  a  blotter  between 
the  sheet  being  erased  and  the  carbon.  This  prevents  the 
carbon  from  smudging  and  from  being  worn  out  in  spots.  A 
pencil  eraser  used  to  take  off  the  first  coat  and  a  typewriter 
rubber  used  afterward  makes  a  clean  erasure."  "When  under- 
scoring two  or  more  characters,  always  lock  the  shift  key. 
Then,  while  striking  the  underscore,  run  ribbon  along  by 
turning  the  ribbon  spool  crank."  Man}^  helpful  hints  of  the 
above  nature,  which  may  well  be  incorporated  in  the  rules  for 
standardizing  the  office  routine,  are  to  be  found  in  booklets 
published  by  the  various  typewriter  and  phonograph  com- 

Appearance  and  Form  of  Letters 

A  letter  should  have  all  the  attractive  elements  of  a  good 
advertisement.  It  is  obviously  poor  policy  for  an  executive  to 
devote  his  best  efforts  to  the  composition  of  a  forceful  letter 
and  then  permit  its  appearance  and  legibility  to  be  marred 


by  slovenly  typing.     G.  B.  Hotchkiss  writes  in  "Business  Cor- 
respondence" : 

Everything  that  enters  the  letter  should  be  chosen  be- 
cause it  will  be  most  likely  to  appeal  to  the  reader  and  im- 
press him.  Unless  you  write  the  letter  in  this  way,  you  are 
in  the  position  of  a  wireless  operator  whose  instrument  is  out 
of  tune  with  that  of  the  receiving  station.  You  must  tune  up 
with  it,  adjust  it,  or  the  message  will  never  reach  its  des- 
tination (the  impression  on  the  reader)  and  can  produce  no 
results.  .  .  .  When  a  man  is  trying  to  get  money  out  of  us 
in  one  way  or  another,  we  do  not  spend  any  great  amount  of 
time  and  energy  in  trying  to  catch  his  ideas  and  feelings.  He 
must  come  to  us  and  meet  us  on  our  own  level,  not  his  own. 

Too  often  are  the  important  details  upon  which  the  ap- 
pearance of  the  letter  depends  left  to  the  discretion  of  the 
stenographer  whose  ideal  is  frequently  to  crowd  into  a  given 
space  as  much  as  possible.  If  the  initial  impression  made  by 
the  appearance  of  the  letter  is  one  to  prompt  the  reader  to  a 
closer  examination  of  the  "story"'  and  tempt  him  to  accept 
the  conclusions  of  the  writer,  attention  must  be  paid  to  its  ar- 
rangement and  form. 

Two  practical  elements  enter  into  the  form  or  proper  bal- 
ance of  a  letter.  One  is  the  emphasis  that  the  eye  always 
gives  to  the  upper  half  of  the  page  rather  than  the  lower  part. 
Thus  a  letter  that  is  exactly  balanced  by  having  the  same 
amount  of  material  above  and  below  the  mathematical  center 
of  the  page  does  not  appear  to  be  well  balanced.  x\nother  is 
the  pleasing  effect  produced  when  a  figure  of  any  kind  is  con- 
structed so  that  the  width  and  length  are  in  the  ratio  of  3  to  5. 
If  a  typed  sheet  is  arranged  with  the  width  very  much  longer 
or  shorter  than  the  length,  the  letter  appears  "out  of  balance." 
In  this  connection  the  paragraph  plays  an  important  part.  A 
little  study  may  show  that  a  shifting  of  paragraphs  adds  to 
the  general  effect  through  an  artistic  subdivision  of  the  space 
into  symmetrical  parts,  without  detracting  from  the  meaning: 


also  that  the  division  of  a  long  paragraph,  or  ine  union  of 
shorter  ones,  will  rarely  interfere  with  the  logic  of  the  com- 

Rules  for  Form  of  Letters 

While  the  order  of  the  paragraphs  and  their  length  de- 
pends upon  the  dictator's  method  of  composition,  neverthe- 
less stenographers  may  be  instructed  in  the  principles  and  so 
guided  by  directions  that  satisfactory  results  may  be  obtained. 
First  among  such  instructions  are  those  pertaining  to  the 
length  of  a  letter.  In  the  case  of  a  short  letter  care  should  be 
taken  to  center  the  body  of  the  letter  accurately;  that  is,  the 
typewritten  matter  should  be  so  adjusted  that  the  white  space 
above  and  below  is  approximately  equal.  With  this  general 
effect  in  mind  and  realizing  that  after  all,  much  depends  upon 
the  stenographer's  judgment,  some  office  manuals  lay  down 
specific  rules  covering  the  position  of  the  date,  subject,  ad- 
dress, etc. 

One  company,  under  the  heading  "Form  of  Letters"  in- 
structs its  typists  as  follows : 

Write  the  date  about  three  spaces  below  the  printed  name 
of  city,  except  in  short  letters,  when  it  may  be  placed  lower. 

Three  spaces  below  the  date  line  write  the  subject  of  the 

The  number  of  spaces  between  the  subject  and  the  first 
line  of  the  address  depends  upon  the  length  of  the  letter  to 
be  written.  If  the  address  consists  of  two  lines,  the  second 
line  begins  at  15  (referring  to  the  index  scale  on  the  type- 
writer) ;  if  it  consists  of  three  lines,  the  second  line  begins 
at  10  and  the  third  at  15.  If  a  letter  is  addressed  to  a  firm 
and  intended  for  the  attention  of  an  individual,  write  on 
same  line  as  salutation  beginning  "Attention"  at  35  on  the 
scale  or  farther  to  the  left,  depending  on  the  length  of  the 

The  spaces  between  lines  may  be  single  or  double,  but 
preferably  double;  if  single,  there  should  be  double  spaces 
between  paragraphs. 


Paragraphs  should  begin  at  15  on  the  scale. 

Sentences  should  be  followed  by  two  spaces.  There 
should  be  two  spaces  after  the  colon  and  one  space  after 
a  comma  or  semicolon. 

The  margins  or  blank  space  around  the  typed  matter 
should  be  the  same.  Try  to  get  as  uniform  a  margin  as 
possible  on  the  right  side,  but  divide  words  only  between 

When  a  paragraph  is  quoted  in  the  body  of  a  letter,  both 
right  and  left  margins  must  be  indented  five  spaces  far- 
ther than  the  regular  paragraphs.  Quotations  are  to  be  sin- 
gle spaced.  Thus  when  an  original  letter  is  quoted  in  a 
follow-up  letter,  no  quotation  marks  are  required.  Its  ar- 
rangement sets  it  off  as  a  quotation. 

The  same  care  of  arrangement  should  be  given  to  letters. 
At  left  margin  write  the  name  of  the  office,  company,  or 
person  addressed.  Three  spaces  to  the  right  write  the  num- 
ber of  the  page  and  at  the  end  of  the  line  indicate  date  in 
figures — thus  5/24/18.  There  should  be  two  double  spaces 
between  the  heading  and  the  body  of  the  letter. 

The  complimentary  close  and  signature,  unless  other- 
wise instructed,  will  be : 

Yours  very  truly, 

The  Standard  Typewriter  Company, 
John    J.    Johnson, 


To  identify  the  dictator  and  transcriber,  write  at  the  left 
margin  of  the  letter  their  initials,  thus:   ABC:E. 

Subject  Title  of  Letter 

Reference  is  made  in  the  preceding  section  to  the  "subject" 
title  of  the  letter. 

The  advantage  of  giving  all  letters  a  subject  title  is  gen- 
erally recognized.  It  aids  the  recipient  to  ascertain  the  pur- 
port of  the  correspondence  at  a  glance  and  so  prepares  his 
mind  for  the  discussion  that  follows.  It  also  makes  it  easy  to 
locate  originals  and  copies  in  the  files.  If  a  letter  comes  to  the 
typing  department  without  a  subject  heading,  instructions 
should  be  given  to  the  typist  to  furnish  one  if  the  context  is 


evident  or  to  consult  the  head  stenographer.     If  the  latter 
sees  fit,  the  letter  may  be  referred  to  the  dictator. 

Standard  Form  of  Letters 

As  a  further  aid  to  the  stenographer  and  the  dictator  in 
grasping  the  standard  form  of  letters,  a  model  copy  of  a  let- 
ter to  the  public  and  a  letter  to  executive  offices  and  other 
branches  are  furnished  by  the  company  above  mentioned  to 
each  employee  in  the  department.  These  letters  may  then  be 
kept  by  each  individual  in  a  convenient  place,  where  they  can 
be  referred  to  without  loss  of  time  until  thoroughly  familiar 
with  all  their  points  of  form  and  style.  The  following  are 
specimen   letters: 

Executive  Offices 
Standard  Typewriter  Company 

New  York,  N.  Y.,  November  2"],  1918. 

Form  of  Letter  to 

Executive  Offices  and 

Other  Branches 


November  24. 

Executive  Offices:  Attention  of  Mr.  Bruce. 

This  letter  will  hereafter  be  the  standard  form  to  be  used 
by  all  branch  offices  when  writing  to  the  Executive  Offices 
and  to  other  branches. 

For  the  sake  of  uniformity  and  ready  reference,  all  of  our 
letters  should  show,  two  spaces  under  the  date  hne,  the  sub- 
ject of  the  letter.  If  your  letter  is  a  reply,  you  should  show, 
one  space  below  the  title,  the  initials  of  the  writer  of  the 
letter  to  which  reply  is  being  made;  and,  one  space  below 
that,  the  date  of  the  letter. 

Cut  out  of  the  body  of  the  letter  all  unnecessary  words, 
such  as,  "Your  favor  of  the  28th  instant  in  regard  to  head- 
.    ings  of  letters  was  duly  received,"  etc. 


Only  one  subject  should  be  covered  in  each  letter.     Make 
your  letters  brief  and  to  the  point. 

Albany  Office, 
ABC :  D  Manager. 

Executive  Offices 
Standard  Typewriter  Company 

New  York,  N.  Y.,  November  2y,  19 18. 

Form  of  Letter  to 
The  Public 

United  States  Steel  Corporation, 
120  Broadway, 

New  York  City. 

Dear  Sirs:  Attention  of  ^Nlr.  Hancock. 

Uniformity  in  a  business  letter  pleases  the  eye,  compels 
attention  and  commands  the  admiration  of  the  recipient. 
Uniformity  is  not  difficult  to  secure.  It  depends  upon  two 
things:  First,  regularity  of  indentations;  second,  mechani- 
cal setting  of  the  typewriter  carriage. 

This  letter  is  a  model  of  correct  set-up  for  our  letters. 
It  will  hereafter  be  the  standard  form  for  our  entire  or- 
ganization, except  in  writing  to  the  Executive  Offices  and 
other  branches,  when  the  attached  form  is  to  be  used. 

In  order  to  produce  a  letter  similar  to  this  standard  form, 
set  left-side  guide  one-eighth  of  an  inch  beyond  the  cylinder ; 
set  marginal  stops  at  5   and  65 ;  set  self  starter  stops  at 
10,  15,  25,  35  and  45;  center  subject  under  date. 
Yours  very  truly, 

Standard  Typewriter  Company 
ABC:D  Vice-President. 

Typing  Interdepartmental  Letters  and  Other  Messages 

Letters  and  other  messages  which  go  to  branch  houses, 
interdepartmental  messages,  envelopes,  cablegrams,  and  tele- 


grams  need  special  rules  to  cover  them.  While  brevity  should 
not  degenerate  into  obscurity  and  rudeness,  it  should,  never- 
theless, be  the  principle  guiding  the  make-up  of  these  mes- 
sages. The  standardization  of  form  and  procedure  in  han- 
dling such  letters  is  covered  by  the  following  rules  taken  from 
the  office  manual  previously  referred  to: 

1.  Interdepartmental  memoranda  to  branch  offices,  fac- 
tories and  employees  should  have  special  headings  indicating 
matter.  If  the  letter,  etc.,  is  in  reply  to  another,  place  the  ini- 
tials of  the  writer  under  the  subject  and,  one  space  below, 
the  date  of  the  letter,  as  follows : 

In  re :  Complaints  Non-delivery  of  Materials 
June  20,  1918 
J.  G.  J. 
June  19 
The  use  of  the  subject  heading,  as  above,  eliminates  the 
necessity  of  the  usually  long  introductory  sentence — "Refer- 
ring to  your  letter  of  the  19th  instant  by  J.  G.  Johnson  per- 
taining to  the  non-delivery  of  buffing  materials,  etc." 

2.  Envelopes  to  the  public  should  be  addressed  with 
double  spacing  and  in  three  lines  or  more,  each  line  begin- 
ning ten  spaces  to  the  right  of  the  preceding  line.  Do  not 
omit  street  address  if  one  is  given,  if  not  write  city  and 
state  on  separate  lines.  Do  not  abbreviate  anything  except 
the  state.  If  the  letter  is  to  be  called  to  the  special  atten- 
tion of  some  person,  put  that  person's  name  in  the  lower 
left  corner. 

3.  When  a  letter  consists  of  one  sheet  only,  use  a  No. 
6^  envelope;  if  more  than  one  sheet  or  enclosure,  use  a 
No.   10  envelope. 

4.  Where  all  the  outgoing  mail  to  each  branch,  etc., 
is  sent  in  a  common  envelope,  the  form  of  address  may  be 
as  follows: 

Mr.  Henry  Brown, 

Cleveland  Office. 

Or,  if  the  address  pertains  to  interdepartmental  memoranda, 
there  should  be  only  the  name  of  the  person  addressed,  to- 
gether with  the  department,  section,  or  division.  The  fol- 
lowing: form  is  one  in  common  use : 

2j8       control  of  correspondence  activities 

Interdepartmental  Memo 

Date  December  3,  1918. 

Headings  of  Memos 
December  2 
To  Central  Department: 

All  memos  must  bear  subjects  in  capitals.  If  a  memo 
is  a  reply,  one  space  below  the  subject  and  centered  under  it, 
place  the  initials  of  the  writer  of  the  memo  being  replied  to, 
and  one  space  below  that,  the  date  of  his  memo. 

Short  memos  are  written  on  this  form,  but  long  memos 
are  put  on  full  letter-page  size  form. 

All  signatures  should  bear  last  name  in  full,  thus  enabling 
quick  recognition  of  the  sender. 

Signature  (with  last  name  in  full) 

Standardization  of  Telegrams  and  Cablegrams 

The  procedure  to  be  followed  in  sending  telegrams  and 
cablegrams  should  be  clearly  described  by  giving  blanks  to 
be  used,  the  number  of  copies  to  be  made  and  their  disposi- 
tion, the  method  of  typing  figures  and  the  like,  the  use  of  the 
private  code  and  of  the  day  and  night  letters,  and  the  cost  of 
sending  telegrams  between  various  points  most  frequently 
telegraphed  to.  Definite  rules  should  be  laid  down  for  the 
typing  and  handling  of  cablegrams,  since  mistakes  are  usually 
costly.     The  subject  is  covered  by  the  following  rules : 

1.  Type  the  message  in  code  language  whenever  possi- 
ble, using  code  address;  spell  out  figures.  All  cablegrams 
should  be  confirmed  by  letter  on  the  day  they  are  written. 
Translation  of  code  address  and  other  code  words  to  be 
attached  to  the  carbon  copy.  ]\Iake  two  carbons  of  each 
cablegram.  File  one  with  the  correspondence  and  send  the 
other  to  the  accounting  department. 

2.  A  brief  description  showing  the  nature  of  the  various 
cablegrams  and  their  cost  will  be  helpful  in  judging  the  best 
way  to  send  a  message.    Thus : 

Fast  cablegram :  To  London  25  cents  per  word,  in  code 
or  plain  language,  delivered  immediately. 


Deferred  cablegram:  To  London  9  cents  per  word;  to 
countries  other  than  Great  Britain,  one-half  ordinary  rate; 
plain  language  only;  delivered  in  24  hours  or  less  by  Postal; 
at  earliest  convenience  by  Western  Union. 

Cable  letter:  (Western  Union  only)  12  words  to  Lon- 
don 75  cents,  excess  words  5  cents,  plain  language  only; 
delivered  within  24  hours  in  Great  Britain,  Ireland,  and 
Cuba;  to  Continent  by  mail  from  London. 

Week-end  letter:  (Western  Union  only)  24  words  to 
London  $1.15,  excess  words  5  cents;  to  Argentina,  Chili, 
and  Peru,  24  words  $4.85,  excess  words  20  cents ;  plain  lan- 
guage only;  must  be  filed  before  midnight  Saturday,  and  will 
be  delivered  Monday  forenoon  in  Great  Britain  and  Ireland; 
to  Continent  by  mail   from   London. 

Foreign  Letters 

When  a  concern  has  a  foreign  trade  there  are  usually 
enough  differences  in  the  conduct  of  correspondence  with 
branches  and  dealers  in  foreign  countries  to  warrant  the  prep- 
aration of  special  instructions  covering  the  variations  from 
the  home  letter.  In  some  lines  of  business,  for  instance,  *' fol- 
low copies"  have  to  be  sent,  translations  have  often  to  be  pre- 
pared, and  special  lists  of  dealers  and  branches  need  at  times 
to  be  consulted. 

Follow  copies  are  sent  as  a  safeguard  in  case  the  original 
is  lost  in  transit.  One  copy  is  typed  on  a  distinctive  sheet 
marked  at  the  top  ''Follow  Copy"  and  sent  with  the  original 
letter  to  the  dictator.  He  in  turn  sends  it  through  to  the  mail- 
ing department,  which  mails  it  at  a  later  date  so  as  to  go  out 
on  some  steamer  other  than  the  one  bearing  the  original 

A  similar  method  is  followed  in  typing  copies  of  letters 
to  be  translated.  Only  one  copy  is  made  on  special  paper 
and  marked  "Translation."  Original  and  copy  are  both  sent 
to  the  dictator,  who  in  turn  sends  it  to  the  foreign  department 
to  be  translated. 



The  Problem  of  Units  of  Measurement 

There  is  no  more  difficult  problem  in  the  whole  field  of 
office  management  than  the  determination  of  standard  units 
of  measurement  whereby  the  output  and  efficiency  of  a  de- 
partment may  be  measured.  Management  means  control,  and 
control  means  the  making  of  decisions,  while  decisions  in  turn 
rest  upon  the  comparison  of  facts.  But  facts  cannot  be  com- 
pared unless  they  are  all  reduced  to  a  common  denominator 
and  this  can  only  be  done  by  means  of  a  unit  of  measurement. 
Where  sets  of  facts  cannot  be  reduced  to  a  common  basis  for 
comparison,  separate  units  of  measurements  must  be  adopted 
for  each  set  of  facts. 

It  is  the  difficulty  attendant  upon  the  selection  of  a  com- 
mon standard  of  measurement  that  makes  the  keeping  of  rec- 
ords in  a  stenographic  department  a  "bugbear"  to  most  office 
managers.  "The  work  is  too  varied,''  they  say.  "You  can- 
not adopt  a  unit  that  will  apply  to  the  taking  of  dictation, 
transcription  from  dictaphone  records,  the  tabulation  of  sta- 
tistical reports,  the  writing  of  letters,  the  copying  of  form 
paragraphs,  addressing  envelopes,  making  out  orders,  bills 
and  invoices,  and  the  hundred  and  one  diverse  duties  of  the 
modern  office.''  The  answer  to  this  is  that  whereas  no  one 
unit  may  do  it,  several  units  will  do  it.  A  person  might  as 
well  argue  against  the  adoption  of  a  yard  rule,  a  gallon  meas- 
ure, and  a  pound  weight  because  a  store  which  sells  cotton 
goods,  oil,  and  sugar  cannot  reduce  them  all  to  one  common 
basis  of  physical  measurement.     Neither  is  it  an  argument 



to   say   that    records    increase   the    "overhead."      Practically 
speaking,  the  whole  office  is  an  overhead  expense. 

The  manager's  duty  is  not  simply  to  ''cut  down  over- 
head." His  ability  is  best  tested  by  the  increases  in  the  over- 
head that  pay.  If  he  can  control  the  wage  problem,  the  dis- 
tribution of  work,  and  the  cost  problem  by  a  method  cheaper 
than  the  use  of  records  based  on  efficient  standards,  then  he 
should  adopt  that  method.  If,  on  the  other  hand,  he  adopts 
records  as  the  means  of  his  control  and  does  not  base  them 
on  carefully  determined  standards  he  may  be  getting  not  only 
wrong  results  but  be  deceiving  himself  in  the  bargain. 

Advantages  of  Measuring  Output 

Some  managers  fail  in  their  attempt  to  keep  records  of 
output  by  adopting  inaccurate  standards.  For  instance,  a 
large  office  in  Chicago  measures  the  output  of  its  typists  by 
counting  the  number  of  letters,  regardless  of  their  length. 
Such  a  standard  is  obviously  quite  useless  as  a  basis  for  com- 
paring the  efficiency  of  employees  since  letters  usually  vary 
greatly  in  length.  If,  however,  the  individual  output  is  first 
accurately  determined  the  information  enables  the  office  man- 

1.  To  compare  output  of  individuals. 

2.  To  estimate  the  amount  of  work  left  unfinished. 

3.  To  equalize  the  work  by  distributing  it  over  various 

time  periods  and  by  just  assignments  among  indi- 

4.  To  decide  upon  salary  increases  and  promotion  in 

accordance  with  the  deserts  of  the  employee. 

5.  To  work  out  a  just  system  of  determining  wages 

based  on  a  piece  rate. 

6.  To  estimate  the  progress  in  efficiency  which  may  be 

made  from  time  to  time,  in  the  department  as  a 
whole,  as  well  as  in  the  case  of  individuals. 


Mechanical  Measurement  of  Output 

Some  typewriter  concerns  equip  their  machines  with  a 
mechanical  contrivance  which  automatically  counts  the  strokes 
made  on  the  typewriter  and  records  them  on  a  dial.  The  dif- 
ference between  the  figures  at  the  beginning  and  the  end  of 
the  day  shows  the  output  for  that  period.  In  a  large  office 
this  method  may  be  used  in  connection  with  a  "time  ticket." 
When  a  girl  is  assigned  a  typing  job  she  places  a  card  into  a 
machine  controlled  by  a  clock  and  stamps  the  exact  time 
upon  it.  Before  beginning  her  typing  she  enters  on  the  card 
the  figures  shown  on  the  dial.  At  the  end  of  the  job  she 
again  copies  the  figures  from  the  dial  and  returns  the  card 
to  the  head  stenographer  who  stamps  the  "in"  time  above  the 
place  where  the  "out"  time  was  stamped  on  the  card.  This 
makes  it  easy  to  subtract  one  set  of  figures  from  the  other  and 
so  compute  both  the  elapsed  time  and  the  number  of  strokes 

The  Square  Inch  Method 

When  the  length  of  the  line  is  not  standardized  the  "square 
inch"  method  of  measuring  output  may  be  used  to  advantage. 
The  nature  of  this  method  is  indicated  by  its  name.  To  carry 
it  out  a  large  square  of  transparent  celluloid  is  marked  into 
square  inch  sections  which  bear  figures  so  scaled  as  to  indicate 
the  measurement  of  typed  matter  up  to  that  point.  The  sheet 
is  placed  upon  a  letter  with  the  upper  left-hand  corner  of 
the  scale  resting  directly  over  the  corresponding  corner  of 
the  typed  matter.  By  reading  on  the  inch-square  the  number 
resting  over  the  lower  right-hand  corner  of  the  typewriting, 
the  number  of  square  inches  of  typewritten  matter  is  obtained. 
Two  additional  inches  are  added  to  cover  the  date,  address, 
and  other  short  lines,  while  one  inch  is  deducted  for  each  space 
between  paragraphs.  If  the  letter  is  double  spaced,  the  num- 
ber of  square  inches  is  of  course  divided  by  two. 



Measurement  Based  on  Number  and  Length  of  Lines 

Perhaps  as  simple  and  accurate  a  method  as  any  and  the 
one  most  commonly  employed  for  measuring  typewritten  mat- 
ter is  based  on   ''line  measurements,"   i.e.,  the  typewritten 































Figui  629.  Scale  for  Meas- 
uring Typewritten  Matter 
by  Lines 

(Use  first  column  for  single  space,  second  for  double) 

line  is  the  unit.  A  rule  or  scale  is  made  by  typewriting  on  a 
slip  of  paper  two  vertical  columns  of  figures — the  numbers  in 
one  column  being  one  space  apart  and  those  of  the  other 
column  Ijeing  two  spaces  apart,  as  illustrated  in  Figure  29. 
By  placing  it  so  that  number  i  is  on  the  first  line  of  the  body 



of  the  letter,  it  is  easy  to  determine  the  number  of  hnes  writ- 
ten by  noting  the  number  of  the  scale  resting  on  the  last  line 
of  the  body  of  the  letter. 

While  this  method  is  simple  enough  it  is  apparent  that  it 
does  not  provide  an  accurate  measurement  unless  the  line  it- 
self is  standardised.  To  do  this  seems  a  simple  matter  yet 
it  has  not  so  proved  in  actual  practice.  One  firm  standardized 
the  length  of  its  lines  at  six  inches  and  set  all  its  typewriters 
at  sixty  spaces  (six  inches)  accordingly.  After  its  adoption 
three  weaknesses  developed  which  necessitated  careful  study 
before  a  satisfactory  adjustment  was  effected. 

Disadvantages  of  Standard  Length  of  Line 

First  it  was  discovered  that  operators  who  were  concerned 
with  the  appearance  of  their  letters  did  not  take  kindly  to  a 
rule  that  insisted  on  conformity  to  a  six-inch  line  when  a 
very  short  letter  was  written.  In  consequence  they  wished  to 
shorten  the  line  in  proportion,  but  as  this  practice  would 
have  negatived  the  purpose  of  the  standard  line,  this  other- 
wise commendable  desire  had  to  be  sacrificed.  A  second  dif- 
ficulty arose  when  a  dishonest  stenographer  attempted  to  ''beat 
the  game"  by  shortening  the  lines  a  few  spaces,  it  being  pos- 
sible for  as  much  as  lo  per  cent  of  a  line  to  be  cut  off  and  the 
letter  still  pass  as  up  to  standard  requirements.  This  practice 
was  soon  corrected  by  increased  care  in  inspecting  the  work. 
The  final  difficulty  was  the  allowance  which  had  to  be  made 
for  the  spaces  between  paragraphs,  the  shortened  lines  of  the 
address,  the  salutation,  and  the  complimentary  close.  These 
variables  were  absorbed  into  the  scheme  by  applying  to  them 
the  alchemy  of  the  general  average.  For  example,  one  line 
was  deducted  for  each  space  between  the  paragraphs  of  a 
single-spaced  letter  and  three  lines  were  added  to  the  total  thus 
arrived  at  so  as  to  cover  everything  outside  the  body  of  the 


Standard  of  Measurement  for  Dictation 

In  addition  to  measuring  the  typing  output  of  each  stenog- 
rapher by  means  of  the  standard  hne,  it  is  necessary  to  de- 
termine, for  reasons  which  will  be  explained  later,  the  amount 
of  dictation  each  girl  handles.  To  do  this  they  must  be  judged 
individually.  If  one  girl  writes  a  fine  hand,  the  pages  of  her 
note-book  will  obviously  contain  more  work  than  thuse  of  an- 
other girl  who  writes  a  free,  flowing  hand.  By  means  of  tests 
covering  the  transcription  of  several  pages  the  head  stenog- 
rapher should  be  able  to  set  an  average  time  for  transcribing 
a  page  of  notes  for  each  operator  and  judge  with  sufficient 
accuracy  the  amount  or  number  of  typewritten  lines  a  page 
of  any  particular  girl's  notes  will  produce.  This  measure- 
ment, however,  is  for  a  second  set  of  records  which  the  head 
stenographer  prepares.  At  present  it  is  sufficient  to  know  that 
the  standard  of  measurement  for  dictation  is  the  "page  of 

Time  Required  to  Measure  Letters 

The  measuring  and  computation  of  letters  by  either  the 
line  or  square  inch  methods  ought  not  to  average  more  than 
ten  seconds  each.  If  the  reports  are  made  up  by  the  operators 
themselves  after  some  such  method  as  described  for  making 
up  the  weekly  work  record,  carbon  copies  of  the  letters  should 
be  used  and  not  the  originals.  This  obviates  the  necessity 
for  stopping  to  measure  each  letter  as  it  is  finished  and  does 
not  hold  up  the  mailing  schedule. 

Weekly  Work  Record 

Having  standardized  the  work  so  far  as  is  possible  the 
next  step  is  to  record  the  individual  output.  To  this  end  each 
girl  enters  daily  her  output  on  a  sheet  which  covers  her  work 
for  the  week.  An  illustration  of  this  sheet  is  shown  in 
Figure  30. 







No.  Lines 





No.  Pages 
OF  Notes 






































Other  Work 










-^        V 















ta     o 

rH        O 
»->       IS 



















i              u 





o  2 

o     C  o 

^   «■= 

1,    c 
•^0  3 




Each  girl  enters  the  details  of  the  quantity  of  work  done 
and  the  time  spent  in  doing  it  during  the  week.  The  kind 
of  work  is  indicated  by  a  check  mark  in  one  of  the  center 
columns,  the  time  it  occupies  is  entered  in  the  second  and 
third  columns,  while  the  number  of  pages  of  shorthand  notes 
taken  down  and  lines  typed  are  entered  in  the  last  two  col- 
umns. This  data  is  recorded  daily  either  at  the  end  of  the 
day's  routine,  if  work  permits,  or  first  thing  on  the  following 
morning.  As  many  sheets  are  used  as  are  required  to  give 
full  details  of  the  week's  work. 

Definite  limits  should  be  set  for  the  beginning  and  ending 
of  each  task.  In  this  way  only  can  the  employees  be  held  to 
rigid  account  for  their  time.  Stenographers  therefore  should 
be  instructed  that  the  dictation  period  begins  with  the  time  a 
girl  leaves  her  desk  and  ends  when  she  returns,  including  all 
interruptions  while  taking  dictation.  All  transcription  and 
copying  are  figured  from  the  time  transcribing  or  copying  ac- 
tually begins  until  the  operator  is  called  for  other  work,  or 
until  lunch  or  quitting  time.  In  figuring  time  of  "other  work" 
care  should  be  taken  to  indicate  its  exact  nature  as  well  as 
the  time  started  and  ended.  If  "not  working"  at  any  period 
every  moment  spent  away  from  the  desk  should  be  explained 
fully  such  as:  **no  work  assigned,"  *'away  for  relaxation," 
and  the  like. 

Instructions  for  Preparing  Weekly  Record 

Full  instructions  should  be  given  the  workers,  showing 
them  how  to  fill  out  the  blank  form.  For  example,  they 
should  be  instructed: 

1.  To  write  their  names  on  the  top  of  the  sheet. 

2.  To  place  the  date  in  the  correct  column. 

3.  To  enter  the  time  of  arrival  at  their  desks  ready  for 

work  under  the  caption  "Time  Began." 

4.  To  write  down  in  "Time  Ended"  column  the  time 


any  job  is  finished,  and  work  of  another  kind  is 
about  to  be  undertaken. 

5.  To  check  the  kind  of  work  done  in  the  appropriate 

columns  headed,  "Dictation,"  "Transcription,"  etc. 

6.  To  write  in  the  name  of  the  dictator,  or  the  descrip- 

tion of  the  "Special  Work." 

7.  To  compute  the  number  of  sheets  of  dictation  notes 

and  the  number  of  lines  transcribed  or  copied. 

8.  To   enter  these   computations   in   the   columns   pro- 

vided for  them  and  opposite  the  names  of  the  dif- 
ferent persons  for  whom  the  work  was  done. 

To  cover  variations  of  work,  such  as  copying  statistical 
matter  and  addressing  envelopes,  which  come  under  the  cap- 
tion of  "Other  Work,"  instructions  should  be  given  as  follows  : 

1.  Special  rules  apply  to  the  computation  of  each  kind 

of  statistical  work. 

2.  All    addresses    on    envelopes    and    cards    should    be 

counted  as  two  lines. 

3.  Consult    head    stenographer    in   all    cases    where    in 

doubt  as  to  the  method  to  be  used. 

4.  When    work    is    rewritten    because   of    stenographic 

errors,  credit  should  be  taken  for  it  only  once. 

Importance  of  Clearness  in  Formulating  Rules 

In  drawing  up  the  rules  covering  the  measurement  of 
work — rules  w^hich  are  to  be  incorporated  in  the  office  manual 
— care  should  be  taken  to  define  clearly  the  position  of  the 
management  in  all  cases  where  any  doubt  or  differences  of 
opinion  might  arise.  There  must  be  no  ambiguity,  no  two 
ways  of  construing  the  meaning,  and  good  reasons  should  be 
given  for  the  position  taken  in  view  of  the  fact  that  many 
decisions  must  appear  more  or  less  arbitrary  to  the  employee. 
Hence,  the  rule,  "When  w^ork  is  rewritten  because  of  steno- 



graphic  errors,  credit  must  be  taken  for  it  only  once,"  should 
be  supplemented  by  some  such  reason  for  the  rule  as  follows  : 
"It  is  only  fair  to  all  concerned  that  no  work  should  be 
counted  except  that  which  is  finally  accepted  as  satisfactory, 
and  only  correct  work  can  be  satisfactory  in  the  long  run  to 
both  you  and  the  firm.  Incorrect  work  is  not  only  bad  work, 
it  is  worse  than  no  work.  In  many  cases  it  would  be  better 
to  send  no  letter  at  all  than  to  mail  one  incorrectly  written. 
A  stenographer  or  typist  has  produced  nothing  for  the  firm, 
therefore,  until  she  produces  a  correct  letter." 

Handling  Corrected  Work 

When  it  becomes  necessary  to  rewrite  a  letter  because  of 
carelessness  and  the  stenographer  who  made  the  error  does 
the  rewriting,  she  should  figure  the  time  it  takes  her  without 
crediting  herself  with  the  number  of  lines.  If  some  other 
person  rewrites  the  letter,  she  may  take  credit  for  the  number 
of  lines  so  written,  but  the  girl  w^ho  first  wrote  the  letter 
should  deduct  an  equal  number  of  lines  from  her  record. 

When  a  letter  is  rewritten,  the  carbon  copy  of  the  spoiled 
letter  should  be  destroyed.  To  make  sure  that  an  uncor- 
rected copy  does  not  go  unidentified,  every  corrected  cop}- 
should  be  marked,  "Corrected."  The  difference  between  the 
statements  of  the  two  copies  may  have  an  important  bearing 
upon  any  disputes  which  may  arise  later. 

Daily  Report  Sheet 

Having  determined  the  method  and  the  means  of  record- 
ing the  work  done,  the  next  procedure  is  for  each  girl  to 
report  to  the  head  stenographer  the  amount  of  work  she  does 
day  by  day.  This  information  is  supplied  on  the  daily  report 
shown  (Figure  31). 

This  record  must  be  filled  out  by  each  girl  and  handed 
to  the  head  stenographer  not  later  than  9:15  every  morning. 



Daily  Report 

Name                               Time  Filled  Out                              Date 

Number  of  Lines 

Number  of  Lines 

Approx.  No.  op  Lines 
TO  BE  Transcribed 

Figure  31.     Daily  Report  of  Work 

On    which    each    stenographer   reports   to    the   head   stenographer   the   kind   and    amount 
of  work  done  day  by  day — as  entered  on   the  weekly   record   (Figure  30). 

The  information  it  contains  is  simply  a  summary  of  the  total 
number  of  hues  either  transcribed  from  notes  or  copied  and 
the  approximate  number  that  remain  to  be  transcribed  in 
the  girl's  note-book.  With  the  information  furnished  by  the 
daily  reports  before  her,  the  head  stenographer  can  report  the 
status  of  work  to  the  office  manager — as  will  be  explained 
in  the  following  chapter  where  the  further  uses  of  the  weekly 
record  sheet  and  the  daily  report  are  discussed. 




Stenographic  Department  Reports 

In  the  preceding  chapter  two  forms  are  described :  one 
a  record  of  each  girl's  weekly  output  and  the  other  a  daily- 
report  of  work  done.  These  last  reports  go  directly  to  the 
head  stenographer,  who  in  turn  gathers  from  them  the  in- 
formation she  needs  for  the  supervision  of  her  department 
and  also  any  information  of  special  importance  to  the  office 
manager.  For  her  own  guidance  she  requires  information 
to  enable  her :  ( i )  to  assign  dictation  or  copying  to  the  op- 
erators; (2)  to  compare  the  work  of  individuals  with  their 
past  performances  and  with  the  work  of  the  department  as  a 
whole;  and  (3)  to  control  the  work  of  dictation.  The  first 
purpose  mentioned  is  met  by  constructing  a  daily  schedule- 
of-work  sheet,  to  be  described  presently;  the  second,  by  an 
analysis  of  the  daily  reports  of  work  done;  and  the  third, 
by  means  of  three  weekly  analyses  of  the  weekly  records. 
The  office  manager  is  also  interested  in  the  last  two  reports 
and  provision  is  made  for  summaries  of  these  records  to 
reach  him. 

Schedule  of  Work  Sheet 

A  schedule  of  work  sheet  is  a  gage  upon  which  the  pres- 
sure of  work  in  the  department  is  constantly  registered  against 
each  individual's  name.  To  keep  track  of  the  work  which 
each  stenographer  has  ahead  of  her  is  always  a  difficult  prob- 
lem of  control.  It  usually  arises  every  time  a  dictator  calls 
for  a  stenographer,  but  more  particularly  in  the  afternoon, 




The  head  stenographer,  not  being  able  to  keep  in  mind  the 
exact  amount  of  dictation  each  girl  has  in  her  note-book,  is 
forced  to  disturb  a  number  of  operators  in  an  attempt  to  find 
a  girl  whose  work  is  sufficiently  near  completion  to  permit 
her  taking  further  dictation.  This  interruption  not  only 
wastes  time,  but  the  information  so  obtained  is  not  sufficiently 

To  determine  how  long  a  girl  will  be  occupied  with  the 
work  ahead  of  her  it  is  necessary  to  know  not  only  the 
amount  of  notes  in  her  book  at  any  time  of  the  day,  but  also 
the  average  rate  at  which  she  transcribes  them.  To  obtain 
this  information  each  girl  is  furnished  with  a  card  (Figure 
32),  which  she  fills  out  and  puts  upon  the  head  stenographer's 
desk  on  returning  from  taking  dictation : 

Work  Ahead  Report 

Name                                                                           Date 


No.  OF  Pages  of  Notes 
TO  BE  Written  Out 





Already  in 

Dictation  of 
Last  Period 


Figure  32.     "Work  Ahead  Report 

After   each   dictation    assignment,   the   stenographer   enters   on   the   above   card,    for  the 

information    of    the   head    stenographer,    the    number   of   pages   of   transcription   ahead 

of  her  in  her  note-book. 



The  rate  at  which  a  stenographer  transcribes  her  notes  is 
ascertained  by  a  series  of  tests,  covering  several  days,  so 
that  an  average  can  be  arrived  at  which  will  show  the  ap- 
proximate time  needed  for  transcribing  one  page  of  notes. 
Of  course  this  time  varies  with  different  operators  since  it 
depends  not  only  on  speed  in  typing  but  also  on  the  number 
of  shorthand  characters  to  a  page.  Stenographers  differ 
greatly  in  this  last  respect.  Some  use  large,  others  small 
characters.  Figures  based  on  pages,  therefore,  should  not 
be  used  as  a  means  of  comparing  efficiency,  nor  should  the 
tests  be  based  on  what  a  stenographer  can  do  in  a  burst  of 
speed  but  rather  upon  her  regular  daily  pace.  Also  the  speed 
of  transcription  in  some  cases  will  be  found  to  be  continually 
improving  and  the  record  must  be  corrected  accordingly. 

With  the  foregoing  information  at  hand  a  work  schedule 
may  be  planned,  as  shown  in  Figure  33. 







Per  Paoe 


Tuesday                       ( 




















M16S  flornai 






M(53  Jon«3 





Miss  ,Smitti 




M135  &rof^n 



Misi  Robinson 














Figure  33.     Work  Schedule 

On  which  the  head  stenographer  records  the  approximate  time  required  by  each 
stenographer  to  finish  the  work  ahead — as  indicated  by  the  short  inner  lines. 

It  will  be  noted  that  in  addition  to  the  spaces  provided 
for  stenographers'  names  and  the  minutes  per  page,  the  sheet 
is  divided  into  further  spaces  corresponding  to  daily,  hourly, 
and  half-hourly  periods  of  time.  These,  as  will  be  explained 
presently,  are  used  to  show  the  approximate  hour  when  the 
girl  will  have  finished  her  transcription  and  be  ready  for 
more  work. 


Keeping  the  Work  Schedule  Record 

On  reaching  her  desk  in  the  morning  the  head  stenogra- 
pher takes  out  the  work  schedule  sheet.  With  the  daily  re- 
ports (Figure  34)  of  the  operators  before  her  she  notes  first 
the  number  of  pages  of  notes  still  to  be  transcribed  by  each 
girl.  This  number  she  multiplies  by  the  number  which  rep- 
resents minutes  per  page  and  stands  opposite  each  stenogra- 
pher's name,  to  arrive  at  the  number  of  minutes  of  work 
ahead  of  each  girl.  This  fact  is  indicated  on  the  schedule  by 
drawing  a  pencil  mark  across  the  number  of  spaces  indi- 
cating the  time  during  which  the  girl  will  be  occupied.  When 
a  dictator  calls  for  a  stenographer,  reference  to  the  work 
schedule  shows  at  once  what  girls  are  available. 

A  concrete  case  will  make  the  operation  of  the  system 
clear :  Say  Miss  Jones  is  called  at  nine  o'clock  to  take  dicta- 
tion. A  glance  at  the  work  schedule  shows  that  she  has  two 
thirty-minute  periods  still  ahead  of  her.  However,  she  is 
selected  and  sent  out.  Upon  her  return  an  analysis  of  her 
report  shows : 

Time  went  out 9      o'clock 

Time  returned 10  "55     " 

Time  started  transcribing.  ...  11  " 

Number  of  pages  in  note-book 
to  be  transcribed 9 

The  9  pages  of  notes  multiplied  by  6  equals  54  minutes,  or 
approximately  i  hour's  work.  This  added  to  her  hour's  work 
left  over  enables  the  head  stenographer  at  once  to  figure  that 
]Miss  Jones  has  work  ahead  for  2  hours  or  until  2  o'clock, 
allowing  i  hour  for  luncheon. 

Method  of  Assigning  Work 

When  possible,  the  stenographer  most  familiar  with  the 
work  of  this  particular  dictator  is  sent.    If  the  schedule  shows 



that  all  the  girls  have  work  enough  to  keep  them  busy  until 
closing  time,  the  dictator  is  so  informed.  In  this  case,  if  he 
wishes  to  defer  the  transcribing  of  letters  dictated  earlier 
in  the  day,  he  may  be  given  the  time  thus  released  for  fresh 

The  advantages  of  using  the  work  schedule,  from  the 
point  of  view  of  discipline,  are :  no  time  is  lost  in  selecting  a 
stenographer,  no  disturbance  is  made  in  sending  her  to  the 
dictator,  the  girls  are  not  overtaxed  by  poor  adjustment  of 
the  work,  and  no  big  batches  of  notes  are  left  uncopied  at 
the  end  of  the  day.  When  a  stenographer  has  her  time  laid 
out  for  the  day  she  should  not  be  allowed  to  take  any  further 

It  often  happens  that  some  dictator  demands  a  particular 
stenographer  regardless  of  the  work  she  has  ahead.  Thus, 
a  girl  may  have  nearly  all  her  time  occupied  for  the  day 
and  is  called  for  further  dictation.  In  this  case  the  probable 
number  of  additional  pages  she  will  be  able  to  finish  (based 
on  the  number  of  minutes  it  takes  her  to  transcribe  one  page 
of  notes  plus  the  probable  time  of  taking  dictation)  is  esti- 
mated and  the  dictator  informed  that  he  may  have  the  serv- 
ices of  this  stenographer  for  such  a  period  of  time  only.  If 
he  needs  more  time  another  stenographer  will  be  sent,  pro- 
vided it  is  necessary  for  the  letters  to  go  out  that  day. 

A  Daily  Summary  Report 

Just  as  the  work  schedule  enables  the  head  stenographer 
to  keep  her  finger  on  the  working  pulse  of  each  individual  in 
her  department,  so  may  the  daily  summary  report  (Figure 
34)  be  made  to  indicate  the  variations  in  the  output  and  the 
work  ahead  for  the  department  as  a  whole.  Accordingly 
this  report  is  made  out  by  the  head  stenographer  and  the 
figures  shown  in  the  total  columns  are  sent  to  the  office  man- 
ager daily. 



Daily  Summary  Report 


August  1 

August  2 

No.  Lines 






No.  Lines 



Goldbloom  .  .  . 

























Figure  34.     Daily  Summary  Report 

Shows  the   amount  of  work  done  by   the  department  as  a  whole   and   the   amount  left 
over    for    each    day.      The    head    stenographer    sends    the    total    figures    to    the    office 


While  this  report  aids  the  head  stenographer  in  her  ad- 
ministrative capacity  it  is  chiefly  used  to  furnish  the  office 
manager  with  information  as  to  the  progress  of  work  by 
showing  the  quantity  completed  and  the  amount  left  over 
each  day.  If  much  work  is  left  over  and  the  girls  are  ob- 
viously unable  to  cope  with  it,  more  help  can  be  procured. 

Charting  the  Progress  of  Work 

The  effectiveness  of  the  above  report  is  increased  by 
presenting  it  in  the  graphic  form  illustrated  in  Figure  35. 
Such  a  chart  shows  the  daily  output  of  typists  and  stenogra- 
phers, and  the  amount  of  work  left  over  in  a  way  which 



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throws  into  relief  fluctuations  in  output  and  the  proportion 
of  one  kind  of  matter  to  the  other. 

The  interpretation  of  the  chart  is  simple  since  the  figures 
running  from  top  to  bottom  are  arranged  in  a  descending 
scale  from  18,000  (a  number  sufficiently  large  to  cover  any 
estimated  output  for  the  month)  to  zero.  The  numbers  run- 
ning across  the  top  and  the  bottom  of  the  sheet  represent 
the  days  of  the  month.  Holidays,  including  Saturdays,  are 
written  in  red. 

Analysis  Reports 

While  the  reports  so  far  described  record  the  daily  ac- 
tivities of  the  stenographers,  they  are  not  in  the  best  form  to 
show  the  progress  in  speed  of  the  individual  or  of  the  de- 
partment as  a  whole.  To  obtain  this  information  the  head 
stenographer  tabulates  the  data  on  the  weekly  work  records 
(Figure  30)  in  three  analysis  reports  as  follows: 

1.  Stenographic  report  (Figure  36),  showing: 

(a)  For  each  stenographer : 

Number  of  days  w^orked 
Time  spent  in  dictation 
Time  spent  in  transcription 
Number  of  sheets 
Number  of  lines 
Number  of  lines  per  sheet 
Number  of  lines  per  minute 

(b)  Department  average  of  lines  per  minute 

2.  Copying  report  (Figure  37),  showing: 

(a)   For  each  typist : 

Number  of  days 
Time  copying 
Number  of  sheets 
Number  of  lines 



Number  of  lines  per  sheet 
Number  of  lines  per  minute 
(b)   Department  average  of  lines  per  minute 

Time  report   (Figure  38)  : 

(a)  Time  accounted  for,  showing: 

Time  dictation 
Time  transcription 
Time  copying 
Other  work 

(b)  Time  not  working 

(c)  Total  time 

(d)  Total  time  to  be  accounted  for 

(e)  Difference  between  total  time  and  time  to  be 

accounted  for 

Stenographic  Record 

September  9-14,  1918. 















Ainesworth  .  . 
















Department  average  of  lines  per  minute — 2.05 

Figure  36.     Weekly  Stenographic  Summary 

Weekly  summary  of  number  of  sheets  and  lines  typed   from  stenographic  notes,  also 
giving   the   department   average  of   lines   per    minute — in    this   case    2.0s. 



Copying  Record 

September  9-14,  1918. 








No.  Lines 



No.  Lines 



Ainesworth .  .  . 




























Department  average  of  lines  per  minute — 3 

Figure  37.     Weekly  Copying  Summary 

Weekly  summary   of  number   of  sheets   and   lines   copied,   also   giving  the   department 
average   of   lines  per   minute — in   this  case    3. 

Time  Accounted  For 

(In  Minutes) 

September  9-14,  1918 













Ainesworth  . . 





























Figure  38.     Weekly  Time  Summary 

This   report   summarizes   the    total    time    to   be    accounted    for   and    is   used    to    check 
UD     the    time     recorded     by     individual     stenographers. 


Instructions  for  Compiling  Analysis  Reports 

The  method  of  making  each  analysis  should  be  thoroughly 
explained  to  the  head  stenographer  and  complete  instructions 
written  covering  the  details  asked  for  in  the  report.  For 
example,  take  the  item,  "Department  Average  of  Lines  Per 
Minute.''  Instructions  should  say,  "Divide  the  total  number 
of  lines  by  the  total  time  spent  in  transcription  and  enter  the 
result  at  the  bottom  of  the  page,  etc.''  For  the  items,  "Lines 
Per  Sheet"  and  "Lines  Per  Minute,"  the  instructions  should 
read,  respectively :  "Divide  the  number  of  lines  by  the  num- 
ber of  sheets  and  enter  the  result  under  heading  'Lines  Per 
Sheet.'  "  "Divide  the  number  of  lines  by  time  spent  in  copy- 
ing and  enter  the  result  under  the  heading  'Lines  Per  Min- 
ute.' " 

As  the  "Time  Accounted  For  Report"  (Figure  38)  at 
first  glance  seems  more  complicated  than  the  others,  instruc- 
tions covering  its  preparation  should  be  given  as  follows : 

Enter  on  the  sheet  the  time  of  dictation,  transcription, 
copying,  other  w^ork,  and  time  not  working  together  with  the 
names  of  the  stenographers  and  typists. 

Total  the  five  columns  reading  from  left  to  right  and 
enter  the  result  under  the  heading  "Total." 

Multiply  the  number  of  days  and  fractions  of  days  cov- 
ered l)y  the  record,  by  number  of  minutes  per  day.  (Here 
put  the  number  of  minutes  in  the  w^orking  day  of  the  par- 
ticular office.) 

Enter  result  under  heading  "Total  to  be  Accounted  For." 

Subtract  the  smaller  number  from  the  larger  in  columns 
headed  "'Total"  and  "Total  to  be  Accounted  For." 

Enter  difference  under  the  heading  "Difference,"  pre- 
ceded by  a  minus  sign  if  the  number  in  the  "Total  to  be  Ac- 
counted For"  column  exceeds  the  number  in  the  "Total" 

With  these  instructions  the  head  stenographer  should  have 



little  trouble  in  preparing  the  reports,  although  sample  com- 
putation sheets  tend  to  simplify  the  instructions. 

The  Dictator's  Record 

While  it  is  important  to  check  up  the  operators  it  is  well 
also  to  know  what  the  other  "party  to  the  transaction,"  i.e., 
the  dictator,  has  been  doing.  For  the  "Dictation  Record," 
therefore,  the  weekly  work  record  of  each  stenographer  fur- 
nishes the  required  data.  This  rcDort,  consisting  of  one  sheet, 
is  illustrated  in  Figure  39. 

Dictation  Record 

September  24^29,  1918 













No.  Lines 


Per  Min. 



































Figure  39.     Weekly  Dictation  Summary 

This  report  is  used  to  check  up  the  work  of  dictators  so  that  the  time  of  stenographers 
shall    not    be    wasted. 

Detailed  instructions  should  be  given  the  head  stenogra- 
pher for  preparing  this  report  as  in  the  case  of  the  stenog- 
raphers. Methods  of  computation,  of  checking  results,  of 
posting  the  items,  etc.,  should  be  fully  explained;  for,  while 
the  operations  are  extremely  simple,  to  one  not  "familiar  with 


figures"  the  work  appears  somewhat  involved.  It  is  unneces- 
sary to  go  into  details  here  as  any  office  manager  will  at  once 
comprehend  the  routine. 

Making  Use  of  the  Reports 

The  stenographic,  copying,  time  accounted  for,  and  dic- 
tation reports  may  be  used  for  purposes  other  than  records 
for  "keeping  tab''  on  production.  For  instance,  the  stenog- 
rapher herself  has  no  control  over  the  time  spent  in  taking 
dictation  or  over  the  amount  of  work  given  her.  The  one 
thing  over  which  she  has  control  is  the  time  she  takes  to  turn 
out  the  work  assigned  to  her.  Copies  of  reports,  therefore, 
showing  her  just  what  she  is  doing  and  comparing  her  work 
with  that  of  others  in  the  department,  tends  to  promote  a 
feeling  of  friendly  rivalry  that  no  other  incentive — not  even 
money  rewards — will  arouse.  Furthermore,  a  comparative 
record,  of  the  nature  of  the  "dictation  report,"  produces  an 
equally  desirable  effect  upon  the  dictators.  Accordingly,  as 
soon  as  a  monthly  analysis  is  made  and  the  office  manager 
and  head  stenographer  have  had  opportunities  to  note  the 
results  and  examine  the  causes  of  any  material  differences 
from  previous  records  or  standards,  copies  are  sent  to  each 
operator  and  each  dictator  interested. 

At  first,  opposition  may  in  some  cases  be  expected,  from 
both  stenographer  and  dictator,  but  experience  has  shown 
that  within  a  few  months  the  benefits  accruing  from  these 
reports  will  cause  all  objections  to  cease  and,  as  a  rule,  the 
original  opponents  become  staunch  supporters  of  the  system. 
To  cite  one  office  manager's  experience,  after  the  work  records 
had  been  kept  by  the  stenographers  for  two  months,  one  of 
them,  who  had  not  been  in  sympathy  with  the  changed  method 
of  management,  objected  to  keeping  a  record  of  her  daily 
work.  The  office  manager  and  head  stenographer  attempted 
to  convince  her  of  the  usefulness  of  this  scheme,  but  to  no 


purpose.  They  then  submitted  the  question  to  the  whole 
department,  reasons  for  the  records  were  reviewed,  and  the 
stenographers  assured  that  all  records  would  be  discontinued 
if  they  wished  it.  The  vote  was  unanimously  in  favor  of 
continuing  the  system  and  in  a  short  time  they  even  con- 
vinced the  girl  who  had  raised  the  objection,  of  its  benefits. 
Moreover,  after  the  first  analysis  of  the  monthly  reports  it 
became  apparent  that,  under  the  same  conditions  and  on  the 
same  class  of  work,  some  stenographers  turned  out  far  more 
work  than  others.  No  wages  were  reduced  but,  when  war- 
ranted, they  were  increased — stenographers  of  equal  ability 
receiving  equal  remuneration. 

The  objections  of  dictators  are  usually  much  the  same 
as  those  of  stenographers.  A  few  sensitive  souls  will  always 
be  found  who  dislike  having  their  records  made  public.  The 
majority,  however,  especially  the  higher  executives,  will  wel- 
come the  comparison  and  will  be  influenced  to  respect  the  time 
of  stenographers  by  not  calling  for  a  girl  until  their  work 
has  been  sorted  and  they  are  ready  to  dictate,  and  by  not 
keeping  the  girl  waiting  during  long  telephone  conversations. 
Such  an  analysis  also  helps  the  office  manager  to  arrange 
schedules  of  dictation  for  the  executives  of  the  concern  and 
thereby  to  overcome  one  of  the  obstacles  to  the  smooth  work- 
ing of  a  central  department. 

Transcribing    from.    Dictating    Machines 

The  number  of  firms  which  have  replaced  stenographers 
with  dictating  machines  is  growing  rapidly.  In  these  cases  the 
problem  of  control  concerns  merely  the  work  of  the  typists,  or 
'"transcribers."  As  the  transcriber's  work  with  the  cylinder 
records  is  easily  measured,  the  centralization  of  control  for 
the  transcribing  force  in  a  large  office  can  be  worked  out  suc- 
cessfully along  the  same  lines  as  those  shown  for  the  steno- 
graphic department. 



Office  Detail  of  Stenographic  Department 

In  many  companies  the  stenographic  department  handles 
more  or  less  office  detail.  Two  reasons  make  it  desirable  to 
do  this.  Often  such  work  serves  as  a  "fill-in"  for  the  time 
not  occupied  with  stenographic  work,  but  more  frequently 
it  is  work  which  cannot  be  separated  readily  from  the  ac- 
tivities of  the  stenographic  department.  A  line  cannot  be 
sharply  drawn  between  the  two  kinds  of  work  but  a  typical 
case  will  show  how  these  activities  may  be  handled  when 
under  the  control  of  the  stenographic  department. 

Although  some  of  the  activities  here  discussed,  such  as 
the  handling  of  advertising  literature,  may  in  some  com- 
panies be  part  of  the  work  of  the  advertising  department, 
yet  these  activities  are  not  inconsistent  with  the  other  duties 
of  the  stenographic  department.  iVIoreover,  even  though 
these  activities  may  be  under  the  management  of  some  other 
department,  the  methods  here  described  may  be  used  with 
little  change. 

Disposing  of  Copies 

When  standard  instructions  have  been  formulated  for 
the  typing  of  a  letter,  it  then  becomes  essential  to  draw  up 
rules  for  the  disposition  of  the  original  letter,  the  carbon  copy, 
and  papers.     The  rules  employed  in  one  office  are : 

"Enclose  original  in  envelope,  place  in  out  mail  basket. 
Arrange  in  basket  for  filing,  papers  for  the  filing  depart- 
ment   (or  clerk).     Each  evening  place  copies   for  filing  in 




tray  on  head  stenographer's  desk;  manila  copies  and  letters 
that  have  been  answered  in  lowest  compartment;  white  copies 
for  sales  managers  in  middle  compartment." 

Requisitioning  Letters  from  General  Files 

To  many  persons  the  making  out  of  a  requisition  for 
correspondence  is  not  the  simple  matter  it  seems.  A  filing 
system  represents  a  classification  of  data  which  is  seldom  un- 
understood  by  the  average  stenographer  or  typist,  and  instruc- 
tions should  be  very  explicit  if  there  are  a  number  of  divisions 
within  the  general  filing  classification  under  which  letters 
are  filed.  The  most  essential  part  of  the  instructions  is  the 
requisition  form  itself.     The  following  is  an  example : 







Initialed  by 



Signed  (Name  in  full) 

Requisition  for  Letter 

Extracts  from  the  filing  department's  rules  should  clearly 
explain  the  method  of  making  out  the  requisition  and  the 
regulations  governing  the  return  of  the  material  to  the  files. 
For  example : 

"If  originals  of  letters  from,  and  copies  of  letters  to.  an 
individual  or  branch  are  required,  check  both  'From'  and 
'To'  on  the  requisition.     If  only  originals  are  required  check 



'From';  if  copies,  only  check  'To.'  Separate  requisitions 
must  be  made  out  for  each  branch  or  individual.  Make 
requisitions  in  duplicate.  Pin  original  and  duplicate  together 
and  send  to  mailing  department.  Original  will  be  kept  in 
filing  department ;  duplicate  will  be  returned.  Return  dupli- 
cate form  wuth  letters  when  sending  them  back  to  general 

Typists'  Tickler  File 

Dictators  often  wish  certain  papers  brought  to  their  desks 
at  some  future  date.  To  insure  that  this  will  always  be  done 
a  tickler  file  should  be  provided  for  the  stenographic  depart- 
ment and  a  definite  rule  adopted  for  marking  such  letters — 
which  all  dictators  are  instructed  to  follow.  A  common  prac- 
tice is  to  write  the  date  when  letters  are  to  be  brought  to  the 
dictator's  desk  in  the  lower  left-hand  corner.  In  case  he 
wishes  a  cross-reference  slip  to  be  made  out  he  indicates  the 
name  to  be  entered  on  the  cross-index  filing  slip.  The  fol- 
lowing card  provides  a  suitable  means  of  collecting  the  neces- 

Name:  A.  B.  C.  Publishing  Co.       Date:  Oct.  2,  1918.       Index 


Subject:  Corporation  Insurance 

Call-Up  Dates 


1.  Oct.  19 

2.  Nov.  1 

3.  Nov.  15 

Sent  Circular  A. 

Cross-Index  Card  Used  for  Following  Up  Future  Correspondence 


sary  data,  and  in  conjunction  with  the  tickler  affords  a  sure 
method  of  bringing  the  matter  to  the  attention  of  the  dictator 
at  the  proper  time. 

Entries  are  made  on  the  card  as  shown  above,  and  also  on 
the  original  letter,  to  indicate  how  the  correspondence  is  being 
followed  up.  After  the  original  letter  is  consulted,  it  is  re- 
turned to  the  general  files  and  the  index  card  placed  behind 
the  guide  corresponding  to  the  date  when  the  matter  is  to  be 
called  up.  By  consulting  this  file  daily  the  typist  can  place 
the  papers  requiring  attention  on  the  day  the  dictator  desires 
them  for  reference. 

The  Head  Stenographer's  Tickler  File 

If  the  dictator  does  not  indicate  when  papers  are  to  be 
brought  to  his  attention,  but  the  nature  of  the  letters  show 
that  an  answer  is  required,  some  system  should  be  provided 
for  taking  care  of  it  automatically.  One  concern  provides 
for  this  as  follows : 

The  head  stenographer  keeps  in  her  desk  a  tickler  file 
consisting  of  folders  numbered  i  to  31.  When  a  letter  is 
dictated  calling  for  an  answer,  an  extra  white  copy  is  made 
and  to  it  all  other  papers — the  latest  on  top — are  attached. 
A  regular  schedule  is  made  out  showing  under  what  dates  to 
file  the  matter  which  is  to  come  up  at  a  certain  time.  Thus, 
letters  expecting  an  answer  from  Chicago,  would  be  scheduled 
six  days  ahead  under  certain  conditions  where  the  informa- 
tion can  be  readily  obtained,  but  ten  days  if  an  inquiry  or 
investigation  must  be  set  on  foot.  Other  cities  and  districts, 
such  as  San  Francisco  and  Portland,  are  given  scheduled  time 
commensurate  with  their  greater  distances  and  the  nature  of 
the  correspondence. 

When  the  material  is  finally  put  on  the  dictator's  desk 
and  the  matter  closed,  the  head  stenographer  is  instructed  to 
detach  papers,  to  send  carbon  copies  and  originals  to  the  gen- 



eral  files,  and  to  place  original  memos  or  copies  in  dictator's 
private  files  and  destroy  the  extra  white  copies  of  letters. 


If  the  time-saving  rule  of  discussing  only  one  thing  in  a 
business  letter  were  followed,  there  would  be  less  need  for  a 
system  of  cross-reference;  but  often  two  or  more  names  or 
addresses  are  involved  in  one  transaction  and  it  becomes 
necessary  to  make  a  record  which  will  show  the  transaction 
under  each  name  with  a  reference  to  the  other.  One  firm 
in  its  manual  of  instructions  disposes  of  the  matter  thus: 

"It  is  sometimes  advisable  to  file  the  correspondence  of 
two  persons  under  one  name ;  for  instance,  the  correspondence 
of  John  Brown,  subscriber,  under  the  name  of  John  Smith, 
agent.  The  transcriber,  in  handling  such  cases,  must  write  on 
a  sheet  of  manila  paper  the  name  and  address  of  the  person 
whose  correspondence  is  filed  under  another  name,  together 
with  the  notation  'Filed  under  John  Smith.'  The  cross- 
reference  sheet  is  filed  under  the  name  John  Brown  to  show 
that  his  correspondence  may  be  found  with  that  of  John 

The  Use  of  the  Form  Letter 

The  handling  of  inquiries  and  complaints  and  the  modern 
methods  of  advertising  and  selling,  call  for  some  system 
whereby  hundreds  and  even  thousands  of  letters  of  request 
may  be  answered  in  a  single  day  or  at  least  within  a  very 
short  period  of  time.  "This  can  be  done  without  slighting  the 
service  to  the  customer  when  the  requests  are  more  or  less 
of  the  same  character.  It  is  then  possible  to  divide  them  into 
a  few  classifications  and  to  standardize  the  answers  to  them. 

For  example,  practically  all  complaints  can  be  grouped 
under  a  few  headings  such  as  "Non-delivery  or  shortage," 
"Unsatisfactory  service,"  "Defective  merchandise,"  etc.,  and 



a  standard  answer  adopted  for  each.  Thus  many  complaints 
may  be  handled  satisfactorily  by  a  form  letter  without  going 
into  the  details  of  a  special  adjustment.  All  the  requisite 
time  may  then  be  given  to  the  construction  of  this  standard  let- 
ter. It  will  be  built  upon  the  experience  and  the  best  thought  of 
the  concern  and  will  not  be  ''improvised"  on  the  spur  of  the 
moment  by  a  clerk  or  executive  who  may  be  busy  with  other 
things  or  momentarily  irritated  by  the  nature  of  the  com- 
plaint before  him  at  the  time  of  dictating  a  reply. 

Filling  in  the  Form  Letter 

If  the  form  letter  merely  serves  as  a  sample  to  be  copied 
nothing  more  need  be  said  about  it.  But  if  it  is  a  multi- 
graphed  letter  which  requires  the  name  and  address  to  be 
filled  in  then  this  last  operation  is  done  in  one  of  two  ways : 
(i)  the  "fill-in,''  whether  in  the  body  of  the  letter  or  the 
heading,  contrasts  with  the  color  of  the  form  letter;  or  (2) 
the  *'fill-in"  is  made  to  match. 

