The cost of correspondence includes not only the cost of paper and postage but also the? Cost of:
1. The time spent on the correspondence (by the dictator and the typist).
2. Capital cost of the machines (typewriter, franking machine etc.)
3. Wasted stationery.
4. Overhead expenditure (light, rent etc.).
5. Time spent by clerks and messengers.
A firm may send out letters and receive letters. This can be dealt with in two ways either by centrally organized system or by decent rally organized correspondence system centralized correspondence and decentralized correspondence.
Correspondence department is organized to set up an effective system of correspondence- in a specialized and economical way. Under the centralized correspondence system all the letters received are handled by a specialized department only.
In big concerns it is so, because letters have been processed by trained staff and the staff works under a qualified supervisor. Correspondence is not passed to other departments. But when any correspondence needs; special skill by any other department, such letters will be given to them.
Merits of Centralized Correspondence
1. Since qualified staff is appointed and are working centrally, it is possible to produce effective correspondence.
2. By sending out effective letters, goodwill can be created in the mind of the recipient
3. Since the letters are handled by the same member it is easy to study the customers taste and needs.
4. High standards of Correspondence are generally possible.
5. Specialization generally increases productivity.
6. Staff can be trained adequately and quite easily.
Demerits of Centralized Correspondence
1. Though qualified persons are there, yet sometimes, to reply certain letters, other departments have to be approached.
2. Consultation, getting the information, drafting etc., will result in loss of time.
3. The persons of centralized correspondence department, writing out wrong replies, based on information received may create complication in future.
4. Letters relating to the policy of the business have to be approved by the management. A draft may have to be written several times before being passed and thus there is an unnecessary labor on the part of correspondent.
The organization has many departments and the correspondence relating to each department is entrusted to itself. Incoming letters are passed on to them and they send out replies. Such a system is called decentralized or departmental correspondence.
Merits of Decentralized Correspondence
1. Replies can be sent out without delay, because needed information is in the files, which are with them.
2. The staff has good knowledge about the matter they are dealing with.
3. Each department will try to send out letters of high quality.
4. Replies based upon first hand information will be more accurate.
5. Speedy replies can be made.
6. Promptness in sending letters can be maintained.
Demerits of Decentralized Correspondence
1. Specially trained persons cannot be appointed in each department. The departmental heads have to perform the work. As such, correspondence will not be of a good standard as in centralized correspondence.
2. It is possible that errors and mistakes creep in easily.
3. A goodwill cannot be created by writing standard correspondence.
4. It is not possible to maintain uniformity in the correspondence.