Midnight provides you with the ability to develop estimates. You may print or e-mail estimates to customers, and then export your estimates to create work orders. The pricing and service information that has been set up in the Administrative section allows Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s) to quickly develop quotes for customers. Moreover, features like Customer Specific Pricing, Minimum Pricing, and Pricing Wizards help ensure that your organization is meeting its business goals, while satisfying the needs of the customer.
Estimate search screen
To begin working with an existing estimate or to create a new estimate, click on the Estimates tab in the blue bar to get to the Search screen.
By default the estimate search screen will show only estimates in Open status. To estimates in other statuses (Won, Closed, or Lost) change the status on the filter field or click on the Reset Filters icon on the right hand side of the filter field row.
Each of the columns of the search results has a column header that allows you to enter information to filter the search results. For example, if you want to look for all estimates created for ABC Marketing Group, you can enter ABC in the Customer Column, and then either wait for the filter to activate or tab out of the field, and then the search results will be filtered to just those for ABC.
Along with each of the column headers, there is also an extended search option for estimates. To expand the extended search options, click on the Extended Search bar.
The extended search options include the expected quantity and estimate date fields, and the search options are a range (low and high) for each. These extended search options can be used alone, or combined with the other column header filters to narrow down the list of estimates you are searching through to find the right one.
Accessing an existing Estimate
Once you have found the estimate you want to review or modify or copy in the search screen, you will click on either the estimate number or project name column to open up the estimate record.
Creating a new Estimate
To add a new estimate, click on the New Estimate button on top of the search screen.
Clicking this button will take you to the New Estimate creation screen.
The Estimate Details screen contains general customer and project information on the top-half of the screen with details on the services provided (by department) and a menu to print reports on the lower-half of the screen. The following describes the information that is entered on this screen. (A significant amount of this information can be set up to default for each Customer so that it is automatically filled in when creating an Estimate)
- Save: Will save the details of the estimate and keep you in the estimate screen. Submit saves the estimate and takes you to the Search screen.
- Copy: Creates a new estimate from an existing estimate. All data is carried over into the new estimate with the exception of dates and postage information.
- Customer: Name of the Company you are providing the estimate for, select the company from the drop-down menu.
- Contact: Main point of contact at the Company for this estimate.
- Sales Rep: Initials of the Sales Representative.
- CSR: Initials of the Customer Service Representative (can be the same as the Sales Rep).
- Project: Name of Project for the Customer. Used to identify specific projects when running for a
customer. (Note: This is a searchable field).
- Entered By: Person entered the Estimate (defaults to the user logged in).
- PO: The Purchase Order number provided by your customer/prospect.
- Terms: Terms for payment.
- Taxable: Pulls from the customer record.
- Estimate Date: Date of the Estimate.
- Data In: Estimated Date to receive the list/data.
- Material In: Estimated Date to receive material.
- Artwork In: Estimated Date to receive artwork.
- Due Date: Estimated Drop date for the Job.
Estimate Details Screen
The Estimate Details screen, shown in the previous figure, provides the ability to enter an expected quantity, residual inventory instructions, residual inventory ship-to address, and comments that will appear on the Estimate.
The comments entered on this screen will appear on the Detail, Standard, and Summarized Estimates formats.
On the Estimate Details tab, under the Expect Qty field is an Update Qty field, and an Update button. These fields comprise the Mass Quantity Update functionality in Midnight Estimates.
If the current expected quantity of the estimate needs to be changed, and there are several line items within the estimate that have the original expected quantity, the Mass Quantity Update functionality can change them all at one time, and make sure that volume discounts are taken into effect along the way.
Once the Change Quantity button is clicked, the user will be prompted to recalculate unit prices, which will update volume discounts based on the new quantity and apply them to the services where they are applicable.
Once the recalculate dialog is passed, all of the quantities in the estimate that matched the original expected quantity will be changed to the new quantity. Any line items that did not match the original expected quantity will remain unchanged.
Department Tabs (Service Types)
The Department Tabs allow you to select services for the estimate. Each of the tabs will be almost identical, with the only real difference being the list of services that shows up in the service drop-down menu.
The order that you enter items into your Estimate or Order is the order that they will appear on the
Estimate, Invoice, and Work Order.
Everything inside the red rectangle is a Service type/Department.
The following describes the fields for the department tabs.
- Priority: Prioritize services
- Service: Code of the Service that will be provided. Description – Description of the Service, automatically filled in from the Service (can be edited)
- Quantity: Quantity for the selected service, defaults to expected quantity if unit price is less than $1, so the system assumes the intention is per thousand pricing – thus saving a data entry step
- Unit Price: Automatically filled in from the Service, Pricing Wizard, and Customer Specific Pricing (can be edited).
- Ext. Price: Automatically calculated extended price.
- Details: Drill-In to hidden details for service (Screen displayed below)
- Comments: General comments for internal use about the departmental tasks, these will not appear on documents for the Customer.
- Discount%: Enter a percentage discount for only the services on this department tab. The discount will not be apparent on the screen, but will display on the estimate reports.
****For more information on setting up Department see the Service Types Setup Article here.
The fields at the top of the tab provide options for selecting different criteria to develop an estimate. The fields on this screen do not need to be filled out to generate an estimate, but if an Order is created from the estimate that includes mailing services, this information will need to be entered at that time (entries made on the Estimate screen will be carried over to the Order).
The following are the Postage/Sortation fields (many of which have pre-determined values set up in
the Administration menu):
- GEO: Geography of the mailing (i.e. national, local, etc).
- Sort: Sortation of the mailing (Automatic, CRRT, etc).
- Type: Type of mailing (1st class, standard, etc).
- Cat: Category of mailing (letter, flat, etc).
- PO: Post Office where mail will be delivered (Multi-Drop capabilities exist in the Order Screen).
- Post Affix: Type of postage to use for the mailing.
- Permit #: Permit number to be used on the mailing.
- Holder: Permit holder’s name.
- Meter #: Meter number to be used in the mailing.
- Post$Req: Estimated postage money required from the customer (calculated from Postage Estimate or can be entered manually).
- Postage Due: Date that the postage amount is due from the customer.
- Postage Status: Current status of the postage (i.e. on order, in house, etc.).
The Postage Estimate fields provide the ability to calculate an estimated amount, based on predefined values entered in the Administration menu.
- Postage: Type of postage and piece.
- Quantity: the amount of postage to be mailed.
- Estimated cost: The per-unit cost of the shipping.
- Markup type: The choice whether to mark it up by a percentage of the total amount ,or a specified dollar amount.
- Markup Value: How much to mark it up by.
- Estimated sell rate: The estimated rate Postage will be sold at.
- Postage total: The total amount for the Postage order that includes markup.
The Postage total is also displayed in the Post$Req menu.
The Reports dialog box provides a list of all Estimate forms that are available for preview, printing, or emailing. Midnight comes with 3 standard Estimate reports.
The three versions of the single quantity estimate report, Details, Summary, and Details Price, differ only in the amount of detail displayed for the estimate record:
- Estimate Details version of the estimate shows the line item details for each service listed by
- Estimate Summary version shows totals for each department, but does not list each service separately.
- Estimate Multiple Qty version shows totals for each quantity compared on the Multiple Quantity's tab, with a general job description from the tab as well
- Estimate Details (Price) is the same as the details version, only with the line item prices displayed
Select an Estimate, and click on the preview button to view the Estimate before printing or sending via email. Select the Print Button to send the Estimate to the Printer, and select the email button to email the estimate. Note that the email will auto fill with the Estimates Contact in the Recipients bar, and the Sales rep in the Senders bar.
The following is a sample preview of a Details Estimate