27 The Card Index Department
This large room, filled with filing cabinets, is our Index Department, where we keen a record of all our transactions with our customers. One hundred and fifty-three employes are required to keep these records and this room contains the names of more than six million customers and a full and complete record of every transaction with each of them. When an order is received from a customer, an index card is prepared from that order in the department where all orders are entered, and this index card comes to this Index Department, where it is sorted in the sorting division according to state and town, then passed to young women in charge of the index cabinets devoted to that particular state or part of a state and filed alphabetically according to state and town. This elaborate method of keeping our records, while seemingly complex, is indeed very simple and enables us to immediately obtain the full record with reference to any single transaction with any customer anywhere in the United States. If a customer sends us a letter with reference to a shipment we can immediately refer to the record, providing he gives us the postoffice that the goods were ordered from or the shipping point to which the goods were shipped, should it be different from his postoffice, and we quickly ascertain the exact amount of cash received by us and the merchandise ordered by him, so that the correspondent may obtain all the records in the transaction and handle the matter to the satisfaction of our customer. From these index cards we also obtain the names of those to whom we wish to send special advertising matter. To keep this index up to date, a division is devoted to correcting the cards of our customers who notify us of any change in their postoffice addresses. Our records include all postoffices, all shipping points, R. F. D. numbers, sub-stations, summer postoffices and discontinued postoffices, and we dare say that the government itself has no more complete record of all these matters than exists in this Index Department, The character of our business is such that we are dependent upon system in handling it, and in this department centers the complex systematizing necessary to the preservation of our valuable and indispensible records.