As  the  process  of  filling  in  the  heading  is  somewhat  dif' 
ferent  from  that  used  in  writing  an  original  letter,  definite 
instructions  should  be  given  to  the  typist  doing  this  work. 
The  first  rule,  as  taken  from  an  office  manual,  cautions  the 
typist  to  select  a  ribbon  that  will  match  the  color  of  the  form 
letter : 

"i.  Since  multigraphed  forms  do  not  run  all  the  same 
shade  it  will  reduce  the  number  of  times  ribbons  must  be 
changed  if  care  is  exercised  in  first  selecting  the  multigraphed 
sheets  which  are  of  the  same  shade  as  the  ribbon  in  the  ma- 

The  second  rule  gives  directions  for  obtaining  exactly 
even  margins : 

"2.  Feed  letter  into  machine  as  far  as  the  second  or 
third  line  of  the  text,  then  adjust  letter  by  rolling  back  the 
paper  so  that  first  line  touching  the  left-hand  margin  is  visible 


above  the  triangle  in  the  line  gage.     Roll  back  seven  spaces, 

for  a  three  line  fill-in  address,  followed  by  two  spaces  for  the 
salutation,  and  again  two  spaces  before  the  body  of  the  letter. 
For  example : 

Mr.  J.  F.  Jones, 

2~  Beech   Street, 

Minneapolis,  Minn. 
My  dear  Sir  : 

We  are  sending  you  by  this  mail,  etc." 

The  same  attention  should  be  given  to  the  addressing  of 
the  envelope  and,  where  the  enclosed  letter  is  not  filled  in, 
care  should  be  taken  to  choose  a  ribbon  to  match  the  type  of 
the  enclosure.  Either  the  poor  matching  of  colors  or  the 
irregularity  of  the  form  will  emphasize  the  "form  letter" 
idea,  which  is  so  repugnant  to  some  people. 

The  Form  Letter  in  an  Advertising  Campaign 

Advertising  may  be  conducted  with  the  object  of  pro- 
voking inquiries  about  a  firm's  goods  or  of  producing  direct 
orders.  Either  of  these  two  methods  generally  results  in  a 
large  volume  of  correspondence  the  handling  of  which  usually 
falls  to  the  stenographic  department.  The  separation  of  this 
kind  of  routine  work  from  the  legitimate  work  of  the  ad- 
vertising department  is  possible  because  most  of  the  corre- 
spondence can  be  handled  through  form  letters  and  stand- 
ardized order  forms  as  follows : 

All  inquiries  should  naturally  come  first  into  the  advertis- 
ing department.  Here  a  competent  clerk  reads  each  inquiry 
and  indicates  by  a  pencil  mark  the  symbol  of  the  form  letter 
to  be  written  in  reply.  These  letters  are  then  distributed 
among  the  typists  of  the  stenographic  department  who,  noting 
the  symbols  "BB,"  "OO,"  etc.,  at  the  top  of  the  inquiries, 
look  up  the  *'BB"  form  letter,  etc.,  in  the  folder  and  begin  to 
copy  it. 



Record  of  Form  Letters  Dispatched  and  Inquiries  Answered 
In  addition  to  the  foregoing  routine  there  may  be  a  cer- 
tain amount  of  detail  work  connected  with  the  preparation 
of  record  cards,  the  dispatching  of  the  letters,  the  sending  of 
carbon  copies  to  branch  managers,  salesmen,  and  others  in- 
terested in  following  up  the  inquiries  and  "turning  them  into 

A  record  card  and  a  successful  method  of  handling  in- 
quiries is  as  follows: 

Firm  name_ 
No.  pes.  ad\ 

Record  Card  Inq 

of  answer 







of  inquiry_ 

Means  of  inquiry 

Inquiry  Follow-Up  Card 

This  card  is  filled  out  in  duplicate  for  such  form  letters 
as  require  a  record  of  the  kind.  The  original  card  is  at- 
tached to  the  letter  of  inquiry  and  sent  to  the  advertising 
department  and  the  duplicate  card  is  sent  to  the  branch  or 
salesman  from  whose  territory  the  inquiry  came.  Thus  one 
card  becomes  a  part  of  the  home  office  tickler  records  by 
means  of  which  the  agent  or  salesman  is  automatically  fol- 
lowed up  ever}^  few  weeks;  and  the  other  card  finds  its  way 
into  the  follow-up  files  of  the  branch  office  where  it  stands 
as  a  constant  reminder  until  the  inquiry  has  been  turned  into 
a  sale. 


Handling  Envelopes,  Labels,  and  Enclosures 

Instructions  dealing  with  methods  of  addressing  and  en- 
closing the  various  kinds  of  form  letters,  folders,  booklets, 
etc.,  are  as  necessary  here  as  in  the  handling  of  regular  cor- 
respondence. A  complete  list  of  symbols  pertaining  to  form 
letters,  advertising  circulars,  etc.,  should  be  provided  the 
typist,  together  with  the  kind  of  envelope  or  label  (sticker) 
used.  Assuming  that  there  are  several  different  types  of  prod- 
uct each  with  its  own  circular  literature  and  form  letters, 
the  advertising  matter  relating  to  one  product  should  be 
labeled  and  so  numbered  that  the  class  of  help  which  usually 
handles  this  kind  of  routine  work  need  make  no  mistake. 
An  example  of  listing  and  symbolizing  the  advertising  matter 
relating  to  a  particular  product  is  as  follows : 

F.  Kodak  No.  3 

1.  B.  K.  3820 6j4  envelope 

2.  B.  K.  3953 6x9 

3.  B.  K.  4215 Sticker 

4.  B.  K.  4710 634  envelope 

If  there  were  ten  types  of  Kodaks,  each  would  have  its 
own  symbols  and  be  entered  on  the  list  as  A.  Kodak  No.  20, 
D.  Kodak  No.  135,  etc.  In  this  way  a  periodical  follow-up 
system  can  be  set  in  motion  for  each  prospective  purchaser 
who  may  have  shown  an  interest  in  one  or  more  of  the  firm's 
products.  The  work  can  be  carried  out  by  the  stenographic 
department  guided  by  the  standard  instructions  given  and  the 
cost  of  supervision  thus  reduced  to  the  minimum. 

Circularizing  Campaigns 

The  growth  of  direct  advertising  methods,  i.  e.,  circulariz- 
ing a  selected  list  of  prospective  customers,  has  added  an- 
other burden  to  the  stenographic  department  of  many  con- 
cerns.     By  this   method   letters   and   advertising   matter  are 



scheduled  for  mailing  on  certain  dates.  The  stenographic 
department  is  notified  by  the  advertising  manager  sufficiently 
in  advance  of  a  campaign  of  this  kind  so  as  to  prepare  for 
the  extra  work.  In  this  connection  it  is  of  course  important 
to  give  the  specific  instructions  previously  described  for  ad- 
dressing envelopes  and  folders  and  for  making  the  "fill-ins." 

Relation  of  Stenographic  Department  to  Order  Department 
It  frequently  happens  that  after  the  orders  for  the  day 
have  been  read  and  interpreted  the  order  department  has  all 
the  copies  of  the  order  forms  made  in  the  central  steno- 
graphic department  instead  of  having  this  work  done  by  a 
"copy  clerk"  in  its  own  department.  The  relation  of  the 
order  clerk  to  the  stenographic  department  is  much  the  same 
as  that  of  the  chief  clerk  in  the  advertising  department.  He 
must  send  to  the  stenographic  department  complete  informa- 
tion to  be  filled  in  on  the  order  blank.  Besides  this  there  are 
certain  things  which  may  be  put  down  as  written  instructions, 
such  as,  for  instance : 

1.  List  of  symbols  of  the  various  forms  to  be  used  for 

different  classes  of  merchandise. 

2.  Number  of  copies  required  in  each  case. 

3.  Detailed  explanation  of  the  various  items,  headings, 

or  terms  used  on  the  forms. 

4.  Descriptions  of  any  variations  in  handling  a  domestic 

order  and  a  foreign  order,  or  a  retail  order  and  a 
wholesale  order. 

Routine  in  Copying  an  Order 

Let  us  suppose  that  a  typist  in  the  central  department  gets 
a  batch  of  orders  from  the  order  clerk.  She  picks  up  the  first 
letter  and,  besides  the  usual  information,  finds  a  number  of 
notations  marked  in  pencil  by  the  order  clerk.     She  reads  the 



letter  and  notes  that  it  is  a  domestic  order  and  calls  for,  say, 
certain  typewriter  supplies  such  as  ribbons.  Turning  to  her 
office  manual  she  notes  that  orders  for  "Ribbon  Supplies'' 
are  to  be  made  out  on  Form  Rs-21  and  that  seven  copies  are 
to  be  typed  for  all  domestic  orders.  Choosing  Form  Rs-21, 
she  finds  many  terms  that  need  explanation.  The  depart- 
ment manual,  however,  interprets  them.  For  example,  on 
the  order  blank  is  the  caption,  "Office  Order  Number."  This 
is  explained  in  the  manual  as  the  number  by  w^hich  an  order 
for  supplies  will  be  identified  hereafter;  furthermore,  that 
this  number  is  assigned  to  each  individual  order  by  the  order 
clerk  and  will  be  found  maiked  in  pencil  on  the  letter  or  sales 
order  sent  to  her  from  the  order  department.  Similar  in- 
structions cover  the  other  captions  on  the  order.  The  typist 
is  instructed  to  fill  in  all  items  in  accordance  with  the  penciled 
notes  of  the  order  clerk  and  such  other  information  as  is 
gathered  from  the  customer's  letter  relating  to  amount  wanted, 
color,  machine,  width,  inking,  brand,  etc.  Finally  she  is  told 
that  all  items  in  the  "body"  of  the  order  are  to  be  double- 

Cutting  Stencils 

If  there  is  a  central  stenographic  department,  the  cutting 
of  stencils  by  a  typewriting  machine  is  part  of  its  duties. 
Dry  fiber  stencils  with  pasteboard  frames  are  commonly  em- 
ployed for  addressing  purposes  where  a  large  mailing  hst  is 
frequently  used  in  sending  out  bulletins,  house  organs,  and 
other  mailing  matter.  Special  typing  machines  are  now  on 
the  market  which  feed  these  stencils  automatically,  throw  the 
ribbon  into  position  for  writing  the  first  line  on  the  frame 
(thus  making  it  easy  to  file  and  to  find  the  stencil  when 
wanted),  and  remove  it  when  the  stencil  shifts  to  the  position 
for  cutting  the  fiber.  The  position  of  the  address  to  be  cut 
on  the  stencil  is  indicated  as  follows : 




Miss  Gertrude  T.  Lare, 

214  Lincoln  Avenue, 

Fort  Fairfield,  Me. 

The  typewriter  must  be  operated  with  an  even  but  firm 
staccato  touch  if  the  spacing  is  to  be  regular  and  the  fiber 
cut  so  as  to  give  a  clear  impression.  The  letter  *'S,"'  as  shown 
above,  identifies  all  the  stencils  cut  for  the  quarter  beginning 
with,  say,  July  i,  191 8,  Other  quarters  and  years  have  other 

Making  Up  and  Filing  the  Stencil  List 

The  stencil  list  is  usually  made  up  from  many  sources; 
for  example,  a  concern  publishing  a  magazine  would  get  new 
names  daily  from  new  subscribers.  In  a  large  organization, 
such  as  the  pubHshers  of  the  Saturday  Evening  Post  and  the 
Ladies'  Home  Journal,  stencils  are  cut  by  machine  and  a 
special  department  is  provided  for  this  work  alone.  Smaller 
concerns  handling  from  50,000  to  200,000  names  can  take 
care  of  them  by  having  them  cut  in  the  stenographic  depart- 
ment and  filed  and  sorted  in  the  mailing  department.  In 
such  cases  the  mailing  clerk  sorts  out  the  stencil  mail,  i.e., 
the  subscription  letters  and  cards,  arranges  them  alphabeti- 
cally according  to  state  and  name  of  individual,  and  then 
delivers  them  to  the  stencil-cutting  typists.  As  the  stencils 
are  cut  they  pass  into  the  receiving  tray  and  are  arranged 



in  a  manner 'just  the  reverse  of  that  of  the  subscription  cards, 
from  which  the  stencil  names  are  copied.  This  reversed 
arrangement  of  stencils  should  be  kept  when  sending  them 
to  the  mailing  department.  After  the  stencils  are  cut,  the 
letters  and  cards  are  stamped  "Listed,"  and  delivered  to  the 
head  stenographer  who  provides  for  their  final  disposal. 

Handling  the  Detail  Work  of  the  Department 

In  a  central  stenographic  department  many  details  per- 
taining to  the  work  of  the  department  as  a  whole  must  be 
looked  after.  It  would  not  be  consistent  with  the  general 
idea  of  specialization  which  underlies  the  central  department, 
if  the  stenographers  and  typists  were  required  to  order  their 
own  supplies,  collect  matter  to  be  typed,  schedule  their  own 
work,  and  be  responsible  for  their  own  inspection.  Neither 
would  it  be  economical  to  make  the  head  stenographer  per- 
sonally responsible  for  such  detail.  Good  management,  there- 
fore, counsels  that  all  this  miscellaneous  work  be  put  into  the 
hands  of  a  special  detail  clerk,  but  under  the  authority  of  the 
head  stenographer. 

No  exhaustive  list  of  the  duties  of  the  detail  clerk  can 
be  given  in  a  general  treatment  of  the  stenographic  depart- 
ment, but  in  each  case  work  of  this  character  should  be  care- 
fully analyzed  and  classified.  The  clerk  should  know  exactly 
what  his  duties  are.  The  following  list  is  meant  to  be  sug- 
gestive only  and  can  be  expanded  or  modified  to  suit  the  in- 
dividual case. 

Keep  department  in  order : 

1.  Cover  and  uncover  machines. 

2.  Arrange  supplies  in  supply  cabinet  in  neat  and  or- 

derly way. 

3.  Keep  department   from  getting  clogged  with  "out- 

going" mail,  circulars,  etc. 


Care  of  supplies : 

1.  Watch  maximum  and  minimum  quantities. 

2.  Order  supplies  when  limit  approaches  by — 

(a)  Making  out  requisitions,  daily  if  needed,  and 

getting  head  stenographer's  O  K. 

(b)  Sending  original  requisition  to  general  supply 


(c)  Filing  duplicate  requisition. 

3.  Check  receipt  of  supplies  against  duplicate  requisi- 


4.  Follow  up  all  items  omitted  from  list. 

Keep  special  typists  supplied : 

1.  Distribute   lists    obtained    from    advertising   depart- 


2.  Collect  envelopes  and  folders  from  typists  and  in- 

spect addresses,  etc. 

3.  Stamp  lists — date  of  mailing  and  piece  of  advertis- 

ing sent. 

4.  Deliver  envelopes,   folders,   and  lists  to  advertising 

department,  so  that  mailing  schedule  may  be  ad- 
hered to. 

5.  Aid  head  stenographer  by  notifying  her  when  work 

for  typists  is  running  low  or  where  more  help  is 
needed  to  get  work  out  according  to  schedule. 

6.  Change  the  schedule  in  case  of  emergencies  due  to 

changes  in  mailing  schedule. 

It  will  be  noticed  that  special  emphasis  is  put  upon  cer- 
tain kinds  of  inspection.  This  removes  the  possibility  of  any 
great  quantity  of  poorly  typed  and  wrongly  addressed  cir- 
cular matter  getting  into  the  mails.  A  conscientious  detail 
clerk  can  save  much  money,  to  say  nothing  of  good-will  by 
this  one  thing  alone.  Also,  the  close  watch  which  he  can 
keep  oyer  the  use  of  supplies  stops  many  leaks  due  to  careless- 


ness  and  extravagant  use  on  the  part  of  typists  and  stenog- 

Summary  of  Stenographic  Supervision 

In  conclusion  to  this  part  of  the  book  a  summary  is  given 
of  the  chief  hnes  into  which  the  supervision  of  the  steno- 
graphic department  falls,  as  follows : 

1.  Employing  and  training  stenographers  and  typists. 

2.  Assigning  work  to  stenographers. 

3.  Inspection  of  work  (read  over  finished  w^ork). 

4.  Assigning  work  to  typists. 

(a)  Form  copying  for  mailing  lists. 

(b)  Addressing  envelopes,  cards,  etc. 

»(c)   Filling  in  letters, 
(d)   Handling  circular  matter, 
(e)   Cutting  stencils. 
H  (f)   Writing  up  card  records. 

5.  Keeping  records  of  operators. 

(a)  Daily  summary. 

(b)  Graphic  chart. 

(c)  Schedule  of  work  sheet. 

(d)  Dictation  slips  of  stenographers. 

(e)  Absence  slips. 

(f)  Attendance  slips. 

(g)  Reminder  file. 

6.  Consulting  with  office  manager  concerning : 

(a)  Employment  and  discharge. 

(b)  Salary  changes. 

(c)  Any  departure  from  standard  routine  instruc- 


7.  Keeping  an  assistant  trained  to  distribute  work  and 

to  assume  authority  in  absence  of  head  stenogra- 


8.  Distributing  mail. 

(a)  Keep  department  schedule  for  collection. 

(b)  Check  mail  schedule  of  boy  from  mailing  de- 


(c)  See  that  dictators  get  letters  before  lunch  time 

or  early  afternoon  for  corrections. 

(d)  Regulate    typing    schedule    in    circular    cam- 


(e)  See  that  copies  of  interdepartment  memos,  of 

telegrams,  of  executive  letters,  and  all  tick- 
ler letters  are  correctly  disposed  of. 

9.  Keeping  up-to-date  list  of  initials  of  typists  and  dic- 


10.  Keeping  operators  supplied  with  machines  and  equip- 


11.  Watching  conditions  of  machines  and  supplies. 

(a)  Operator  to  clean  her  machine  every  morning. 

(b)  Outcalls  for  repair  men. 

(c)  Ribbons  should  be  fresh. 

(d)  Train  assistant  to  watch  supply  stock. 

12.  Regulation    of    ventilation;    one   assistant   to    watch 


(a)  Thermometer  to  stand  at  56-70°    (winter). 

(b)  Open  windows  and  shades. 

(c)  Positions  of  fans. 

(d)  Registers  and  ventilators. 

13.  Keeping  chairs  properly  adjusted. 

(a)  Construct  a  record  showing:    name  of  opera- 

tor; height  of  chair. 

(b)  Measurement  of  chair  heights  weekly  and  re- 

sults entered  in  the  record. 

(c)  Keep  chairs  adjusted  in  accordance  with  meas- 


(d)  Keep  rule  for  measuring  heights. 



14.  Keeping  discipline. 

(a)  See  that  operators  are  at  desk  promptly,  morn- 

ing and  after  lunch. 

(b)  No  stopping  until  exact  moment  of  closing. 

(c)  See  that  pressure  of  work  is  constant  and  no 


(d)  No  unnecessary  talking  and  noise. 

(e)  Watch  violation  of   rules  pertaining  to   rest 


15.  See  that  all  stenographers  are  furnished  instructions. 

(a)  Standard  forms  of  letters,  etc. 

(b)  Lists  of  branch  houses. 

(c)  Lists  of  foreign  branches,  etc. 

(d)  Helps    pertaining   to    erasures,    underscoring, 

addressing,     closing,    etc.,    checking    lines, 
arranging  lists  in  order,  and  the  like. 





Need  of  a  Purchasing  Department 

Many  flourishing  organizations  leave  their  purchasing 
work  largely  to  the  individual  department  and  the  persons 
therein  most  conversant  with  the  material,  its  need,  and  uses. 
To  do  this  is  on  a  parity  with  giving  the  right  of  "hire  and 
fire"  to  each  foreman.  So  long  as  no  serious  disarrangement 
of  the  daily  work  of  the  organization  occurs,  the  practice  is 
permitted,  because  there  is  no  apparent  reason  for  discontinu- 
ing it.  Almost  any  individual  or  department  can,  when  neces- 
sity demands,  place  orders  for  material  and  secure  it  wh-en 
wanted,  if  the  market  is  in  a  fairly  loose  condition.  Coupled 
with  this,  however,  is  the  obligation  on  the  part  of  whoever 
does  the  buying  to  pay  no  more  than  the  lowest  price  which  the 
market  offers.  This  part  of  the  work  is  not  as  easy  as  the 
mere  placing  of  orders,  and  in  this  respect  many  employees, 
who  are  not  trained  buyers,  fail. 

Every  organization  requires  some  records  for  future  ref- 
erence or  for  use  in  planning  its  present  work.  If  the  buying 
is  left  to  those  who  are  interested  only  in  the  purchase  of 
supplies  or  materials  for  special  departments,  there  will  be 
lacking  the  maintenance  of  such  records  of  transactions  as 
enable  the  goods  or  merchandise  to  be  bought  efficiently  and 
quickly.  The  representative  who  purchases  only  occasionally 
does  not  always  know  when  a  quoted  price  is  reasonable  or 
when  the  market  is  due  for  an  advance,  nor  does  he  appreciate 
the  difficulty  of  effecting  deliveries  or  the  terms  on  which  the 
materials  should  be  purchased.  Even  in  dealing  with  vendors 
and  their  representatives,  the  occasional  buyer  is  at  a  disad- 



vantage.  The  salesman  is  primed  with  the  best  knowledge  of 
the  market,  his  products,  and  his  competitors.  He  is  a  sales- 
man because  he  has  the  ability  to  make  the  purchaser  want 
what  he  has  to  sell.  The  bigger  the  purchase,  the  more 
capable  the  salesman,  and  so  the  less  chance  the  inexperienced 
buyer  has  of  meeting  the  salesman  in  a  fair  field.  Accord- 
ingly specialization  in  the  purchasing  work  becomes  a  vital 
necessity  for  every  large  enterprise ;  a  purchasing  department 
should  be  created  to  do  all  the  purchasing  for  the  whole  organi- 
zation, and  to  this  department  foremen  or  heads  of  offices 
must  delegate  the  right  to  buy  the  things  they  may  want. 

Responsibility  for  Good  Service 

To  justify  its  existence,  the  purchasing  department  must 
get  what  is  wanted,  when  wanted,  and  at  the  lowest  possible 
price.  The  department  should  have  no  authority  to  alter  the 
purchase  requisition  without  first  securing  the  approval  of 
the  requisitioner.  If  the  correctness  of  his  judgment  is 
doubted,  or  the  delivery  time  of  the  requisition  is  questioned, 
the  matter  should  at  once  be  referred  to  the  originator.  If 
there  is  any  clash  of  opinions  the  matter  may  either  be  carried 
to  a  higher  authority  or  the  department  must  order  what  is 

At  the  same  time,  judgment  must  be  used  so  that  there  will 
be  no  delay  or  inconvenience  to  the  requisitioner,  in  case  the 
purchasing  department  is  overruled.  The  routine  of  ordering 
should  proceed  to  the  point  of  actually  placing  the  order,  even 
though  the  possibility  of  its  later  cancellation  exists.  It  must 
be  assumed  that  the  purchase  is  requisitioned  in  good  faith, 
that  the  material  ordered  is  just  what  is  needed,  and  that  the 
delivery  time  is  just  right  to  fit  the  requisitioner's  schedule. 
The  obligation  to  secure  the  lowest  market  price  is  a  require- 
ment which  does  not  reflect  the  success  of  the  department  as 
readily  as  do  the  other  factors  of  the  purchase. 


Advantages  for  Other' Departments 

So  long  as  the  purchasing  department  does  its  work  as 
efficiently  as  the  individual  purchaser  it  more  than  justifies  its 
existence.  Prejudice  often  needs  to  be  overcome  against  this 
centralization  of  buying,  but  every  department  should  be  glad 
to  be  freed  from  the  trouble  and  responsibility  involved  in 
looking  after  its  own  supplies.  If  at  any  time  the  purchasing 
department  fails  to  function  properly,  the  department  which 
may  feel  itself  inconvenienced  can  always  appeal  to  the  gen- 
eral executives.  The  reply  of  the  defendant  department  will 
probably  be  that  it  did  the  best  that  could  be  done  under  the 
circumstances.  The  complaining  department  is  then  obliged 
to  show  how  better  service  could  have  been  rendered.  Even 
if  the  criticism  is  substantiated  in  a  particular  instance,  it  is 
not  a  condemnation  of  the  method,  but  of  the  individual  action 
of  the  department.  If  the  service  is  not  satisfactory,  a  new 
personnel  must  be  secured. 

Importance  of  Compiling  Proper  Records 

The  success  of  the  purchasing  department  depends  largely 
upon  the  records  which  must  be  kapt  for  the  proper  carrying 
out  of  the  routine  of  present  and  future  buying.  These 
records  will  be  described  later;  here  the  discussion  is  limited 
to  their  scope.  Proper  records  should  enable  the  department 
to  locate  any  order  by  vendor,  by  material,  or  by  order  num- 
ber. Information  will  constantly  be  requested  by  requisi- 
tioners  regarding  the  status  of  orders  outstanding  and  their 
delivery  date,  or  regarding  changes  or  cancellations.  The 
order  must  be  easily  located  and  the  information  wanted  must 
ht  quickly  given. 

For  future  buying,  the  records  are  largely  detailed  tabula- 
tions of  past  experience,  such  as  the  source  of  supply  of  the 
material,  the  supplier's  co-operation  in  filling  previous  orders, 
and  what  standard  materials  can  be  secured  in  the  market. 


In  short,  the  records  must  tell  the  story  of  any  past  order, 
and  show  how  to  duplicate  it.  To  accomplish  this  the  number 
of  records  need  not  be  large  if  they  cross-index  each  other. 

Relations  With  Outside  Concerns 

The  relations  of  the  purchasing  department  with  out- 
siders usually  take  the  form  of  a  contract  or  an  agreement  for 
the  delivery  of  the  purchase.  Such  an  agreement  should  be 
bound  by  two  ties — a  legal  and  a  personal.  If  in  writing  the 
legal  rights  of  the  buyer  are  secured.  But  the  purchasing 
department  also  wants  service  from  the  supplier,  and  this 
is  largely  a  personal  matter,  measured  by  the  extent  to 
which  the  supplier  considers  it  expedient  to  exert  himself. 
He  should  supply  only  first-class  goods,  ship  as  wanted 
for  delivery,  see  that  the  invoice  is  correct,  carefully  ob- 
serve all  requests  as  to  markings  of  packages,  and  gener- 
ally conform  with  the  buyer's  system  of  handling  purchases. 
These  are  all  small  matters  in  themselves,  but  when  some 
half-dozen  or  more  are  ignored  in  one  day,  the  routine  of  the 
department  is  retarded,  the  clerical  work  is  increased,  and  the 
plans  of  the  requisitioner  are  thrown  into  confusion. 

At  times  the  supplier  may  not  fulfil  his  obligations 
according  to  the  legal  rights  of  the  buyer,  and  even  so  the 
violation  of  a  part  of  the  contract  or  the  failure  to  render 
all  service  possible  may  be  insufficient  to  cause  the  buyer  to 
take  the  matter  to  court  or  even  conduct  a  lengthy  correspond- 
ence with  the  vendor  in  an  efTort  to  collect  any  damages  he 
may  have  suffered.  It  should  therefore  be  an  underlying  idea 
of  the  purchasing  department's  relation  with  the  vendor  to 
make  him  want  to  do  business  with  the  purchaser. 

Friendly  Relations  an  Advantage 

Like  the  sales  department,  the  purchasing  department 
represents  the  business  in  its  relations  with  the  outside  world. 


The  impression  which  the  buyer  makes  upon  the  salesman  will 
govern  the  action  of  the  vendor.  Many  thousands  of  dollars 
have  been  saved  to  buyers  by  the  "tips"  of  vendors  and  their 
representatives  upon  approaching  price  changes  and  market 
shortages.  Such  happenings  are  obviously  foreseen  best  by 
those  handling  and  dealing  with  the  same  products  every  day. 
The  supplier  studies  the  business  methods  and  judges  the  pro- 
gressiveness  and  the  general  character  of  a  buyer  largely  from 
his  correspondence  and  his  method  of  doing  business.  This 
is  supplemented  by  the  experience  of  other  concerns  which 
have  dealt  with  him  and  by  the  reports  of  commercial  credit 
agencies.  This  data  is  finally  completely  rounded  out  by  the 
reports  of  salesmen  who  come  into  personal  contact  with  the 
buyer  or  purchasing  agent. 

The  information  collected  by  headquarters  is  given  the 
salesman  before  he  interviews  his  prospects  and  any  doubtful 
points  of  credit  or  relations  are  carefully  explained  to  him 
before  he  leaves  the  office.  The  majority  of  salesmen  carry 
a  regular  form  on  which  to  report  routine  data,  such  as  the 
name  of  the  person  interviewed,  his  personality  and  responsi- 
bility, apparent  prosperity  of  the  concern  and  its  business 
methods,  references,  and  any  other  information  which  he  con- 
siders might  be  of  use  to  headquarters  or  to  himself  on  his 
next  trip.  In  the  case  of  a  business  owned  by  a  sole  pro- 
prietor, inquiry  may  even  be  made  as  to  his  family,  their 
thrift  or  apparent  disregard  of  expense,  and  other  details 
which  might  impair  the  credit  standing  of  the  customer. 

Buyer's  Attitude  Toward  Salesmen 

The  attitude  to  be  assumed  by  the  buyer  toward  the  sales- 
man can  now  be  seen.  When  the  latter  calls  he  should  be 
welcomed.  If  at  all  possible  there  should  be  a  reception  room 
at  the  main  entrance  to  the  office,  with  a  rug  on  the  floor,  and 
comfortable  chairs.     The  official  welcoming  agent  of  the  com- 


pany  should  not  be  an  office  boy.  An  older  man  who  appre- 
ciates the  responsibility  and  who  is  friendly,  is  the  ideal  repre- 
sentative. Salesmen  like  to  be  remembered  as  having  called 
before.  The  visitor  should  be  greeted  by  name  and  above  all 
not  be  kept  waiting.  He  is  paid  for  what  he  accomplishes. 
Lost  time  is  lost  money  for  him  as  well  as  for  the  purchaser. 

The  salesman  is  usually  given  the  right  to  quote  any  price 
and  terms  down  to  a  certain  figure.  It  is  to  his  employer's 
advantage  to  get  all  he  can  for  his  product  and  make  the  most 
profit.  If  the  purchaser  wants  to  buy  supplies  and  materials 
on  terms  as  good  as  his  competitors,  he  must  influence  the 
salesman  to  be  square  and  aboveboard.  The  permanently 
profitable  way  for  the  purchaser  is  to  state  what  he  wants  and 
not  waste  time  beating  about  the  bush. 

It  is  best  to  speak  well  of  the  salesman  when  writing  his 
house,  and  to  have  such  orders  as  are  sent  direct  to  the  house 
credited  to  him.  By  showing  him  that  the  business  of  the 
firm  can  be  secured  in  fair  competition  on  the  basis  of  price, 
quality,  and  service,  and  that  he  will  have  no  long  wait  or 
other  difficulties  in  securing  payment — in  short  by  cultivating 
his  friendship  in  every  honorable  way,  the  salesman  will  be 
led  to  regard  the  buyer  as  a  valuable  customer. 

Gratuities  should  never  be  accepted.  A  buyer  who  must 
receive  financial  remuneration  when  transacting  business  for 
his  house  and  who  sells  out  to  the  highest  bidder,  can  never 
be  depended  upon. 

The  Investigation  of  New  Materials 

As  a  rule  the  purchasing  department  will  be  the  first  de- 
partment to  know  of  improvements  in  material,  equipment, 
and  supplies.  Salesmen  are  always  ready  to  call  the  buyer's 
attention  to  any  improvement  in  the  product  offered  for  sale 
and  sometimes  will  even  mention  a  rival's  improvement. 
Early  announcement  is  made  in  trade  papers  of  new  inven- 


tions  and  the  suppliers  soon  have  a  representative  interview- 
ing every  possible  prospective  purchaser.  As  this  informa- 
tion is  gathered  it  should  at  once  be  referred  to  the  person 
most  interested.  A  report  of  his  opinion  should  be  demanded, 
and  this  report  forwarded  to  the  producer  as  a  matter  of 

It  will  be  well  for  the  purchasing  department  to  watch 
these  reports  carefully.  Whenever  possible  the  authority  to 
whom  the  suggestion  is  referred  should  be  an  authority 
who  directs  the  use  of  the  old  standard,  rather  than  the  user 
himself.  Except  in  very  rare  cases,  every  buyer  of  a  mate- 
rial is  prejudiced  in  favor  of  the  material  he  is  using  at  the 
present  time.  He  may  have  handled  it  for  a  long  time  and 
be  an  expert  in  its  use.  A  new  material  probably  must  be 
experimented  upon  before  the  maximum  result  can  be  secured. 
That  means  trouble  and  temporary  loss  in  productiveness 
which  is  hated  by  every  easy-going  operator  willing  to  "let 
well  enough  alone" ;  or  the  present  choice  may  have  been  one 
of  his  own  selection.  A  change  strikes  at  his  personal  pride 
and  judgment  or  at  some  even  more  personal  interests.  But 
the  higher  up  or  more  intelligent  the  authority  asked  to  de- 
cide on  substitution,  the  more  likely  will  be  the  accuracy  of  the 
judgment.  Then  when  put  into  operation,  it  becomes  a  make- 
or-break  process. 

No  matter  how  small  the  saving  the  new  object  may  cause, 
it  should  be  carefully  investigated  for  merit.  Should  the 
notice  of  the  material  be  received  by  mail,  the  person  distribut- 
ing should  first  of  all  call  it  to  the  attention  of  the  buyer  for 
his  information  and  knowledge.  He  should  also  know  the 
result  of  its  trial  in  order  to  inform  the  producer  intelligently 
of  the  reason  for  the  rejection  of  the  article.  It  may  be  be- 
cause of  conditions  of  manufacture;  the  article  may  have  no 
merit;  or  it  may  be  unsuitable  for  the  use  in  the  buyer's 
product.     The  producer,  by  knowing  the  facts,  may  be  able  to 


alter  his  proposition  and  make  it  acceptable  to  the  buyer,  and 
so  he  must  know  wherein  it  fails. 

Knowledge  of  Business  Conditions 

The  nature  of  the  information  as  to  supply  and  demand 
and  their  resultant,  the  price  of  a  standard  material,  may  be 
of  two  kinds — general  and  specific.  Only  the  big  general 
data  are  used  for  the  information  of  the  executive.  When  the 
question  arises,  "Is  this  the  best  time  to  contract  for  that  ma- 
terial for  next  year?"  the  purchasing  agent  does  not  call  for 
the  detail  price  record,  he  wants  something  big,  something 
which  tells  him  the  general  condition  of  the  market.  Is  business 
stagnating,  or  is  it  going  up  with  advancing  prices  which 
promise  to  soar  for  months  in  the  future?  If  this  particular 
material  is  brass,  he  wants  to  know  whether  the  prospect  is 
that  more  brass  will  be  on  the  market  than  is  likely  to  be 
wanted,  or  whether  the  demand  will  be  greater  than  the 
supply.  It  is  a  guess,  a  gamble,  which  he  has  to  make,  and 
he  doesn't  dare  to  rely  on  an  impression  or  on  any  single  "tip.'' 
His  supplier  is  likely  to  tell  him  one  thing,  a  commercal  re- 
porting agency,  another,  and  so  on;  he  will  find  as  many 
opinions  as  the  number  of  sources  he  seeks.  So  he  wants  the 
data  of  all  factors  which  are  influencing  the  market  reaction 
on  that  material.  General  business  conditions  will  largely 
tell  what  the  demand  will  be.  The  amount  that  will  be  pur- 
chased will  depend  upon  the  price  at  which  it  will  be  produced. 
For  example,  brass  is  a  combination  of  several  elements,  chief 
of  which  are  copper  and  zinc.  The  cost  of  brass  then  will 
vary  proportionately  as  the  cost  of  the  metal  used  in  its  pro- 
duction increases  or  decreases  the  total  cost  of  production. 
Thus,  if  copper  is  about  to  increase  20  per  cent  in  cost  and  the 
copper  during  the  past  year  has  cost  60  per  cent  of  the  entire 
cost  of  the  brass,  it  is  reasonable  to  believe  that  the  brass  for 
the  next  year  will  increase  proportionately  in  price. 



Study  of  Statistics 

Thus  the  purchasing:  a^ent  and  his  advisers  discuss  in  con- 
ference the  statistics  which  demonstrate  the  market  tend- 
ency. On  the  basis  of  their  decision,  the  requirements  for  the 
coming  year  will  or  will  not  be  covered  by  a  contract.  It  is 
not  practical  to  carry  out  such  detailed  data  for  every  mate- 
rial purchased.  Statistics  will  be  maintained  only  on  a  base 
item.  Tlie  controlling  decision  will  then  be  made  on  a  multi- 
tude of  small  items.  Take,  for  instance,  castings  or  small 
hardware.  Castings  are  made  of  iron  and  will  follow  in  price 
very  closely  the  same  variations  as  iron.  Group  action  is 
taken  covering  all  of  the  items  belonging  to  that  particular 

Most  large  concerns  have  a  statistical  department,  the 
members  of  which  are  specialists  in  methods  of  presenting 
facts  in  tabular  form  and  by  graphs.  The  facts  wanted  by  the 
purchasing  department  lend  themselves  to  easy  presentation 
by  graphic  methods.  Should  there  be  no  statistical  depart- 
ment, usually  one  clerk  is  delegated  to  that  kind  of  work, 
because  of  the  skill  required  to  interpret  and  keep  the  record. 
The  keeping  of  the  record — picking  out  the  specific  data  from 
daily  papers  and  noting  on  the  sheet  the  causes  of  movements 
— becomes  mere  routine. 

Essentials  of  a  Purchase  Order  System 

Be  the  organization  large  or  small,  the  following  fea- 
tures are  necessary  for  the  proper  carrying  on  of  the  purchas- 
ing function : 

1.  A  purchase  order. 

2.  Inspection  and  count  of  goods  before  the  bill  is  paid. 

3.  Ready  answers  to  the  questions : 

(a)  Have  the  goods  been  ordered? 

(b)  From  whom  ordered? 



(c)  Price  last  paid  when  an  order  was  given. 

(d)  Have  goods  been  received? 

(e)  When  were  goods  received? 

(f)  Has  bill  been  paid?     When? 

(g)  What   amount   of   goods   is   carried    during 

certain  periods? 

A  simple  picture  of  an  elementary  purchase  order  system 
will  explain  the  nature  of  the  activities  involved  (See  Figure 

=)     ACTIVE   FILE 

mailed  to  dealer  (* 


FILE     r-tr—^ 
ln6pec*ed I 

;0K  toPa:.! I 

Paid ! 

CneckNo 1 

Price I 

Fre1g(l^ I 

Ledger  P. ^'...j 



J 1         YET  IN 

j  .(INVOICES  ATTACHED)      / 

/         j\      TO  C0P1E&  /    / 





Figure  40.     Purchase   Order   System 

A  simple  purchase   order  system  showing  the   disposition   of  _  the 

various   copies.      (Taken    from    "Machine   Shop    Management."   bv 

John   H.    Van   Deventer,    M.E.) 



Method  of  Requisitioning  Supplies 

An  analysis  of  the  following  system  of  a  prominent  trust 
company  in  New  York  shows  that  variation  is  in  detail  and 
not  in  principles.  The  m^ajor  functions  of  the  purchasing 
department  of  the  company  under  consideration  are  purchas- 
ing and  stores-keeping,  although  the  printing  department  has 
been  put  under  its  control.  The  company  uses  and  carries  in 
stock  large  quantities  of  office  supplies.     A  general  requisi- 

G.  P.  D. 

Requisition  for  Supplies 
Trust  Company  of  New  York 

New  York,  September  12,  1918 
Please  deliver  supnlies  listed  herein  to     B-  Jones     ^f  Credit  Dept.    ~ 









Steel  Legal  Size  Filing  Cab. 

This  requisition  must  be  delivered  to  Supply  Department  before  3  p.m. 

week  days  or  11  a.m.  Saturdays 

No  supplies  will  be  furnished  without  a  requisition  properly  signed 

Received  bv 

F.  B.  Brown, 

i\0.             ^^'-',.                                                                                                                                   HE.\»  OF  DEPT. 

Figure  41.      Requisition  fur  Supplies 

The  supplies   required   are   designated   on   the   above  requisition   by   means  of  a  symbol 
thus    insuring   accuracy    in    ordering   or    delivering   from   stock. 


tion  form  (Figure  41)  is  used,  on  which  the  suppHes  required 
by  a  particular  department  are  described  in  writing  and 
designated  by  a  symbol — in  this  case  ''G.  P.  D."  Every  kind 
of  supply  is  symbolized  so  that  requisitions  can  be  filled 
accurately — a  thing  which  is  not  always  possible  when  the 
purchasing  and  stores  department  is  guided  by  a  written  de- 
scription only. 

This  form  of  requisition  can  be  filled  out  by  anyone  in  the 
organization,  but  it  must  always  be  O  K'd  by  the  department 
head,  and  in  case  of  special  items,  such  as  fountain  pens,  add- 
ing machines,  etc.,  the  requisition  must  be  countersigned  by 
the  chief  clerk  also. 

Requisitions  are  made  out  in  duplicate  by  the  various  de- 
partments and  each  new  order  is  numbered  serially.  The 
original  copy  of  the  requisition  is  sent  to  the  purchas- 
ing department,  while  the  duplicate  is  kept  by  the  requisi- 

Placing  Orders  for  Supplies  Not  Carried  in  Stock 

Upon  receipt  of  the  requisition,  if  the  supplies  are  not 
carried  in  stock,  the  purchasing  agent  looks  up  his  material 
file  (in  which  the  particular  supply  wanted  is  filed  by  its 
symbol)  to  see  where  he  can  make  the  purchase  to  the  best 
advantage.  This  file  (Figure  43)  lists  not  only  all  the  differ- 
ent kinds  of  supplies  carried  in  stock,  but  any  material  that 
may  have  been  ordered  to  meet  special  needs,  such  as  desks, 
typewriters,  electric  fans,  inkwells,  etc.  Each  item  is  given 
a  separate  card,  wdiich  shows  all  the  companies  from  whom 
bids  have  been  received ;  the  name  of  the  last  successful  bidder 
is  followed  by  the  initials  of  the  purchasing  agent  to  make 
it  stand  out  from  the  others. 

If  there  has  been  little  or  no  fluctuation  in  market  prices 
during  the  period,  the  purchasing  agent  at  once  places  the 
order  with  the  last  successful  bidder.     But  in  case  there  have 




been  fluctuations,  or  this  particular  equipment  has  never  been 
purchased  before,  the  agent  sends  out  a  request  for  quotations 
on  the  blank  form  shown  in  Figure  42,  to  all  reliable  manufac- 
turers or  their  agents  who  deal  in  the  required  material. 

When  the  bidders  return  these  forms  with  the  quotations 
of  prices  entered  in  the  column  supplied  for  that  purpose, 
the  bids  are  entered  on  the  form  shown  in  Figure  43  and  name 
of  the  successful  bidder  initialed  as  described  above.  The 
goods  are  then  purchased  following  the  method  as  explained 
in  the  next  section. 

G.  P.  D. 

Purchasing  Agent 

New  York, 


Trust  Company  of  New  York 

New  York 


In  response  to  your  inquiry 

we  beg  to  quote  you  as  follcjws: 



.-5  1  OCK 



not  returned  within 

24  hours  cannot  be  considered. 


Figure  42.     Request  for  Quotations 

This   form   is   sent   to    suppliers   with   a   request   for   quotations.      After   its   return    it 
filed   for  future  reference  under   its  symbol  letters. 



G.  P.  D. 
Form  No 


Date  asked 

Bids  Secured  From 









Figure  43.     Record  of  Bids  Received 

All   details  of  bids  as   secured  on   the  requests  for   quotations  in   regard  to  the   supply 
designated   by   the   symbol   are   entered   on   this   form. 

The  Purchase  Order 

The  purchase  order  (Figure  44)  is  made  out  in  triplicate, 
signed  by  the  purchasing  agent,  and  approved  by  the  chief 
clerk;  the  original  (white)  goes  to  the  vendor;  the  first  car- 
bon copy  (pink)  goes  to  the  auditing  department,  and  the 
second  carbon  (blue)  is  retained  by  the  purchasing  depart- 
ment, where  it  is  filed  first  by  department  and  later  by  date, 
if  the  goods  do  not  arrive  on  the  time  set. 

An  examination  of  these  forms  shows  several  important 
items  bearing  upon  their  use.  The  first  item  is  ''Order  Blank 
No.,"  which  is  seen  to  be  "2-412."  The  first  figure  is  the 
number  of  the  department,  and  the  remaining  figures  show 
that  it  is  serial  requisition  number  412  from  that  department. 
Upon  receipt  of  the  invoice  the  purchasing  department  knows 
at  once  for  whom  the  supplies  are  ordered  and  the  accounting 



department  can  make  its  departmental  cost  distributions  by  the 
same  symbols. 

G.  P.  D.    Order    Rlank    Xo.           2-412 
New  York. 


We  hereby  ore 

er  as  follows:                                                      Price 


Trust  Company  of  New  York 

No   expenditure 
will  be  recognized 
unless  ordered  on              Ptv _ 

Chief  Clerk 

this  form.                                                     l'urchas;ng 


Figure  44.     (a)  Purchase  Order  (Original) 

This  copy    (white)    goes  to   the  vendor. 

Following  Up  Orders 

It  will  be  recalled  that  requisitions  are  made  out  in  dupli- 
cate, the  original  going  to  the  purchasing  department  where 
it  is  filed  by  department  number,  and  the  duplicate  remaining 
with  the  department  and  used  as  a  tickler.  If  the  department 
later  wishes  to  know  where  a  certain  order  is,  it  calls  up  the 
purchasing  department,  gives  the  symbol  of  the  supply  and  the 



G.  P.  D. 

Duplicate  Order  Blank  No  2-413 

Send  immediately  to  Auditing  Department 

New  York 


We  hereby  order  as  follows: 



Department  ordering 

Account  to  be  charged 

Figure  44.     (b)    Purchase  Order    (Duplicate) 

This   copy    (pink)    goes  to   the   auditing   department. 

serial  number  of  the  requisition.  The  purchasing  clerk  needs 
only  to  look  in  the  open  file  and  pick  out  the  order  in  question. 
Each  day  the  purchasing  department  goes  through  this  open 
file  and  takes  the  orders  that  should  arrive  on  that  date. 
When  goods  do  not  come  in  according  to  schedule,  the  orders 
not  received  are  placed  in  a  tickler  according  to  date,  as  a 
means  of  follow  up.  It  may  be  noted  that  where  orders  are 
numerous,  a  separate  tickler  file  would  obviate  the  necessity 
of  going  through  all  the  orders  every  day. 



G.  P.  D. 

Tr,-plir;,tP    Ordf-r    Rlank    No.           2-412 

Supply  Department  Copy 

New  York. 


We  hereby  order  as  follows: 




l^epartment  Ordering- 
Account  to  be  charged 

J.i^ftor  M 

Bid  Env. 
Shipping  Bk. ..  .. 
Cherk«"1  hy 

Figure   44.      (c)    Purchase    Order    (Triplicate) 

This   copy    (blue)    is   retained   by   the   purchasing   department   and    filed   first  by   depart- 
ment, and  later  by  date,  if  the  goods  do  not  arrive  on  time. 

The  Receipt  of  Goods 

Upon  receipt  of  the  goods  the  store  clerk  notes  the  de- 
partmental order  number  on  the  vendor's  invoice,  goes  to  the 
open  file  in  the  purchasing  department  and  picks  out  the 
triplicate  (blue)  purchase  order.  He  O  K's  this  to  show  that 
the  goods  have  arrived.  The  clerk  goes  next  to  the  requisi- 
tion file  where  he  identifies  the  proper  requisition  by  the  same 
order  number.    He  now  sends  the  goods,  accompanied  by  the 


requisition,  to  the  proper  department.  Here  the  requisition 
is  signed  by  the  person  receiving  the  goods  and  returned  to  the 
purchasing  agent  as  his  receipt.  The  requisition  is  once  more 
filed  according  to  the  department  concerned  in  proper  numeri- 
cal order,  and  kept  until  the  end  of  the  month  when  a  sum- 
mary of  the  requisitions  for  each  department  is  made  and  the 
totals  sent  through  as  a  debit  to  the  accounting  department. 
This  debit  memo  constitutes  the  monthly  departmental  ex- 
pense charge. 

Paying  for  the  Goods 

As  soon  as  the  invoice  is  checked  up  as  correct,  it  is  sent 
to  the  accounting  department  where  it  serves  as  a  notice  to 
pay  the  bill.  A  clerk  here  goes  to  the  file  containing  the  pink 
order  copies  and   selects   order  number  2-412   and   from  it 

verifies  the  bill. 

The  Stores  Department 

The  stores  room  of  the  company  is  well  lighted  and  well 
arranged.  The  compartments  for  the  stock  are  steel  cabinets 
with  glass  doors,  each  containing  about  three  shelves.  So  far 
as  possible  the  stores  peculiar  to  each  department  are  kept  in 
a  cabinet  marked  with  the  department  number  and  the  symbol 
of  the  stores. 

The  stores  department  until  recently  was  organized  as  a 
general  supply  depot.  It  is  still  centralized  as  to  location,  but 
each  department  is  assigned  cabinets  which  carry  ten  days' 
supplies.  These  departmental  cabinets  are  in  immediate 
charge  of  a  departmental  stores  clerk  responsible  to  the 
purchasing  agent,  who  himself  inspects  the  cabinets  weekly. 
In  each  department  cabinet  is  a  folder  containing  all  the  forms 
in  use  by  that  department.  The  forms  are  mounted  on  heavy 
cardboard  so  as  to  facilitate  handling.  They  are  marked 
with   their   symbols   for  purposes  of   identification   and   this 



symbol  together  with  the  section  and  shelf  symbols  is  rnb- 
ber-stamped  on  the  cardboard.  This  aids  in  the  location  of 
the  stores,  although  the  stores  clerk  in  time  becomes  familiar 
with  the  location  of  the  various  items.  The  value  of  this 
record  is  very  great  when  changes  occur  in  the  personnel  of 
the  stores  room.  For  example,  the  bond  department  sends 
for  "Form  F.  R.  D."  The  stores  clerk  goes  to  the  department 
cabinet,  looks  in  the  folder,  and  discovers  that  the  supply 
wanted  is  a  pad  of  "telephone  and  memo"  slips,  which  is  in 
section  3,  shelf  i. 

Handling  Requisition  Slips  on  Stores 

When  any  department  orders  supplies  regularly  carried  in 
stock,  it  makes  out  the  requisition  in  duplicate,  and  the  same 
procedure  is  followed  as  in  the  case  of  special  supplies  al- 
ready described.  The  two  copies  are  sent  to  the  purchasing 
department.  Here  one  copy  is  retained  and  the  other  for- 
warded to  the  stores  room,  w^here  the  order  is  filled.  The 
stores  copy  is  sent  with  the  supplies  to  the  department  where 
it  is  signed  and  sent  back  to  the  purchasing  agent,  w^ho  files 
it  numerically  by  departments  until  the  end  of  the  month, 
when  all  these  departmental  slips  are  totaled  and  entered  as 
a  monthly  departmental  charge. 

Keeping  Track  of  Stock 

The  company  designates  a  maximum  and  minimum  stock 
to  be  kept  on  hand  of  each  class  of  stores.  Its  method  of 
handling  this  system  is  interesting.  The  minimum  quantity 
which  it  is  thought  desirable  to  carry  is  tied  into  a  bundle  and 
the  follow'ing  form  attached  to  it. 

Thus,  if  the  minimum  stock  of  No.  2  pencils  is  three 
boxes,  this  number  of  boxes  will  be  tied  together  and  the 
form  shown  in  Figure  45  attached  to  it.  When  the  stores 
clerk  is  compelled  to  break  into  this  bundle  he  sends  the  form 


G.  P.  D. 

Dept.  Supply 

Max.  Stock Min.  Stock. 

Date On  hand Date On  hand 

Figure  45.     Stock  Slip 

This  stock  slip  gives  the   maximum  and  minimum  quantities  of  the  kind   of 
supply  designated  by   the  symbol,  which  are  to  be   kept  on   hand. 

to  the  purchasing  agent  who  orders  more  goods  in  the  regular 
manner.  The  card  is  returned  to  the  stores  room  where  it 
remains  until  the  new  goods  arrive.  No  attempt  is  made  to 
subtract  issues  of  stock  on  this  card,  and  when  new  stock 
comes  in  the  amount  remaining  on  hand  is  stated  and  the  new 
amount  added. 

Standardizing  Supplies 

Three  sources  of  loss  in  every  large  stores  department  are : 

1.  Falling  off  of  quality  or  deviation  from  standard  re- 


2.  Overstocking. 

3.  Running  short  of  supplies. 

The  first  of  these  problems  is  met  by  the  company  under 
consideration  by  the  use  of  a  "Maintenance  and  Description 
Card"  (Figure  46). 

This  form  was  devised  by  the  standardization  committee 
consisting  of  the  purchasing  agent,  auditor,  chief  clerk,  and  a 
department  representative,  after  a  consideration  of  the  prob- 
lems involved.  It  will  be  noticed  that  no  attempt  is  made  to 
record  changes  in  stock  due  to  issuing  of  stores,  but  em- 
phasis is  placed  on  the  various  points  likely  to  be  slighted  in 
























































































■        ; 


—;   i 


i       1      1 



















































Requirements  Not 

Covered  by  Purchase 


Balance  on  Orders, 
BUT  Not  Yet  Received 

Total  Balance  on  Hand 
IN  Stockroom 









3  w 






X  H2] 













Figure  47.     Stock 

A    stock    record    which   provides    for    a    continuous    reccd    from    the    time 

checking  up  the  qualities  and  other  requirements  necessary  to 
give  satisfaction.  From  this  card  the  purchasing  agent  can 
check  up  a  printer  and  see  that  he  has  dehvered  paper  of  the 
correct  size  and  form,  weight  or  color,  whether  it  is  ruled  in 
red  or  black  ink,  and  whether  or  not  it  is  perforated,  punched, 
padded  and  numbered,  and  the  like.  While  this  card  does 
not  maintain  a  complete  record  of  the  balance  of  stores  and 
does  not  check  losses  due  to  over-  and  under-stocking,  it  does 
prove  a  good  check  on  the  vendor.  Also  because  of  its  con- 
venient size  the  record  is  easy  to  handle.  These  cards  are 
filed  in  two  ways :  for  stores  carried  in  stock,  they  are  filed 
by  departments  first  and  then  by  the  symbol  of  the  par- 
ticular supply  which  they  represent;  for  stores  not  carried 
regularly  in  stock,  they  are  filed  by  the  individual  items 
which  they  represent,  such  as,  adding  machines,  typewriters, 
waste  paper,  booklets. 

Balance  of  Stores  Records 

While  this  company  does  not  think  it  necessary  to  keep  a 
record  of  the  value  and  of  the  balance  on  hand  of  its  office 




Amount  Reserved 

FOR  Production  Orders 



Balance  Available 

FOR  New  Production 


Deliveries  to  the  Shop 




























the  specifications  are  received  until  the  material  is  delivered  to  the  shop. 

stock,  this  record  should  not  be  overlooked  by  other  concerns. 
The  principle  as  worked  out  in  connection  with  factory 
stock-keeping  is  easily  adapted  to  office  conditions  as  well.  In 
every  stores-keeping  system  there  are  six  essentials  around 
which  the  records  are  constructed,  namely : 

Requirements  not  covered  by  purchase  orders. 
Balance  on  orders,  but  not  yet  received. 
Total  balance  on  hand  in  stock-room. 
Amount  reserved  for  production  orders  issued. 
Balance  available  for  new  production  orders. 
Deliveries  to  the  shop. 

The  variation  in  the  type  of  records  kept  must  depend 
upon  factory  conditions  and  organization,  but  in  whatever 
form  they  are  developed  they  must  provide  for  at  least  the 
six  basic  factors  named.  If  these  six  be  condensed  into  one 
record,  it  will  have  a  form  such  as  shown  in  Figure  47. 

It  is  estimated  that  the  requirements  for  X-H2 1  are  50,000 
lbs.  This  amount  is  entered  in  column  i,  as  shown.  When 
25,000  lbs.   are  ordered   from  the  mill,  25,000  is  added  to 



column  2  and  deducted  from  column  i.  Fifteen  thousand 
pounds  received  are  added  to  columns  3  and  5,  and  deducted 
from  column  2.  Ten  thousand  pounds  reserved  for  produc- 
tion orders  are  added  to  column  4  and  deducted  from  column 
5.  Five  thousand  pounds  delivered  to  the  shop  are  added  to 
column  6  and  deducted  from  columns  3  and  4. 

A  plan  of  this  kind  provides  for  a  continuous  record  from 
the  time  the  specifications  are  received  from  the  engineering 
department  and  the  probable  sales  estimated,  until  the  material 
is  delivered  to  the  shop. 

It  is  evident  that  this  routine  can  only  be  developed 
through  close  co-operation  with  the  stores  department,  which, 
in  conjunction  with  the  receiving  and  inspection  divisions,  is 
largely  responsible  for  the  data  in  columns  2,  3,  4,  5,  6.  One 
point  in  this  connection  is  especially  worthy  of  mention, 
namely,  that  stock  cards  be  provided  to  hang  over  each  bin  or 
pile,  and  that  the  balances  on  these  cards  be  reported  whenever 
material  is  received  or  delivered,  as  a  check  on  the  central 
stores  ledger. 



Reason  for  Existence 

The  traffic  department  is  a  comparatively  new  division 
CI  the  business  organization.  j\Iany  of  its  functions,  when 
traffic  conditions  were  not  so  complicated,  were  performed  in 
a  more  or  less  competent  manner  by  shipping  and  receiving 
clerks.  But  today  the  constantly  increasing  number  and  com- 
plexity of  the  tariffs,  rulings,  and  regulations  issued  by  the 
various  railroad  companies,  make  it  almost  imperative  for  a 
concern  of  any  size  to  employ  men  specially  trained  in  traffic 
problems  to  handle  this  branch  of  the  business. 

To  illustrate*  the  complexity  of  the  subject — tariffs,  rul- 
ings, and  regulations  filed  by  the  railroads  every  day  cover 
about  600  pages  of  printed  matter.  There  are  23,000  differ- 
ent classifications  of  goods,  due  in  a  great  measure  to  the  fact 
that  freights  are  classified  as  much  according  to  the  method 
of  packing  and  description  as  to  the  character  of  the  goods. 
These  varying  ways  of  classification  often  cause  one  article  to 
be  entered  under  several  headings. 

Many  firms  have  found,  through  the  audit  of  a  traffic 
expert,  that  detection  of  errors  and  overcharges,  which 
occur  in  the  absence  of  efficient  control,  more  than  paid  for 
the  salaries  and  other  expenses  of  maintaining  a  traffic  de- 
partment. No  office  manager,  shipping  or  receiving  clerk 
can,  in  addition  to  his  regular  duties,  give  the  necessary  time 
and  study  to  keep  him  always  informed  of  many  changes  and 
variations  in  traffic  conditions. 

Traffic  management  is  now  as  much  a  distinct  branch  of 
business  organization  as  any  specialized  commercial  activity, 



and  practically  every  concern  of  any  size  finds  it  greatly  to 
its  advantage  to  establish  a  department  of  this  kind. 

Service  of  Traffic  Department 

Railroad  clerks  cannot  be  expected  to  quote  rates  on  all 
sorts  of  articles,  shipped  to  points  distributed  over  the  whole 
country,  without  making  mistakes;  nor  have  they  the  time  to 
search  for  the  best  routing.  Should  they  attempt  to  do  the 
routing  and  classifying  for  each  shipper,  delay  and  confusion 
would  result.  On  the  other  hand,  traffic  departments,  by  con- 
centrating on  the  comparatively  limited  number  of  products 
shipped  by  their  concern,  to  such  points  only  as  are  covered 
by  the  location  of  its  customers  or  its  source  of  supply,  have 
a  much  better  opportunity  for  looking  up  the  best  rates  and 
ascertaining  the  most  economical  methods  of  shipping  goods. 

The  item  of  transportation  is  often  an  important  factor  in 
the  cost  of  goods,  and  competition  in  many  industries  makes 
necessary  a  close  watch  on  its  costs.  Then  again,  service  is 
usually  a  strong  selling  argument,  and  delayed  shipments, 
through  poor  routing  and  follow-up,  are  frequently  a  cause  of 
loss  of  trade.  IVIany  large  concerns  selling  to  retailers  have 
to  protect  their  customers  against  excessive  railroad  charges, 
even  when  the  goods  are  sold  f.  o.  b.  the  point  of  origin.  Thus 
the  service  of  the  traffic  department  is  not  limited  to  the  han- 
dling of  railroad  claims  for  its  own  concern,  but  it  often  is 
called  on  to  perform  the  same  function  for  the  customers  of 
the  business. 

Relation  to  Other  Departments 

\\'here  a  traffic  department  exists,  the  shipping  clerk  leaves 
all  matters  requiring  specialized  knowledge  and  judgment  to 
be  settled  by  the  department  and  simply  follows  instructions 
covering  the  handling  of  goods.  For  instance,  when  he  re- 
ceives a  consignment,  he  marks  it  as  designated  on  the  ship- 



ping  ticket,  and  routes  it  in  accordance  with  the  pohcies  and 
rules  indicated  thereon.  He  expects  to  be  furnished  with  ade- 
quate instructions  regarding  the  loading  of  car  shipments,  etc., 
from  the  traffic  department  and  he  works  accordingly.  The 
receiving  clerk's  functions  are  based  on  the  same  authority. 
All  movement  of  goods  outside  of  the  building  is  planned  and 
carried  out  solely  by  the  traffic  department. 

The  sales  department  is  interested  in  the  cost  of  transpor- 
tation for  the  purpose  of  price-fixing  and  for  making  quota- 
tions. It  must  also  know  the  time  required  to  move  goods 
to  certain  districts,  so  as  to  advise  customers  when  necessary, 
and  thus  enable  them  to  foresee  their  requirements  and  pre- 
vent shortages  in  case  of  lost  or  delayed  shipments. 

If  a  concern  sells  a  product  f.  o.  b.  destination,  prices  must 
be  based  upon  transportation  costs,  and  territories  laid  out 
accordingly.  If  the  goods  are  sold  f.  o.  b.  factory,  the  ship- 
ment must  be  correctly  described,  routed,  and  billed  so  as  to 
prevent  overcharging  the  customer.  Some  concerns  allow 
freight  on  the  basis  of  the  lowest  rate,  charging  the  difference 
to  the  customer  if  a  routing  is  selected  which  necessitates 
higher  rates  or  if  quick  delivery  is  desired.  In  the  latter  case 
the  customer,  as  a  rule,  pays  the  difference  between  freight 
and  express.  Often  a  light  shipment  can  be  sent  by  express 
at  a  very  slight  advance  in  cost  over  freight  with  of  course 
a  considerable  gain  in  time.  Thus  it  is  the  duty  of  the  traffic 
department  to  know  when  the  weight  of  a  shipment  makes  ex- 
press advantageous. 

The  purchasing  department  in  considering  quotations  must 
investigate  rates  and  the  length  of  time  it  takes  to  move  goods 
before  placing  an  order.  This  means  frequent  consultations 
with  the  traffic  department. 

There  are  many  occasions  when  some  special  need  de- 
mands the  quick  movement  of  freight,  and  the  average  pur- 
chasing agent  does  not  have  the  special  knowledge  required 


to  handle  such  matters.  If  goods  are  bought  f.  o.  b.  point  of 
origin,  shipping  instructions  should  be  given.  Badly  routed 
over  a  long  distance,  the  freight  charges  on  a  raw  product  or 
on  inexpensive  materials  may  equal  or  even  exceed  the  cost 
of  goods. 

Functions  of  the  Traffic  Department 

The  functions  of  the  traffic  department  revolve  around 
the  orders  taken  by  the  sales  department  or  issued  by  the 
purchasing  department.  These  are  respectively  referred  to  as 
"outbound"  or  "inbound"  shipments.  In  general  the  duties 
of  the  department  may  be  concisely  stated  as  follows : 

1.  To  gather  and  maintain  data  files  relative  to  shipping 

conditions  which  afifect  the  business. 

2.  To  secure  the  lowest  rates  and  best  service. 

3.  To  prevent  shipments  being  delayed  in  transit. 

4.  To  verify  and  check  all  transportation  expense  bills. 

5.  To  file  all  necessary  shipping  claims  and  look  after 


The  traffic  manager  must  know  how  to  determine  the  legal 
charges  on  shipments,  to  ascertain  the  reasonableness  of  these 
charges,  to  dispatch  goods  to  their  destination  via  the  quickest 
routes,  to  reduce  losses  and  damages  to  a  minimum,  to  organ- 
ize and  manage  his  own  department  economically,  and  finally 
he  must  oftentimes  study  rates  and  their  adjustment  with  a 
view  to  aiding  the  development  of  business  in  highly  competi- 
tive territories. 

The  complexity  of  detail  involved  in  the  work  of  a  traffic 
department  may  be  realized  by  the  following  facts  concerning 
a  large  mail-order  house. 

This  particular  concern  obtains  goods  from  manufacturers 
in  over  2,000  towns  and  ships  goods  by  freight  to  a  list  of 
customers    distributed    over    12,000    towns.      The    work  is 



further  complicated  since  not  all  outgoing  shipments  are 
made  from  one  place,  but  originate  from  more  than  1,000  fac- 
tories. In  order  properly  to  check  and  quote  rates  on  all  these 
shipments,  the  traffic  department  maintains  a  tariff  file  of  over 
4,000  separate  issues. 

