Estimate for refitting 'Superbuys' Wembley High Street Branch
Our foreman visited the above premises on Thursday and reported back to our costing department who have now worked out the following estimate for fixtures and fittings which includes materials and labour.
Fitting 200m of 'Contact' Shelving in main shop and store room.
Erecting 15 steel stands plus shelves 23m x 6m @ £52.00 each.
Laying 3,320 sq.m. 'Durafloor' flooring @ £9.00 per sq.m.
Fitting 3 window frames plus glass 13m x l0m @ £79.00 each.
Rewiring; fixing power points, boxes, etc. 36
'Everglow' light fittings @ £12.00 each.
plus VAT @ 17.5%
We are sure you will agree that this is a very competitive estimate especially when you consider that the materials we use are of the best quality and backed by a one-year guarantee against normal wear and tear. We can also promise that the job will be completed before the end of February provided that no unforeseeable circumstances arise.
If you have any further questions, please contact Mr T, Mills on 081 903 2323 ext. 21, who, as senior supervisor, will be able to give you any advice or information you require. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
1 Where is the brief subject matter of this letter?
2 Which department estimates this amount for the job?
3 Why does Mr Lane consider this a competitive offer?
4 What provision is mentioned if the job is to be completed in February?
5 What does the sign @ mean?
6 Is the figure £31,749 a net or gross total?
7 What is the position of Mr Mills?
8 What does the expression normal wear and tear mean, and why is it mentioned?
9 Which words in the letter correspond to the following: place of work; calculated; assessment; supported; problems not anticipated?
Points to remember
1 The reply to an enquiry does not only tell your customer whether you can provide the goods or services he has asked about, but also indicates what sort of firm you are; whether you are aware, conscientious, and efficient.
2 Avoid opening with expressions like 'We are in receipt of your enquiry' or 'With reference to your enquiry' or 'In reply to your enquiry'. These openings tend to sound rather cold.
3 Avoid phrases like 'We are taking the liberty of sending you ...' or 'We hasten to reply to your esteemed enquiry of the 10th inst.;' you will sound like a firm that should have gone out of business a century ago.
4 If you use expressions like 'It was with the utmost pleasure that we received ...' or 'We deeply regret that we cannot supply you with ...', you will appear at best desperate or, worse, insincere. A straightforward Thank you for...' or 'I would like to thank you for...' or 'I am sorry that ...' is enough.
5 Make sure that you do not leave out information, and have supplied the printed matter that you think will help your customer.
6 Assure your customer that you have faith in your product, which means that you have to 'sell' It.
7 A reply to an initial enquiry is the first impression your customer will have of you, and that will be how he judges you. So a direct approach, telling the customer what the product is, why he should buy it, how much it will cost, and what concessions you are offering, will create an impression of an efficient company that can handle his order smoothly.
8 After you have written your reply, check it to make sure that you have answered all the customer's questions, and included all the points you wanted to make. Ask yourself if the letter flows, or seems short and sharp; if it sounds helpful, or just informs the customer. The best test of all, of course, is to ask yourself if you would order something from a firm that has sent you the letter you have written.
Words to remember
prices inclusive of delivery charges
to quote a firm price
to hold a price for 21 days (firm 21 days)
VAT (Value Added Tax)
goods exempt from VAT
to quote terms
letter of credit
bill of exchange
cash against documents
documents against payment
documents against acceptance
ex-works/ex-factory f.o.r. (free on rail)
f.a.s. (free alongside ship)
f.o.b. (free on board)
ñ. & f. (cost and freight)
c.i.f. (cost, insurance, and freight)
to handle an order
to supply from stock
to quote a delivery date
to meet a delivery date
to deliver a consignment
a delivery note
Placing an order (covering letters, confirming payment, discounts, delivery-dates, methods of delivery, packing); acknowledging an order; advice of despatch;
delays in delivery; re fusing an order (out of stock, bad reputation, unfavourable terms, size of order).
Placing an order
Orders are usually written on a company's official order form (see 5.4.2 for an example), which has a date and a reference number that should be quoted in any correspondence which refers to the order. Even if the order is telephoned, it must be confirmed in writing, and an order form should always be accompanied by either a compliment slip or a covering letter. A covering letter is preferable as it allows you the opportunity to make any necessary points and confirm the terms that have been agreed.
The guide below is for an outline of a covering letter. You may not want to make all the points listed, but look through the guide to see what could be mentioned.
Explain there is an order accompanying the letter.
Please find enclosed our Order No. B4521 for 25 'Clearsound' transistor receivers.
The enclosed order (No. R154) is for 50 reams ofA4 bank paper.
Thank you for your reply of 14 May regarding the cassettes we wrote to you about. Enclosed you will find our official order (No. B561) for...
Your letter of 12 October convinced me to place at least a trial order for the 'Letherine' material you spoke about. Therefore, please find enclosed...