ADMINISTRATION REVISION - BLOCK 4 HANDLING THE MAIL HANDLING THE MAIL This is an important task because the work of the organisation and its staff mainly stems from the communications it receives. Mail falls firstly into 2 categories: internal - from inside and external - from outside the organisation and then into 2 other categories: traditional - hand delivered and electronic - via telephone line Examples: Internal traditional - memos, reports, forms, notices Internal electronic - e-mail eg from computer to computer External traditional - anything sent by post and courier External electronic - e-mail, fax INTERNAL MAIL Mail which circulates and stays within an organisation Large organisations will have a system for circulating mail around its branches and departments. This can be done manually by: messenger - where someone delivers messages transit envelope - for passing messages round photocopier - make one copy for each person routing/circulation slip - the names of those to read a document are written on a slip and attached to it pigeon holes - boxes into which messages are placed to be collected notice board - staff notices can be posted on the board to be read and electronically by: E-mail - received into private electronic ‘mail boxes’ on computer fax - for communications between different branches EXTERNAL MAIL Mail sent into and out of an organisation In a small firm the receptionist will deal with the mail. A large organisation dedicates a whole department to mail handling. A mail department will have 2 sections, one to handle Incoming mail and the other Outgoing mail These 2 sections have equipment suited to speeding up the process of mail handling. Here are some examples of mail room equipment In the incoming mail section In the outgoing mail section letter opening machine folding and inserting machine date stamp franking machine remittances book postages book pigeon holes addressing machine trolley shredder electronic postal scales INCOMING MAIL PROCEDURES Sort mail into 3 bundles Urgent - deal with these first Private and confidential Open envelopes with letter opener Remove all contents Deliver unopened Date stamp contents Check and enter any remittances in remittances book and pass them on to the cashier Check and attach all other enclosures to letters Photocopy/attach circulation slips to letters to be seen by more than one person Sort into departments Deliver to appropriate in trays The rest Deal with as for urgent OTHER INCOMING MAIL Incoming computer E-mail is normally checked by the individuals who receive it directly into their ‘inbox’. Incoming Fax messages should be delivered to those concerned either: by messenger or by placing them in the appropriate pigeon hole Incoming voice mail ie telephone messages, should be written down and placed in the appropriate person’s pigeon hole. DEALING WITH OUTGOING MAIL Outgoing mail should be picked up from out trays several times throughout the day. This will spread the workload over the afternoon and prevent having to work late. All outgoing mail should be recognisable from documents to be filed which would bear a release mark. Outgoing mail can be sent by various means: Traditional outgoing mail: Electronic outgoing mail: First or second class post Fax Recorded - for sending Computer e-mail – usually done by Delivery legal documents the sender Voice Mail - sent by the sender Courier OUTGOING MAIL PROCEDURES Collect mail from out trays regularly Check for signature Prepare necessary envelopes Check for and insert enclosures with letters Sort into first class, second class and special delivery Weigh letters/packets heavier than standard postage Apply appropriate postage stamp or franked impression Enter postage used in Postages Book Take to post office in separate categories Send fax messages Print out fax report as proof of sending Now answer the following questions in sentences on paper. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Name 4 different types of mail. Why is mail important to any organisation? What is the difference between internal and external mail ? Suggest 2 methods of circulating mail. In which section of the mail room is the remittances book? What exactly is a date stamp used for? An organisation suspects postage stamps are being stolen. Name a machine which solves this problem and say why. 8 How should mail marked ‘private and confidential’ be processed? 9 What is the importance of a remittances book? 10 How should important legal documents be sent in the post? Now check your answers with the solution and note your score. PROBLEM SOLVING Answer the following on paper. The outgoing mail section of your mail department struggles to complete their work before 5.30 each evening. Suggest 5 procedures and/or pieces of equipment which could speed up the process and explain in full how it will help the outgoing mail staff to leave the workplace by 5.00 pm.