Filing  and  Classification  of  Tariffs  and  Tariff  Data 

A  careful,  and  withal  simple,  method  of  filing  tariffs  and 
other  traffic  information  is  essential.  This  should  be  kept  up 
to  date  so  that  dependable  information  as  to  rates  is  at  hand 
and  correct  instructions  for  packing,  description,  and  routing 
may  be  promptly  given.  Because  of  the  great  number  issued, 
it  is  neither  necessary  nor  practicable  to  file  all  tariffs.  A 
file  covering  the  shipping  points  likely  to  be  used  is  generally 
sufficient  for  most  businesses. 

Inexpensive  elastic  binders  should  be  used  for  the  various 
tariffs,  so  that  they  can  be  inserted  and  removed  with  ease 
and  rapidity.  Each  binder  should  have  a  label  showing  the 
shelf  number  where  it  is  to  be  filed  and  the  tariff  it  contains. 

Tariffs  may  be  conveniently  classified  into  two  groups  as 
follows : 

1.  Tariffs  issued  by  railroads. 

2.  Tariffs    issued    by    agents,    associations,    and    com- 


These  two  groups  may  be  subdivided  into : 

1.  Classifications. 

2.  Exceptions  to  classifications. 

3.  Tariffs  giving  rates. 

4.  Switching  and  switching  absorption. 

5.  Special  privilege  tariffs,  such  as  milling  in  transit. 

storing  in  transit,  reconsigning,  etc. 

6.  Miscellaneous,  such  as  weighing,  refrigerating. 

7.  Demurrage  rules. 



8.  Territorial  directories. 

9.  Station  lists. 

The  two  main  groups  may  be  given  a  separate  and  dis- 
tinct file  and  arranged  alphabetically  according  to  agent  or 

Card  Index  File  of  Traffic  Data 

If  shipments  are  to  be  made  frequently  to  the  same  custom- 
ers, and  especially  if  combination  rates  have  to  be  figured,  a 
card  index  file  will  be  found  a  labor-saving  device.  This  file  is 
not  supposed  to  do  away  with  the  ordinary  tariff  file,  but  is 
simply  a  convenient  transcript  of  the  information  in  constant 
demand.  It  will  prevent  waste  of  time  in  doing  the  same  thing 
over  and  over  again  and  cut  dow^n  the  time  required  in  figur- 
ing combination  rates  and  in  hunting  up  authorities.  When 
the  freight  bills  are  to  be  checked  expert  knowledge  will  not  be 
required  as  an  ordinary  clerk  can  do  it  with  the  aid  of  this 
file.  . 

The  cards  should  show  the  rates,  how  the  shipment  is 
made  up,  the  authority,  the  routes  via  which  the  shipment  is 
made,  and  so  on.  To  keep  the  file  up  to  date,  it  is  only  neces- 
sary to  scan  the  tariffs  as  they  come  in,  for  changes  which 
affect  these  rates.  As  shipments  are  often  received  from  the 
same  firms,  similar  methods  can  be  followed  with  the  inbound 

Composition  of  Freight  Rates 

Freight  rates  are  not  all  printed  in  one  book  where  any 
rate  can  be  found  from  "anywhere  to  anywhere,"  but  each 
railroad  publishes  a  number  of  so-called  tariffs  which  apply, 
usually,  to  their  own  lines  only,  or  perhaps  to  some  points  on 
a  few  other  lines.  There  are  also  "joint  issues''  published  by 
several  lines  which  amalgamate  and  give  composite  rates  to 


and  from  and  between  points  on  each  other's  roads.  In  using 
the  various  tariffs  there  are  three  main  features  to  be  taken 
into  consideration : 

1.  Description,    which    includes    class    or    commodity 

name,  material  composing  article,  purpose  or  use 
of  article  (finis'hed,  unfinished,  raw,  damaged,  or 
scrap),  tariff  classification  and  value  of  article. 

2.  Size  and  weight,  which  includes  method  of  packing, 


3.  Point  of  destination,  such  as  points  within  the  same 

state,  interstate  shipments,  same  classification  terri- 
tory, another  classification  territory,  etc. 

Each  of  these  points  requires  separate  discussion.  With 
regard  to  the  first,  the  railroads  charge  the  highest  rate  that 
the  description  given  to  them  on  the  bill  of  lading  warrants. 
A  mixed  shipment  will  take  the  rate  of  the  article  in  the  ship- 
ment carrying  the  highest  rate.  If  the  description  on  the  bill 
of  lading  is  vague  and  in  general  terms,  the  railroad  clerk 
applies  the  highest  rate  permissible  The  traffic  manager 
who  knows  his  business  can  so  describe  the  article  as  to  obtain 
a  lower  rate  because  of  some  specific  designation.  This  must 
be  done,  however,  without  misrepresenting  the  goods.  Often 
a  shipment  can  be  so  divided  that  a  fractional  part  goes  by  a 
higher  rate,  the  main  shipment  taking  a  lower  rate;  whereas 
if  it  were  sent  as  one  shipment  under  a  general  term,  the 
higher  rate  would  be  applied  to  the  whole  shipment. 

The  second  consideration  of  size,  weight,  and  packing,  is 
best  illustrated  by  the  car-load  minimum.  Thus,  in  one  classi- 
fication a  certain  liquid  in  carboys,  boxed,  has  a  car-load 
minimum  of  24,000  lbs.,  and  takes  the  fifth  class.  If  shipped 
in  barrels  or  in  iron  drums,  the  car-load  minimum  is  36,000 
lbs.  The  same  commodity,  when  shipped  in  less  than  car- 
load lots,  takes  a  lower  rate,  viz.,  third  class.     Shipments  set 


up  or  knocked  down,  crated  or  boxed,  nested  or  unnested,  take 
a  different  rate  according  to  method  of  packing. 

The  third  consideration,  which  influences  rates,  is  the 
point  of  destination.  Mileage  is  not  always  the  criterion. 
Competition  between  railroads  or  with  water  transportation 
often  makes  the  longer  distance  sometimes  cheaper.  Thus, 
the  rate  to  San  Francisco  from  New  York  is  lower  than  to 
a  point  100  miles  inland,  although  the  train  that  carries  the 
freight  to  San  Francisco  stops  at  this  point  on  the  way  there. 
Then  again,  many  shipments  originate  in  one  classification 
territory  and  end  in  another,  with  the  consequence  that  they 
are  subject  to  different  rates  if  not  described  with  a  view  of 
obtaining  the  lowest  rate  in  both  classifications.  Thus,  a 
shipment  of  tissue  wrapping  paper  from  Albany,  N.  Y.,  to 
Des  Aloines,  Iowa,  is  subject  to  the  official  classification  up  to 
the  Alississippi  River,  but  takes  the  Western  classification 
beyond.  If  it  should  be  billed  as  "tissue  paper,"  it  will  take 
the  third-class  rate  to  the  Mississippi  River  but  the  second- 
class  beyond.  However,  if  the  description  on  the  bill  of  lad- 
ing reads  "tissue  wrapping  paper,"  it  will  be  carried  the  entire 
distance  at  the  third-class  rate. 

Packing  and  Marking 

Perhaps  the  rules  that  are  posted  in  the  shipping  room  of 
one  concern  cover  the  principal  cautions  that  should  be  taken 
in  preparing  goods  for  shipment. 

1.  Pack  and  prepare  your  shipments  so  that  the  probabili- 
ties, not  the  possibilities,  are  that  the  contents  will  arrive  at 
destination  in  good  order. 

2.  Pack  freight  as  though  you  were  shipping  it  to  your- 
self and  needed  to  use  the  contents  just  as  soon  as  the  con- 
tainer reached  destination.  Poor  containers  are  a  big  factor 
in  loss  and  damage. 

3.  Mark  the  package  plainly.     Two  tags  are  better  than 


one,  but  one  securely  fastened  tag  is  better  than  two  insecurely 

4.  Remove  all  old  marks  on  the  package.  Many  ship- 
ments go  astray  because  of  improper  markings,  causing  con- 
fusion, delay,  and  inconvenience  to  the  railroad,  the  shipper, 
and  the  consignee. 

5.  Deliver  freight  before  the  rush  hours,  wherever  pos- 
sible, so  that  a  better  opportunity  of  checking  up  the  marking 
may  be  provided.  The  railroad  receives  most  of  its  package 
freight  during  the  afternoon,  especially  during  the  last  one 
or  two  hours  before  closing  time.  If  the  marking  does  not 
agree  with  the  shipping  papers,  there  is  great  risk  that  the 
errors  may  not  be  detected  during  the  rush  hours.  Even  if 
the  error  is  detected  l>efore  the  shipment  moves,  a  whole  day 
may  be  lost — often  an  important  matter. 

6.  When  classifications  are  received,  study  them  care- 
fully. The  same  articles  do  not  always  take  the  same  classifi- 
cation. Certain  articles  are  placed  in  a  lower  class  if  boxed 
than  they  are  if  crated.  The  difference  in  packing  cost  is 
frequently  much  more  than  offset  by  the  saving  resulting  from 
lower  freight  rates. 

7.  The  classification  is  also  sometimes  determined  by  the 
manner  in  .which  the  goods  are  described.  Select  the  descrip- 
tion that  will  insure  the  most  favorable  rates. 

Notice  of  Arrival,  Freight  Bill,  and  Delivery  Receipt 

These  papers  are  in  most  cases  made  out  at  one  writing 
by  the  railroad  agent  as  soon  as  freight  is  received  at  the 
station.  Each  contains  a  record  of  the  way-bill  which  accom- 
panies the  freight,  a  description  of  the  shipment,  and  a  state- 
ment of  the  amount  of  the  charges.  The  first  paper  sent  out 
is  the  notice.  The  cartman,  or  receiving  clerk,  signs  the  de- 
livery receipt  when  the  goods  are  received.  The  freight  bill 
is  either  presented  to  be  paid  when  the  goods  are  delivered  or 


else  sent  to  the  firm  in  accordance  with  arrangements  already 

Handling  Bills  of  Lading 

The  bill  of  lading  is  both  a  contract  between  the  railroad 
and  the  shipper,  and  a  receipt  which  is  signed  by  the  freight 
agent  and  the  shipper,  or  his  representative.  It  is  usually 
provided  by  the  railroad,  but  large  shippers  often  present 
their  own  bills  of  lading  for  the  signature  of  the  agent. 

Bills  of  lading  are  of  two  kinds,  namely,  the  "straight"' 
and  the  "order."  The  order  bill  of  lading  is  negotiable  and 
is  drawn  to  the  shipper's  order.  This  prevents  the  railroad 
from  delivering  the  goods  to  the  consignee  until  it  is  properly 
indorsed  and  the  consignee  has  paid  for  the  goods  or  made 
other  satisfactory  arrangements  with  the  bank  through  which 
the  papers  are  passed.  The  order  bill  of  lading  is  made  out  in 
triplicate,  consisting  of  an  "original,"  a  "memorandum''  copy, 
and  a  "shipping  order."'  The  latter  is  retained  by  the  freight 
agent.  To  avoid  errors  the  original  or  negotiable  copy  is 
issued  on  yellow  paper  and  the  memorandum  and  shipping 
order  copies  are  issued  on  blue, paper. 

The  straight  bill  of  lading  is  not  negotiable  and  is  made 
out  to  the  name  of  the  consignee.  All  the  copies  are  printed 
on  white  paper.  Both  kinds  of  bills  give  the  number  of  pack- 
ages, description  of  the  goods,  the  weight,  freight  rates, 
charges  to  be  collected,  advances  made,  amount  prepaid,  name 
of  consignee  and  destination,  name  of  shipper,  shipping  point, 
route,  car  number,  and  signature  of  freight  agent.  Both  are 
similarly  printed  on  the  back,  that  is,  the  contract  provisions 
are  the  same.  The  form  of  a  straight  bill  of  lading  is  shown 
in  Figure  48. 

In  making  out  bills  of  lading  proper  instructions  should 
be  given,  regarding  the  showing  of  shippers  and  consignee"s 
name  in  full;  in  general  they  should  be  executed  with  the 



Pennsylvania  Railroad  Company 


Shipper^  No. 

Agents  Wo. 

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Clmrgea  Advanced : 


Figure  48   (a).     Straight  Bill  of  Lading  (face) 

This  bill  of  lading  is  made  out  to  the  name  of  the  consignee  and  is  not  negotiable. 
See  following  pages  for  contract  provisions  printed  on  back. 




Sec.  I.  The  carrier  or  party  in  possession  of  any  of  the  property  herein  de- 
scribed shall  be  liable  for  any  loss  thereof  or  damage  thereto,  except  as  hereinafter 

No  carrier  or  party  in  possession  of  any  of  the  property  herein  described  shall 
be  liable  for  any  loss  thereof  or  damage  thereto  or  delay  caused  by  the  act  of 
God,  the  public  enemy,  quarantnie,  the  authority  of  law,  or  the  act  or  default  of 
the  shipper  or  owner,  or  for  differences  in  the  weights  of  grain,  seed,  or  other 
commodities  caused  by  natural  shrinkage  or  discrepancies  in  elevator  weights.  .  For 
loss,  damage,  or  delay  caused  by  fire  occurring  after  forty-eight  hours  (exclusive  of 
legal  holidays)  after  notice  of  the  arrival  of  the  property  at  destination  or  at  port 
of  export  (if  intended  for  export)  has  been  duly  sent  or  given,  the  carrier's  lia- 
bility shall  be  that  of  warehouseman  only.  Except  in  case  of  negligence  of  the 
carrier  or  party  in  possession  (and  the  burden  to  prove  freedom  from  such  negli- 
gence shall  be  on  the  carrier  or  party  in  possession),  the  carrier  or  party  in 
possession  shall  not  be  liable  for  loss,  damage,  or  delay  occurring  while  the  prop- 
erty is  stopped  and  held  in  transit  upon  request  of  the  shipper,  owner,  or  party 
entitled  to  make  such  request;  or  resulting  from  a  defect  or  vice  in  the  property 
or  from  riots  or  strikes.  When  in  accordance  with  general  custom,  on  account  of 
the  nature  of  the  property,  or  when  at  the  request  of  the  shipper  the  property  is 
transported  in  open  cars,  the  carrier  or  part}'  in  possession  (except  in  case  of  loss 
or  damage  by  fire,  in  which  case  the  liability  shall  be  the  same  as  though  the 
property  had  been  carried  in  closed  cars)  shall  be  liable  onfy  for  negligence,  and 
the  burden  to  prove  freedom  from  such  negligence  shall  be  on  the  carrier  or  party 
in  possession. 

Sec.  2.  In  issuing  this  bill  of  lading  this  company  agrees  to  transport  only  over 
its  own  line,  and  except  as  otherwise  provided  by  law  acts  only  as  agent  with 
respect  to  the  portion   of   the  route   beyond   its  own   line. 

Xo  carrier  shall  be  liable  for  loss,  damage,  or  injury  not  occurring  on  its  own 
road  or  its  portion  of  the  through  route,  nor  after  said  property  has  been  delivered 
to  the  next  carrier,  except  as  such  liability  is  or  may  be  imposed  by  law,  but 
nothing  contained  in  this  bill  of  lading  shall  be  deemed  to  exempt  the  initial  car- 
rier from  any   such  liability  so   imposed. 

Sec.  3.  No  carrier  is  bound  to  transport  said  property  by  any  particular  train 
or  vessel,  or  in  time  for  any  particular  market  or  otherwise  than  with  reasonable 
dispatch,  unless  by  specific  agreement  indorsed  hereon.  Every  carrier  shall  have 
the  right  in  case  of  physical  necessity  to  forward  said  property  by  any  railroad  or 
route  between  the  point  of  shipment  and  the  point  of  destination;  but  if  such 
diversion  shall  be  from  a  rail  to  a  water  route  the  liability  of  the  carrier  shall  be 
the  same  as  though  the  entire  carriage  were  by  rail. 

The  amount  of  any  loss  or  damage  for  which  any  carrier  is  liable  shall  be  com- 
puted on  the  basis  of  the  value  of  the  property  (being  the  bona-fide  invoice  price, 
if  any,  to  the  consignee,  including  the  freight  charges,  if  prepaid)  at  the  place 
and  time  of  shipment  under  this  bill  of  lading,  unless  a  lower  value  has  been  rep- 
resented in  writing  by  the  shipper  or  has  been  agreed  upon  or  is  determined  by  the 
classification  or  tariffs  upon  which  the  rate  is  based,  in  any  of  which  events  such 
lower  value  shall  be  the  maximum  amount  to  govern  such  computation,  whether 
or  not  such  loss  or  damage   occurs  from  negligence. 

Claims  for  loss,  damage,  or  delay  must  be  made  in  writing  to  the  carrier  at  the 
point  of  delivery  or  at  the  point  of  origin  within  four  months  after  delivery  of  the 
property,  or.  in  case  of  failure  to  make  delivery,  then  within  four  months  after  a 
reasonable  time  for  delivery  has  elapsed.  Unless  claims  are  so  made  the  carrier 
shall   not  be  liable. 

Any  carrier  or  party  liable  on  account  of  loss  of  or  damage  to  any  of  said 
property  shall  have  the  full  benefit  of  any  insurance  that  may  have  been  effected 
upon  or  on  account  of  said  property,  so  far  as  this  shall  not  avoid  the  policies  or 
contracts   of  insurance. 

Sec.  4.  All  property  shall  be  subject  to  necessary  cooperage  and  baling  at 
owner's  cost.  Each  carrier  over  whose  route  cotton  is  to  be  transported  hereunder 
shall  have  the  privilege,  at  its  own  cost  and  risk,  of  compressing  the  same  for 
greater   convenience   in   handling   or   forwarding,   and   shall   not  be   held   responsible 

Figure  48  (b).     Straight  Bill  of  Lading   (reverse) 



for  deviation  or  unavoidable  delays  in  procuring  such  compression.  Grain  in  bulk 
consigned  to  a  point  where  there  is  a  railroad,  public,  or  licensed  elevator,  may 
(unless  otherwise  expressly  noted  herein,  and  ilici.  it  it  is  not  promptly  unloaded) 
be  there  delivered  and  placed  with  other  grain  ol  the  same  kind  and  grade  without 
respect  to  ownership,  and  if  so  delivered  shall  be  subject  to  a  lien  for  elevator 
charges   in   addition   to   all   other   charges   hereunder. 

Sec.  S-  Property  not  removed  by  the  party  entitled  to  receive  it  within  forty- 
eight  hours  (exclusive  of  legal  holidays;  after  notice  of  its  arrival  has  been  duly 
sent  or  given  may  be  kept  in  car,  depot,  or  place  ot  delivery  of  the  carrier,  or 
warehouse,  subject  to  a  reasonable  charge  for  storage  and  to  carrier's  responsibility 
as  warehouseman  only,  or  may  be,  at  the  option  of  the  carr:er,  removed  to  and 
storecf  ini^a  public  or  licensed  warehouse  at  the  cost  of  the  owner  and  there  held 
at  the  owner's  risk  and  without  liability  on  the  part  of  the  carrier,  and  subject 
to  a  lien  for  all  freight  and  other  lawful  charges,  including  a  reasonable  charge 
for  storage. 

The  carrier  may  fnake  a  reasonable  charge  for  the  detention  of  any  vessel  or  car, 
or  for  the  use  of  tracks  after  the  car  has  been  held  forty-eight  hours  (exclusive  of 
legal  holidays),  for  loading  or  unloading,  and  may  add  such  charge  to  all  other 
charges  hereunder  and  held  such  property  subject  to  a  lien  therefor.  Nothing  in 
this  section  shall  be  construed  as  lessening  the  time  allowed  by  law  or  as  setting 
aside  any  local   rule  affecting  car  service  or  storage. 

Property  destined  to  or  taken  from  a  station,  wharf,  or  landing  at  which  there 
is  no  regularly  appointed  agent  shall  be  entirely  at  of  owner  after  unloaded 
from  cars  or  vessels  or  until  loaded  into  cars  or  vessels,  and  when  received  from 
or  delivered  on  private  or  other  sidings,  wharves,  or  landings  shall  be  at  owner's 
risk  until  the  cars  are  attached  to  and  after  they  are  detached  from  trains. 

Sec.  6.  No  carrier  will  carry  or  be  liable  in  any  way  for  any  documents,  specie, 
or  for  any  articles  of  extraordinary  value  not  specilically  rated  in  the  published 
classification  or  tariffs,  unless  a  special  agreement  to  do  so  and  a  stipulated  value 
of  the  articles  are  indorsed  hereon. 

Sec.  7.  Every  party,  whether  principal  or  agent,  shipping  explosive  or  dangerous 
goods,  without  previous  full  written  disclosure  to  the  carrier  of  their  nature,  shall 
be  liable  for  all  loss  or  damage  caused  thereby,  and  such  goods  may  be  warehoused 
at  owner's  r^sk  and  expense  or   destroyed  without  ci-mpensation. 

Sec.  8.  The  owner  or  consignee  shall  pay  the  freight  and  all  other  lawful 
charges  accruing  011  said  property,  and,  if  required,  shall  pay  the  same  before 
delivery.  If  upon  inspection  it  is  ascertained  that  the  articles  shipped  are  not  those 
described  in  this  bill  of  lading,  the  freight  charges  must  be  paid  upon  the  articles 
actually  shipped. 

Sec.  9.  Except  in  case  of  diversion  from  rail  to  water  route,  which  is  provided 
for  in  section  3  hereof,  if  all  or  any  part  of  said  property  is  carried  by  water 
over  any  part  of  said  route,  such  water  carriage  shall  be  performed  subject  to  the 
liabilities,  limitations,  and  exemptions  provided  by  statute  and  to  the  conditions 
contained  in  this  bill  of  lading  not  inconsistent  with  such  statutes  or  this  section, 
and  subject  also  to  the  condition  that  no  carrier  or  party  in  possession  shall  be 
liable  for  any  loss  or  damage  resulting  from  the  perils  of  the  lakes,  sea,  or  other 
waters;  or  from  explosion,  bursting  of  boilers,  breakage  of  shafts,  or  any  latent 
defect  in  hull,  machinery,  or  appurtenances;  or  from  collision,  stranding,  or  other 
accidents  of  navigation,  or  from  prolongation  of  the  voyage.  And  any  vessel  carry- 
ing any  or  all  of  the  property  herein  described  shall  have  the  liberty  to  call  at 
intermediate  ports,  to  tow  and  be  towed,  and  assist  vessels  in  distress,  and  to 
deviate   for   the  purpose   of   saving   life   or   property. 

The  term  "water  carriage"  in  this  section  shall  not  be  construed  as  including 
lighterage  across  rivers  or  in  lake  or  other  harbors,  and  the  liability  for  such 
lighterage  shall  be  governed  by   the  other  sections  of   this   instrument. 

If  the  property  is  being  carried  under  a  tariff  which  provides  that  any  carrier 
or  carriers  party  thereto  shall  be  liable  for  loss  from  perils  of  the  sea.  then  as  to 
such  carrier  or  carriers  the  provisions  of  this  section  shall  be  modified  in  accord- 
ance with  the  provisions  of  the  tariff,  which  shall  be  treated  as  incorporated  into 
the  conditions   of  this   bill  of  lading. 

.Sec.  10.  Any  alteration,  addition  or  erasure  in  this  bill  of  lading  which  shall  be 
made  without  an  indorsement  thereof  hereon,  signed  by  the  agent  of  the  carrier 
issuing  this  bill  of  lading,  shall  be  without  effect,  and  this  bill  of  lading  shall  be 
enforceable  according  to  its  original  tenor. 

Figure  48  (b).     Straight  Bill  of  Lading  (reverse) — Continued 



same  care  as  the  marking  of  the  packages — in  fact,  it  is  im- 
portant that  the  markings  be  compared  with  the  bill  of  lading. 
Another  thing  to  remember  is  to  date  them  the  same  date  that 
the  goods  are  delivered  to  the  railroad  company.  It  is  con- 
sidered good  practice  to  put  the  full  routing  on  the  bill  of  lad- 
ing. The  freight  should  be  described  fully,  accurately,  and 
by  terms  shown  in  the  tariff  classifications  and  actual  gross 
weight  should  always  be  given. 

Tracing  Freight 

In  order  to  trace  freight  successfully  it  is  important  to 
know  railroad  geography  and  to  keep  in  close  touch  with  con- 
ditions on  the  railroads.  There  may  be  washouts  and  labor 
troubles,  or  through  some  accident  the  freight  may  be  con- 
gested at  one  point.  It  is  important  to  know  the  package  car 
service,  the  schedules  maintained  under  normal  conditions, 
and  where  the  package  cars  break  bulk. 

No  tracer  should  be  started  until  goods  have  had  ample 
time  to  reach  their  destination.  When  sending  out  the  tracer 
all  available  data  should  be  given  the  railroad  and  the  data 
should  be  accurate.  In  a  large  city  where  two  or  more  rail- 
roads enter,  the  shipper  should  find  out  if  the  customer  has 
called  at  the  proper  railroad  depot. 

Often  it  is  not  sufficient  simply  to  request  the  railroad  to 
trace,  as  this  generally  means  the  loss  of  several  days,  espe- 
cially if  the  railroad  clerks  are  already  overburdened  with 
similar  requests.  It  is  better  for  the  shipper  to  do  his  own 
tracing.  Thus,  for  a  shipment  of  less  than  a  car-load,  it  is 
necessary  first  to  get  the  billing  reference  and  the  car  into 
which  the  goods  were  loaded.  This  information  may  be  ob- 
tained from  the  bill  clerk  at  the  station  where  the  freight  was 
delivered.  The  next  step  is  to  obtain  from  the  yard  depart- 
ment their  forwarding  reference  of  the  car  in  question,  i.e., 
the  train  to  which  the  car  was  attached.     The  procedure  at 


this  point  is  to  wire  or  write  to  the  agent  at  the  next  junction, 
giving  all  necessary  information.  The  agent,  with  complete 
data  at  hand,  can  tell  at  once  whether  the  shipment  in  question 
has  been  handled  at  his  station.  If  requested  to,  the  station 
agent  will  wire  or  write  the  information  that  he  may  possess. 
In  this  way  the  traffic  department  will  at  all  times  be 
thoroughly  acquainted  with  the  progress  and  handling  of  the 
shipment  and  the  shipper  can  give  definite  information  to  the 
customer.  This  kind  of  tracing  serves  as  a  check  on  the  rail- 
road service,  revealing  whether  or  not  the  railroad  is  keeping 
up  its  package  car  schedules  as  published. 

Auditing  Transportation  Expense  Bills 

It  is  the  duty  of  the  traffic  department  to  check  the  freight 
bills  presented  by  the  railroads  and  other  transportation  com- 
panies. Sometimes  the  various  items  have  to  be  checked  after 
the  bill  has  been  paid,  because  the  carrier  requires  payment 
before  goods  are  delivered.  However,  a  concern  large 
enough  to  have  a  traffic  department  usually  enjoys  sufficiently 
good  credit  to  be  permitted  to  settle  by  check  once  a  week. 
In  this  case  there  is  some  opportunity  of  verifying  the  bill  be- 
fore it  is  paid. 

In  checking  traffic  bills,  the  items  to  be  considered  are 
weight — whether  it  agrees  with  the  shipping  ticket,  or  the  bill 
of  lading,  as  the  case  may  be — the  rate  applied,  and  the  ex- 
tension of  the  figures.  In  the  case  of  express  charges  the 
procedure  generally  is  to  have  the  receiving  clerk,  or  the  stores 
department,  keep  some  kind  of  record  or  file  against  which 
the  monthly  statements  from  the  express  companies  may  be 
checked.  In  the  case  of  outgoing  prepaid  shipments,  some 
provision  is  made  to  provide  a  ready  reference  to  records,  as 
to  the  date  of  dispatch  and  the  charges  applying.  Other 
charges  to  be  checked  often  are  demurrage  charges  and 
lighterage  charges  which  are  presented  on  separate  bills. 



Sometimes  the  traffic  department  is  responsible  for  seeing 
that  freight  on  goods  bought  f.  o.  b.  factory  is  deducted  from 
the  invoice  or  charged  back. 

Stoppage  in  Transitu 

Sometimes  the  traffic  department  is  called  upon  to  exer- 
cise what  is  called  "stoppage  in  transitu."  This  is  done  at 
the  request  of  the  credit  department,  when  goods  are  sold  on 
credit  and  it  is  discovered  that  the  buyer  is  a  poor  risk.  The 
traffic  department  in  this  case  orders  the  railroad  company 
not  to  make  delivery,  provided  the  goods  are  on  the  way  or 
still  held  at  the  consignee's  station. 

Handling  of  Claims 

When  handling  claims  they  should  be  supported  with  clear 
evidence  as  to  the  responsibility  of  the  transportation  com- 
pany, and,  generally  speaking,  they  should  be  filed  within  six 
months  of  shipment. 

Claims  are  of  two  kinds :  ( i )  loss  and  damage  claims, 
and  (2)  overcharge  claims.  Some  firms  use  a  printed  form 
of  full  letter  size,  suitable  for  both  classes  of  claims.  The 
forms  are  printed  in  two  colors  and  put  up  in  pads.  A  white 
sheet — the  original — is  attached  to  the  claim,  and  the  yellow 
sheet  is  placed  in  the  files  with  the  carbon  copy  of  the  letter 
transmitting  the  claim.  Often  the  pads  are  in  triplicate  so 
that  the  accounting  department  may  have  one  copy  for  refer- 
ence. All  correspondence  and  documents  in  connection  with 
a  claim  should  be  filed  in  a  separate  folder  printed  in  such  a 
manner  as  to  indicate  the  claim  to  which  it  refers,  that  is, 
allowing  space  for  claim  number  and  other  particulars.  These 
folders  are  kept  for  years  for  possible  reference. 

The  Freight  Claim  Association  has  recommended  that 
separate  forms  be  used  for  the  two  classes  of  claims  and  for 
this  purpose  it  has  designed  two  standard  forms. 



The  documents  to  be  used  for  total  loss  claims  follow: 

1.  Itemized  bill  against  the  carrier. 

2.  Original  bill  of  lading  or,  if  not  obtainable,  a  certified 

duplicate,  accompanied  by  a  statement  as  to  why 
the  original  bill  cannot  be  surrendered. 

3.  The  original  paid  freight  bill. 

4.  Certified  copy  of  the  invoice. 

5.  An  affidavit  of  non-delivery  of  the  shipment. 

6.  If  the  lost  shipment  has  been  traced  it  is  well  to 

attach  tracing  papers  to  the  claim. 

When  claim  is  entered  for  damage  to  the  goods  and  the 
cartman  receipts  for  them,  as  with  "boxes  broken"  or  "con- 
tents rattling  about  with  every  evidence  of  being  damaged," 
the  claims  are  more  readily  paid,  especially  if  receipted  for  by 
the  railroad  agent  at  the  point  of  origin  as  being  received  in 
good  condition.  Generally,  all  that  is  required  in  this  case  is 
the  first  four  documents  given  in  the  preceding  list.  The 
carrier  may  require,  however,  affidavits  as  to  packing  and 
handling  by  the  cartman,  as  in  the  case  of  concealed  damage 
claims  below. 

Perhaps  the  hardest  claims  to  collect  are  those  entered  for 
concealed  damage,  that  is,  shipments  received  in  apparently 
good  condition  but  the  contents  on  unpacking  found  to  be  in 
a  damaged  condition.  In  this  case  a  number  of  affidavits  will 
be  required  in  addition  to  the  first  four  documents  given  in  the 
list  above,  namely : 

1.  Affidavit  of  the  shipper  showing  that  the  shipment 

was  properly  packed  and  delivered  to  a  stated  cart- 
man for  delivery  to  the  receiving  railroad  agent. 

2.  Affidavit  of  shipper  cartman  showing  that  the  ship- 

ment so  delivered  to  him  was  delivered  by  him 
at  a  stated  time  to  the  railroad  station  in  the  same 
order  and  condition  as  when  received  by  him. 


3.  Written  statement  of  the  consignee  as  to  the  facts 

relating  to  the  discovery  of  tlie  damage  claimed 
and  the  notification  made  to  the  delivering  agent. 

4.  Affidavit  of  the  consignee   showing  that  when  the 

shipment  in  question  was  received  by  him  the  goods 
were  promptly  unpacked  and  that  articles  in  ques- 
tion were  damaged ;  also  a  statement  regarding  out- 
ward condition  of  the  shipment. 

5.  Affidavit  of   consignee's   cartman  showing  that  the 

shipment  in  question  was  received  by  him  at  the  de- 
livery station  at  a  stated  time,  and  was  delivered  by 
him  at  a  stated  time  and  place  in  the  same  condi- 
tion as  when  received  by  him  without  damage. 
This  may  be  supplemented  with  a  statement  as  to 
his  observation  regarding  the  outward  conditions 
of  the  shipment  in  question. 

For  concealed  loss  the  procedure  is  substantially  the  same 
as  above  with  a  change  in  phraseology. 

In  addition  to  the  documents  above  referred  to,  the  car- 
riers have  prepared  a  claimant's  damage  statement  containing 
questions  regarding  the  handling  of  the  shipment.  This  form 
should  be  filled  in  partly  by  the  shipper  and  partly  by  the  con- 

In  the  case  of  claims  for  overcharges  the  following  papers 
are  submitted : 

1.  Original  freight  bill. 

2.  Duplicate  bill  of  lading. 

3.  Reference  to   tariff   authority  if   there   is  an   over- 

charge in  rate. 

4.  Certified  copy  of  invoice  if  an  overcharge  in  weight. 

5.  For  prepaid  shipments,  if  prepaid  charges  are  noted 

on  the  original  bill  of  lading,  this  document  should 
be  submitted. 


To  get  the  best  results  a  follow-up  system  should  be  in- 
stituted. If  claims  are  handled  in  a  spasmodic  manner  it  will 
result  in  laxity  on  the  part  of  the  railroads.  Some  firms 
make  out  a  card  for  each  claim  and  file  it  under  the  name  of 
the  railroad.  At  certain  intervals,  if  the  claims  are  not  paid, 
the  carriers  should  be  written  to  urging  prompt  settlement. 



Need  of  Method  and  System 

Just  as  concerns  differ  in  size,  complexity,  and  policy,  so 
do  they  differ  in  their  methods  of  handling  the  routine  work 
of  departments.  Yet  if  there  is  one  department  more  than 
another,  where  the  work  needs  to  be  standardized  and  car- 
ried out  wath  an  inflexible  purpose,  judiciously  tempered  with 
tact,  it  is  the  credit  and  collections  department.  Lack  of 
proper  system  in  this  sphere  of  office  work  means  loose  reins 
on  a  skittish  horse — ever  ready  to  shy  at  the  least  shadow  of 
an  excuse  for  delay,  or  to  pull  the  lines  of  credit  beyond  tlie 
bounds  of  safe  control.  "Resale  arguments,"  says  E.  H.  Gard- 
ner, "lose  their  power  when  addressed  to  a  man  who  is  think- 
ing' 'You  can't  depend  on  those  people;  half  the  time  they 
send  out  their  bills  late  and  then  jump  on  you  for  being  late 
yourself.'  Plenty  of  customers  willingly  exaggerate  small 
errors,  and  what  is  worse,  claim  them  when  they  do  not  exist, 
but  it  is  hard  to  preach  virtue  when  you  set  a  bad  example." 

Though  the  routine  work  of  the  department  should  be 
standardized  in  all  its  details,  and  its  policy  be  consistently 
carried  out,  yet  this  policy  will  of  course  vary  with  the  char- 
acter of  the  business.  A  house  selling  a  low-priced  specialty 
to  50,000  or  more  jobbers  and  retailers  will  adopt  methods 
very  different  from  a  concern  dealing  in  a  high-priced  article 
going  to  a  selected  list  or  class  of  customers  with  whom  credit 
terms  are  purely  a  matter  of  investment.  The  office  prob- 
lems of  the  two  concerns  will  not  be  the  same.  The  first  may 
have  a  force  of  20  men  and  a  complex  system  of  handling 



accounts,  the  second  may  use  the  time  of  one  clerk  for  only 
part  of  a  day.  Yet  whether  one  man  runs  the  department  or 
20  men  make  up  the  organization,  in  each  case  its  functions 
are  based  on  the  same  principle  and  are  carried  out  by  similar 
routine  methods. 

Functions  of  Credit  and  Collection  Department 

The  functions  of  a  credit  and  collection  department  are 
two  in  number,  viz.,  to  pass  on  demands  for  credit  and  to  fol- 
low up  the  payments.  The  routine  in  carrying  out  these 
functions  may  be  divided  into  nine  distinct  steps  or  methods 
of  procedure,  each  of  which  will  be  briefly  considered. 

1.  The  investigation  of  the  customer's  credit  reliability. 
The  incoming  sales  order  goes  directly  to  the  credit  depart- 
ment for  its  O  K.  Here  the  credit  man  either  passes  it,  holds 
it  for  investigation,  or  refuses  it. 

2.  Second  comes  the  maintenance  of  credit  records.  To 
pass  upon  the  credit  of  a  customer  access  must  be  had  to  re- 
liable sources  of  information.  If  the  customer  is  one  who  has 
previously  dealt  with  the  firm  the  initial  investigation  will 
differ  from  that  made  when  the  customer  is  new  and  un- 
known. In  the  case  of  an  old  customer  the  investigation  leads 
directly  to  the  ledger  records,  which  may  consist  of  the  orig- 
inal ledger  in  the  accounting  department  or  a  transcript  of  the 
same  kept  in  a  separate  file.  In  some  cases  recourse  may  be 
necessary  to  the  credit  information  files  where  agency  reports, 
salesmen's  reports,  letters,  etc.,  are  kept.  These  files  are  also 
the  source  of  information  regarding  a  new  customer's  rating. 
When  the  required  information  is  obtained  it  is  filed  for  future 
reference  in  its  proper  place  among  the  records  of  the 

3.  The  investigation  made  and  passed,  the  next  phase 
of  departmental  activities  begins,  i.e.,  the  follow-up  of  the 
customer  until*  the  account  is  paid.     The  starting  point  here 



is  the  filing  of  a  copy  of  the  invoice  which  is  usually  sent  to 
the  department  for  this  purpose. 

4.  As  payments  are  due,  statements  are  made  out.  This 
requires  the  regular  attention  of  a  collection  clerk  who  refers 
to  the  ledger  or  the  file  containing  ledger  information. 

5.  If  payments  are  not  made  in  accordance  with  the  terms 
of  the  sale,  further  steps,  progressive  in  nature,  must  be  taken 
until  the  account  becomes  normal.  This  requires  an  examina- 
tion of  the  ledgers,  or  the  use  of  a  tickler  file,  by  which  the 
collection  steps  to  be  taken  are  followed  up  at  regular  inter- 

6.  The  sales  department  must  be  kept  informed  regard- 
ing those  customers  who  approach  the  dead  line  of  credit  so 
that  the  necessary  changes  of  terms  in  selling  can  be  made. 
This  requires  that  regular  reports  be  sent  to  the  sales  depart- 
ment on  doubtful  accounts  whereby  the  sales  manager' in  turn 
can  warn  his  men. 

7.  Provision  must  be  made  for  keeping  the  credit  depart- 
ment informed  when  an  account  is  settled  so  that  no  further 
effort  at  collection  need  be  made.  This  requires  the  prompt 
recording  of  payments  in  the  ledger  or  other  form  of  ledger 

8.  Provision  must  also  be  made  to  keep  the  department 
informed  of  those  customers  ■  whose  claims  are  under  con- 
sideration, so  that  the  credit  man  will  not  be  pressing  for  pay- 
ment while  adjustments  are  under  way.  This  requires  close 
co-operation  between,  and  a  common  source  of  information 
for,  both  the  collection  and  claims  departments. 

9.  Special  provision  must  be  made  to  take  care  of  those 
cases  which  fail  to  yield  to  the  ordinary  collection  procedure. 
If  an  attorney  is  to  handle  the  account  this  step  is  not  usually 
taken  until  a  responsible  executive  is  consulted  and  all  the 
facts  which  should  be  considered  in  the  case  are  laid  before 



Influence  of  Modern  Methods  on  Credit  Organization 

The  contact  of  the  credit  department  with  the  customers 
of  a  concern  is  usually  carried  on  at  long  range.  In  retail 
businesses,  however,  provision  must  sometimes  be  made  for 
the  credit  man  or  the  executive  to  have  personal  interviews 
with  customers ;  also  in  Hues  of  businesses  where  credit  infor- 
mation is  frequently  sought  by  credit  reporters  and  others,  a 
special  office  should  be  provided  for  the  use  of  the  credit 
manager  so  as  to  obviate  any  chance  of  interruption.  It  is 
interesting  to  note  that  the  growing  importance  of  the  credit 
department's  outside  relationships  is  changing  the  character 
of  the  organization  in  personnel,  methods,  and  records.  While 
in  many  concerns  it  is  still  thought  advisable  for  the  book- 
keepers to  be  under  the  direction  of  the  credit  manager,  the 
latter  is  expected  to  be  something  more  than  a  good  book- 
keeper of  the  old  time  days  when  "selling  our  goods  on  trust" 
and  "getting  in  the  money"  were  responsibilities  delegated 
to  the  "counting  house."  The  successful  credit  man  of  to- 
day makes  a  thorough  study  of  business  conditions;  he  care- 
fully appraises  the  risks  in  a  given  case  through  the  collection 
and  analysis  of  credit  information;  he  maintains  a  prompt 
collection  service  and  uses  strategy  in  collecting  stubborn 

This  change  in  the  method  of  handling  credit  and  collec- 
tion work  is  clearly  marked  by  the  assignment  of  all  routine 
duties  to  clerks,  leaving  matters  requiring  executive  judgment 
in  the  hands  of  the  credit  manager.  Thus  the  earlier  steps  of 
the  follow-up  are  usually  attended  to  by  subordinates  and,  as 
the  operations  are  of  a  routine  nature,  they  can  be  carried 
out  on  a  rigid  schedule,  making  it  possible  for  groups  of 
accounts  to  be  dealt  with  on  the  precise  date  when  the  term 
of  credit  expires. 

This  separation  of  routine  from  the  function  of  manage- 
ment makes  it  possible  to  treat  the  routine  factors  by  them- 



selves.  A  consideration  of  the  problems  arising  in  the  collec- 
tion of  credit  information,  the  various  criterions  by  which 
judgment  is  given  in  extending  credits,  and  the  development 
of  collection  strateg}',  goes  beyond  the  function  of  office  man- 
agement. For  this  reason  these  branches  of  the  subject  are 
not  discussed  in  this  book. 

Organization  of  Department 

The  organization  of  the  credit  department  may  be  con- 
sidered unden  the  three  heads  of:  (i)  arrangement  and  equip- 
ment, (2)  system,  and  (3)  personnel. 

1.  The  department  should  be  housed  in  close  proximity 
to  the  main  files  so  as  to  afford  easy  and  quick  reference  to 
this  source  of  information.  It  should  also  be  in  convenient 
proximity  to  the  accounting  department.  If  frequent  refer- 
ence to  the  ledgers  interferes  with  the  bookkeeping  work  the 
remedy  is  for  the  department  to  keep  a  transcript  of  records. 
The  filing  equipment  of  the  department  should  include  a 
credit  information  file  and  files  for  invoices  and  correspond- 
ence.    These  will  be  considered  later. 

2.  The  routine  of  the  collection  department  should  be  so 
systematized  as  to  take  care  of,  not  only  the  majority  of 
accounts  which  are  paid  when  due,  but  also  as  many  of  the 
delinquent  accounts  as  possible.  The  use  of  forms,  records, 
and  tickler  files  in  this  connection  will  be  explained  in  other 

3.  The  organization  of  the  personnel  requires  care  in  the 
selection  of  clerks  who  must  be,  above  all,  systematic  and 
accurate.  Initiative  and  originality  are  not  expected  of  them. 
When  a  departure  from  the  customary  procedure  is  advisable, 
the  matter  should  be  brought  to  the  attention  of  the  credit 
manager  and  left  to  his  judgment.  Chapter  XXX  which 
deals  with  the  selection  of  the  right  employee  covers  the  sub- 


The  Ledger  and  the  Ledger  Sheet 

The  court  of  final  appeal  in  the  collection  department  is 
the  ledger  record  of  the  customer's  account.  For  this  reason 
many  credit  men  still  cling  to  the  ledger  to  the  exclusion  of 
almost  all  other  information,  and  insist  that,  if  this  record 
is  accurate  and  up-to-date,  it  provides  all  the  information  re- 
quired to  conduct  a  rational  collection  follow-up.  They  insist 
that  even  "exact  copies"  are  unsatisfactory,  for  mistakes  grow 
in  proportion  with  the  number  of  copies  made.  (Such  an 
attitude,  of  course,  excludes  a  transcript  of  the  ledger  from 
their  system.)  Instead  of  a  customer's  credit  file,  tissue  car- 
bons of  important  information  and  correspondence  are 
attached  to  the  ledger  sheet,  thus  keeping  the  original  and 
supplementary  records  in  one  place  and  avoiding  the  mistakes 
due  to  transcribing  and  the  confusion  of  decentralization. 
However,  all  this  is  a  matter  of  policy  and  methods.  Whether 
the  avoidance  of  mistakes  is  counterbalanced  by  loss  of  time 
on  the  part  of  several  employees  trying  to  consult  the  same 
record  book  at  the  same  time,  and  traveling  from  one  de- 
partment to  another,  only  the  manager  of  the  local  situation 
can  tell. 

"Whether  or  not,"  as  one  authority  says,  "the  ledger  is 
used  as  the  sole  record  of  account,  it  is  the  chief  record." 
Like  the  production  order  in  the  factory  and  the  sales  order 
in  the  store,  the  ledger  record  is  the  basic  factor  in  a  collection 

The  Form  of  the  Ledger  Sheet 

The  form  of  this  record  varies,  but  the  fundamental  in- 
formation and  arrangement  contained  on  any  ledger  sheet 
usually  conforms  to  the  following  description:  The  top  of 
the  sheet  contains  the  data  pertaining  to  the  customer's  credit 
standing,  the  credit  limit  assigned  him,  and  his  agency  ratings. 
Here  also  should  appear  his  "present  balance,"  always  kept 


up  to  date  so  as  to  avoid  the  delay  due  to  deducting  credits 
from  debits  to  find  out  the  customer's  indebtedness  and  its 
relation  to  his  assigned  credit  limit. 

Another  aid  in  gathering  information  quickly  is  the  "star- 
ring" of  the  record,  so  as  to  distinguish  at  a  glance,  good 
payers  from  slow  payers  and  slow  payers  from  bad.  One 
public  utility  company  pastes  a  black  star  at  the  head  of  an 
account  when  experience  shows  that  this  account  needs  to  be 
followed  up  if  it  is  to  be  settled  when  due. 

Ledger  Sheet  Used  as  Correspondence  Tickler 

Another  purpose  which  the  ruling  of  the  ledger  sheet  can 
be  made  to  serve  is  that  of  a  correspondence  tickler.  In  this 
case  the  top  of  the  sheet  shows  the  days  of  the  month  and  sig- 
nal clips  are  used  to  mark  the  date  when  the  account  is  to  be 
followed  up.  Below  the  date  line  a  parallel  row  of  spaces 
provides  means  for  indicating  the  action  taken.  A  simple 
system  of  symbols  such  as  "S"  for  statement,  "R"  for  re- 
minder, "D"  for  department,  and  "L"  for  legal  procedure,  etc., 
provides  an  easy  means  for  recording  the  procedure  under 
the  dates  at  the  top  of  the  sheet. 

Collection  Cards  and  Follow-up  File 

For  greater  convenience  the  collection  record  may  be 
transcribed  on  a  card,  as  illustrated  in  Figure  49,  showing  the 
data  indicated  above. 

When  an  entry  is  made  on  a  card  the  due  date  of  tlie 
account  is  indicated  by  clipping  a  metal  tab  over  the  number 
of  the  day  of  the  month.  Different  colored  tabs  may  be  used 
to  indicate  the  months — for  example,  a  red  tab  for  accounts 
demanding  attention  in  the  current  month,  a  yellow  tab  for 
those  the  next  month,  and  so  on.  Each  day  all  cards  filed 
under  that  date  are  taken  out  by  the  collection  clerk  in  charge 
of  the  file  who  checks  the  entries  on  the  card  against  the  ledger 



12      3      4      5      6     7     etc. 






Dun     Bradslreet  Salesman 




Figure  49.    A  Collection  Card 

A  collection  card  filed  by  the  customer's  name,  indicating  the  due  date  of  the  account 
and  the  date  when  it  should  be  followed  up. 

account.  If  payment  has  been  made  in  full  the  card  is  re- 
moved and  filed  under  the  name  of  the  customer  in  a  cus- 
tomers" file.  If  the  account  is  still  open  a  statement  is  sent 
to  the  customer  and  the  card  is  again  filed  in  the  next  follow- 
up  date. 

To  find  the  card  of  a  given  customer,  when  an  entry 
needs  to  be  made  thereon  or  the  record  is  to  be  compared 
with  the  ledger  account,  the  following  indexing  method  is 
employed.  At  the  top  of  each  card  a  second  metal  tab  is 
clipped  bearing  the  first  letter  of  the  customer's  name.  Since 
the  tabs  bearing  the  same  letter  are  in  the  same  position  in  the 
file,  all  the  "A"  tabs  are  in  a  direct  line  from  front  to  back 
and  so  on  throughout  the  alphabet.  With  this  method  of 
identification,  any  customer's  card  can  be  quickly  found,  and 


any  system  of  filing  can  be  used — geographical,  alphabetical 
or  otherwise. 

Whether  the  collection  record  is  kept  in  the  books  of  ac- 
count or  in  a  separate  card  file,  the  adoption  of  one  method 
or  the  other  at  the  beginning  of  a  business  is  necessary. 

Information  and  Correspondence  Folder  File 

Credit  information  is  commonly  kept  in  a  separate  file. 
Usuall}'  a  folder  is  employed  large  enough  to  contain  all  cor- 
respondence, reports,  and  other  papers  referring  to  the  cus- 
tomer's credit.  By  pasting  the  reports  on  the  inside  of  the 
folder  cover  these  important  papers  aie  insured  against  loss 
and  yet  are  always  ready  for  immediate  reference. 

The  advantage  of  the  folder  system  lies  in  its  double  func- 
tion:  (i)  of  keeping  all  the  information  together  and  in 
shape  for  filing,  and  (2)  of  furnishing  a  convenient  place  for 
summarizing  the  history  of  the  customer's  credit  relations 
with  the  house.  On  the  lower  left  side  of  the  cover  face  and 
occupying  about  one-fourth  of  the  space,  is  a  ledger  tran- 
script of  the  account  with  columns  for  the  date,  amount,  dis- 
counts, dates  of  payment,  and  claims.  At  the  right  side  in  a 
similar  amount  of  space  runs  a  history  of  the  account,  show- 
ing agency  rating,  credit  limit,  by  whom  the  account  was 
opened,  and  by  whom  the  credit  limits  were  O  K'd.  The  upper 
part  of  the  cover  contains  general  information.  At  the  left 
are  spaces  for  the  usual  items  of  name,  address,  and  change  of 
address,  whether  partnership  or  corporation,  who  pays  the 
bills,  a  list  of  agency  reports  on  file,  references,  bank,  and 
space  to  show  whether  a  signed  statement  was  presented  by 
the  customer  or  not,  and  "remarks."  The  remaining  half  of 
the  upper  space  is  devoted  to  collection  data  relating  to  any 
legal  procedure,  showing  claims,  costs,  judgment,  and  other 
terms  of  settlement. 

In  practice  the  folder  proves  inconvenient  and  unwieldy 


as  a  record  to  which  frequent  reference  needs  to  be  made, 
and  the  collection  card  referred  to  above  is  generally  used  by 
those  who  frequently  need  to  make  brief  reference  to  the 

The  folder  proves  an  especially  valuable  record  to  con- 
sult when  the  accounts  become  troublesome,  as  all  the  data 
relating  to  the  customer  and  the  status  of  his  account  is  found 
here.  The  chief  purpose,  however,  of  the  complete  record  is 
to  enable  the  credit  manager  to  familiarize  himself  with  the 
conditions  of  the  accounts — a  thing  which  he  should  do  at 
least  once  a  month. 

Method  of  Handling  Invoices 

In  many  businesses,  and  especially  among  manufacturing 
concerns,  each  invoice  is  regarded  as  a  separate  account  and 
as  falling  due  at  the  end  of  a  specified  term — thirty,  sixty, 
or  ninety  days.  In  such  a  business  a  copy  of  the  invoice  can 
be  made  to  serve  the  purpose  of  a  tickler  follow-up  instead 
of  the  collection  card  previously  described. 

All  invoices  are  made  in  duplicate,  the  original  going  to 
the  customer.  From  the  duplicate  the  necessary  entries  are 
made  on  the  books,  any  special  terms  being  noted  on  the  back 
of  the  copy.  When  the  duplicate  copy  has  served  its  purpose 
in  the  accounting  department,  it  is  sent  to  the  collection  de- 
partment, where  it  is  filed  under  the  date  when  the  amount 
falls  due. 

In  this  way  the  invoice  becomes  a  part  of  the  follow-up 
system,  serving  as  a  tickler  which  automatically  reminds  the 
correspondence  clerk  when  the  time  for  action  approaches. 
It  should  be  noted  that  invoices  printed  on  thin  stock  are 
poorly  adapted  for  use  in  a  tickler  file.  To  overcome  this 
drawback  the  duplicate  should  be  made  on  stout  paper  and 
this  serves  the  purpose  of  a  follow-up  reminder  admirably 
when  put  in  a  special  maturity  tickler  or  file. 


Special  Follow-up  Devices 

Considerable  ingenuity  is  often  shown  in  devising  special 
methods  whereby  collections  may  be  facilitated  in  some  par- 
ticular business.  One  credit  man,  for  instance,  uses  a  corre- 
spondence folder  with  an  opening  cut  in  its  face  through 
which  the  ledger  record,  and  the  key  number  of  the  last 
letter  written,  are  visible.  If  the  detailed  correspondence  is 
needed  it  can  be  referred  to  by  removing  it  from  the  folder. 
Another  manager  makes  use  of  a  "master  sheet"  on  which  are 
listed  the  orders  for  each  day.  Instead  of  filing  the  invoices 
in  a  tickler  file,  their  numbers  and  details  are  entered  on  the 
sheet  which  is  then  filed  and  treated  as  an  individual  invoice. 
Thus,  all  invoices  requiring  attention  on  the  same  date  are  re- 
corded on  the  same  sheet.  This  method  is  especially  valuable 
when  invoices  for  small  amounts  are  numerous  and  when 
the  credit  terms  in  each  case  are  the  same. 

Still  another  firm  uses  a  "monthly  statement,"  a  record 
devised  to  present  a  synopsis  of  the  entire  amount.  The 
synopsis  is  brought  up  to  date  at  the  end  of  each  month  when 
the  regular  statements  are  made  out.  The  monthly  statement 
replaces  the  collection  folder,  but  the  collection  card  is  handled 
in  the  tickler  file  in  the  way  already  described. 

Relations  with  the  Claim  Department 

The  relation  between  the  collection  and  adjustment  de- 
partments varies  in  complexity  depending  largely  upon  the 
size  of  the  claims  and  the  nature  of  the  adjustment.  Very 
small  claims  may  be  allowed  by  the  bookkeeper  with,  in  con- 
sequence, little  or  no  interruption  in  the  collection  procedure. 
Claims  involving  sums  of  considerable  size  are  referred  to 
the  claims  department  of  a  large  business.  When  the  adjust- 
ment is  long  drawn  out,  it  may  be  deemed  good  policy  to 
charge  off  the  amount  from  the  books  and  against  the  ledger 
of  the  claim  department.     Here  it  remains  until  an  adjust- 


ment  is  made,  or  until  the  concern  is  satisfied  that  the  claim 
cannot  be  allowed,  when  the  charge  is  re-entered  on  the  cus- 
tomer's account  and  the  collection  department  takes  up  the 
matter  again. 

The  opportunities  for  misunderstanding  between  the  col- 
lection and  claims  departments  occur  so  frequently  that  special 
caution  should  be  observed  in  keeping  each  informed  of  the 
activities  of  the  other.  The  two  departments  are  likely  to 
work  at  cross  purposes,  if  the  collection  department  keeps 
on  with  its  follow-up,  while  the  claim  department  is  striving 
for  an  "entente  cordiale"'  with  an  irate  customer.  A  regular 
flow  of  interdepartmental  memoranda  should  keep  each  de- 
partment informed  of  what  the  other  is  doing  and  enable 
them  to  pull  together. 

Procedure  in  Adjusting  a  Claim 

In  businesses  of  considerable  size,  the  handling  of  adjust- 
ments is  simplified  by  dividing  the  complaints  into  definite 
classes  which  may  be  based  on  differences  in  the  goods  handled, 
or  on  the  type  of  complaint  received.  The  adjustment  clerk, 
or  correspondent  who  receives  the  complaint,  pins  a  requisi- 
tion slip  to  the  letter  and  sends  it  to  the  department  most 
likely  to  keep  the  records  bearing  upon  this  particular  com- 
plaint. The  routine  then  to  be  followed  may  be  described 
by  a  typical  example. 

In  a  publishing  house  doing  a  large  mail-order  business, 
when  complaints  regarding  payments  come  in,  the  adjust- 
ment clerk  places  a  check  mark  against  the  words  "List  De- 
partment" on  the  slip  for  directing  interdepartmental  mail, 
pins  it  to  the  letter,  and  puts  it  into  the  outgoing  tray.  The 
list  department,  as  its  name  implies,  keeps  a  card  record,  filed 
alphabetically,  showing  the  customer's  name,  address,  and 
the  particulars  of  the  various  orders  sent  in  from  time  to  time. 
The  chief  clerk  of  the  list  department,  upon  receipt  of  the 



letter  to  which  the  cHp  is  attached,  when  noting  its  contents, 
gathers  such  information  bearing  on  the  case  as  his  record 
cards  contain  (such  as  the  account  number,  the  books  ordered, 
etc.)  and  then  notes  the  details  upon  the  requisition  slip  which 
he  sends  back  to  the  adjustment  clerk.  The  adjustment  clerk, 
who  now  has  the  account  number,  sends  for  the  customer's 
account  card  and  with  this  information  answers  the  com- 
plaint about  payment.  In  the  meantime  the  collection  de- 
partment is  informed  of  the  situation,  whereupon  it  notes  the 
fact  on  the  follow-up  card  or  sheet  by  some  special  mark  or 
colored  sticker.  This  stops  all  action  of  this  department  for 
the  time  being. 

If  meanwhile  no  notice  comes  in  from  the  claim  depart- 
ment, the  collection  clerk  advances  the  card  according  to 
schedule;  but  should  a  second  follow-up  date  be  passed  with- 
out word  from  the  adjuster,  a  memo  is  sent  to  him  asking  for 
advice  on  the  matter. 

Scheduling  Collection  Work 

In  all  collection  work  it  is  important  to  prevent  the  cross- 
ing of  the  customer's  remittance  with  the  periodical  state- 
ment in  the  mail.  This  is  largely  due  to  the  lack  of  a  proper 
mailing  schedule.  With  the  home  office  as  a  center,  the  whole 
country  should  be  divided  into  zones.  Thus,  with  New  York 
as  a  center  a  six-day  schedule  may  be  worked  out  to  include 
the  New  England  states,  the  Middle  Eastern  states,  and  as 
far  south  as  Maryland;  an  eight-day  schedule  for  the  South- 
ern states,  as  far  west  as  Oklahoma;  a  ten-day  schedule  for 
the  Northwestern  states  to  JMontana;  and  so  on  for  the 
whole  country.  In  the  operation  of  such  a  schedule  other 
factors  besides  distance  need  to  be  considered;  for  example, 
the  size  of  the  amount  to  be  collected,  and  whether  or  not  the 
customer  is  expected  to  reply  immediately  on  receipt  of  a 
reminder.      Continued  experience   in   collection   matters  gen- 


erally  suggests  many  modifications  of  a  schedule  based  merely 
on  distance. 

Small  sums,  for  example,  may  be  paid  at  once,  while  the 
remittance  of  larger  amounts  generally  takes  a  longer  period. 

Importance  of  Regularity  in  Follow-up 

As  regards  the  intervals  between  follow-ups,  the  common 
practice  is  to  allow  from  10  to  20  days.  The  period  should 
allow  for  the  various  factors  of  distance,  mental  inertia,  and 
forget  fulness  without  losing  sight  of  the  psychological  effect 
of  regularity  in  reminding  the  customer  of  his  indebtedness, 
D.  A.  Beebe,  Collection  iManager  of  the  Alexander  Hamilton 
Institute,  after  weighing  the  various  factors,  has  worked  out 
a  follow-up  system  illustrated  in  part  as  follows :  For  pay- 
ments due  on  the  first  of  the  month,  and  based  on  eight-day 
intervals  for  follow-ups,  this  mailing  schedule  is  used : 

Form  Date  Sent 

1st  statement  22nd 

2nd  request  3rd 

1st  letter  nth 

2nd  letter  19th 

3rd  letter  27th 

Draft  6th 

It  will  be  noted  that  the  second  request  is  sent  out  two  days 
after  the  payment  is  due,  and  that  a  subscriber  is  allowed  two 
days  longer  than  the  mailing  schedule  calls  for,  before  draw- 
ing a  draft  on  him. 

In  his  recent  work  on  collection  methods,  already  referred 
to,  Professor  Gardner  emphasizes  the  psychology  of  the  fol- 
low-up work  as  follows:  "It  is  easier  to  figure  from  the  2nd 
to  the  I2th  of  the  month,  or  from  one  Tuesday  to  the  next, 
than  to  make  a  mental  estimate  of  any  other  interval  less 
than  a  month.     Let  it  not  be  thought  that  this  point  is  unim- 



portant;  if  the  debtor  can  form  a  definite  visual  image  of 
the  day  on  which  payment  is  required,  this  will  act  as  a 
powerful  stimulus.  It  is  better  to  say,  'Failing  to  hear  from 
you  by  May  15,  we  will  draw,'  than  to  say,  'Failing  to  hear 
from  you  in  ten  days  we  will  draw.'  " 

Scheduling  is  especially  needed  in  the  credit  and  collec- 
tion department  since  delays  here  are  costly.  Business  cus- 
tom has  established  the  practice  of  looking  to  the  creditor  to 
take  the  initiative  in  the  collecting  of  debts;  therefore,  if  the 
department  entrusted  with  this  duty  is  dilatory  and  irregular 
in  its  methods,  opportunity  is  not  only  lost  for  collecting 
money  legitimately  belonging  to  the  firm,  but  the  ties  w^hich 
are  always  slightly  strained  by  indebtedness,  are  still  further 
weakened  by  the  methods  of  an  unsystematic  credit  and  col- 
lection department. 

Division  of  Routine  Work 

The  routine  operation  that  bulks  largest  in  credit  and 
collection  work  is  that  connected  with  the  examination  of  the 
ledgers,  and  the  passing  on  customers'  orders.  Job  analysis 
will  disclose  the  number  of  accounts  that  a  bookkeeper  can 
examine  W'ithin  the  periods  set  by  the  mailing  schedule  de- 
scribed above,  by  dividing  the  ledgers  according  to  territory 
and  then  subdividing  each  ledger  into  the  desired  number  of 
sections  for  which  he  is  responsible.  As  the  majority  of  cus- 
tomers' accounts  can  be  collected  without  delay,  standards  of 
operation  can  be  established  to  cover  the  routine  work  while 
matters  needing  the  personal  attention  of  the  collection  man- 
ager are  given  the  special  care  that  each  particular  case  may 

Credit  Department  Reports  "  • 

Nothing  will  bear  better  testimony  as  to  the  efficiency  of 
the  credit  and  collection  department  than  a  systematic  and 



prompt  preparation   of   comparative   reports.     Among  these 
should  be  monthly  reports  showing: 

1.  The  percentage  of  losses  to  sales. 

2.  The  volume  of  business  lost  through  adverse  credit 


3.  The  volume  of  orders  rejected. 

4.  Cost  of  collections. 

5.  The  progress  made  in  collecting  certain  classes  of 


6.  The  comparative  cost  of  dealing  with  each  class. 

The  reports  which  bear  upon  the  department's  activities 
and  their  relation  to  the  reserves  for  bad  debts,  the  office 
budget,  if  one  is  made  out,  and  other  accounting  features, 
should  naturally  be  made  out  at  the  proper  time.  The  reports 
pertaining  to  clerical  work  and  the  control  of  the  organi- 
zation are  not  different  from  the  methods  suggested  in  the 
discussion  of  these  features  in  other  chapters  of  this  book. 



Evolution  of  the  Modern  Sales  Department 

The  selling  of  goods  is  usually  one  of  the  first  business 
activities  to  demand  a  separate  departmental  organization 
whereby  the  work  is  cared  for  by  its  own  office  force  and 
controlled  by  its  own  executive. 

With  the  development  of  means  of  transportation  and 
communication,  the  manufacturer  or  jobber  sought  wider 
markets  for  his  wares.  Naturally  his  method  of  presenting 
their  merits  was  through  the  spoken  appeal  of  his  representa- 
tive to  which  later  was  added  the  appeal  of  the  printed  word. 
Today  the  modern  counterpart  of  the  old-time  sales  depart- 
ment bears  little  or  no  resemblance  to  the  picturesque  com- 
bination of  sales  manager  and  drummer  of  twenty-five  or 
more  years  ago.  Then  the  organization  was  based  on  person- 
ality— the  personality  of  men  who  were  **born  salesmen''  and 
"good  mixers,"  grouped  around  the  shining  light  of  the  sales 
manager  who  pre-eminently  was  required  to  be  the  best  mixer 
of  them  all. 

