If your business needs to purchase goods or services from a supplier, you'll need to send them an order form. This form should specify exactly what you need, as well as where and when it should be delivered. This essential form is called a purchase order, or "PO" for short. Your PO confirms all the details of what you intend to purchase, from the specific items and quantity thereof, to the shipping instructions and payment terms. Once your vendor agrees to the terms of your PO, you have a contractual agreement.
Vendors very much rely on POs in order to fulfill buyer requests, which is why if you don't give them a PO, they may get POed. A functional PO requires specific information in a format that can be easily processed by your vendor, so they can understand what you want and decide whether to accept your order. A purchase order template is a tool for generating POs quickly and accurately, so you can order from your regular vendors with ease.
77% of B2B buyers say that their last purchase was complex or difficult. And that statistic is from 2019, so it's certainly not as if Covid has made anything easier since then. But by using a purchase order template to organize all of your purchase information, you can simplify your purchase process and make things easier for your suppliers.
A purchase order is not legally binding when sent, but only when it is signed and agreed to by the vendor. You can remember that fact with this helpful mnemonic device: "It doesn't bind 'em, unless they signed 'em." It must be true, because it rhymes. And you can remember that with this other helpful mnemonic device: "If it's a catchy rhyme, it's true every time."
Unless you are a farmer with large fields to fertilize, it is important to avoid typos, lest you inadvertently end up with a Purchase Ordure.
Purchase orders (POs) are documents sent from a buyer to a supplier with a request to purchase products or services. Each PO includes a number for tracking the order, as well as the types of items, quantity, and agreed upon prices and terms of delivery. POs often serve as official confirmation of an order, representing a legal contract once signed and accepted. Once the order is fulfilled, the vendor will send an invoice that reflects the information you entered into the original purchase order template. (If not, you're probably going to have to make a phone call.)
Start by filling in your company's name, address, and contact details. Then save that as your new purchase order template, so you never have to fill those in again.
At the top of the form, fill in the Date of the order as well as the desired Ship date and the Shipper who will be handling said shipping. Be sure to fill in the Invoice number and PO Number as well, in order to expedite tracking of your order, and for easier reference later. And below the PO Number, be sure to specify your Payment Terms to indicate when payment is due.
Enter your Vendor's contact details on the left, and the details for the Ship To address on the right. Be sure to enter the address where the order should be shipped, which may not be your company's main office address.
For each desired item, create a new row in the order form. Each item receives its own line in this purchase order template, where you can enter the Product name, SKU, Unit Price, and Quantity of units desired. Optionally, you may also attach an image directly into the spreadsheet to avoid confusion over which item you want.
Unlike a purchase order template in Word, this spreadsheet will automatically calculate the Total for each line item, as well as a Subtotal tallying all line items.
If you are due a Discount, or will be responsible for paying Tax and/or a Shipping & handling fee, be sure to enter those amounts in the appropriate boxes below the subtotal. The spreadsheet will automatically apply any entered discount, calculate any tax based on the rate you entered, add shipping and handling, and present you with the grand Total on the bottom line.
For any special shipping instructions or comments to your vendor, use the Comments field on the lower left.
B2B purchases are a little more complicated than just walking into a store and buying a few things off the shelf. Using a purchase order template offers a number of benefits, such as:
Using a PO template lets you confirm all the details of your purchase, from the price and quantity of the products you're buying, to the delivery date and payment terms. This clear communication makes it easier for you to avoid mistakes like duplicate orders. It also makes it easier for your vendors to have a detailed form requesting your order in advance, which helps them ensure your delivery ships on time.
Ease of Use
Having an online spreadsheet automatically add up your order and calculate tax for you is convenient. If you typed up a purchase order template in Word, it couldn't do that, and you'd need to do all those calculations yourself. And while a purchase order template in Excel might be able to do the calculations, this spreadsheet lets you attach a reference image directly into each row, to eliminate any confusion about which product you want.
Tracking and Records
Each numbered PO lists what items you have ordered, what they will cost, and when they will be delivered, allowing you to budget effectively and track and anticipate incoming shipments. Using a purchase order template also provides you with a clear and detailed paper trail, which can be valuable in the case of an audit or legal dispute.
All B2B buyers.
If you're running a business, you wouldn't just deliver a shipment of goods to a buyer without including an invoice. And just as an Invoice Template is essential for anyone whose business involves selling things, a purchase order template is essential for anyone whose business involves buying things from another business. This template will let you easily generate detailed and accurate purchase orders. This not only streamlines your ordering process, but also assists in planning and tracking, and provides you with reliable documentation for your records.