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Back to basics. (Letters).

The main problem with the advent of computers and the internet is that firms now expect managers to answer telephone calls and e-mail and do the faxing and photocopying. Consequently, the boss is too busy to respond to everybody's needs.

Managers are not secretaries. A manager can cost three or four times as much as a good secretary, yet 30 to 40 per cent of their time can now be taken up doing secretarial work. Many firms are penny wise and pound foolish not to employ adequate support staff who can take messages and find out what people really need.

Some of the people who don't get a response will be potential customers who will probably not call the company again. If managers understood the need for good secretarial back-up, they would understand that reducing the ratio of secretaries to managers is not an effective way to cut staffing costs.

Merrill Cassell FCMA
COPYRIGHT 2003 Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
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Author:Cassell, Merrill
Publication:Financial Management (UK)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Words:153
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