Tip of the month by Chris Cochrane
RFQ and other TLAs

The world is full of TLAs.  The Stock exchange report is riddled with them from ABA to ZIN.  In the computer industry they are rife and in the printing industry becoming more so.  Often the problem with TLAs is that people don’t understand them.   Recently I read an advice column in the NZ Herald, referring to GST as General Sales Tax, but we all know, because Rodger Douglas told us, that GST means Goods and Service Tax.  TLAs are great for saving space but it is important you know what they mean.  JDF is the catch TLA in the printing industry today.  JDF is Job Definition Format

What is a TLA?  A TLA is itself a TLA or Three Letter Abbreviation (nothing magical at all). 

RFQ is the TLA I want to write about today.  RFQ is Request For Quote.

Printcost’s RFQ is a system that allows your customers to fill in an electronic form giving you the job specification and requesting you to provide a quote.  This was Printcost’s first foray into on-line interaction.  It has been extended now to include a complete on-line product status, job status, delivery status and ordering package which we refer to as Printcost Internet Publishing or PIP, one more TLA.

RFQ starts with you creating a form for your customer to use.  This form is specific to each customer and is created from a template with quite literally one click of the mouse.  The form is then sent (automatically if you wish) to the customer to save on their desktop.  When they access the form they can fill in job specifications and email these directly to your computer system where PIP turns them into “quote shells” for your estimator to complete the estimate and return a quote.

RFQ can also be a kind of Claytons on-line service.  You do not require a web site to run it and your customers do not require web access to operate it.  All the communication between you and your customer is done by email.  For RFQ this has very few (I can’t see any) drawbacks and several advantages.  The main advantages are that it makes the process simple, the customer does not need to access the www (whoops another TLA for world wide web) and you do not need to have a web site, or change it if you have one.

For PIP there is a drawback and that is there can be a small delay between a customer placing an order and them receiving confirmation.  We are working on an option to overcome even this. If you want to purchase or lease the RFQ, or action it if you have already purchased it, please contact Printcost.

If you want to comment or suggest a topic for ‘tip of the month’, contact Chris on email cc@printcost.com


“We first installed Printcost in 1995 when the company had 35 staff, since then various modules have been added to keep up with the increasing requirements
of the company, which now has 100-plus staff. One of the biggest benefits I get from Printcost is the KPI reports. It used to take
us one hour per day to compile the spreadsheet, but now ePrintcost does it all automatically and sends it to me wherever I am in the world."

Fred Soar, Soar Printing, Auckland, New Zealand