Jillian Batri CHAPTER 1
Receive and distribute incoming mail
1. Why is it important to follow the correct procedures when handling incoming mail?
It is important to follow the correct procedure when handling incoming mail for the security of information, to follow the Privacy Act, and deal with legal documents.
2. What would you do if you accidentally damaged a letter when opening it?
If I accidentally damaged an ordinary letter when opening it I would tape it back together and forward to staff member it would be addressed to. If it was a legal document I would contact the staff member to see if form is still legal and able to be used. They will contact company if new documents are required.
3. Why should you stamp a letter with the date you received it? Give at least 2 reasons.
The letter should be stamped with the date your received it for legal reasons, proof that letter arrived at the office. It may go to several people so letter may have to be returned.
4. Read the following list of mail items and explain how you would process them.
(a) A parcel that looks as if it has been previously opened
Note that parcel that it arrived like that.
(b) Junk mail
Keep in folder for delivery to staff room.
(c) A letter marked ‘urgent’
Urgent mail is delivered in 9.00am (first) run
(d) A parcel with goods that have been damaged in the mail
Note parcel, contact staff member, goods may have to be returned.
(e) A fax that has come through to the office overnight with ‘priority’ stamped on it
On arrival at 7.30am check fax machine, any urgent are phoned or an email is sent with the subject line containing the details of the fax. Fax is then placed in pigeonhole for collection or 9.00am delivery.
(f) A personal letter to a staff member
Not to be opened – delivered with run
(g) A letter which states that a cheque is enclosed but it is not with the letter
Note attached to letter stating that the cheque is not received and attach the envelope
(h) Thirty applications for a job vacancy in the organisation
Delivered to HR
(i) A couriered parcel
Written in register stamped with time and then a staff member or secretary is phoned. It is then collected from the mail room or delivered in the next run.
5. Write an outline of the steps and processes involved in handling incoming mail within your organisation. Include the procedures for:
The mail delivered by courier at 7.30am. Normally around 6 boxes of mail are delivered. It is then weighed for statistical purposes.
Express post is opened first, the letters are date stamped and sorted into the pigeonholes. The other mail is opened (except for mail to staff members who have indicated they do not want their mail opened and any mail marked private and confidential). The letters are date stamped . If there are any documents, then a post-it note is attached and the date is stamped on it. If a name is on the envelope and not on the letter then the envelope is paper clipped onto the letter. The mail is then sorted into the floors in which the addressees are found and then sorted into the pigeonholes, all the mail is to be ready to go out by 9.00am (first run).
Any unaddressed mail is collected and searches are done on CLO and Docs Open for the owner. Mailroom staff distribute the mail to secretaries which are then forwarded to the authors. Mail runs are done 9.00am, 10.00am, 11.30am, 2.00pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm and outgoing mail is collected at 5.00pm. Registered mail is collected on ‘safe hands’ run at 10.30am.
6. Select an item that needs to be circulated to staff at your organisation. Fill out a circulation slip and prepare the item for circulation.
Items that need to be circulated are sent by email.
7. List 3 ways in which you might distribute incoming mail to staff.
Mail can be distributed by handing the mail out to the different departments, placing it in pigeon holes, taking it around to each persons desk, notifying each person by email, or calling the person up on phone to let them know they can come and collect their mail.
Receive and despatch outgoing mail
8. What is the advantage of sending an item of registered mail?
The advantage of sending an item by registered mail is that the letter has to be signed for, which means you have proof the documents were received.
9. Explain why it is important that you understand:
(a) the services offered by Australia Post;
So cost can be compared with other companies, service level agreements for receipt of mail and knowing all your options.
(b) the services offered by other delivery companies; and
Compare costs, other options and foster service
(c) the sizes of letters for mailing, eg. Small, medium, large.
Knowing costs, weigh the mail, it is unprofessional if not enough money is stamped.
10. Your manager has given you some very important documents to post. List two you have to ensure that they are delivered safely.
Registered Post – documents must be signed for.
Courier – door-to-door delivery (optional signing)
11. Explain how you calculate the postage for a large letter weighing 200g
Franking machine – weigh parcel, set post code and delivery method and the machine will frank with correct amount.
