Price guides, part breakdowns, wheel chucks?
Is there value in seeing all the parts that go into a particular flat rate job? How about for the client? - or for the tech or salesperson (for an install department)?
Some flat rate books print a second book just to show the parts, others may show the parts listed below the task. Each company has their own practice and use that suits them best, but what is the simplest way we can do this?
Flat rate books or price guides can become incredibly thick if a company has a large number of jobs or tasks listed in the book, or especially if the parts are listed with the jobs. My experience is that the technicians do not want to carry around a big heavy book. They have even joked that it can be used as a tire chock to keep the truck from rolling down the hill if the parking break fails!
Do we need to know what parts are included with the job? Yes! Technicians need to be aware what is included, so they know when they need to add additional flat rate jobs to sell the correct amount of work. The additional dollars may be needed just to cover the cost of overhead for the company. The additional dollars should be going to increase your gross margin, and not be lost due to the lack of a simple way to allow the tech to see what is included in the job.
Can it benefit the client to see what parts are in the job? Yes and No. Having the ability to easily show the client ‘all the parts that are a part of this job’ can demonstrate that there is a lot more work than they may perceive by seeing a job named ‘Rebuild toilet’ for instance. It takes time and skill to remove and install all of the parts needed to complete a given job. This can be stated simply to the client with a statement like “When I rebuild your toilet, I will need to carefully remove all of these parts, then install all of the new parts listed here” (pointing to the list of parts ). “This job will take care of all of this for this amount right here” (pointing to the job price ).
Being able to show images with the parts listed can be a great benefit for the tech and the client. It gives a better picture of what is going into the job, showing more value, and people like pictures! For new technicians or helpers it helps them grab the right parts from the truck. In fact if you can put the information in front of the tech there is less chance he will make a mistake, and you eliminate an excuse as well. : )
When do I not want to show the parts listed in a job? Perhaps when there is only one part listed for the job or if I get the feeling they are just tying to find out how to do the job themselves. Or maybe they want to shop the parts at the home center. Another case is when there is just no need. You get the feeling the client just wants to get to business and get the job done. Some customers don’t even want to see the price before you start the job, though be cautious of this one. It should be clear to all techs not to do any work without a signature for an agreed price to complete the job. So there are definite cases when there is no need to emphasis and show these parts are what is required to complete the job.
See this video clip below showing how we take care of the parts list in FlatRate Pro™ without any additional pages or thick books to carry around and get worn out with our up coming release of FlatRate Go™ our mobile flat rate price guide.