What is An Order Form?
An order form , also known as a purchase order, is a legal document used by buyers to request products or services from vendors and manufacturers. They are primarily used for business transactions involve high priced products.
Consider this example: you have a warehouse for goods eventually sold in your store. You will have to restock those goods from time to time, so you do not run out of inventory. To do that, you have to fill out an order form to request more products from the manufacturer or your supplier.
Apart from the sales of goods, raw materials, etc., order forms can also be used if you are offering services. If you are an interior designer, events planner or photographer, your clients can fill out an order form regarding certain specifics and options they prefer.
Why Do You Need to Create an Order Form?
In order to understand what order forms are you should learn why you need to make one.
Order forms help many businesses save time, energy and unwanted expenses. Below are a few reasons why getting an order form would be in your best interest.
As a business owner, constructive feedbacks and reviews are some of the yardsticks you can use to measure how well your business is doing. You can get positive feedback from customers by offering them custom-made order forms with specific questions based on the services you offer.
It could be a simple form given to clients who come into your picture framing shop or need to book you for photographs during their wedding. You can use these forms to gather data faster and highlight areas where necessary improvements need to be made.
Making use of order forms helps to save time. Employees can quickly fill the forms, check the required boxes and file in the invoice. It lowers the margin for errors and the risk of inputting wrong information.
Avoiding Duplicate Orders
With a well-organized order form system, you do not only have the advantage of knowing what orders are coming in, but it also helps you avoid making duplicate requests for delivery of a particular item which can save you money.
Order Form vs. Statement of Work
While an order form is a document used to request the purchase of commodities or services from a company, a Statement of Work is a document that specifies all that is required to be carried out in an agreed contract .
Although these documents have different meanings and functions, their uses are often mixed and misinterpreted.
- Difference 1: Order forms are not legally binding, while a Statement of Work can become a service contract when you and the company that provides services to you reached an agreement. When a Statement of Work becomes a service contract, it is considered a legal document.
- Difference 2: Customers fill order forms while the seller or manufacturer produces the Statement of Work. This is because the order form is used to request delivery of merchandise, and the Statement of Work has all the details concerning payment, deliveries, etc.
- Difference 3: Order forms provide a price quote, while Statements of Work validate the quoted price. Typically, a Statement of Work is tied to a bigger contract that typically includes pricing.
- Difference 4: Customer requests for a quote are captured on order forms, and project specifics are recorded on Statements of Work.
- Difference 5: The order form is used to commence the sales process, while Statements of Work are sent out before any work starts.
Here is an article to learn more about order forms.
Types of Order Forms
There are various order form types that you can choose from depending on the nature of your business and the aims and goals you intend to achieve. Types of order forms include:
- Multiple Products, Multiple Choices. This type of order form is used when you have a lot of products to sell. For example, your store sells clothes, shoes but there is also a section for groceries and a beauty salon.
- A Single Product, Single Choice. This option is an excellent choice if you have a single type of item you sell or a particular type of service you provide.
- Single Choice, Renewing Subscription. If you have a service that offers renewed subscription plans, or you prefer the idea of recurring payments for a particular service provided, then this is for you. It could be an online platform that offers educational aid to people or a courier system that delivers packages to homes.
- Donations . You could also set up an order form to ask for donations to a particular cause. Save the planet, create jobs for the unemployed and other non-profit organizations you think people can give to.
Here is an article about the types of order forms.
How to Make an Order Form – Step by Step
Several websites like WordPress, JotForm, Formstack, and Typeform can guide you in creating your order form with customizable options. Whatever platform you choose, the processes in completing your order form can be summarized in four simple steps:
Step One: Pick the Tool That Suits Your Needs.
You will need proper and correct tools for the job, so pick the best one for you. Before you decide, you will need to know the exact tools you are looking for because many order form builders can perform various duties.
Step Two: Specify the Fields to Be Included in Your Order Form
The next step is to determine what data you want to collect and how many fields to put in your order form. Do you want feedback from your customers? And in which areas? When choosing the fields or creating questionnaires, avoid unclear and lengthy inquires.
Step Three: Create A System That Processes Payment for Your Business
This step is key to making payment processing easier. To receive funds, you need to set up a secure payment getaway. What should determine your payment gateway option is your target demography and the areas you choose to supply those services.
Step Four: Create A Page for Order Confirmation
A confirmation page should appear after a successful order has been made. You may also include a “thank you” message on the page, thanking them for buying your product or hiring your service and setting expectations. You can also provide information on changes made, other services you offer, etc.
Here is an article on how to create an order form.
What Should Be Included in an Order Form?
The main objective of an order form is to provide necessary customer information while offering a price that has been agreed upon. No matter the details or requirements present in the order form, it should capture the objectives effectively and efficiently.
What are the key things to consider including in your order form?
- The name of your company (legal name).
- Your company’s current address.
- Customer’s details, including name and email address.
- The shipping address of the customer.
- Purchase order date.
- Sales order number.
- Salesperson’s name.
- Date of shipping.
- Method of shipping.
- Order delivery date.
- Product order number and description.
- Quantity of shipment or shipment volume.
- Pricing disclaimer.
- Terms and conditions of payment
- Costs such as taxes, lines etc.
- Note to customers
As earlier said, all these are key fields that are included in order forms. That does not mean your order form should contain all of the above. It depends on your type of business and what you hope to achieve by creating an order form.
Here is an article about things you should include in an order form.
Get Help with an Order Form
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