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How to create and manage Estimates?

Using the the estimate module included in your myEbiz store to create and manage estimates is easy and simple to do. The only absolute requirement is that the products you want to add to your estimate must already exist in your store. The customer to whom you want to send the estimate does not necessrily need to be a registered user at the time of creation. However that customer will need to be registered when you want to send/email that estimate.

Creating a new Estimate: First step

To create a new Estimate, you should first select the option ‘Estimates’ from the ‘ORDERS’ menu section:
After clicking on the “Estimates” option, the interface below will get displayed. It provides the list of existing estimates. The interface let you filter that list by chosing the type of estimate to display or not display.
Then scroll to the bottom and you will see 2 buttons, the first one [Delete selected] is used to delete estimates that are not in “Paid” status.
To create an estimate click on the second button [Create New Estimate].
After clicking on the [Create New Estimate] button you will get the following “Create Estimate” interface:
This first “Create Estimate” interface is mostly empty because no products have been added yet and no customer has been selected. You can also see that the estimate # has not even been generated by the system and that is because the estimate has not even been save once.

Once you hit the [save] button, the estimate is created and saved in the database. You can then leave it and come back later to complete it. As we said before the customer can also be chosen later on after you have made your selection of products.

Creating a new Estimate: The complete process

The main creation steps of an estimate are:
- Create an estimate from the Estimate page,
- Give it a reference,
- Select a customer,
- Add products from your store,
- Preview and then email that estimate to the customer.
After you selected a customer, added a reference and added at least one product, your estimate may look like the one below:
Understanding the configuration fields:

Customer : This is the name of the customer who will receive this estimate. To select a customer, click on the (select) link, a popup window will open and  allow you to find and select a particular customer. Please know that an estimate can only be assigned to one customer at a time.

Reference (optional) : This optional field should be used to provide some sort of reference to this particular project/estimate. If you need to create multiple estimate for the same customer, this field will help you to sort them out.

Project Manager (optional) : This field should be used to provide a contact name. This name can then be used by your customer to communicate with the corresponding project manager or the person able to provide a status or changes to the estimate.

Projected delivery date (optional) : This optional field will be displayed only if you check the checkbox below it and is here to provide the customer with a projected delivery date for the products listed in the estimate.

Additional comments (optional) : This field is optional and should be used to provide any additional comments regarding this project and the products listed  in the estimate.

Estimate can be seen by customer : When this field is checked the customer is able to see that estimate in his list of estimates in his account. When you first create the estimate or if the estimate is not complete yet, then you can leave that checkbox unchecked until the estimate is ready to be seen by the customer. Also, please note that when you click on the [Email estimate to customer] button, the estimate will be sent to the customer and that checkbox will automatically be marked as “checked”.

Expiration : This field should be used to specify the number on months after which the estimate will expire. As soon as the estimate is sent to the customer, the estimate system will automatically(if the “allow to send reminders checkbox” located below is enabled) send him reminders every month until the expiration date. On the day of the expiration the customer will receive a last email to let him know that the estimate has expired. Please note that every time the estimate is sent to the customer using the [Email estimate to customer] button, the estimate expiration date will be re-calculated based on the value provided in this expiration field.

Button [Update/Save] : This button is used to save or update the modification made ot the estimate. Please note that after you select a customer you need click on that [update/save] button otherwise the customer selected will not be saved.

Button [Add new product] : This button should be used to browse your products database and select a product to be added to your estimate. When a product is added to the estimate, the quantity by default will be set to 1. Also, please note that after you add a product you will not need to click again on the [save] button unless you make a change to the “Qty” field.

Button [Delete selected products] : This button should be used to delete products from your estimate. The products to be deleted should first be selected using the checkbox located on the first column.

Button [Preview Estimate] : When this button is cliked, it will open a new window and will display a preview of the estimate.

Button [Email estimate to customer] : This button should be used to send/email  the estimate to the selected customer. When this button is clicked, the estimate system will generate a PDF version of the estimate and attach it to the email sent to the customer. It will then re-calculate/reset the expiration date and add a line in the sending history section located in the bottom of the admin estimate view. This line indicates that the estimate was sent at this particular date and time. The option “BCC to store admin” should be checked if you want to send a “BlindCopy” of the email to the email address of the admin of your store.

Button [Email estimate specific email] : This button should be used to send/email  the estimate to a specific email address. You should use this button if you want to send a preview email as to what the email/estimate would look like when received by the customer. The email will also include a PDF copy of the estimate.

History of estimates emailed to customer : Every time you will click on the [Email estimate to customer] the system will save the date and time of that email and display it in this list, so you an keep an eye on the number and dates on which you sent that estimate to the customer.

Paying for the estimate

In order to pay for an estimate the customer should first locate the estimate and either click the link “Pay” displayed in the list of all of his estimates or display the estimate details page and click on the top link that says “Pay for this estimate”.

To display the list of his estimates, the customer should Log into his account and select the menu options “My Estimates”. This will display the list of all available estimates. The estimate module will only display estimates that are in status “Pending” or “Paid”, estimates with status “expired” or “canceled” will not be displayed in a customer account, it will only be displayed on the admin estimates view list.
If an estimate is in “Pending” status, then the corresponding  “status” column will display 2 links “pay” and “cancel”.

In order to pay for an estimate the customer can either click on the “pay” link displayed in the list view of his estimates or display the estimate details page and then click the “Pay for this estimate” link located at the top of the estimate.

To display an estimate details page the customer can either click on the “reference name” for that estimate on the estimate list view in his account or click on the link located inside the email sent to him about this estimate.
Customer cannot modify the content of the estimate
The estimate module will not let the customer change the content of the estimate, such as adding or deleting products from the estimate. If the customer wants to make direct change to the estimate, he would have to contact the store admin.
So, when the customer clicks on the [Pay for this estimate] link the whole estimate will be added to the cart and will appear as just one item. like it is shown below:
However after an estimate has been paid, the corresponding invoice will display all the purchased products as if they had been placed in the cart one by one. Also, please note that before paying for a cart that includes an estimate, the customer will be able to add more items to the cart if he wants to.


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