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What Classifies a Purchase Order?
Thread poster: Fan Gao

Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 05:56
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Apr 29, 2006

Hi,

We're looking for a bit of advice concerning purchase orders.

Is an email that specifies all of the relevant requests equivalent to a "Purchase Order" or should we be looking for a specific formatted form titled "Purchase Order" that contains all of the relevant requests?

To date we've been happy receiving emails with all of the details included and we haven't encountered any problems so far but after reading alot of problem cases that others have experienced we are wondering if we should start getting strict about asking for a specific formatted "Purchase Order"

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Mark and Fan


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Where is the problem? Apr 29, 2006

Chinese Concept wrote:

Is an email that specifies all of the relevant requests equivalent to a "Purchase Order" or should we be looking for a specific formatted form titled "Purchase Order" that contains all of the relevant requests?

To date we've been happy receiving emails with all of the details included and we haven't encountered any problems so far but after reading alot of problem cases that others have experienced we are wondering if we should start getting strict about asking for a specific formatted "Purchase Order"



What is your definition of a specific formatted form? From my point of view it would only lead to even more red tape and it would be too much for some client. Maybe they want to discuss some points with you before submitting the order and a lot of time will be just wasted.

As long as your clients order their translations with a simple mail which contains all the relevant data, equivalent to a Purchase Order, what's the reason for introducing a special form for this.

Of course, any order needs to have some basic data like name and address of the company, invoicing address, contact person, language pair, price, deadline etc - but as long as you always ensure that any order contains this data, I don't see any reason for you to refuse taking on the job.

Erik

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[Bearbeitet um 2006-04-29 19:37]


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 05:56
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No Problem Apr 29, 2006

Hi Erik,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Maybe you misunderstood but we weren't reporting a problem but just asking a general question about what translators request from clients before they go ahead on a project.

We have taken on projects from clients who have just sent emails with the details of their request but have also noticed that some clients send a seperate MS Word or Excel attachment labeled as a "Purchase Order"

We have read recently that translators should specifically ask for a "Purchase Order" and wondered where the difference was?

Thanks,

Mark and Fan


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xxxtarpo
English to Dutch
This is a good question Apr 29, 2006

In some countries the purchase orders, as all other information issued by a company (letters, price lists, contracts, etc.) have to mention the name, the full address and the registration number of the company, the date, the name of the other party, the number of units purchased and the unit price, the total amount of the services purchased, VAT, and so on. If not, the PO is not legally valid.
If an e-mail contains this information, it can be considered as a purchase order, even if it is not mentioning the words "purchase order" (this can be something like: "we would like you to translate..."). The format is not important.

In other countries, there is no need for official numbers and full addresses, a simple letter or e-mail will be enough.

Note that a purchase order can be given orally, for instance if you buy something in a shop. In the translation world the problem will be that you will have no proof if things are going wrong.


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xxxtarpo
English to Dutch
Of course not Apr 29, 2006

We have read recently that translators should specifically ask for a "Purchase Order" and wondered where the difference was?

If you know your client very well, you can take the risk. But in the beginning, and for new clients, always ask for a purchase order to make things clear. If the client doesn't want to give you one, you quote a price (as an invoice, but you replace the word "invoice" by "estimation") and you ask your client to sign it and to sent it back by fax. Before translation, of course.


[Edited at 2006-04-30 20:47]


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
No special form needed Apr 29, 2006

Some of the POs I receive from clients are neatly formatted PDF files, others are just a few lines in an e-mail.

I agree with Eric - a special form is not necessary. What matters is that the PO consists of a unique set of characters/numbers, and relates to the work you are to do for the customer.

So it is always worth asking for a PO, and it inspires confidence if a customer does so.


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 05:56
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Apr 30, 2006

Hi and thank you for all of your replies. Very helpful and much appreciated.

Mark and Fan


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