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peculiarities, and should see that a copy of his purchases and contracts are
'given to the estimator and the ordering clerk. It may even be advisable
to send those also to the drawing office, and the department to which the
goods are to be consigned, for checking purposes. It is desirable that he
should make himself familiar with terms commonly used in shipment and
carriage of goods; also with the Law relating to Contract and Sale of Goods.
The importance of the 1893 Law cannot be overlooked, and a copy can always
be obtained from H.M. Stationery Office.
At all times the estimating and buying departments should be self-
contained, with their own clerks and typists, as most of the work is of an
essentially confidential nature.
Specifications.—The work of this office will generally cover the
preparation of detailed specifications for the owners as to what is being
contracted for and supplied. In specifications to sub-contractors the most
detailed and clearest specification possible should be aimed at, as it is unsafe
to leave out any detail which can be mentioned at all.
In calling for estimates from sub-contractors, it is usual not only to
specify the requirements very fully, but in every case to clearly state the
time, method, and date of delivery required, also the standard conditions
of the firm regarding invoicing, receipt, and payment, and their practice
regarding delays due to accidents, such as fire, industrial disputes, &c.
These clauses, of course, will naturally be added to the main contract in
order to cover the firm with regard to the purchaser. The departments to
which deliveries are to be made must be clearly stated, and a copy of order,
with price deleted, sent to department.
It is a good plan to insist that, on every invoice and receipt-note sent in
with the delivery of material, each item shall be stated, and its actual weight.
These weights should be at once transferred in the invoice department to
a book specially kept for this purpose, and to books or specially prepared
sheets in the different departments, which books or sheets will be sent in
regularly to the estimating office or detail office, whichever has charge of
the data-book, so that the data-book may be gradually filled up as the job
proceeds. If such entering-up is left to the end of the job, much hurry,
confusion, and delay may ensue, particularly if the contract be a lengthy one.
Inquiries for estimates should be sent out on standard inquiry forms, say
on white paper. When it is decided to accept a particular tender, the accep-
tance should be again fully detailed and kept on different-coloured sheets,
say yellow tissues. These acceptances should be kept separately and filed
by themselves for each particular job.
Apart from clerks and typists, the estimating office should be staffed
with men who have had good general drawing-office experience, able to
understand drawings quickly. All prints sent out for prices should be
returned with same, and a note put on the inquiry form to this effect. This
procedure is adopted for two reasons: firstly, so that the firm's drawings
may not get into the hands of people for whom they are not intended; and
secondly, so that, when the contract is fixed and being executed, there shall