If you need new computer equipment in your office, an employer will often ask you to put it in writing. Sometimes, this may be a request for a formal business proposal, especially if the equipment is expensive. In other situations, you may simply be asked to write a proposal letter or a request letter.
In either case, your reasons for the purchase of new equipment should always be from a business point of view. Having a slow computer or a printer that stops printing may be frustrating, for example, but your reasoning should focus on lost time and productivity instead.
Writing a Proposal to Purchase New Computers
Before writing a proposal, it's important to first do your research. You should know exactly what is needed, why it's needed and how much it will cost. Contact the company where you buy computers or research them online to find exactly which models of equipment you need and their prices. The proposal should consist of six to seven sections after a title page and table of contents.
If your proposal is more than three or four pages, summarize the proposal in an executive summary at the beginning of the document. This section should not be longer than a single page.
Briefly describe the equipment you are proposing, its cost and why it is required. If there is a background story to this proposal, like a meeting that led to the suggestion of a proposal or planned purchases in the past that were not agreed upon, include that information here.
Description of the Situation
This section describes the current situation and details the reasons the new equipment is required. Think of this section as the description of the problem.
Description of the Solution
Explain the best solution for the current situation, including how the new equipment will solve the problems. List the equipment that is ideal to solve the current situation and then itemize the cost of each item. Don't forget to include the time and cost of migrating programs from the old computers to the new computers. Provide a total cost at the bottom.
If there are less-expensive solutions that will solve some of the problems in the current situation, include them here. Use the same format as the ideal solution, including the itemized costs and total.
Evaluation of the Solutions
Compare the pros and cons of each solution. For example, the first may be more expensive but may require less time to install. The second may be less expensive but may require staff training.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Explain why you think the first solution is the better option. State when you think the purchase should be made and when the equipment should be installed.
Writing a Request Letter for New Equipment
A request letter for office computer equipment is much shorter than a proposal. However, it should contain two of the same elements as a proposal. First, explain the reason the equipment is needed from a business point of view and then state what you need.
In most cases, the letter should formally address the person responsible for purchasing new equipment. Your letter should be concise but should include any relevant details to make your request understandable.
Sample Request Letter for New Computer in Office
Dear Ms. Wagner,
I am writing to inform you that since our increase in customer traffic and the addition of two new staff members, we have begun running into a bottleneck when it comes to our customer service. Because it takes an average of five minutes to process each sale, we are more and more having to wait for our single computer to be free before a sale can be processed. Three times in the past week, we have actually had customers leave the floor rather than wait for a computer to become free.
Please approve and facilitate the purchase of a third computer for the sales floor so that we can avoid these delays and continue to serve our customers in the speedy manner they expect. (Insert the required equipment here.) Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.
Sample Request Letter for Computer Replacement
Since the latest software upgrades, my computer has been having a number of issues. It frequently freezes while I am in the middle of my work. As a result, I am constantly having to restart it. This happens at least three times a day. Not only has this become a time-consuming process, but often my work has not been saved, and I have to enter the data all over again. I estimate that I am losing 30 to 40 minutes each day.
Please approve the purchase of a new desktop computer. (Insert the computer specifications here.) I appreciate your prompt attention to this request.
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.