12. What happens if you do not put enough stamps on a letter?
The letter is noted that incorrect postage was paid. It is still delivered and the firms mailroom will get an invoice to pay the rest.
13. Keeping to deadlines for dispatching mail is very important. Explain how you would handle a situation when you realise that you are not going to be able to handle all the outgoing mail in the time that you have available.
You would phone the firms mailroom. Their deadline is 5.30pm for the courier to collect all mail and couriers, but mail can be hand delivered up to 6.00pm (including express post). Ask them for help.
14. Explain the process for registering outgoing mail in your organisation.
Only express post details are kept in a register. All other mail is franked but no tracking is available. Australia Post collects the mail.
15. You have just prepared 200 small letters for mailing to people throughout New South Wales. Describe how you would prepare the envelopes for Australia Post.
The firms Marketing area has a letter folding machine. You put the letters in the envelopes and then take them to the mailroom for franking. Or there are mail-out companies that will prepare the envelope for you.
Organise and send bulk mail
1. Give 3 reasons why it is important that you identify and collect all the resources you are going to need before you begin a bulk mail-out.
(a) meet stationery budgets, do not run out of stationery;
(b) all mail should be sent on same day, so one client does not think they are missing out if someone else has received theirs; and
(c) choose your timing, other departments may have mail-outs at the same time and mailroom could be swamped especially at the end of the month or at the end of the financial year.
2. Describe at least 3 ways that bulk mail can be organised (collated) for posting.
Three ways bulk mail can be organised for posting are teamwork, paper folding machine, envelope stuffing, franking, or else you can go to a mail-out centre that do everything for you.
3. Describe Australia Post’s cash bulk postage service.
This service no longer exists.
4. List 3 examples of occasions when your organisation conducts a bulk mail-out.
Three example of occasions of bulk mail outs are invitations to seminars, newsletters and end of financial year matters.
5. Read the attached case study and complete the activity. Think about how Konstantin could have planned his mail-out better.
(a) Make a list of at least 3 things that Konstantin could have done better.
· checked he had enough supplies
· checked if the letters needed to be signed
· should have worked out a system before he started
(b) Write a list of at least 3 things you would do if you were assisting Konstantin.
· gone to the stationery suppliers
· clarified the instructions from the manager
· considered and/or inquired about using a mail out service
Organise urgent and same day deliveries
6. Describe the range of fast delivery services that are available to organisations.
· bullet – next available car or bike
· priority – 1 hour
· standard – 2 hour;
Within the city a ‘bullet bike’ is fastest and cheapest.
7. Describe the procedures you need to follow when handling urgent outgoing mail in your organisation.
When handling urgent outgoing mail; prioritise, record booking numbers and ensure the courier is aware of the urgency.
8. Prepare a checklist for handling urgent mail, suitable for giving to a new staff member who will be in charge of handling the mail.
(a) confirm urgency with staff member (ASAP, 1 hour etc);
(b) check with courier company how soon a car or bike is available and ensure it meets staff members regulations;
(c) book courier; and
(d) record booking and price in the register.
Organise and send electronic mail
9. Describe 2 of the most common methods for sending correspondence electronically. For methods, explain why you would choose that means for sending correspondence. Include advantages and disadvantages.
Two of the most common method for sending correspondence electronically are faxes and emails.
The advantages are that they are almost instant.
The disadvantage with email corruption of file.
10. Explain why it is important to keep a record of the communication you send electronically.
It is import to keep a record of the communication you sent electronically to prove the fax or email was sent and received at the time it was.
11. Explain why it is important to include on the cover sheet the number of pages you are sending in a fax.
It is important to include on the cover sheet the number of pages you are sending so that you and the person you are sending a fax know if any pages are missing.
12. Describe the steps you follow when preparing an attachment to be sent electronically.
There are two ways to prepare a document for email:
(a) get the letter/email signed by the author, scan the letter/email into the system, rename document and save as a pdf (adobe acrobat) or tiff (image) file, then attach to the email in lotus notes; or
(b) open the document, insert image of author’s signature (if available), click the utilities button on the tool bar and select prepare document for email, save the document into H:/ and attach it in lotus notes.
