What is Order Letter? Letters in this category are very important as they mark practical beginning of business transactions. Much business activity revolves round the preparation of letters dealing with orders for merchandise. The letters which contain a formal request for the supply of goods and services are termed as ‘Order Letters.’ An order letter is commonly addressed to a seller, a manufacturer, or any supplier of goods and services. In fact, an order letter serves the purpose of a ‘Contract of Sale‘ for the buyer and the seller. It is, therefore, imperative that an order letter must contain all necessary details to avoid any unpleasant situation or litigation.
ESSENTIALS OF AN ORDER LETTER
Most business concerns use printed order blanks for placing orders. These order blanks provide space for all essential details like identification of goods, directions for shipment, manner of payment, etc. However, whether the writer uses the order blanks or places an order in the form of a written letter, it must be exact and definite so that the reader faces no difficulty and ambiguity in filling it. The following are the essential requirements of an exact order:
1. Identification of the Goods ordered: The buyer placing the order must clearly identify the goods that he orders by mentioning their specifications, the catalogue numbers, names or trade names, their color, size, design or brand, etc.
2. Quantity of the Goods: Depending upon the nature of goods, the buyer must mention the exact quantity. He should take care that some goods can be mentioned in terms of units, some in terms of weight, and some in terms of measure only.
3. Time and Place of Delivery: The order letter must specify the time limit and the place for delivering the goods. In case no time limit is given by the buyer, and if the goods reach him later than he expected, the buyer shall have no legal right to blame the supplier for late delivery of the goods nor shall he have any right to claim any compensation or adjustment.
4. Mode of Transport: Transportation of goods involves extra expense. It is, therefore, very important that the person who places an order clearly states the desired mode of transport. He should mention if he wants the goods to be sent by road, by rail, by parcel post, by air, or by ship. Mentioning the mode of transport shall entitle the buyer to make his claim if the supplier deviates from the suggested mode of transport.
5. Method of payment: The buyer must also mention the method of payment. He must clearly state if the goods are to be purchased on cash payment, COD, or on credit terms, or if the price of the goods to be charged to the buyer’s account. In case of any advance payment, the number and amount of the cheque or draft be specifically mentioned.
6. Special Instructions; if any: Necessary instructions about the size and mode of packing, insurance coverage, custom pleasant duties, etc. if applicable, should be clearly mentioned by the buyer to avoid any at a later stage.
PRINCIPLES OF WRITING AN ORDER LETTER
To make a good order, the sender should keep in his mind the following points:
Follow Direct Request Plan: An order is a to-the-point message sent to its reader. The sender should follow the Direct Request Plan, and should straight away place the order. He should not unnecessarily fry to excite the reader’s interest by making such pre-order statements as are not relevant to the placing of an order.
Be Methodical: An order letter marks the beginning of a contract between the purchaser and the seller. Any lack on the part of the sender is likely to cause confusion to the reader. To avoid probability of any such confusion the sender should prepare the order methodically. Whether he uses an order blank or places an order through a letter, he must make it definite exact.
Include all Essential Requirements of an Order: The sender of the order must mention all essentials of an order to make it clearly understandable for the reader. He must clearly identify as to which particular goods he wants to purchase. What is their quantity? What is the time, mode and place of delivery? What shall be the method of payment? In other words he should give all relevant details of the order, checking them for Five ‘Ws’ and the ‘H’.
Check for Necessary References; if any: Sometimes it is very important to mention certain references to the previously held exchange of messages, Without mentioning these references, it might become very difficult for the reader to execute the order. The sender should, therefore, take special care to make it sure that the order is complete in all respects and contains full information on the subject.
Take a Final Critical View: It is necessary that before the order is signed and dispatched to the receiver, the sender takes a final critical view of the order It is a usual practice that some people take things for granted and, consequently, face problems afterwards. To place an error-free order is a mandatory requirement of this document. The sender must, therefore, examine and re-examine contents of the order before it is put on its way to the sender.
CONFIRMATION: EXECUTION: REFUSAL LETTERS
An-acknowledgment letter is the response message which thankfully confirms to the sender that his letter/order has been received. It is desirable that a person who has received an order should confirm it Without delay Unless he makes a refusal of the order, it is taken for granted that he has received and has accepted it for its execution. However, if the order can be executed at once, no confirmation is necessary In that case the dispatch invoice of the goods dispatched be sent to the buyer in place of an acknowledgement or confirmation letter. The objective of writing an acknowledgement letter is to confirm receipt and subsequent execution of the orders. This way the sender of the order is not kept waiting and he knows that his order has been received and shall be filled as per his desire.
The writing of an acknowledge letter involves the following points:
Thanking the customer for the order.
Re-stating contents of the order such as nature, quality, quantity of the goods, etc.
Telling the customer when and how the order shall be executed.
Reassuring the customer of all cooperation and services in executing the order.
When a trader receives an order, it is obligatory for him to execute the orders within the time-frame given by the buyer. The letter that is sent to the buyer informing him that his order has been executed is called an execution letter. An Execution letter is usually made through a forwarding note addressed to the sender of the order and is accompanied by the dispatch invoice.
It is the letter which is written to the sender of a message as and when the action desired in the message is to be declined. If an order cannot be executed, or it can be filled only partially, it is obligatory for the trader to inform the sender of the order accordingly. In such case, the refusal letter must state the reasons for making a refusal. But, this must always be done in a polite and courteous manner to avoid hurting the customer.
Usually refusal letters are written in the following situations:
When the person ordering the goods is known to be unfair in financial matters.
When the trader is unable to fill the order in whole.
When the trader is unable to supply the goods because of any reason.
When a defective order is placed and the trader wishes to seek a revised order.
When there is a difference between the buyer and the seller on terms and conditions of supply.