The  supply  of  personality,  however,  fell  short  of  the  de- 
mand. The  need  for  competent  men  to  sell  goods  far  out- 
stripped the  birth  rate  of  natural  salesmen.  Necessity  drove 
modern  business  to  study  the  art  of  making  salesmen  and  to 
search  for  other  ways  of  making  sales  than  by  "entertain- 

As  the  making  of  a  sale  is  a  peculiarly  complex  psycho- 
logical process,  the  more  the  matter  was  studied,  the  more 
complex  became  the  work  of  the  sales  department;  so  much 
so  that  one  big  branch  of  its  activity  was  lopped  off,  planted 


in  a  field  of  its  own,  and  left  to  grow  into  the  modern  adver- 
tising department;  while  another  offshoot  only  recently 
transplanted,  has  waxed  into  the  sales  promotion  department 
the  function  of  which  is  to  serve  as  a  link  between,  and  a 
valuable  aid  to,  both  the  sales  and  the  advertising  depart- 

Relation  of  Sales  to  Advertising  and  Promotion  Work 

From  the  foregoing  explanation  of  the  evolution  of  mod- 
ern methods  of  marketing,  it  follows  that  the  activities  of 
the  three  departments  referred  to  can  only  be  clearly  defined 
and  separately  organized  under  certain  conditions.  These 
conditions  are  that  the  product  must  be  of  such  a  nature  that 
it  pays  to  sell  it  by  both  the  written  and  spoken  word  and  to 
promote  both  kinds  of  selling  methods  on  a  scale  big  enough 
to  require  the  attention  of  separate  executives  with  their 
own  departments.  A  few  businesses,  such  as  mail-order 
houses,  approach  their  customers  only  by  means  of  the  writ- 
ten word;  others,  such  as  life  assurance  companies  or  job- 
bers, rely  largely  on  the  spoken  word;  others  again,  such  as 
manufacturers,  may  carry  on  both  kinds  of  activity  in  one 
department  or,  if  the  volume  of  sales  permits,  the  work  of 
selling  may  be  divided  into  three  distinct  departments.  Thus 
the  relation  of  the  sales  to  the  advertising  and  promotion 
departments  is  largely  determined  by  the  nature  of  the  prod- 
uct, due  consideration  of  course  being  given  to  financial  sta- 
bility and  productive  capacity. 

Methods  of  Marketing 

if  the  product  is  a  specialty  which  ordinarily  the  consumer 
does  not  buy  until  its  advantages  are  pointed  out  to  him,  and 
if  it  sells  at  a  price  and  a  profit  to  cover  the  expense  of  direct 
solicitation,  it  may  be  sold  direct  to  the  consumer.  Cash 
registers,  special  machinery  and  encyclopedias  are  examples. 


The  marketing  of  such  products  requires  a  force  of  salesmen 
proportionate  to  the  size  of  the  field  and  the  productive  capac- 
ity of  the  concern.  The  work  of  the  sales  department  then 
takes  "pride  of  place,''  that  of  the  advertising  and  sales  pro- 
motion departments  (if  the  latter  exists)  being  of  quite  secon- 
dary importance  and  chiefly  directed  to  supporting  the  efforts 
of  the  men  in  the  field. 

If  the  product  is  a  comparatively  high-priced  specialty  in 
general  demand,  such  as  piano  players,  automobiles,  furni- 
ture, etc.,  which  in  consequence  is  handled  by  one  or  more 
dealers  in  every  town,  advertising  may  take  pride  of  place  in 
the  scheme  of  marketing,  the  work  of  the  sales  department 
being  merely  to  "cash  in''  on  the  demand  created  by  the 

If  the  product  is  a  necessity  the  demand  for  which  is 
confined  to  a  special  class,  such  as  manufacturing  supplies, 
or  general  office  supplies,  the  most  economical  way  to  market 
it  may  be  by  means  of  a  sales  force  supported  by  advertising 
in  trade  or  class  media. 

If  the  product  is  a  necessity  in  general  demand,  its  sale 
on  a  national  scale  may  be  created  by  "going  the  limit''  and 
using  the  full  battery  of  completely  equipped  advertising  and 
sales  departments. 

The  preceding  information  may  seem  elementary  but  it  is 
necessary  to  draw  attention  to  it  for  the  purpose  of  again 
emphasizing  ihe  close  relationship  of  the  three  sister  depart- 
ments. In  a  small  business  the  work  of  all  three  may  be  car- 
ried out  in  one  department.  In  a  business  of  moderate  size 
the  sales  promotion  work  may  be  conveniently  divided  be- 
tween the  sales  and  advertising  departments.  In  a  large  busi- 
ness the  work  of  the  sales  department  centers  wholly  around 
that  of  the  men  in  the  field  and  it  is  from  this  angle  that 
'die  subject  is  discussed  in  this  and  the  chapter  which 



Functions  of  Sales  Department 

As  the  sales  department  is  organized  solely  for  the  purpose 
of  selling  goods  through  salesmen,  it  follows  that  its  chief 
duties  are : 

1.  To  control  and  direct  the  activities  of  the  men  in 

the  field. 

2.  To   compile   office    records    showing   the    results   of 

their  efforts. 

3.  To  reward  special  effort  and  also  to  train  new  sales- 


The  first  two  phases  of  the  work  will  be  taken  up  in  this 
chapter,  the  third  being  left  for  later  consideration. 

Where  no  sales  promotion  department  is  maintained,  an- 
other important  function  of  the  sales  department  is  to  search 
for  the  potential  customer — termed  "prospect"  in  the  jargon 
of  salesmanship — and  keep  after  him  by  personal  solicitation, 
letter,  or  circular,  until  he  is  transformed  into  a  buyer.  As 
in  the  majority  of  businesses  this  work  is  carried  out  by  the 
sales  department,  and  is  only  relegated  to  the  p'-omotion  de- 
partment when  pressure  of  work  drives,  the  handling  of  the 
prospect  and  the  prospect  file  will  also  be  discussed  in  this 

The  amount  of  detail  to  be  attended  to  will  naturally  vary 
with  the  volume  and  complexity  of  the  business.  No  useful 
purpose  would  be  served  by  stating  that  such  and  such  a  clerk 
or  assistant  manager  performs  this,  that,  or  the  other  duty, 
because  duties  vary  with  conditions.  Those  phases  of  sales 
work  which  are  more  or  less  common  to  every  business  that 
aims  to  sell  its  product  in  an  efficient  and  intensive  way  will 
here  be  taken  up  so  far  as  they  relate  to  the  control  of  the 
men  in  the  field.  These  may  be  briefly  summarized  as  fol- 
lows : 


1.  Accurate  and  detailed  record  of  the  whereabouts  and 

progress  of  each  salesman  day  by  day. 

2.  A   well-rounded   system   of   reports   from    salesmen 

and  for  salesmen,  embracing  information  about  in- 
dividual prospects,  customers,  etc.,  and  covering 
data  pertaining  to  towns,  groups  of  towns  classified 
by  population,  merchandise  factors,  such  as  the 
number  and  variety  of  assortments  carried,  etc. 

3.  A  unit  order  system,  with  enough  units  to  give  the 

sales  office,  accurate  records  of  orders  by  various 

4.  Analytical    forms    for    departments,    divisions,    and 

territories,  showing  monthly  and  yearly  sales  re- 
sults of  individuals. 

Method  of  Analyzing  Field 

The  first  step  toward  ascertaining  sales  possibilities  in  the 
case  of  an  established  business  is  the  study  of  what  already 
exists.  A  simple  start  is  to  list  the  towns  and  cities  of  5,000 
population  and  over,  and  place  against  each  name  the  sales  of 
the  preceding  year.     This  is  common  practice. 

The  next  step  is  to  indicate  by  a  symbol  the  "rating"  of 
the  town.  Manifestly  the  possible  sales  of  a  $5,000  automo- 
bile in  a  city  of  30,000  in  which  only  twenty  men  earn  $3,000 
a  year  or  over — as  in  certain  mill  towns — are  not  directly  com- 
parable with  the  possible  sales  in  a  town  of  30,000  of  purely 
residential  character  where  3,000  men  may  earn  average  sal- 
aries in  excess  of  $3,000.  Substitute  overalls  for  $5,000  auto- 
mobiles and  the  market  possibilities  are  at  once  reversed.  The 
common  failure  which  meets  attempts  to  state  in  dollars  and 
cents  the  possible  buying  capacity  of  different  classes  of  terri- 
tories is  usually  traceable  to  a  neglect  of  this  very  factor  of 
the  "nature  of  the  town.'' 

Having  listed  and  marked  the  towns,  the  next  step  is  to 



classify  them  according  to  their  ratings  and  enter  the  popu- 
lation against  each.  A  quota  of  sales  (to  be  explained  in 
the  following  chapter)  to  population  should  be  based,  partly 
on  existing  sales  records,  and  partly  on  the  rating  of  the  town. 
No  definite  figures  can  be  given  in  this  connection.  They  will 
vary  according  to  the  nature  of  the  product  and  the  strength 
of  competition  and  at  best  they  will  be  purely  tentative.  But 
the  point  of  determining  the  sales  possibilities  in  a  given  field 
is  that  in  this  way  the  sales  manager  creates  standards  to 
work  by. 

To  divide  the  field  equitably  between  the  salesmen  and 
to  check  up  their  work  over  long  periods  of  time  such  quotas 
are  essential.  It  is  not  enough  that  there  be  a  demand  for 
the  product  or  that  it  be  "the  best  of  its  kind."  It  is  an 
established  fact  that  a  satisfactory  article,  with  good  distribu- 
tion and  systematic  effort  back  of  it,  is  often  a  more  satis- 
factory selling  proposition  than  a  superior  article  sold  with- 
out a  sound  knowledge  of  the  best  methods  of  marketing  and 
without  adequate  financial  resources.  Again,  what  counts  in 
selling  is  business  that  can  be  secured  at  a  reasonable  expense 
and,  in  the  case  of  a  repeat  article,  business  that  can  be  held 
when  secured.  Unless  a  sales  manager  knows  what  business 
ought  to  be  obtained  in  a  given  territory,  and  compares  this 
with  the  actual  business  secured  and  the  expense  of  getting  it, 
he  is  working  more  or  less  in  the  dark. 

Sales  Districts  and  Routing 

After  the  field  has  been  analyzed,  the  matter  of  laying  out 
the  sales  districts  comes  up  for  consideration.  The  important 
consideration  here  is  the  covering  of  the  territory  with  the 
least  possible  mileage,  which  generally  means  at  the  smallest 
expense  and  in  the  shortest  time  consistent  with  business  pos- 
sibilities. If  the  problem  is  simply  to  cover  the  territory  at 
given  intervals  and  the  salesman  is  more  of  an  order-taker 



than  business  developer,  one  big  route  can  generally  be  made 
out  of  his  district. 

The  problem  of  routing,  however,  is  rarely  as  easy  as  this. 
Even  a  slight  modification  may  cause  complications.  Often 
the  salesman  has  to  cross  and  recross  his  district  to  take  care 
of  inquiries  or  special  matters  that  come  up  from  time  to  time. 
In  this  case  the  district  is  divided  into  a  number  of  smaller 
routes  based  upon  railroad  stretches.  In  this  way  the  units 
are  made  smaller,  enabling  the  salesman  to  complete  one  route 
before  he  is  called  away  and  upon  his  return  to  begin  with  the 
one  nearest  to  him  and  work  forward.  This  gives  flexibility 
and  enables  the  management  to  check  up  just  how  much  of 
the  district  has  been  worked  by  looking  up  the  number  of 
routes  covered.  Besides,  it  saves  money  in  the  railroad  fare, 
because  the  duplication  is  for  relatively  small  distances  rather 
than  large  ones. 

Control  of  Salesmen  in  the  Field 

While  the  routing  of  salesmen  from  the  home  office  has  al- 
ways been  thought  of  as  good  practice,  it  has  not  generally 
been  considered  a  matter  demanding  constant  supervision. 
However,  with  the  growing  appreciation  on  the  part  of  sales 
managers  of  the  true  significance  of  "territory,"  a  new  attitude 
is  being  assumed  regarding  the  necessity  for  constant  control 
and  supervision  of  it.  "Territory"  is  to  a  salesman  what  a 
machine  is  to  a  factory  operator.  It  has  a  certain  "capacity" 
and  should  be  worked  to  its  limit.  But  the  only  way  this  can 
])Q  done  is  to  watch  it  carefully  and  record  its  productivity. 
This  means  records  and  a  system  of  reports  by  which  the 
salesman  and  his  territory  are  continually  being  registered 
in  the  office.  Route  lists  are  made  out  by  which  salesmen 
are  required  to  show  a  daily  record  of  their  customers  and 
prospective  customers  visited,  whether  a  sale  was  made,  etc. 

The  salesman's  visit  to  a  customer  is  prearranged  by  send- 



ing  instructions  to  him  before  the  call  is  made  and  also  by 
sending  advertising  literature  or  other  matter  to  the  customer 
to  prepare  the  ground  for  the  salesman's  coming.  As  a  num- 
ber of  departments  may  desire  to  get  in  touch  with  the  sales- 
man while  en  route,  a  memorandum  is  prepared  daily  for 
the  whole  office  showing  each  town  to  be  visited  within  a  given 
period  so  that  mail  from  the  home  office  covering  such 
matters  as  "hang-fire  accounts,"  adjustment  calls,  advertising 
leads,  new  prospect  inquiries,  etc.,  can  reach  him  promptly. 

All  this  has  increased  greatly  the  administrative  costs  at 
the  "home  office,"  making  it  necessary  for  the  sales  manager 
to  study  "system"  as  well  as  "selling  points."  Good  records 
and  a  system  of  handling  them  with  a  minimum  of  labor  is 
now  a  part  of  every  manager's  equipment. 

The  Use  of  the  Map  and  Tack  System 

An  excellent  device  for  visualizing  the  routes  covered  by 
the  salesmen  and  the  work  ahead  of  them  is  a  set  of  date 
maps  mounted  on  wood  and  stored  in  a  cabinet. 


Figure  50.     Sales  }ilap 

The  dots  indicate  tacks  placed  at  points  which   the  salesmen  visit;   the  lines,   the 
String  used  to  show  the  salesmen's  routes. 


The  headquarters  of  the  salesman  may  be  indicated  by  a 
tack  of  a  given  color;  prospects  in  his  territory  by  tacks  of 
another  color;  special  matters  to  be  attended  to  by  tacks  of 
a  third  color;  and  the  route  to  be  taken  by  him  may  be  indi- 
cated by  using  a  colored  string  to  connect  the  tacks  in  the  order 
in  which  the  places  are  to  be  visited.     (See  Figure  50.) 

The  daily  progress  of  the  salesman  may  be  recorded  by 
means  of  a  string  of  another  color  to  be  wound  around  the 
various  tacks  as  he  moves  from  one  place  to  another.  The 
last  tack  covered  by  the  string  would  indicate  his  present  loca- 
tion and  the  next  tack  along  the  other  string  would  locate  his 
next  stopping  place.  A  further  use  of  such  a  map  is  to  indi- 
cate, by  means  of  different  colored  tacks,  the  towns  in  which 
sales  are  above  and  below  the  quota. 

As  a  help  in  arriving  at  more  definite  conclusions  a  list 
of  the  names  of  all  well-rated  dealers  in  each  town  may  be 
drawn  up,  with  the  exact  amount  of  sales  to  each  customer. 
This  will  show  whether  one  salesman  is  skipping  the  smaller 
towns  and  working  only  the  bigger  ones,  or  whether  another 
salesman  has  a  special  liking  for  the  smaller  towns  to  the 
neglect  of  the  larger.  The  lists  and  the  maps  together  will 
provide  a  good  bird's-eye  view  of  what  each  salesman  is  doing 
in  any  part  of  his  territory.  His  sales  sheet  summarizes  his 
activities  as  a  whole. 

Analysis  of  Sales 

In  practically  every  business,  sales  are  controlled  by  means 
of  the  following  statistical  records : 

1.  Sales  made  to  each  customer,  classified  according  to 

commodity,  the  unit  used  in  recording  being'  either 
one  of  value  or  quantity,  whichever  meets  the  needs 
of  the  business  best. 

2.  Recapitulation  of  sales  for  a  given  period,  showing 



the  amount  sold  each  customer,  this  being  classified 
according  to  commodity. 

3.  Recapitulation  of  sales  for  a  given  period,  showing 

the  total  sales  in  territories  made  by  each  sales- 
man, these  sales  being  classified  by  commodity. 

4.  Recapitulation  of  sales  showing  total  of  each  com- 

modity sold  in  corresponding  periods. 

5.  Record  of  lost  orders  and  the  reasons  for  loss. 

The  compilation  of  the  above  statistical  information  is 
based  on  the  orders,  salesmen's  reports,  and  correspondence 
received.  If  the  record  of  sales  is  compiled  on  the  basis  of 
the  amount  of  sales  in  dollars  and  cents,  it  is  possible  to  obtain 
these  figures  from  the  sales  ledgers  periodically.  In  a  great 
many  instances,  however,  charges  do  not  reach  the  ledger  until 
some  time  after  the  order  is  received,  particularly  when  the 
merchandise  is  sold  under  contract  with  partial  deliveries 
stipulated,  or  made  to  order;  consequently  records  built  from 
the  ledger  would  seldom,  if  ever,  be  up  to  date. 

Sales  Orders 

Sales  orders  are  received  in  one  of  three  ways: 

1.  By  mail  on  the  official  order  blank  or  letter-head  of 

the  customer. 

2.  From  a  traveling  salesman  on  a  sales  order  blank 

furnished  for  that  purpose. 

3.  Through  a  visit  of  the  customer  to  the  sales  rooms 

of  the  organization,  in  which  event  the  same  form 
of  sales  order  blank  would  be  used  as  is  supplied 
to  the  salesman. 

Modern  practice  has  reduced  the  clerical  work  of  making 
all  the  copies  of  the  order  needed  to  one  mechanical  opera- 
tion. Thus  a  modern  unit  system  would  provide  an  original 
file  copy  and  four  carbon  copies  at  one  time — facsimile  rec- 


ords  for  the  correspondence,  sales,  and  accounting  depart- 
ments, and  a  subject  copy  for  the  files.  With  such  modifica- 
tions as  may  be  necessary  to  suit  special  conditions  this  office 
record  copy  should  show  the  following  information : 

1.  Order  numbe 

2.  Customer's  number 

3.  Subject  or  article  (kind) 

4.  Order,  how  received 

5.  Date 

6.  Bill  to  (name  and  address) 

7.  From  whom  (signed) 

8.  Department 

9.  Amount  charged 

10.  Terms 

11.  How  to  deliver 

12.  When  delivered 

13.  Date  billed 

14.  Billed  by 

15.  O  K'd  by 

16.  Commission 

17.  Salesman 

18.  Description  (of  article  and  terms),  etc. 

19.  Remarks 

20.  Approved  by  (signed) 

21.  Order  copied  by  whom 

After  the  order  has  been  copied  on  the  official  order  blanks, 
which  are  numbered  consecutively,  the  original  is  marked 
with  the  order  number  for  the  purpose  of  identification  and 
then  filed — either  with  the  correspondence  or,  if  the  orders 
run  into  volume,  in  a  separate  folder  immediately  behind  the 
folder  containing  the  correspondence.     A  record  of  each  sale 



Keep  Memoranda  of  Anything  Out  of  the  Usual  or  Irregular  Affecting  This  Showing 
On  Reverse  of  This  Sheet 


Orders  Shipped 

Salesman        Months  Worked Ending 19. . 



For  Month      | 

For  Year       1 







Price    i 




Total  Gross  Shipments  This 

Total  Gross  Shipments  Lasti 
Year 1 


SALES— CLASSES  OF  GOODS                                                    p.    | 


For  Month      1 

For  Year 









Wood  Furniture i 

Filing  Cabinets 

G.  W.  Bookcases ! 

Stock  Stationery 

Manufacturing [ 

Metal  Furniture 


Vault  Doors 1 

Fireproof  Safes 

Bank  Safes 

Bank  Fixtures 


Price  Merchandise  Returned 

Total  Cost 

Cost  Merchandise  Returned 

Net  Total  First  Cost  on  Net 


Gross  Margin 

Freights  Authorized 

Charges  to  P.  and  L.  etc. . . . 

Net  Gross  Margin  on  Net 

Estimated  Orders  Not  Yet 

Less  %  Probable  Returns . . 


Margin  on  Orrlers  Not  Yet 


Orders  Dated  in  Last  Year, 
Shipped  This  Year 

Less  %  Probable  Returns . . 

Margin    on    Orders    Dated 
Last  Y.,  Shipped  This  Y. 

Less  %  of  Margin  Probable 

Net  Totai  Sales  This  Year .  . 

Net    Total    Gross    Margin 
Sales  This  Year 

Net  Total  Sales  Last  Year . 
Net  G.  Margin  Sales  Last  Y. 

Figure  51    (a).     Monthly  and   Yearly   Record   of   Results   of   Salesman's 
Work  with  Expenses   (face) 

A  sheet  giving  details  of  salesman's  work. 







Weeks  . . . 



Weeks  . . . 

This  Year 
Weeks  . . . 

Last  Year 
Weeks  . . . 




Total  All  Expenses  This  Year     

Gain  or  Loss  Last  Year 




Figure   51. 

(b)    Monthly  and   Yearly   Record   of   Results   of   Salesman's 
Work  with  Expenses  (reverse) 

is  made  on  a  customer's  record  card  (to  be  described  in  the 
next  chapter),  the  data  entered  thereon  varying  according  to 
the  requirements  of  the  business. 

When  a  system  can  be  installed,  with  the  data  given  above, 
it  takes  care  of  all  operations  from  the  receipt  to  the  billing  of 
an  order,  even  including  the  bill  of  lading  which  may  be  made 
out  in  part  at  the  first  transcription.  From  orders  received 
a  condensed  detailed  statement  or  sales  sheet  can  be  made 
which  throws  light  on  dangerous  tendencies  before  it  is  too 
late.     (See  Figure  51.) 

Analysis  of  Salesman's  Territory 

When  the  field  has  been  mapped  out  and  territories  and 
quota  determined  in  each  case,  an  analysis  of  orders,  by  sales- 
men, will  disclose  the  profitable  extent  to  which  the  field  is 
being  worked.  The  importance  of  information  showing  com- 
parisons of  work  done  in  different  territories  cannot  be  over- 
estimated as  a  basis  of  control.  Systematic  records  (to  be 
taken  up  later)  and  statistical  comparisons  will  tell  the  man- 


ager  what  each  salesman  is  worth  to  the  business  and  will 
guide  him  in  his  chief  duty  of  encouragement  or  discipline. 

To  this  end  a  sales  sheet  should  be  drawn  up  for  each 
salesman,  covering  his  work  for  the  month  and  for  the  year 
in  all  necessary  details.  This  record,  for  obvious  reasons, 
will  vary  with  the  nature  of  the  business.  To  illustrate  the 
detail  which  such  a  record  should  cover,  an  example  is  taken 
from  a  business  dealing  in  office  furniture  and  supplies.  Fig- 
ure 51  is  a  yearly  and  monthly  sheet  for  each  salesman  on 
which  sales  are  classified  by  lines,  all  deductions  shown,  and 
the  average  monthly  sales  and  those  for  the  year,  to  date, 
are  worked  out.  On  the  back  of  the  sheet  a  record  of  ex- 
penses is  kept  showing  the  ratio  of  expense  to  sales. 

Statistical  Records 

By  keeping  a  record  of  each  salesman,  as  shown  on  the 
above  sales  sheet,  the  sales  manager  has  the  basis  for  his 
control.  He  can  make  up  comparative  statements  showing 
the  salesmen's  records  by  lines  of  goods,  and  he  can  construct 
a  final  summary  showing  the  total  of  all  salesmen's  orders. 
The  individual  records  may  be  kept  in  separate  loose-leaf 
binders  in  which  second  carbons  of  all  letters  written  to  the 
men  about  their  work  are  filed.  Here  also  may  be  filed  a  sep- 
arate sheet  showing  a  record  of  order  numbers,  all  sales  in- 
correctly figured  or  made  under  price,  copies  of  reports 
wrongly  made  out,  or  memoranda  of  any  kind  covering 
methods,  personality,  or  habits  which  may  be  taken  up  with 
the  men  at  the  proper  time. 

Other  statistical  records  that  may  be  compiled  from  the 
sales  records  are  monthly  collection  reports  for  the  comptrol- 
ler; records  of  lost  orders  due  to  defects  in  the  product  or 
other  causes,  for  the  production  department;  etc.  Numerous 
compilations  are  possible  and  vary  with  the  kind  of  informa- 
tion demanded  by  the  business  policy  of  the  concern. 



Reports  from  the  Field 

Centralized  control  of  salesmen  implies  as  a  prerequisite 
constant  and  systematic  reports  from  the  men  in  the  field. 
These  reports  are  generally  printed  and  their  variations  are  as 
numerous  as  the  classes  of  business  represented. 

Among  other  items  most  generally  looked  for  are  the 
following : 

1.  Information  as  to  whether  dealer  has  a  good,  me- 

dium, or  bad  locality. 

2.  Just  exactly  what  kind  of  business  he  does,  whether 

he  does  any  jobbing  or  has  any  country  or  outly- 
ing trade. 

3.  What  kind  of  windows  he  keeps,  what  degree  of 

alertness  his  clerks  display,  what  kind  of  advertis- 
ing system  he  uses. 

4.  What  kind  of  policies  he  has;  the  type  of  advertis- 

ing he  does  or  is  going  to  do;  what  his  average 
yearly  advertising  and  stock  turnover  amount  to. 

5.  Exactly  what  classes  and  character  of  trade  he  caters 


The  Salesman's  Customer  Report 

As  the  success  of  a  salesman  depends  very  largely  upon 
the  persistency  with  which  he  "follows  up"  prospective  cus- 
tomers, it  stands  to  reason  that  a  method  which  will  enable 
him  to  keep  always  in  mind  his  future  engagements  will  be 
of  inestimable  value  to  the  firm.    The  form  here  shown  (Fig- 




ure  52),  used  in  connection  with  tabs  or  movable  markers, 
enables  the  home  office  to  follow  with  persistency  and  accu- 

Name  of  Firm     Lindsay  and  Carr  Co7npany 

Name  of  Buyer     Mr.  J.   W.  Brown 

Street  Main  SL  East  Town    Rochester  State   N.   V. 

Buys  From    /ohn  R.  Place  Corporation  6 

Stock  Carried     General  Dept.  Store  g 

Submitted     Charging  and  Billing  Systejn 

Interested  in     Loose-Leaf  Ledgers 

', 12 

Prospects     Good  Complaints     Aoiic 

Dates  Seen    3/J^    J^/6    5/10    6/12  14 

Dates  Written    3/7    5/16  Catalogues  jg 

Call  Again     7/1 

Reason  Bought  Origin  Cost  of  Business 

"■ 20 

Remarks      Will  be  tn  the  market  soon  for  complete  office  outfit  for 

Minneapolis,  Minn.,  branch  22 



■ 28 


Figure  52.     Salesman's  Customer  Report 

The  dates   when    future   calls  on   customers   should   be   made  are   indicated   by   sliding  a 

marker  along  on   the  right-hand   side   of  the  loose-leaf  sheet.     When   cards  instead   of 

sheets   are   used,   the    numbers    denoting    date    should    run    along    the    top.      Thus    those 

requiring    attention    on    any    one    day    are    easily    found. 

racy,  all  prospective  customers  and  to  keep  the  salesman  to 
his  various  engagements. 

The  records  are  arranged  alphabetically  and  can  be  re- 



ferred  to  instantly,  the  markers  showing  all  engagements 
which  should  be  kept  on  any  particular  date.  The  records  may 
be  removed  and  carried  in  the  pocket,  the  proper  notations  be- 
ing made  on  them  at  the  time  the  call  is  made.  If  a  person 
is  seen  on  the  loth  of  the  month,  and  it  is  desirable  to  call 
again  on  the  20th,  it  is  simpl}-  necessary  to  slide  the  marker 
along  the  record  from  the  number  10  to  20  on  the  right- 
hand  side.  All  those  requiring  attention  on  the  20th  will  have 
markers  in  a  straight  line,  one  under  the  other,  and  can  read- 
ily be  removed  from  the  binder  without  disturbing  any  of 
the  other  records. 

Town     Northport 

Date.       October  4,  \Q\S 



Expenses  Incurred 

Harris  Bros. 

Adams  Dept.  Store 

B.  Decker 

The  Fair 

L.  Stern  <S>»  Co. 

General  Store 
General  Store 
Married  to  his  line 

R.R.  Fare  from  New  York 

Excess  baggage 

Hotel  (Amer.  ;  European). 



$6. 75 

New— may  work  up 




Felt  Dept.  Sales 

6. "5 

Remarks:      State    industries, 
general    business  conditions, 
and  so  on. 

Small,  but-ambitious. 

New  stores  opening. 

Salesman     5.  H.  McKenna 

Caps  Dept   Sales      

Total  business  booked 

Total  expenses  incurred 


Figure  53.     Salesman's  Report  by  Towns 

This  record  provides  both  for  a  report  on  each  visit  and  also  on  the  expenses  incurred, 
thus   making   a   complete    record   of    the   salesman's   accomplishments   for   the   day. 


Salesman's  Reports  by  Towns 

Another  good  form  for  salesmen's  reports  provides  a  sep- 
arate sheet  for  every  town  on  the  route  with  the  names  of  the 
houses  on  which  the  representative  is  to  call  typewritten  in. 
(See  Figure  53.)  Enough  blank  lines  are  left,  however,  so 
that  he  may  fill  in  the  names  of  new  prospects  that  he  may  be 
able  to  work  up.  In  the  comments  column  the  results  of  each 
call  may  be  noted  by  a  phrase  and  in  the  remarks  column  the 
impression  of  the  town  as  a  sales  field.  This  sheet,  as  it  shows 
in  addition  details  regarding  the  actual  amount  of  expenses, 
is  a  complete  record  of  just  what  the  salesman  has  accom- 
plished during  the  day.  A  loose-leaf  book  should  be  kept  for 
every  salesman  and  his  report  sheets  filed  in  the  order  in 
which  they  are  received.  This  will  give  a  complete  his- 
tory of  his  trips  with  details  of  towns  and  will  offer  a  very 
good  starting  point  in  planning  new  campaigns  and  be  useful 
in  sending  out  trade-building  letters. 

Expense  Reports 

What  items  should  be  included  in  a  salesman's  expense 
report  has  always  been  a  bone  of  contention.  Some  com- 
panies, looking  upon  the  salesman  as  a  "business  partner," 
allow  him  a  wide  latitude  in  spending  and  accounting  for 
money,  while  others  recjuire  their  sales  representatives  to  ad- 
here to  a  strict  schedule  of  expenditures  and  a  detailed  method 
of  accounting  for  them.  The  abuses  which  grew  out  of  the 
old  blanket  item  of  "entertainment  expense"  called  for  some 
remedy  and  the  closer  accounting  methods  resulted.  A  method 
followed  by  some  firms  uses  the  form  shown  in  Figure  54. 
This  form  may  be  printed  on  a  4  x  6  card,  which  can  be  easily 
carried  in  the  pocket,  and  when  sent  to  the  home  office  is  filed 
alphabetically  by  names  of  salesmen,  the  most  recent  report 
of  a  salesman  appearing  immediately  back  of  the  guide 



Route  From To 1 

From To 








-J    0. 

M    < 

[zl  U 

_,  O  K 

<  <  a. 
u  u  X 



z     s 

o      < 




Wednesday    . 

Total     .  .  . 


Mileage  Rem; 

Make  Next  Remittance  of  $.  . . 



State Hote 

Figure   54.     Salesman's   Expense   Report 

When  printed  on  a  4  x  6  card,  this  expense  account  card  can  be  easily  carried  in  the 

salesman's  pocket 

Indexes  of  Customers 

Almost  every  concern  has  some  kind  of  customers  index. 
An  effective  method  is  to  keep  a  card  index  (Figure  55)  by 
states,  towns,  and  cities,  with  the  customers'  names  arranged 
within  these  divisions  in  alphabetical  order.  The  informa- 
tion deemed  necessary  on  these  cards  can  then  be  gathered 
from  the  salesmen's  reports  and  from  correspondence. 




■V  /"iwisceLtANeoU^A 


CAc^^tDA        :      MONTRF 


-.      nOCHCSTrr; 

s  f^-: 




-  P 



V     VOHK      ■      - 

H      • 

ILLlt.0 '^ 

Figure  55.    Index  of  Customers 

The    information    for    these    cards    can    be    gathered    from    the 
salesmen's  reports. 

Prospect  Cards  and  Lists 

From  the  daily  reports  are  compiled  also  a  list  of  pros- 
pective customers,  showing  date  of  calls,  sales,  etc.  "Pros- 
pect" and  "customer"  cards  are  made  out  in  duplicate;  one 
copy  to  be  retained  in  the  office,  the  other  to  be  sent  to  the 
salesman.  If  the  prospect's  name  comes  to  the  home  office 
from  some  other  source  than  the  salesman,  the  report  is  made 
out  upon  the  prospect  card  in  the  home  office. 

Duplicates  of  prospect  and  customer  cards  are  sent  to  the 
salesman  before  he  reaches  the  town  where  the  prospects  are 
located.  This  enables  the  salesman  to  approach  his  prospect 
with  the  latest  information  and  so  build  up  his  sales  talk 
from  the  point  where  the  negotiations  were  broken  off  at  the 
last  interview. 



These  prospect  files  are  a  very  important  part  of  the  sales 
office  records  and  form  a  valuable  item  in  the  firm's  assets. 
The  prospect  files  of  some  companies  contain  millions  of 
names.  The  chief  items  on  such  a  card  where  a  special  and 
separate  form  is  used,  would  include  the  name,  the  business 
address,  the  buyer's  name,  the  saleman's  name  or  other  source 
of  inquiry,  and  also  the  names  of  competing  firms  dealt  with. 
Provision  is  further  made  for  a  record  of  the  follow-up, 
showing  date  and  amount  of  material  sent  in  the  way  of  cata- 
logues, advertising,  letters  sent  and  received. 

When  a  sale  is  made  the  prospect  card  is  put  in  the  cus- 
tomers' report  card  file.  The  l^ack  of  the  card  may  be  ruled 
to  correspond  with  the  data  called  for  in  the  customer's  report. 

Method  of  Sales  Control  Used  by  a  Manufacturer 

So  important  is  the  feature  of  control  to  the  sales  man> 
ager  that  many  firms  are  today  trying  out  methods  whereby 
not  only  are  the  salesman's  movements  controlled  from  the 
home  office  but  his  productive  capacity  as  well.  The  follow- 
ing description  of  the  method  adopted  by  a  concern  manu- 
facturing foundry  machinery  after  two  years  of  thorough  pre- 
liminary investigation  and  classification  of  data  illustrates  the 

The  management  of  this  company  found  that  production 
was  three  times  as  great  as  sales.  While  efficiency  had  in- 
creased in  the  shop,  through  the  introduction  of  the  Taylor 
system  of  management,  the  factory  outlay  was  worse  than 
useless  because  of  the  inability  of  the  sales  department  to  sell 
the  increased  production. 

Each  salesman  had  been  given  a  special  territory  and, 
as  is  customary  practice,  was  allowed  to  cover  it  as  he  pleased. 
An  investigation  of  each  salesman's  territory  and  reports 
showed  that  the  salesmen  were  reaching  but  a  fraction  of  the 
prospects  in  their  respective  territories,   although   for  years 


the  management  had  gone  along  believing  that  every  foundry 
in  the  country  had  been  covered,  every  possible  sale  had  been 
made.  In  fact,  by  analyzing  past  sales  and  systematically  cov- 
ering all  the  trade  papers  for  new  prospects,  it  was  found 
that  the  salesmen  had  actually  covered  only  50  per  cent  of 
the  territory  because  they  had  overlooked  or  neglected  many 
possibilities  almost  next  door  to  former  calls.  Under  these 
circumstances  it  occurred  to  the  management  that  the  same 
principles  of  control  so  successfully  applied  to  the  factory 
could  with  equal  facility  be  applied  to  the  sales  department. 
With  this  end  in  view,  they  began  to  develop  a  routing  sys- 
tem together  with  a  moderate  attempt  to  set  tasks  for  the 
salesmen.  This  latter  consisted  in  giving  to  each  salesman 
a  certain  number  of  calls  to  make  in  each  town  that  he  visited, 
on  condition  that  the  calls  be  made  within  the  period  allotted 
for  the  salesman's  stay  in  that  territory. 

Route  Map  Basis  for  Special  Routing  System  • 

The  basis  of  the  system  adopted  by  this  concern  was  a 
route  map  showing  the  most  convenient  routes  by  which  each 
salesman  could  reach  the  different  towns  in  his  territory. 
These  routes  were  arranged  not  only  with  reference  to  the 
geographical  situation  of  the  various  cities  to  be  visited,  but 
also  with  regard  to  the  railroad  connections  both  for  entering 
and  leaving  the  town.  Thus,  although  one  town  might  logi- 
cally from  its  geographical  position  be  on  the  same  route  with 
a  near-by  town,  the  train  connections  between  the  two  might 
easily  be  such  as  to  render  it  advisable  to  place  the  town  upon 
an  entirely  different  route. 

In  laying  out  the  routes  a  map  with  tacks  and  strings  was 
effectively  used.  When  first  put  into  practice,  colored  pins 
were  tried  but  they  were  so  numerous  in  certain  localities  as 
to  be  difficult  to  distinguish.  A  larger  map  is  now  used  and 
the  various  tacks  marked  to  show  the  number  of  each  route. 


The  numbers  under  200  are  given  to  routes  where  foundries 
are  widely  scattered.  Routes  bearing  numbers  over  300  are 
located  only  in  such  territories  as  New  York  City,  Pittsburgh, 
and  Detroit,  in  what  might  be  called  hub  cities,  where  the 
work  of  the  salesmen  in  the  outlying  districts  can  be  handled 
most  conveniently  by  making  side  trips  from  the  large  city. 

Assigning  the  Routes  to  the  Salesmen 

In  dividing  up  the  field  and  assigning  salesmen  the  total 
possibilities  of  the  territory  in  question  are  considered,  as  well 
as  the  time  required  to  cover  it,  which  depends  upon  the  dis- 
tance between  the  various  foundries.  One  man  may  have  a 
few  more  calls  to  make  than  another  because  the  foundries 
are  close  together  in  his  territory.  In  the  actual  laying  out 
of  the  routes  the  services  of  an  experienced  railroad  man  were 
secured  and  the  various  trips  laid  out  in  units  of  railroad 
stretches.  Instead  of  making  one  big  traveling  route  of  the 
territory  covered  by  the  salesman,  the  territory  was  split  up 
into  a  great  number  of  smaller  routes.  This  gives  flexibility 
to  the  whole  arrangement. 

In  the  territory  covered  by  this  firm  in  the  United  States 
there  are  seven  salesmen  and  the  routes  number  about  275. 
This  system  makes  it  possible  to  care  for  any  special  part 
of  a  territory  beginning  anywhere,  and  to  cover  it  effectually 
without  a  great  waste  of  money.  In  fact,  the  three  men  that 
this  firm  employed  before  the  investigation  began  spent  more 
money  in  railroad  fare  than  six  men  did  after  this  routing 
system  had  been  completed. 

Planning  the  Work  for  the  Salesman 

In  the  practical  working  out  of  the  control  system  each 
possible  customer  in  each  town  is  listed  upon  report  blanks 
(Figure  56  a)  which  contain  the  essential  information  re- 
garding the  customer.     In  the  data  on  these  fonns  are  in- 



eluded  the  names  of  the  various  officials  of  the  company  with 
whom  the  salesman  can  do  business,  number  of  men  employed, 
average  daily  production,  etc.  Blank  spaces  are  provided 
with  appropriate  notations,  so  that  the  salesman  will  give  to 
the  home  office  exactly  the  information  it  needs  without 
omitting  anything  important  and  yet  omitting  all  matters 
irrelevant  to  the  subject  of  making  sales. 

On  the  back  of  the  form  (Figure  56  b)  there  is  a  space 
for  other  data,  such  as  the  number  of  machines  used  by  this 
foundry,  the  type,  size,  and  maker;  columns  for  quotations 
pending  showing  the  date  quoted,  number  of  machines  quoted 
on,  the  symbol  of  the  machines  in  question,  and  the  price 
quoted;  with  an  additional  column  for  any  special  remarks. 
Much  of  the  information  on  this  card  is  filled  in  at  the  home 
office,  the  object  being  to  co-operate  with  their  salesmen  by 
giving  them  all  the  possible  information  available.  The  con- 
sequence is  that  the  salesman  does  not  waste  any  of  his  time 
doing  preliminary  work  and  his  time  is  mainly  taken  up  with 
actual  selling. 

Tickler  Slips 

Attached  to  the  report  blank  is  a  tickler  stub  on  which  is 
entered  by  the  salesman  the  time  when  the  prospect  should 
be  interviewed  again.  This  stub  is  filed  in  the  home  office  to 
come  up  at  the  proper  time  and  indicate  to  the  office  that  the 
salesman  should  be  routed  to  call  on  that  prospect  at  that 

Controlling  the  Movements  of  Salesmen  by  a  Route  Board 

In  controlling  the  movements  and  work  of  the  sales  force 
a  route  board  with  salesmen's  "call"  cards  attached  by 
means  of  hooks  is  used.  (See  Figure  57.)  This  arrange- 
ment effectively  visualizes  the  work  of  the  salesman  in  the 
field,  showing  the  amount  of  work  to  be  done,  when  it  should 













GEN.   MG'R  . 





MOLDEH8      MOLDERS     HOLDERS     HOLDERS  |  HOLDERS      MAKERS      MOLDERS     "E'-'"^'" 




INTERVIEWED       M"  ■ 


.  DATE- 
.  TITLE- 




Figure  56.    (a)  Blank  for  Salesman's  Report  on  Interview 
with  Prospect  or  Customer    (face) 

By   using    such   a   form    irrelevant   data    is   avoided. 




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Salesman  £ 

Salesmon  F 



















Figure  57.     Route  Board 

The    "jobs   ahead"   are   placed   on   the   third   row   of  hooks.     When    the   calls  be- 
come due  they   are   moved   to   the  second   row   and   made  up  into  routes.      When 
these  cards  are  sent  to  the  salesmen   the  stubs  are  detached   and  placed   on  the 
first    row    of    hooks. 

be  done,  and  finally  bringing  to  the  attention  of  the  manage- 
ment how  well  the  salesmen  are  keeping  up  to  their  schedules. 
It  forms  the  basis  of  scientific  sales  planning.  It  is  worked 
as  shown  below. 

Workings  of  the  Route  Board 

The  card  or  reports  as  described  above  are  first  posted 
on  the  route  board  on  the  third  row  of  hooks;  these  represent 
the  *'jobs  ahead"  exactly  as  jobs  ahead  are  represented  on 
the  route  board  in  factory  practice.  When  the  calls  come  due 
the  cards  are  moved  to  hook  number  2  and  the  calls  are  made 
up  into  routes  separated  by  rubber  bands.  When  these  cards 
are  sent  to  the  salesman  the  stubs  or  ticklers  are  detached  and 
placed  on  hook  number  i.  These  stubs  therefore  show  the 
number  of  calls  the  salesman  has  in  his  possession.  Thus  the 
amount  of  work  on  hook  number  3  denotes  the  total  amount 
of  work  to  be  done  by  the  salesman;  the  amount  of  work  on 



hook  number  2  denotes  the  work  due  and  scheduled;  the 
amount  of  work  on  hook  number  i  denotes  what  the  salesman 
has  in  his  possession. 

When  there  are  a  great  number  of  report  forms  on  hook 
number  2  it  shows  that  the  salesman  is  behind  on  his  sched- 
ule. If  the  number  of  tickler  slips  on  hook  number  i  is  small, 
it  shows  that  the  salesman  is  running  short  of  work  and  that 
more  of  the  cards  on  hook  number  2  should  be  sent  him. 
Ordinarily  the  salesman  receives  at  one  time  a  sufficient  num- 
ber of  calls  to  last  him  for  two  weeks.  At  all  times  the  man- 
agement keeps  in  close  touch  with  the  salesmen  through  ad- 




One  day  ahead 

Two  days  ahead 

Three  days  ahead 

Figure  58.     Salesman's  Daily  Address  Card 

dress  cards  (Figure  58)  sent  in  daily,  giving  the  address  and 
work  for  the  next  two  or  three  days. 

Information  from  the  Field 

When  the  salesman  returns  his  report  forms  the  corre- 
sponding tickler  slips  are  taken  from  hook  number  i  and  a 
new  report  form  is  filled  out,  ready  to  be  used  at  the  future 
interview  which  the  salesman  already  has  arranged.     On  this 









GEN.    M'G'R. 





BENCH  FLOOR  LOAM  BBASS        DRY8AN0         CORE         M»CHINE 




Figure  59.    Envelope  Used  for  Permanent  Record  of  Prospects  and 

In   which   are   placed    cards    containing    detailed    information    about   the    prospect. 


new  report  form  is  entered  the  date  of  the  last  interview  and 
also  any  arrangements  that  may  have  been  made  by  the  sales- 
man during  the  last  call.  In  this  way  the  information  about 
this  prospect  is  kept  up  to  date.  The  new  report  now  takes 
its  place  on  hook  number  3  and  by  means  of  a  tickler 
arrangement,  it  will  automatically  come  up  for  attention  at  the 
proper  time. 

Permanent  Records 

That  the  management  may  have  available  as  a  perma- 
nent record  all  information  about  each  customer,  irrespective 
of  the  whereabouts  of  the  report  form,  a  special  jacket  or  en- 
velope (Figure  59)  for  each  prospect  and  customer  is  used. 
From  these  folders  is  gathered  much  of  the  detailed  data 
placed  on  the  salesman's  report  card. 

Within  these  envelopes  are  two  cards.  One  of  these  called 
the  "Record  of  Calls  and  Quotations"  (Figure  60)  gives  the 
date  of  the  last  interview,  the  name  of  the  salesman,  the  sym- 
bol of  the  machine  sold  or  quoted  on,  the  price  quoted,  the 
terms,  a  space  for  the  date  order  was  received,  a  space  for 
"lost"  orders  referring  to  salesmen's  reports  regarding  this, 
and  a  column  for  the  date  of  the  future  interview. 

The  other  card,  called  "List  of  Machines"  (Figure  61) 
also  placed  in  the  jacket,  shows  the  machines  used  by  each 
foundry,  not  only  such  as  are  made  by  the  firm  in  question 
but  also  those  made  by  competitors. 

The  jackets  and  the  enclosed  cards  are  kept  up  to  date  by 
copying  from  the  salesmen's  report  forms  as  they  are  sent  in, 
all  additional  data  obtained  during  the  last  interview  with  the 

Flexibility  and  Efficiency  of  the  System 

Thus,  when  the  report  cards  are  forwarded  to  the  sales- 
man as  his  order  to  start  upon  a  trip,  the  office  still  retains  in 



"record  of  calls  and  quotations 








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its  possession  all  the  information  relating  to  the  prospects 
which  the  salesman  has.  The  system  as  a  whole  is  extremely 
flexible,  and  is  so  arranged  that  a  salesman  may  be  stopped  at 
any  point  in  his  trip  and  started  upon  another  route  to  cover 
an  emergency  which  may  have  arisen  after  he  started  on  the 
trip  originally  planned.  Where  such  an  event  takes  place,  the 
salesman  returns  to  the  office  all  the  cards  relating  to  the 
prospects  which  he  has  not  visited,  and  the  office  arranges  a 
new  route  which  will  include  those  possible  customers  at  the 
earliest  practicable  date. 

The  clerical  labor  involved  in  the  routing  of  salesmen  by 
this  method  consists  of  a  stenographer  and  a  boy.  It  is  main- 
tained by  this  firm  that  while  the  efficiency  of  the  sales  de- 
partment has  greatly  increased,  the  cost  is  certainly  no  more, 
and  is  probably  less  than  the  former  method  of  handling  sales- 



Reward  of  Salesmen 

Sales  Statistics  and  Sales  Quotas 

From  one  point  of  view  the  value  of  the  sales  office  rec- 
ords may  be  measured  by  the  uses  to  which  they  are  put  in  the 
way  of  drawing  conclusions  based  on  a  statistical  presentation 
of  the  facts  thus  gathered.  Thus  the  salesmen's  daily  reports 
enable  the  sales  manager  to  tabulate  summaries  showing  daily 
progress  m^ade  by  each  district.  In  turn  these  daily  recapitu- 
lations are  gathered  into  a  monthly  report  showing  the  sales 
according  to  salesmen  and  commodities.  Upon  these  items  are 
based  the  commissions,  quotas,  or  prizes  which  may  be 
awarded  to  the  salesmen,  depending  upon  the  system  of  rec- 
ords in  use. 

As  a  feature  in  stimulating  the  field  men  the  statistics 
may  be  given  a  prominent  place.  The  results  are  frequently 
published  and  distributed  among  the  men  each  month,  show- 
ing the  number  of  quota  points  made,  the  quotas  assigned  to 
the  various  districts,  the  percentage  of  quota  reached,  and 
comparing  the  performance  of  the  present  month  and  the 
year  up  to  date  with  that  of  the  preceding  year  and  of  the 
same  month  of  that  year. 

Quota  Schemes 

A  quota  is  an  amount  of  work  over  and  above  the  regular 
assigned  task  covering  a  definite  period  of  time.  The  quota 
set  is  generally  more  or  less  arbitrary,  but  since  the  basis 



of  determining  it  is  the  same  for  all  men  and  all  territories, 
it  is  essentially  fair.  If,  for  example,  a  house  handles  varied 
lines  of  goods,  it  may  apply  the  quota  system  fairly  if  it  clas- 
sifies the  lines  and  weighs  the  different  classes  according  to 
their  value  to  the  business.  Or,  supposing  the  sales  organiza- 
tion is  composed  of  agents  scattered  throughout  this  countr\% 
the  task  of  adjustment  would  involve  a  careful  estimate  of  the 
number  of  sales  each  resident  agent  should  make  in  his  dis- 
trict and  upon  this  basis  the  quotas  would  be  set  for  each  one 
separately  and  a  suitable  prize  offered  for  each  one  that 
reached  it. 

Quota  Prizes 

Quota  prizes  have  the  advantage  of  not  emphasizing  the 
commercial  nature  of  the  incentive  to  work.  They  stress  the 
offer  as  a  reward  for  winning  a  game,  and  so  enable  the 
sales  manager  to  appeal  to  the  feelings  of  sportsmanship 
among  his  men.  The  goal  or  size  of  the  quota  must  not, 
therefore,  be  too  high,  or  the  spirit  of  the  contest  will  be 
killed.  To  insure  against  asking  the  impossible,  quota  prizes, 
like  all  other  incentives  and  rewards,  must  be  assigned  with 
due  consideration  of  a  large  number  of  factors  besides  the 
gross  sales.  One  of  these  is  the  cost  of  securing  business. 
The  salesman  selling  the  most  goods  may  not  be  the  highest 
money  producer  for  the  house.     Other  factors  are : 

1.  Percentage  of  this  year's  business  to  last  year's. 

2.  Amount  of  territory  to  be  covered. 

3.  Number  of  orders  taken. 

4.  Number  of  orders  canceled. 

5.  Number  of  bad  debts. 

6.  Number  of  complaints. 

A  certain  percentage  may  be  assigned  to  each  of  these  fac- 
tors depending  upon  their  relative  bearing  upon  the  firm's 


policies,  and  the  final  ranking  of  the  salesman  is  based  upon 
the  sum  of  all  the  percentages. 

Stimulus  and  Reward  for  Salesmen 

The  control  of  salesmen  at  a  distance  has  led  to  a  high 
development  of  letter-writing  and  methods  of  offering  re- 
wards. All  the  arts  known  to  man  have  been  exploited  to 
keep  up  the  fighting  morale  of  the  salesman  through  letters 
and  rewards.  Perhaps  the  art  of  writing  daily  letters  in  which 
the  human  touch  must  predominate,  to  a  large  number  of  men, 
has  found  its  highest  expression  in  the  "form  paragraph," 
the  contents  of  w^hich  may  vary  from  information  about  the 
product  or  a  change  of  price  to  a  "pep  talk''  or  the  like.  The 
form  paragraph  does  not.  of  course,  exclude  the  use  of  such 
matter  in  a  letter  which  is  purely  personal  to  the  salesman. 
The  use  of  printed  matter  other  than  letters  varies  from 
sending  the  salesman  the  regular  "house  organ,"  to  the  prep- 
aration of  a  special  sales  news  sheet  and  special  telegraph 
codes  wdiich  are  to  be  used  in  the  case  of  emergency  ship- 

Incentives  to  Stimulate  Effort 

The  methods  of  direct  compensation  for  salesmen  may 
be  divided  into  three  classes:  (i)  straight  salary,  (2)  straight 
commission,  (3)  salary  and  commission.  However,  there  are 
many  kinds  of  incentives  used  to  stimulate  effort.  In  spirit 
and  kind  these  methods  do  not  differ  from  the  premium  of 
the  factory  laborer  or  bonus  of  the  office  employee.  The  dif- 
ference lies  chiefly  in  the  basis  upon  which  the  commission  and 
the  quotas  are  figured. 

The  difficulties  with  all  schemes  which  depart  from  the 
straight  salary  basis  lie  in  the  many  factors  which  must  be  con- 
sidered before  an  equitable  adjustment  can  be  made.  The 
average  salesman  is  employed  in  securing  the  signatures  of 


prospects  and  the  work  involved  depends  upon  two  general 
considerations :  ( i )  business  which  would  come  naturally  to 
the  company;  (2)  business  which  would  not  come  to  the  com- 
pany unless  real  selling  ability  was  used  by  the  salesman. 

The  term  ''selling  ability"  is  not  usually  limited  to  the 
getting  of  new  orders,  but  to  the  keeping  of  old  customers  as 
well,  and  it  is  here  that  complications  arise  in  trying  to  estab- 
lish a  basis  for  estimating  commissions  or  quotas.  Often  the 
salesman's  time  is  employed  more  profitably,  so  far  as  the 
company  is  concerned,  in  settling  disputes,  suggesting  changes 
in,  and  improved  methods  of,  using  the  product,  and  the  like. 
Therefore,  all  commission  or  quota  schemes  must  be  based 
upon  more  or  less  arbitrary  decisions  or  judgments. 

Commissions  and  Bonus 

A  salesman's  commission  is  his  salary  figured  on  a  piece- 
rate  basis.  Piece-work  by  a  salesman  means  either  the  num- 
ber of  his  sales  or  the  money  value  of  his  sales  reckoned  over 
a  definite  period  of  effort.  Two  examples  will  explain  the 
methods  which  lie  at  the  basis  of  all  quota  or  commission 
schemes  of  payment.  The  first  case  below  is  chosen  as  an  ex- 
ample because  of  the  comparative  ease  with  which  the  prod- 
uct can  be  measured.  The  units  are  uniform  and  the  general 
conditions  of  marketing  and  use  are  not  impossible  of  deter- 

Method  of  Compensation,  Salary,  and  Commission* 

Class  Points 

A    Additional  consumption,  either  gas  or  electric    (present 

consumption )     5 

B     New  contracts,  gas  or  electric,  where  service  was  not  pre- 
viously   in    use ,  .  . .     3 

BB  Industrial  fuel  gas 7 

*Gas  and  Electric  Company  of  .Denver. 


C     Replacing  service  or  equipment   for   old  or  new  party, 

where  formerly  in  use i]^ 

D     Present  users,  changed  to  other  address I 

E     Outlining    on    buildings 6 

F     Outlining  on  present  signs  where  flat  against  the  building    51^ 
G     Outlining  present  projecting  signs 5 

The  above  schedule  shows  different  classifications  arranged  as 
to  their  relative  value  to  the  Company.  Take,  for  instance, 
Class  A,  additional  consumption.  Let  us  assume  that  a  consumer 
who  is  now  using  illuminating  gas  is  persuaded  to  put  in  a  gas 
range,  and  the  estimated  consumption  of  gas  upon  that  range 
is  20,000  cu.  ft.  per  year;  figured  on  5-point  basis,  the  repre- 
sentative is  entitled  to  100  points  for  securing  this  business. 
All  other  classifications  are  figured  accordingly.  A  record  is 
kept  of  the  points  secured  by  each  representative,  and  at  the  end 
of  each  month  it  is  determined  what  percentage  each  represen- 
tative is  entitled  to,  as  compared  with  the  total  business  secured. 
As  an  illustration  of  the  above,  let  us  assume  that  for  the  month 
of  December  there  were  60,000  points  of  estimated  business  se- 
cured. We  will  further  assume  that  one  representative  secured 
of  that  amount  6,000  points.  That  is,  he  produced  10  per  cent  of 
the  estimated  business.  Now  let  us  assume  tliat  for  the  month  of 
January  the  Company  has  an  increased  gross  revenue  of  $15,000, 
which  we  will  say  was  due  to  natural  causes  and  the  work  done 
by  the  representatives  during  the  month  of  December. 

We  will  now  see  how  we  are  to  pay  the  representatives.  We 
will  assume  it  is  agreed  by  the  Company  that  the  representatives 
are  to  have  5  per  cent  of  the  Company's  increased  gross  revenue 
as  a  bonus.  This  5  per  cent  of  $15,000,  $750,  is  given  them  as 
bonus  money,  to  be  divided  among  them  according  to  their  per- 
centage of  the  business  secured.  Thus,  the  representative  above 
mentioned,  having  secured  10  per  cent  of  the  business  in  December, 
would  be  entitled  to  10  per  cent  of  the  bonus  money  secured  in 
January,  or  $75,  which  would  be  paid  him  February  5. 

In  addition  to  the  bonus,  representatives  are  paid  a  flat  salary 
of  $60  per  month.  Thus  you  will  see  that  this  man  would  re- 
ceive for  his  December  work  a  salary  of  $60  plus  a  bonus  of 
$75,  or  a  total  of  $135. 

Observe  that  the  work  and  business  secured  by  the  representa- 
tive in  the  month  of  December  ought  to  show  in  the  Company's 
increased  revenue  during  the  following  month  of  January,  and 
between  Ihe  first  and  fifth  of  February  we  can  determine  from 
the  books  the  amount  of  increased  revenue ;  therefore  we  are 
able  by  the  fifth  of  February  to  make  settlement  as  outlined. 


Bonus  Method  of  Payment 

A  second  example  based  on  the  value  of  products  sold  is 
seen  in  department  stores  and  other  concerns  selling  a  varied 
line  of  products.  Here  the  number  of  pieces  sold  would  be 
all  out  of  proportion  to  the  sales  effort  necessary  to  dispose 
of  them.  It  is  considered  more  equitable  if  the  sales  effort  be 
measured  by  the  value  of  the  goods  sold. 

Other  lines  such  as  books  and  insurance  are  put  usually 
on  a  straight  commission  basis  reckoned  at  a  certain  percent- 
age of  the  value  of  the  product.  Based  upon  this  principle 
a  sales  manager  handling  a  number  of  specialty  salesmen  on 
a  commission  basis  has  worked  out  an  ingenious  bonus  sys- 
tem.'^ The  grading  up  of  his  sales  price,  necessitating  the 
grading  up  of  commissions,  gave  him  his  opportunity  to  work 
in  this  bonus  without  increasing  his  percentage  of  commission 
on  sales. 

The  monthly  volume  bonus,  as  it  is  called,  works  out  this 
way : 

12  sales  in  one  month,  a  bonus  of  $0.50  on  each  sale 





The  effect  is  further  illustrated  by  this  explanatory  table : 

Class  E  D  C  B  A 

Sales    a    month 12  15  18  21  24 

Bonus    for    sale    of $  oO  $1.00  $1.50  $2.00  $2.50 

Or  a  total  bonus  for  month  of 6.00  15.00  27.00  42.00  60.00 

(or  more) 
Which   means   that   three   sales   from 

one    point    to    another    are    worth 

aside  from  the  commissions  thereon  9.00  12.00  15.00  18.00 

•Business   Progress  Bulletin,   Alexander  Hamilton    Institute,    1918. 


Note  especially  how  easily  attainable  the  lower  classes  of 
bonuses,  are.  They  are  especially  planned  so  that  the  great 
majority  of  the  men  in  the  organization  will  be  bonus  men  of 
one  class  or  another  every  month.  This  illustrates  the  prin- 
ciple "attainability." 

In  practice  it  has  been  found  that  the  members  of  the  or- 
ganization are  more  desirous  of  being  listed  in  the  concern's 
weekly  sales  bulletin  as  Class  A  bonus  men,  than  they  are  con- 
cerned over  the  monetary  value  of  the  bonus  that  goes  with 
that  class. 

Furthermore,  if  they  have  attained  Class  C  with  two  days 
of  the  month  to  go,  they  make  one  last  effort  to  attain  Class 
B  before  the  books  close.  If  a  salesman  passes  his  "baby" 
bonus,  as  Class  E  has  been  affectionately  termed,  early  in  the 
month  he  is  likely  to  brag  about  it  in  his  letter  to  the  house 
and  prophesy  Class  A  for  himself  for  the  month.  In  other 
words,  the  plan  seems  to  comply  with  the  principle  of  pro- 
viding an  immediate  incentive  at  any  time  of  the  month  irre- 
spective of  the  individual's  production. 

Both  of  the  methods  given  above  have  been  modified  by 
the  addition  of  a  bonus  to  a  salary  on  a  commission  basis. 

Monthly  statements  should  be  sent  to  a  salesman  working 
on  a  commission  basis,  giving  the  exact  dates  and  status  of 
his  account.  Direct  expenses  of  every  sort  should  be  charged 
against  the  salesman's  commission,  in  each  territory.  He 
should  be  allowed  to  draw  on  his  account  within  specified 
limits,  final  settlements  to  be  made  periodically. 

Training  of  Salesmen 

Training  Salespeople 

Training  courses  are  part  of  every  sales  organization  of 
any  importance  today.  They  may  vary  in  length  of  training 
and  in  number  of  subjects  taught,  but  big  business  has  long 


ago  lost  its  indifference  to  the  training  of  its  sales  repre- 
sentatives. While  it  would  be  interesting  to  take  up  all  the 
phases  of  salesmanship  education,  it  will  be  necessary  to  con- 
fine this  discussion  to  the  outline  of  such  courses. 

Two  courses  of  training  at  once  differentiate  themselves : 
(i)  the  specialty  and  staple  salesman,  and  (2)  the  retail  store 

Training  of  Specialty  Salesmen 

The  selection  of  men  and  the  preliminary  preparation  are 
necessary  antecedents  to  a  satisfactory  procedure  of  intensive 
training.  The  right  material  and  the  proper  seasoning  are 
essential.  A  month's  contact  with  the  prospective  salesman 
before  systematic  courses  are  begun  is  not  too  much  in  which 
to  inspire  him  with  confidence  in  the  firm's  policies,  ideals, 
and  its  product.  In  this  time  he  can  become  acquainted  with 
the  house  organ,  the  selling  equipment,  the  personality  of  the 
sales  manager,  and  the  standard  presentation  of  the  selling 
talk.  At  the  end  of  this  time  he  can  be  brought  into  a  class 
for  instruction,  and  when  this  is  completed  given  a  further 
trial  under  the  guidance  of  a  coach  in  the  field.  This  at  once 
suggests  that  every  well-organized  course  should  provide  a 
class  leader  and  a  field  coach. 

