Wow, what a week!
We've been doing a lot of quotes using our new quote system, and improving it a little as we go.
The most important thing to know about any systems you implement, now matter how simple, it will never be perfect right from the start. In fact it may NEVER be perfect, but then that's not the point!
By accepting that your system is always a work in progress, you can look for little tweaks along the way to make life easier and make your business more efficient.
For example, as our quotes increased in number, I needed a way to help with following up on quotes. Now I can simply click on a button to show the list of open quotes, and as I call each one to follow up I can click a button if they either accept or reject the quote, or I can click one of a few extend buttons which will then relegate the quote down for one or more days, allowing me to follow up on it later.
But back to the topic of the week. We're a fairly small printing business, so we can't print everything ourselves. When we get really big jobs (and we seem to be getting quite a few of these), we usually have to outsource them to some large trade printers. They have huge machines that take up the size of a few tennis courts, sometimes more.
Quoting on jobs like this can be complex and often very time consuming. Each part of the project may involve getting prices from a range of other suppliers, so we built a system that would allow us to set the specifications for the project once, and then let the system automatically generate quote requests to the relevant suppliers via email. As we get quotes from the suppliers we can simply plug in the amounts and the system allows us to choose the best (not always the cheapest) supplier.
Not only do we get back to our clients quicker, the suppliers love it because they get requests in a consistent easy to manage format.
I love it :)