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What types of order forms do you guys use?

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Kottwitz-Graphics, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Very Active Member

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    I, like most sign guys, I assume, have sheets of yellow notebook pad laying everywhere, with notes, and orders just scribbled on them. Most I know what they are, but some are numbers, or a crude outline of a door, or other body shape (vehicles, you perverts) with numbers written on them, and I have no idea what they go to.

    I am thinking about making a form, with customer info at the top, entry area with important info, at the bottom, and then on the reverse, areas for materials used, costs, markups, and final price.

    If you don't mind, I'd like to see the forms you guys are using to make sure that I'm not forgetting anything.
     
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  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    [​IMG]

    Just kidding... but I work by myself and so far I've been able to jungle it up there and only occasionally missing one or two here and there.
     
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  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Ya know, sometimes I think that, in our quest to make things run smoother and easier, we tend to overthink things and actually make them more difficult and convaluded. After doing the same routine after so many years, when someone new calls or stops in..... I just take a clean sheet, write their information on it and jot down the particulars for their request. I have a basic way of doing things in an order which makes sense and then it all comes together when I'm figuring out quotes or whatnot for them. Once it goes into the computer, all that information follows.
     
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  4. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    I start a manilla folder for every new job. I write down the job specifics either on the folder or on a piece of paper. All pertinant info goes in the folder. The folder goes into a day-by-day tickle file that sits next to my desk (see photo). Estimates are created in Quickbooks, which easily converts to invoices. When the job is done, the folder gets filed.
     

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  5. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I was taught from an ol' guy that used one that it was called a "tick" file. I don't think a grown man should be saying the word "tickle" during the business day.
     
  6. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Files organized that way "tickle" my memory and keep me on schedule. Some people call them "tickler" files. Thanks for your words of wisdom, I would not like it if people perceived me in a negative light because of an unfortunate choice of words!
     
  7. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I'm just one person so I prefer to use paper and I use job boxes so I can carry them around the shop depending on what I'm doing. My work order is old and I copied it from someone years ago - I don't fill in any of the pricing info because it's in my accounting program but I track materials and time on it. I feel like it could be a more efficient process but I don't usually lose papers. I can bring my job box on a work site and nothing blows away in the wind. Every time I try to go electronic...I still grab paper. I also write on my white board what jobs to work on each day otherwise I'm all over the place.
     

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  8. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    I have always used 7"x10" notebook binders and always take it with me for jobs with measurements, notes and drawings.
    I start off each day with a new page and write down what I need or have to do. When it fills up I file it and buy another. I must have #10 or so saved and can go back 20 or more years to what I did on a certain day.

    I like to see a pick up truck with tons of papers all over the dashboard that looks like some of them have been there for years. Thats the guy's office.
     
  9. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    After reading Stacy K's and Johnny Best's responses, I have to add that I carry a pocket notebook wherever I go (I feel lost without it). Nobody wants to see me walk up with a loaded briefcase, and absolutely nobody wants to see me whip out my ipad. Between the pocket notbook and my iphone I can usually record all the info I need during a sales call. If I need to do a more complete survey, I have my briefcase in the truck and a toolbox full of survey tools, including a decent camera with an OPTICAL zoom lens.
     

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  10. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Yes I carry around one of these too!

    I also have a computer mounted in my truck that I usually enter things into as the day goes... I also record EVERY phone call on my cell phone so if I'm in a jam or the line at the store, I can ask the customer for e-mail address and all other kind of particulars and listen to it later to write it down.
     
  11. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Normally its a notebook and dry erase boards. Some jobs are from text messages, others from purchase orders. Gray matter has been able to keep up.
     
  12. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I agree with keeping it simple and prefer paper over pc based. I also had a similar problem with these little orders scratched out all over the place and still do a little with small orders. A form isn't going to change anything though, you have to come up with a regimented system or your order sheets will just be laying all over the place too. The hardest part is doing it religiously.
    For our paint work we do what kcollins does, job comes it, it gets a number taped on the window then a folder is made with this job number on it and is filed as work in progress. The employees fill out hourly job cards and these hours get put on a spreadsheet for the particular job with a description of work at the bottom. Once it is done, these cost sheets and any special order material receipts get moved to a waiting for invoice file. Once the invoice is done, a copy goes in the folder and its moved to a completed file. The job folder never gets moved to completed until the invoice Is in the folder, this way nothing gets forgot.
     
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  13. JR's

    JR's Very Active Member

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    we use this and a note book
     

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  14. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    We use 8- 1/2x11 spiral-bound notebooks and never tear out the pages. I've got 10 years worth. But we do scan in the pages as needed, and put the pdf into the working folder on the computer. That way everybody has access and there is a permanent digital record of the drawings, notes, or sizing.
     
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  15. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    I wanted to add, that we use Cyrious software so once a job is actually an order, I can print a work order out from there. But the initial contact with the customer pretty much always requires a quote so the notebooks are for those meetings.
     
  16. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Merchant Member

    Alot of great information here.

    This is what we use :p:D

    upload_2019-4-13_21-33-36.png
     

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  17. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    The sheet front should be straightforward but the reverse, IMO, would be unnecessary because of the many variable of costs and pricing with markups of all the components to make up a sign. Better left to software because it can lookup and calculate all the variables faster, easier, better.

    Tools like iPads and tablets are good at this. Enter a product name which the system already knows the required components, enter x, y, z dimensions, qty, sides, setup charges, service grade, etc., and the result is a price from time & materials costs to final markup with or without taxes.

    I also think most info from a long hand sheet would eventually need to get transcribed to a bookkeeping app anyway.
     
  18. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Kinda like JR, this and a notebook. I'm an old **** so it has a space for a small thumbnail sketch. One of the most used pieces of info on it is the artwork file saved as section, lol.
     

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