Training  at  the  Home  Office 

The  subjects  covered  by  a  course  of  house  training  should 
be  broad  enough  to  cover  all  parts  of  the  organization,  but 
the  time  devoted  to  particular  phases  will  be  short  (perhaps 
one  lesson  or  part  of  a  lesson  only),  depending  upon  its  rela- 
tive importance.     In  general,  the  course  should  cover: 

1.  Theory  of  salesmanship 

2.  Practical  selling 

3.  Analysis  of  the  product 


4.  Knowledge  of  house  policies 

5.  Study  of  competitive  products 

6.  Knowledge  of  marketing  policy  of  the  house 

A  Practical  Working  Outline 

The  following  outline  has  been  used  successfully  for  a 
number  of  years  by  Raymond  J.  Comyns,  Assistant  Sales 
Manager  of  the  Alexander  Hamilton  Institute: 

Theory  and  Practice  of  Salesmanship 
I.     The  Selling  Process 

1.  Development  of  a  Sale 

(a)  Attention 

(b)  Interest 

(c)  Desire 

(d)  Confidence 

(e)  Close 

2.  Preliminary  to  the  Interview 

(a)  Preparation  for  the  Interview 

(b)  Studying  the  Prospect 

(c)  Gathering  Information 

(d)  Using  a  Card  Index 

3.  Getting  to  See  the  Buyer 

(a)  Alen  Hard  to  See 

(b)  Tactics  to  be  Avoided 

(c)  Use  of  Telephone  and  Business  Card 

(d)  A  Dignified  Bearing 

(e)  Securing  Favorable  Conditions  for  the  Interview 

(f)  Using  Co-operation  to  See  the  Prospect 

(g)  Individuality  in  Announcing  Oneself 

4.  The  Approach   Proper 

5.  The  Interview 

(a)  Attention;  Its  Nature 

(b)  Conditions  Favorable  to  Attention 

(c)  The  Use  of  the  Business  Card 

(d)  The  Handshake 

(e)  Transferrir-^  the  Prpspect's  Attention  to  the  Goods 


(f)  The  Opening  Talk 

(g)  Securing  Prospect's  Participation  in  Sale 
(h)   The  Importance  of  the  "You"  Attitiide 

6.  Interest 

(a)  Presentation 

(b)  Demonstration 

7.  Meeting  Objections 

(a)  Anticipating  the  Objection 

(b)  When  to  Mention  Price 

(c)  The  Unreasoned  Objection 

(d)  Tact  in  Opposing  the  Prospect 

(e)  Avoiding  Negative  Suggestions 

(f)  Discussing  Competitor's  Goods 

(g)  Minimizing  Objections 

8.  Desire 

(a)  Ripened  Interest 

(b)  How  Secured 

(c)  Desire  and  the  "You"  Attitude 

(d)  How  Indicated 

g.    Close 

(a)  The  "Decision  on  a  Minor  Point"  Principle 

(b)  The  "Write  the  Order"  Method  of  Close 

(c)  Courage  and  Positive  Suggestion 

(d)  Mechanics   of   the   Close 

(e)  Make  Decisions,  Do  Not  Expect  Them 

II.  Concurrence  of  Buyer  and  Seller 

1.  Persistence  of  the  Right  Kind 

2.  After  the  Sale 

(a)  Furnishing  Additional  Information 

(b)  Securing  Co-operation 

(c)  Leaving  the  Right  Impression 

3.  Starting  the  Bill 

4.  Getting  the  Price 

5.  "Think  It  Over"  and  the  Call  Book 

6.  Creative    Salesmanship 

III.  Human  Appeals  That  Sell 

1.  Warm  Friendship  versus  Cold  Science 

2.  Securing  Prospect's  Respect  and  Admiration 

3.  Securing  the  Prospect's  Friendship 


4.  The  Sincere  Compliment 

5.  Appealing  to  Self-Esteem 

6.  Appealing  to  Acquisitiveness  and  Desire  for  Profit 

7.  Appealing  to  Love   of   Home   and   Family 

8.  Appealing  to   the    Imitative  Instinct 

9.  Other  Appeals  Possible 

(a)  Appeal  to : 


(b)  Appeal  to  the  Imagination  or  to  Emotions 

(c)  Positive  Suggestion 

IV.    Essential  Qualificatioxs  of  Salesmen 





































Size  of  Class  and  Length  of  Time 

Both  of  these  elements  will  vary  with  conditions,  but  expe- 
rience proves  that  they  do  not  differ  materially  from  the 
practice  of  educational  institutions,  allowing  for  the  maturity 
of  the  students.  Two  weeks  is  a  common  period  devoted  to 
house  training-  and  a  class  consisting  of  12  to  20  men  produces 
the  best  results.  This  permits  each  man  to  come  into  personal 
contact  with  the  teacher,  the  sales  executives,  and  other  mem- 
bers of  the  home  staff.  This  is  also  an  economical  number 
considered  from  the  point  of  view  of  expense.  The  time  of 
holding  training  classes  should  be  carefully  determined,  for 
in  this  way  a  dull  season  can  be  profitably  utilized  in  training, 
and  usually  the  training  period  will  coincide  with  the  time  of 


holding  the  yearly  sales  convention.  At  that  time  the  men 
get  the  added  impetus  of  strong  emotional  surroundings — 
star  salesmen,  ginger  talks,  ''experience  meetings,"  and  the 

Training  of  Retail  Salespeople 

The  method  of  approach  to  the  training  of  retail  sales- 
people is  somewhat  different  from  that  used  in  training  spe- 
cialty salesmen.  In  the  first  place  the  retail  sales  person  re- 
mains in  close  association  with  the  home  office  and  can  be 
given  longer  and  perhaps  more  extended  instruction  about 
the  product  itself  and  its  commercial  possibilities.  The  fol- 
low^ing  outline  which  has  been  carefully  worked  out  by  the 
Committee  on  Retail  Salesmanship  of  the  National  Association 
of  Corporation  Schools  is  the  most  comprehensive  attempt  to 
meet  the  demands  of  the  larger  department  stores  of  America. 

Syllabus  in  Textile  Merchandise  Course 

Purpose:    To   present   to   pupils   information   concerning  the   sources  of 
supply,   methods    of    manufacture,   and   uses    of   textile   merchandise, 
with  special  reference  to  its  commercial  handling  and  classification. 
Time:    Two  periods  per   week    (total  20  weeks). 

By  the  use  of  text-books  and  mimeographed  notes. 

By  the  use  of  illustrative    material. 

By  the  co-operation  of  the  heads  of  textile  departments  of  the  store. 

I.    Cotton  Goods 

1.  History 

2.  Sources  of  Supply 

3.  Manufacture 

(a)  Centers  of  Industry 

(b)  Processes    (spinning,   weaving,    dyeing,   printing,   adul- 


4.  Uses 

(a)  Alaterials  for  Furnishings 

(b)  Wearing  Apparel 

(c)  Tests,  Laundering,  and  Care 


II.    Linen  Goods 

1.  History 

2.  Sources  of  Supply 

3.  Manufacture 

4.  Uses 

(a)  Materials  by  the  Yard 

(b)  House    Linens,    Made    Up    (table,    bed,    towels,    fancy 


(c)  Wearing  Apparel 

(d)  Tests,  Laundering,  and  Care 

III.     Silk  Goods 

1.  History 

2.  Sources  of  Supply 

3.  Manufacture 

4.  Uses 

(a)  Material  by  the  Yard 

(b)  Knitted  Underwear  and  Hosiery 

(c)  Velvets 

(d)  Tests,   Cleaning,  and  Care 

:V.     Woolen  Goods 



Sources  of  Supply 



(a)  Material  by  the  Yard 

(b)  Knitted  Goods,  Underwear,  Hosiery,  etc 

(c)  Blankets 

(d)  Tests,  Cleaning,  and  Care 

V.    Laces 




Sources  of  Supply 
Raw  Materials 

(a)  Centers  of  Industry 

(b)  Processes : 

Real  Hand-Made  Lace 
Machine-Made  Lace 
Imitation  Lace 

(c)  Comparison  between  Real  and  Imitation  Lace 
Classification  and  Uses  of  Finished  Product 


VI.    Carpets  and  Rugs 

1.  History 

2.  Raw  Materials 

3.  Manufacture 

4.  Classification  and  Uses 

Syllabus  in  Non-Textile  Merchandise  Course 

Purpose:    To  present  to  pupils  information  concerning  non-textile  mer- 
chandise, as  with  textile  departments. 
Time:    Two  periods  per  week    (total  20  weeks). 
Method:    As  in  textile  merchandise. 

I.     Review  Work  on  Materials  as  given  in  General  Science  Course 
II.    China  and  Glassware 

1.  Materials  and  Sources  of  Supply 

2.  Manufacture 

(a)  Centers  of  Industry 

(b)  Processes 

3.  Classification  and  Uses    (table  china,  household,  art  pottery, 

glassware,   lamps) 

III.  Silverware  and  Jewelry 

1.  Materials  and  Sources  of  Supply 

(a)  Metals 

(b)  Precious  Stones 

(c)  Sundry   Materials 

2.  Manufacture    (as  above) 

3.  Classification  and  Uses   (silverware,  table  silver,  etc.) 

IV.  Leather  Goods — Shoes,  and  Gloves 

I.    History,  Sources  of  Supply,  etc. 

V.    Rubber  Goods 

1.  History 

2.  Sources  of    Supply 

3.  Manufacture 

(a)  General  Processes 

(b)  Special   Process    (hard  and   soft   rubber) 

Rubberized  Cloth 

Rubber  Boots  and  Overshoes 

Toilet  Articles 

Household  Articles 




I.     Classification  and  Uses 

(a)  Household  Woodenware 

(b)  Willow  ware  and  Baskets 

VII.     Paper 

I.    History,  Sources  of  Supply,  etc. 

Syllabus  in  Salesmanship  and  Business  Organization 

Purpose:  (Salesmanship)  To  present  to  pupils  examples  of  practical 
selling  through  type  cases,  and  from  them  to  discover  the  principles 
of  good  salesmanship,  its  ethics,  the  qualities  required  of  sales- 
people, and  the  steps  in  a  sale. 

(Business  Organization)  To  follow  business  organization  from  the 
organization  of  a  department  store  through  wholesaling  to  manu- 
facturing, so  that  pupils  may  have  a  clear  outline  of  the  organization 
of  retail  selling  and  a  general  view  of  the  business  world. 

Time:  Two  periods  per  week  in  alternate  weeks  during  the  third 
year  of  high  school   (total  20  weeks). 

Method:  By  the  case  system,  accompanied  by  text-book  references  and 

First  Section — Salesmanship 
I.     Process  of  Sale  (Illustrated  by  type  cases  treated  as  problems) 

A — System 

1.  Normal  Cash  Sale — Taken  or  Sent 

2.  Special  Order  for  Later  Delivery 

3.  Normal  Charge  Sale — Credit 

4.  Engravings    (silver,  ivory,  etc.) 

5.  Repairs  of  Various  Kinds 

6.  Alterations  on  Suits  and  Other  Clothing 

7.  Transfers — Sent  or  Taken 

8.  C  O.  D.  and  Bill  for  Collection 

9.  Special  Deliveries  to  Customers,  etc, 

B — Merchandise 

1.  Staple  Goods 

2.  Novelties 

3.  Special  Sales 



C — Customers 

1.  Critical  Customers 

2.  Dependent  Customers 

3.  Difficult  Cases 

4.  Alail-Order  Purchases 

5.  Telephone  Orders 

6.  Personal  Service   (guides) 

7.  Interpreters,  Different  Nationalities 

8.  Complaints  from  Custom.ers 

II.    Formulation  of  Principles  from  Above 

1.  Modern  IMethods  of  Selling 

2.  Proper  Attitude  of  Sales  Clerks 

(a)  Toward  Store 

(b)  Toward  Customers 

(c)  Toward  Fellow  Employees 



UISITE    1 

Qualifications  of  Sales  Clerks 


Personal  Characteristics 



(b)  Judgment 










Attractive  Appearance 






(a)   Courtesy 













;ary   Knowledge 


Good  English 


Good  Penmanship 


Local  Geography 




Store  System 


Store  Policies 


Human  Nature 





IV.    Points  of  a  Sale 

1.  Approach  to  Customer 

2.  Presentation  of  Merchandise 

3.  Attracting  Attention 

4.  Arousing  Interest 

5.  Creating  Desire 

6.  Closing  a  Sale 

V.    Waste  in  Business 

Second   Section — Business   Organization 

I.  Introduction  (Briefly  trace  the  course  of  retail  selling  from  a 
simple  beginning  of  a  small  store  with  proprietor  and  one  or  two 
assistants,  handling  one  line  of  merchandise,  gradually  adding 
related  lines  and  then  unrelated  lines  as  the  opportunity  pre- 
sented itself,  to  the  more  complex  organization  of  the  modern 
department  store.) 

II.     Retail  Selling 
A — Department  Store 

1.  Its  Function 

2.  Organization    (chart    showing   organization   and   the   interre- 

lations  of  various   departments) 

(a)  Administration 

(b)  Merchandising 

(c)  Superintending 


(d)  Accounting  and  Auditing 

(e)  Advertising 

(f)  Store  Service 

To  the  Public 
To  the  Staff 

(g)  Conditions  of   Service 



Opportunities  for  Advancement 

Comparison  with  Other  Vocatioi.s 

B — Chain  Stores 

T.    Function    of    Business    Compared    with    that    of    Department 


2.  Organization  Compared  with  that  of  Department  Store 

(a)  Points  of  Resemblance 

(b)  Points  of  Difference  and  Reasons 

3.  Service  Rendered  to  the  Public;  Advantages  and  Objections 

C — Mail  Order  House 
(Same  as  above) 

D — Specialty  Shops 

(Same  as  above) 

III.  Wholesale  Selling 

1.  Function  of  Business 

2.  Organization 

(a)  Executive 

(b)  Selling 

3.  Relation  to  Retail  Selling 

4.  Relation  to  Manufacturing 

5.  Comparison  of  Organization  with  that  of  Retail  House 

6.  Advantages  and  Disadvantages 

IV.  Manufacturing 

1.  Introduction   (brief  sketch  showing  development  of  the  mod- 

ern factory) 

2.  Organization 

(a)  Executive 

(b)  Production 

3.  Relation  to  Wholesale  Selling 

4.  Relation  to  Retail  Selling 

5.  Direct  or  So-called  "Direct  from  Manufacturer  to  Consumer" 

These  lessons,  arranged  to  suit  the  local  conditions,  should 
be  accompanied  by  presentations  of  matter  bearing  upon  ( i ) 
the  general  science  features  connected  with  materials;  (2) 
principles  of  design  and  principles  of  color  as  applied  to 
manufactured  forms :  millinery,  women's  dress,  accessories, 

The  particular  object  aimed  at  in  this  work  is  to  show 
each  prospective  saleswoman  that  in  matters  esthetic  and  utili- 
tarian she  frequently  must  play  the  part  of  the  teacher,  but 
must  play  it  in  so  tactful  and  skilful  a  manner  that  the  cus- 
tomer will  welcome  the  information  given  and  will  be  led. 



naturally,  to  make  a  wise  choice  among  the  objects  offered 
for  sale. 

Special  Data 

The  sales  department  must  make  provision  for  the  col- 
lection and  filing  of  a  great  deal  of  scattered  and  varied  data. 
Thus,  for  example,  a  complaint  file,  schedule  file,  a  house  or- 
gan material  or  suggestion  file  may  be  kept.  Some  disposition 
must  be  made  of  the  memos,  requisitions,  salesmen's  "mis- 
sionaries," and  field  reports.  The  equipment  and  system  used 
will  depend  upon  the  requirement  of  the  business.  In  some 
cases  the  sales  department  performs  the  most  important  func- 
tions of  the  advertising  department,  the  latter  in  this  case 
simply  writing  copy  and  performing  incidental  advertising 
routine.  The  sales  department  in  this  particular  instance  may 
keep  a  file  of  addresses  and  circulars  of  sign  novelty  and 
auxiliary  service  concerns,  periodical  rate  and  circulating  data 
of  advertising  mediums,  cuts,  drawings,  etc.  The  data  re- 
quired will  depend  upon  the  product,  the  policy,  and  the 
method  of  carrying  out  the  sales  campaign. 



Purpose  of  Sales  Promotion  Department 

Concerns  manufacturing  a  product  in  wide  demand  find 
that  the  effectiveness  of  a  seUing  organization  is  often  greatly 
increased  by  the  creation  of  a  new  office  department — the  sales 
promotion  department.  While  as  yet  confined  to  only  a  few 
of  the  larger  corporations,  this  latest  division  in  the  sphere  of 
ofiice  work  has  evidently  come  to  stay.  Such  a  department  is 
perhaps  not  suited  to  every  class  of  business,  because  its  activ- 
ities so  far  have  been  confined  to  the  sale  of  a  specialized  or 
technical  product  where  the  sales  are  made  individually  to 
dealers  or  consumers  rather  than  en  masse  to  jobbers  and 
wholesalers.  , 

Functions  of  Sales  Promotion  Department 

Succinctly  stated,  the  function  of  the  sales  promotion  de- 
partment is  to  find  the  prospective  customer  and  cultivate  his 
good-will.  These  customers  are  recognized  by  some  expres- 
sion of  their  interest,  usually  in  the  form  of  a  request  for  a 
catalogue  or  booklet  or  for  information  about  the  goods. 
As  the  work  of  the  advertising  department  is  to  create  this 
interest  and  its  duty  generally  ends  when  an  inquiry  has  been 
attended  to  (unless  the  advertising  manager  is  unusually  sys- 
tematic and  versatile,  with  a  broad  conception  of  his  respon- 
sibilities and  duties),  it  has  become  necessary  to  delegate  to  a 
person  or  department  the  function  of  nursing  this  inquiry  to 
the  order-producing  stage.  At  this  point  the  sales  department 
generally  takes  hold  and  closes  the  deal. 



Benefit  Derived  from  Promotion  Work 

Thus  it  is  seen  that  promotion  work,  while  it  is  distinct 
from  both  advertising  and  sales,  partakes,  to  a  degree,  of  both. 
It  is  a  link  in  the  marketing  process  that  too  often  is  neglected. 
It  has  its  being  in  the  recognition  of  E.  H.  Harriman's  dic- 
tum, "Much  good  work  is  spoiled  for  the  lack  of  a  little  more." 
The  promotion  department  goes  over  with  a  fine-tooth  comb 
the  territories  that  it  would  be  impossible  or  impracticable  for 
a  sales  or  advertising  department  to  work  intensively.  The 
result  is  larger  returns  for  the  advertising  appropriation  and 
less  expense  in  turning  inquiries  into  orders.  This  reduction 
is  due  to  the  fact  that  promotion  work,  being  of  a  compara- 
tively simple  and  routine  character,  can  be  carried  on  more 
effectively  and  at  less  expense  in  a  department  of  its  own 
than  when  amalgamated  with  the  active  work  of  the  adver- 
tising department  or  the  technical  work  of  the  sales  depart- 

Relation  to  Sales  and  Advertising  Departments 

The  relation  of  the  promotion  department  to  the  adver- 
tising and  sales  departments  differs  in  almost  every  business. 
In  some  cases  the  promotion  work  may  be  under  the  control 
of  the  advertising  manager  but  as  the  details  increase  in 
number  a  separate  organization  generally  evolves  under  its 
own  head.  In  other  cases  such  a  department  has  been  started 
as  a  separate  unit  but  eventually  placed  under  the  control 
of  the  advertising  department.  A  great  deal  depends  upon 
the  relations  existing  between  the  promotion  work  and  the 
sale  of  the  product. 

If  the  work  is  likely  to  result  in  an  immediate  sale,  it 
would  seem  that  the  logical  head  of  the  department  should 
be  the  sales  manager.  But  if  results  are  looked  for  in  the 
more  or  less  distant  future  and  the  advertising  is  of  a  more 



or  less  educational  type,  the  work  can  best  be  managed  in  a 
separate  department. 

Work  of  Department 

The  work  of  the  promotion  department,  whether  assigned 
to  a  single  person  in  a  small  organization  or  to  the  complete 
department  of  a  large  concern,  covers  many  activities  the 
nature  of  which  is  indicated  by  the  following  instructions 
issued  by  a  manufacturing  concern : 

Develop  new  customers: 

I.  Nurse  the  leads  or  inquiries  received  from  the  ad- 
vertising department  into  sales  or  prospects  ready 
for  closing  by  the  sales  staff. 

(a)  By  orally  "putting  across"  the  messages  of 

the  salesmen. 

(b)  Do  whatever  educational  work  the  product 


Stimulate : 

1.  Old  customers 

(a)  Study  their  needs  and   show  them  how   to 

do  better  business. 

(b)  Send  them  appropriate  advertising  matter. 

(c)  Suggest  more  effective  window  displays,  etc. 

(d)  In  general,  increase  business  by  approaching 

the  dealers  from  their  point  of  view. 

2.  Salesmen 

(a)  Send  to  salesmen  any  information  that  may 

prove  of  value  in  their  territory. 

(b)  Give  notice  of  plans. 

(c)  Suggest    methods    of    doing    more    effective 



3.     Advertising  and  sales  department 

(a)  Supply  any  information  that  may  prove  ef- 

fective in  improving  their  work. 

(b)  Correlate  the  activities  and  bolster  up  any 


(c)  Give  notice  of  plans. 

(d)  Give  them  the  mental  perspective  of  changing 

conditions   and  new   discoveries   and  pre- 
vent them  from  getting  into  a  rut. 

Method  of  Inaugurating  Promotion  Work 

Promotion  work  often  begins  with  the  creation  of  a 
''service  department"  in  which  the  handling  of  complaints  or 
inquiries  from  customers  is  centered.  In  other  cases  a  "pros- 
pect department"  is  created  to  follow  up  inquiries  about  goods 
and  thus  aid  both  the  advertising  department  and  sales  de- 
partment in  closing  sales.  Another  method  of  organization 
is  to  segregate  the  work  of  preparing  lists  of  prospects,  at- 
tending to  their  proper  classification,  filing,  etc.,  and  following 
up   correspondence   with   dealers,    individual    customers,   etc. 

Duties  of  Personnel 

The  advantages  of  placing  the  details  of  promotion  work 
under  the  control  of  a  central  authority  which  gives  its  ener- 
gies solely  to  co-ordinating  the  activities  relating  to  the  search 
for  customers  and  the  cultivation  of  their  good-will  are  ob- 
vious. The  nature  and  scope  of  the  work  involved  can  be 
judged  by  the  following  list  of  instructions  covering  the  han- 
dling of  correspondence,  as  summarized  by  one  concern : 

Record  Clerk's  Duty  Card 

1.  Receive  incoming  mail. 

2.  Check  calls  on  cards. 

3.  Check  correspondence  incoming. 

4.  Attach  to  incoming  letters  any  filed  correspondence  on  hand. 


5.  Check  orders. 

6.  Check  correspondence  outgoing. 

7.  Sign  letters. 

8.  Look  after  reports: 

(a)  Expense 

(b)  Correspondence 

(c)  Territory 

9.  File. 

10.  Fill  out  cards. 

11.  Keep  up  records. 

12.  Order  stock. 

13.  Look  after  stock. 

14.  Look  after  follow-ups: 

(a)  Monthly  ticklers  in  files 

(b)  Desk  jogger 

(c)  Telephone 

(d)  Salesman's  envelopes 

(e)  Outgoing  mail 

Correspondent's  Duty  Card 

1.  Handle  and  reply  to  letters  from: 

(a)  Customers 

(b)  Salesmen 

(c)  Miscellaneous  sources 

2.  Promotion  work : 

(a)  Prospective  customers 

(b)  Active  customers 

3.  Offering  suggestions  to  active  customers. 

4.  Offer  advertisements  in  various  forms: 

(a)  Prospective  customers 

(b)  Active  customers 

5.  Follow  salesmen  and  territory  by  noting  route  lists  and  follow- 

ing routes. 

6.  Correspondence  with  salesmen. 

7.  Analysis  of  reports. 

Stenographic  Duty  Card 

1.  Transcribe  letters  of  correspondent 

2.  Handle  multigraph  letters 

3.  Copy  letters 

4.  General  secretarial  work 


Handling  of  Correspondence  and  Advertising  Matter 

Much  of  the  promotion  work  involves  the  handling  of 
correspondence  and  the  mailing  of'  advertising  matter.  When 
the  volume  of  this  material  is  such  that  several  clerks  are 
required  to  take  care  of  it,  it  may  be  segregated  something 
after  the  following  fashion : 

1.  By  classes  of  trade. 

2.  By  territory  into  two  or  three  sections. 

3.  By  separating  the  mechanical  promotion  work. 

4.  By  dividing  the  territory  and  separating  the  mechan- 

ical promotion  work. 

When  it  is  necessary  to  employ  correspondents,  it  may  be 
advisable  to  place  them  under  the  supervision  of  a  chief  cor- 
respondent. In  a  similar  manner  departments  may  be  created 
to  take  care  of  the  filing  and  the  keeping  of  the  card  records. 

Co-operating  with  Retailers  Through  Promotion  Department 

In  carrying  out  the  main  work  of  the  promotion  depart- 
ment, that  of  following  up  prospects  in  the  field,  there  are 
difTerent  methods  of  helping  retail  customers — either  directly 
or  through  the  intermediary  of  salesmen  or  a  combination  of 
both  methods.  Direct  contact  with  the  customer  is  usually 
made  by  means  of  : 

1.  Advertising  material  such  as  signs,  booklets,  circu- 

lars with  a  description  of  how  to  use  the  material 
most  effectively. 

2.  "Ready  made''  advertisements  and  electros  to  enable 

the  dealer  who  "knows  nothing  about  advertising" 
to  carrv  on  an  efficient  newspaper  campaign. 

3.  By  procuring  a  list  of  the  store's  customers  and  ad- 

vertising the  product  or  some  special  offer  direct 
by  mail. 


4.     By  studying  the  special  problems  of  customers  and 
showing  the  retailer  how  to  solve  them. 

Work  of  this  nature  is  obviously  of  great  value  in  build- 
ing up  good-will.  It  is  a  recognition  of  the  fact  that  every 
merchant  cannot  be  a  John  Wanamaker.  If  he  were  he 
would  not  be  the  proprietor  of  a  small  store.  The  larger 
means,  the  wider  business  experience,  and  the  ability  to  pay 
for  expert  advertising  service,  enable  the  manufacturer  to 
help  the  present  or  prospective  customer  in  ways  which  would 
be  prohibitive  to  the  small  storekeeper  whose  resources  are 
more  or  less  limited.  The  benefit  to  the  manufacturer  though 
indirect  is  none  the  less  substantial  as  his  own  prosperity  de- 
pends upon  the  business  ability  and  prosperity  of  his  retail 

Follow-Up  of  Salesmen 

In  every  selling  campaign  to  retailers  no  factor  is  of 
more  importance  than  close  co-operation  between  the  work 
of  outside  representatives  and  that  of  the  promotion  depart- 
ment. Team-work  in  a  selling  force  depends  upon  keeping 
the  individual  salesmen  posted  on  the  trend  of  trade  in  other 
men's  territories  and  telling  them  how  other  salesmen  win  out. 
Example  is  at  all  times  better  than  precept.  If  at  the  same 
time  each  salesman  is  kept  informed  of  prospective  customers 
along  the  route  and  new  customers  are  carefully  nursed  by 
means  of  promotion  work  into  steady  buyers  whose  repeat 
orders  can  be  depended  upon,  the  creation  of  a  sales  promo- 
tion department  is  more  than  justified  by  this  branch  of  ac- 
tivity alone.  The  ordinary  way  of  keeping  in  touch  with  the 
salesman  is  by : 

I.     Keeping  him  informed  of  what  work  is  being  done 
by  the  promotion  department  in  his  territory. 


2.  Sending  him  copies  of  letters  written  to  customers 

and  prospects  in  his  territory. 

3.  Making  suggestions  covering  their  investigation  as 

to  points  of  appeal,  etc. 

The  effect  of  this  work  is  seen  in  the  increased  pull  of 
the  whole  selling  force  and  the  improved  results  from  a  fol- 
low-up campaign. 

Follow-Up  of  Customers 

The  follow-up  work  in  connection  with  advertising  and 
selling  is  one  of  the  activities  of  sales  promotion  which  most 
effectively  co-ordinates  the  more  or  less  disjointed  efforts  of 
the  advertising  and  the  sales  departments.  To  show  what 
some  firms  are  doing  in  this  direction  the  following  example 
is  instructive. 

The  system  as  used  by  this  firm  includes  a  weekly  report 
to  the  promotion  department  from  each  of  the  concern's 
branch  houses.  This  report,  which  is  made  on  a  blank  form 
entitled  "Record  of  Inquiries  Received  and  Sales  Made  from 
Prospects,"  shows  the  territory  of  salesmen,  source  of  in- 
quiry, key  number  and  lot,  if  any,  number  of  inquiries  re- 
ceived, and  amount  of  sales  resulting  therefrom.  The  in- 
formation contained  in  the  salesman's  daily  report  is  em- 
bodied in  the  weekly  report  of  the  branch  houses. 

The  policy  of  the  firm  is  closely  controlled  by  carefully 
worded  instructions  covering  the  writing  of  original  letters 
and  distribution  of  form  letters  and  circular  matter  as  shown 

Instructions  for  Follow-Up  Work 

I.  Study  the  original  advertisement  that  brought  the  in- 
quiry and  word  the  letter  so  as  to  be  in  the  spirit  of  the 
advertisement  which  aroused  the  interest  of  the  writer  and 
conforming  also  to  the  characteristics  as  shown  from  the 
inquiry.     Then  write  a  letter  that  will  educate  and  compel 


a  reply.     No   headway   is   made   unless   your   letters   bring 

2.  Same  date  as  inquiries  are  received  write  first  form 
letter  to  prospect. 

3.  Also  write  first  form  letter  to  the  salesman. 

4.  One  week  later  write  second  form  letter  to  prospect. 

5.  Write  second  form  letter  to  salesman. 

6.  Inquiries  that  are  too  indefinite  to  hand  to  salesmen  can 
be  developed  by  a  judicious  use  of  form  letters  and  handed 
to  the  salesman  ready  for  closing. 

7.  The  tone  of  your  letter  should  always  be  worded  so  as 
to  compel  the  prospect  to  reply. 

8.  Even  if  a  prospect  has  been  informed  that  a  salesman 
will  call,  word  your  letter  so  that  you  may  be  able  to  draw 
forth  a  reply  in  case  the  salesman  should  fail. 

9.  Always  leave  an  opening  so  that  the  prospect  will  feel 
at  liberty  to  write  again  for  some  information  should  the 
salesman  fail  to  call. 

10.  If  four  follow-ups  on  one  article  do  not  bring  a  reply, 
try  a  fifth  follow-up  on  a  different  article. 

11.  The  proper  enclosures,  gaged  by  the  business  of  the 
present  inquiry,  might  bring  business  for  other  articles  than 
that  in  which  the  prospect  is  at  first  interested.  That  is  to 
say,  while  the  inquiry  is  about  a  scale,  an  enclosure  for  an 
engine  might  result  in  a  sale. 

From  the  above  extract  it  will  be  seen  that  this  concern 
leaves  much  to  the  judgment  and  initiative  of  those  who 
write  the  letters  and  select  the  enclosures.  The  size  of  the 
business  permits  this  to  a  greater  extent  than  is  advisable  in 
a  company  doing  a  very  large  business  and  where  great 
economy  must  be  exercised  in  handling  advertising  matter. 
Careful  planning  in  the  preparation  and  handling  of  lists  of 
names  and  in  routing  the  follow-up  letters  are  essential  here 
and  litde  should  be  left  to  the  judgment  and  discretion  of  the 
correspondence  force. 

Planning  a  Follow-Up  System 

The  successful  operation  of  follow-up  systems  depends 
in  a  large  measure  upon  the  ability  to  handle  large  numbers 


of  names  at  a  comparatively  low  cost  per  prospect.  The  use 
of  form  letters  and  the  reduction  of  the  routine  to  a  system 
of  automatic  control  are  means  to  this  end. 

In  producing  a  series  of  form  letters  that  will  answer  the 
bulk  of  the  correspondence,  the  inquiries  must  be  carefully 
analyzed  and  provision  made  for  dividing  them  into  classes. 
This  is  to  insure  the  separation  of  letters  needing  "personal 
attention"  from  those  needing  only  the  formal  reply.  To 
make  the  system  work  almost  automatically  and  with  the 
exercise  of  as  little  thought  as  possible,  the  routine  of  keep- 
ing after  prospects  should  be  "blue-printed."  The  head  of  a 
large  mail-order  house  has  perfected  the  following  scheme 
for  making  sure  that  the  prospects  of  his  firm  get  their  letters 
on  time.  He  has  "blue-printed"  the  procedure  to  be  followed 
in  caring  for  the  five  types  of  inquiry  received.  The  system 
is  simple  and  the  control  is  effected  by  a  single  tickler  card 
file.    The  five  classes  of  prospects  are: 

1.  New  dealers. 

2.  Dealers  who  ask  for  catalogue. 

3.  Dealers  asking  for  quotations. 

4.  Users  from  dealers'  lists. 

5.  Users  who  write  direct. 

Charts  mapping  out  the  course  and  the  procedure  to  be 
followed  at  each  step  in  handling  each  of  these  classes  have 
been  carefully  developed.  The  prospect  cards,  as  shown  in 
Figure  62,  are  very  simple  in  their  make  up,  the  chief  item 
being  the  date  wdien  the  last  letter  was  sent.  Upon  this  the 
work  of  the  follow-up  system  hinges. 

In  the  matter  of  follow-up  of  inquiries  a  very  important 
detail  with  some  firms  is  keeping  a  record  of  each  series  of 
letters  which  are  sent  out.  This  record  should  show  the 
following : 



1.  Number  of  letters  sent  out  each  day  for  each  series. 

2.  Returns  for  each  series  as  they  come  in  each  day. 

3.  Totals  of  letters  of  each  series  should  be  compiled 

at  the  end  of  each  month. 

4.  Total  cash  produced  by  each  series  each  month. 

5.  Percentage  of  sales  to  letters  of  each  series. 


1314151617  18  19 

20  31  23  33  34  25  26  27  28  29  30 
State                   File  No. 


Street  or  Company 


Rating  or  Reference                 Freight  Rate 

We  wrote 


They  wrote                1 

We  wrote 

They  wrote 

Source  or  Inquiry 

Date  of  Inquiry 



Figure  62.     Prospect  Card 

A  card    is   used   for  each   prospect.      It   shows   the  date   when   the   last   letter   was   sent. 
Used  with  the  blue-print   sheets,   it  makes   the   follow-up  practically   automatic. 

Such  a  record  will  tell  at  a  glance  when  a  letter  in  a  series 
becomes  unprofitable  and  which  letter  pulls  best.  Also  it  will 
show  how  far  the  series  can  be  extended  profitably.  Thus,  for 
example,  a  firm  that  has  been  content  to  send  out  only  a  series 
of  say  four  letters  may  find  with  surprise  that  these  just  be- 
gin to  scratch  the  surface  and  that  if  extended  to  a  series  of 
fifteen  letters,  the  fourteenth  might  pull  in  the  most  business. 
Such  a  record  of  follow-ups  is  an  invaluable  feature  of  the 


larger  mail-order  houses  and  undoubtedly  can  be  utilized  in 
every  business  that  handles  inquiries  or  does  any  promotion 
work.  Besides  it  is  important  to  know  when  a  certain  letter 
in  a  series  becomes  played  out.  This  can  be  seen  if  a  letter 
record  is  kept.  The  moment  it  begins  to  lose  its  pull,  it  should 
be  replaced  with  a  new  one. 

The  Handling  of  Inquiries  by  Form  Letters 

The  chart  (Figure  63)  which  shows  the  course  of  the 
letter  and  follow-up  to  be  effected  in  securing  new  customers 
assumes  that  a  list  of  names  has  been  secured — a  matter  which 
will  be  taken  up  later. 

The  first  mailing  contains  a  letter  stating  the  purpose  of 
the  correspondence  and  a  return  card  upon  which  the  dealer 
indicates  his  interest  in  the  proposition.  Each  of  these  cards 
is  clipped  15  days  ahead  of  the  date  the  letters  were  mailed. 
If  a  reply  comes  back  on  the  return  card,  mailing  No.  2  is 
then  sent  out  immediately;  if  no  reply  comes  in  at  the  end  of 
15  days,  the  prospect  is  sent  mailing  No.  3,  and  so  on  to  the 
end  of  the  series.  As  the  prospect  card  always  shows  which 
form  letter  has  been  sent,  the  follow-up  becomes  practically 
automatic,  it  being  simply  a  matter  of  looking  at  the  blue- 
print and  the  card  of  instructions. 

Each  stenographer  is  equipped  with  a  portfolio  containing 
the  blue-prints  and  a  complete  set  of  form  letters  and  en- 
closures. No  judgment  need  be  exercised.  The  instructions 
are  definite  and  so  simple  that  a  new^  girl  learns  the  procedure 
by  simply  going  over  the  details  once  with,  her  instructor. 
This  is  possible  because  the  inquiries  are  sorted,  as  before 
explained,  and  those  requiring  personal  attention  are  for- 
warded to  the  proper  departments.  Inquiries  requiring  per- 
sonal attention  are  taken  care  of  by  substituting  for  the  form 
letter  a  personally  dictated  letter  which  is  included  in  the 
mailing  along  with  the  other  matter.     In  this  way  the  follow- 

















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Figure  65.     Mailing 
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List  Sources 

a  very  complete  mailing  list  is  obtained.     This  should  be   done   systematically. 



up  system  is  kept  intact  and  the  different  steps  can  be  taken 
without  executive  supervision. 

By  the  use  of  such  a  series  of  letters,  one  of  which  is  ' 
as  illustrated  in  the  chart  shown  in  Figure  64,  a  large  volume 
of  mail  can  be  handled  with  a  minimum  of  supervision.  Some 
of  the  series,  if  carried  through  their  entire  length,  require 
fourteen  months  for  their  completion,  but,  of  course,  any  one 
of  the  series  is  automatically  stopped  as  soon  as  a  satisfactory 
reply  is  received. 

Sources  of  Names  for  Mailing  List 

The  compiling  of  lists  of  prospective  customers  and  their 
development  into  purchasers  has  a  large  place  in  merchandis- 
ing today.  This  work  has  been  perfected  with  greater  care 
and  thought  than  perhaps  any  of  the  other  features  mentioned 
as  forming  a  part  of  the  work  of  the  promotion  department 
— largely  because  of  the  demands  of  mail-order  business. 
If  as  complete  a  list  as  possible  is  to  be  gathered  a  definite 
plan  of  selecting  names  should  be  adopted,  and  a  thorough 
analysis  made  of  the  sources  from  whence  they  may  be  ob- 
tained, either  individually  or  as  complete  lists.  Obvious 
sources  for  securing  names  readily  suggest  themselves,  but 
unless  thought  is  given  to  the  matter  many  ''self-evident'' 
sources  will  escape  notice.  As  regards  lists  of  names  it  is 
not  always  an  easy  matter  to  secure  those  which  are  reliable, 
nor  is  it  always  satisfactory  to  use  complete  lists  purchased 
from  concerns  making  a  specialty  of  compiling  them  for  all 
and  every  purpose.  While  the  initial  outlay  ma}^  be  com- 
paratively small,  an  inaccurate  mailing  list  is  dear  at  any 
price.  Old-established  mail-order  houses  count  their  mailing 
lists  among  their  most  valuable  assets. 

The  preceding  chart  (Figure  65)  compiled  by  a  leading 
authority  gives  an  exhaustive  list  of  sources  for  mailing 




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Figure  67.      Correspondence  and  Follow-Up  Sections  of 

Promotion   Department 

Showing   the    co-operative   development   of   the    follow-up   system. 


The  handling  of  the  names  as  they  are  gathered  will  be 
greatly  facilitated  if  a  complete  classification  filing  scheme  is 
outlined.     Figure  66  will  serve  as  a  guide. 

The  sales  promotion  plan  is  based  on  the  idea  that  a  single 
order  does  not  always  signify  a  customer.  It  is  the  resale 
that  brings  the  steady  profits.  While  as  yet  those  services 
which  create  good-will  have  not  been  gathered  into  one  de- 
partment and  under  the  control  of  one  head,  the  spirit  of  the 
scheme  is  permeating  all  business  organizations. 

Co-ordination  Through  the  Mail 

While  a  detailed  outline  of  the  work  of  the  promotion 
department  has  been  given,  particular  attention  needs  to  be 
directed  to  the  correspondence  and  follow-up  sections.  The 
preceding  chart  (Figure  67)  will  give  a  general  idea  of  the 
co-operative  work  that  may  be  done. 

The  diagram  is  easily  interpreted  and  the  co-operative 
elements  thrown  into  relief  by  beginning  with  the  main  types 
of  customer  relationships,  relationships  growing  up  between 
the  concern  and 

1.  Those  who  can  and  ought  to  buy  its  product. 

2.  Those  who  have  replied  to  some  ad  or  mail  matter. 

3.  Those  who  have  shown  some  inclination  to  buy. 

4.  Unsold  prospects. 

5.  Present  customers. 

The  second  step  is  to  follow  the  lines  of  contact  by  which 
the  public  interest  has  been  attracted  to  the  house,  and  then 
trace  the  procedure  through  the  various  departments  to  the 
central  promotion  department  which  has  analyzed  the  various 
purposes  of  these  departments  and  developed  the  correspond- 
ence and  other  service  features  by  which  a  consistent  policy 
and  a  constant  pressure  is  directed  to  the  giving  of  sales 
service  both  inside  and  outside. 



Elasticity  of  Advertising  Department 

Of  all  departments  of  a  business  none  is  more  elastic  and 
more  readily  expanded  or  contracted  than  the  advertising  de- 
partment. This  is  due  to  the  nature  of  its  work.  An  adver- 
tising department  exists  to  create  sales  by  means  of  the  writ- 
ten word,  and  in  this  creative  work  a  concern  may  spend  just 
as  much  or  as  little  as  it  pleases.  A  million  dollars  a  year  or 
more  may  be  spent  by  one  firm  in  pushing  the  sale  of  a  patent 
pill  which  can  be  produced  and  packed  in  almost  any  quantity 
with  the  aid  of  a  few  machines  and  half  a  dozen  operators. 
Another  firm  may  spend  many  millions  in  producing  ordnance 
or  ships  and  carry  on  a  large  and  lucrative  business  without 
any  advertising  at  all. 

While  it  is  possible  to  assert  that  for  some  businesses  ad- 
vertising is  unnecessary,  it  is  no  longer  possible  to  say  with 
any  truth  that  for  some  businesses  all  advertising  is  unprofit- 
able. Every  business  can  advertise  itself  in  some  way  at  a 
profit.  The  function  of  the  advertising  department  is  to  ex- 
plore all  avenues  of  publicity  with  the  object  of  finding  out 
those  which  can  be  used  most  profitably  and  of  spending  to  the 
best  advantage  the  sum  allotted  to  publicity  work,  i.e.,  the 

It  is  in  this  matter  of  appropriation  that  the  advertising 
department  differs  from  the  other  divisions  of  the  business. 
The  credit,  accounting,  shipping,  and  other  departments  re- 
quire a  certain  number  of  employees  to  handle  a  steady  amount 
of  work  done  in  a  regular  routine  way.  Their  expansion  or 
contraction  depends  wholly  upon  the  volume  of  sales.     The 



expansion  of  the  sales  department  is  limited  by  the  difficulty 
first  of  finding  and  training  the  right  kind  of  salesmen,  then 
of  ferreting  out  the  potential  customer,  and  finally  of  extract- 
ing an  order  from  him  at  a  profit  when  the  expense  of  the 
salesman's  time  is  considered.  But  the  advertising  department 
is  bound  by  no  such  limitations.  It  can  blaze  the  trail  for  the 
whole  business,  so  to  speak.  Given  a  product  which  can  be 
profitably  advertised  in  many  different  ways,  the  advertising 
appropriation  need  be  limited  only  by  the  resources  of  tlie 
business  and  the  discretion  of  its  management. 

Organization  of  Department 

The  organization  of  the  advertising  department,  so  far 
as  concerns  its  personnel,  depends  upon  what  the  department 
has  to  do,  and  that  depends  upon  the  plan  of  spending  the 
appropriation  and  the  amount  available  for  spending.  The 
appropriation  cannot  be  determined  without  taking  into  ac- 
count the  salaries  and  office  expenses  involved  in  carrying  out 
the  plan  of  campaign;  this  in  its  turn  depends  upon  how  much 
advertising  the  appropriation  allows.  Thus  the  considerations 
run  in  a  circle. 

The  problems  involved  in  organization  may  perhaps  be 
simplified  by  illustration.  Assume  that  a  certain  concern 
handles  a  household  utility  such  as  soap  or  baking  powder, 
and  that  the  distribution,  by  years  of  spade  work  on  the  part 
of  salesmen,  is  highly  developed.  The  main  problem  of  the 
advertising  department  is  to  keep  tlie  name  of  the  product 
favorably  before  the  public  and  for  this  purpose  an  appro- 
priation of  $1,000,000  or  more  is  made  yearly. 

The  most  economical  method  of  appealing  to  a  whole 
nation  is  through  the  pages  of  its  national  mediums,  and  this 
kind  of  advertising  work  is  invariably  handled  by  an  adver- 
tising agency.  The  agency  engages  the  services  of  a  number 
of  experts  who  are  trained  in  the  difficult  art  of  writing  and 


illustrating  advertisements  and  placing  them  in  mediums 
where  they  will  produce  the  best  results.  The  work  done  by 
the  agency  may  consume  nine-tenths  of  the  appropriation. 
Consequently,  the  advertising  department  of  a  big  concern 
doing  a  large  amount  of  business  may  assume  very  small 
proportions.  It  may  even  be  run  by  one  man  with  the  help  of 
a  stenographer  or  two.  Practically  most  of  his  work  will 
consist  of  consultations  with  the  agents — considering  sugges- 
tions for  advertisements  and  giving  his  O  K  to  copy,  illus- 
trations, and  the  detail  of  the  plan  of  campaign.  If  in  addi- 
tion to  the  national  advertising,  promotion  work  is  done 
among  dealers,  this  may  be  handled  by  the  advertising  man- 
ager, as  under  these  circumstances  the  creation  of  a  special 
department  in  charge  of  promotion  work  would  be  unnec- 

Assume  that  another  concern  handles  a  specialty,  such  as 
an  office  device.  To  sell  this  article  it  is  necessary  to  interest 
the  consumer  in  its  time-  or  labor-saving  features  and  this  re- 
quires a  campaign  of  education.  The  demand  for  such  a 
product  is  chiefly  in  the  commercial  and  manufacturing  cen- 
ters, so  that  national  publicity  would  involve  much  waste. 
The  better  plan  might  be  to  use  general  publicity  only  in 
selected  territories  through  the  medium  of  local  newspapers. 
This  general  publicity,  however,  would  be  merely  for  the 
purpose  of  awakening  interest  and  discovering  likely  custom- 
ers. The  prospects  would  then  require  following  up  with 
form  letters,  circulars,  booklets,  and  other  printed  matter. 
In  the  first  case  the  advertising  appropriation  is  spent  in  large 
sums  in  broadcast  fashion;  in  the  second  case  it  is  spent  piece- 
meal and  the  results  of  even  small  expenditures  are  carefully 
tested.  Though  the  appropriation  in  the  second  case  might 
be  only  $100,000,  its  organization  might  be  ten  times  as  large 
as  the  concern  spending  a  million  dollars. 


The  Work  of  the  Department 

Thus  the  work  of  an  advertising  department  depends  upon 
the  nature  of  the  product  and  upon  how  much  there  is  to 
spend  or  can  be  spent  in  profitable  pubHcity.  Reduced  to  a 
more  definite  statement  the  complete  work  of  a  department 
organized  to  carry  on  a  big  general  campaign  would  consist 
of  the  following  steps : 

1.  Planning  the  campaign. 

2.  Laying  out  the  appropriation. 

3.  Co-operating  with  other  departments. 

4.  Producing  the  advertising. 

5.  Checking  its  production  or  delivery. 

6.  Keeping  records  of  its  cost  and  results. 

7.  Keeping  stock  of  advertising  supplies. 

8.  Carrying  on  its  correspondence  and  follow-up  work. 

The  first  two  duties  cannot  be  adequately  discussed  within 
the  space  of  a  single  chapter,  as  they  will  vary  with  the  re- 
sources and  policy  of  each  business,  with  the  nature  of  the 
product,  and  with  the  strength  of  competition.  But  as  every 
plan  of  campaign  involves  some  or  all  of  the  remaining  fac- 
tors, and  as  the  nature  of  the  work  involved  is  more  or  less 
of  a  routine  character,  each  will  be  taken  up  in  turn. 

Co-operation  with  Other  Departments 

Viewed  from  one  angle,  the  work  of  the  advertising  de- 
partment is  a  self-centered  activity  which  can  be  carried  on 
more  or  less  apart  from  the  regular  routine  of  a  business.  In 
some  cases,  as  previously  explained,  the  advertising  is  largely 
handled  by  an  outside  agency.  In  consequence,  there  is  always 
the  danger  that  the  advertising  work  will  suffer  from  too 
much  isolation  and  that  the  advertising  man  will  play  a  more 
or  less  lone  hand  immersed  in  his  "creative  work.''  To  coun- 
teract this  tendency  he  should  attend  all  executive  conferences 


when  plans  and  progress  are  discussed,  so  as  to  be  able  to 
shape  his  advertising  message  to  conform  with  the  spirit  and 
policy  of  the  house.  At  the  same  time  he  should  strive  to  create  a 
true  appreciation  among  his  colleagues  of  the  work  and  needs 
of  the  advertising  department,  and  to  make  them  realize  that 
any  help  given  to  him  will  benefit  all  branches  of  the  busi- 
ness. This  mutual  understanding  will  stand  the  department  in 
good  stead  when  the  advertising  appropriation  is  being  con- 

To  get  down  to  more  specific  details,  the  work  of  the  ad- 
vertising department  should  always  be  closely  dovetailed  into 
that  of  the  sales,  correspondence,  and  mailing  departments. 
Advertising  is  most  effective  when  supported  by  the  efforts 
of  the  salesmen  in  the  field  and  vice  versa.  Salesmen  should  be 
provided  wuth  copies  of  all  advertising  literature  issued,  either 
for  their  personal  use  in  helping  to  win  over  a  prospect,  or  as 
evidence  to  dealers  of  the  demand  the  house  is  striving  to 
create  for  its  product.  When  an  advertised  product  reaches 
the  consumer  through  the  retailer,  the  customary  practice  is  to 
provide  each  salesman  with  a  loose-leaf  album,  to  the  pages 
of  which  are  attached  specimens  of  all  current  advertising. 
Introduced  with  a  suitable  sales  talk,  such  evidence  is  a 
powerful  inducement  for  the  dealer  to  "stock  up"  to  the  limit 
required  to  fill  the  demand  created  by  the  advertising. 

There  are  many  other  possible  points  of  contact  between 
the  sales  and  the  advertising  departments,  but  as  these  depend 
upon  the  plan  of  campaign  they  will  readily  suggest  them- 
selves w^hen  the  plan  is  worked  out.  There  should  also  be 
close  co-operation  and  mutual  understanding  between  the  ad- 
vertising and  correspondence  and  mailing  departments. 

Production  of  the  Advertising 

The  advertising  may  be  done  in  one  or  more  of  a  hundred 
iifferent  ways.     Announcements  may  appear  in  newspapers 


or  magazines  of  a  general,  technical,  class,  or  trade  character. 
Display  publicity  may  be  effected  by  means  of  store  windows, 
car' cards,  bill-boards,  and  painted  signs  and  walls.  Mail  and 
follow-up  work  may  be  carried  on  by  means  of  form  letters, 
circulars,  booklets,  folders,  and  catalogues.  Samples  of  the 
commodity  or  advertising  novelties  may  be  distributed  from 
house  to  house  or  store  to  store.  This  last  method  belongs 
more  to  the  sphere  of  sales  promotion  than  of  advertising 
proper  and  so  will  not  be  taken  up  here.  The  other  methods 
involve  the  production  of  an  advertisement  in  some  form  and 
this  work  may  be  divided  into  the  four  distinct  phases  of : 

1.  Probing  for  ideas. 

2.  Designing  the  advertisement. 

3.  Writing  copy  for  the  advertisement. 

4.  Originating  illustrations  or  procuring  photographs. 

As  the  above  work  is  technical  or  creative  in  its  character 
and  its  discussion  involves  the  consideration  of  matters  out- 
side the  ofifice  routine,  it  will  not  be  discussed  here.  One  point, 
however,  in  connection  with  probing  for  ideas  needs  brief 

System  for  the  Record  of  Ideas 

Every  advertising  department  should  keep  an  "idea"  file, 
in  which  any  possible  suggestion  for  a  future  advertisement 
is  stored  away  until  the  time  for  its  use  is  ripe  or  the  germ 
of  the  idea  has  developed  into  a  practicable  plan.  Ideas  have 
a  way  of  appearing  at  any  time,  and  if  they  are  not  seized  on 
the  wing  and  imprisoned  within  the  file  where  they  can  be 
found  when  wanted,  the  inspiration  of  today  is  forgotten  in 
the  rush  of  tomorrow's  work.  Therefore  a  system  should  be 
organized  whereby  the  ideas  of  individuals  whose  duty  it  is  to 
write  the  advertisements  may  be  preserved  and  classified.  The 
combination  of :    ( i )   an  ever  present  pocket  pad  or  note- 



book,  (2)  a  memory  tickler  file,  and  (3)  a  carefully  classified 
idea  and  data  file,  constitute  as  nearly  adequate  a  system  as 
can  be  devised  for  storing  the  raw  material  out  of  which  much 
of  the  creative  work  of  the  department  is  evolved. 

Record  of  Mediums 

When  the  advertising  plan  includes  the  use  of  newspapers 
or  magazines,  it  is  necessary  to  choose  the  mediums  which 
show  a  favorable  ratio  between  probable  results  for  the  prod- 
uct handled  and  the  rate  charged  for  space.  For  this  pur- 
pose complete  information  should  be  compiled  for  every  pub- 
lication which  may  be  used.  A  common  way  of  keeping  this 
information  conveniently  at  hand  and  always  up  to  date  is  to 
use  a  large  envelope  folder,  on  the  outside  of  which  the  rate 
card  applying  to  the  particular  publication  can  be  posted.  In- 
side the  folder  should  be  placed  all  papers,  statements,  informa- 
tion affecting  the  publication,  statements  regarding  circula- 
tion, the  territory  covered,  the  number  of  subscribers,  and 
any  other  information  which  is  useful  as  a  guide  in  choos- 
ing the  mediums. 

The  usual  method  of  filing  these  folders  is  alphabetically 
according  to  state  and  city.  The  publications  issued  in  each 
city  may  be  arranged  alphabetically  in  the  order  of : 







Etc.,  etc. 

Another  method  used  by  a  number  of  advertising  depart- 
ments is  to  enter  the  information  on  cards,  filed  alphabeti- 
cally according  to  the  name  of  the  publication.     This  method 


is  suitable  for  many  of  the  smaller  advertising  departments 
and  also  for  some  of  the  larger.  It  depends  upon  the  number 
of  the  publications  used,  the  importance  of  local  advertising, 
the  scope  of  the  information  required,  etc. 

Figure  68  illustrates  a  card  index  of  advertising  rates 
with  the  information  sought  by  one  advertising  department. 

Card  Ixdex 


Record  of  Rates,  etc. 



Page  Rate 

Line  Rate 

Space  Disc. 

Cash  Disc. 

Height  Page 

Lines  to  Page 

No.  Cols. 

Col.  Width 

Half-tone  Screen 

Use  Matrices 

Claimed  Circulation 


Territory  Covered 

Figure  68.     Card  Index  Record  of  Advertising  Rates 

The   details  of   rates   charged  by   various   publications   are   noted   on   these   cards,   and 
the    cards   filed   alphabetically. 

The  principal  object  in  keeping  records  of  mediums  is  the 
elimination  of  the  unprofitable  ones.  In  the  case  of  adver- 
tising of  the  "good-will"  or  consumer  kind,  results  can  only 
be  gaged  in  a  general  way.  The  mediums  chosen  are  only 
those  that  careful  consideration  determines  are  best  able  to  de- 
liver the  message.  If  the  advertising,  however,  is  not  of  the 
general  consumer  type,  but  solicits  an  inquiry,  then  it  be- 
comes possible  to  check  up  more  accurately  the  pulling  power 
of  each  medium  by  the  use  of  a  system  of  keying — that  is,  of 



apportioning  inquiries  or  sales,  as  they  come  in,  to  the  right 

In  many  advertising  departments  it  is  necessary  to  have 
an  efficient  system  of  checking  advertising  returns  and  cal- 
culating, the  profits  resulting  from  each  insertion  in  every  pub- 
lication used.  In  order  to  do  this  it  is  obvious  that  the  keying 
must  be  fairly  accurate.  No  system  has  as  yet  been  devised 
which  is  absolutely  perfect;  it  is  possible,  however,  at  least 
to  show  tendencies  with  some  degree  of  certainty. 

A  department  store,  for  example,  could  not  with  any  accu- 
racy tell  the  returns  of  an  advertisement  inserted  for  any  par- 
ticular date.  It  could,  however,  get  an  estimate  of  the  cash 
returns  taken  in  above  the  normal  sales  of  the  article  adver- 
tised. Another  concern  which  runs  advertisements  only  in 
one  publication  in  all  probability  could  apportion  the  returns 
with  99  per  cent  accuracy. 

Methods  of  Keying 

Keying  is  managed  usually  by  altering  slightly  the  direc- 
tions for  making  the  inquiry,  for  each  periodical  used.  This 
may  be  done  as  follows  : 

1.  The  use  of  departments,  as  Department  A,  Depart- 

ment B. 

2.  Changing  street  numbers,   room  numbers,   or  post- 

office  box  numbers. 

3.  Using  letters  N.  S.  E.  and  W. 

4.  Using  avenues  for  streets  or  vice  versa. 

5.  Designating   the    advertising   matter    called    for    as 

Bulletin  A,  B,  or  C. 

6.  The  use  of  a  coupon  bearing  a  notation,   such  as 

S.  E.  P.   10,  which  could  be  interpreted  to  mean 
Saturday  Evening  Post,  the  tenth  month. 

Some  concerns  send  postal  cards  to  unkeyed  inquiries  re- 



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•— 1 

•      i      :      i 

<  g 








































questing  information  as  to  what  advertisement  influenced  the 

Other  concerns  follow  the  practice  of  crediting  each  publi- 
cation with  the  percentage  of  unkeyed  replies  equivalent  to 
the  properly  keyed  inquiries.  For  example,  if  an  advertisement 
in  the  Saturday  Evening  Post  brings  replies  which  can  be 
properly  credited  to  the  amount  of  40  per  cent  to  that  publi- 
cation, then  the  same  proportion  of  the  number  of  the  un- 
keyed replies  should  be  allotted  to  it. 

Figure  69  illustrates  the  method  followed  by  a  mail-order 
house  in  checking  and  figuring  results  of  advertisements  in 
weeklies.  The  form  shows  the  cost  per  inquiry,  the  number 
of  inquiries,  and  the  cost  per  $1  sale.  This  information  is 
vital.  Whenever  the  cost  of  advertising  in  a  given  medium 
exceeds  a  certain  ratio  the  publication  is  dropped.     To  arrive 



1st  Series 

2nd  Series 

3rd  Series 










Figure  71.     Inqiiirj'^  Follow-up  Card 

When  an  order  is  received  this  card   is  removed  from  inquiry  file  and  placed  in  order 
file.      Both   files  are  kept  alphabetically. 


at  any  worth-while  conclusion  by  the  method  here  followed 
presupposes  a  decidedly  accurate  system  of  keying  by  which 
each  inquiry  and  order  may  be  connected  with  a  definite  ad- 

Another  method  is  that  employed  by  a  manufacturer  of 
dress  forms.  The  object  of  the  data  required  (Figure  70)  is 
to  give  the  cost  per  order  and  to  check  the  effectiveness  of  the 
follow-up  (Figure  71).  When  the  inquiry  is  received 
the  first  series  of  circular  matter  is  sent  out  and  is  followed, 
if  need  be,  by  the  second  and  third  series.  If  correspondence 
ensues  the  "case"  number  is  inserted.  If  this  correspondence 
results  in  an  order,  the  follow-up  card  is  removed  from  the 
inquiry  file  and  inscribed  with  the  record  of  the  order  and 
placed  in  the  order  file.  Both  inquiry  and  order  files  are 
kept  alphabetically.  The  data  for  the  quarterly  analysis  are 
secured  from  both  of  them  (Figure  70). 

Records  by  Region,  Season,  etc. 

In  keeping  record  by  sections  of  the  country,  the  ratio  be- 
tween expenditures  and  sales,  compared  with  the  ratio  in 
other  localities,  will  form  the  basis  for  investigation.  What 
this  is  will  depend  upon  the  nature  of  the  business. 

In  some  lines  it  is  very  important  to  know  the  season  best 
adaptable  to  push  sales  of  individual  products  and  for  speci- 
fic purposes.  For  example,  advertising  jars  for  canning  pur- 
poses involves  knowing:  (i)  what  fruit  is  canned  in  a  given 
locality,  and  (2)  when  the  canning  season  begins  in  that  local- 
ity. It  would  obviously  be  foolish  to  advertise  jars  for  can- 
ning purposes  two  or  three  months  after  the  season  is  over. 

Another  desirable  record  is  a  form  summarizing  the  chief 
items  and  distributing  figures  according  to  principal  classi- 
fications. This  is  valuable  in  giving  a  bird's-eye  view  of 
results  achieved.  The  form  may  be  so  designed  as  to  give 
the  figures  on  both  a  monthly  and  an  annual  basis. 



Record  of  Advertising  Expenditure  and  Distribution 

The  following  form  (Figure  72)  is  a  good  illustration  of 
what  one  firm  requires  in  the  matter  of  keeping  track  of  the 
expenditure  of  an  appropriation.  The  first  column  gives  the 
date  ordered,  the  second  column  the  date  of  the  order.  These 
dates  would,  of  course,  be  similar  except  in  cases  where  the 
requisition  is  sent  to  the  purchasing  department.  The  third 
column  gives  the  order  number,  the  fourth  column  the  person 
or  firm  from  whom  the  item  is  ordered,  the  fifth  column  the 
items  ordered,  the  sixth  column  the  approximate  cost. 

This  approximate  cost  column  is  perhaps  the  most  impor- 
tant of  all.  Here  should  be  listed  in  pencil  the  approximate 
cost  of  every  expenditure  just  as  soon  as  the  purchase  order  is 
issued.  At  the  beginning  of  the  year  there  are  certain  fixed 
charges  such  as  salaries,  postage  (not  including  postage  used 
on  special  direct  mail  drives),  miscellaneous  expenses,  etc., 
and  the  approximate  cost  of  these  should  be  entered  in  the 

Record  of  Advertising  Expen 







Ordered  From 

Items  Ordered 

Amounts    Forward 

Totals  Forward 

Figure  72.     Monthly  Record  of  Adver- 
A  loose-leaf  record  kept  in  folders.     Distribution  is   made 



approximate  cost  column.  The  buying  of  space  in  a  publica- 
tion or  the  letting  of  an  agency  contract  for  a  year  should 
also  be  entered  in  the  column.  Generally,  most  firms  plan 
their  appropriation  for  at  least  six  months  in  advance. 

In  the  event  of  getting  out  a  new  booklet  for  which  the 
printing  estimate  is  $200,  this  item  is  entered  in  the  approxi- 
mate cost  column  in  pencil.  If  during  the  month  of  January 
the  schedule  of  space  to  be  bought  shows  that  $15,000  is  to  be 
used  for  advertising  in  the  Saturday  Evening  Post  and 
$10,000  used  for  space  in  another  publication,  these  amounts 
are  listed  in  the  approximate  cost  column.  Then  as  invoices 
come  in  month  by  month  they  are  entered  in  the  month  during 
which  they  are  paid.  This  will  show  that  25  per  cent  has 
already  been  spent  of  the  appropriation  of  $100,000,  although 
the  actual  paying  of  invoices  at  the  end  of  the  first  month 
might  only  show  $2,000.  If  invoices  ordered  in  January  are 
received  in  February  and  paid  for  during  that  month,  the 


for  Month 

ADpronriation.  S 


fD  Distribution 







Cos T  AS  PEK 




O'K  D 



tising  Expenditure  and   Distribution 
according  to  publications  used   or  according  to  articles  sold. 



amount  of  these  is  entered  as  being  paid  in  February,  while 
the  amount  of  the  approximate  cost  entered  in  January  in 
pencil  is  put  in  red  ink  in  the  January  account.  This  red  ink 
entry  is  for  the  purpose  of  showing  that  the  matter  has  been 
taken  care  of,  that  the  invoice  has  been  received,  and  that  the 
approximate  cost  figure  has  been  corrected.  If  an  item  is 
estimated  at  $200  and  later  the  invoice  comes  in  showing  the 
actual  cost  to  be  $250,  the  $200  entered  in  pencil  in  January 
is  changed  to  $200  in  red  ink ;  in  February,  the  month  in  which 
the  invoice  is  paid,  the  entire  amount  is  re-entered  in  the 
approximate  cost  column,  but  in  this  case  only  $50  is  placed 
there,  and  in  the  actual  cost  column,  as  per  invoice,  $250.  In 
this  manner  the  difference  is  taken  care  of.  If  the  invoice  is 
paid  the  same  month,  the  item  is  simply  corrected  in  red  ink. 
If  in  a  different  month  and  the  estimate  is  correct,  the  approxi- 
mate cost  column  is  left  blank.  By  keeping  the  approximate 
cost  and  the  actual  cost  columns  corrected  as  fast  as  the  in- 
voices come  in,  these  columns  will  balance  at  the  end  of  the 
year,  although  for  a  good  many  months  in  the  year  the  ap- 
proximate cost  column  has  greatly  overbalanced. 

A  good  way  of  checking  up  the  actual  cost  column  is  by 
having  the  accounting  department  furnish  a  statement  each 
month.  The  two  records  can  then  be  compared  and  errors 

To  hold  these  loose-leaf  forms  a  special  folder  should  be 
used,  large  enough  to  contain  a  year's  supply.  The  forms 
should  be  kept  by  months.  At  the  end  of  the  year  the  sheets 
may  be  transferred  to  a  permanent  file.  In  this  way  a  ready 
reference  will  also  be  handy  showing  month  by  month  for  the 
preceding  year  the  approximate  and  the  actual  cost. 

The  ninth  column  shows  the  date  on  which  the  invoice 
was  approved  by  the  advertising  manager. 

The  distribution  columns  will,  of  course,  vary  with  every 
firm.     Sometimes  the  description  will  be  made  according  to 




classes  of  publications  used,  sometimes  according  to  the  arti- 
cles sold. 

Checking  Bills 

The  bills  considered  by  an  advertising  department  fall  nat- 
urally into  two  classes :  those  for  supplies,  in  which  case  the 
purchasing  department  procedure  is  followed;  and  those  for 

In  the  case  of  bills  for  space,  there  is  one  peculiar  difficulty 
encountered,  namely,  that  they  must  generally  be  paid  before 
there  is  an  opportunity  of  checking  every  item.  In  many 
cases  the  bill  must  be  paid  before  the  advertisement  appears, 
or  the  cash  discount  period  is  generally  so  short  that  no  proper 
checking  can  be  done.  The  usual  procedure  is  to  check  as 
many  items  as  possible,  pay  the  bill,  and  institute  some  sys- 
tem whereby  the  incompletely  checked  bills  revert  back  to 
the  advertising  department  for  further  checking  after  the  in- 
voice has  been  paid. 

A  special  bill  stamp   (Figure  jt^)  should  be  used  in  con- 

Order  No 





Key  Number 

Amount  of  Space  ... 


Circulation  on  Time. 

