Operational Procedure Training Resource

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As a distributor and supplier of hygienic pumps and process systems we trade with a range of manufacturers, suppliers, couriers and customers when buying, selling and delivering goods and materials. The following guidance provides a detailed explanation of the necessary steps and procedures involved in all aspects of these interactions.

Receive the enquiry

Typically, we will receive enquiries via email, telephone or directly from a customer meeting and it is important to correctly identify the customer’s expectations. Aim to get enough information from the customer to enable you to get the quotation right first time. Consider the following to help with this:

  • Is it a repeat of an existing item?
  • Is it spares for an existing pump?
  • Is it a new requirement? – Identify the needs or problem.
  • How quickly do they need quotation?
  • How quickly do they need delivery?
  • Do they have the pump serial number or part numbers if applicable?
  • Is there an order to place?
  • Is there a budget in mind?
  • Is the brand / manufacturer important?
  • Any other criteria to be considered?
  • Find out what’s important to win the sale.
  • Ensure you provide a prompt acknowledgement & response with regular updates.

Plan your response

Identify suppliers needed – are they an existing supplier, do you need to contact a new supplier, do you need to shop around, do you need to offer more than one option of supplier? Source all the commercial information needed and think about:

  • Any other criteria to be considered.
  • List Prices.
  • Resale discounts.
  • Net prices.
  • Reselling profit margins.
  • Availability / lead time – if we do not have stock.
  • Import, packing and shipping costs to deliver to BestPump or direct to customer.
  • Packing & shipping costs from BestPump or supplier to customer’s address.
  • Foreign currency involved – use conversion calculator.
  • Consider competition and differentiate – be better.

For some manufacturers / suppliers we have pricelists, stock and information here to quote without the need to contact anyone. However, in most cases we need to contact suppliers directly for some or all the above information.

Prepare quotation

When preparing a quotation for the customer, it is important you have all the information needed at hand and some or all the factors below will need to be considered in this process.

  • Packing & shipping costs from manufacturer / supplier to BestPump.
  • Packing & shipping costs from BestPump to customer.
  • Hidden import costs to be accounted for.
  • Currency conversion from overseas suppliers to GBP – consider ‘safe’ exchange rates, typically a minimum of 5 cents in our favour from the live rate.
  • Political, national or world issues can cause exchange rates to fluctuate so we need to protect from sudden changes to exchange rates by monitoring the world market.
  • Selling prices – currency conversion from BestPump selling price to customer buying currency, remember to use ‘safe rates’.
  • Deduct or offer resale discount from list price if available?
  • Do we need to offer discount to the customer or are they likely to order at full list price?
  • If prices offered in net terms, what resell margin do you add?
  • Quote to win the order but also to maximise profits.
  • Discern the customer’s profile – are they shopping around, are they an end user, are they another distributor looking for some discount?
  • Consider other or multiple manufacturers / suppliers.
  • Consider what the competition will be offering.
  • What will differentiate our offer from others?
  • Add value to the quote – should you offer servicing, additional complementary items, training, installation etc, etc.?
  • Document everything electronically so that another member of staff can pick up the job at any time with minimal explanation.

Handling enquiry / quotation

Always aim to respond with urgency! Ideally, we want a minimum time to elapse between enquiry and quotation being delivered and always keep the customer informed as below:

  • Provide a prompt acknowledgment of receipt of enquiry, usually by email or phone.
  • Give customer regular progress updates if necessary.
  • Provide a prompt delivery of quotation to customer, a quicker delivery = higher success rate.
  • Confirm safe receipt of quote and get early feedback if possible.
  • Follow-up on the enquiry, is there anything we need to do to win the business?

Customer order processing

It’s always a good feeling when you receive an order and it’s important that we respond to it promptly to ensure it’s delivered as quickly as possible. When we receive a Purchase Order (PO) from a customer, these are the typical steps taken to process the order:

  • Receive the official PO usually by email or telephone.
  • In urgent cases and for known customers, we can take an ‘unofficial’ PO but it needs to be followed up with an official PO as soon as possible.
  • If this is a new customer a Proforma Invoice should be issued and payment received before proceeding further.
  • If an existing customer with an account in place continue with process.
  • If not already in place, make an e-folder as follows:
    • Access ‘Jobs’ tab on BestPump Intranet.
    • Navigate to ‘Orders in Progress’ folder.
    • Create a new job e-folder.
    • Name it with quote number first, followed by customer name and brief description of the order as shown in the example below.

‘QU1872 – Food Production Co Ltd – CP30 Parts’

  • Copy all relevant documents, files and e-mail conversations between customer and suppliers to the e-folder.
  • Add order details to the ‘Order Book’ tab on the yearly sales spread sheet.

