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  • #16
    Re: flat rate software? not a debate

    Don't worry about it, great minds think alike.

    We use a mix of flat rate and hourly. I can see advantages to both but the bottom line is to do what works for you.

    For that kind of money, I would be inclined to do my own system based on my conditions, then maybe you could sell your system for 1000.00 to someone.
    Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: flat rate software? not a debate

      This includes both t &m and flat rate. When you quote a task as an example pulling a water closet and the bolt is missing or pull it out in one piece do you price out a pull and reseal and a replacement closet flange. Explain your professional experience knowing that these other things can and do occur and the price could be this or that.

      This makes flat rate or t&m so much easier for the client to accept the price or cost to them when they are told up front what may appear that is sight unseen.With an insection of the property you know whether it is cast or plastic or dwv copper and can price accordingly. This information gives the cleint confidence that you do know what you are doing and that you have done this hundreds if not more times.

      I really dislike a professional coming to me in my home with their tails between their legs saying ahh hmmm when I did this I found this and it will cost you x amount more because I did not anticpate it.They are the professional and should have known that this could have been like that. Now I am stuck with that particular item apart and alternative but to go forward with no decision making allowed.

      The absolute worst thing that a client tells me; you are here you might as well do it.This is the client who complains after the fact and I express an interest for them to get other bids and then call me back. I can live with a no from this person.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: flat rate software? not a debate

        Originally posted by rich34232 View Post
        This includes both t &m and flat rate. When you quote a task as an example pulling a water closet and the bolt is missing or pull it out in one piece do you price out a pull and reseal and a replacement closet flange. Explain your professional experience knowing that these other things can and do occur and the price could be this or that.

        This makes flat rate or t&m so much easier for the client to accept the price or cost to them when they are told up front what may appear that is sight unseen.With an insection of the property you know whether it is cast or plastic or dwv copper and can price accordingly. This information gives the cleint confidence that you do know what you are doing and that you have done this hundreds if not more times.

        I really dislike a professional coming to me in my home with their tails between their legs saying ahh hmmm when I did this I found this and it will cost you x amount more because I did not anticpate it.They are the professional and should have known that this could have been like that. Now I am stuck with that particular item apart and alternative but to go forward with no decision making allowed.

        The absolute worst thing that a client tells me; you are here you might as well do it.This is the client who complains after the fact and I express an interest for them to get other bids and then call me back. I can live with a no from this person.
        Just a little confused with your reply. You say this makes flat rate or T&M so much easier for the client to accept the price upfront for what may appear that is sight unseen. So are you telling me that you were able to tell this client an actual price for seen and unseen repairs? Also you said after an insection of the property, and I am assuming you meant, "inspection" of the property.If that is what you meant, then I don't see how it is worth your while, to go inspect, or look at a job, just to install a toilet. Not enough profit in it for me, to take an hour, to look at an hour long job. I'm not trying to be a smart *** either cuz I know you have more experience than I. I just wanna learn all your secrets, LOL. Most of these customers that call me for a simple toilet replacement, or other small jobs,{other than regular customers} can't even tell you, if they have copper, or galv, or cast iron, or pvc piping in their house.If I went to look at every1, I'd be out on the streets in no time.
        The biggest problem for me right now, & alot of others, is the economy. With that being said, what I have had to do lately is when I bid a job, especially over the phone, or without seeing it, I figure the obvious, and thats it. Otherwise I won't get the job. 75% of the time or more, it works out fine. For the other 25% I have to break the news to customer, and show them 1st hand the issue, then I tell them exactly what it will take to fix, and of course no one wants to pay more, but they accept the necessary evil. Does that make me unprofessional? I think its called being realistic and honest.And if thats what you call, having to put your tail between your legs,then so be it, but from most of my experiences, the customer was very understanding. Just last week I got an oil change on my truck, & the mechanic noticed the oil pan was rusted almost all the way through. Shouldn't he have warned me of this? Of course not, but after he showed me the issue I had to pay the piper. I wasn't happy, but I didn't think it was the mechanics fault. It was not cheap either cuz motor mounts had to be removed ect...After he removed it he showed me how he could easily push a screwdriver through the old pan. I was thankful.
        When the economy was better, I was able to figure in a little fudge room, even on smaller jobs, so if an issue came up, I would usually just take care of it. Not anymore.
        Finally, just don't take anything I said the wrong way because I respect your & everyone elses opinion, and this is just mine. Thanks.
        Last edited by Don the plumber; 01-24-2010, 01:11 PM.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: flat rate software? not a debate

          Don I did not take offense I enjoyed the way you asked your questions and I wil attempt to answer them. I hope they do not sound short and this is what I have found over decades from my father’s plumbing supply warehouse, ownership of a plumbing company and now a manager of a plumbing service company. I really enjoy this topic. I am all about ethical behavior, honesty building trust and value and enjoying a successful enjoyable ownership exchange that is built to last over years and not the one time install. Here lies a problem with quite a few organizations and this is not limited to plumbers. I am going to install a water closet that will only take one hour I cannot do all this as it is not built into my pricing structure. There is a need to see the client as more than a one hour job and to get in and out to make the money.