Charged  to 


Figure  73.     Rubber  Stamp  for  Advertising  Invoices 

These    items   are   filled    in,    as   far   as   available   information   permits,    at   time 
invoice  is  received,  and  are  completed  after  invoice  is  paid. 



nection  with  invoices  for  space  because  of  the  unusual  features 
to  be  considered. 

The  routine  of  checking  newspaper  advertising  may  be 
summarized  by  presenting  the  rules  of  one  concern  which  are 
as  follows: 

1.  No  entries  shall  be  made  in  the  record  book  except 

from  orders  issued  by  this  office. 

2.  No  bills  shall  be  passed  without  checking  in  total  as 

to  number  of  advertisements  and  amount  of  space 
in  comparison  with  our  orders. 

3.  Other  information  must  be  billed  in  the  book  cover- 

ing such  points  as: 
Date  first  issue 
Date  last  issue 

Approximate  total  space 
Estimated  cost  of  space 
Kind  of  electros 

4.  When  bills  are  received  they  must  be  checked  and 

entry  made  opposite  the  word  "Entry." 

5.  The  checking  must  be  done  first  from  the  total  check- 

ing sheets  accompanying  the  bill  to  see  that  num- 
ber of  advertisements,  amount  of  space,  dates,  etc., 
correspond  with  order. 

6.  Additions   for  total   amount   of   space   must   then   be 

checked  up  and  compared  with  the  amount  on  the 

7.  Then  the  rate  charged  for  on  the  bill  must  be  checked 

and  the  extension  at  the  proper  rate  must  be 

8.  Where   a   bill   only   accounts   for   part   of   the  order, 

room  must  be  left  for  notation  of  following  bills 
which  will  complete  the  order. 

9.  The  information  as  to  the  date  of  last  issue,  approxi- 

mate total  space,  estimated  cost,  etc.,  must  either  be 
figured  by  ourselves  or  information  secured  from 
our  agents  at  the  time  the  order  is  issued. 


10.  When  bill  is  O  K'd  the  amount  that  we  pay  for  space 

must  be  entered  under  the  column  headed  "Amount 
Billed  For." 

11.  When  the  bill  for  electros  comes  in,  it  too  must  be  en- 

tered under  the  column  "Cost  of  Electros." 

12.  When  special  bills  for  composition  of  names,  cost  of 

slugs,  etc.,  come  in,  they  must  be  checked  and  filled 
in  under  column  headed  "Cost  Special  Composi- 

13.  When  bill  for  express  charges  on  electros  comes  in, 

it  must  be  entered  under  the  column  headed  "Ex- 
press Charges  on  Electros." 

14.  Each   month  the  total   cost  must  be   figured  up  not 

later  than  the  20th  of  the  month  for  the  preceding 

The  Budget 

The  budget  system  is  perhaps  the  best  means  of  checking 
up  and  seeing  that  plans  are  followed.  This  system  is  based 
upon  the  use  of  forms  so  designed  as  to  control  the  spending 
of  the  appropriation  in  accordance  with  the  plans.  When 
the  budget  has  been  made  out  it  becomes  the  master  sheet  and 
all  costs  must  be  checked  against  it. 

In  the  case  of  a  new  department  and  sometimes  in  reor- 
ganization, equipment  must  often  be  obtained  such  as  multi- 
graphs,  addressing  machines,  filing  cabinets,  and  folding 
machines.  Some  of  this  work  is  generally  taken  care  of  by 
the  purchasing  department,  as  for  example,  obtaining  quota- 
tions for  all  printed  matter  and  necessar}^  equipment.  Mat- 
ters like  contracting  for  space  and  ordering  engravings  and 
cuts  are  generally  left  to  the  advertising  department. 

Adjusting  the   Department   Organization   to   Carry   Out  the 

The  final  step  in  the  work  of  planning  a  campaign  is  the 
adjustment  or  readjustment  of  the  department  organization  to 
carry  out  the  special  plans.     Certain  extensive  campaigns  may 



involve  changes  so  elaborate  as  to  amount  almost  to  building 
a  new  organization.  The  office  manager  should  make  these 
sweeping  changes  only  for  the  best  of  reasons,  since  they 
frequently  affect  the  number  and  character  of  employees  in 
the  stenographic,  mailing,  and  other  service  departments  of 
the  office. 

In  making  such  adjustment  for  a  particular  campaign,  the 
adjusting  manager  must  use  some  method  to  determine  the 
amount  of  the  work  needed  to  carry  the  plans  through  and 
how  many  and  what  types  of  individuals  are  needed  to  per- 
form it.  One  of  the  most  systematic  ways  of  analysing  the 
standard  needs  of  the  advertising  department  is  as  follows  : 

1.  Use  a  separate  card  for  each  operation,  taking  into 

consideration : 

(a)  Amount  and  detail. 

(b)  Frequency  of  its  occurrence. 

(c)  Time  it  takes  to  do  it. 

2.  Classify  these  cards  according  to  type  of  work : 

(a)  Executive. 

(b)  Creative. 

(c)  Clerical. 

3.  Combine  these  operations  to  fit  the  day's  work  of  given 

individuals,  considering : 

(a)  Talent  required. 

(b)  Avoidance  of  duplication. 

(c)  Similarity  of  operations. 

(d)  The  easy  flow  of  the  work  throughout  the 


With  the  basic  information  at  hand  which  such  an  investi- 
gation will  furnish,  standard  classification  can  be  compiled  by 
which  each  job  can  be  described,  and  as  changes  arise,  due 
to  new  conditions  of  a  special  campaign,  the  description  of 
the  job  can  be  adjusted. 


As  will  be  noticed,  the  first  step  gives  approximately  the 
total  amount  of  work  to  be  performed.  The  second  step  gives 
the  total  amount  of  work  by  classes.  This  will  show  how 
many  clerks  or  art  men  to  hire,  what  their  qualifications  should 
be,  etc.  By  getting  this  down  in  black  and  white  in  the  be- 
ginning, a  great  deal  of  experimental  work  will  be  eliminated. 
The  third  step  depends  upon  the  first  and  the  second  to  a  great 
extent  but  is  also  affected  by  the  human  equation.  The  amount 
of  the  clerical  work  to  be  done  will  determine  the  degree  of 
specialization.  Filing  may  take  up  the  whole  of  one  or  more 
individual's  time  in  some  advertising  departments  but  in  others 
it  may  be  a  part  of  a  stenographer's  fifteen  or  twenty  duties. 
The  executive  and  creative  work  may  be  only  sufficient  to  keep 
one  man  busy,  yet  there  are  very  few  men  who  are  good  at 
both.  The  man  who  is  worth  $5,000  a  year  for  his  creative 
work  may  not  be  worth  $10  a  week  as  an  executive. 

Assignment  of  Duties 

After  making  a  provisional  assignment  of  duties  to  be  per- 
formed by  the  separate  individuals  in  the  department,  the 
whole  arrangement  should  be  continually  improved  as  flaws 
begin  to  show  themselves.  As  soon  as  evidences  of  stability 
show  themselves  in  the  department,  the  manager  should  check 
up  his  original  regulations  by  reports  from  the  employees 
themselves.  Each  individual  should  be  asked  to  place  on  a 
card  the  routine  of  every  operation  that  enters  into  his  list  of 
duties.  Emphasis  must  be  laid  on  the  fact  that  what  is  put 
down  must  be  the  best  way,  so  far  as  he  understands  it,  of 
performing  the  operation  in  question.  Undoubtedly  the  mode 
of  doing  the  operation  can  be  improved  on  from  time  to  time. 
The  important  thing  to  remember  is  that  an  improvement  in 
method  should  not  be  allowed  to  slip  away  and  require  to  be 
discovered  again,  but  should  serve  as  a  basis  for  the  next  for- 
ward step.     This  practice,  moreover,  enables  the  management 


to  fill  more  readily  positions  that  are  unexpectedly  vacated. 
All  that  is  necessary  is  to  give  the  appropriate  cards  to  the 
new  employee.  The  little  work  entailed  will  more  than  pay 
for  itself  in  the  shortened  time  needed  to  train  new  employees. 

Drawing  Up  the  Duty  Card 

When  records  of  this  kind  have  been  compiled  throughout 
the  whole  department,  they  may  be  put  into  the  form  of  in- 
dividual "duty"  cards  which  would  appear  something  like 

R.  P.  Brown 
Railroad  Bulletin — Sign  Boards 

Renewing  vouchers  for  filing,  etc.,  following  up. 
Special  correspondence  on. 
Main  Records : 

Weekly,  monthly,  etc.,  cost  records  of  painters. 

Checking  items  in  books. 

Filing  bulletin  reports,  leases,  etc. 

Miscellaneous  Records : 

Checking  of  lists  to  see  that  all  boards  are  done,  keep- 
ing locations  up-to-date,  lost  boards,  moved  boards, 
new  property  owners,  etc.,  etc. 

Supplying   sign-men    with   material   and   keeping   track 
of  sign-men's  stock. 
Period  Advertising: 

Checking  advertisements  that  come  in,  filing  in  scrap 
book,  etc. 

Care  of  magazine  files.  Distributing  of  newspaper  and 
magazine  mail. 

Care  of  newspaper  circulation  files. 

Entering  magazine  orders. 


Scrap-books,  filing  miscellaneous  clippings  and  record  of 

clippings  received. 
Attention  to  tickler. 
Care  of  engravings  and  electros. 
Care  of  proofs. 



It  is  most  important  to  maintain  a  systematic  and  complete 
record  of  the  materials  of  all  sorts  which  are  used  in  connec- 
tion with  the  work  of  the  advertising  department.  Advertis- 
ing offices  too  often  neglect  an  adequate  stock  record  of  adver- 
tising material  such  as  folders,  form  letters,  stationery,  signs, 
window  display  cards,  etc. 

Many  advertising  departments  keep  their  supplies  in  dif- 
ferent places — circulars  for  instance  are  often  stored,  as  a 
matter  of  convenience,  by  the  printer.  Also  it  is  not  always  real- 
ized that  when  this  material  is  exposed  to  the  action  of  the  air 
for  any  length  of  time  it  turns  yellow  and  becomes  absolutely 
worthless.  The  modern  way  of  taking  care  of  the  stock  is  to 
keep  it  in  regularly  numbered  bins  of  steel  or  wood  protected 
from  air  and  dust.  A  card  index  should  be  kept  which  will 
show  at  all  times,  regarding  any  article,  as  follows : 

1.  Where  the  supplies  may  be  found,  whether  in  the 

hands  of  the  printer  or  elsewhere. 

2.  The  amounts  that  have  been  ordered. 

3.  The  amount  delivered, 

4.  The  balance  on  hand. 

By  designating  on  each  card  a  minimum  amount,  additional 
supplies  may  be  ordered  automatically  when  needed. 


Parallel  with  the  matter  of  stock-keeping  is  that  of  filing, 
which  requires  very  careful  attention  in  connection  with  the 
advertising  work.  A  great  variety  of  articles,  varying  widely 
in  nature  and  also  in  size  and  shape,  are  handled  in  an  adver- 
tising department  and  must  be  available  at  a  moment's  notice ; 
such  are  clippings,  suggestive  ads,  catalogues,  booklets,  com- 
petitors' literature,  photographs,  engravings,  electros,  draw- 
ings, and  cuts.     Clippings,  etc.,   may  be  filed  alphabetically 


by  subject  or  article  covered.  Catalogues,  booklets,  and  com- 
petitors' literature  are  sometimes  taken  care  of  by  the  use  of 
a  vertical  file,  each  catalogue  or  booklet  numbered  and  filed 
in  rotation  with  a  card  index  alphabetically  arranged. 

Engravings,  electros,  drawings,  cuts,  etc.,  are  perhaps  best 
filed  separately  in  special  cabinets  designed  to  hold  the  various 

Clippings  of  permanent  value  should  be  mounted  upon 
manila  sheets  (the  thickness  of  the  paper  being  the  size  of 
the  standard  letter-head).  The  source  and  date  of  publication 
should  be  carefully  marked.  When  handled  in  conjunction 
with  information  and  data  files,  the  clipping  sheets  should 
be  filed  under  the  subject,  with  proper  cross-references. 

Magazine  articles  that  do  not  exceed  a  page  in  length  can 
be  clipped  and  mounted  in  the  same  manner  as  newspaper 
clippings.  When  an  article  runs  several  pages  it  can  be  made 
into  an  individual  pamphlet  by  stapling  the  pages  between  two 
clipping  sheets. 

Clippings  of  temporary  value  can  be  filed  in  the  folder 
without  mounting,  or  mounted  on  light-weight  paper  of  a  dif- 
ferent color.  Another  method  of  filing  clippings  without 
mounting  on  sheets,  is  by  the  use  of  folders  5x8  inches,  filed 
in  card  index  trays  or  vertical  file  drawers  of  the  same  size. 



The  Accounting  Department  and  the  Office  Manager 

There  are  several  good  reasons  why  the  office  manager 
should  know  the  principles  of  accounts  and  understand  the 
reason  for  the  adoption  of  particular  accounting  methods  and 
systems  in  his  business.  For  one  thing  every  business  is  run 
to  make  profits,  and  profits  largely  depend  upon  economical 
and  efficient  administration,  i.e.,  the  keeping  of  expenditures 
well  within  the  limits  of  income.  Expenditures  can  only  be 
controlled  by  means  of  an  account  system  which  analyzes 
every  detail  of  the  business.  Unless  the  office  manager  under- 
stands accounts  and  the  purpose  and  scope  of  this  analysis  he 
works  blindly  and  ineffectively  in  his  attempt  to  get  full  ad- 
ministrative value  out  of  expenditures.  With  sufficient  ana- 
lytical data  before  him  he  can  keep  a  close  watch  over  expendi- 
tures day  by  day. 

Then  again,  because  of  the  importance  of  the  accounting 
department  in  the  general  administrative  scheme,  its  co-opera- 
tion is  necessary  to  furnish  the  office  manager  with  the  reports 
and  comparative  statistics  which  he  requires  to  control  and 
guide  the  work  of  all  office  departments.  The  necessary  in- 
formation already  exists  in  the  accounting  records,  and  it  is 
only  necessary  to  "dig  it  out"  and  present  it  in  a  form  to  enable 
the  office  manager  to  check  up  the  performance  of  the  various 
functions  for  which  he  is  responsible.  Finally  a  knowledge 
of  accountancy  will  enable  the  office  manager  to  organize  the 
work  of  the  accounting  department  so  as  best  to  serve  the 
plans  and  policies  of  the  business. 




Relation  of  Accounting  to  Office  Routine 

Much  of  the  general  office  work  is  directly  "tied  up"  with 
the  routine  of  the  accounting  department.  For  instance,  in 
many  businesses  duplicate  copies  (in  whole  or  in  part)  of 
the  invoice  are  made  out  in  the  billing  department  for  use 
in  the  shipping  and  credit  departments  and  for  tntry  on  the 
sales  record  and  in  the  accounts  receivable  (the  customers 
ledger).  The  work  of  the  accounting  department,  so  far  as 
concerns  the  ledger  entries,  is  still  more  closely  related  to 
that  of  the  credit  department.  For  example,  the  clerical  work 
of  posting  sales  and  incoming  cash  should  be  kept  up  to  the 
minute,  as  much  in  the  interest  of  the  credit  and  collection 
department  as  in  that  of  the  accounting  division.  An  appre- 
ciation of  the  importance  of  the  link  between  the  two  depart- 
ments is  necessary  if  co-operation  is  to  be  obtained  and  if 
needless  duplication  of  work  is  to  be  avoided.  Finally,  many 
of  the  clerical  employees  in  the  modern  office  are  doing  work 
which  directly  or  indirectly  affects  the  accounting  records. 
An  office  manager  unfamiliar  with  the  relation  of  the  work  of 
these  employees  to  the  whole  scheme  of  office  administration, 
lacks  that  grasp  of  details  wdiich  is  essential  if  important 
office  activities  are  to  be  properly  supervised  and  controlled. 

The  Development  of  the  Accounting  Department 

The  work  of  the  accounting  department  may  be  divided 
into  two  distinct  phases :  ( i )  the  recording  of  the  financial 
transactions  of  the  business,  and  (2)  the  preparation  of  com- 
parative statements  and  reports  for  administrative  purposes. 
For  generations  the  first  function  was  considered  of  major 
importance,  but  modern  business  development  has  changed  the 
direction  of  the  emphasis.  The  statistical  work  of  the  depart- 
ment is  today  of  even  more  importance  as  an  administrative 
guide  than  is  the  bookkeeping,  which  discloses  the  amount  of 
profit  or  loss  made  during  a  given  period  and  the  financial 


Status  of  the  business  at  the  end  of  this  period.  A  business 
org'  nization  which  does  not  pilot  its  course  by  means  of  the 
chart  of  comparative  statements  made  out  not  yearly,  or  half 
yearly,  but  at  least  monthly  and  in  some  cases  even  weekly 
and  daily,  is  running  a  reckless  course. 

This  change  in  the  point  of  view  of  an  accounting  de- 
partment's functions  has  created  the  profession  of  account- 
ancy. The  old  bookkeeper  has  disappeared.  He  has  either 
been  metamorphosed  into  a  computing  machine,  both  literally 
and  figuratively,  or  he  has  developed  into  a  compiler  of  com- 
parative statements  and  constructive  accounting.  In  machines 
we  expect  accuracy  and  speed;  in  a  statistician  we  look  for 
judgment.  Statistics  are  valuable  only  as  they  are  collected 
and  classified  in  the  light  of  a  definite  purpose. 

The  Personnel  of  the  Accounting  Department 

The  organization  of  the  accounting  department  naturally 
varies  with  the  size  and  nature  of  the  business.  The  financial 
accounts  of  a  small  manufacturing  concern  making  a  single 
product  sold  to  a  limited  number  of  customers  might  be  easily 
handled  by  three  or  four  clerks  with  a  head  bookkeeper  in 
charge;  its  cost  accounts  and  records  could  be  compiled  by  a 
cost  clerk  who  is  thoroughly  conversant  with  this  branch  of 
accounting,  and  who,  if  necessary,  would  be  assisted  by  two 
or  three  girls.  The  accounts  of  a  large  mail-order  or  jobbing 
house  with  many  thousands  of  customers,  or  those  of  a  big 
manufacturing  concern  turning  out  a  varied  line  of  products, 
would  be  so  numerous  and  the  system  so  complex  that  it 
would  be  necessary  to  split  up  the  work  into  sections,  each 
in  charge  of  a  minor  executive,  and  all  under  the  supervision 
of  the  head  accountant  or  office  manager.  The  routine  work 
and  duties  of  these  sections  would,  however,  be  little  more 
complex  than  the  accounting  work  of  the  small  business.  In 
fact   in   the   large   concern   the   routine   would,    if   anything, 


be  simpler  than  in  the  small  organization  because  of  the  in- 
creased opportunity  for  specialization.  The  clerk  in  charge 
of  a  single  section  of  the  accounts  receivable  ledger  obviously 
holds  down  a  more  simple  job  than  a  bookkeeper  in  charge 
of  several  books  of  the  small  concern. 

Example  of  Accounting  Organization 

It  is  superfluous  to  say  that  the  functions  and  duties  of  the 
personnel  of  every  business  are  based  on  the  same  principles 
of  procedure — whether  the  office  force  consists  of  half  a 
dozen  or  of  many  thousand  employees.  Yet  it  seems  neces- 
sary to  mention  this  fact  when  describing  the  accounting  work 
of  a  large  concern  for  the  purposes  of  illustration,  for  fear 
that  the  manager  of  a  small  office  may  not  recognize  the  value 
of  an  illustration  taken  from  a  field  which  is  apparently  so 
different  from  his  own. 

The  accounting  department  to  be  described  is  that  of  a 
large  New  England  manufacturing  concern  employing  16,000 
men  and  doing  a  domestic  and  foreign  business  of  many  mil- 
lion dollars  a  year.  The  officials  of  the  company  have  just 
spent  several  thousand  dollars  on  the  reorganization  of  its 
accounting  system  and  consequently  they  consider  it  modern 
and  up-to-date,  but  of  course  possessing  features — as  all  sys- 
tems do — peculiar  to  its  special  line  of  business.  , 

Duties  of  Officials 

The  system,  which  is  divided  into  the  two  general  depart- 
ments of  commercial  and  cost,  again  subdivided  into  sections, 
is  under  the  control  of  a  comptroller,  a  chief  accountant,  and 
an  auditor.  Each  of  these  officials  has  certain  well-defined 
duties  which,  briefly  described,  are  as  follows. 

The  comptroller  has  supervision  over  the  accounts  and 
finance.  It  is  his  duty  to  determine  the  method  of  handling 
the  financial  accounts  and  of  preparing  statements   for  the 



board  of  directors.  All  reports  required  by  law,  and  the 
numerous  statements  for  the  information  of  the  officers  and 
directors,  such  as  an  itemized  statement  of  undivided  profits, 
an  itemized  statement  of  monthly  earnings,  detailed  reports 
of  expenses,  and  a  complete  cost  analysis  of  some  depart- 
ments, etc.,  are  compiled  and  presented  under  his  direction. 

The  chief  accountant  has  direct  charge  of  accounts  and 
accounting  methods.  He  decides  questions  of  development 
work  and  ways  of  handling  accounts.  To  him  also  falls  the 
duty  of  supervising  the  employees  of  the  department.  All 
questions  regarding  methods  of  entry,  etc.,  are  referred  to 
him,  and  any  suggested  change  in  the  systems  employed  or 
forms  used  must  receive  his  approval. 

The  auditor  has  general  charge  of  accounting  inspection. 
This  work  calls  for  periodical  inspection  of  activities  ranging 
from  the  daily  checking  of  cash  and  the  proving  of  ledger 
postings,  to  monthly,  quarterly,  and  yearly  audits.  In  detail 
the  functions  of  the  auditing  department,  which  contains  ten 
clerks,  is  described  in  the  accounting  manual  as  follows : 








Check  incoming  invoices 

Audit  all  pay-rolls 

Audit  and  pass  on  all  payments  made 

Audit  balance  of  shares 

Audit  accounts  receivable 

Audit  general  books 

Audit  reconciled  bank  accounts 

Audit  cash 

Audit  cost 

Check  and  examine  all  securities  by  physical  inspec- 

Audit  vouchers  payable 

Advise  and  report  to  heads  of  departments  (comp- 
troller, engineer,  treasurer,  etc.) 



Duties  of  Section  Heads 

The  organization,  as  already  stated,  is  separated  into  two 
divisions — commercial  and  cost — and  these  in  turn  are  divided 
into  sections.  The  organization  of  a  cost  department  is 
usually  left  to  a  competent  cost  accountant  and  so,  for  pur- 
poses of  illustration,  we  will  choose  the  commercial  division. 
This  division  consists  of  various  sections  in  charge  of  the 
general  ledger,  invoicing,  accounts  receivable,  cash  records, 
and  vouchers  payable.  At  the  head  of  each  section  is  a  super- 
vising clerk  whose  duty  it  is  to  see  that  the  bookkeeping  work 
connected  with  his  particular  kind  of  record  is  properly  car- 
ried out. 

General  Ledger  Section 

The  general  ledger  section  is  in  charge  of  a  general  book' 
keeper  who,  with  two  assistants,  keeps  control  of  all  subsidiary 
accounts  and  compiles  all  financial  statements.  The  detail 
analysis  of  the  different  groups  of  accounts,  such  as  adminis- 
tration, selling,  income,  and  so  on,  must  be  thoroughly  mas- 
tered by  the  head  of  this  section  if  he  is  to  carry  out  the 
instructions  of  the  comptroller  and  the  business  policies  of 
the  company.  The  general  duties  of  the  section  are  to  post 
the  general  ledger  and  to  make  out  monthly  financial  state- 
ments, a  periodical  balance  sheet,  and  a  profit  and  loss  state- 
ment. Another  duty  of  this  section  is  to  keep  a  record  of  the 
assets  of  the  company. 

Invoice  Section 

The  invoice  section,  from  a  clerical  point  of  view,  holds 
a  leading  position  in  the  company's  accounting  organization. 
A  study  of  the  chart  presented  in  Figure  74  will  show  its 
position  in  the  accounting  division,  as  well  as  its  relationship 
to  the  flow  of  clerical  work  connected  with  the  filling  of  an 
order.     In  studying  the  chart  the  reader  should  start  at  the 




left  with  the  squares  labeled  "Orders  Booked"  and  "Orders 
Filled,"  tracing  first  the  operations  involved  in  the  booking 
and  then  those  connected  with  the  filling  of  an  order.  The 
method  of  dividing  the  accounting  work  into  sections  and 
the  relation  of  one  section  to  another  is  clearly  shown. 

The  personnel  of  the  invoice  section  consists  of  a  super- 
visor, an  analysis  clerk,  a  checking  clerk,  and  five  billing 
machine  operators.  Its  chief  duty  is  to  turn  out  two  account- 
ing documents:  (i)  a  typed  invoice,  and  (2)  the  credit  mem- 
orandum. Both  of  these  are  made  out  in  five  copies  and 
are  sent  to  the  same  places : 

1.  Original  to  vendor 

2.  Posting  copy  to  accounts  receivable  section 

3.  Statistical  copy  to  recording  section 

4.  Credit  copy  to  credit  department 

5.  Sales  record  copy  to  sales  department 

The  invoices  are  made  out  from  the  shipping  order,  a 
copy  of  which  is  sent  to  the  invoice  section. 

Method  of  Handling  Invoices 

In  many  large  organizations  handling  a  proportionate  vol- 
ume of  business,  invoices  are  usually  from  one  to  two  days 
late  in  getting  into  the  mail.  Invoices  should  be  sent  out  on 
the  same  day  that  the  goods  are  shipped.  In  order  to  maintain 
a  reputation  for  promptness  in  this  matter,  this  company 
makes  it  a  rule  that  the  billing  clerks  must  complete  all  orders 
for  the  day  before  going  home.  While  this  produces  some 
hardship  at  certain  busy  seasons  of  the  year,  the  effect  is 
counterbalanced  by  the  dull  periods  when  work  is  slack. 

The  prompt  handling  of  invoices  is  further  facilitated  by 
the  use  of  billing  machines.  The  operators  in  the  invoice 
section  make  out  invoices  on  a  machine  which  automatically 
figures  the  discount.     In  this  connection  it  may  he  mentioned 


that  mechanical  devices  are  used  wherever  possible.  In  the 
accounts  receivable  section,  for  example,  invoices  are  posted 
to  the  card  ledgers  by  means  of  two  bookkeeping  machines 
which  cope  with  all  the  work.  The  mechanical  method  of 
handling  invoices  and  the  ledgers  has  resulted  in  important 
savings.  Four  of  the  eight  clerks  who  were  formerly  re- 
quired to  do  this  work  have  been  transferred  to  the  statistical 

A  final  consideration  in  connection  with  invoicing  is  the 
inspection.  The  invoice  is  one  point  of  contact  with  the  out- 
side public.  Therefore  accuracy  and  neatness  must  be  in- 
sisted upon.  To  assure  these  things  a  checking  clerk  in- 
spects every  invoice  for  typographical  errors,  general  ap- 
pearance, and  other  defects;  the  cumulative  effect  of  a  dis- 
regard of  these  points  creates  an  impression  of  slackness  and 

Accounts  Receivable  Section 

The  duties  of  the  accounts  receivable  section  are  to  record 
and  maintain  the  accounts  with  customers  of  the  company, 
to  make  out  the  necessary  monthly  statements,  and  also  to 
furnish  a  certain  amount  of  data  to  the  credit,  order,  ship- 
ping, and  statistical  departments. 

The  personnel  is  composed  of  a  supervisor,  six  general 
clerks,  two  bookkeeping  machine  operators,  and  two  ledger 
clerks.  Previous  to  the  installation  of  these  bookkeeping 
machines  and  the  card  ledgers  operated  in  connection  with 
the  machines,  the  company  maintained  six  loose-leaf  ledgers, 
each  of  which  was  in  charge  of  a  clerk.  Under  the  present 
organization  the  trial  balance  can  be  had  within  three  days. 
Under  the  old  method  it  took  six  days  to  get  it  out.  The  cum- 
bersome nature  of  the  old  equipment  is  in  marked  contrast 
with  the  neatness  and  compactness  of  the  new.  The  card 
ledgers  are  divided  into  seven  sections — A  to  C,  D  to  F,  and 


SO  on — each  a  complete  unit  in  itself  and  all  controlled  by 
the  general  bookkeeper.  These  ledger  cards  are  filed  alpha- 
betically in  a  special  file  in  which  the  alphabet  is  split  1,250 
ways.  It  is  probably  one  of  the  quickest  files  to  work  on  the 
market.  Under  the  new  method  the  day's  work  can  be  proved 
each  day;  under  the  old  method  it  could  only  be  proved  once 
a  month. 

Operation  of  Customers  Ledger 

The  method  of  recording  entries  in  the  customers  ledger 
is  comparatively  simple.  On  receipt  of  the  posting  copy  of 
the  invoice  the  ledger  bookkeepers  post  on  the  bookkeeping 
machines  the  debits  as  shown  by  the  invoice.  The  credits  to 
customers'  accounts  are  posted  from  "remittance"'  tickets 
which  are  records  peculiar  to  the  company.  These  tickets  con- 
sist of  two  sections  and  are  made  out  in  the  cashier's  office. 
When  a  check  is  received,  a  notation  is  made  on  the  stub  of 
the  ticket  which  stays  in  the  cashier's  department.  The  rest 
of  the  ticket  is  sent  to  the  accounts  receivable  section  where 
the  amounts  called  for  are  posted  to  the  customer's  account, 
provided  that  the  deductions  made  by  the  customer  are  O  K. 
At  the  end  of  the  day  a  list  of  the  remittances  posted  is  made, 
and  this  list  is  sent  to  the  cashier  who  can  thus  see  at  a  glance, 
by  comparing  the  remittance  numbers  in  the  stub  of  his  book 
with  the  remittance  numbers  on  the  list,  the  checks  that  have 
not  been  posted. 

Daily  Trial  Balance 

When  the  ledger  has  been  posted  a  trial  balance  of  each 
section  is  run  off  daily  as  a  proof  of  the  accounts  receivable 
work  for  the  day.  This  proof  is  presented  to  the  general 
bookkeeper  for  his  OK.  If  the  work  is  correct  he  O  K's  it. 
but  if  the  total  is  out  of  balance,  he  tells  the  ledger  clerk,  but 
he  does  not  give  him  the  correct  balance.     The  bookkeeper 


gets  the  correct  balance  from  the  recording  section  which  an- 
alyzes the  sales  of  the  company  daily.  The  cashier's  remit- 
tance tickets  are  numbered  numerically  in  bound  books  and 
each  one  must  be  accounted  for  by  the  cashier  to  the  auditor. 
The  final  duty  of  this  section  is  to  make  out  the  monthly 
statements  and  send  them  to  the  credit  department  for  mailing. 

Recording  Section 

The  recording  section  receives  the  statistical  copy  of  the 
invoice  and  its  work  in  general  is  to  analyze  sales,  credits,  re- 
turned goods;  to  make  journal  entries  at  the  end  of  each 
month  showing  the  gross  sales,  returned  goods,  and  freight; 
to  keep  a  stock  record  of  the  finished  goods  on  hand  and 
make  all  journal  entries  affecting  finished  goods  at  the  end 
of  the  month;  to  keep  a  record  of  machinery  showing  its 
value,  depreciation,  machine  rate,  insurance  numbers,  and 
other  data.  It  furnishes  its  record  to  the  industrial  engineer 
and  the  factory.  The  statistical  work  done  by  this  section  is 
largely  compiled  for  cost  information. 

Vouchers  Payable  Section 

The  vouchers  payable  section  with  a  personnel  of  ten 
clerks  under  the  direction  of  a  supervisor  is  in  charge  of  the 
voucher  record.  Its  duties  are :  ( i )  to  record  the  liability  to 
the  vendor  and  (2)  to  control  the  typing  and  figuring  of  all 
checks  liquidating  the  liabilities  of  the  company.  It  furnishes 
data  to  the  assistant  treasurer,  statistician,  and  purchasing 

Before  the  installation  of  the  voucher  record  and  the  pay- 
ment of  bills  by  voucher  checks  the  company  used  a  purchase 
journal.  This  has  since  been  discontinued  as  has  also  the 
creditors  ledger.  The  question  as  to  whether  a  concern  should 
use  a  purchase  journal  or  voucher  record  is  a  matter  to  be  de- 
termined by  the  circumstances  of  the  case. 



Use  of  Voucher  Flags 

When  the  vendor's  invoice  is  received  the  mail  opening 
department  sends  it  to  the  vouchers  payable  section  where  it 
is  "flagged,"  i.e.,  details  of  the  invoice  are  written  on  a 
voucher  flag  or  form.  This  flag  is  perforated  through  the 
center  so  that  when  torn  in  half  the  right-hand  side  can  be  re- 
tained by  the  vouchers  payable  section  which  files  it  by  pay 
date.  The  left-hand  side  is  glued  to  the  invoice  which  is 
then  sent  to  the  scheduling  section  of  the  purchasing  depart- 
ment where  it  is  filed  with  the  copy  of  the  purchase  order. 
By  listing  the  invoices  flagged,  the  vouchers  payable  section 
can  approximately  tell  the  amount  of  money  the  company  will 
have  to  pay  out  each  day.  A  further  advantage  gained  by 
this  method  is  that  it  enables  the  company  to  keep  close  track  of 
discounts  on  purchases,  as  the  flagged  invoices  are  filed  by  pay 
date  and  thus  turn  up  automatically  when  they  require  atten- 
tion. By  comparing  the  flags  with  the  invoices  that  have  been 
approved  for  payment  by  the  purchasing  department,  the 
vouchers  payable  section  can  at  once  take  advantage  of  the 
discount.  The  purchasing  department  is  notified  as  soon  as 
the  goods  are  received  and  before  they  have  been  inspected 
so  that  the  vouchers  payable  section  can  at  once  find  out  from 
the  purchasing  department  just  what  the  status  of  an  invoice 
is — whether  or  not  the  goods  have  been  shipped  by  the  ven- 
dor, if  there  has  been  any  delay,  and  what  has  been  the  cause 
of  the  delay.  The  company  frequently  pays  its  invoices  before 
goods  have  been  received  so  as  to  take  advantage  of  the  dis- 
counts. If  the  inspection  proves  the  goods  to  be  deficient  in 
quality,  quantity,  or  price  the  matter  is  adjusted  later  by  send- 
ing a  notice  to  the  invoice  section,  which  makes  out  either  an 
invoice  or  a  credit  memorandum.  An  invoice  is  made  out 
for  an  overcharge,  a  credit  memorandum  for  an  undercharge. 



Cashier's  Section 

The  organization  of  the  cashier's  section  is  especially  in- 
teresting as  showing  the  variations  possible  to  meet  local  con- 
ditions. This  section  is  in  charge  of  a  cashier  who  handles 
the  imprest  cash  book,  the  bank  records,  all  income  and  outgo 
of  cash,  and  is  responsible  to  the  secretary  and  assistant  treas- 
urer. Under  the  direction  of  the  cashier  are  a  chief  paymas- 
ter and  an  assistant  cashier.  The  pay-roll  department  makes 
up  the  pay-roll,  but  the  chief  paymaster  puts  the  money  in 
the  envelopes.  This  provides  for  a  complete  separation  of 
the  make-up  of  the  pay-roll  and  the  paying  functions. 

In  addition  to  these  regular  duties,  this  section  takes  care 
of  the  trade  commitments — really  a  forecast  of  the  future 
payments  for  which  the  company  has  committed  itself,  for 
goods  ordered  but  not  received — which  payments  are  classi- 
fied by  material  store  groups.  This  information  is  obtained 
from  the  copy  of  the  purchase  order  which  is  sent  to  the 
cashier's  section. 

The  foregoing  methods  represent  the  practice  of  a  modern 
accounting  department  in  handling  the  accounts  receivable  and 
accounts  payable;  this  work  constitutes  the  greater  part  of  the 
duties  of  the  accounting  department. 



The  Measurement  and  Control  of  Work 

The  greatest  obstacle  to  the  control  of  clerical  activities 
in  most  departments  has  hitherto  been  the  difficulty  of  reduc- 
ing many  varied  routine  operations  to  a  schedule  and  main- 
taining and  controlling  the  schedule  without  excessive  outlay 
for  clerical  labor.  Machinery  is  fast  removing  this  difficulty 
from  the  accounting  department.  The  time  required  to  make 
complete  analyses,  classifications,  extensive  compilations,  and 
the  like,  can  now  be  accurately  estimated  and  quickly  meas- 
ured, so  that  today  the  chief  obstacle  to  the  general  adoption 
of  schedules  in  this  department  seems  to  be  lack  of  compre- 
hension of  the  possibilities  of  operating  them.  This  attitude 
is  reinforced  by  the  long  habit  of  expecting  accounting  reports 
to  come  in  a  "few  days"  behind  the  time  set,  and  of  consid- 
ering that  overtime  for  bookkeepers  at  certain  recurring 
periods  is  as  natural  and  unescapable  as  the  law  of  gravitation. 

Before  adequate  control,  according  to  modern  standards 
of  office  management,  can  be  secured,  clerical  duties  must  be 
clearly  defined.  In  many  up-to-date  accounting  departments 
the  work  is  measured  and  controlled  by  what  can  be  done  at 
each  desk,  rather  than  by  what  can  be  performed  individually. 
In  these  organizations  the  work  has  been  so  closely  analyzed 
and  then  so  finely  adjusted  to  equipment  and  personnel  that 
a  certain  number  of  duties  can  be  assigned  to  each  desk.  This 
method  has  the  virtue  of  not  only  clearly  separating  the  ac- 
tivities into  readily  recognized  units  but  giving  to  the  separa- 
tion a  physical  basis  as  well. 




Systematizing  the  Work  in  a  Small  Business 

To  systematize  the  routine  of  the  accounting  department 
in  a  small  business  is  not  a  difficult  task.  The  manager 
must  first  analyze  the  work  to  be  done  daily,  weekly,  monthly, 
and  one  or  more  times  a  year.  Then  the  clerical  force  must 
be  examined  and  tested  as  to  the  time  required  to  handle 
the  work  according  to  the  schedule  established,  as  explained 
in  Chapter  IV. 

Such  an  investigation,  made  to  determine  the  things  which 
must  be  done  daily  and  monthly  in  the  accounting  department 
of  a  garage  business,  resulted  in  the  manager  mapping  out 
the  following  simple  schedule  of  the  duties  of  his  book- 

Daily  Schedule  of  Accounting  Work 

Petty  Cash  : 

Make    petty     cash     disbursements     and  obtain    receipts    for  each 

Enter  vouchers  in  summary. 
Balance  the  record. 

Cash  and  Sales  Record: 
Enter  all  tickets  in  the  record. 
Foot  and  balance  the  record. 
Make  the  bank  deposit. 

Prove  the  cash  received  with  the  cash  register  and  the  cash  record. 
Post  all  charges  and  credits  to  the  customers'  accounts  and  check 

against  the  amounts  entered  in  the  cash  and  sales  record. 
Make  registered  tickets  for  storage  charges  for  the  following  month. 

Bank  Record: 

Enter  all  checks  drawn. 

Enter  deposits  made  in  the  "deposit"  column. 

Balance  the  record  and  find  the  balance  in  bank. 

Purchase  Record: 

Enter  all  invoices  in  purchase  record. 

Mark  off  all  invoices  paid  from  the  creditors  column  in  the  bank 



Monthly  Schedule  of  Accounting  Work 
Bank  Record: 

Reconcile  bank  account. 

Rule  up  record. 

Post  to  the  private  ledger. 

Foot,  Rule  Up,  and  Post  : 
Cash  and  sales  record. 
Purchase  record. 
Petty  cash  record. 

Journalize  : 
Post  journal. 

Car  Stock : 

Write  up  cars  received  and  sold  and  find  the  number  and  value 
of  the  cars  on  hand,  and  the  number  and  value  of  cars  sold  but 
not  delivered,  and  get  the  balance  of  the  car  stock  account. 

Check  car  stock  record  with  cars  '"on  hand"  and  open  a  new  record 
for  the  following  month. 

Prove  Controlling  Accounts  for: 
Customers'  accounts. 
Creditors'  accounts. 

Take  Trial  Balance  and  Complete  Statement. 

Building  Up  the  Detailed  Schedule 

The  schedule  of  the  entries  and  posting  cited  above  may 
be  all  that  is  necessary  in  a  small  business  where  the  work 
is  done  by  a  few  clerks.  With  the  pressure  of  the  work  con- 
stant and  the  head  bookkeeper  always  present,  the  manager 
can  gage  the  work  fairly  well  and  the  schedule  should  insure 
his  getting  the  results  called  for.  But  in  a  large  organiza- 
tion where  specialization  has  been  carried  to  a  fine  point,  it  is 
necessary  to  divide  the  various  duties  into  operations  and 
standardize  them  accordingly,  i.e.,  furnish  each  clerical  em- 
ployee with  written  instructions  as  to  just  how  a  particular 
duty  or  each  piece  of  accounting  work  is  to  be  done. 

In  illustration  of  this  method  the  procedure  adopted  in 



the  office  of  a  public  service  corporation  is  cited.  Frequent 
delays  were  experienced  in  getting  out  a  correct  trial  balance, 
because  of  mistakes  caused  by  the  difference  in  the  procedure 
of  the  various  bookkeepers  when  posting  to  accounts.  The 
office  manager  remedied  the  defect  by  standardizing  the  meth- 
ods of  handling  the  various  records  and  classes  of  accounts. 
An  "order  of  work"  schedule  was  made  out  for  each  account 
classification  and  special  instructions  were  issued  for  the 
method  of  treating  those  accounts  which  presented  any  diffi- 
culty. For  example,  a  somewhat  complicated  account  was 
that  headed  "P.  A.  Fuel"  in  which  was  recorded  the  cost  of 
coal  consumed.  The  instructions  issued  to  cover  the  method 
of  treatment  were  as  follows : 

1.  Check    footing  of  coal  received  and  sold  on  Fuel  Report. 

2.  Check  amount  "On  Hand  First  of  Month"  with  amount 

"On  Hand  End  of  Month"  shown  on  Fuel  Report  for 
preceding  month. 

3.  Check  amount  "Received  During  Month"  with  total  coal 

received   as   shown. 

4.  Check  amount  "Sold"  with  total  sales  as  shown. 

5.  Check  all  additions  and  subtractions  involved  in  arriving 

at  amount  of  coal  used  and  accounted  for. 

6.  Convert  pounds  of  coal  used  into  tons,  carrying  out  to 

two  decimal  points. 

7.  To  check  calculations,  all  divisions  are  to  be  multiplied 

back  and  all  multiplications  are  to  be  divided  back. 

8.  Show  cost  of  coal  used  on  face  of  Fuel  Report  in   fol- 

lowing manner : 
Used lbs.   =    tons,  @ 

The  following  instructions  were  given  as  to  the  metliod  to 
be  pursued  in  calculating  the  composite  or  average  cost  per 
ton  of  the  total  coal  on  hand  first  of  month  and  coal  received 
during  month  and  in  proving  up  the  "fuel  stock"  account  in 
the  general  ledger. 

To  Ascertain  Average  Cost  Per  Ton 
I.  Check  the  weight  of  each  car  of  coal  received  shown  on 


Fuel  Report  with  the  weight  of  each  car  shown  on 
"Charges  to  Fuel  Stock,"  the  latter  showing  the  bills 
received  and  charged  during  the  month.  ]\Iark  in  led 
ink  on  Fuel  Report  "Alissing"  against  those  cars  for 
which  bills  have  not  been  received. 

2.  Obtain  from  bookkeeper  the  credits  to  "Fuel  Stock,"  if 

any,  covering  sales  of  coal  or  allowances  by  shippers 
and  check  sales  so  reported  with  sales  shown  on  Fuel 

3.  Use  the  reverse  side  of  "Charges  to  Fuel  Stock"  for  the 

following  calculation : 

4.  Start  off  with  general  ledger  balance  last  of  preceding 


5.  Add  total  of  charges  shown  on  "Charges  to  Fuel  Stock." 

6.  Add  estimated  charge   for  missing  bills. 

7.  Deduct  allowance  by  shippers  (if  any). 

8.  Result:  total  cost  of  coal  on  hand  first  of  month  and 

received  during  month. 

9.  Convert  total  pounds  of  coal  on  hand  first  of  month  and 

received   during  month   into   tons,   carrying   out   two 
decimal  points. 
ID.  Ascertain  composite  or  average  cost  per  ton  in  dollars 
and    cents    by    dividing   tons    (Section    9)    into    cost 
(Section  8). 

11.  Show  average  cost  per  ton   (Section  10)   alongside  the 

total  cost   (Section  8). 

To  Prove  Up  General  Ledger 

12.  Deduct  from  total  cost,  the  cost  of  coal  used  previously 

calculated  and  entered  on  journal  and  the  proceeds 
of  coal  sold  as  reported  or  estimated. 

13.  Deduct  the  estimated  charge  for  missing  bills. 

14.  Result :  general  ledger  balance  close  of  month. 

15.  Check  result    (Section   14)    with   actual  general   ledger 


Form  to  be  Used  on  Reverse  Side  of 
"Charges  to   Fuel  Stock" 

G.  L.  Balance $ 


Add  missing  bills    (detail  car  numbers)        

Deduct  allowance  I.  &  C.  

Total  cost   (average  cost,  $ )        




Deduct   missing   bills 

G.  L.  Balance $ 

Note:  All  additions  and  subtractions  must  be  checked; 
all  divisions  are  to  be  multiplied  back  and  all  multiplica- 
tions divided  back  and  great  care  is  to  be  used  in  tran- 
scribing figures.  Also  the  Fuel  Report  and  "Charges  to  Fuel 
Stock"  are  to  be  pin-clipped  together  for  filing. 

Method  of  Checking  Up  Schedule  of  Work 

After  standardizing  the  operations  connected  with  the 
performance  of  a  specific  duty,  as  illustrated  in  the  preceding, 
section,  the  next  step  is  to  devise  a  method  of  checking  up  and 
holding  employees  to  the  performance  of  the  schedule  of 
work.  The  methods  employed  in  the  accounting  office  of  a 
railroad,  where  all  work  has  been  standardized  and  is  paid 
for  at  hourly  rates  for  specific  classes  of  work,  will  serve  to 
explain  the  general  procedure  and  the  forms  that  need  to  be 
devised  for  reporting  the  progress  of  work  and  thus  measur- 
ing output. 

In  the  office  under  consideration  the  personnel  consists  of 
3  stenographers,  6  dictating  machine  operators,  20  typists,  and 
clerks,  and  50  adding  machine  operators.  For  administrative 
purposes  the  department  is  divided  into  six  sections  with  a 
chief  clerk  at  the  head  of  each,  to  whom  employees  report 
the  progress  of  work. 

Mechanism  of  Control 

The  mechanism  of  control  consists  of  the  following : 

1.  An  official  number  for  each  employee. 

2.  A  symbol  for  each  class  of  work. 

3.  A  daily  job  report  slip. 

4.  An  individual  monthly  time  sheet. 

5.  A  job  record  sheet. 

6.  A  recapitulation  sheet. 


The  object  to  be  attained  is  the  collection  of  two  groups 
of  data:  (i)  figures  representing  the  number  of  "units  of 
work''  performed  by  each  individual;  (2)  figures  showing  the 
number  of  hours  spent  by  each  person  on  each  kind  of  work. 
These  figures  enable  the  statistical  clerk  to  determine  two  im- 
portant things :  first  the  relative  efficiency  of  each  employee, 
i.e.,  how  his  work  compares  with  that  of  other  employees 
doing  the  same  task,  and  with  similar  work  previously  done 
by  him;  and  secondly  the  correct  distribution  of  time  and 
of  costs  over  individual  jobs. 

By  gathering  daily  totals  of  the  units  of  work  performed 
by  each  employee,  the  office  manager  can  keep  a  close  watch 
upon  the  individual's  value  to  the  department.  By  summariz- 
ing these  totals  he  is  able  to  compare  the  efficiency  of  the  de- 
partment day  by  day  and  month  by  month  with  similar  pre- 
ceding periods  of  time. 

The  Unit  of  Work 

The  "unit  of  work"  is  an  important  feature  of  the  sys- 
tem and  its  successful  operation  largely  depends  upon  the 
correct  standardization  of  all  clerical  operations  into  units. 
Such  a  unit  is  the  amount  of  a  given  kind  of  work  that  can 
be  performed  in  a  niimite  by  the  average  industrious  employee 
working  under  normal  conditions  and  at  normal  speed.  Thus, 
if  the  average  amount  of  transcription  from  stenographic 
notes  with  a  standard  line  length  of  6  inches  is  180  lines  an 
hour,  the  unit  of  work  of  stenographers  is  3  lines.  In  the 
case  of  typists  doing  straight  copying  the  unit  may  be  4  lines. 
Clerks  who  extend  local  way-bills  may  average  60  bills  an 
hour  and  the  unit  of  work  in  this  case  would  be  i  way-bill. 
Clerks  who  make  up  freight  bills  may  average  30  an  hour,  in 
which  case  the  unit  of  work  is  >^  bill.  All  employees  report 
the  amount  of  work  done  in  units  and  at  the  same  time  give 
the  time  length  of  the  task. 



The  advantages  of  this  method  of  standardization  are 
thus  apparent.  Work  can  be  quickly  measured  and  the  time 
easily  reported.  An  employee  whose  report  shows  less  than 
one  unit  a  minute  is  below  the  average  in  industry  or  ability ; 
those  who  average  more  than  60  units  an  hour  are  propor- 
tionately efficient.  If  all  employees  on  a  certain  class  of  work 
consistently  do  more  than  60  units  an  hour,  the  standard 
amount  which  is  supposed  to  represent  a  minute's  work  needs 
to  be  raised;  if  they  consistently  do  less,  the  standard  should 
be  lowered.  Further  advantages  derived  from  the  unit  method 
of  standardization  will  be  seen  as  the  description  of  the 
system  develops. 

The  Report  and  Record  of  Employees 

Employees  report  the  amount  of  work  done  on  two  forms, 
an  individual  report  on  separate  jobs  (Figure  75)  and  a 
monthly  record  of  work  performed  (Figure  j6).  On  the 
individual  reports  are  entered  the  clerk's  number,  the  job 
symbol,  the  number  of  units  finished,  with  the  time  consumed, 
and  the  date.  If  a  clerk  works  on  several  jobs  during  the 
day,  he  makes  out  a  slip  in  each  case. 


Extending  local  way-bills 
276 — 4  hours 

Xo.  81 


Figure   ys-     Report  of   Units   Done 

Individual  report  on  which  each  employee  reports  daily  the  units 
of  work  done  on  each  job. 

At  the  end  of  the  day  the  employee  takes  out  the  monthly 
record  sheet  (Figure  76)  and  enters  on  it  the  data  from  the 
job  slips.     These  data  are  classified  by  kind  of  work  done, 




(7eo>obt    of      Work     PrRFORMEo 

nivi<:ioK/    Fr,D  Twr  Mr.^Jru   r,r                                                          I^IA 






Czrhficafion   of 
Head    Clerk. 

1   1   1   1   1  1   1   1   1  1   1 

^^^                               Time  e^pende^i  -  Hours                                                                                                   | 






— -1 

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L-r r--. 



— = 









Ibta/    bouri     retju/or   time    fijr  wh'Ch    Comp«n5ario»l     i6      ft                          p«r                               Ho.  | 

Figure  76.   Employee's  Monthly  Record  Sheet 

On  which  data  from  individual  daily  reports  are  entered  and  classified. 

i.e.,  the  group  of  clerical  activities  into  which  it  falls.  To 
this  end  a  number  of  spaces  are  provided  under  the  heading 
"Group''  in  which  the  symbols  representing  the  kind  of  work 
performed  (see  Chapter  IV)  are  entered.  Below  the  symbol 
the  time  expended  (not  the  units,  be  it  noted)  is  entered  in 
the  square,  on  a  line  with  the  day  of  the  month.  The  clerk 
must  account  for  8  hours  daily  unless  overtime  is  worked. 
A  study  of  the  individual  report  and  the  monthly  record  will 
make  clear  that  the  first  form  gathers  data  upon  the  kind  and 
quantity  of  work  done,  and  the  second  upon  the  time  spent  in 
doing  it.  We  have  now  to  consider  the  method  of  summariz- 
ing this  data  for  control  purposes. 

Recording  the  Amount  of  Work  Done 

Before  the  employee  leaves  for  the  day  he  turns  in  both 
the  job  slip  and  the  time  sheet  to  the  head  clerk  who  verifies 
the  entries  on  them,  taking  special  pains  to  check  up  the  time 


data  and  see  that  eight  hours  are  accounted  for.  These  rec- 
ords are  now  passed  on  to  the  statistical  department,  and  the 
time  sheet,  after  being  signed,  is  sent  back  to  the  employee's 
desk  to  be  used  the  next  day. 

The  statistical  clerk  sorts  the  slips  according  to  the  group 
or  kind  of  work  and  copies  the  records  upon  a  group  record 
card  (Figure  yj^.  A  set  of  these  cards  is  kept  for  each 
class  of  work. 

The  first  column  shows  at  the  top  the  number  of  the  card 
in  the  series  and  below,  the  days  of  the  month;  the  second 
column  shows  the  total  number  of  units  and  time  taken  by  all 
employees  doing  this  class  of  work  other  than  those  whose  rec- 
ords are  shown  on  the  card.  Columns  3  to  7  show  the  records 
of  individual  employees  and  are  headed  with  their  numbers; 
the  last  column  gives  the  grand  total  of  all  units  of  this  class 
of  work.  One  card  holds  the  record  of  five  employees  and  as 
many  cards  as  needed  may  be  used  by  cross-footing  and 
carrying  the  totals  forward  to  another  card.  The  official  num- 
ber of  an  employee  is  placed  at  the  head  of  each  of  the  five 
columns  and  below  are  entered  the  units  of  work  and  time 
taken  for  each.    The  record  covers  a  month. 

While  making  up  the  above  record  the  statistical  clerk 
looks  out  for  all  daily  outputs  that  are  not  up  to  standard 
requirements.  This  is  easily  noted,  for  he  has  a  list  showing 
the  requirements  for  each  class  of  work  determined  on  the 
basis  of  so  many  units  per  hour.  When  an  employee's  rec- 
ord falls  below  the  standard,  a  memo  of  the  fact  is  sent  to 
the  chief  clerk.  From  this  record  a  list  is  also  made  up  which 
shows  the  ranking  of  employees  according  to  their  ability  to 
turn  out  work.  By  looking  up  the  individual  record  cards 
and  dividing  the  total  number  of  units  produced  into  the  total 
time  consumed,  an  average  per  hour  is  arrived  at  which  de- 
termines the  rank  of  the  clerk. 








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Summarizing  the  Total  Output 

The  totals  obtained  by  cross-footing  the  cards,  when  sum- 
marized, give  the  statistical  information  necessary  to  judge 
the  progress  of  the  department  as  a  whole — one  footing  gives 
the  number  of  units  handled  for  the  day  and  the  other  gives 
the  time  consumed.  These  totals  are  collected  daily  upon  a 
separate  form,  the  "Recapitulation  Sheet"  here  illustrated 
(Figure  yS). 

Two  columns  are  provided  for  each  job — one  for  the 
daily  totals  of  units  of  work  done  by  all  employees  working 
on  that  job  and  another  for  the  hours  taken.  Thus  for  each 
day  a  clean-cut  running  record  of  the  number  of  units  com- 
pleted up-to-date  and  the  time  taken  is  made  up;  by  this  the 
office  manager  can  judge  of  the  progress  of  the  department. 
Also,  when  the  daily  totals  for  the  last  day  of  the  month 
are  entered  on  the  recapitulation  sheet,  it  is  footed  and  the 
new  totals  give  the  number  of  units  completed  and  the  time 
taken  on  each  class  of  work,  for  the  whole  month. 

Determining  the  Cost  of  Work 

The  monthly  time  sheet,  by  showing  the  time  of  an  em- 
ployee on  each  job,  furnishes  the  data  for  determining  the 
labor  cost  of  each  class  of  work.  The  time  on  each  job  mul- 
tiplied by  the  employee's  rate  per  hour  gives  the  labor  cost  for 
that  particular  work.  Thus,  the  complete  cost  of  any  one  class 
of  work  is  determined  by  accumulating  the  costs  shown  on  the 
monthly  time  sheets. 

Control  Obtained  at  Low  Cost 

While  the  system  described  is  used,  as  before  stated,  by 
a  large  railroad  corporation,  the  principles  on  which  it  is 
based  are  so  simple  that  they  can  readily  be  adapted  to  the 
use  of  a  small  organization.  The  cost  to  the  railroad  com- 
pany for  the  records  used  was  only  a  few  dollars  a  month, 



while  the  clerical  work  was  taken  care  of  by  one  statistical 
clerk  who  handled  the  computations  and  prepared  the  reports 
and  charts.  Where  a  similar  system  of  control  is  used,  it  is  an 
economy  in  the  end  to  put  all  the  work  involved  in  the  hands 
of  an  employee  who  is  familiar  with  statistical  methods  and 
"likes  to  figure." 





Selection  and  Training  in  Stabilizing  Employment 

Alert  business  men  no  longer  ignore  strong  economic  and 
social  tendencies  as  they  did  in  the  past.  The  fact  that  the 
40,000,000  jobs  in  the  United  States  furnish  nearly  50,000,000 
changes  in  work  each  year,  with  an  annual  loss  of  over  a 
billion  dollars,  or  an  average  cost  of  $25  for  each  change  of 
job,  has  finally  brought  the  question  of  stability  of  employ- 
ment, in  so  far  as  it  depends  upon  the  selection  and  training 
of  employees,  prominently  to  the  front.  It  is  only  within 
the  past  three  or  four  years  that  the  great  waste  due  to 
thoughtless  hiring  and  firing  of  employees  has  been  given 
serious  consideration. 

An  office  is  a  huge  machine  with  many  delicate  parts. 
Every  individual  in  it  is  either  a  help  or  a  clog.  A  few  years 
ago  factory  superintendents  bought  lubricating  oil  without 
testing,  but  experience  has  shown  that  there  are  great  differ- 
ences in  oils  and  that  machines  work  better  and  last  longer 
when  care  is  exercised  in  choosing  the  lubricant  best  suited 
to  the  machine  and  its  work.  The  office  machine  is  now  being 
studied  with  a  similar  result.  New  employees  are  tested  be- 
fore they  are  taken  into  the  organization,  experience  show- 
ing that  some  types  of  employees  work  better,  and  with  more 
efficiency,  at  certain  kinds  of  jobs  than  at  others.  The  scien- 
tific selection  of  employees,  followed  by  specialized  training 
to  fit  them  for  their  jobs  and  promotion  as  soon  as  thev 
show  fitness  to  be  advanced,  is  the  most  rational  way  of  giving 
stability  to  employment  and  of  attacking  the  evil  of  labor 
turnover  at  its  root. 



Stabilizing  the  Requirements  of  a  Position 

Before  the  suitability  of  an  applicant  for  a  given  job  can 
be  considered  two  factors  must  be  analyzed :  ( i )  the  quali- 
fications necessary  or  desirable  for  the  position;  (2)  the  test 
necessary  to  determine  whether  an  applicant  meets  these  re- 

The  tests  as  to  the  applicant's  fitness  for  the  job  consist 
in  the  "discovery"  of  these  aptitudes  through  inquiries  and 
examinations.  A  difficulty  which  here  arises  is  to  determine 
suitable  standards  of  measurement  for  judging  a  man's  abil- 
ities. To  decide  that  a  man  is  "good,"  and  to  recommend 
him  to  another  in  that  term,  seldom  conveys  any  real  infor- 
mation, since  the  judgment  is  expressed  in  general  terms  and 
is  based  on  an  inadequate  estimation  of  the  ability  of  the  em- 
ployee. To  remedy  the  short-comings  of  the  "general  recom- 
mendation'" as  to  ability,  experiments  have  recently  been 
made.  These  experiments  prove  that  a  man  can  be  judged 
more  accurately  if  the  estimations  and  various  tests  of  ability 
can  be  reduced  to  "quantitative"  determinations,  that  is,  if  a 
man's  attributes  can  be  definitely  rated.  This  applies  to 
knowledge,  physical  condition,  mental  alertness,  and  so  on. 

Testing  the  Applicant's  General  Intelligence 

The  tests  as  to  mental  alertness  shown  below,  have  been 
suggested  by  Professor  Walter  Dill  Scott,  and  adopted  by 
thirty  leading  American  firms.  It  has  been  found  that  the 
most  brilliant  adult  applicants  complete  the  test,  as  here  pre- 
sented, in  about  fourteen  minutes : 

Read  the  general  directions  before  yon  do  anything  else. 

Do  what  the  printed  directions  tell  you  to  do. 

Do  not  ask  any  other  person  who  is  taking  the  examina- 
tion questions,  or  watch  anyone  to  see  what  he  or  she  does. 

Work  as  rapidly  as  you  can  without  making  any  mistakes. 

If  you  do  make  a  mistake,  correct  it  neatly. 

Do  I  first,  then  2,  then  3,  and  so  on. 


1.  Write  your  name  and  address. 

Instructions  for  2,  3,  and  4:  After  each  word  printed 
below  write  some  word,  according  to  the  further  directions. 
Write  plainly,  but  as  quickly  as  you  can.  If  you  cannot  think 
of  the  right  word  in  about  3  seconds,  go  on  to  the  next. 

2.  Write   words   that   fit  the   words   in  this   column,   as 
shown  in  the  first  three. 

good — bad  far — 

day — night  smooth — 

up — down  early — 

long —  dead — 

soft —  hot — 

white —  asleep — 

3.  Write  words  that  fit  the  words  in  this  column,  in  the 
way  shown  in  the  first  three. 

drink — water  scold — 

ask — questions —  win — 

subtract — numbers  answer — 

sing —  weave — 

build —  .                 wink — 

wear —  mend — 

4.  Write  words  that  tell  what  sort  of  a  thing  each  thing 
named  is,  as  shown  in  the  first  three. 

lily — flower  quinine — 

blue — color  beef — 

diamond — jewel  canoe — 

oak —  banana — 

measles —  Atlantic — 

shark —  Alps — 

5.  Add  17  to  each  of  these  numbers.    Write  the  answers 
as  shown  in  the  first  three. 

29 — 46 

18—35  61— 

60 — "J"]  71 — 

64—  33— 

49—  38— 

62 —  28 — 

.S7—  65— 

68—  41— 

74—  50— 

53—  42— 

67-  58- 



6.  Get  the  answers  to  these  problems  as  quickly  as  you 
can : 

(a)  What  .lumber  minus  16  equals  20? 

(b)  A  man  spent  2/3  of  his  money  and  had  $8  left.     How 

much  had  he  at  first? 

(c)  At  15  cents  a  yard,  how  much  will  7  feet  of  cloth  cost? 

(d)  A  man  bought   land   for   $100.     He   sold   it   for   $120, 

gaining  $5  an  acre.     How  many  acres  were  there  ? 

(e)  If  3/4  of  a  gallon  of  oil  costs  9  cents  what  will  seven 

gallons  cost? 

(f)  Write  opposites  for  this  column,  as  shown  in  the  first 

three.      If   you   cannot   think   of   the    right    word    in 
about  10  seconds,  go  on  to  the  next. 

bravery — cowardice  forcible — 

friend — enemy  straight — 

true — false  to  hold — 

serious —  after — 

grand —  to  float — 

to  win —  rough — 

to  respect —  to  bless — 

frequently —  to  take — 
to  lack —                                         ■       exciting — 

apart —  clumsy — 

stormy —  unless — 
motion — 

7.  Write  in  each  line  a  fourth  word  that  fits  the  third 
word  in  that  line  in  the  way  that  the  second  word  fits  the 
first,  as  shown  in  the  first  three  lines.  If  you  cannot  think 
of  the  right  word  in  about   10  seconds,  go  ahead. 

color — red  ;     name — John 
page — book;     handle — knife 
fire — burns ;     soldiers — fight 
eye — see ;     ear — 
Monday — Tuesday ;     April — 
do — did ;     see — 
bird — sings  ;     dog — 
hour — minute ;     minute — 
straw — hat ;     leather — 
cloud — rain  ;     sun — 
hammer — tool ;     dictionary — = 
uncle — aunt ;     brother — 
dog — puppy ;     cat — 
little — less  ;     much — 
wash — face ;     sweep — 
house — room  ;     book — 
sky — blue  ;     grass — 


swim — water  ;     fly — 
once — one  ;     twice — 
cat — fur;     bird — 
pan — tin  ;     table — 
buy — sell ;     come — 
oyster — shell ;     banana — 

8.  Do  what  it  says  to  do  as  quickly  as  you  can,  but  be 
careful  to  notice  just  what  it  does  say. 

With  your  pencil  make  a  dot  over  any  one  of  these  let- 
ters— F.G.H.LJ.  and  a  comma  after  the  longest  of  these 
three  words:  boy  mother  girl.  Then,  if  Christmas  comes  in 
Alarch,  make  a  cross  right  here. ..  .but  if  not,  pass  along  to 

the  next  question  and  tell  where  the  sun  rises If 

you  believe  that  Edison  discovered  America,  cross  out  what 
you  just  wrote,  but  if  it  was  someone  else,  put  in  a  num- 
ber to  complete  this  sentence:    "A  horse  has feet." 

