Towards the end of September I blogged about my ideal purchase order and asked readers for your opinion. I was worried that the form might ask clients to fill in too much information. And most of your comments reinforced that view. You agreed that many would baulk at the idea of providing so many details, even though doing so could save a lot of hassle and misunderstandings later on.
Busy direct clients with little understanding of the translation process are probably better served with a phone call or a few back-and-forth emails to make sure everything is clear. This type of exchange also helps to build a relationship that could lead to future projects. Agency clients, on the other hand, although they are more used to filling in forms, might not know the answers to all the questions and feel reluctant about bothering their end client with them. They also have their own processes in place and wouldn’t appreciate pandering to one of their service providers.
It would seem, therefore, that my ideal purchase order was indeed a pipe dream and not something I’m going to be able to implement as is. That’s why the new form, which also includes some new items based on your feedback, is now called a purchase order checklist. One possible way of using it would be to tailor it to each specific case and delete unnecessary lines so that the client only sees what is actually relevant to them. While some clients might not mind completing it, for others it would be better if we used it for our own information purposes only to make sure we haven’t forgotten to ask anything that is vital for successful completion of the job.
Regardless of how you wish to approach this issue, if you’d like me to send you a copy of this purchase order in Word, please get in touch via email (address in the column on the right).
|PURCHASE ORDER CHECKLIST|
|Service Provider (name and address)|
|VAT no. (if applicable)|
|Client (name and address)|
|Client’s VAT no. (if applicable)|
|Version of English required (UK, US)|
|Purpose/target audience of the text|
|Is the text for publication?
If yes, will it be published on a website or print?
|Is a separate revision service required (i.e. two pairs of eyes)?|
|Is a separate editing service required (i.e. three pairs of eyes)?|
|Are any glossaries available?|
|Are any other background/reference materials available?|
|No. of words/pages|
|Source file format|
|Software required (if any)|
|Is a translation memory (TM) available?|
|Has machine translation (MT) been used?|
|Does the text contain acronyms/abbreviations?
If yes, please provide list explaining what they stand for.
|Does the text contain any graphics/scans?
If yes, do they need to be translated?
If yes, should translation be inserted in document or a separate file?
|Any further details/information/requirements/preferences|
|Rate per word/page/hour|
|The project price includes one round of revisions.
Subsequent revisions will be charged by hour/word as agreed.
|Payment method||Bank transfer, costs paid|
|Payment due 30 days after invoice date|
|Terms and conditions|
|All your texts and correspondence will be treated in strict confidence|