Computers are sophisticated pieces of equipment with a lot of components and a choice of options that can change from week to week. If you need to order a new computer, it's important to be precise. A request letter or memo for a new computer is similar to a request letter for purchase of office equipment.
Computer Standardization in the Workplace
Most companies have specified standards for computers. For example, everyone based in the office may all have the same desktop computer. Mobile workers, like sales staff and executives, may all have the same laptop.
The main reason for this is that it cuts down on support costs. If the computers need an upgrade, they can all be upgraded with the same hardware or software drivers at the same time. Additionally, it's cost effective to have a couple of spare units on hand in case one breaks down.
For companies that have standardized computer systems, your request for a new computer or component should be a simple matter of stating that you need a replacement. However, if you need something other than the standard model, you will likely need to explain why the standard isn't going to work for you. Web designers, photo editors and graphic designers, for example, almost always need enhanced equipment with more memory, faster processors, larger screens and better graphics cards in order to do their work efficiently.
Understanding Components and Accessories
Computers are made of many different components. Some of these components, like the motherboard, are not usually something you need to specify when making a purchase request. For others, you would only have to specify in the request if your job required them.
- Processor: AMD and Intel both make processors (CPUs) with different speeds and capabilities. Base models come with less-powerful processors, which are usually all that are needed for most office computers.
- Memory: More memory is required for data-intensive operations like graphic design programs or multimedia.
- Storage: Most business computers come with a standard, limited amount of storage. Unless your office doesn't have a server, more storage is not usually needed.
- Graphics card: These are usually standard, low-power cards on base systems or are built directly onto the motherboard. Animators, graphic designers and video editors require more advanced graphics cards.
- Accessories: Monitors, external drives and speakers are all considered accessories and are not usually included in a computer order. In some cases, keyboards and mice are also extra accessories. If you need these accessories, explain why and include them in your application for purchase of computer equipment.
Using Model Numbers
If you know exactly which computer you want to purchase, look for its model number on the manufacturer's website or on the vendor's website if you know which supplier your company uses. Model numbers are often on the sales page or on the technical specifications page. Make sure the computer model is still available for purchase. A computer that was in stock a couple of months ago could easily be sold out or even discontinued today.
When requesting the computer, specify both the model number and the manufacturer. Then, carefully look at any options available. Computers with the same model number may have different options, including the processor (CPU), storage and memory (RAM).
For example, you might specify "ABC Computer Model #45678 Intel 5 CPU/10GB RAM/2 TB HD."
Sample Request Letter for the Purchase of a Computer
July 20, 201x
Bob Smith, Purchasing Manager
(insert company name and address if different than yours)
Subject: Request Letter for Purchase of Computer
I am writing this to inform you that my company-designated computer is no longer working properly. (Explain the symptoms of the problem and, if you know it, the cause.)
Consequently, I am unable to perform my duties properly, and my productivity is suffering.
Please approve and arrange for the purchase of the following computer system: ABC Computer Model #45678 Windows 10/Intel 5 CPU/10GB RAM/2 TB HD.
Your prompt action in this matter is appreciated.
Your Job Title
(insert company name and address if different than the addressee)
A published author, David Weedmark has advised businesses on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years and used to teach computer science at Algonquin College. He is currently the owner of Mad Hat Labs, a web design and media consultancy business. David has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines and websites including American Express, Samsung, Re/Max and the New York Times' About.com.