in Basics: RFQs/POs/File Prep/PDFs/FTP
Accurate Instructions: The Art of the PO
Purchase Order. Print Order. Call it what you will. But no matter what the name, it seems to be an endangered species in today's print world.
If you do issue them with each print order, we applaud you! If you do not, you are, sadly, in the majority. But we hope we can convince you to change your ways. (It's not too late for resolutions, right?) Here's why POs are important:
We're all busy these days, both you and us. Everyone is running "lean and mean", and moving very fast. It's easy to shoot an email, and say "You've got the project... files coming.". The printer rejoices. Then, the questions come up... "Which quantity are we to print?"... "Where does it ship and are there special receiving dock hours?"... "We quoted a spot color, but what Pantone color is it?"... "When is it due?"... "Which stock option did you decide on, for which cost?"... etc., etc., etc... You get the idea.
So, in addition to adding many, many emails to each other's in box, the chances of missing something important go way up. The beauty of a print order or purchase order (assuming it contains detailed, complete information) is that it becomes a common document that the client and the printer can refer to. This cuts down on questions, and serves as a contract from which to work. It just takes a small amount of discipline to get in the habit of creating and providing these. It can be any format you like. You can also use either our website form or download a sample Word document from our website if you prefer to complete your specs off-line and then send in your specifications.
Below are the most common items that we need to accurately price your project and understand your expectations. You should supply this information to us as an RFQ or PO, depending upon whether you need pricing or want to place an order. If you have any questions, please let us know!
Download a Word document of Holland's RFQ/PO form here.
RFQ or PO: Use the same form for RFQ and PO by checking the appropriate option and changing the dates.
Company: The name of your company or organization.
Contact: Your name and title.
Phone: Your phone number.
Email: Your Email address.
Date: The date you are submitting your request (today).
Date/Time Required: Date and time the quote (RFQ) or the project (PO) is due.
Price/Estimate: Confirm estimate number when using this as a PO.
Job Title: The name or title of the piece (i.e. "ABC Corp. Promotional Brochure"). Add your internal job number if you have one.
Prepress: Software and Platform (i.e. "Macintosh InDesign files supplied") and any special instructions (i.e. "images are critical color and need color correction and/or retouching").
Proofing: Type of Proof Needed; typical proofs includes PDF, hard-copy proof for color approval, and booked proofs.
Stock: Brand, weight, color and finish (i.e. "80 lb White Flo Gloss Cover"). Alternatively, just ask for recommendation and/or our house sheet.
Pages: Total pages, one sheet printed both sides is two pages (an 8.5" x 11" brochure is one sheet and two pages). Think of it as if you were numbering each page.
Colors: Indicate number of ink colors, including varnishes or aqueous coating. Specify gloss, satin or dull. If a PMS/spot color is being used, indicate the amount of coverage and the PMS numbers used.
Size: Indicate FLAT and finished size (i.e. and 11" x 17" folded in half to 8.5" x 11")
Finishing and Packaging: Indicate bindery functions needed, such as folding, stitching, drilling (indicate desired hole diameter of either 1/4" or 5/16"), shrink wrapping (indicate quantities of bundles, such as 25s).
Quantity: How many pieces do you want quoted (RFQ) or need (PO)?
Delivery: Full address and dock location if applicable.
Shipping: Freight is usually an additional charge, and sometimes cannot be estimated unless a specific timetable and destination are given up front. Indicate if you need freight charges estimated. We offer free delivery in the metro area on many items.
Notes: Indicate any unusual requests or processes. If your project is a multi-page piece with a cover on a different stock than the text stock, be sure to specify stock, pages and colors for the cover separately from the text.