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How to Create Visually Stunning Quotes with One Click

4 min read
Aug 26, 2022 7:00:00 AM

The process of how we create a quote has been around for so long that it’s rarely even thought of as a pain point anymore. But a pain point it is. There’s no reason to spend days tracking down product information and matching those products to their images, then hours customizing that data to create quotes for each unique client’s specifications.

In the viral words of Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilson, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Particularly not in the time-crunched present day retail industry. Creating quotes manually creates a few glaring issues for wholesalers:

  • Sales teams rarely have all of the information they need to create a quote within their desired timeframe.
  • Essential product information gets lost in the fray.
  • Product orders are subject to human error and the massive delays that come with them.
  • Delays result in lost relationships and missed opportunities.
  • There’s no visual interface, so buyers can’t see suppliers’ products while they’re considering them.
  • It’s hard for buyers to visualize a buy from only a spreadsheet to identify assortment gaps or avoid over-assortments. .
  • When buyers can’t visualize the buy, there’s less drive to complete a purchase –– the excitement of the product gets lost in the process.

There is a better way to do things. If you’re wondering how to create a quote that’s more data-rich in a fraction of the time, this article is for you. First, let’s take a look at how buyers and suppliers historically create quotes. Then we’ll delve into the benefits and ROI of being one of the first brands on the market to step your game up.

Buyers need to spend more time with product 

Retail buyers report spending around 25% of their time making purchases and building relationships. The other nearly 75% is spent in Excel docs and email threads, trying to get the information they need to confirm orders. A single buyer often sends out up to 30 different emails to the product development team and up to 30 different emails throughout the shipping process. That’s around 60 emails for one product –– without even taking the additional Excel docs and text communications into account!

But it doesn’t have to be like this. A buyer’s day-to-day workflow can be more effective and enjoyable than most even realize. It all starts with streamlining the communication process. With the right retail PLM, buyers can communicate with suppliers and partners directly on the quote, then turn those quotes into orders with a single click. No Excel documents, no confusion. Just incredible communication that builds lasting relationships in retail.

Suppliers can’t waste weeks to create a quote

The quote creation process for suppliers is anything but simple. It was taking home furnishings wholesaler JIA HOME three to six weeks, 30 different Excel documents, and 100s of email exchanges just to get one product from ideation to purchase order. The lengthy process to get from quote to purchase order added friction points to JIA HOME’s purchasing experience. They needed to make it easier for buyers to visualize the product and integrate it into their buy plan, without losing the excitement of that initial product view. JIA HOME identified a missed opportunity: the ability to retain buyers’ excitement from that first product view throughout the entire sales process.

Implementing a retail PLM gave JIA HOME’s sales team the ability to cruise through categories and assortments with incredible efficiency. The team can now select products from their catalog, create a customized quote, and send it out to their customer within just 30 minutes. No more delays. No more missed opportunities. Just quote syndication that’s 10x faster than using Excel spreadsheets and emails.

Inaccessible product imagery is a real problem

Beyond the challenge of juggling Excel docs and emails is a pain point few retailers will admit to. It’s a glaring issue that’s rarely discussed on the buyer or supplier side. The issue is this: It’s really, really hard to remember which product you’re talking about when emailing back-and-forth without images. 

Brands work with hundreds to thousands of different products in a year. When working in documents alone without a streamlined communications hub, images are relegated to email attachments. In fact, much of the PLM software on the market today doesn’t even have the option to upload images to the platform. 

Modern retail PLMs provide robust image access

Essential visual data can get lost in the process of creating a quote. So, buyers forget the unique visual attributes that make a specific product so compelling. And suppliers that need every asset to be accessible to properly communicate product value can’t get to the info they need in time to finalize orders. 

Fortunately, it’s 2022. The retail industry is way too technologically advanced to let a lack of visuals hinder brands’ abilities to create quotes and finalize orders. Today, brands can leverage past data to create customized product showcases to meet buyers’ needs, create quotes in seconds, and make notes/ask questions to specific people right on their internal online catalog. It’s an easier, more effective way to do things in the new era of retail. 

Closing thoughts

It’s time to start sourcing products and negotiating orders with all of your product visuals, pricing, communications, and data in one spot. Surefront is the ONLY product lifecycle management solution built for and by the retail industry. The result? You can select and share product information and images in the click of a button, right from a single streamlined communications platform.

With Surefront, you can complete orders quickly and  accurately to drive better margins across the buying process. Demystify the process of creating a quote, or requesting product data from suppliers. Your team gets 80% of their time back, leaving boring administrative tasks behind to refocus on the parts of their job that they love the most. You get a guaranteed 10X ROI to reinvest in your business.


It’s time we got better acquainted. Book a custom demo with one of our Product Lifecycle Management experts today!

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