Quoting is the process of giving a final cost to a customer before they commit to a purchase. You may of heard the term 'pro-format invoice', understanding how it works provides a real benefit to your customers.
Businesses rely on creating accurate quotes for their current or potential customers, and then they need to turn those quotes into billable invoices once the quote is confirmed. Too often this process involves creating a quote in email or another document that cannot be easily tracked or turned into a billable invoice. Not only is this method very inefficient, it is also error prone, which can cost businesses both time and money. We're going to discuss the importance of having a solid method to generate quotes, why it's important to efficiently turn your quotes into billable invoices, and how an inventory management system can help business owners achieve these goals.
A quote given to a potential customer or client will become a binding contract once accepted. Unfortunately, many small business owners neglect developing a solid quoting methodology. By not having a standardized way to generate quotes you run the risk of inaccuracy and inconsistency in the quotes you produce.
Inaccurate quotes often end up undercharging the customer, thus losing you money. Inconsistent quotes - charging different customers different prices for the same (or very similar) services/products - make your business look unprofessional. Inconsistent quotes are almost always inaccurate quotes as well since there are no safeguards in place to assure accuracy, and this cost you and your business money.
If you're relying on spreadsheets, word processors, and email to generate and track your quotes you will, inevitably, issue both inaccurate and inconsistent quotes. It's very difficult to manually create quotes that do not directly (and automatically) link back to your inventory and pricing systems to maintain accuracy and consistency.
An inventory system, like iMagic Inventory Software, that has the ability to track inventory/unit price and can generate quotes, can assure you that you are quoting accurately for your customers. Since iMagic can also track previous quotes and invoices you can easily reference them and be sure of quoting consistently and maintaining a professional image to your customers.
Once a quote is accepted by a customer or client it needs to be turned into a billable invoice that will be used to collect the payment for the items purchased and/or services rendered. The accepted quote has become, in most cases, a binding agreement between you and your customer. You agree to supply the items and/or services as specified, and your customer agrees to pay for those items and/or services the total amount shown on the quote.
Even if you generate accurate and consistent quotes for your customers, by adding a manual interaction into the process of generating your invoice from your quote you, once again, introduce the possibility of inaccuracy and inconsistency. As the complexity of the quote, and thus the complexity of the invoice, grows the chance to make errors by manually converting quotes into invoices grows exponentially.
This is where an inventory control system can help. Not only can iMagic help you create accurate, reliable, and consistent quotes for your customers, it can quickly turn those quotes into billable invoices once the customer accepts the quote. By making a system like iMagic an integral part of your quoting and invoicing system you are assured of accurate and consistent quotes and correct invoices.
Why not download a free trial version of iMagic Inventory Software right now and see how it can help you achieve a solid and reliable quoting system.