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Design Request Guide/Form

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by cpot25, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. cpot25

    cpot25 New Member

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    Oct 4, 2016
    Southeast
    We are looking for a better "mouse-trap" for getting designs and necessary information from our sales team to our design team. In our current state, our sales team provides photos, copy, sizing (sometimes) and other relevant information that they think design may need. We have 4 sales people and they each do it differently, which is frustrating on the design side.

    Does anyone have a standard procedure on how information is provided to designers from sales? Whether this be a form that is filled out or other ways, we're open to looking at anything.

    Look forward to hear what others are using.
     
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  2. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    So Cal
    Is not all this information entered (already) in some sort of order management software as standard procedure? A "form" could be a hard copy or a software screen on a desktop, iPad, iPhone, etc.

    e.g.
    Company
    Person
    Job Number
    Job Line Item Number
    Due Date / Time

    Customer’s Item Description
    Product Name

    File Name
    Note(s)

    Qty
    Size
    Scale
    Media

    Designer

    etc.
    etc.
    etc.
     
  3. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    CA
    We have a set of things needed

    Customer:
    Name
    Company Name
    PO
    Due Date
    Contact
    Etc.

    Product:
    What it is? Sign, Sticker
    Standard or Code
    Size
    holes/radius
    thickness
    Finish
    etc.

    Put a section to fill in next to it. Hold them to the standard.
     
  4. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Niceville, FL
    upload_2019-11-21_15-39-28.png
     
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  5. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    Hattiesburg, MS
    I would create a fillable PDF form, that the sales dept. must fill out to submit a project, you can specify which questions must be answered before they're able to save the form.
     
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  6. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Dec 11, 2017
    So Cal
    Using the data points from the earlier post by myront , the attachment shows the same in an example database. Places for design specifics and containers for photos, documents, files, etc.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    May 5, 2011
    TX
    Here is a template we have used before
     

    Attached Files:

  8. WhiskeyDreamer

    WhiskeyDreamer Professional Snow Ninja

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    Riften
    I have different order forms depending on the job. Signs, Apparel, Electrical/Service work. I used to have all the check boxes and such, but got rid of them ages ago because I wasn't filling them out. Now it's pretty basic. Company info, job description area (for standard signs form), quote, and of course if any time frames were promised, there's a spot for that too. I also track my orders with the forms. So when a proof is sent, there's a section for it. Same with calls and such.

    Is that what you're looking for or are you having trouble getting what needs to be on the sign from the client? I have a questionnaire that I use for logo design or when a client has no idea what they want. Helps me nail the proof on the first go instead of the eighth.
     
  9. Boudica

    Boudica Member

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    Dec 21, 2018
    Spokane, WA
    I don't suppose you would be willing to share that logo design questionnaire... would you? :notworthy:
     
  10. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    What program is that ColorCrest?
     
  11. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Dec 11, 2017
    So Cal
    Filemaker. I happened to have used version 17.

    That file took about 60 minutes to format and amounts to 1Mb with no data using FM's native format. Any media such anything in the containers are held in a specified folder and just pointed to from the database. Therefore, they don't actually add size to the database itself. Years of actual sign shop data might only amount to 100~300 Mb.

    If I were to actually save the file as a runtime application (.app), the file could weigh in at a ~hundred(s) of Mb because the package would contain an invisible FM application.

    If you were to download their trial, they're at version 18 as I write this post.
     
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  12. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Lawton, OK
    I've tried doing the form thing as a way to streamline my dialog with people actually making contact with the customers, be it a full time sales person, our company owner or even someone else answering the phone. All too often something the customer needs doesn't fit into that form. That's the nature of the custom sign business. And the time it takes to fill out said form often turns out to be a masturbatory exercise of adding red tape. We do fill out inquiry forms to record all the basics. But all the other details relating to the actual design have to be gathered on a case by case basis.

    No inquiry template form is going to teach a "green" sales guy how to be a proper conduit for passing details between the client and the person doing the design work. Much of the sales person's ability only comes through actual work experience. In some cases the designer has to be involved, especially if the designer spots a problem the client or sales guy would never consider (particularly something that might blatantly violate a major company's brand standards). The information that passes is NOT in a one-way direction. Some clients require different approaches to arrive at what they really want or need.

    Looking at it from my perspective in the design department, the main things I want are accurate details involving the building or site where the sign will be installed (a proper survey or building/site plans) and the highest quality assets (logos, pre-existing art) from the client that will be used in the design. The rookie mistake from sales people is accepting anything the customer sticks in an email message. They typically grab the first dopey JPEG they find and expect a sign project to be completed rapid fire from that. Too many of them don't want to be burdened with having to think about details.

    On the back end, once we've made the sale and are ready to go into production, we do have spec sheet forms for that to go along with the sketches used to sell the job. Nevertheless, plenty of human beings able to have a conversation are on site in case any problem or discrepancy turns up. And that can happen plenty of times. Forms are great for keeping a record of details. But in the end a whole lot more gets communicated in an actual conversation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  13. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Frisco, TX
    I've never heard a reference to masterbation used in such a professional tone before... hats off to you Bobby.
     
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  14. WhiskeyDreamer

    WhiskeyDreamer Professional Snow Ninja

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    This is what I use.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Qs.pdf
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      329.2 KB
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  15. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

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    Nov 15, 2005
    Connecticut, USA
    I think any form of this type definitely can work but you are right, it can never cover every scenario but there is a fine line for it to be a good form. It must be detailed enough but also flexible. It should start out with a basic conversation regarding a job....

    I would like to get a sign...
    OK, what type of sign?
    A wall sign...
    OK, what size is it?
    48x24...
    Great, what material will we use for this?
    etc. etc.....

    Then you need to turn those basic questions into a simple form entry, Type, Size, Material, Etc., not a checklist of everything known to man but an efficient format. You probably need an "Other" choice for almost every category so you can elaborate on the non-standard entry. This would cover probably 80% of your needs but then you need a total blank page for drawings or writing out details of very elaborate custom jobs. These forms are better suited to more commodity type products, if you do nothing but unique custom work then this may not be the best route.
     
  16. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Normal, Illinois
    It all depends on how experienced your sales person is. An experienced salesperson, with at least 5-10 years in the field doing installations, will be able to anticipate what info will be needed for design, fabrication, permitting, and installation. That person may likely be an owner, or an experienced installer who is tired of going up on cranes.

    A lot of bigger companies use what I call "account managers". They just gather as much site and contact information as they can and pass it on to shop management. Surveys will be ordered, permits will be secured, graphic design will be created, and fabrication and installation will be executed by the appropriate personel. The account manager/salesperson (usually a personable sort who is not required to know technical details) then goes on to find more work.

    Problems come up when you try to get an "account manager" to figure the technical details out. No amount of forms or checklists will work.
     
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