For documents of up to 20 pages, faxes are a better choice than is overnight mail. This means that when paper must be sent, overnight mail is usually the wrong choice. But sometimes a large packet of papers or a book, or particularly for business reasons when something must be signed, it's necessary to use overnight mail.
Overnight Mail in the Virtual Office
The biggest reason for overnight mail is when a piece of equipment must be sent, particularly when it is first ordered. For many expensive electronic components it makes more sense to get them there the next day than to use normal mail and have them perhaps show up a week later. The reason is that the tracking costs can add up. For instance, when an expected package doesn't show up the next day one can check immediately with the sender and find out whether it was sent and get the situation corrected. When normal mail is used this can run into one of those back-and-forth communications with a week-long lag on each cycle ("oh, that? I just didn't get around to sending it, I'll get it to you", and "oh yeah! I'm sorry, I just keep forgetting"), which can add up into far more lost time and costs than a little overnight fee would be.
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March 25, 1996: created.
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