When preparing a tender bid for a particular project you will need lots of resources like pricing, drawing, technical information and catalogue ready. Even though you were asked to prepare just a quotation you still need to prepare the catalogue.
In the light and sound business it is important to propose the system based on the client and the consultant requirement. After a site visit which the client will normally arranged and further discussion at their office you will need to start preparing the proposal and the tender bid.
In order to prepare a working system design it is essential to have latest product knowledge from different light and sound manufacturer. You will either gather the information and catalogue from the trade show and exhibition or visit their website. With so much information available how do you organized the catalogue and update it regularly?
I am going to show you my method of updating and organized the sales catalogue that I find it very effective. I keep the hard copy catalogue in tray with label and the soft copy catalogue in the computer server.
Hard Copy Catalogue/Literature Arranged in Tray With Label
You must organize the catalogue you gather from the trade show in a tray shelf or rack with pull out tray as shown in the picture.
Look through the stack of catalogue that you bring back and keep the catalogue you wanted and throw away the catalogue of no used to you. Make it a habit to glance and read through the catalogue and literature. After all what is the use of going to the trade show if you do not read and understand the product.
Arrange the catalogue by the manufacturer or brand name. You will notice that I will label the rack top in category – like Stage Lighting, Sound System, PA System and Others. Then at the individual tray I will label the name of the brand like ADB, Zero 88 , Dynacord and so on. Arrange the tray in alphabetical order for easy identification.
Put the stack of catalogue in the tray with the latest or commonly used on the top stack. In this case when ever you need to find the data of the particular brand and model just go to the tray and pull out the tray with the particular brand name. You will find all different models in the tray.
I will guarantee this method will save you lots of time. Your sales assistant can prepare the catalogue based on your design, fill up the technical data easily and send the proposal to your client immediately.
Soft Copy of Catalogue Organized in Computer
Another very important method is to organize your catalogue in the soft copy format. The catalogue which is normally in PDF format can be store in the computer. You will save space and paper and easily keep it up to date in the computer.
In the trade show the exhibitor will normally give you a CD ROM with their company product literature or you can also download the pdf catalogue from the website and store it in your computer.
If you are working in a company with a few people in your team like the sales team and the technical team then it will be better to save it the computer server. The data literature and catalogue in server will be shared by your team. With the server I can ask my sales assistant to download the pdf catalogue from a particular website and I do the final check before update it the server. Usually it will take a lot of time to download from different website so asking your sales assistant to download it for you will save you further time.
The way I update the data is to go to the individual manufacturer website and look in the product page. You will find most of the latest company product in the particular page. Download it one by one and store it your computer/server.
Name the folder of the manufacturer name (for ex EXTRON) and save the pdf catalogue in that folder. You can save the files as it is or rename it to a name that easily recognize. I will usually save and rename the name of the files to “Brand” follow by “Model” – For example Extron MPS112.pdf.
In this way I can copy and send the pdf catalogue by email to the client.
Get yourself in a habit to update the pdf catalogue whenever you browse the manufacturer website for information. Update your computer server regularly or every year. Move the old catalogue to another folder and update with the latest catalogue.
I find that it will take lot of times to update the catalogue to keep it updated. Without this regular updating you will not be able get the latest catalogue. I will spend about 5 hours a week to do the update. In my case I will only update the commonly used product range.
Use the server to store other information like drawing, price list, product manual, and shared project information. For more information you can read more in my other article – Use Computer Server As Shared Data
Let’s get your sales catalogue organized from now on.