Frequently Asked Questions, FAQ
How many computers can I install Fast Accurate Bids on?
When you purchase Fast Accurate Bids, you are purchasing a single-user license key that lets you register the software on two computers.
If two people are using the program at the same time, you need two copies.
There is a $200 off the 2nd copy.
Thank you for supporting our hard work.
Item Sale Prices - Are they in the Supplier price lists?
Sale prices of items are NOT included in supplier price lists, from the supplier.
Sales are temporary and the supplier prices lists are long term. Therefore the sale prices are not part of the FAB Choose item Page prices.
If an item is on sale and you want to use the sale price in your bid, see the next tab in this FAQ.
You will need to go to the supplier's website , if you want to check on an item from your supplier to see if it's on sale,
There is a button on the Choose Item Page to take you to their website.
Unless you know when your client is going to place the order and you are sure the items will still be on sale, it is a good idea to use the regular price for the item. Using the item sale price in a bid and when the order comes in, the sale is over could eliminate any profit on the job.
XXL and other oversized items, How do I get them in the bids?
Oversized items cost more from the suppliers so you should charge more to your customer.
Please note that people that wear oversized items know they cost more and will not be surprised.
Using a Mixed Item Bid allows for a mixture of regular size items and oversized items
You can edit the description on the Design and Pricing Page to add the sizes in the description.
Which size item should I use for the bid? Small, Medium, Large or XLarge?
The price for the small, medium, large and xlarge are almost always the same price, so the bid will come out to the same price to the client.
Note that oversized items do cost more.
What about other suppliers like Bodek & Rhodes, Cutter & Buck, Tri-Mountain or any other supplier?
Any item from any supplier can be added to a bid.
We are working on other supplier connectors. The "Additional Tools" button on the Design and Pricing Page will take you to all the current supplier connectors usable within FAB.
Any item from any supplier can be added to a bid two ways.
1) Editing the "Current Item" on the Design and Pricing Page with any information from any vendor.
2) Adding an item to the "Custom Item Page"
Why do I need a commission in my bids?
Commissions are usually paid to salespeople for making the sale.
If you do not have a salesperson now, you might in the future and you will have the commission built into your pricing.
There are other uses for the commission in Fast Accurate Bids.
1) You are making the sales, why don't you make a commission yourself?
2) If you want to give a discount to schools or churches, taking 1/2 off the commission is an easy way to cut your prices to them and still get your full decorations charges and full item price with it's markup.
3) If you are a contract decorator, you can remove the commission completely, as the company you are doing the decorating for, is your salesperson and still get your full decorations charges and full item price with it's markup.
How do I charge for shipping to the client?
On the Design and Pricing Page there is a Distributed Charge field, using this will add the shipping over the entire line item.
Adding a $40 to this field will spread the amount over the entire line item.
Note that Commission and Decoration Markup are added to this amount.
How often to update supplier prices?
Once a week, depending on the supplier.
Suppliers are getting new items all the time, and the updates will include any new items and any price changes.
The price lists from the supplier do NOT include sale prices, you need to go to their website and check for sale prices.
How do I charge for Vinyl?
That is not an easy question to answer. Every shop is different, so there is no easy formula we can put in FAB.
Here’s a free vinyl pricing calculator that you can use for vinyl pricing and for anything other type of decoration you sell by size for that matter.
Can I Set the Price of bid item for the Line Items List?
Yes, you can override the calculated price, using the "Set Final Item Price"
Set Final Price, the last direct entry field in the Pricing and Adjustments area, lets you override the calculations and specify right down to the penny what you want the bid amount per item to be.
The intention of this field is to let you tweak the pricing based on your business judgment about what’s best for the sale. For example, for some customers you may choose to round a price such as $12.66 either up to $12.75 or possibly down to $6.00. For other customers, you may choose to change it to $11.97. It’s entirely up to you.
Up to 12.75 Or down to 11.99
When you use Set Final Price to override the calculated price, the Pricing Analysis Page still shows the complete calculated pricing and also lists the set customer price so that you have a record of how you arrived and the price for the line item.
What is Fast Accurate Bids?
Fast Accurate Bids is a Windows PC software application for both large and small commercial screen printers, in-house screen printers, embroiderers, and other apparel decorators. This easy-to-use program generates customer quotes quickly, accurately, and consistently. It makes the bid process so easy and reliable that you will feel secure letting even the least experienced person on your staff create customer estimates for your company.
What makes your software so fast?