13. Describe the procedures in your organisation for delivering faxes to their recipients.
When the fax is received the number of pages is checked, it is recorded in the register (time, who it is from, who it is to, how many pages, how it is delivered and initials). If the fax is urgent staff or a secretary is called to collect it, if it is not urgent it is put in the pigeonhole for the next mail run. If the fax has no address, you check CLO and Docs Open for any clues to the owner and if it is still not found then an email is sent to all staff of the firm the subject line of: unaddressed fax etc.
14. Prepare a chart suitable for giving to a new staff member outlining the steps to follow when sending a fax message.
15. Answer the following questions:
(a) You are running behind time with the distribution of the daily mail. What should you do?
If you are running behind time with the distribution of the mail you should prioritise the mail, in other words all urgent mail goes out first, then express mail, then mail that is properly addressed and after that all mail that is ready for the first run. Leave mail-outs and any unaddressed mail until later. If you are running very late you must email all of the staff and explain reasons and that if hey know there is any important mail they are waiting for they should come and collect it otherwise apologise for the delay.
(b) You notice that an urgent letter arrives for the managing director but her secretary is away on a 3 day seminar and you know that it will remain in her pigeonhole until she returns. What do you do?
Email or phone the director explaining the letter and deliver the mail to them. Also take a note that this action was taken so there is question that it was your fault it was delayed.
(c) A damaged parcel arrives. What do you do?
Contact recipient; explain how it arrived and then they should follow up with their client.
(d) Describe what you do with a magazine that all managers need to see.
Attach a circulation slip and get them to initial and note where to be returned when finished.
(e) Why is it important to keep a record of the communication you send electronically.
Ramifications, proof of sending it or receiving it, so there is no ‘he said’ ‘she said’, the computer may be down or there is a power strike etc.
16. Present a folder containing:
(a) Postal services information
(b) Information relating to mail handling in your organisation, eg. Procedures, organisational chart
(c) Completed activities
17. Prepare a chart outlining the procedures you have to follow for handling the mail in your organisation. Include steps for:
(a) Receiving/ registering incoming mail
(b) Distributing incoming mail
(c) Processing and recording outgoing mail
(d) Preparing and delivering of urgent mail
(e) Preparing and processing a bulk mail-out
The same as ordinary mail.
18. Handle the incoming mail for one day. Sort the mail into priority order and complete your organisation’s mail register. Place a copy of the register in your file.
19. Prepare the daily mail for despatch while your supervisor observes you. Explain the steps you are taking.
(a) collect letters
(b) photocopy letter
(c) find enclosures
(d) photocopy enclosures
(e) collate original letter and photocopied enclosures
(f) staple and put into envelope
(g) put envelope into mail tray
20. Describe your role and responsibilities for a bulk mail-out.
Same as ordinary mail.
21. Develop a checklist for checking incoming mail.
q Open and sort all Express post
q Sort other mail
q Open all mail (except those marked private and confidential, personal, mail addressed to partners who do not wish to have their mail opened and junk mail)
q Date stamp all mail (except for legal document – stamp a post-it note and attach it)
q Sort mail into pigeonholes
q Deliver mail at 9.00am
22. Develop a checklist for preparing and despatching mail.
q Print letters on letterhead
q Print envelopes
q Get letters signed
q Collect enclosures
q Photocopy letters
q Photocopy enclosures
q Collate original letter with photocopied enclosure
q Put into envelope and put into mail tray
q File copy of letter
23. List the delivery options for sending urgent mail.
courier, express post, facsimile and email
24. Suggest the most appropriate delivery option for each of the following:
(a) An agenda for an extraordinary meeting that has just been arranged for the next day.
(b) 500 flyers for an information session to be held interstate that must be received by the organisers within the next 3 hours.
(c) An urgent cheque.
(d) Via contract that needs to be signed and returned immediately
Courier or Safe Hands (depends on where it is to be returned)
(e) Via hard copy of a report that needs to be in London as soon as possible.
Express over night or courier
(f) A large parcel
Courier (is cheaper)
(g) Legal documents
Regular post or courier so it is signed for Postal Services Information