NVQ: Handle and Distribute Mail and Packages in Business and Administration
In every office, a large volume of communication like letters, circulars, telegrams are sent to outsiders or received from them. Inside the organisation also written materials are exchanged between different departments. A planned and efficient handling of the mail is essential for the success of any business organisation. It is described as the backbone and an integral part of an office.
Efficient handling of mail requires establishment of definite procedures involving step by step handling of mail. The incoming mail should be received and distributed with speed and accuracy. The exact method of handling inward mail differs from office to office.
We have 2 different mail systems in our organisation, Internal mail and External mail.
- The internal mail services available are for distribution of mails within the offices and departments of ____________ (removed for confidentiality purposes) . They are collected and delivered on a daily basis.
- External mails are sent via ______________ (removed for confidentiality purposes) . External mail services are used, when mails can not or do not cover the internal mail services criteria. For example where mails have to be delivered to clients, or other companies, or ____________ (removed for confidentiality purposes) correspondences. They are also delivered and collected on a daily basis.
Mails consist of three main types — inward, outward and inter departmental. Mail Service helps the firm to establish and contact with the customers and public at large. An independent mailing department is constituted to handle all types of mail in the office. The advantages of Centralized mailing services are — specialization, better supervision, economy, better performance, optimum use of Mail Room Equipment and trained and expert staff.
Inward mail routine include steps like — receiving mail, sorting mail, opening the mail, marking the mail, recording the mail (inward register), and distributing the mail.
Outward mail routine also involves various steps like — collection of outgoing mail, entering the outgoing mail (despatch register, messenger book), folding the letters, preparation of envelopes, sorting, weighing and stamping and lastly despatching.
I collect mails everyday in the morning and afternoon, both the internal and external mails. I distribute mails addressed to a specific person to that particular person, and any other general mails for the department are opened by me. I look through them to see what they are regarding and distribute them accordingly. When my locality manager is off on annual leave or sickness absence, I keep an eye on her mails too, and deal with any urgent ones, by contacting the Head of Services. I also make sure that I distribute them on time, so that the task specified on the mail is completed within the timescale mentioned and the deadline is met.
We use external mail services where delivery is out of county and where it is for other companies or clients. It will be areas that do not come under the ______________ (removed for confidentiality purposes) office areas. We use internal mails where deliveries need to be made to offices or departments that come under the ___________________ (removed for confidentiality purposes). Internal mails save time and money. So any mails that can be sent via internal mail are sent via that means and only the rest are sent via external mail system.
I take the outgoing posts down to reception in the afternoon. I sort the posts according to sizes. I leave the outgoing internal mails in the relevant boxes which are sorted according to area. Also I sort the outgoing internal mails according to the urgency and importance as first class or second class. Also any overseas posts have to be sorted out.
Before despatching the mails, proper postage charges are calculated, depending on whether the posts are first class, or second class or recorded deliveries. Also to avoid any delays, I send the mails at the right time with the correct postage on it. Suspicious packages or mails are dealt with utmost care, and if found suspicious, it will be reported to the office manager, and recorded in the incident book at reception.
When handling mails I have to abide by and follow certain procedures.
- I first look through the mails for each department, and sort them out by size and class, and then find out the best method to send them – either normal or recorded.
- I then look at the weights and sizes and look for the costs. The weight can be looked up on the machine that is used to weigh posts.
- If for any reasons special deliveries through couriers are necessary, I will speak to my manager for authorisation and then to the office manager, and then we will make arrangements for the money to go out of our cost code. Otherwise the services used in our company are ___________ (removed for confidentiality purposes) .
- Where I see items that say first class recorded, I record all the details of the post including address of sender and receiver and do the necessary labelling for the urgent and recorded deliveries.
- Any mail packages that are heavier than the normal weight and bigger than the normal size, I use the machine used to weigh posts and parcels, and calculate the correct postages. For the rest of the mails, we have a chart which has costs according to size for both first class and second class delivery.
- Posts are franked accordingly for each department. So the costs for each department go on their relevant cost centres. For other recorded deliveries, the costs are logged in a book at reception.
- All posts are stamped and sorted and kept ready for despatching by 3:45 pm everyday. We have a member of the________ (removed for confidentiality purposes) crew, who comes in to collect the post from the building at reception, everyday.
Many problems can occur while handling mails and packages.
- All incoming posts and packages are stamped by company stamps at reception. Any mails from suspicious addresses or people or any packages that do not feel normal or look suspicious are left aside, without being dealt with.
- The suspicious mails and packages are reported to the office manager. The office manager and the administrators at reception log the incidents on the incident book, and take necessary actions. They will also make sure ____________ (removed for confidentiality purposes) is informed of the problems.