Write,  yes;  no  matter  whether  China  is  in  Africa  or  not 

;   and   then   give   a   wrong   answer   to   this   question : 

'"How  many  days  are  there  in  the  week?" Write 

any  letter  except  g  just  after  this  comma, and  then 

write  no  if  2  times  5  are  10 Now  if  Tuesday  came 

after  Monday,  make  two  crosses  here ;  but  if  not, 

make  a  circle  here or  else  a  square  here Be 

sure  to  make   three   crosses  between   these  two   names   of 

boys:   George Henry.     Notice  these   two   numbers: 

3,   5.     If  iron  is  heavier  than  water,   write  larger  number 

here But  if  iron  is  lighter  write  the  smaller  number 

here Show  by  a  cross  when  the  nights  are  longer; 

in   summer? in   winter? Give  the   correct 

answer  to  this  question,  "Does  water  run  up-hill?" 

and   repeat   your   answer   here Do   nothing   here 

(S  plus  7  equals unless  you  skipped  the  preceding 

question;  but  write  the  first  letter  of  your  first  name  and 
the  last   letter  of  your  last   name   at  the   ends  of  this   line 

9.  Place  in  the  parentheses  preceding  each  English  prov- 
erb the  number  of  the  African  proverb  to  which  the  English 
proverb  corresponds  in  meaning. 

English  Proverbs 

(         )     Married  in  haste,  we  repent  at  leisure. 
(  )     Answer  a  fool  according  to  his  folly. 

(  )     One  swallow  does  not  make  a  summer. 



)  First  catch  your  hare. 

)  Adding  insult  to  injury. 

)  Curses  come  home  to  roost. 

)  Distance  lends   enchantment  to  the  view. 

)  We  can  all  endure  the  misfortune  of  others. 

African  Proverbs 

1.  One  tree  does  not  make  a  forest. 

2.  I  nearly  killed  the  bird.  No  one  can  eat  "nearly"  in  a 

3.  Full-belly  child  says  to  hungry-belly  child,  "Keep  good 

4.  Distant  firewood  is  good  firewood. 

5.  Ashes  fly  in  the  face  of  him  who  throws  them. 

6.  If  the  boy  says  he  wants  to  tie  the  water  with  a  string, 
ask  whether  he  means  the  water  in  the  pot  or  the 
water  in  the  lagoon. 

7.  The  ground-pig  said:  "I  do  not  feel  so  angry  with  the 
man  who  killed  me  as  with  the  man  who  dashed  me 
on  the  ground  afterward." 

8.  Quick  loving  a  woman  means  quick  not  loving  a  woman. 

Selection  Based  on  Specification 

In  hiring  employees  a  practical  question  at  once  presents 
itself,  similar  to  that  which  arises  when  a  purchase  is  made 
of  materials  and  supplies.  Instead  of  asking,  "On  whose 
requisition  shall  I  buy  material?"  the  employment  manager 
asks,  "On  whose  requisition  shall  I  buy  services?"'  This  is 
easily  answered  by  putting  the  responsibility  upon  the  depart- 
ment head  needing  the  services.  The  qualifications  needed 
for  the  job  should  be  listed  on  the  requisition,  so  that  the 
selection  can  be  intelligently  made.  This  involves  job  analysis 
— one  of  the  most  difficult  and  fundamental  functions  con- 
nected with  the  scientific  selection  of  workers.  Since  the 
initiative  here  usually  falls  upon  the  employment  manager, 
he  should  be  thoroughly  posted  on  the  methods  and  purposes 
involved  in  analyzing  the  operations  and  conditions  connected 
with  a  job. 



Uses  of  Job  Analysis 

Job  analysis  is  carried  on  for  two  reasons  :  ( i )  it  may  be 
used  to  arrive  at  satisfactory  wage  schedules,  or  (2)  to  help 
in  the  selection,  training,  and  promotion  of  employees.  How 
it  aids  in  both  these  directions  may  be  better  understood  if 
typical  cases  are  taken. 

To  arrive  at  a  satisfactory  wage  schedule,  one  large  office 
organization  classifies  its  clerical  employees  under  five  groups, 
setting  salaries  for  each  group  as  follows : 











Advances    auto- 










Advances    auto- 

]\Ien and  women 






Variations     from 


Senior  clerks 
Men  and  women 



minimum  fixed  by 
salary   committee. 
Advances  by  rec- 

ommendation only. 


Special  clerks 
j\Ien    and    women 



Variations  fixed  by 
salary   committee. 
Advance    by    rec- 



Technical  and 



Minimum  and  max- 


imum      fixed      by 


salary   committee. 
Advance    by    rec- 
ommendation only. 

The  method  by  which  these  classifications  were  arrived 
at  is  interesting.  An  expert  was  brought  in  to  study  the 
situation.  When  his  classifications  were  completed,  and  his 
recommendations  ready,  a  committee  of  department  heads  was 
appointed,  made  up  of  men  who,  by  years  of  experience,  could 
judge  the   technical   difficulties   and   the   relative   importance 


of  the  positions  with  great  accuracy.  "As  we  came  to  cer- 
tain employees,''  says  the  employment  manager,  "we  said, 
'What  does  this  man  do?"  The  replies  we  received  from  the 
interested  department  heads  determined  the  class  in  which 
we  placed  him.  It  was  not  difficult.  If  the  expert  wanted  to 
put  a  clerk  in  a  certain  group  which  overlapped  another  group, 
the  next  head  of  department  would  say :  'You  cannot  do 
that  because  here  is  John  Jones  who  does  similar  work.'  In 
that  way  we  got  together.  Furthermore,  we  were  surprised 
to  see  how  closely  our  estimations  matched  with  the  classifi- 
cations recommended." 

The  promotion  of  employees,  as  based  on  this  classifi- 
cation, is  made  by  consulting  an  index.  The  name  at  the 
head  of  the  list  of  any  class  has  preference  for  promotion  to 
a  vacancy  in  the  next  higher  class. 

Method  of  Analyzing  a  Job 

In  making  an  analysis  of  a  particular  job,  patience  and 
care  are  required.  Not  only  must  the  motions  in  performing 
the  job  be  analyzed  but  also  the  particular  mental,  physical, 
or  moral  quality  needed  to  do  it  efficiently.  In  one  depart- 
ment of  a  business  for  example,  complaints  were  made  that 
mistakes  were  occurring  in  making  out  the  time  tickets.  In- 
vestigation showed  that  200,000  time  tickets  per  week  were 
made  out  and  that  about  10,000  were  wrong,  with  the  result 
that  35  persons  were  kept  busy  looking  up  mistakes.  To  dis- 
cover what  caused  the  mistakes  it  was  necessary  to  know : 
(i)  exactly  what  each  job  consisted  of  or,  as  the  following 
table  shows,  "the  component  parts  of  the  job"';  (2)  what 
operations  were  falling  below  standard  requirements;  and 
(3)  the  kind  of  fault,  i.e.,  mental,  physical,  or  temperamen- 
tal, that  was  responsible  for  the  trouble.  Finally  a  remedy 
was  suggested  based  upon  standards  arrived  at  by  close  study 



of  the  various  elements  involved.     When  completed  the  analy- 
sis showed  the  results  given  in  the  following  chart : 


Analysis  of 

Time  Clerk's  Work 



EX'l  ENT  OF 

Losses  Due 
TO  Faults 


Parts  of  the 


Testing  the 

Kind  OF   ! Cause  of     opw^nv 
Faults     Troubles^  kemed\ 

1                    1 


Of  200,000 
tickets  per 

To  figure 

Read  num- 
bers up  to 

tal  totals 

Lack  the  Select 
power  of  men   by 


week,  10,000 
or  5%. 

35  inspectors 
busy  on 
looking  up 

a.  Hours 
per    day 

d.  Hours 

six  digits. 
Select  from 
file  a  piece 
rate  card. 
Judge  which 
rate  applies. 





time,  and 


of   total 






Lack  of 






tion and 
have  not 


up  after 
7  mos. 

Job  Analysis  of  Time  Clerk's  Work 

The  above  analysis  is  not  as  detailed  as  one  made  for 
the  purpose  of  time  or  motion  study.  Only  the  major  com- 
ponents are  here  enumerated,  but  those  are  sufficient  to  in- 
dicate the  special  requirements  of  the  time  clerk  in  charge 
of  the  job.  A  study  of  the  above  sheet  will  show  how  such 
an  analysis  may  be  used  in  the  selection  of  employees. 

Testing  the  Candidate's  Fitness  for  the  Job 

Having  decided  that  one  mistake  in  twenty  was  too  high 
a  ratio  for  this  kind  of  work,  investigation  showed  that  mis- 


takes  were  chiefly  made  in  figuring  simple  problems  such  as 
the  following: 

1.  A  man's  time  ticket  shows  that  he  came  to  work  at 

7  130  in  the  morning,  left  at  2  145  in  the  afternoon, 
taking  ^  of  an  hour  for  luncheon.  How  long  did 
he  work? 

2.  A  man  worked  6%  hours  on  Monday,  8^^  hours  on 

Tuesday,  7^  on  Wednesday,  etc.,  throughout  the 

week.     Give  the  total  for  this  period. 


To  be  sure,  the  opportunities  for  mistakes  outside  the  men- 
tal calculations  had  to  be  carefully  checked — in  copying  figures 
the  chance  of  transposition  crept  in;  in  reading  the  work 
order  numbers,  often  running  into  six  digits,  many  slips  oc- 
curred; in  fixing  the  piece  rate  the  time  clerk  had  to  select 
quickly  from  the  files  the  right  card  and  judge  which  rate 
applied.  But  in  this  case  the  analysis  showed  that  the  mis- 
takes were  made  in  figuring  the  time  w'orked.  The  remedy 
obviously  consisted  in  selecting  time  clerks  who  could  do 
simple  sums  in  mental  arithmetic  with  ease  and  accuracy. 

Tests  as  to  Mathematical  Ability 

To  determine  the  applicant's  ability  in  this  direction  the 
three  following  tests  were  devised : 

The  first  test  consisted  of  100  simple  sums  in  addition, 
and  the  applicant  was  required  to  write  the  answer  to  as  many 
combinations  as  possible  in  one  minute's  time.  It  was  found 
that  the  average  for  successful  clerks  was  50  per  minute  and 
that  men  falling  as  low^  as  40  in  one  minute  were  seldom  suc- 
cessful as  time  clerks. 

In  the  second  test  a  sheet  was  ruled  into  spaces  in  which 
the  time  a  man  began  work,  and  the  time  he  finished,  were 
shown.      In  making  the  computations  one  hour  had   to  be 



allowed  for  lunch.  The  standard  performance,  fixed  at  20 
minutes,  was  based  on  the  work  of  competent  clerks  who 
could  compute  the  same  figures  in  an  average  time  of  15 

The  third  test  consisted  of  the  addition  of  figures  (many 
of  them  of  fractional  amounts)  arranged  horizontally  in  the 
way  they  appeared  on  the  time  tickets.  The  standard  set  was 
10  correct  answers  in  4  minutes  and  the  time  was  also  based 
on  an  average  performance  under  working  conditions,  which 
was  16  in  4  minutes. 

Checking  up  the  Tests 

The  applicants  who  passed  the  three  tests  were  graded 
and  put  to  work.  Four  months  later  when  the  men  were 
again  tested  it  was  found  that  the  agreement  between  the 
first  and  second  gradings  was  as  high  as  87  per  cent.  An- 
other feature  disclosed  by  the  second  test  was  that  those  can- 
didates who  ranked  high  in  the  first  test  held  their  lead  in 
the  departmental  work.  "In  fact,"  said  the  employment 
manager  of  this  particular  office,  "there  is  not  a  man  who 
ranked  No.  4  who  is  on  a  clerical  job  at  all.  There  is  only 
one  who  ranked  No.  3  holding  a  position  and  he  is  not  doing 
time  work.  The  men  who  ranked  No.  i  and  No.  2  are  either 
head  time  clerks  or  head  record  clerks." 

Requisitions  for  Labor  Based  on  Job  Analysis 

In  both  factory  and  office  the  common  practice,  when  req- 
uisitioning labor,  is  for  the  heads  of  departments  to  send  a 
simple  request  to  the  front  office  for  a  "man"  or  "clerk." 
Job  analysis  is  changing  all  this.  One  concern  that  is  just 
swinging  from  the  old  method  to  the  new,  believes  that  the 
analysis  of  jobs  should  be  made  under  the  direction  of  the 
employment  department,  but  that  foremen  should  be  per- 
mitted to  fill  out  the  requisitions.     The  employment  manager 



makes  the  selection  and  keeps  all  records.  For  example,  when 
a  foreman  who  wants,  say  a  "grinder,"'  consults  his  records, 
he  finds  that  the  analysis  of  the  job  shows  that  it  is  advisable 
to  select  grinders  wuth  the  following  characteristics : 

NationaHty.  Polish,  Lithuanians,  or  Americans,  if  expe- 
rienced, or  Americans  who  want  to  try  the  job  after  being 
told  that  the  work  is  hard,  and  wet,  and  that  the  majority 
of  the  men  are  Polish,  but  that  the  job  pays  good  money. 
Ask  them  if  they  are  ever  troubled  with  their  backs  or  rheu- 

Physique.  Generally  strong  and  big-boned.  Some  small, 
wiry  men  make  good,  but  not  many  of  them. 

Requisition  for  Help 

Note:     Always   use   this   form   when   in   need  of  help  and  whenever  possible  notify 
Employment  Department  one  week  ahead. 

September  5,  1918. 

Employment  Department 

Please  employ  for  Department   ...16...   one   ...  man...   age 

. .  .20.  . .  to  ...   40.  . .   with  following  qualifications  :     .  .Polish.  . . 

with  experience  if  possible,  or  American  desiring  to  learn  the  job. 

Strong,  sober  man  and 

Kind  of  work  wanted  for :   grinding 

Wages  to  start:   new  rates Chances  of  advancement: 

. .  .piece-work. . . 

Steady  or  temporary    vvork:    ..  .steady .. .    When   needed: 

once. . . 

Signed  :  .  .  .John  McBridc.  Dcpt.  16 .  . . 

Figure  79.     Requisition  for  Help 

This  form  is  used  when  a  department  is  in  need  of  help.     The  employment  department 
IS  notified  thereon  at  least  one  week  in  advance. 

Explain  that  he  must  wear  gloves,  boots,  and  aprons  for 
wet  grinding,  which  we  furnish  and  for  which  they  pay  at 
the  rate  of  $1  a  week. 

The  foreman  then  fills  out  the  requisition  slip  (Figure  79) 
and  sends  it  to  the  employment  manager.     The  reverse  side 




of  this  form  is  ruled  and  captioned  to  contain  an  analysis 
of  the  record  of  the  employee  when  first  hired. 

Use  of  the  Application  Form 

Having  determined  the  qualities  needed  for  a  particular 
job,  the  next  step  in  the  selection  of  an  employee  is  to  check 
up  the  characteristics  of  the  applicant.  This  is  done  by  using 
a  standard  application  card  (Figure  80)  which  haa  two  func- 
tions :     ( I )   to  determine  the  applicant's  fitness  for  the  job, 

Application    for  Position 


Name Address. 


, Read  English. 

Write       "       . 

Married Speak       " 

Single Age Wt Height 

Now  employed  at Address 

Last  "  " Why   released 

How  long 

Last  four  places  worked. 

Place How   long Why  quit. . . 

Place '■         "    "        "    . . , 

Place "         "    "        "    ... 

Place "         "    "        "    ... 

Wages  earned time      Wages  expected 


Kind  of  work  done 

"       "       "      desired Nationality 


Figure  80.     Application  for  Position 

The  applicant  for  a  position  fills  in  the  necessary  details  on  this  form. 

and  (2)  to  serve  as  a  future  follow-up  in  connection  with 
wages,  progress,  promotion,  rehiring,  compensation  for  in- 
juries, and  the  like.     A  mistake  in  selection  is  serious,  since 


incompetence  is  only  revealed  by  "spoiled  work."  When  the 
record  as  shown  is  supplemented  by  a  complete  job  analysis, 
its  utility  is  greatly  increased. 

Tests  as  to  the  Desirability  of  Applicant 

In  addition  to  the  applicant's  fitness  for  the  job,  it  is  fre- 
quently necessary  to  find  out  whether  or  not  he  is  a  desirable 
sort  of  man  to  take  into  the  organization.  Too  many  firms 
neglect  this  important  factor  because  of  the  trouble  involved 
in  following  up  a  man's  references.  "Unfortunately,"  says 
Professor  Scott,  "this  very  important  factor  is  frequently  re- 
garded as  useless  because  of  the  impossibility  of  securing  trust- 
worthy and  usable  information  from  previous  employers." 
In  an  attempt  to  secure  trustworthy  information  the  fol- 
lowing blank  (Figure  81)  has  been  devised  and  successfully 

It  will  be  noted  that  this  blank  does  not  encourage  the 
former  employer  to  use  general  or  meaningless  expressions, 
but  whatever  he  says  is  strictly  to  the  point.  Where  possible, 
the  blank  should  be  filled  out  by  the  last  three  employers.  If 
all  previous  employers  fill  in  all  the  blanks  under  *'Good"  and 
put  a  "i"  in  the  last  paragraph,  the  applicant  is  given  100 
per  cent  on  his  previous  record.  Corresponding  percentages 
are  given  for  the  various  combinations  found  in  the  blank. 

The  Transfer  or  Promotion  of  Employees 

In  large  concerns  men  frequently  apply  for  transfer  from 
one  department  of  the  business  to  another.  In  such  cases 
the  original  application  blank  may  be  made  to  serve  as  a 
means  of  rounding  up  the  history  of  an  employee.  Before 
transferring  employees  from  one  department  to  another,  or 
before  promoting  them,  the  New  York  Edison  Company 
consults  the  back  of  the  original  application  blank  on  which 
are  entered  the  reports  of  previous  employers,  of  the  employ- 



ment  manager,  and  of  the  head  of  the  company's  training 
school.  Every  employee  of  the  company,  new  and  old  alike, 
must  attend  classes,  which  begin  in  October  and  end  in  May, 
and  the  school  record  made  by  the  student  is  often  the  de- 

Reference  Form 


Dear  Sir: 

Mr of 

has  applied  to  us  for  a  position  as and  given  you 

as  reference.     He  states  that  he  was  employed  by  you  as 

for  a  period  of 

Will  you  please  advise  whether  this  information  is  correct? 

Why  did  the  applicant  leave  your  employment  ? 

(         )      ( 


(  ) 
(  ) 
(         ) 

Please  place  a  check  in  the  space  below  that  indicates  the  char 
acter  of  his  service. 


Work    (         ) 

Conduct    (         ) 

Ability    (         ) 

Character    (         ) 

Would  you  be  willing  to  re-employ  him  ? 

Would  you  recommend  him  for  the  position  applied  for? 

Out  of  ten  men  filling  the  position  which  the  applicant  held  with 

you,  what  would  be  his  comparative  rank? 

(If  he  would  be  the  best,  please  mark  his  rank  "i";  if  the 
poorest,  please  mark  his  rank  "10";  this  estimate  is,  of  course, 
only  approximate,  but  we  will  greatly  appreciate  your  best 
judgment  in  the  matter.) 

Sincerely  yours. 

Figure  81.     Reference  Form 

This  form  is  sent  to  the  applicant's  previous  employers  with  a  request  to  furnish  the 
required    information. 



termining  factor  in  his  promotion.  Classes  meet  once  a  week. 
Every  alternate  week  a  written  examination  is  held  covering 
the  class  work  of  the  period.  Pupils  are  graded,  at  the  end 
of  the  year,  and  must  obtain  a  mark  of  75  per  cent  to  advance 
in  grades.  If  they  fall  below  the  mark  they  must  take  the 
work  over  again.  If,  after  repeated  trials,  a  student  fails 
to  reach  the  desired  grade,  he  is  not  discharged,  but  as  Mr. 
Henderschott,  the  educational  director  of  the  concern,  says : 

Impression  Blank 

Name    of    Applicant 


Position  Considered  for 

Interviewed   by    

What  was  your  first  general  impression  of  the  applicant? 

Personal  Appearance   

What,  if  any,  peculiarity  or  characteristic  impressed  you? 

Instinctively  did  you  like  or  dislike  the  applicant? 

Why  ?    

Do  you  think  the  applicant  is  fitted,  or  can  fit  himself,  to  the 

position  applied   for  ? 

What,  in  your  opinion,  is  the  applicant  best  fitted  to  do? 

Do  you  think  the  applicant  temperate? 

Healthy    Happy  Honest    

Trustworthy    A  Worker   Steady 

Patient    Quick     Neat 

Self-reliant    Obedient  Respectful    

Courteous Punctual   Orderly     , 

Ambitious Accurate    Optimistic    

Did  the  applicant  impress  you  as  being  well-bred? 

How  old  did  the  applicant  appear  to  you  ? 

Would  you  like  to  associate  with  the  applicant? 

W^ould  you  personally  employ  the  applicant  ? 


Figure  82.     Impression  Blank 

On  this   form  the  person   interviewing  the   applicant  writes  down   the   impression   inaJe 
by  the  latter,  so  far  as  concerns  his  fitness  for  the  job. 


"His  attitude  toward  the  school  work  may  have  been  good 
but  naturally  he  will  not  rise  to  a  high  position.  Faithful- 
ness and  a  desire  to  succeed  stand  much  in  a  man's  favor, 
and  this  all  shows  in  the  record." 

Finally,  the  back  of  the  original  application  blank  con- 
tains a  space  for  a  "Report  of  Progress''  which  is  set  down 
every  six  months.  An  employee  may  have  been  inexperienced 
or  untrained  for  the  job  when  he  began  work  but,  if  his  prog- 
ress record  shows  that  he  has  made  steady  and  earnest  effort 
to  improve  himself  and  increase  his  value  to  his  employers,  he 
is  at  once  singled  out  for  promotion. 

The  Use  of  Impression  Blanks 

A  still  more  expansive  record  is  kept  by  the  Elliott-Fisher 
Company.  Not  only  is  an  application  blank  used  similar  to 
the  one  described  above,  but  the  data  are  supplemented  with 
information  gathered  on  a  separate  "Impression  Blank" 
(Figure  82).  It  is  a  rule  with  this  company  to  employ  no 
one  until  two  and  preferably  three,  individuals  interested  in 
the  position  to  be  filled,  have  interviewed  the  applicant  and 
recorded  their  impression  of  his  character  and  ability.  These 
interviews  always  precede  the  filling  out  of  the  regular  appli- 
cation blank  and  as  Mr.  Busch,  educational  director,  explains, 
"The  method  weeds  out  the  unfit." 

The  foregoing  system  illustrates  the  care  and  thorough- 
ness which  modem  business  organizations  take  in  recruiting 
their  personnel.  The  same  systematic  attention  to  detail  is 
today  being  devoted  to  the  training  and  development  of  em- 
ployees after  they  are  engaged. 



The  Adjustment  of  Employee  to  Environment 

The  work  of  the  employment  department  only  begins  when 
the  applicant  has  been  hired.  It  is  then  necessary  to  adjust 
him  to  his  new  environment  as  soon  as  possible,  since  much 
depends  upon  how  he  takes  hold  of  things  during  the  first 
few  weeks.  Little  misunderstandings  and  difficulties  that  can 
be  easily  explained  away,  were  it  someone's  business  to  do  so, 
would  prevent  many  early  resignations  and  disappointments 
and  the  possible  loss  of  otherwise  promising  employees. 

The  Clothcraft  Shop  of  Cleveland  has  a  follow-up  system 
that  is  fairly  representative  of  the  most  advanced  methods  in 
this  respect.  Before  a  new  employee  starts  to  work  for  the 
concern  he  has  a  long  talk  with  the  employment  manager. 
In  this  conference  are  explained  to  him  the  leading  rules  of 
the  company,  the  method  of  wage  payment,  the  importance 
of  regular  work,  the  measures  necessary  to  preser\'e  health, 
and  any  special  information  that  may  fit  his  particular  case. 
Then  he  is  introduced  to  his  instructor,  who  shows  him  his 
machine  or  work-bench  and  starts  him  on  his  job.  At  lunch 
he  is  introduced  to  his  fellow-workers  at  the  same  table.  At 
the  close  of  the  first  day  someone  from  the  employment  office 
meets  him  and  in  a  friendly  way  inquires  after  his  welfare. 
All  this  tends  to  estabhsh  a  feeling  of  confidence  and  to  put 
the  newcomer  at  his  ease. 

For  several  weeks  an  interest  is  shown  in  the  man's  work 
and  attitude  toward  the  company  to  make  sure  that  no  mis- 
understandings arise  and  that  the  employee  is  acquiring  the 
proper  team  spirit.     Then,   as   soon   as   conditions   seem  to 



justify  it,  his  home  surroundings  are  investigated  and  helpful 
suggestions  offered,  if  necessary — of  course  tactfully  to  avoid 
any  appearance  of  paternalism.  When  the  man  has  been  drawn 
into  a  favorable  environment  the  next  step  is  to  widen  his 
social  intercourse.  For  this  purpose  social  events  are  held  to 
which  the  families  of  department  employees  are  invited.  Later 
when  time  has  proven  a  man's  worth  and  the  bent  of  his  abil- 
ities, special  training  is  provided  when  needed. 

Promotion  as  a  Means  of  Organization  Development 

In  a  large  office  organization  the  promotion  of  employees 
is  usually  made  at  the  discretion  of  the  office  manager  or  a 
department  head.  How  large  a  part  the  promotion  on  merit 
may  play  in  the  development  of  an  organization  is  shown 
by  the  experience  of  one  concern.  Two  years  ago  the  office 
personnel  of  the  business  under  consideration  consisted  of  20 
clerks.  Twelve  months  later  it  had  expanded  into  twenty  de- 
partments. The  engagement  of  efficient  workers  is  now  con- 
sidered one  of  the  most  important  functions  of  its  office 

The  policy  of  the  company  is  to  promote  its  present  em- 
ployees, as  far  as  possible,  when  vacancies  occur  in  the  various 
departments.  As,  however,  transfers  from  one  department 
to  another  must  obviously  create  vacancies  somewhere,  it  is 
frequently  necessary  to  consult  the  files  for  the  purpose  of 
selecting  employees  from  outside.  Since  more  than  100  per- 
sons apply  for  situations  daily,  the  work  of  interviewing  appli- 
cants has  to  be  thoroughly  organized.  As  the  applications  are 
received  they  are  filed  in  alphabetical  order  and  cross-indexed 
by  positions,  depending  upon  the  applicant's  experience.  Ap- 
pended to  each  application  is  a  personal  analysis  as  set  down 
by  the  interviewer.  When  an  applicant  is  favorably  con- 
sidered for  a  position,  the  references  of  former  employers 
and  others,  are  carefully  looked  into. 


Simple  Tests  as  to  Education 

Assuming  that  the  references  of  a  suitable  candidate  are 
approved,  he  or  she  is  subjected  to  preliminary  tests;  stenog- 
raphers, for  example,  are  given  a  set  of  questions  covering 
elementary  subjects,  to  disclose  any  deficiency  in  their  edu- 
cation, and  in  the  use  of  the  typewriter. 

Simple  written  tests  in  penmanship,  arithmetic,  spelling, 
geography,  and  composition  cover  the  candidate's  general 
education,  while  another,  brief  test  supervised  by  the  head 
stenographer,  enables  her  to  form  a  pretty  accurate  judg- 
ment as  to  a  girl's  typewriting  ability.  These  tests  furnish 
answers  to  the  following  questions,  covering  the  subjects 
as  indicated. 

1.  Can  the  applicant  punctuate? 

2.  Can  she  spell? 

3.  Does  she  know  the  rules  of  capitalization? 

4.  Rapid  at  typing? 

5.  Rapid  in  taking  dictation? 

6.  Familiar   with   mechanism   of   typewriter   or   dicta- 

ting machine  ? 

7.  Can  she  do  the  statistical  work? 

8.  Orderly  and  prompt? 

Tests  as  to  Fitness  for  Particular  Position 

The  applicant  is  next  given  a  more  elaborate  test  designed 
to  determine  fitness  for  a  particular  position.  If,  for  example, 
a  vacancy  is  to  be  filled  in  the  correspondence  department, 
applicants  must  answer  satisfactorily  a  set  of  questions  de- 
signed to  reveal  their  knowledge  of  grammar  and  the  syllab- 
ifying, spelling,  and  comprehension  of  words;  after  pass- 
ing the  tests  they  are  then  given  a  probationary  trial. 
Examples  illustrating  the  character  of  the  tests  given  are 
as  follows: 


I.     Syllabify  the   following  words: — 

commissions  depositors 

expiration  departmental 

correspondence  securities 

accumulation  corporation 

opportunities  performance 

2.     Make  the  necessary    corrections  in  the  spelling  of  these 
words : — 

ballance  executer 

elligible  guarante 

facilaty  managment 

accompaning  interst 

acknowlege  institusion 

3.  Give  definitions  of  the  following  words  in  one  short 
sentence : — 

scorch  service 

quake  remittance 

ramble  stationary 

nerve  tolerate 

peculiarity  lecture 

4.  Give  differences  between  these  words : — 

laziness  and  idleness 
poverty  and  misery 
character  and  reputation 

5.  Correct  any  words  in  the  sentences  that  may  be  in- 
correctly used,  but  do  not  make  any  unnecessary  changes  of 
sentences : — 

(a)    I  am  her  w^ho  you  might  blame  for  your  failure  to 

get  the  salary  check  due  you. 
{^h)   There  should  be  perfect  understanding  between  you 

and  I. 

(c)  She  does  her  work  good,  always  doing  it  slowly 

and  polite. 

(d)  It  is  me  who  is  speaking  of  your  record. 

(e)  Neither  commission  or  rebate  are  allowed. 

(f)  The  cashier  dropped  his  check  book  and  let   it  lay 

where  it  was. 

(g)  Do  you  like  those  kind  of  advertisements  on  banks 

now  appearing  in  the  newspapers? 

(h)   The    chief    clerk's    section    were  pleased   that  you 
proved  success  was  yourn  last  month. 


6.  Make  proper  capitalization  and  insert  the  necessary 
quotation  marks  and  punctuation : 

(a)  Poor  Richard  said,  tis  better  to  spare  and  have  them 

than  to  spend  and  crave ;  does  any  One  doubt  the 
wisdom  of  his  words,  Look  round  you  today  and  you 
will  see  on  every  side  examples  of  men  who  during 
their  working  years,  spent  their  Incomes  regardless 
of  the  Future  and  now  in  their  declining  years  'they 
are  m  sore  need  of  those  comforts'  which  should  be 
the  portion  of  the  Aged.  Have  you  thought  this  over 
if  not  consider  the  matter  now ! 

(b)  The  head  clerk  said  the  boss  is  gone. 

(c)  Don't  bother  me  said  Mary  the  girl  next  door. 

7.  A  letter  written  without  paragraphs,  punctuation,  spac- 
ing, or  in  any  way  conforming  to  the  rules  of  correct  letter 
form,  is  given  the  candidate  who  is  required  to  rewrite  it 
with  the  proper  corrections. 

Test  as  to  Applicant's  Mental  Ability 

The  above  tests  give  the  employment  manager  a  good 
idea  of  the  candidate's  abihty  as  a  correspondent,  so  far  as 
the  details  of  the  position  are  concerned.  But  it  is  also  neces- 
sary to  examine  and  appraise  the  candidate's  mental  ability, 
i.e.,  memory,  concentration,  observation,  judgment,  etc.  To 
this  end  definite  tasks  are  set  which  are  covered  by  the  fol- 
lowing instructions  given  to  the  person  in  charge  of  the  exam- 
ination : 

Instructor's  Guide 

1.  Memory.  Present  a  card  to  the  candidate  with  20  ob- 
jects on  it.  Tell  him  to  try  to  remember  the  objects  displayed. 
Allow  him  three  minutes  to  observe  and  five  minutes  to 
write  down  the  names. 

2.  Conctntration.  Assign  a  page  containing  two  columns 
of  reading  matter  and  ask  the  candidate  to  cross  off  all  the 
a's.  Take  the  time  of  each  column  separately  (a  standard 
time  of  10  minutes  is  set).  The  time  taken  for  the  first 
column  indicates  quickness,  while  that  for  the  second  column 
indicates  perseverance  and  endurance. 


3.  Observation.  Give  the  subject  one  of  the  company's 
form  letters  and  permit  him  to  study  it  for  five  minutes. 
Then  ask  him  the  following  questions : 

(a)  How  many  paragraphs  does  it  contain? 

(b)  How  do  the  margins  compare  in  width? 

(c)  What  is  the  color  of  the  type? 

(d)  What  errors  were  noticed  ? 

(e)  To  whom  was  it  written? 

(f)  Describe  the  complimentary  close. 

4.  Judgment  or  Fluency  of  Expression.  Give  the  subject  a 
number  of  conditions  involved  in  a  transaction  which  he  is 
called  upon  frequently  to  meet  in  his  every-day  work.  For 
example,  give  him  the  conditions  of  an  ordinary  complaint 
and  require    him  to  answer  it. 

When  the  various  memory  tests  have  been  made,  the  fol- 
lowing memorandum  is  filled  out: 

From  Instruction  Department 
To  Correspondence  Section 

September  10,  1918 
Below  is  given  the   record  of  the   examination  taken  by 
Miss  Johnson : 

k  Applicant's  Mark 







100%  84% 

5.  History  reports  of  employees. 

6.  List  of  employees  according  to  length  of  service. 

7.  Alphabetical  list  of  employees  with  college  training. 

8.  List  of  college  graduates  by  colleges. 

9.  List  of  employees  according  to  languages  spoken. 
ID.     List  of  ten  best  employees  in  each  department. 

11.  Surety  bond  cards. 

12.  Personal  analysis  cards  of  all  employees. 

13.  Ready   reference  cards. 











Adjustment  letter 


Terms  letter 


Promotive   letter 




Most  of  the  above  lists  are  self-explanatory,  but  since  the 
"History  Report"  and  the  "Personal  Analysis  Card"'  are  con- 
sidered of  special  importance,  more  detailed  description  of 
them  is  g-iven. 



















































D    .& 



OS    u 























Id     1 















=*  = 














1    ^ 






1     c 
































6  o 






















u  :5 

3     "^ 


Function  of  "History  Report" 

The  history  report  shows  the  complete  hst  of  ah  positions 
held  by  an  emplo3^ee,  both  before  and  after  his  connection 
with  the  company.  If  he  has  been  a  stenographer,  bookkeeper, 
auditor,  receiving,  or  paying  teller,  his  name  appears  under 
one  of  those  five  classifications  as  well  as  under  the  classi- 
fication of  his  present  position.  This  record  is  consulted 
when  additional  help  is  needed.  This  form  is  shown  in  Fig- 
ure 83. 

As  an  example  of  the  utility  of  this  record,  an  incident 
occurring  in  the  company  cited  above  may  be  described. 

The  chief  clerk's  department  was  called  upon  at  the  close 
of  a  business  day  to  supply  70  stenographers  to  do  work  that 
had  to  be  finished  that  night.  Fifty-five  were  mustered,  but 
all  the  other  members  of  the  stenographic  department  had  left 
for  the  day.  The  history  reports  were  consulted  and  15 
names  obtained  of  employees  who  had  formerly  acted  in  the 
capacity  of  stenographers.  When  the  situation  was  explained 
to  them  they  readily  agreed  to  help  out  in  the  emergency. 

Functions  of  Personal  Analysis  Card 

The  personal  analysis  cards  gather  the  complete  history  of 
each  employee  from  year  to  year.  His  general  ability  and 
education  are  noted  at  the  time  of  employment  and  any 
changes  for  the  better  or  the  contrary  are  recorded  annually. 
This  record  is  made  out  by  the  employment  manager,  but  it 
is  checked  by  both  the  chief  clerk  and  his  assistants.  The 
form  of  this  card  is  shown  in  Figure  84. 

The  Transfer  of  Employees  to  More  Suitable  Positions 

To  make  transfers  from  one  position  to  another,  and  to 
do  it  intelligently,  presupposes  a  comprehensive  record  of  the 
employee's  activities.  In  the  days  when  an  ofifice  employee 
was  expected  "to  hold  a  position  for  life"  little  need  was  felt 

















































































































































«      o  -^ 


CO    >«  ? 



for  personal  records;  but  when  transfers  from  one  depart- 
ment to  another  average  as  high  as  150  per  month  (as  is  the 
case  in  many  organizations  which  have  been  forced,  by  ex- 
ceptional demands  of  the  war,  to  expand  rapidly),  some  sys- 


tern  must  be  devised  to  regulate  the  flow  of  these  changes  into 
proper  channels. 

Transfers  are  not  always  made  because  there  are  vacan- 
cies. The  experience  of  most  progressive  concerns  is  that 
employees,  however  carefully  selected,  are  not  always  adapted 
to  the  job  for  which  they  have  been  chosen,  and  means  must 
be  provided  for  the  testing  of  the  worker's  ability  in  another 
department.  The  Guaranty  Trust  Company  of  New  York, 
for  example,  gives  an  employee  three  such  opportunities  to 
succeed  before  he  is  discharged.  Since  the  study  of  an  em- 
ployee's special  aptitude  is  now  assuming  a  leading  role  in 
managerial  policy,  the  reason  for  making  a  transfer  in  a  given 
case  should  be  determined  and  recorded.     These  reasons  are : 

1.  Natural    aptitude    (employees    fitted    for    particular 


2.  Irksome  nature  of  work   (producing  restlessness  in 

some  types  of  men). 

3.  Physical  unfitness. 

4.  Temperamental  qualities  (cannot  get  along  with  de- 

partment heads). 

5.  Department  heads'  recommendation  for  discharge  or 


The  use  of  records  here,  as  in  every  case,  arrests  the  tend- 
ency to  adopt  snap  judgments,  and  the  picking  of  men  for 
positions  who  happen  to  come  to  the  notice  of  "the  boss,"  or 
incur  the  special  favor  of  the  department  head.  Executives 
are  always  on  the  lookout  for  employees  of  exceptional  abil- 
ity, who,  in  a  growing  concern,  are  advanced  as  rapidly  as 
possible.  But  the  exceptional  man  can,  as  a  rule,  take  care  of 
himself.  The  bulk  of  an  organization  is  made  up  of  men  of 
average  ability,  and  a  careful  analysis  of  work  records  must 
be  made  if  the  right  men  are  to  be  advanced  or  transferred 
to  better  positions.     Such  a  system  of  records  brings  out  the 



strong  and  weak  points  of  both  the  job  and  the  man,  and 
provides  a  means  of  intelHgent  promotion. 

The  Promotion  Problem 

The  problem  of  promotion,  however,  is  not  wholly  solved 
by  keeping  work  records  and  the  like.  Some  large  corpora- 
tions, such  as  railroads,  have  been  fairly  successful  in  the  cre- 
ation of  schemes  of  transfers  as  a  means  of  promotion,  but 
most  businesses,  especially  in  normal  times,  feel  the  effect  of 
the  dry  rot  that  creeps  into  the  organization  when  the  move- 
ment upward  is  slow,  or  where  the  organization  is  so  large 
that  hundreds  of  employees  are  willy-nilly  shoved  into  "dead- 
end" jobs.  This  is  especially  prone  to  happen  where  no  effort 
is  made  to  detect  exceptional  ability  or  to  weed  out  incom- 
petent workers  who,  having  reached  their  limit,  stand  in  the 
way  of  others.  If  the  interest  and  ambition  of  employees  are 
to  be  maintained  it  is  generally  conceded  that  the  line  of  pro- 
gression from  one  position  to  another  should  be  carefully 
mapped  out  and  the  next  step  ahead  indicated,  so  that  the 
ambitious  employee  may  know  what  he  must  do  to  prepare 
himself  for  advancement. 

Job  Analysis  and  the  Promotion  Problem 

Job  analysis  is  doing  much  to  solve  the  promotion  prob- 
lem by  indicating  the  way  to  utilize  in  one  department,  cap- 
able workers  who  may  lack  opportunity  in  another.  Such  an 
analysis  is  of  great  service  in  providing  information  by  means 
of  which  employees  may  prepare  themselves  for  promotion. 
In  the  report  of  the  National  Association  of  Corporation 
Schools  Committee  on  Vocational  Guidance  it  is  stated  that : 
"Job  analysis  forces  business  to  open  up  channels  for  pro- 
motion. It  almost  always  enables  a  firm  to  get  help  from  with- 
in. Rarely  is  it  necessary  to  go  outside  for  skilled  workmen. 
When   requisitions   come   for   better   men   the   positions   are 



filled  by  moving  others  up.  This  means,  in  each  case,  a 
transfer  really  filling  two  positions — one,  the  higher  va- 
cancy and  the  other  the  position  from  which  the  promoted 
man  is  taken.  By  this  process  the  outside  market  is  relied 
upon  only  for  filling  the  low  grade  positions  in  each  case." 

Building  up  Promotion  Records 

Though  the  promotion  of  employees  has  hitherto  been 
largely  left  in  the  hands  of  department  heads,  the  authority 
to  make  final  decisions  in  these  matters  is  gradually  passing 
into  the  hands  of  the  employment  department.  As  a  conse- 
quence the  employment  records  are  made  out  with  greater  care 
and  assume  a  more  important  role  in  the  filling  of  vacant 
positions  and  transfers ;  while  systematic  promotion  is  assum- 
ing a  place  in  management  policy  commensurate  with  its  im- 
portance. The  classification  for  building  up  promotion  rec- 
ords by  the  employment  department  is  usually  as  follows : 

1.  Productivity 

2.  Evidence  of  native  ability  through  daily  work  and 


(a)  Initiative 

(b)  Constructive 

3.  Mistakes  and  errors 

4.  Attendance 

5.  Punctuality 

6.  Evidence  of  loyalty 

(a)  Work  on  committees 

(b)  Attitude  toward  superiors 

(c)  Grasp  of  firm's  policies 

The  Organization  of  Promotion  Plans 

"We  are  facing  facts,  not  theories,"  says  D.  C.  Buell  be- 
fore the  Railway  Club  of  Pittsburgh.    "This  man  problem 


in  business  resolves  itself  into  a  study  of  ways  and  means 
whereby  young  men  of  proper  mentality,  physique,  and  ambi- 
tion, can  be  given  proper  opportunity  to  learn  the  business 
and  thereby  fit  themselves  for  greater  responsibilities."  This 
implies,  first,  that  the  organization  be  charted  from  the  point 
of  view  of  graded  promotions  and  positions,  so  classified  that 
mastery  of  one  leads  naturally  to  another  in  the  line  of  ad- 
vancement; secondly,  that  systematic  instruction,  based  on  the 
requirements  of  the  various  jobs,  be  provided ;  and  thirdly, 
to  quote  Mr.  Buell  again,  "when  men  have  fitted  themselves 
for  promotion  they  should  be  given  a  chance  for  the  better 
positions  in  accordance  with  their  worth  and  without  un- 
reasonable delay" 

Need  for  Training  Routine  Employees 

The  purpose  of  training  employees  is  to  awaken  their 
dormant  or  undeveloped  powers  and  to  increase  their  effi- 
ciency so  as  to  fit  them  for  promotion.  The  ambitious  man 
who  reveals  the  executive  ability  required  to  organize  and 
direct  the  activities  of  others  will,  as  a  rule,  assume  the  great- 
er part  of  the  burden  of  self-development  himself.  On  the 
other  hand,  the  routine  worker  with  little  or  no  executive  abil- 
ity needs  to  be  developed  by  means  of  a  more  or  less  rigid 
system  which  demands  results,  and  provides  the  necessary 
pressure  to  get  them.  Such  a  system  includes  some  form  of 
educational  work  or  vocational  training  sufficiently  compre- 
hensive to  cover  the  needs  of  the  case.  Some  means  must 
be  devised  to  render  such  education  and  training  compulsory. 

Concerns  are  now  meeting  this  need  in  a  variety  of  ways. 
For  example,  in  the  teaching  of  English  to  foreigners  in  fac- 
tories— some  companies  affiliate  with  night  schools ;  others  con- 
duct schools  during  factory  time ;  others  make  the  work  com- 
pulsory and  hire  foreigners  only  on  condition  that  they  learn 
English.     Although  in  some  cases  it  is  optional,   it   should 



not  as  a  general  rule  be  left  to  the  employee  to  say  whether 
he  shall  or  shall  not  take  the  training  provided  for  him.  In- 
dustrial training  is  as  necessary  to  the  success  of  industry  as 
political  education  is  essential  to  a  democratic  state  where 
education  is  compulsory. 

Pitfalls  of  Educational  Schemes 

Training  comes  only  as  the  result  of  energy  and  effort 
on  the  part  of  both  the  employer  and  employee  and  the 
mutual  sacrifice  of  time.  For  these  reasons  the  routine  type 
of  worker  needs  to  be  held  to  the  educational  program,  while 
the  employer  must  clearly  define  in  his  own  mind  the  policy 
he  wishes  to  pursue,  and  then  prepare  to  meet  the  costs.  Such 
a  view  will  eliminate  at  least  one  pitfall  which  has  proved  to 
be  the  graveyard  of  so  many  educational  schemes,  i.e.,  the 
pitfall  of  expecting  the  employee  to  study  and  attend  classes 
solely  in  his  own  time.  A  well-organized  business  provides 
work  enough  to  consume  the  average  employee's  energ}^  for 
the  day.  To  expect  him  to  do  effective  educational  work  at  the 
end  of  such  a  day  is  to  call  upon  the  reserve  power  of  the 
man,  and  experience  has  proved  that  it  does  not  take  long 
in  most  cases  to  exhaust  this  reserve. 

Another  force  in  the  success  of  any  educational  scheme 
is  a  "fair  field  and  no  favors."  Favoritism  which  pushes  rela- 
tives or  others  to  the  front,  irrespective  of  their  merits,  while 
it  ignores  those  who  have  earned  promotion  by  study  and 
application  to  their  work,  will  be  fatal  to  all  educational  effort. 

Essential  Requirements  of  Educational  Systems 

The  essential  requirements  for  the  successful  training  of 
employees,  viz.,  hope  of  promotion,  time  in  which  to  study, 
and  freedom  from  favoritism,  are,  of  course,  the  same  as 
those  of  any  educational  system.  But  business  men  often 
lose  sight  of  these  essentials  in  an  attempt  to  get  substantial 


results  by  short-cut  expedients.  There  is  no  short-cut  to  the 
fruits  of  education  any  more  than  there  is  a  royal  road  to 
loyalty.  The  big  lesson  for  the  employer  to  learn  is  that  the 
price  is  high,  but  in  the  long  run  the  results  justify  the  cost. 

Different  Forms  of  Training  Schemes 

The  education  of  employees  during  working  hours  takes 
on  various  forms.  It  includes  office  work  schools,  factory 
schools,  executives'  training  courses,  schools  for  training 
skilled  and  unskilled  workers  in  the  technique  of  their  trades, 
classes  in  English  and  the  elements  of  government  (for  for- 
eigners), and  so  on.  Sometimes  the  work  is  general  in  na- 
ture, embraces  a  wide  field  of  subjects,  and  covers  a  consid- 
erable period  of  time.  But  more  often  the  training  course  is 
confined  to  a  particular  group  of  employees  who  are  instructed 
in  certain  details  of  operation  for  the  successful  performance 
of  their  work  or  duties. 

Example  of  Complete  Training  Course 

An  example  of  a  complete  educational  course  which  covers 
a  period  of  about  three  years,  is  that  adopted  by  many  serv- 
ice corporations  in  the  gas  industry.  The  course  starts  with 
a  study  of  those  subjects  which  are  considered  common  and 
essential  to  every  branch  of  the  business.  From  six  months 
to  one  year  is  devoted  to  this  preparatory  work.  At  the  end 
of  this  period  the  student  can  select  a  specialized  course  cov- 
ering his  particular  line  of  work.  There  are  five  distinct 
courses  corresponding  to  the  main  activities  of  the  commer- 
cial end  of  the  industry,  viz. : 

1.  Industrial  fuel  and  power 

2.  Illumination 

3.  General  salesmanship  of  appliances 

4.  Commercial  management  and  public   relations 
K.  Office  methods  and  accounting 



Two  years  is  required  for  the  completion  of  each  course 
and  many  employees  take  up  more  than  one. 

Extensiveness  of  Course 

The  completeness  of  the  course  may  be  judged  somewhat 
by  the  time  it  takes,  and  the  method  and  cost  of  its  preparation. 
Although  much  of  the  material  was  furnished  by  men  who 
volunteered  their  services,  some  of  the  subjects,  which  in- 
volved extensive  technical  knowledge,  were  supervised  by  the 
leading  experts  in  their  lines.  It  took  three  years  to  prepare 
this  work,  during  which  time  three  short  courses  of  one  year 
each  were  also  prepared  and  taught.  These  served  as  ex- 
periments by  which  the  real  educational  needs  of  the  com- 
mercial employees  of  this  industry  were  discovered. 

Method  of  Compiling  the  Course 

The  preparation  of  the  courses  was  done  under  the  direc- 
tion of  a  leading  expert  in  the  gas  business  and  of  a  teacher 
who,  after  many  conferences  and  lengthy  investigations,  sub- 
mitted an  outline  of  the  educational  work  to  be  covered  to  a 
board  of  educational  control.  This  board  consisted  of  the 
leading  commercial  managers  of  the  industry  in  the  United 
States  and  Canada.  After  their  suggestions  had  been  added 
it  was  felt  that  a  fairly  representative  program  covering  the 
educational  needs  of  the  gas  business  was  being  offered  to  the 

The  gathering  of  the  material,  the  classification  of  the 
data,  the  presentation  of  the  subject  matter,  and  the  writing 
of  the  lessons,  were  problems  which  were  difficult  to  solve 
satisfactorily.  No  one  or  two  persons  were  competent  to  do 
all  this  work.  Accordingly  committees  were  chosen  for  each 
course  and  the  individual  members  were  given  charge  of  one 
or  more  lessons  in  the  line  of  work  in  which  they  had  been 


engaged  for  many  years.  Definite  times  were  set  for  the  com- 
pletion of  these  kssons,  which  were  first  submitted  in  rough 
outHne  form,  so  that  the  committee  as  a  whole  could  offer 
constructive  suggestions  and  recommend  changes.  These 
committee  meetings  frequently  lasted  from  one  to  two  days 
and  were  well  attended.  After  one  lesson  was  fully  covered 
it  was  turned  over  to  the  educational  director  to  be  rewritten 
from  the  point  of  view  of  its  logical  place  in  the  educational 
scheme,  as  a  whole,  so  as  to  tie  up  with  the  lesson  that  had 
gone  before  and  the  one  to  follow  and  to  give  it  an  effective 
pedagogical  swing  and  non-technical  literary  slant. 

Cost  of  Compilation 

The  promotion  of  this  work  together  with  the  outlays  for 
printing  and  clerical  help  ran  to  over  $50,000,  and  this  did 
not  include  the  time  and  work  of  the  committees,  many  of  the 
members  of  which — all  high  salaried  men — traveled  long  dis- 
tances each  month  or  oftener  to  attend  meetings. 

From  the  above  it  will  be  seen  that  an  ambitious  educa- 
tional scheme  is  a  costly  procedure.  It  often  entails  the  allot- 
ment of  valuable  space  and  the  purchase  of  costly  equipment. 
The  cost  of  preparing  and  maintaining  a  course,  together  with 
the  expense  of  employing  an  adequate  staff  of  teachers, 
mounts  up  rapidly.  Yet  progressive  business  men  regard  all 
such  educational  efforts  as  a  worth-while  means  to  an  end — • 
increasing  the  value  of  their  employees  to  the  business. 

General  Methods  of  Instruction 

It  will  not  be  necessary  to  describe  in  detail  the  methods 
of  teaching  these  subjects  as  carried  on  by  various  gas  com- 
panies. Some  put  the  whole  responsibility  on  the  individual 
em.ployee  who  enrolls  in  the  course,  pays  the  price  of  instruc- 
tion, and  sends  his  answers  to  the  educational  headquarters 
in  New  York  for  grading  and  criticism.     Other  companies 


furnish  local  teachers  and  supplement  the  general  course  with 
class  lectures  and  guidance.  Others  again  have  adapted  the 
general  course  to  local  conditions  and  have  built  around  it  a 
series  of  special  lectures,  quizzes,  and  class  instruction  under 
the  direction  of  an  educational  director  and  a  corps  of  instruc- 

Training  for  the  Scientific  Job 

\\4iile  the  scheme  described  above  is  devised  to  train  men 
from  the  point  of  view  of  both  "organization  fitness"  and 
"job  fitness"'  some  concerns  lay  stress  only  on  the  latter.  The 
training  of  men  to  see  the  value  of  their  individual  work  to 
their  department  and  of  their  department  to  the  business  as  a 
whole,  is  the -more  difficult  educational  undertaking.  Since, 
however,  a  quick  improvement  in  efficiency  is  as  a  rule  the 
result  of  training  employees  to  master  their  daily  work,  it  is 
the  course  most  generally  followed. 

A  large  mail-order  house  which  adopted  an  ambitious  edu- 
cational program  with  this  end  in  view,  finds  that  the  out- 
lay in  time  and  trouble  is  repaid  in  results  many  times  over. 
This  concern  now  employs  twelve  instructors  who  devote 
their  entire  time  to  the  training  of  employees  in  their  specific 
jobs.  An  entire  floor  has  been  set  aside  for  the  work  and 
employees  are  divided  into  the  three  following  classes :  ( i ) 
new  employees;  (2)  employees  who  need  further  training  in 
their  present  work;  (3)  employees  training  for  higher  posi- 
tions. Classes  are  held  from  time  to  time  in  21  subjects, 
among  which  are : 

1.  Ready-made  order  writing 

2.  Made-to-measure  order  writing 

3.  Complaint  adjusting 

4.  Correspondence 


Business  letter-writing 

Mail  examining 

9.     Use  of  phonograph 

10.  Typewriting 

11.  House  systems,  e.  g.,  showing  the  general  system  of 

organization  of  the  house  and  its  leading  policies. 
The  course  of  an  order  is  followed  from  the  time 
it  is  received  until  the  time  the  goods  are  shipped. 

12.  Penmanship,  etc. 

The  classes  for  new  employees  are  in  session  from  three 
to  four  weeks  each.  About  half  the  time  is  spent  in  the  de- 
partments themselves,  examining  routine  methods,  forms,  etc., 
and  the  other  half  is  given  over  to  classroom  discussions  of 
principles  underlying  methods  and  procedure.  Constant 
quizzing  of  students  determines  the  degree  of  progress  made 
in  grasping  what  has  been  explained  to  them.  Text-books 
describing  and  explaining  the  work  in  detail  are  used  as  a 
basis  of  all  instruction  and  final  examinations  furnish  a  means 
of  judging  the  fitness  of  the  student  for  employment.  The 
passing  mark  is  70  out  of  a  possible  100.  As  a  rule,  this 
method  weeds  out  the  incompetent  and  unsuitable  applicants, 
who  drop  out  in  the  preliminary  tests.  If  for  any  reason,  a 
student,  after  his  selection,  shows  that  he  is  still  inefficient, 
discharge  is  not  the  only  alternative.  He  may  be  returned  to 
the  school  for  further  instruction. 

Attitude   of   Employment    Department   Toward   Educational 

The  employment  manager  is  in  a  position  to  aid  the  educa- 
tional scheme  by  furnishing  suggestions  and  business  informa- 
tion that  can  be  used  in  the  instruction  of  students.  His 
interest  in  educational  matters  should  not  be  limited  to  the 


work  of  his  own  organization.  He  should  be  in  close  touch 
with  every  educational  movement  in  his  city  or  vicinity,  acting 
as  counselor  and  guide,  wherever  possible. 

Education  is  a  continuous  process  and  the  need  of  the 
day  is  a  closer  articulation  of  the  educational  processes  as 
broadly  carried  on  in  the  schools,  and  later  developed  along 
the  specialized  lines  of  a  business  organization.  How  great 
is  the  progress  in  this  direction  is  shown  by  the  recent  develop- 
ment of  co-operative  schemes  of  education  between  various 
business  interests,  such  as  engineering  industries,  department 
stores,  etc.,  and  different  colleges  and  high  schools.  The 
problem  of  vocational  guidance  today  is  the  clear  understand- 
ing of  the  training  the  employee  needs  for  his  life  work,  and 
mobilizing  the  educational  forces  to  meet  this  need  should  be 
one  of  the  leading  functions  of  the  employment  department. 



Advantages  of  Training  Schools 

The  results  obtained  from  an  industrial  or  office  work 
training  school  depends  much  upon  the  scope  of  the  plan 
adopted.  The  plan  may  embrace  courses  on  general  subjects 
or  be  limited  to  office  work  alone.* 

The  benefits  to  be  derived  from  a  school  system,  when 
competently  conducted  under  the  supervision  of  a  large  con- 
cern, may  be  briefly  stated  thus : 

1.  Reduction  of  errors.  The  clerk  is  trained  and  must 
become  proficient  before  he  is  placed  upon  the  pay-roll. 
Costly  errors  committed  by  green  help  are  in  this  way  largely 

2.  Reduction  in  cost  of  training.  The  work  of  educa- 
tion is  in  the  hands  of  those  who  are  trained  to  instruct,  there- 
by permitting  the  producing  force  to  devote  its  entire  time  to 
actual  work. 

3.  Elimination  of  useless  motions  in  the  routine  proc- 
esses. It  is  necessary  for  the  instructors  to  study  and  analyze 
carefully  every   detail   of   the   office   routine.     Such   analysis 

*Emerson  says:  '"The  truest  test  of  civilization  is  not  the  census,  not  the  size  of 
the  cities,  not  the  crops,  but  the  Icind  of  man  the  country  turns  out.' 

"The  truest  test  of  an  office  work  school  is  not  the  accuracy  of  the  files,  not  the 
speed  with  which  the  work  is  done,  but  the  state  of  development  its  pupils  reach. 
The   ideals  of  an   office  work  school   should   be: 

"1.  To    inspire    ambition    and    a    wholesome    respect    for   honest   work. 

"2.  To   mould  the   character,   habits,  and  principles    of  the  young  people  new  in   the 

business  world. 
"3.  To  help  and  develop  business  thinking;  to  build  a  foundation  for  specific  office 
work;  to  instill  a  regard  for  system;  and  to  cultivate  a  habit  of  attention 
to  details,  thus  improving  the  efficiency  of  the  business. 
"4.  To  teach  principles  which  will  make  better  men  and  women  for  the  future." 
— From  Report  of  Committee  on  Office  Work  Schools,  National  Association 
of  Corporation   Schools,   1916. 



almost  always  reveals  methods  in  use  that  can  easily  be  im- 

4.  Standardization.  All  employees  are  taught  to  do  a 
certain  thing  in  the  correct  way,  when  once  the  right  method 
has  been  determined. 

5.  Training  of  understudies.  Employees  are  prepared 
for  other  positions  thus  producing  a  supply  of  understudies 
for  practically  every  position  in  the  office. 

6.  Loyalty.  By  taking  the  employee  in  hand  at  the  be- 
ginning and  instilling  in  him  an  earnest  regard  for  the  ideals 
and  policies  of  the  house,  much  of  the  petty  antagonism 
toward  the  management,  so  often  found  in  business  establish- 
ments, is  avoided. 

The  Department  School  Method  of  Office  Training 

One  of  the  simplest  methods  of  instructing  employees  in 
the  routine  of  office  work  is  to  form  a  ''school  department." 
One  of  the  departments  of  the  business  is  organized  solely  for 
purposes  of  instruction  and  made  responsible  for  handling  the 
office  work  in  connection  with  the  business  done  in  a  particular 
territory.  The  Larkin  Company  of  Buffalo,  for  example,  has 
allotted  the  state  of  Indiana  for  this  purpose  and  all  orders 
from  this  section  are  turned  into  the  school  department.  One 
advantage  of  this  method,  according  to  j\Ir.  Puffer,  the  educa- 
tional director,  is  that  the  management  and  the  employees  soon 
look  upon  the  school  as  a  producing  factor  of  the  business  and 
not  merely  as  an  overhead  expense. 

Under  this  plan  the  student-employee  spends  all  his  time 
in  school  until  he  is  pronounced  fit  to  be  transferred  to  the 
regular  office.  On  the  whole  the  school  plan  has  many  ad- 
vantages. It  isolates  the  new  employee  from  the  main  office, 
with  its  responsibilities,  until  he  has  grown  used  to  the  routine 
and  the  daily  discipline  of  the  office.  It  weeds  out  the  incom- 
petent and  incurably  careless  applicant,  before  he  is  taken  into 


the  organization  and  thus  reduces  the  labor  turnover,  and  it 
also  enables  the  company  to  instruct  its  future  employee  in 
many  things  regarding  its  policy,  rules,  and  ideals — instruc- 
tion which  could  not  be  conveniently  given  in  a  regular  depart- 
ment of  the  business. 

In  the  department  school  the  work  is  so  arranged  that  the 
future  employee  passes  from  one  duty  to  another  in  their  order 
of  difficulty.  He  thus  acquires  a  broader  knowledge  of  the 
business  routine  than  could  be  acquired  in  a  regular  depart- 
ment where  change  of  work  generally  depends  upon  promo- 

The  Class  Method  of  Office  Training 

Another  and  equally  simple  method  of  office  training,  par- 
ticularly adaptable  to  the  small  office,  is  to  form  classes  which 
may  vary  in  size  from  half  a  dozen  to  forty  members  or  more. 
Such  classes  have  been  organized  by  the  National  City  Bank, 
the  Alexander  Hamilton  Institute,  the  Winchester  Arms 
Company,  the  National  Cash  Register  Company,  the  Sherwin- 
Williams  Paint  Company,  and  many  others. 

One  group  may  be  made  up  of  employees  from  the  lower 
executive  grades  who  are  desirous  of  following  some  regular 
prescribed  course  of  reading  in  connection  with  various 
branches  of  the  business.  Another  may  consist  of  employees 
handling  the  routine  office  w^ork,  such  as  correspondence,  fil- 
ing, and  the  like.  The  value  of  this  method  lies  in  the  con- 
centration of  attention  and  effort  upon  specific  conditions  and 
subjects,  whereby  the  more  mature  and  older  employees  are 
trained  for  higher  positions,  and  the  inexperienced  are  taught 
how  to  master  the  immediate  problems  before  them. 

The  Selection  of  Competent  Instructors 

One  of  the  first  difficulties  encountered  in  the  organization 
of  any  office  educational  scheme  is  that  of  securing  trained 


teachers.  Every  business  that  tries  to  develop  a  comprehen- 
sive educational  policy,  sooner  or  later  discovers  that  it  lacks 
a  very  important  essential,  i.e.,  someone  who  is  really  com- 
petent to  do  the  teaching.  As  a  consequence,  the  whole  plan 
is  often  thrown  out  of  gear  and  activity  is  halted  until  the 
directing  force  can  be  supplied.  Much  time,  effort,  and  dis- 
couragement would  be  saved  if,  at  the  beginning,  the  impor- 
♦^^ant  part  played  by  the  teachers  was  appreciated.  A  competent 
instructor  cannot  be  developed  over  night,  nor  is  he  often 
found  ready  made,  either  within  or  without  the  business 

In  selecting  an  instructor  two  courses  are  open :  ( i )  the 
trained  teacher  may  be  brought  into  the  office  and  given  an 
opportunity  to  study  the  conditions  preparatory  to  the  organ- 
ization of  classes;  or  (2)  clerks  who  know  the  business  may 
be  selected  and  trained  to  teach  the  others.  A  disadvantage 
of  the  last  method  is  that  the  good  salesman,  department  head, 
or  prize  stenographer  is  seldom  conscious  of  any  particular 
method  in  his  work  and  he  cannot  readily  analyze  the  reasons 
why,  or  how,  he  does  it  in  a  certain  way.  In  consequence  he 
is  rarely  able  to  impart  his  knowledge  to  others.  On  the 
other  hand,  trained  teachers  with  academic  experience  seldom 
know  the  details  of  a  particular  business  and  comparatively 
few  have  even  thought  of  business  as  a  field  rich  in  pedagogi- 
cal possibilities.  Though  the  training  of  a  teacher  may  fit 
him  to  instruct  others,  it  takes  time  for  him  to  master  the 
ins  and  outs  of  business  and  to  discover  the  underlying  prin- 
ciples which  must  form  the  backbone  of  any  educational 
course.  However,  the  method  most  generally  followed  is  that 
of  selecting  a  teacher  of  tested  and  proved  ability  and  training 
him  in  the  details  of  the  business.  The  most  important  assets 
of  the  teacher  are  :* 

•From  Report  of  Committee   on  Office  Work  Schools,   National  Association   of  Cor- 
poration  Schools,   1916. 


1.  Experience  and  training. 

2.  Ability — first  and  foremost  ability  to  impart  knowl- 

edge to  others;  capacity  to  retain  a  perspective  of 
the  entire  subject  and  handle  details  successfully. 

3.  Personality — strength   of   character,   courtesy,   sym- 

pathy, enthusiasm. 

Lack  of  observation  of  these  points,  among  others,  has  been 
the  rock  on  which  the  pioneers  in  this  movement  nearly 

The  Responsibility  of  the  Instructor  for  Results 

The  person  in  charge  of  the  educational  work  has  a  greater 
responsibility,  when  measured  by  results,  than  that  of  any 
department  chief.  He  should,  therefore,  be  a  man  capable  of 
getting  things  done  with  the  least  friction;  this  simply  means 
he  should  be  a  good  executive,  possessed  of  tact,  judgment, 
and  a  pleasing  personality,  and  in  addition  be  able  to  grasp 
and  hold  the  idea  of  the  bearing  of  his  work  on  the  business. 
Unlike  instructors  in  a  public  school,  his  work  must  bear  fruit 
in  the  form  of  the  greater  efficiency  of  employees  within  a 
reasonably  short  time,  and  in  such  a  way  as  to  show  up  favor- 
ably on  the  balance  sheet.  He  cannot  explain  away  his  fail- 
ure to  produce  definite  results  by  saying  that  the  effects  of  his 
teaching  will  show  in  the  "better  lives  of  his  students.''  The 
business  man's  creed  is  based  solely  on  "justification  by 
works."  The  employer  has  the  ordinary  citizen's  desire  to 
see  his  employees  benefit  personally  by  their  instruction,  and 
he  is  willing  to  help  them  gain  a  wholesome  respect  for  honest 
work,  as  well  as  an  intelligent  comprehension  of  their  duties 
as  citizens ;  but  he  is  not  working  to  produce  these  results 
without  first  considering  the  bearing  of  the  educational  activi- 
ties upon  the  success  of  his  business.  The  work  of  the  edu- 
cational director,  therefore,  must  stand  or  fall  by  comparison 


with  standards  of  attainment  set  up  by  business  men  who  have 
a  very  definite  idea  of  what  they  want  in  terms  of  profits. 