There are lots of product features that make Fast Accurate Bids fast. Here are four we want to make sure you know about. First, our supplier connectors automate access to supplier pricing files. This means no more manually looking up item prices. Second, our built-in pricing profiles allow you to immediately start using the program and fast-track the process of customizing it for your business. Third, our intuitive Design and Pricing Page automatically displays the resulting pricing as each decoration task is added. This means entering bid information is so easy that it can be done while talking with the customer. No more time spent scribbling notes and later trying to puzzle out what those notes mean. Moreover, the customer doesn’t have to wait to get pricing. And finally, with a single click of the mouse, Fast Accurate Bids automatically sends your completed bid to a Microsoft Word document and you’re done.
How versatile is Fast Accurate Bids in creating bids for different types of customers?
Fast Accurate Bids can create all the typical types of bids needed for apparel decoration. Whether the customer wants pricing on an assortment of sizes, for example 24, 36, 48, or an assortment of items, for example T-shirts and hoodies with the same image, we can handle that. The program can also handle either itemized or all inclusive pricing. It’s easy and completely your choice.
How long does it take to set up Fast Accurate Bids?
This varies from customer to customer. If you don’t already have firmly established pricing policies, then you can simply choose which of the pricing profiles you want to use and you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. If you have invested time and energy in coming up with pricing policies for your particular business, then you will probably want to spend an hour or two hour working with the Settings Page to edit the pricing profiles or even come up with your own set of custom pricing profiles. The Fast Accurate Bids Shop Owner’s Manual provides detailed information that can help you with setting up pricing profiles.
What if I’m just starting out and don’t know what settings I should use?
The software comes with several complete pricing profiles that are filled out with default values. These values are based on a range of industry numbers. If you’re new to the screen printing and apparel decoration business, these pricing profiles provide a reasonable starting place for your pricing guideline.
Is there an instruction manual?
Yes, in fact, there are two. There is a User’s Manual that explains how to generate bids and work with the software on a day-to-day basis. There is a Shop Owner’s Manual that explains the settings and features for customizing the pricing for your particular business. Feel free to download these manuals from the Resources page on our website and take a look.
I already use one of the fully featured software packages for screen printing shops. Is there anything your product has to offer me that I don’t already have?
There is no way for us to know what you already have, but we do know that Fast Accurate Bids can offer you a convenient way to keep your bids separate from your orders. This means that you can be assured that the bids that never turned in to orders aren’t left around to clutter up your business management software. Also, if you currently use a pricing spreadsheet in combination with your business management software, Fast Accurate Bids is a faster, easier-to-use tool that can completely replace your spreadsheet. Finally, the Fast Accurate Bids Price List Creator makes it possible to easily and quickly generate screen printing price lists based on your particular pricing policies and any item you want.
Can Fast Accurate Bids help me stay on top of supplier pricing changes?
Yes. Our program uses our proprietary supplier connectors to automate the process of bringing pricing information into the Fast Accurate Bids software installed on your computer. To use a supplier connector, you must enter your customer login on the supplier’s website. This protects the pricing information of the supplier and assures that your prices are correct.
We welcome your suggestions on which apparel providers for supplier connectors would be of the most interest to you.
How frequently do item prices get updated?
That’s up to you. There is a field on the Choose Item Page that displays the number of days it’s been since item prices were last updated, and you can click the Update Supplier Prices button on this page to update the item prices as frequently as you want.
Can I keep my pricing information secure so my employees don’t have access to it?
Yes. Fast Accurate Bids allows you to set a password for the program. Then, unless this optional password is supplied as part of the login process, the buttons for both the Settings Page and the Pricing Analysis Page are removed from the other pages in the program. Password protecting Fast Accurate Bids is easy and guarantees that the details of your pricing policies are secure. It also makes it easier for you to teach your employees how to create bids because only the pages they need to be concerned with are visible.
If I don’t use any of the suppliers you support, can I still use your software?
Of course. The Fast Accurate Bids Custom Item Page allows you to build your own list of items from any vendors you want.
And another thing, we will be adding connector programs for lots of additional vendors. The current list of supplier connectors is the beginning. If there is a vendor that you particularly like working with, let us know.
Can I put my company logo on my bids?
Yes. Fast Accurate Bid provides a built-in Microsoft Word template that you can customize to automatically open with your company’s logo and also with the information that you like to routinely use on bids. The process for customizing the Word template is described in the Fast Accurate Bids Shop Owner’s Manual.
What kind of technical support is offered?
We provide free telephone support from 9 AM until 5 PM Pacific Time regarding questions about the Fast Accurate Bids software. You may also contact us with technical support questions using the contact form on our Support page.
Does Fast Accurate Bids run on a tablet PC?
It depends on the tablet PC. It definitely runs on the Microsoft Surface.
The Microsoft sells two versions of the Surface – the Surface 2 with a 10 inch screen or the Surface Pro 3 with a 12 inch screen. Both the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 3 are Windows 8.1 tablets and run Fast Accurate Bids for Embroidery just fine.
