Poll: Do you ask that your clients provide you with a Purchase Order before starting a project?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:58
SITE STAFF
Oct 27, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ask that your clients provide you with a Purchase Order before starting a project?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nicole Maina. View the poll results »



 

Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:58
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
No Oct 27, 2015

Not a formal one, but I never start without a clear go ahead in writing (e-mail) which states delivery date, format and price.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:58
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Oct 27, 2015

A request by e-mail accepting my cost estimate and payment term/method will do.

Sometimes it may be IM text over Skype.

For some frequent clients, a Nike ("Just do it.") phone call will suffice.


I worked with one client for over 20 years without ever learning what his company's PO looks like.

Conversely, I worked once for the translation division of a humongous worldwide business conglomerate. Their PO included sufficient food for thought to cause lively discussion among a legal team. I had trouble with them all the way, and our specific outcome was definitely not included in the array of all possible unfortunate epilogues listed on that PO.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Oct 27, 2015

As far as I'm concerned, the less bumph and red tape involved in almost all aspects of life and work, the better.
However, perhaps I'm just lucky in that all my clients are trustworthy, and our relationships tend to be based on that. I do work with one agency which sends me a purchase order with each job, but apart from that, the only similar thing might be that some clients may ask for an estimate before confirming the translation/revision/correction, although it usually seems to be a formality, probably imposed by their accounting departments, as they very rarely turn down my deadlines and rates etc.

http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/bumph


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:58
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Oct 27, 2015

As I said before (another repeated poll) I've been doing business with some customers for so long that we know each other well enough and good old-fashioned trust is all we need. For new direct clients, I always send a formal quote stating price, delivery date and payment conditions and I will wait for a “green light”. For new agency clients, I've never had to ask for a PO. All the agencies I work with send some sort of PO, be it a formal one or just a reference number…

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:58
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Oct 27, 2015

Generally not as they are sent along automatically.
For newer, or occasional customers, yes.


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:58
Member (2008)
English to Italian
rarely Oct 27, 2015

only to new clients or occasional clients.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:58
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Depends what you mean by a purchase order Oct 27, 2015

Definite instructions to go ahead can take many forms.

I did once sit up half the night translating 2000 words for a good client who had only asked if I was available... but that was many years ago, and I learned to read to the end of the e-mail twice before beginning to translate.

Many of my clients simply end the negotiations by repeating the fee and deadline, and wishing me 'God arbejdslyst', which means something like 'hope it goes smoothly' or 'all power to your elbow'.

With several of them a one-line e-mail is clear enough:

The job's yours, order no. XXXX

Fine - looking forward to delivery as agreed this afternoon

which in fact are binding agreements when we get that far.

Others like a formally set out PO for their own system, but if they are in a hurry, I may start translating before it comes.


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:58
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Oct 27, 2015

and I find it very annoying, when they don't provide a PO (or work order or whatever they may call it) from the beginning, because of my own administrative procedures.

 

564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:58
Danish to English
+ ...
Good grief, no Oct 28, 2015

That would just add unnecessary 'virtual' paperwork, something I loathe.

But like others, I always make sure I have a clear agreement before I start working on a job.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:58
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Either a PO or a clear green light Oct 28, 2015

More than once I've made the mistake of starting on a job only to find out that it was canceled.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:58
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You can't Oct 30, 2015

You can't require a PO from clients that do not work with PO's. In my first jobs, I always request one if the client/agency does not send one, but some of them simply don't use that system. Some people just send you an e-mail saying "please proceed", which added to the previous e-mail, is enough proof of the agreement.

 


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