Placing the order

When we receive the customer PO and before placing the order, we should consider a few aspects. Do we have preferred suppliers, could we get further discount, could we reduce lead times, can we deliver direct to customer, do we need to arrange delivery to BestPump first, are there any import costs we need to be aware of and if time allows can we shop around to maximise profit?

The purchase order process should then occur as follows:

  • Once the best supplier is identified, we need to issue a BestPump PO. 
  • The PO should be created by copying from the original quote, this will ensure you begin a traceable history of the job.

  • Use the ‘Delivery Date’ option to note the expected delivery date of the goods – this will help accounts department to monitor supplier invoice processes.
  • Save the PO as ‘Awaiting Approval’.
  • Once the PO is completed save a copy and email the PO to the supplier.
  • Request an order acknowledgment and scheduled delivery date then update customer.
  • If delivery date is not available straight away, advise customer and reassure this will be provided when available.
  • Copy / update all relevant documents, files and e-mail conversations between customer and suppliers to the e-folder.
  • If necessary, update order details in the ‘Order Book’ tab on the yearly sales spread sheet.

Receiving the order

When we receive delivery of the order we must always act promptly and try to arrange delivery to customer as quickly as possible. Firstly, we need to complete the following steps before we can arrange the delivery.

  • Upon receipt of the goods, inspect and ensure the correct items and quantities have been received and match our PO.
  • Ensure the items received and to be delivered match with the customer’s PO.
  • Be aware a delivery may contain multiple orders or stock items so always double check all goods received and separate as required.
  • If there are any discrepancies, you should investigate and resolve.
  • Remove supplier labelling and replace with BestPump labelling as necessary.
  • Package the order suitably.
  • The actual delivery date should now replace the expected delivery date on the PO.
  • The PO should then be marked as ‘Approved’ and accounts department will now know to expect an invoice.
  • Scan & copy all relevant documents to the e-folder e.g., delivery notes & shipping docs.

Arranging delivery

There are several options for delivery available to us and these are detailed later. When arranging any type of delivery, the following steps are typical.

  • A packing slip will be required for the delivery – this can be generated manually using the available BestPump template document or electronically when creating the invoice which is covered later.
  • Ensure the customer’s PO number is included on the packing slip – very important.
  • Save the packing slip as a PDF and print a copy to be attached to the delivery.
  • From the quote, copy to a purchase order for the delivery and enter customer, courier and BestPump reference details.
  • In the absence of a quote, use the first document created for the job – all other subsequent documents should be copied from this first document.
  • This PO number will be required as a reference when booking the delivery.
  • Arrange suitable courier collection and save shipping documents as PDF.
  • Attach copy of the shipping documents to the delivery along with packing slip.
  • If drop-shipping, you will need to send the shipping documents and the packing slip to the supplier to use for the direct delivery.
  • Add copies of all generated shipping documents and e-mails to the job e-folder.

Freight and shipping

BestPump can be responsible for arranging deliveries to and from our customers and suppliers. This can range from small parcels to large pallets and crates and as such we have developed relationships with various freight and shipping companies to manage this.

The information below details the companies and the different types of services they offer along with the online portal and contact details needed to gain access to the booking platforms.

Domestic – from & to UK addresses

International – from & to non-UK addresses

  • Small International shipments can be arranged by using the above portal options – it’s best to try out and compare a few options to select the most suitable.
  • For larger shipments – call or e-mail InXpress, Europa or any other suitable courier and provide all required information e.g., collection & delivery addresses, contact details, weights & dimensions etc.
  • For out of the ordinary shipments or destinations – refer to other alternative freight companies such as Europa, Speedy Freight, Kerry Logistics, Far Logistics & Vanguard etc. Speak to colleagues for further details & suitable recommendations.

Online portals


Creating an invoice

An invoice should be created when the delivery to customer has been arranged and the following process should be followed.

  • From the quote, click ‘Convert to Invoice’ remembering to enter the customer’s PO number in the reference section on the invoice – very important.
  • In the absence of a quote, use the first document created for the job and select ‘copy to invoice’ from the options and continue as below.
  • Save the invoice as ‘Awaiting Approval’ and accounts department will now know it is ready to be sent off for payment.
  • Save a copy of invoice and add it to the job e-folder along with any other documents.
  • You should now rename the job e-folder by adding the invoice number to the beginning as shown below.
  • The job e-folder should then be moved to the ‘Invoiced’ folder in the intranet ‘Jobs’ tab.

‘19355 QU1872 – Food Production Co Ltd – CP30 Parts’

In some cases, we may have arranged a direct delivery from the supplier to the customer. In this case a delivery notification or proof of delivery (POD) must be gained from the supplier first before following the necessary steps above.

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