If you’re a Craigslist shopper, avoid the Surface RT. Don’t be tempted by the lower price. This was the earliest version of the Surface and uses the Windows RT operation system, which is designed for running mobile devices. Microsoft no longer sells Surface RT tablets, and Fast Accurate Bids does not run on a Surface RT.
Can I use Fast Accurate Bids on my MacIntosh?
You can run Fast Accurate Bids in a Windows emulation program on your MacIntosh. Our local Apple store recommends a program called Parallels. Check out their link. They provide great information on how it works. If you already have a Windows emulation program on your Macintosh, give it a try using our 30 day free trial software.
I am using the 30 day free trial, and I have some technical and/or functionality questions. Am I eligible for support?
Yes, absolutely. We’re happy to help you. Feel free to call. In about 15 minutes or so, Steve Steiger, can teach you how to use the software and answer any questions you may have. By the way, in addition to being one of the partners at Fast Accurate Bids, Steve owns our sister company Bellingham Screen Printing and has almost 30 years experience as an apparel decorator. We come from a background of screen printing and enjoy talking with other people about their pricing and estimating concerns. Our number is 36O-752-33lO.
When I buy Fast Accurate Bids, what do I get?
When you buy Fast Accurate Bids, you get a single-user license key that allows you to register the Fast Accurate Bids software so that it doesn’t expire 30 days from the day that you first installed it on your computer. You can use the license key to unlock the software on any two Windows PCs of your choice ( e.g., a desktop PC and a laptop computer). For special needs, contact Fast Accurate Bids customer service.
Admin Overhead - is a field in the Overhead Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field sets the percentage to be charged to cover overhead costs such as your production margin, rent, non-billable staff time, equipment costs, utility bills, and insurance. When used, administrative overhead is calculated on the price of the item just prior to applying the commission percentage. (Admin Overhead is not applied on the net cost for items.)
Bid Files - are produced when you click Save Bid on the Line Items Page to save the current bid information to your Windows file system. Bid files always end with the file extension .bid.
Calculated Shipping - is the estimated cost of shipping the items from your supplier to your shop. It is calculated as the higher of either (Net Item Price x Items per Style x Wholesale Shipping Percent) or the amount specified on the Setting Page in the field Wholesale Min Shipping.
Check In/Layout - is a field in the Overhead Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field sets the charge per item that you want used to cover the time it takes to unpack items, count them, stack them for decoration, lay them out again after decoration, recount them, and repack them for delivery.
Custom Ink Charge/Color - is a field in the Screen Printing Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field sets the additional amount you charge for screen printing on items that require an additive for the ink. This charge is intended to recover the cost of ink that must be discarded after printing the job, for example printing on nylon items. The custom ink charge per color is multiplied by the sum of the Screen Print quantities and the Item Qty to determine the amount to charge.
Custom Item - is any item that you cannot select from the Choose Item Page because you do not have a supplier connector for the company from which you intend to order them. The Custom Item Page lets you set up and manage your list of custom items.
DTG - is also known as digital direct to garment printing, D2G printing, digital garment printing and inkjet to garment printing. It is a process of printing on textiles and garments using specialized or modified inkjet technology. DTG printers use specialty inks (inkjet textile inks) that are applied to the textile directly and are absorbed by the fibers.
Exclude Overhead Charges - is a check box that appears in the Name/Number Charges, Embroidery Charges, and Other Decoration Charges areas of the Profile Settings Page. These check boxes let you to specify whether you want the associated charges to be the exact amount to the customer or whether you want Fast Accurate Bids to calculate and add Check In/Layout, Admin Overhead, and Commission to these charges. Thus, if you have already factored in your handling, overhead, and commission on your embroidery other decoration and name and number charges, then selecting this check box lets you continue to use the amount for these charges that you are accustomed to using.
Flash Ink Surcharge - is a field in the Screen Printing Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field sets the markup percentage that is applied to the Ink Charge/Color field to calculate the ink charge for items that are flashed.
Flashing - is the process of using a heating unit on a screen printed garment while it is still on the press. The temperature of the ink layer on the garment is raised to the point where the ink begins to dry but is not completely cured. The ink will be dry to the touch and will form a solid surface on which to print additional colors. When the garment is run through the dryer the flashed layer will cure completely and bond to the ink layers on top.
Flashing Charge/Color - is a field in the Screen Printing Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field sets the additional amount you charge to cover the time it takes to flash cure ink during printing. There are fields on the Design and Pricing Page for selecting the number of flashes for each of the sides of the item.
Full Search - is one of the two op
tions on the Update Prices dialog box. A Full Search enables the Fast Accurate Bids Supplier Connector to search your computer’s full hard drive to locate the downloaded supplier pricing file. If you prefer to specify a directory for downloading the supplier pricing files that is other than the Windows Downloads directory, use this search option.
