An order form is an agreement, a legally binding document that lists down products and/or services required to be bought, sold, delivered, and received as per the agreed terms and conditions. It is important to have a well-structured order form because it makes the sales process faster and convenient by removing ambiguity and setting clear expectations.
What is an order form and how it improves business efficiency?
Order form can either be issued by the seller to the buyer or vice versa. Buyers send the order form listing their requirements whereas sellers send the order form listing the details of the requested order. An order form comes into existence mostly when products/services are being bought or sold in higher amounts. This gives the seller an idea of its inventory and also helps the finance department in invoice generation.
Drafting lengthy order forms can be time consuming for the sellers. To avoid this they can start using a document management system that comes with order form templates to easily work on.
This will help them become more efficient at their work.
- It smoothens the procurement process: The procurement process has multiple steps like product identification, financial audits, delivery and record keeping. Order forms with all the information enable the suppliers to present accurate data in a go. This eliminates confusion making the process faster
- Establishes clear communication within the organization: Order forms let all the employees involved in the sales process to receive order related information. They can review, cross check and keep a track of all the orders at their ends. With multiple eyes reviewing the same order, minor mistakes can be eliminated. This constant communication within the organization will lessen the friction in the sales process
- Fosters clear communication with the clients: Sales order forms are the very first point of communication between the buyer and the seller. It helps the buyers go through their final order before closing the deal. Once the buyer is satisfied with the information he/she can sign the form which will seal the order
- Helps gain customer’s trust: Sales order forms act as a written assurance of the ordered products/services. The buyer feels confident about the delivery as the order form contains the seller’s signatures as proof. This develops trust in the buyer’s mind and they promote your company further
What are the components of an order form?
An order form is a primary document in the sales process. It contains the necessary information required for a business transaction to be successful. The format of the order form may vary from one business to another, however, certain fields are constant and always included –
- Parties to the agreement are defined. This includes the details of the customer and your company.
- Customer details like the billing, shipping address and point of contact.
- List of products and/or services that are to be delivered or sold to the customer.
- A clearly laid out pricing plan with descriptions and quantity of products that are to be delivered as per the agreement.
- The total deal value agreed upon with accepted applied discounts and tax information.
- Standard terms and conditions that govern the overall document – This usually includes the payment guidelines, instructions about shipping and billing details.
Finally, the endnote which is the signatory acting as a proof for both the parties mutually accepting the agreement.
Knowing and standardizing content helps to formalize the sales order and lets businesses maintain sales processes in an organized way. Order forms also give an overview of the terms and transactions involved in the process.
The types of order forms: SO (Sales Order) & PO (Purchase Order)
SO and PO is two of the most frequently used order forms by businesses today. But still, there is an air of ambiguity around it as their names are used interchangeably, several times without understanding what the document contains and means. Here are some striking differences between PO and SO –
PO is a commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller.
SO is a confirmation document prepared and shared by a seller to the customer.
|PO lists the type, quantity, price, and quality of the the product or service along with terms defining how the product or service is to be delivered.||SO provides the customer with information about the delivery of goods or services at the customer’s place.|
|When a PO is accepted, it confirms the buyer’s intent of purchase and their expectation on delivery.||When a SO is accepted, that means it approves the sale and how the customer will be served.|
The type of order form that can be used depends on the kind of business that you are involved in.
Making it fast and efficient!
Carol Jones, 26 is a sales executive in a small e-commerce firm. She is responsible for drafting sales order forms and keeping track of them to maintain an efficient supply chain. Carol has to draft multiple orders which are all of different styles. She also has to submit reports of the same to her sales manager at the end of each day.
Her job demands her to be extra careful so there are no problems down the road. She has to look into everything until the final delivery and payment of the goods and/or services is received.
Carol puts in great efforts to draft sales order forms that have complete information. She performs numerous checks to ensure the delivery of quality products to the customers. She knows that even minor communication gaps within the organization or with the buyer can result in loss of clients and will leave a negative impact on the buyer.
What are the steps involved in the Sales Order process?
The creation and approval of a sales order form is a long process. Carol has to go through a lot of steps before the final delivery –
- Drafting the sales order from scratch
- Customizing it for the client and adding specific details for each one of them
- Integrating the spreadsheets or tables within the order form. This step is crucial to update the quantity or price of the product or service at any given stage
- Once the form is complete, sending it to higher authorities at various levels for their knowledge as well as approval
- Getting the signatures of the concerned employees on the order form to send it further to the clients for their signature
- Once the order form gets signed by all the stakeholders, sending it to the finance department for fulfillment of the payment
- The final step is storing the forms at a safe place to relocate them later
The process is highly inefficient as it requires a lot of paperwork and unnecessary steps. This lengthy mechanism slows down the sales process. This chaotic way of handling sales order is worrying Carol a lot. Clients are not satisfied with the speed and the long process delays the payment.
What are the challenges in drafting and managing an order form?
Carol has to look into multiple aspects while drafting order forms. She does this because she wants her organization to be accountable in all situations.
- Maintaining accuracy: Carol drafts multiple orders in a day. She also needs to input minute details like quantity, type, color, address, price etc. from several spreadsheets. She faces difficulty in cross checking numerous details present in different forms
- The liability terms & conditions: Carol has very little idea about the legal terms and conditions. She has to take external help to draft all the sales orders. She wants the terms and conditions mentioned in the order form to be legally correct so as to avoid disputes between the buyer and the seller. This consumes a lot of time and makes Carol slow at her job
- Sending for approval to higher authorities: She needs to send the form to higher authorities for reviewing. Following up for the approvals and rejections at each level gets quite difficult for Carol
- Multiple checks and signatures from vendors and clients: She sends the form to her seniors as well as the buyers to collect their signatures. They take printouts, scan the form ,sign and send them back to Carol. This takes a lot of time and holds up the process
Revv – the right tool!
Ms. Jones gave the hefty process a backseat the day she came across Revv the all-in-one document management system. Using Revv she can draft multiple sales orders using legally vetted templates, she can link lengthy Google sheets, can get them reviewed and send them further for e-signatures too.
Her new Revv ways involve-
- Choosing a template for her sales order from Revv’s repository
- Editing it as per the client’s order using the easy-to-use building blocks
- Using the Google sheet integration with the order form to update the change in price or quantity of the order components
- Sending the final order form to other employees for review. The employees then give their comment in the same document using notes feature on Revv
- Sending across the reviewed form for e-signatures via automated mails
- Tracking the activities of all the stakeholders using the Activity tab in the Revv document. Carol can track who has opened, signed, approved or rejected the order form by opening the same document
- Storing all the order forms in a secure centralized repository
Carol is glad that she discovered Revv. Her days have become more productive using the features of Revv.
Summing it up!
Breeze through all your document hassles with Revv. With a document management system you will focus more on the quality and content of your documents and not on how to create and manage them. Get access to a wide range of business templates here.