The  Instructor's  Duties 

The  instructor's  duties  will  naturally  depend  upon  the 
educational  requirements  of  the  business.  In  addition  to  be- 
ing in  charge  of  the  general  scheme  of  instructions,  his  work 
should  enable  him  to  offer  valuable  suggestions  relating  to  the 
engagement  and  training  of  new  employees,  and  his  opinion 
should  be  consulted  when  employees  are  promoted  or  trans- 
ferred to  other  departments  or  when  there  is  any  question  of 
their  discharge.  His  advice  should  also  be  sought  for  the 
improvement  of  the  existing  system  and  methods  of  opera- 
tion. Finally  he  should  be  in  charge  of  the  office  or  depart- 
ment manuals. 

Tne  Organization  of  Classes 

Having  decided  what  is  to  be  taught  and  who  is  to  teach 
it,  the  next  step  is  a  preliminary  investigation  to  determine  the 
best  method  of  organizing  classes.     This  should  include : 

1.  The  classification  of  prospective   students  to   show 

whether  conditions  warrant  the  formation  of  a 
class  in  any  particular  branch. 

2.  The  determination  of  the  number  of  students  in  each 


3.  A  study  of  working  conditions  to  determine  the  time 

of  day  when  classes  can  be  held  with  greatest  con- 
venience, giving  due  consideration  to  the  em- 
ployee's working  powers. 

4.  The  length  of  the  sessions. 

5.  The  length  of  the  course. 

With  these  preliminary  details  settled,  arrangements  can 
be  made  to  begin  operations.     These  arrangements  usually 


result  in  a  compromise  between  what  might  be  the  best  pro- 
cedure, and  the  demands  of  the  departments  whose  daily  work 
must  go  on  with  as  little  interruption  as  possible. 

Organization  of  Classroom  Work 

When  the  foregoing  details  have  been  adjusted  to  the 
satisfaction  of  all  concerned,  the  following  points  bearing 
upon  efficient  operation  should  be  discussed,  and  a  decision 
reached  in  each  case  : 

1.  Classroom  methods: 

(a)  Relations   between    director   and   teachers — 

responsibility  for  changes  in  instruction  to 
meet  changes  in  office  procedure  or  sys- 

(b)  Standardization  of  procedure  during  recita- 

tion and  study  periods. 

(c)  Standardization  of  lesson  sheets,  ratings,  re- 

ports, etc. 

(d)  Special  lecture  work,  demonstrations,  etc. 

2.  Obtaining  supplies  and  their  distribution  to  class- 


3.  Library  rules. 

4.  Adjusting  the  school  work  to  departmental  activities : 

(a)  Arrangements    with    departments    by    which 

visits  to  them  by  individual  students  can  be 
made  with  the  least  inconvenience  and  dis- 

(b)  Arrangements    with    departments    whereby 

students  or  "school  graduates"  working  in 
the  office  may  be  followed  up  by  progress 
reports  made  out  by  the  senior  clerk,  or 
other  person  in  authority. 


(c)  Arrangements  whereby  all  persons  in  the 
office  may  be  brought  to  the  classrooms,  if 
necessary,  to  acquaint  them  with  impor- 
tant changes  in  the  system  or  policy  of  the 
office  work. 

The  OfBce  Manual  as  a  Vehicle  of  Instruction 

A  school  organization  of  very  much  smaller  proportions 
than  the  one  outlined  above  would  answer  the  requirements 
of  most  mercantile  businesses.  When  the  services  of  an  in- 
structor cannot  be  economically  arranged  for  it  is  sufficient, 
perhaps,  to  employ  the  office  manual  as  the  vehicle  of  instruc- 
tion. This  little  book,  if  care  and  forethought  are  used  in 
its  composition,  can  be  made  to  serve  as  a  means  of  acquaint- 
ing employees  with  the  rules  and  regulations  of  the  concern, 
of  instructing  them  in  their  duties,  and  as  a  book  of  reference 
to  which  all  can  turn  when  in  doubt  as  to  any  detail  of  office 
routine  or  procedure.  Where  an  office  manual  is  in  existence 
the  problem  of  training  is  very  much  simplified.  The  field 
which  it  can  be  made  to  cover  will  be  more  readily  seen  per- 
haps, if  the  conditions,  as  they  exist  in  the  ordinary  office,  are 

When  a  new  employee  enters  an  organization  somebody 
must  spend  the  necessary  time  to  explain  the  nature  of  the 
work  to  the  recruit.  This  explanation  is  of  necessity  very  im- 
perfect, for  it  is  impossible  to  bear  in  mind  all  the  details 
which  the  new  worker  must  be  taught,  nor  can  he  grasp  at 
one  session  the  full  bearing  of  everything  that  is  said  to  him, 
let  alone  remember  it  all.  The  new  employee  is  quickly 
thrown  entirely  upon  his  own  resources,  with  the  result  that, 
in  the  majority  of  cases,  the  errors  and  mistakes  of  ignorance 
creep  in  before  the  new  cog  fits  into  the  machine.  Here  is 
where  the  office  manual  helps  the  new  employee.  He  can 
read  it  at  his  leisure,  consult  it  when  necessary,  and  be  sure  of 



finding  therein  all  the  information  required  to  guide  him  in 
his  work. 

When  the  number  of  new  employees  warrant  the  course, 
regular  classroom  instruction  may  be  given  by  a  teacher  who, 
using  the  manual  as  a  text-book,  will  follow  the  usual  method 
of  question  and  answer  until  convinced  that  the  students  have 
a  fair  knowledge  of  the  duties  they  will  be  called  upon  to  per- 
form. (See  Chapter  XLII  for  further  treatment  of  office 

Organizing  Class  Work  for  a  Small  Number  of  New  Em- 

In  one  organization,  where  the  number  of  employees  does 
not  permit  of  regular  class  work  on  a  large  scale,  the  problem 
of  breaking  in  the  new  employee  has  been  solved  by  assigning 
the  task  to  one  of  the  older  women  employees.  Her  work  is 
so  arranged  that  she  is  free  to  devote  part  of  her  time  to 
instructing  beginners  in  their  duties.  The  following  outline 
is  carried  out : 

First  day : 

1.  Popular  presentation  of  the  history  of  the  company, 

and  an  outline  of  the  work,  laying  particular  stress 
upon  the  ideals  of  the  organization  as  expressed  in 
its  method  of  service. 

2.  Character  sketches  of  the  officers  who  are  directing 

the  work  of  the  company  (illustrated  by  pictures). 

3.  Explanation   of   the    opportunities    aft'orded   by   the 

work  and  of  the  importance  of  the  job  to  the  com- 

4.  A  visit  to  the  various  departments,  during  which  ob- 

jects of  interest  are  pointed  out.  especially  those 
things  which  are  directly  connected  with  employee's 
future  work. 


Second  day: 

1.  A  careful  presentation  of  the  functions  of  the  depart- 

ment into  which  the  employee  is  to  enter. 

2.  A  detailed  explanation  of  the  particular  job  to  be 

allotted  to  an  employee.  Questions  are  permitted 
from,  and  also  put  to,  the  candidate.  In  this  way 
it  is  known  whether  the  points  are  grasped  or  not. 

Third  day : 

1.  Summary  of   salient   features,    showing  the   oppor- 

tunities of  advancement  with  the  company. 

2.  Inspirational  talk  on  the  various  social  activities  of 

the  employees,  and  an  impressive  presentation 
of  the  welfare  work,  laying  particular  stress  on  the 
thoughtfulness  of  the  company  for  its  people  and 
the  consideration  it  expects  in  return. 

3.  Introduction  of  employee  to  all  co-workers   in  his 


By  such  means  as  these  the  new  employee  is  impressed 
with  the  responsibilities  of  his  work,  confidence  is  inspired, 
and  a  feeling  of  pride  is  engendered  by  his  connection  with 
the  concern. 

Department  Store  Training 

A  modern  department  store  is  the  most  complex  of  all 
mercantile  businesses  and  in  consequence  every  progressive 
enterprise  of  this  kind  finds  it  necessary  to  inaugurate  some 
sort  of  training  scheme  for  the  development  of  the  right  kind 
of  personnel.  Training  in  such  an  institution  must  be  many 
angled  to  cover  the  complexities  of  the  business  into  which  it  is 
introduced.  Department  stores  in  comparatively  small  cen- 
ters of  population  find  it  advantageous  to  supplement  the  gen- 
eral school  education  of  their  employees  in  different  ways, 
while  the  training  school  of  the  big  city  enterprise  has  a  scope 



which  rivals  that  of  the  pubHc  and  business  schools.  To  illus- 
trate the  work  which  is  being  done  in  this  direction  a  descrip- 
tion is  given  of  the  methods  of  R.  H.  Macy  and  Company  of 
New  York  whose  school  is  under  the  direction  of  A.  S.  Don- 
aldson, superintendent  of  training. 

Pre-employment  Tests 

In  order  to  establish  a  minimum  standard  of  education 
for  those  entering  the  employ  of  the  company,  it  has  been 
found  necessary  to  give  tests  for  mentality,  involving  simple 
problems  in  arithmetic  and  questions  for  the  purpose  of  test- 
ing the  ability  to  use  the  oral  and  written  word.  In  addition 
to  mentality  tests,  tests  for  vision  are  required  of  the  follow- 
ing classes  of  applicants : 
I.     Section  managers 













Comptometer  operators 

Dictating  machine  operators 


Receiving  clerks 

Entry  clerks 

Merchandise  checkers 

Merchandise  markers 


Sales  clerks 


Wagon  boys 

General  clerical  workers 

All  juniors 

Tests  for  color  are  required  only  of  those  who  apply  for 
work  in  departments  where  the  recognition  and  matching  of 
colors  is  essential. 

The  next  and  last  test  which  the  applicant  must  undergo  is 


the  physical  test,  which  is  given  about  two  weeks  after  em- 
ployment. Applicants  are  rated  as  good  risks,  fair  risks,  and 
poor  risks.  Poor  risks  are  not  retained.  Fair  risks  are  given 
medical  attention  with  the  oiirpose  of  improving  their  condi- 

Mentality  tests  vary  slightly  in  accordance  with  the  work 
which  is  to  be  undertaken.  For  instance,  the  test  in  general 
dexterity,  exacted  of  a  comptometer  operator,  is  similar  to 
that  exacted  of  a  typist,  as  both  classes  of  work  require 
the  ability  to  copy  rapidly  through  the  touch  system.  How- 
ever, these  two  classes  of  work  differ  in  general  knowledge; 
the  former  involves  a  knowledge  of  figure  combinations  while 
the  latter  involves  a  knowledge  of  letter  combinations. 

Tests  should  be  carefully  applied  to  each  class  of  applicant. 
Even  in  the  case  of  the  same  class  of  applicants,  different 
tests  should  be  administered,  if  necessary.  For  instance,  the 
test  in  arithmetic  for  a  sales  clerk  in  a  yard  goods  department 
should  be  more  difficult  than  the  test  required  of  a  sales  clerk 
in  a  cloak  and  suit  department  where  fractions  and  decimals 
will  rarely  be  met  with.  On  the  other  hand,  in  the  cloak  and 
suit  department  the  ability  to  express  thoughts  fluently  is  more 
essential.  In  other  words,  the  same  test  should  not  be  given 
for  different  grades  of  the  same  work. 

As  a  result  of  these  tests,  it  is  possible  to  install  training 
classes  to  develop  employees  from  a  fixed  minimum  standard 
of  education  to  a  higher  standard.  Were  tests  not  admin- 
istered, there  would  be  no  means  of  knowing  where  training 
should  begin,  as  the  general  education  of  employees  might 
vary  from  a  very  low  standard  to  one  which  is  desirable 
Under  the  test  system  only  the  desirable  applicants  are  em- 
ployed. The  employment  manager  after  carefully  examining 
the  applicant  for  general  appearance,  suitability  for  the  posi- 
tion, and  recommendations,  sends  the  applicant  to  the  depart- 
ment of  training  for  mentality,  vision,  and  other  tests.     In 


case  the  applicant  fails  to  pass  the  tests,  although  the  recom- 
mendations are  satisfactory,  he  is  rejected.  Failure  to  pass 
the  vision  test  means  that  the  applicant  is  rejected  until  his 
vision  is  made  normal  by  the  use  of  suitable  glasses.  In  case 
the  applicant's  vision  is  beyond  adjustment  to  normal,  the  test 
is  final. 

Preparatory  School 

The  primary  school  of  the  company  is  its  continuation 
school  where  a  fundamental  knowledge  of  arithmetic,  spell- 
ing, reading,  local  geography,  and  hygiene  is  given.  These 
ubjects  are  presented  in  a  manner  which  shows  their  appli- 
cabihty  to  business. 

This  school  is  located  half  a  block  from  the  store.  Here 
students  of  both  sexes  from  fifteen  to  twenty  years  of  age  spend 
two  hours  each  morning  from  nine  to  eleven  o'clock,  except  on 
Monda}S.  The  duration  of  tlie  course  is  three  and  one-half 
months,  giving  each  student  about  150  hours  of  instruction. 
The  time  allowed  for  study,  namely  two  hours  each  morning, 
is  not  charged  against  the  students'  salaries.  In  other  words, 
the  training  is  given  in  store  time  and  at  store  expense. 

This  course  includes  several  bus  trips  about  town  to  give 
the  students  a  working  idea  of  the  city;  also  it  includes  talks 
by  store  executives  and  instructors  on  current  political  and 
business  subjects. 

Graduation  exercises  are  held  at  the  completion  of  the 
course,  when  diplomas,  class  pins,  and  prizes  for  exceptional 
standing  are  awarded  by  members  of  the  board  of  education 
and  store  officials.  After  graduation  these  students  are  urged 
to  join  the  alumni  association  of  the  continuation  school  which 
holds  business  meetings  and  recreational  activities  the  first 
Saturday  night  in  each  month.  These  meetings  tend  to  stimu- 
late a  desire  for  further  study  and  to  bind  the  graduates  closer 
in  the  friendships  formed  at  the  school. 



Training  School 

The  continuation  school  acts  as  a  feeder  to  the  various 
branches  of  training.  The  graduates  of  this  school  and  others 
who  have  had  an  equivalent  education  are  allowed  to  decide 
for  themselves  whether  they  are  to  become  sales  clerks  or  ojffice 

To  those  who  choose  retail  selling,  very  carefully  planned 
courses  are  offered,  by  a  junior  training  class,  in  salesmanship, 
store  organization,  store  system,  color,  diction,  advance  arith- 
metic, display,  store  directory,  personal  hygiene,  and  demon- 
stration sales.  At  the  completion  of  this  course,  an  oppor- 
tunity is  offered  the  students  to  choose  either  textile  selling 
or  non-textile  selling.  To  cover  these  two  divisions  of  retail 
selling,  there  is  a  senior  training  class  in  textiles  and  a  senior 
training  class  in  non-textiles.  These  courses  include  trips 
to  mills. 

Graduation  from  these  classes  is  followed  by  the  forma- 
tion of  clubs,  organized  for  the  purpose  of  further  study 
along  specialized  lines.  The  graduates  have  at  their  disposal 
a  technical  liljrary  and  instructors  who  continually  follow  up 
their  work  on  the  selling  floors.  Advanced  instruction  is 
offered  to  those  who  show  ability,  interest,  and  initiative. 
Such  employees  finally  become  heads  of  stock,  assistant  buyers, 
buyers,  and  merchandise  managers. 

To  those  who  choose  office  work  the  following  training 
is  offered : 


Dictating  machine  operation 
Bureau  of  investigation  tracing 
Receiving  clerk's  work 
Entry  clerk's  w^ork 

General  clerical  work   (filing,  sorting,  checking, 


Course  in  Comptometry 

Employees  desiring  to  take  up  comptometry  must  first  pass 
a  rather  difficult  test  in  arithmetic,  dealing  especially  with 
fractions,  decimals,  denominate  numbers,  percentage,  and  in- 
terest. As  numbers  cannot  be  handled  in  fractional  form  on 
the  comptometer,  the  operator  must  be  able  to  write  fractions 
in  terms  of  decimals  without  hesitancy.  In  case  the  applicant 
fails  to  pass  this  test  and  still  is  considered  eligible  for  the 
work,  he  is  given  the  opportunity  to  coach  with  an  instructor 
in  this  subject  until  able  to  take  the  test  successfully.  Classes 
in  comptometry  are  held  every  afternoon  from  3  145  p.m.  until 
4:45  P.M.,  under  the  instruction  of  an  experienced  operator 
who  is  well  fitted  for  this  work  because  of  her  ability  to  impart 
knowledge.  Comptometry  as  applied  to  department  store 
work,  not  only  involves  the  ability  to  operate  the  machine,  but 
also  involves  the  ability  to  handle  the  sales  checks  and  other 
forms  at  the  same  time.  This  course  continues  throughout 
the  year.  Those  students  who  have  shown  themselves  pro- 
ficient graduate,  while  those  who  need  more  time  continue  to 
study  and  practice.  It  usually  takes  three  months  to  train 
a  fair  operator.  As  promotion  depends  on  the  skill  shown  in 
the  classroom,  students  are  anxious  to  become  proficient. 

Training  for  Dictating  Machines 

Employees  who  are  to  operate  dictating  machines  must 
take  a  test  in  typing.  U^p  to  the  present  time  the  department 
of  training  has  not  seen  fit  to  give  courses  in  typing.  Arrange- 
ments with  public  schools  and  other  schools  are  made  for  the 
training  of  those  employees  who  desire  to  follow  this  line  of 
work.  It  is  the  department's  policy  never  to  duplicate  the 
work  of  the  evening  schools,  except  where  absolutely  neces- 
sary. The  operation  of  the  machine  is  merely  a  matter 
of  practice,  once  the  student  is  a  good  typist.     Training  in 



this  work  is  given  by  the  supervisor  of  correspondence  at  suit- 
able hours  during  the  day. 

Training  for  Position  of  Tracer 

Employees  desiring  to  become  bureau  of  investigation 
tracers  are  offered  a  course  including  store  system,  store  direc- 
tory, and  store  policy,  as  required  in  good  complaint  tracing. 
After  a  two  weeks'  course  in  the  above  mentioned  subjects  the 
students  are  assigned  to  skilful  tracers,  who  give  them  a  prac- 
tical idea  of  the  work.  Students  continue  to  w'ork  under 
supervision  until  they  show  that  they  are  able  to  work  on 
their  own  initiative.  Tracing  requires  an  analytical  mind  and 
a  very  thorough  knowledge  of  the  subjects  taught. 

Training  of  Receiving  Clerks 

Employees  desiring  to  become  receiving  clerks  must  first 
of  all  have  or  learn  to  have  a  very  legible  handwriting.  The 
course  offered  consists  in  teaching  the  applicant  the  use  of  the 
various  forms  to  be  met  with  in  his  work.  He  must  learn 
to  read  railroad  and  express  documents  and  manufacturers' 
invoices  intelligently,  so  that  a  proper  record  may  be  made  of 
all  articles  received  in  the  store.  He  also  must  know  where  to 
send  each  article  in  case  the  department  numbers  and  other 
necessary  information  are  omitted  on  the  invoices.  This  re- 
quires an  accurate  knowledge  of  the  store  directory.  In  addi- 
tion to  this,  a  course  in  denominate  numbers  is  very  essential. 
After  a  few  days  of  this  training,  depending  on  the  rapidity 
with  which  the  applicant  grasps  the  work,  he  is  sent  to  the 
receiving  platform  where  he  works  under  the  supervision  of 
an  instructor  who  teaches  him  the  numerous  details  involved. 

Training  of  Entry  Clerks 

Employees  desiring  to  become  entry  clerks  must  have  or 
learn  to  have  a  very  legible  handwriting.     The  course  offered 


consists  in  teaching  the  applicant  to  read  intelhgently  the 
different  kinds  of  address  tickets  on  all  the  packages  leaving 
the  store  through  the  delivery  department,  in  order  to  make 
a  proper  record  of  them.  This  involves  a  limited  knowledge 
of  store  system  and  a  thorough  knowledge  of  delivery  rules 
and  regulations.  After  a  short  period  of  training  in  these 
subjects  in  conjunction  with  actual  packages  and  forms,  the 
applicant  is  sent  to  the  delivery  department  where  he  works 
under  the  supervision  of  an  instructor  until  he  becomes 
thoroughl}'-  familiar  with  the  details  of  the  work. 

Training  for  General  Clerical  Work 

Employees  desiring  to  do  general  clerical  work,  where  no 
special  amount  of  skill  in  any  line  is  necessary  except  the  skill 
acquired  by  practice,  are  put  to  work  with  an  employee  who 
is  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the  work  and  who  is  able  to  in- 
struct the  beginner  without  allowing  bad  habits  to  develop. 
Under  the  heading  "General  Clerical  Work"  come  filing  and 
sorting.  In  this  work  special  instruction  is  given  bv  the 
supervisor  of  correspondence. 

In  addition  to  the  above  there  are  many  other  branches 
of  specialized  training  for  such  positions  as  section  managers, 
drivers,  wagon  boys,  elevator  men  and  women,  lens  grinders, 
stationery  stampers,  furniture  polishers,  etc. 

It  is  the  policy  of  the  company  to  promote  its  employees 
to  the  higher  positions  which  become  vacant,  and  to  fill  the 
lowest  vacancies  caused  by  such  advancement  by  employing 
young  men  and  women  without  special  training.  It  is  this 
policy  that  makes  training  an  essential. 



Using  Weil-Known  Courses  vs.  Own  Study  Outlines 

One  of  the  chief  difficulties  in  the  organization  of  an  office 
training  school,  is  to  determine  the  course  of  study  for  a  par- 
ticular department.  If  students  are  to  prepare  their  lessons 
without  any  special  guidance,  except  perhaps  that  of  a  class 
leader  chosen  from  among  the  department  heads  themselves, 
it  is  well  to  select  some  of  the  well-known  courses  on  business 
organization.  With  the  wealth  of  business  literature  produced 
during  the  last  decade  to  draw  from,  there  is  little  excuse  in 
these  days  for  ignorance  of  business  methods  and  organiza- 
tion. If,  on  the  other  hand,  a  more  specialized  or  technical 
course  of  training  is  desired,  it  may  be  necessary  to  outline 
this  in  detail  and  with  a  view  to  the  requirements  of  the  depart- 
ment concerned. 

Outline  of  Course  for  Correspondence  Department 

As  an  aid  to  the  formation  of  such  a  course,  the  following 
outline,  which  is  based  on  the  needs  of  the  correspondence  de- 
partment, is  suggested.  It  has  the  sanction  of  a  number  of 
leading  office  managers  of  this  country  and,  modified  to  suit 
local  conditions,  is  used  in  many  large  offices. 

Outline  of  Course  for  Correspondence  Department 

I.     Relation  of  Correspondenxe  Department's  Work  to  Business 
Policy : 

1.  Every  letter  a  sales  letter. 

2.  Describe  the  house  attitude  to  customers — promptness,  guaran- 

tees, sincerity,  etc. 




3.  "You  are  the  company." 

4.  "The  customer  is  the  boss." 

II.  Company  Organization  : 

1.  Charted  functions. 

2.  Course  of  an  order. 

3.  Special  department  organization  and  alHed  department  relations 

(bird's-eye  view). 

(a)  Mail  received,  sorted,  distributed. 

(b)  Mail  classification  symbols: 

"I"     means     "Inquiry" 
"C"         "         "Complaint" 
"R"         "         "Reply" 
"T"         "         "Tickler,"  etc. 

(c)  Special  systems  of  handling  correspondence.* 

(d)  Filing  system 

(e)  Dictation  department 

(f)  Stenographic  department 

III.  General  Information 

1.  Catalogue,   etc.,   showing   kind   of   information    it   contains;    for 

example,  retail  house  shows : 

(a)  Kind  of  merchandise  handled, 

(b)  Condition  of  sale,  terms,  special  guarantees,  etc. 

(c)  Directions  to  customers  when  sending  orders. 

(d)  Order  blank  (terms  explained). 

2.  Guide  for  correspondents  (synopsis  of  technical  terms  and  tables 

to  assist  correspondents  in  giving  correct  information  in  their 
letters)  : 

(a)  Weights  and  measures. 

(b)  Colors. 

(c)  Materials,  etc. 

(d)  Standard  list  of  words  always  capitalized. 

(e)  "  "      "       "  "        hyphenated. 

*As  an  example  of  a  special  system  we  quote  John  F.  Tinsley,  of  the  Crompton  and 
Knowles  Loom  Works,  Worcester,  Mass:  "Correspondence  systems,  to  be  effective, 
should  force  an  automatic  response  from  the  recipient.  Our  system  provides  for 
every  letter  written  by  a  member  of  the  house.  The  original  and  one  carbon  is  deliv- 
ered to  the  writer,  who,  after  signing  or  initialing  the  original,  marks  the  copy  at  the 
top  with  the  letter  'F,'  'R,'  or  'T,'  indicating  to   'File,'   'Reply.'   'Tickler.' 

"Copies  marked  'F'  go  into  file  at  once,  for  it  says  to  the  file  clerk,  'The  corre- 
spondence is  complete.  No  answer  expected.'  If  a  prompt  answer  is  desired,  the 
letter  'R'  is  used.  Such  copies  are  kept  by  themselves,  unfiled,  to  be  gone  over 
several  times  a  week,  or  every  day  if  necessary,  to  see  what  new  steps  are  to  be 
taken  in  eliciting  a  reply  without  further  delay.  The  letter  'T'  is  used  generally, 
with  an  advanced  date,  on  such  letters  as  require  investigation  or  other  time- 
ccnsuming  factors." 


3.     Dictating  machine  operators : 

(a)  Operation  of  dictating  machine 

(b)  Guides  to  dictation: 

(1)  Speak  directly  into  mouth-piece. 

(2)  Enunciate  clearly   (r,  s,  and  t  especially). 

(3)  Begin  sentences  slowly. 

(4)  Never  use  recorder  as  producer,  etc. 

IV.     The  Essextials  of  Business  Letter-Writing* 

1.  Thorough  understanding  of  subject  matter  to  go  into  the  letter: 

(a)  The  letter  to  be  answered. 

(b)  The  goods  to  be  ordered,  etc. 

2.  Avoidance  of  stereotyped  phrases;  for  example: 

''Trusting  that  we  may  have  the  pleasure,  we  remain." 

"Regretting  our  inability,  we  remain." 

''Thanking  you  for  prompt  attention,  we  remain." 

"Your  order  of  recent  date  received  and  consents  noted,"  etc. 

3.  Avoidance  of  stilted  or  affected  phraseology- ;  for  example : 

"It  is  not  our  desire  that  you  hold  this  shipment,  but  on  the 
contrary  a  direct  antithesis  of  the  case  is  desired." 

"We  hope  you  have  not  been  greatly  inconvenienced  by  this 

4.  Elimination  of  useless  words ;   for  example,   "We  regret   to  in- 

form you  that  your  order  has  been  delayed." 

5.  Importance  of  word  values;  for  example,  "Our  letter  endeavored 

to  outline  a  course  by  which  your  need  could  be  met,  but  it  is 
evident  that  our  letter  has  been  somewhat  confused  by  you." 

6.  Extravagant  terms  to  be  avoided;   for   example,   "We  wish   to 

acknowledge  the  receipt  of  your  esteemed  communication." 

7.  Arrangement  of  facts. 

8.  Paragraph  structure. 

9.  Proper  use  of  punctuation. 

10.  Analysis  and  criticism  of  sample  letters.       (The  numbers  refer 

to  the  lessons  which  may  be  devoted  to  each  subject.) 

No.  I.     For  words  and  phraseolog>\ 

No.  2.     For  naturalness  and  adaptability  to  the  end  in  view. 

No.  3.     For  courtesy. 

No.  4.  Sales  qualities  (impressing  customer  that  the  com- 
pany has  his  best  interests  at  heart) 

No.  5.     Conciseness,  correctness,  positiveness. 

Nos.  6,  7.  The  tone  of  the  house  as  applied  to  sales  and  or- 
ders, complaints,  and  credits  and  collections. 

*See    also    Chapter    X.XXIV. 


Nos.  8,  9,  10,   II,   12.     The  technique  of  business  and  special 
rules  which  the  company  insists  on. 

V.  Study  of  Follow-Up  System 

1.  When  original  letter  is  quoted  in  the  follow-up. 

2.  Corrections  when  mistakes  are  made  in  original,  etc. 

3.  Symbols — tickler  system  used,  etc. 

VI.  Letter  Inspection 

1.  By  correspondent. 

2.  By  proof-readers. 

3.  Types  of  errors  : 

(a)  Policy,  adjustment,  expression,  grammar,  etc. 

(b)  Importance    of    inspection    (do    not    make    same    mistake 


4.  Completeness,  accuracy,  and  neatness  of  letters. 

VII.  Responsibility   of   Dictator   for   Punctuation    and   Para- 

graphing OF  Letters. 

1.  Stenographers  may  change  force  and  sense  of  ^etters  by  incor- 

rect punctuation. 

2.  Rules  to  be  observed  in  dictation;  instructions  to  stenographers 

or  dictating  machine  operator. 

3.  Preparation  for  dictator: 

(a)  Read  letters  carefully 

(b)  Customers'  characteristics  studied. 

(c)  Reference  to  style  book  or  information  schedule. 

4.  Arrangement  of  facts : 

(a)  Favorable  impression  made  by  putting  interesting  and  im- 

portant things  first. 

(b)  Secondary  points  in  order  of  relative  importance. 

(c)  Paragraphs  arranged  with  some  attention   to  the  balanced 

appearance  of  the  typewritten  page  are  desirable. 

VIII.  Form  Letters 

1.  Nature  and  importance. 

2.  Samples  of  types  based  on  requests  from  customers: 

(a)  When  the  company  can  comply  with  request — appropriate 

paragraph;  for  example,  "It  was  a  pleasure  to  receive 
your  request  for  samples  and  the  enclosed  assortment 
has  been  selected  with  special  care." 

(b)  Requests    for    unusually    large    assortments    and    company 

cannot  comply  by  sending  entire  assortment  but  only  3 


few  samples  to  give  general  ideas  of  quality,  etc.;  for 
example,  "These  samples  will  give  you  a  general  idea  of 
our  goods  and  their  values.  If  you  will  tell  us  what  kind 
of  goods  you  are  most  interested  in,  we  shall  be  pleased 
to  make  a  special  selection  for  you." 
(c)  Cannot  comply  with  the  request;  for  example,  "We  are 
unable  to  send  samples  of  the  trimmings  used  in  our 
ready-made  garments.  However,  if  you  have  ever  seen 
one  of  our  garments  you  know  something  about  the 
careful  attention  given  to  trimmings — that  they  are  al- 
ways artistic  and  of  the  finest  quality.  We  never  use 
any  that  do  not  harmonize  perfectly,  both  in  color  and 
texture,  with  the  material  in  the  garment." 

IX.  Adjustment  Mail 

1.  Complaints  of  unsatisfactory  service,  etc. 

2.  Adjustment  made  by  correspondent  or  adjuster   from  record  of 

the  order. 

3.  Form  letters  (cases  of  frequent  occurrence). 

4.  Giving  customers  benefit  of  doubt. 

5.  Adjustment  and  resales. 

6.  No  adjustment  refused  without  good  reason. 

X.  For  two  or  three  weeks  the  letters  of  new  correspondents  are 

sent  to  the  correspondence  critic  for  examination  before  being 
sent  to  customers.  Thus,  mistakes  in  dictation  are  caught 
before  they  become  a  habit. 

Outside  Aids  for  Correspondent's  Course 

In  the  above  outline  no  attempt  has  been  made  to  cover 
instruction  in  the  principles  of  English  composition.  These 
essentials  can  be  obtained  from  a  number  of  good  text-books. 
How  E.  P.  Cramer,  the  correspondence  critic  of  the  Goodyear 
Tire  and  Rubber  Company,  fitted  one  of  these  books  into  his 
course  illustrates  what  can  be  done  in  this  way :  ''We  picked 
out  a  correspondence  manual  containing  the  principles  of 
good  business  English.  We  divided  its  paragraphs  into 
twelve  groups,  each  of  which  formed  the  basis  of  one  lesson. 
Then  from  our  own  business  we  picked  the  specific  letter- 


writing  problems  to  which  the  mapped-out  paragraphs  appHed 
and  prepared  lessons." 

It  is  also  interesting  and  instructive  to  see  how  Mr.  Cramer 
keeps  in  touch  with  the  correspondents  and  maintains  their 
interest  in  the  work :  "Of  course,  there  are  many  ways  in 
which  we  keep  the  course,  as  well  as  criticism  of  the  service, 
before  the  attention  of  our  employees.  In  our  Family  News- 
paper we  publish  a  quarter  page  ad  of  the  course  in  each 
issue.  This  serves  not  only  to  enroll  new  students,  but  to 
keep  interested  those  who  are  already  enrolled.  We  also  run 
articles  containing  some  particularly  good  bit  of  correspond- 
ence work  by  some  employee  or  else  a  digest  of  some  of  the 
more  interesting  criticisms  made  during  the  current  month. 
Still  more  important,  we  keep  reminding  the  branch  and  dis- 
trict managers  of  the  course  and  of  the  criticism  service.  We 
secure  their  co-operation  also  in  keeping  the  employees  inter- 

A  Course  for  Stenographers  and  Typists 

Just  where  the  work  of  stenographers  and  typists  begins 
and  that  of  the  correspondent  leaves  off  is  difficult  to  deter- 
mine. It  is  much  the  same  problem  as  distinguishing  between 
thinking  and  doing.  "Do  I  have  to  think?"  asked  a  stenog- 
rapher who  had  been  promised  a  position  at  $15  a  week. 
**What  has  that  to  do  with  it?"  queried  the  office  manager. 
"Well,  if  I  have  to  think,  I  want  $18."  In  outlining  a  course 
of  instruction  each  manager  must  decide  how  much  responsi- 
bility he  is  going  to  put  upon  the  stenographer  in  the  way  of 
"thinking."  A  semblance  of  efficiency  may  be  obtained  by 
laying  down  rules  of  procedure  about  the  use  of  stationery, 
paragraphs,  and  margins;  but  if  some  means  is  not  employed 
to  stimulate  thought  and  the  exercise  of  judgment  on  the  part 
of  employees,  then  provision  must  be  made  for  the  careful 
inspection   to   prevent   costly    blunders   and    mistakes.     If   a 


course  is  outlined  with  a  broad  conception  of  the  stenog- 
rapher's duties  and  responsibilities  in  mind,  much  of  the  work 
also  outlined  for  the  correspondents  can  be  adapted  to  the 
training  of  stenographers.  In  addition,  however,  it  will  be 
necessary  to  cover  any  special  stenographic  fields  such  as  the 
necessity  of  correct  form,  arrangement,  etc. 

Outline     of     Course     for     Stenographic,     Dictating 
Machine,  and  Typing  Departments 

I.     General  Considerations 

1.  Importance  of  appearance  of  letters;  "first"  impression: 

(a)  Neatness. 

(b)  Arrangement. 

(c)  Expression. 

2.  Attitude  toward  work  : 

(a)  General  knowledge  of  correspondence  manual. 

(b)  General  business  knowledge. 

(c)  General  knowledge  of  house  practice  and  policies. 

(d)  Goods. 

(e)  Sales  methods. 

(f)  Organization   and  policies: 

(i)   Order   filling. 

(2)   Inquiries  and  adjustments   (how  handled). 

3.  Care  of  machines:  typewriters,  phonographs,  etc. 

4.  Departmental  records : 

(a)  Rule  book. 

(b)  Time  sheets. 

II.     Specific  Information — All  Three  Departments 

I.     Stationery;  special  instructions  about  kinds  and  uses  of  company 
stationery : 

(a)  Letter-heads  and  mailing  envelopes: 

(i)    Imprints. 
(2)    Sizes. 

(b)  Return  envelopes  (kinds)  : 

(i)   When  used. 

(2)  How   used. 

(3)  Enclosures:  order  blanks,  circular  materials,  etc. 


2.  Interpretation  of  dictation: 

(a)  Correspondents'  responsibilities  (dates,  paragraphing,  etc.) 

(b)  Confirmation   slip    (dictator  takes   responsibility   for  letter 

punctuation,  etc.). 

3.  Carbon  copies: 

(a)  Use  and  economies 

(b)  Number. 

(c)  Distribution: 

(i)   Dictators. 

(2)  Files. 

(3)  Color  uses. 

(d)  Qualities  of  carbon  papers. 

(e)  Instructions  for  pinning  carbons  and  papers  to  the  originals. 

4.  Typing  details  in  letters : 

(a)  Order  of  answering: 

(i)   Remittance. 

(2)  Refunds. 

(3)  According  to  time  received. 

(b)  Dating: 

(i)   Position. 

(2)  Characters  used   (numerals  or  written  out). 

(3)  When  to  change  date  on  a  single  day's  dictation; 

for  example,  letters  transcribed  up  to  4  p.m.  to 
be  given  the  date  of  transcription ;  after  4  p.m. 
to  be  dated  as  of  the  day  following. 

5.  Name  and  address  : 

(a)  Beginning  or  end  of  letters. 

(b)  Give  form  used. 

6.  Estimating  length  of  letters  : 

(a)  Short,  medium,  or  full  page. 

(b)  Relation  of  size  to  form  of  arrangement. 

7.  Solution : 

(a)  Explanation  of  kinds. 

(b)  Reasons  for  their  use   (  relation  of  writer  and  recipient)  ; 

establishing  the  "letter  tone": 
(i)   Friendly. 

(2)  Impersonal. 

(3)  Combative. 

Note:  Show  that  for  these  reasons  the  salutation  is  not 
merely  a  useless  form  left  over  from  the  age  of  busi- 
ness chivalry. 



(c)   Indentation  rules: 

(i)   Width  of  letter-head. 

(2)    Relation  of  margin  to  body  of  letter. 

8.  Margins : 

(a)  General  rules  all  margins. 

(b)  Side  margins  and  top  margins,  special  rules. 

9.  Paragraphs : 

(a)  General   (purport,  indentation,  length,  uniformity,  etc.). 

(b)  Specific  (depending  on  the  firm's  policy,  etc.)     Begin  each 

line  at  10.     End  as  nearly  as  possible  at  70.     Begin  para- 
graphs at  20. 

10.  Letters   of  more  than   one   page — method   of  heading    (top   or 

bottom)  : 

(a)  Number. 

(b)  Customer's  name. 

(c)  Xo  mark  at  all. 

11.  Complimentary  closing: 

(a)  Firm  name. 

(b)  Some  individual. 

(c)  Official  position. 

(d)  Types  of  closings. 

(e)  Show  standard  signatures  and  how  typed  (capitals,  etc.). 

12.  Identify  dictator  and  transcriber: 

(a)  Dictator's  initials  first. 

(b)  Transcriber's  initials  second   (ABC:X). 

(c)  Separation  of  initials. 

(d)  Number  of  initials  used. 

13.  Departmental  details — office  work  other  than  stenography,  typ- 

ing, etc. : 

(a)  Use  of  tickler  file. 

(b)  Cross-references. 

(c)  Interdepartmental  mail  service. 

(d)  Making  out  reports: 

(i)   Work  sheets. 
(2)   Time  sheets. 

III.     Special  Instructions — Phonograph  Operation 
I.     Use  of  phonograph  : 
(a)   General  points: 

(i)   Electric  circuit  to  be  closed. 

(2)  Cylinder  to  be  placed  on  holder. 

(3)  Reproducer  as  far  to  left  as  possible. 


(b)    Description  of  particular  machine — only  enough  to   get  a 
working  knowledge  of  the  machine. 

2.  Driven  by  electricity. 

3.  How  to  complete  circuit  (use  of  switch  "on"  and  "off"). 

4.  Cylinder  of  wax,  hollow,  one  end  larger  than  other. 

5.  How  to  handle  cylinder ;   for  example : 

(a)  Insert   fingers  in   smaller  end. 

(b)  Never  grasp  surface  with  bare  hand. 

(c)  Push  firmly  over  the  holder. 

(d)  Removal  and  use  of  "cylinder  ejector." 

(e)  In  case  it  sticks,  etc. 

6.  Use  of  the  "reproducer" : 

(a)  Raising   into   place. 

(b)  Regulation  of  quantity  listened  to. 

7.  Starting  and  stopping. 

8.  Handling  of  finished  cylinders: 

(a)  Length  of  time  retained  before  shaving. 

(b)  When  kept  awaiting  shaving. 

(c)  Method  of  collection,   kinds   of  racks,   and  the   schedules 

and  clerks. 

(d)  Who  shaves  them. 

9.  Handling  unfinished  cylinders  : 

(a)  Where  kept. 

(b)  Methods  of   identifying  them   from   finished  cylinders. 

IV.  Special  Instructions — Fill-in  Typists 

1.  Use  of  form  letters. 

2.  Kinds : 

(a)  Sample  to  be  copied  by  typists. 

(b)  Multigraphed  copies: 

(i)   Address  to  be  filled  in  on  typewriter. 

(2)  Color  of  ink  (adjustments). 

(3)  Adjustment  of  typewriter. 

(4)  Addressing  envelopes  for  circulars  and  form  letters. 

V.  General    Rules    for    Capitalization,    Syllabication,    and 


In  view  of  the  complete  discussion  of  the  work  of  the 
stenographic  department  given  in  Part  IV,  any  further  com- 
ment on  the  above  outHne  is  unnecessary.     In  this  connection, 


however,  it  is  worth  noting  that  many  concerns  today  have 
prepared  manuals  covering  important  rules  of  composition 
which  bear  directly  upon  the  typist's  work.  Generally  the 
transcribers  are  not  required  to  pass  regular  tests  upon  these 
rules,  but  they  are  held  responsible  for  mistakes  which  could 
have  been  avoided  by  reference  to  the  manual.  The  rules 
are  not  expected  to  replace  judgment  and  common  sense,  and 
the  employee  is  urged  to  interpret  them  in  accordance  with 
the  meaning  to  be  expressed.  Such  manuals  can  be  made  up 
readily  by  following  the  method  used  by  authors  of  text-books 
on  business  English. 

Further  Samples  of  Outlines  of  Courses 

Every  clerical  department  of  a  business,  after  analyzing 
its  routine  and  the  nature  of  the  work  carried  on,  can  outline 
a  course  of  study  adapted  to  its  peculiar  needs  as  illustrated 
above.  To  show  the  possibilities  in  this  direction  two  further 
courses  covering  the  work  of  the  complaint  and  filing  depart- 
ments are  appended. 

Outline  of  Course  of  Study  for  Complaint 


I.     General  Instructions  (to  give  adjuster  an  idea  of  work  to  be 

1.  Policy  of  the  house. 

2.  Classification  of  complaints  (basis  of  dividing  work  into  special 

adjustment  sections  to  be  handled  and  specialized). 

(a)  'Non-delivery  or  shortage  in  stock,  delay,  error. 

(b)  Unsatisfactory  service: 

(i)  Errors  due  to  inaccurate  figuring,  copying,  filling, 
careless  penmanship,  or  wrong  interpretation  of 
customer's  orders,  mistakes  in  transcription,  etc. 

(2)  Delay  in  filling  orders  and  getting  out  mail. 

(3)  Discourtesy  and  indifference  to  customer's  requests. 

(c)  Unsatisfactory  goods: 

(I)   Quality. 

'See  also  Chapter  XXII. 


(2)  Style. 

(3)  Durability. 

(4)  Damaged  goods,  etc. 

3.  Character  of  general  information: 

(a)  Methods  of  receiving  orders  and  contracts. 

(b)  Methods  of  filling  orders. 

(c)  Methods  of  recording  data: 

(i)  The  order — stock,  substitution,  custom  made,  held 
orders  (more  information  needed),  back  orders 
(goods  temporarily  out),  cancellations  (cannot  be 

(2)  The  sales  record. 

(3)  Accounting  records. 

(4)  Handling  special  conditions — returned  goods,  altera- 

tions, balances,  cartage  charges  (railway  cartage, 
etc.),  damaged  and  other  claims,  questionable  and 
dead-beat  claims. 

(5)  The  files: 

Sectional  headings   showing  nature  of  records  in 

any  file  section. 
Kind    (card,    folder,   etc.). 
How  filed   (alphabetically,  etc.). 
Departmental  locations  of  files. 
Which    files   are   best   suited   to   certain   kinds   of 


4.  Sources  of  general  information: 

(a)  Departmental  manuals. 

(b)  Departmental  heads. 

(c)  Clerks  and  others. 

(d)'  Records — showing  conditions  in  the  order: 

(i)  Price  lists,  catalogues  (showing  goods  carried  b\' 
the  firm). 

(2)  Order    itself,    contract,    correspondence     (showing 

special  items  involved). 

(3)  Records  of  adjustments  and  others  (see  above). 

II.     Specific  Instructions   (covering  detail  of  adjusting — instruc- 
tions must  be  accurate,  complete,  and  definite) 

1.  Sources  (same  as  above,  the  method  of  attack  is  different). 

2.  Details  regarding  materials  and  supplies: 

(a)  Lists   required. 

(b)  Symbols  and  use  of  requisitions. 


(c)  Location,  cabinets,  etc. 

(d)  Care  and  economy  in  use  (redemption  of  mutilated  stamps, 


(e)  Use  of  various  forms: 

(i)  Serial  numbers,  fill-ins,  copying,  etc. 

(2)  Fastenings  or  stitching. 

(3)  Carbons  (number  and  filing  instructions). 

(4)  Folding  letters,  circulars,  etc.   (use  of  window  en- 

3.     Details  of  operations: 

(a)  Receipt  of  complaints — letters,  telephones,  personal,  tele- 


(b)  Mail  classification. 

(c)  Routing  of  mail  to  departments   and  individuals — system 


(d)  Method  of  handling  papers  before  they  come  to  adjuster — 

symbols,  records,  etc.  (see  above). 

(e)  Handling  of  adjustments  after  completion: 

(i)   Which  are  to  be  handled  by  other  departments  and 

(2)   Which  are  to  be  destroyed. 

III.  Duties — Other  Than  Adjusting 

1.  Keep  adjustment  files  (how  and  when  done). 

2.  Arrangement  of  papers  in  finished  adjustment. 

3.  Keep  records : 

(a)  Permanent  (use  and  form). 

(b)  Courses  of  adjustments   (noting  errors  and  assigning  re- 


4.  Daily  reports,  efficiency  records,  etc. 

IV.  Instructions  as  to  Duties — Adjusting  Routine 

I.     Getting  the  facts: 

(a)  Letter  or  person  complaining. 

(b)  Personal  examination  of  company's  records  and  the  cost — 

what  to  look  for ;  can  record  be  borrowed  or  must  in- 
formation be  copied;  etc. 

(c)  Forms  used  to  get  information  from  department,  files,  Jtc. 

Time  to  be  allowed  for  answer  to  adjuster's  questions. 

(d)  Getting  information  over  the  telephone — code  terms  used 

by  the  house,  etc. 


2.     Using  the  facts : 

(a)  Adopting  a  course  to  pursue. 

(b)  Relation  of  records  to  action  taken. 

(c)  Complaints  due  to  errors  (settled  on  discovery). 

(d)  Recognizing  the  exceptional  case. 

(e)  Forms  of  adjustment: 

(i)  Verbal. 
(2)   Written: 

Form  letter. 
Dictated  letter. 

Points  to  be  covered  in  explanation: 
Regret  for  the  cause. 
Statement  of  facts  of  the  case  and  promise  to 

prevent  recurrence. 
Appreciation  of  patronage,  etc. 

(f)  Records  of  adjustments  should  show  how  they  were  han- 

dled; for  example,  record  of  shipment   (a  form  adjust- 
ment), delivery  record  compared  with  date  of  complaint 
shows : 
(i)   Complaint    was    written    before    delivery    could    be 

made — address  S/M    (shipment  made)    post-card, 

filling  in  date  of  shipment. 
(2)   Complaint  written  after  delivery  should  have  been 

made — address   Tr.    (tracer)    post-card,   filling   in 

date  of  shipment. 

(g)  Repairs  or  alterations  adjustments: 

(i)   Description  of  forms  used  in  getting  work  done. 
Instructions  to  repair  clerk. 

Forms    for    getting   goods,    samples,    etc..    out    of 
various  departments,  etc. 

(2)  Authorization    for    shipment — explaining    difference 

in  procedure  from  handling  regular  order. 

(3)  Routing  instructions  for  finished  adjustments. 

(4)  Nature  of  reply. 

(5)  Accounting  and  adjustment  records. 

(h)   Exchanges  and  duplicates  (goods  returned  and  new  mer- 
chandise   given    in    their    place)  ;    the    following  points 
should  be  covered  whether  returns  are  made  in  person,  a 
call  of  company's  messenger,  or  by  mail: 
(i)   Credit  slip  or   voucher. 

(2)  Receiving  the  return. 

(3)  O  K's  demanded  by  adjuster. 

(4)  Account  of  transportation  charges. 

(5)  Instructions  for  authorizing  new  shipment 


(6)  Specific    routing    instructions    for    finished    adjust- 


(7)  Accounting  and  adjusting  records. 

(8)  Nature  of  reply,  if  any. 

(9)  Recovering  claims  in  case  of  duplicate  shipments, 
(i)    Credits   (amounts  allowed  customers)  ;  method  depends  on 

company  policy  (i)  charge  accounts  demand  only  book- 
keeping records,  (2)  cash  transactions  involve  credit 
slip  or  voucher,  (3)  voucher  or  credit  slips  as  "cash" 
in  purchases  but  not  for  refund ;  the  following  points 
should  be  studied: 
(i)   Evidence  of  O  K's  on  which  allowance  is  based. 

(2)  Instructions   for  authorizing  credit. 

(3)  Making  the  credit  voucher  for  customer. 

(4)  Specific    routing    instructions    for    finished    adjust- 

(■5)   Accounting  and  adjusting  records. 
(6)   Nature  of  reply,  if  any. 
(j)   Refunds    (amounts  returned  to  customers);   policy:   when 
money  is  refunded  depends  on  circumstances — goods  not 
delivered,   money   refunded  at  once ;   prevent   refund  by 
filling  order  if  possible  and  dissatisfaction  can  be  avoided: 
the  following  details  should  be  taught: 
(i)   Form  of  refund — check,  cash,  money  order. 

(2)  Evidence  for  O  K  on  which  refund  is  made. 

(3)  Instructions  for  authorizing  fund. 

(4)  Making  refund  and  receipt. 

(5)  Routing  for  finished  adjustment. 

(6)  Accounting  and  adjusting  records. 

(7)  Nature  of   reply,   if   any. 

(8)  Getting  the  refund  back  and  still  keep  good-will. 
(k)   "No  record"  adjustment   (an  essential  record  is  missing). 

These  and  other  "policy"  adjustments  are  made  after 
investigation,  but  rather  than  lose  the  good-will  of  a 
customer,  too  much  time  is  not  consumed  in  settling  a 
claim  based  on  an  element  of  reasonableness. 

Outline  for  Course  in  Filing  Department* 

I.     Essentials  for  Accurate  Filing 

I.     Necessity  for  accuracy  (a  lost  record  may  mean  a  lost  friend — 
a  customer). 

•See  also  Chapters  XIII  and  XIV. 


2.  Personal   qualifications : 

(a)  Thorough  knowledge  of  alphabetic  sequence. 

(b)  An  instinct  for  interpreting  handwriting. 

(c)  Ability  to  digest  quickly  subject  matter  of  a  letter. 

(d)  Rapid  judgment  in  execution  of  duties. 

3.  Necessary  conditions: 

(a)  Papers  of  uniform  size   (clippings,  memos,  etc.,  mounted 

on  uniform  sheets). 

(b)  Uneven  papers  put  in  folders  (horizontal  and  vertical  fil- 

ing), thereby  obtaining  a  "filing  unit"  of  uniform  size 
and  shape. 

II.  Methods 

1.  Flat  filing  (records  laid  flat — large  sheets,  blue-prints,  etc.). 

2.  Vertical  filing  (records  on  edge). 

III.  Systems 

1.  Alphabetic. 

2.  Alphabetic-numeric. 

3.  Decimal. 

4.  Geographic. 

5.  Numeric. 

6.  Subject: 

(a)  Direct. 

(b)  With  index. 

IV.  Elementary  Points  for  Beginners 

1.  Equipment    (cabinets,   index  cards,  sorting  trays). 

2.  Basis  on  which  a  system  is  selected: 

(a)  Cards — small  drawers. 

(b)  Sheets — low,  flat  drawers. 

(c)  Correspondence — wide,  deep  drawers. 

3.  Instruction  on  filing  back  of  or  in  front  of  index  guide  cards. 

4.  What  papers  are  to  be  filed  and  when. 

5.  Essentials  of  leading  systems: 

(a)  Geographic — papers  assorted  into  headings  for  filing:  state, 

town,  name. 

(b)  Alphabetic: 

(i)   General  correspondence  file — correspondent's  name 
is  most  important. 


(2)  Equipment — guides  and  folders  described. 

(3)  Advantages: 

Permits  of  direct  reference  to  the  file. 
Saves  time  in  filing  and  in  selection. 

(c)  Numeric: 

(i)   Subject  matter  of  most  importance. 

(2)  Brings  all  related  papers  together. 

(3)  Equipment: 

Card  index  (3  x  5,  alphabetic). 

Deep  drawers  for  correspondence  folders. 

Guides    of    heavy    press-board    with    celluloid    or 

metal  tips. 
Folders  of  heavy  manila  stock. 
Small  drawers  for  cards. 

(4)  Advantages : 

All  papers  are  found  by  reference  to  the  index 
number.  The  index  furnishes  a  complete  refer- 
ence list  of  names,  addresses,  etc.,  of  all  people 
with  whom  the  company  has  any  business  deal- 

Clerks  work  more  rapidly  when  dealing  with  fig- 
ures than  with  letter  combinations. 

(d)  Alphabetic-numeric : 

(i)   Various  systems. 

(2)  Chief   characteristics   of   simple   alphabetic   system. 

A  direct  alphabetic  file  with  numbers  assigned  to 
each  guide  in  consecutive  order,  beginning  with 
No.  I ;  in  this  method  the  numbers  represent  only 
a  general  location  and  the  individual  paper  would 
necessarily  be  filed  back  alphabetically. 

(3)  Advantages: 

Reduction    of    errors    so    prevalent    in    alphabetic 

Reduction  of  time  spent  in  operating  card  index  of 

numeric  system. 

6.     Follow-up  system: 

(a)  Permits  correspondence,  etc.,  to  be  taken  to  files  instead 

of  being  held  on  correspondent's  desk  when  not  needed 

(b)  Description  of  tickler  system : 

(i)   Mark  date  wanted  in  lower  left-hand  corner  when 
sending  papers  to  filing  department. 


(2)  Clerk  makes  out    following  card: 

Date  wanted. 

Return  papers  to. 

File  No.  or  folder  name. 



(3)  Paper  is  put  in  proper  file. 

(4)  Card  is  filed  in  tickler  tray  under  the  date  specified. 

(5)  Clerk  examines  tickler  file  first  thing  each  day. 

7.  Charge  systems   (when  papers  are  drawn  from  files  a  record  is 

needed  to  keep  track  of  them)  : 

(a)  List   method — shows   papers   drawn,   date,   and   by   whom; 

entry  crossed  off  when  returned. 

(b)  Charge  sheet — same  as  list,  but  is  filed  in  place  made  va- 

cant by  withdraw^n  papers;  destroyed  wdien  papers  come 

8.  Cross-references: 

(a)  Card  index  in  conjunction  with  file. 

(b)  Papers  located   quickly  since   they   are  classified   in   many 


(c)  Data  needing  more   than   one   classification   subject   index 

are  indexed  and  filed  under  most  important  only.  But 
other  names,  synonyms,  etc.,  are  indexed — each  card 
bearing  the  number  under  which  the  paper  is  filed. 

9.  Lost  papers : 

(a)  Never  reached  the  files: 

(i)    Locating  fault  outside  the  filing  department. 

(2)  How  follow-up  system  helps. 

(3)  The  "pending  tray"'  for  all  unfinished  records,  etc. 

(b)  No  record  of  removed  papers : 

(i)    Time   lost   by   hunting    for   papers;    two   executives 

may  want  data  at  same  time. 
(2)    See  charge  systems  for  cure. 

(c)  Misfiled  papers: 

(i)   Carelessness,  incorrect  guiding. 
(2)   Overcrowding  folders. 

(d)  Omission    of    index    card    for    some   necessary    subject    or 


10.  Guiding: 

(a)    Description   of   methods    for   various   systems — alphabetic, 
geographic,  etc. 


(b)   Good  guiding  depends  upon  the  depth   (back  to  front)   of 
the  file  drawer,  the  class  of  material   and  thickness  of 
guides : 
(i)   Card   index — guide  to   every   20-40  cards. 

(2)  Alphabetic — guide  about  every   inch. 

(3)  Numeric — guide  every  10  or  20  numbers. 

V.  Duties  of  Filing  Clerks 

1.  Responsibilities  assigned  on  basis  of: 

(a)  Experience. 

(b)  Ability. 

(c)  Amount  of  filing  and  looking  up  work. 

2.  List  of  activities  : 

(a)  Assort  papers  for  file   (use  of  assorting  books). 

(b)  File  papers. 

(c)  Verification  of  files  (testing  the  sequence). 

(d)  Verification  of  addresses  with  no  index  card. 

(e)  Prepare  index  cards  or  make  corrections  called  for  in  (d). 

(f)  Look  up  papers  on  requests. 

(g)  Handling  of   special   requests    (reference  to   charge   sheet 

necessary,  etc.). 

3.  The  percentage  of  efficiency  based  on  not  found  papers. 

VI.  Aids  to  Efficiexcy 

1.  Quietness  (necessity  of  filing  cabinet  being  segregated  from  gen- 

eral ofiice). 

2.  Freedom   from   interruption : 

(a)  Work  divided  equally  into  sections  among  clerks. 

(b)  All  work  of  a  section  assigned  to  one  clerk  (not  work  cov- 

ering all  the  files,  which  necessitates  running  about). 

3.  Placing  of  responsibility  for  up-keep  of  a  special  portion  of  the 


4.  File    drawers    marked    with    contents     (proper    cabinet    quickly 

found ) . 

5.  Guide  cards  already  placed  in  file  (proper  space  easily  found). 

6.  Assorting  books*   (rehandling  eliminated). 

7.  Efficiency  records. 

*"An  assorting  book  is  a  book  with  heavy  cardboard  leaves,  each  marked  according 
to  the  system  of  filing.  In  geographical  filing,  there  will  be  one  assorting  book 
arranged  by  State,  Alabama.  Arkansas,  Connect  cut.  etc.  Another  book  indexed  with 
the  letters  of  the  alphabet  for  assorting  each  State  by  town.  Then  by  clearing  the 
book  the  same  indexes  may  be  used  for  assorting  by  name." — Report  of  Committee  on 
Office    Work  School,   National   Association   of  Corporation    Schools,    1916. 



Arranging  the  Outline    into  Lessons 

After  teachers  have  been  selected  it  is  necessary  for  them 
to  group  the  material  in  the  outline  into  suitable  units,  or  les- 
sons, for  teaching  purposes.  Printed  lesson  sheets  are  a  great 
aid  in  giving  the  pupils  a  clear  explanation  of  the  routine. 
For  example,  in  teaching  the  function  and  use  of  the  index 
card  in  a  numeric  filing  system,  the  lesson  may  be  arranged 
as  follows : 

Explanation  of  use  and  importance  of  index  card  file. 
Kinds  of  cards  and  use  of  each. 
How  to  inspect  the  cards  before  they  are  filed. 
How  to  file  the  index  cards. 
5.     How  to  revise  index  cards. 

Each  file  may  be  taken  in  this  manner,  and  topics  so 
arranged  that  the  subject  will  be  mastered  in  the  order  in 
which  the  work  is  done. 

A  class  being  formed,  the  time  may  be  divided  into  three 
periods : 

1.  A  period  for  study. 

2.  A  period  for  class  instruction. 

3.  A  period  for  practical  work. 



A  General  Service  Activity 

The  use  of  language,  written  and  spoken,  on  the  part  of 
all  members  of  the  organization,  constitutes  a  general  service 
activity  whose  importance  is  only  beginning  to  be  recognized. 
No  trading  organization  could  be  operated  without  the  skil- 
ful command  of  language;  in  every  transaction  with  the  pub- 
lic, intelligent  exchange  of  information  is  an  essential  element. 
The  same  may  be  said  of  almost  every  step  of  operating  pro- 
cedure within  the  organization,  in  either  factory  or  office. 
There  are  always  orders  coming  down  from  superiors,  reports 
going  back,  and  conferences  regarding  the  interpretation  of 
the  two  series.  Inquiries  and  investigations  must  be  carried 
on.  Answers  to  inquiries  from  outside,  and  adjustments  of 
complaints  must  be  made.  Besides  all  this  there  is  the  mass 
of  apparently  casual  communication  incidental  to  the  task 
of  inducing  a  large  and  varied  force  of  employees  to  work 
together  harmoniously  and  vigorously.  Officials  and  workers 
of  all  sorts  must  have  a  ready  and  sufficiently  accurate  com- 
mand of  the  intellectual  medium  of  exchange. 

Poor  Command  of  Language  a  Handicap 

These  statements  would  be  admitted  by  any  business  man, 
although  their  implications  are  only  beginning  to  be  recog- 
nized. Once  we  conceive  of  language  as  the  medium  of  ex- 
change it  becomes  evident  that  having  that  medium  in  the  best 
possible  condition  is  an  important  part  of  business  manage- 
ment. Language  is  so  intimate  an  activity,  however,  that  few 
of  us  have  a  -clear  notion  of  its  characteristics,  or  the  prin- 



ciples  and  requirements  of  its  effective  use.  Everyone  knows 
that  no  business  could  be  operated  effectively  by  deaf-mutes, 
or  by  persons  unable  to  read  or  write,  but  most  business  men 
fail  to  realize  that  partial  deficiency  in  the  command  of  the 
instrument  of  communication  is  as  real  a  handicap  to  every- 
day working  power  as  total  deficiency,  though  in  a  less  degree. 
The  clerk  or  supervisor  whose  handwriting  is  hard  to  read, 
whose  spelling  is  unreliable,  whose  speech  is  indistinct,  un- 
certain, or  untactful,  slows  up  the  office  machinery;  language 
deficiency  handicaps  him  as  truly  as  it  does  the  salesman  who 
must  deal  with  customers. 

Deficiency  Very  General 

Alany  persons,  if  not  the  majority,  are  actually  deficieni 
in  ready  command  of  language  to  the  extent  of  impairment 
of  their  working  effectiveness.  This  is  due  partly  to  defects 
of  early  education,  partly  to  the  general  carelessness  of  soci- 
ety at  large.  Nearly  all  of  us  maintain  a  double  standard 
in  the  matter  of  language.  We  assume  that  everyone  can  and 
does  express  himself  adequately  in  writing  and  speech — that 
is,  with  reliable  correctness  and  effectiveness — yet  as  a  matter 
of  fact  we  rarely  expect  auA'one  to  meet  this  standard.  We 
take  for  granted  that  the  ordinary  office  worker  knows  the 
multiplication  table  automatically,  but  we  do  not  expect  him 
to  be  able  to  say  what  he  means  in  common  talk  and  writing. 
We  do  not  at  all  expect  distinctness  and  correct  pronunciation 
in  speech,  legible  handwriting  and  correct  spelling  in  writing, 
and  clear  and  orderl}^  expression  of  thought  in  both  writing 
and  speech.  Yet  all  this  is  entirely  within  the  capacity  of  any 
person  who  can  handle  elementary  work  with  figures. 

The  low  standard  in  this  matter  may  be  evidenced  by  two 
facts :  first,  the  large  percentage  of  girls  rejected  by  the 
telephone  companies  as  not  able  to  attain  even  the  moderate 
level    of   efficiencv    required    of    applicants    foi»  positions   as 



operators;  second,  the  small  number  of  employees,  in  any 
department  of  a  business,  who  can  be  trusted  to  write  even  a 
simple  letter  without  supervision. 

Deficiencies  Removable 

These  deficiencies  in  command  of  language,  though  seri- 
ous, are  readily  removable  even  in  adults.  Nelson  Durand, 
of  the  Edison  Company,  said  recently  with  special  regard  to 
correspondence,  that  a  campaign  for  better  business  language, 
if  undertaken  on  a  sufficiently  broad  scale,  would  probably 
bring  as  swift  results  as  did  the  Safety  First  movement.  The 
analogy  is  suggestive.  The  ordinary  defects  in  the  use  of 
language  are  largely  owing  to  negligence.  They  may  be 
remedied  by  paying  attention.  A  moderate  amount  of  in- 
struction, if  systematic,  and  if  supported  by  consistent  super- 
vision, will  raise  the  standard  of  language  throughout  the 
establishment.  This  in  turn  will  increase  the  speed  and