Ink Charge/Color - is a field in the Screen Printing Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field sets the amount you charge for ink to print one color on one item.
Ink Color Change - is a field in the Screen Printing area of the Design and Pricing Page. This field lets you add a charge if the job requires changing the ink color for one or more screens. This charge is intended to cover the time it takes to clean the ink from a screen and re-ink it. The amount that gets charged is determined by the amount in the field Ink Color Change on the Profile Settings Page.
Item Cost - is a field on the Design and Pricing page. This is the amount that you pay to your supplier for the items you sell. When you enter an item by selecting it from the Choose Item Page, the item cost is taken from the data in the supplier’s pricing file. When you enter an item using the Custom Item Page, the item cost in the Item Cost field is taken from the data from that page.
Item Qty - is a field on the Design and Pricing page that lets you enter the quantity for a particular line item. See also Project Qty.
Itemized Bids - show the pricing for each of the components of an apparel decoration job as opposed to standard bids and mixed item bids which show inclusive pricing. For example, an itemized bid for embroidery might show the price for the undecorated garment, the digitizing, and the embroidery. Itemized bids often show both a total price per item and total price for the job.
Mixed Item Bid – is a bid that presents an assortment of items that will receive the same decoration. For example, a mixed item bid might offer the pricing for placing the same image on 100 T-Shirts, 25 sweatshirts, and 25 hoodies. Mixed item bids show the price per item and can optionally have a totals row as well to show the total number of items and the total price for the job.
Name - is a field in the Name/Number Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field sets the amount you charge for putting individual names (or any individual words) on shirts. For example, putting individual employees’ names and their job titles on shirts. The charge for Name gets applied when you select the check box for Individual Name on the Design and Pricing Page.
Owner Mode- when you set up a password in Fast Accurate Bids, you are actually setting the ability for the software to run in either Owner mode or User mode. Owner mode means that the Choose Item, Design and Pricing, and Line Items pages provide buttons to access the Profile Settings Page and the Pricing Analysis Page. The program can be started in Owner mode by entering the correct password in the field Enter Password on the Design and Pricing Page. If no password is set, the program operates in the same manner as it does in Owner mode.
Price List Creator - is a Fast Accurate Bids software extension that lets you create screen printing price lists quickly and easily.
Pricing Profile - is a list of the charges, markups, discounts, and other settings that are used as the variable values for this program that has been saved under a descriptive name so that you can select it for use when creating bids. This information includes all the settings and values on the Fast Accurate Bids Profile Settings Page, all the settings and values on the Program Preferences dialog box, and two settings on the Design and Pricing page, specifically the name in the Prepared By field, and the setting for the check box related to showing the customer name on the bid. Pricing profiles end with the file suffix .pro.
Printing Charge/Color - is a field in the Screen Printing Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field sets the amount you charge for labor to print one color on one item.
Project Qty - is the total of all items for the bid if customer wants the same decoration on different types of items. See also Item Qty.
Quick Search - is one of the two options on the Update Prices dialog box. A Quick Search limits searching for a downloaded supplier pricing file to just your Windows downloads folder. This option can be used to significantly speed up the process for updating the supplier prices if you allow the pricing file to be downloaded to your Windows Downloads directory.
Screen Charge/Color - is a field in the Screen Printing Charges area of the Profile Settings Page. This field is for the amount you charge the customer for each screen for printing. It is intended to cover the labor and materials associated with the use of the screen.
The labor portion consists of the cost of coating the screen, burning the image on it, taping it for printing, registering it on the press, and after the job is done, reclaiming it for future work.
The materials portion consists of a percentage of the cost screen itself (which is based on the number of times the screen can be used), the emulsion for the screen, the film for the image, the tape, and the chemicals.
Standard Bids - present an assortment of choices so the customer can choose one. For example, a standard bid might offer a choice of quantities (24, 36, 48), or a choice of garments (for example, good, better, best) to allow the customer to select the one that is the best match for he wants. Standard bids show the price per item and don’t provide a totals row since the underlying assumption is that the customer will only select one of the options offered by the bid.
Supplier Connector - is the generic name for the programs Fast Accurate Bids provides for downloading and working with the electronic supplier pricing files available from wholesale apparel companies. Fast Accurate Bids includes one supplier connector of your choice when you download the software. You may also purchase additional supplier connectors at that time or later whenever you want.
User Mode - when you set up a password in Fast Accurate Bids, you are actually setting the ability for the software to run in either Owner mode or User mode. User mode means that the Show Settings and Pricing Analysis buttons will not appear on the Design and Pricing, Choose Item, and Line Items pages. This means that unless the user is aware of using the program in Owner mode, he or she will not even know that these pages exist.