24 The Routing Department
Every order which comes to Sears, Roebuck & Co., passes through the hands of men and women employed in this large room. This is what we call our Routing Department, where the orders are routed by the routing experts who indicate to the Shipping Department the shortest, fastest and cheapest route possible, that the customer may receive his merchandise within the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible transportation expense.
All bills of lading, all address labels for mail and express packages and freight crates and boxes of all the different kinds are written here and all the vast clerical detail of our shipping system so handled that it is absolutely certain that all orders, except those containing goods which must be made to order, will be filled in the merchandise departments, loaded on the cars in the shipping room and on their way to destination within forty-eight hours after the order has been received by us.
When the orders have been handled in the various divisions of the Routing Department they are then dispatched by means of the pneumatic tube system to the several merchandise departments in the Merchandise Building. As each of these tubes will deliver twenty carriers per minute and there are dozens of these tubes, you will understand with what rapidity these facilities enable us to handle this enormous volume of clerical work when we say that the orders dispatched require us to handle in this room as many as 105,000 shipping tickets in a single day of nine hours. The young men and young women employed in this department must be of a high order of intelligence, extremely accurate in their handling of orders to insure the safe and certain delivery of the articles needed by our customers and ordered by them from the pages of our big General Catalogue and the innumerable special catalogues and sample books issued by us.
From the standpoint of the customer this is one of the most important departments in the house, as it is here that the decision of our employes determines all such matters as will control the handling of his order by the transportation companies.