Entering Job Specifications

Entering specifications is the first step of the Job Work Flow. Typically the next step is Selecting Job Bidders. See also: Request For Quote Process Overview.

The Job Spec Type droplist from the Job Master window

Job Specifications Overview

Before entering the competitive bidding process using the P3 system, you will need to create a set of specifications to describe the job in detail to your suppliers. You can create specifications for a job from the Job Master Window. The technical specifications for the job are located in a panel on the right-hand side of the General Info tab of the Job Master window. The top of the panel displays the "Job Spec Type" and a list for selecting the type of Job Specification to be used. There are four options on the list:

"Detailed-Spec Print Only" - For standard print jobs. "Flexi-Spec (free form text)" - Enter specs as free form text. Great for ad specialty jobs and mailing services. "Detailed-Spec Collation/Insertion Only" - For jobs where only collation and distribution services are needed. "Detailed-Spec Print + Collation/Insertion" - For jobs that combine printing and collation services together.

A fifth option is available: the Multi-Item Spec. The Multi-Item Spec allows you to include multiple sets of specifications in a single job. Switch to a Multi-Item Spec by clicking on the Job menu, "Advanced Pricing" menu item and selecting the "Switch to Multi-Item Spec" menu item. See the Advanced Pricing page for more information about the Multi-Item Spec option.

There are three variations of the "Detailed-Spec" system and only one for the "Flexi-Spec" system and "Multi-Item Spec."

Flexi-Spec Overview

Instructions for using the Flexi-Spec system: Flexi Specs

Flexi-Spec from the Job Master window

Detailed-Spec Overview

Instructions for using the Detailed-Spec system: Detailed Job Specs

Detailed-Spec from the Job Master window

Multi-Item-Spec Overview

Instructions for using the Multi-Item-Spec system: Multi-Item Spec and RFQ Advanced Pricing Options

Multi-Item Spec from the Job Master window

Visit the Advanced Pricing page to learn more about the RFQ Advanced Pricing Options available in the P3 System.

Shipping & Mailing

Job Master window showing the Shipping & Mailing window

Purpose & Function

The Shipping & Mailing section of the Job Specs helps users quickly create detailed bulk shipment and mailing instructions for print jobs and is a feature that all spec types share. The instructions consist of a series of one or more Bulk Shipment or Mailing records. Each record carries a quantity. And, a running total of the number of pieces mailed and/or shipped is maintained. Below the quantity and description, the mailing and shipping specifiers are very different and specialized for shipping or mailing.

NOTE: The "Packing & Shipping" section of the Detailed Spec system was renamed "Shipping & Mailing" (September 2009) to reflect the addition of a Mailing Instructions area. In addition to the mailing, the shipping section was restructured and upgraded.

Features of Shipping and Mailing

  • Enables users to build a list of shipments and mailings.
  • Each shipment or mailing can have a quantity associated with it.
  • Mailings specify the postal class, sorting, addressing and other mail specific parameters.
  • Bulk shipments list a carrier, packing information and destination address.
  • Destination addresses can easily be selected from either customer or supplier record pick lists.
  • Supplier and Customer records can be added or edited from the distribution window.
  • Legacy shipping information is automatically migrated to the new format.

Using Shipping & Mailing

From the Job Master window, double click on the Shipping & Mailing section in the Job Spec Type area. This will pop-up the Shipping & Mailing window, which enables the user to build a list of required shipments and mailings. It maintains a total of all quantities to be shipped or mailed as you go.

Job Master window showing Shipping and Mailing

Collation & Insertion - If you have selected a Detailed Spec option that includes Collation & Insertion that section of the spec will appear on the Shipping & Mailing window when it pops up. The Collation and Insertion section appears on a separate tab-pane within the window. This makes it convenient to refer between these sections since they are very often related.

Quantity and Shipment Type - When you first open the Shipping & Mailing window, you will be prompted to select a record type for your first Bulk Shipment or Mailing record. Once this selection is made, the record will appear on the list on the left side of the Shipping & Mailing panel; and the details editor for the record will appear on the right. The details editor will appear different depending on the type of record. However, the record type selector, quantity field and quantity comment will always be present just above the record details area. The "Quantity Comment" next to the numeric only Quantity field can be used for several purposes:

  1. To indicate the units of shipment or mailing (i.e. "pieces", "cartons", "bundles", etc.).
  2. To indicate a particular sub-set of the job (e.g. "Spanish language version", "Samples" or a particular mailing code).
  3. To note that the reader should refer elsewhere "See RFQ quantities".
  4. To note that the exact quantity is "To be determined" at a later date.

Bulk Shipment Details

The Bulk Shipment details have 2 parts: Destination/Carrier and Packing. These sections are displayed each on a small tab-pane control in the details area. In addition, there is a Notes area just below the tab-panes.

Destination/Carrier Tab - This section contains a customizable list of carriers and an address section with a quick picker.

  • Carrier/Method - This control should be customized to hold your frequently specified shipping companies and/or methods. If you require your printers to ship under your corporate shipping accounts, you should consider including the account number.
  • Contact Selector - You may enter a "Ship To" address manually in this area. Or, use the Quick Picker.
  • Quick Picker - To use this function click either Customers or Suppliers. That will reveal an option list with either all your suppliers or customers on it. When you select a customer or supplier on the selector, the address associated with that record will populate the address fields. So, with 2 or 3 clicks you'll have the address you need!

Packing Tab - This area assists in building detailed packing and labeling instructions.

  • Pack - This selector is used to indicate how the materials should be packaged for transport and storage. In some cases Carton packs may be needed, in others it may be more efficient to pack materials directly on a Palette for easy unloading and processing (e.g. labeling and mailing). The Pack selector options can be customized to meet your specific needs and terminology.
  • Mark Containers - Check and select appropriate carton/palette marking options for your job. Additional marking requirements should be noted in the Notes section.

Notes - A shipping Notes area appears below the Destination/Carrier and Packing tab-panes. This is where you might want to enter any particular instructions not covered elsewhere in the shipping section.

Saved Shipping Notes - Many organizations have particular shipping requirements that need to be added to all or many shipments. So, we have provided space for you to save and include a set of shipping notes. There are two buttons on the left of the notes field for managing the saved shipping note:

  • Edit - click this button to create/edit your Saved Shipping Note.
  • Insert - once it has been created, click this button to include your Stock Shipping Note in the Notes section.

Mailing Details

In this area there are several fields provided for the most common pieces of mailing specification information.

  • Postal Rate - Enter the particular type of postage required.
  • Sorting - Enter the type of pre-sorting required before delivery to the postal center.
  • Verification - Enter your requirements for postage receipts you require.
  • Addressing - Enter the type of address to be used: labeling, ink jetting, window envelope etc.
  • List Processing - Note any de-duplication, merging, address verification required.

If any of these fields are not relevant to your mailing, simply leave it blank. When left blank, the field and its label will not be shown on the mailing specifications.

A Notes area is also provided for information not covered in our standard option lists.

Option List Customization

Note that as is usual throughout the system the user is not restricted to using only the options on the option lists in this area. The user may type in their own value or select and edit a value from the list of options.

Note also that administrators can configure the option lists in this area. Administrators will see convenient Add buttons next to each option field. This button adds the currently selected value to the permanent list of options for that field. This permanent list is available for all users in their Enterprise Group.

Some of the default terms used in the mailing section are "jargon" specific to the mailing industry in the USA. Overseas users should definitely localize the option lists to the peculiarities of the local postal service in your country.