The importance of accurate job specifications
This is good stuff, and well worth reading!
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. As projects have become much smaller, with much faster turnaround times, it's critical to avoid hunting for information within large email threads.
Rare or not, here's why POs are important:
The beauty of a print order or purchase order (assuming it contains detailed, complete information) is that it becomes a common document that both customer and 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.
Keep in mind that when a project comes in and the specs don't match the quote, once we've discovered the discrepancy we can't begin until we correct the quote because it provides a blueprint for how we engineer the project, and if it changes the price we'd like to have it approved. It really helps the project to have accurate specifications from the get go!
Please also remember that timeline/deadline details can be forgotten - especially if discussed a few weeks/months in advance. It's always a good idea to remind/repeat - regarding deadlines!
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.
what we need to know upfront
Here's the information you should include to get a quick and accurate quote from Holland Litho:
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.
Project Title: The name or title of the piece (i.e. "ABC Corp. Promotional Brochure"). Add your internal job number if you have one. For example, rather than calling something "8 page brochure", it should be something like "ABC Product Line Brochure". Even better, use item numbers whenever possible: "ABC Product Brochure #1234". This makes things much faster to look up and/or to identify - with invoicing and filing. Finally, please refer to this consistently! This may seem trivial, but when someone calls a project one title during the RFQ, another title during the ordering process and yet another title when referring back to invoices, it causes much confusion!
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. (and dock hours)
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 West Michigan area on most 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.
We realize this seems like a lot of information, and a pain… But we promise you that once in the habit, it will save much time and will reduce the chance of errors on your projects!