Poll: When do you typically receive the purchase order from your client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:10
SITE STAFF
Dec 3, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When do you typically receive the purchase order from your client?".

This poll was originally submitted by Romeo Baldovino. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Dec 3, 2015

Out of my half a dozen or so regular clients, only one (an agency) sends me a formal PO. It's part of their in-house procedures, which I perceive as unnecessary time-consuming bumph.

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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:10
English to Russian
+ ...
neilmac +500! Dec 3, 2015

neilmac +500!

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
When the project is confirmed Dec 3, 2015

I rarely start on a job without a PO. Some of my clients use portals, and then, of course, I consider posting it on the portal equivalent to a purchase order.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
The old-fashioned way is the best way Dec 3, 2015

Customer: Can you translate this?
Me: Yes


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:10
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Upon agreement Dec 3, 2015

I need the purchase order as soon as the project is confirmed.
This is for my own procedures and not so much for security.

Some clients send the PO after the job is done which I find disrespectful, and I tell them off every time.


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 03:10
French to English
+ ...
By definition Dec 3, 2015

The project isn't confirmed until I get some sort of PO. This can be a formal document or (for some long-standing and trusted customers) a simple e-mail (as long as it unambiguously says "start").

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
When the project is confirmed! Dec 3, 2015

Typically, I receive a PO when the project is confirmed. For new clients, I will not start translating without some sort of a PO, but for most of my regular clients, I start working on the project as soon as I have a go-ahead (with or without a PO). I've been doing business with them for so long that we know each other well enough and a formal PO isn't required: good old-fashioned trust is all we need. Out of my twelve or so regular clients, 5 agencies send automatically a PO, others only send a job reference number. Only one of my direct clients sends a formal PO.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:10
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It varies Dec 3, 2015

Several of my clients send variations on the 'can you do this by xxxday?' theme.

We may negotiate about this and that, then they send a job number.

This may be before I start, but as long as it is before I send the invoice, I don't worry.
The binding agreement is in the mail where we reach an agreement.

I don't always get an attachment entitled Purchase Order or the equivalent.

Some clients need specific details for their administration, and if it s reasonably streamlined, I go along with it. If it is a lot of hassle, I say so and do not accept any more jobs from that client.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 20:10
German to English
+ ...
What constitutes a purchase order? Dec 3, 2015

I will not start a project until both parties have agreed on everything, and that has to be in writing. But it can be (and often is) a simple e-mail or set of e-mails setting out all the parameters. And that e-mail isn't always generated by the purchaser. In regards to formal purchase orders, I think that I received a handful of them in 25 years.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Job number? Whazzat? Dec 3, 2015

Christine Andersen wrote:

Several of my clients send variations on the 'can you do this by xxxday?' theme.

We may negotiate about this and that, then they send a job number.

This may be before I start, but as long as it is before I send the invoice, I don't worry.
The binding agreement is in the mail where we reach an agreement.

I don't always get an attachment entitled Purchase Order or the equivalent.

Some clients need specific details for their administration, and if it s reasonably streamlined, I go along with it. If it is a lot of hassle, I say so and do not accept any more jobs from that client.


As you and Muriel have indicated, some clients send a PO or a job number. Or, as Chris noted, use an informal but written go-ahead.

One of my reliable and longtime clients does not (I repeat, does not) use job numbers or any kind of nomenclature or order for its jobs. As a local hospital is one of its main clients, they usually send me a Word file named with the form number therein. I have to use an ad hoc process (nothing major, just tacking the date or a distinct word) to keep several of their jobs apart.


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:10
Dutch to English
+ ...
When the project is confirmed ... Dec 3, 2015

Like others said, only some of my clients send formal POs.
Other jobs are just confirmed by email and I bill with project date/file name/ word count, etc if there is no PO No/Job No.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:10
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Are you kidding? Dec 3, 2015

The purchase order has to be issued upon approval. You don't start a job before it's issued! If you are receiving POs after the job is delivered, what exactly is the use of the PO? You will never see a vendor even begin production before the client's PO is issued!

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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Once the project is confirmed Dec 3, 2015

I use an online accounting/project management program. I send an estimate to the client with all the details of the project, price, delivery dates, etc. The client then confirms the project and I start working. They get a purchase order and invoice, and I start working.

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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:10
German to English
Mario + neilmac & Co. Dec 4, 2015

Like Mario, I would never start a project without a purchase order.

However, I don't see why a one-line or one word ("Perfect!" or "Great!" are always nice) e-mail reply that has my offer at the bottom of it doesn't constitute a purchase order.

My offer may be close to 10 lines, if it is a new client, because there is a two-line blurb about my qualifications and some other details. With repeat clients there is rarely anything but the rate or price and the date of delivery or often just the date of delivery, because the rate is already clear.

I have never run into trouble with this. (A contract is a contract, how are they going to claim they did not ask me to perform a service for them for payment?)
The one time that I did run into trouble was when a third party commissioned a translation from me on behalf of someone else (an artist that I had worked with several times commissioned a translation in the name of a magazine publisher, who was and is a shady character and never paid me).
The moral of the story: The right person has to send me an e-mail stating "Great!", that is, I need a PO from the actual purchaser.

[Edited at 2015-12-04 10:34 GMT]


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Poll: When do you typically receive the purchase order from your client?

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