Whenever you begin the process of writing an estimate for a prospective customer, you should start a job file to track that process, which would hopefully move on into production. You could add two departments in the job file – an administrative department for Estimating and then another department for the production needed to track the progress of this job .... but there is a simpler way.
Instead, start by adding the production department to the job and select the status as unsold. Unsold allows you to work with the sales or administrative activities until you can change the department status to active to add the production activities, all the while keeping the two processes separate in one department. If the job does not sell, simply set the department status to cancelled and the production activities will never be added thereby completing or closing the job file.
Using the Construction department as an example and the statuses of unsold to active, you will need two templates within the Construction department that work in tandem with each other. First, from the Main System Setup be sure to set up your Department Activities and Activity Templates. The first template would be for the sales activities and needs to be set as the default template so that it would always be added first. You should also select the radio button to force the addition of all the sales activities in that template to be added “when department is added” to the job.
The second template could actually be one of several templates that represented the different types of constructions jobs that you would do. This template only comes into play when the department’s status is changed from unsold to active and you determine when this change takes place. If the department never becomes active this template will not be added. Once the department is set to active, the setting for “when dept is activated” will open a screen where you can select the template and activities you want added to the job.
The job will now be in production having used only one department. To see what this would look like in a job file read: