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As an aid to office economy and the proper administration of business affairs, the card-index system stands as the greatest improvement over old methods that has been or ever can be introduced. Card systems enable a vast volume of work to be handled by lowpriced help that formerly came within the province of high-salaried office workers, leaving the managers of a business free from many annoying problems of detail, and giving them time for other and larger matters.
How Made.-Card systems are made up of record cards printed or ruled for receiving the proper records, arranged between guide cards which have edges projecting above the record cards. On these edges is printed or written the index matter necessary to locate readily any record card or cards desired. The cards stand on edge in drawers of convenient size. A single drawer may be complete in itself, may contain several complete systems, or may be part of a cabinet of any number of drawers desired.
ADVANTAGES OF CARD SYSTEMS. Instant Reference.—The index cards guide one very closely to the card desired and an instant's fingering of three or four cards locates it exactly.
Unlimited Growth.–New cards can be inserted at any place and when the present cabinet is outgrown the cards can easily be transferred to a larger one without disturbing the records or arrangement. Better still, with a sectional cabinet simply add another section. Old material being continually removed makes room for new material.
Adaptability:-A variety of colors and shapes of record cards and colors and sizes of guide cards makes it possible to index and classify according to a variety of subjects.
Removal of Useless Matter.-When the information recorded on any card or cards becomes useless, it may be removed and destroyed or filed in a separate index for future reference.
Re-writing Not Required.-Information recorded on a card need never be re-written, but may be transferred from index to index until it is no longer of use, when it is removed and destroyed.
Cost of Maintaining.-The original outfit is purchased but once. The expense of new cards, purchased as occasion demands, is much less than for books of equal capacity.
Absence of Friction.-A system of units-only the parts necessary are removed for use and interruptions of the user are fewer and loss of time obviated.
Increased Capacities.—The labor is so subdivided that the numerous minor details may be performed by inexpensive help and the results of their labor made available for their superiors.
Encourages System.-Certain and exact places are provided for every record and its entry is not neglected. Adapt it properly to meet the requirements of a business and it will automatically furnish valuable information for the guidance of employes and manager.
Use of Card Systems.-The uses to which card systems may be put are well-nigh universal. While a system in one line has many features in common with systems in other lines, yet each is distinctive in that it is subservient to demands of the particular business of which it forms a part. The details of various systems as applied to specific divisions of business follow with illustrations of the forms used. In most cases the card system is used entirely, though in some cases minor modifications are introduced.
An excellent system that is used by several metro politan banks is described by Charles W. Reihl, the bank expert of Philadelphia. This gives numerous labor-saving uses of cards, particularly as an aid to the paying teller.