          Sorry about the typo. Yes I meant inspection. Most clients ask T&M and flat rate what they think is the cost before they start. Explaining the different problems that the client may face can and often heads off second questing of the eventual price. Here in Florida we have a ton of broken closet flanges due to the flange being plastic and the use of ada water closets. The cast iron flanges are rusted and breaks knowing this is a common issue I always bring this up and a price to make the repair if that happens to be the case once the water closets is pulled. For this much more we can address this issue if we find it.
          Don I hear and understand the time issue however what each of us is required to believe is that each of our clients will enjoy a long term relationship with us and following a guideline to inspect the home to become acquainted with the clients home is a must. This is not a full inspection it covers checking drains, hair in pop-ups, frozen e stops under the fixtures, age of water heater, corroded p-traps. 15-20 minutes tops. Where the cleanout is located and home emergency shutoff benefits me as much as the homeowner. How much sense is it that we mandate that each fixture has its own stop yet they are frozen shut and they are useless to the client or you if they are not needed why the mandate to have them? How often have all of us been to a client’s home only to be called back within a week? I just read a thread where a client has called many of the plumbers thinking they were the cause of additional problems that appeared soon after they left. Imagine if an inspection was completed and the owner was informed that these could be issues shortly. What I find even with rentals they want to take care of the issues that will plaque them in the near future. Some will not and I do not let those ones bother me. They have been informed.
          How would your company prosper with 100 dollars more per ticket today? Is it searching for work? Some may think that yet these same companies have no problem charging a second service charge and fee making the repair in a week. Homeowner is off work again and lost money in their pocket. Who served the client better? I have done this when I was T&M back in the 70’s and 80’s and I do it now since I am in flat rate. It is not a flat rate nor time and material issue it is solving all the clients problems at one time. I am of the opinion that money can be replaced however time can never be replace. What am I out of when a client informs me that they just want to take care of that one issue?
          Most companies use a computer for business. Enter a fixture list that each of your clients have in their homes and when they call the dispatcher can look the client up and you have the magic parts in your possession to make the repair then and there. In the long run the inspection helps your company. Not to mention having the ability Mr. Smith I see here that you have a Grohe pull out spray located in the kitchen is that the faucet that is giving you the issue? Don you need to pick up repair parts of a Grohe euro style kitchen faucet.
          Time should never be an issue if time becomes an issue I think the business is too close to trading dollars. This is entirely a different issue.

          I love service agreements; this gives the client a full inspection where you charge your hourly rate to do a complete inspection including tagging valves. Your agreement price is equal to your hourly rate. If the majority in here have a truck and an employee it costs more than 100 dollars to drive to a clients home with all expenses included from non productive to productive help ,downtime, travel insurance etc. So I fix a second issue like a moen faucet for less today saving the client money and my travel expenses in a week ,month two months..

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: flat rate software? not a debate

            I would love to have discussions on the economy and price issues and such. Nothing to do with flat rate or T&M just general client concerns over these issues that are used as a stall method to reduce pricing.

            I love those clients that tell me Joe's can do it cheaper or my brother can do this for me.
            There is a way to do this and still have your ethics,intergrity and amke the money that is needed to run your company properly

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: flat rate software? not a debate

              Originally posted by rich34232 View Post
              I would love to have discussions on the economy and price issues and such. Nothing to do with flat rate or T&M just general client concerns over these issues that are used as a stall method to reduce pricing.

              I love those clients that tell me Joe's can do it cheaper or my brother can do this for me.
              There is a way to do this and still have your ethics,intergrity and amke the money that is needed to run your company properly
              I agree with all this, & thanks for your replies. However I think I am dealing with a whole different class or group of customers. Don't get me wrong, I probobly could, and do, upsell a few jobs, but the majority of people now, simply are deep in debt, & don't have the funds to do anything other than what is absolutely necessary. If I told them it was $10 to fix their kitchen faucet,while I'm there, they would say,not now {& most don't have Grohe}. I also would feel like a pushy salesman too. I installed a new water heater for a regular customer of mine last month, and she simply did not have the money, or savings available, to pay for it. So she is having to make payments to me.I don't think she would want an upsell or maintainence agreement. Also I'm a 1 man show, so I can't spend a whole lot more time on a service call, than I anticipated. I don't know how you stay on schedule doing this.
              To answer your question on thread before this, about wanting or needing more work, as of right now I have just enough, so I'm not desperate, and have very little overhead, thats how I make it, little overhead, & no debt.
              But I can see if you run a large service co, how you may want to upsell every job.I think your customers down there have it to spend, and therefore you can possibly sell an upgrade. Most people around here, it seems, are in survival mode. I call it the "WAIT" method, which stands for Worry About It Tomorrow!
              Last edited by Don the plumber; 01-24-2010, 03:04 PM.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: flat rate software? not a debate

                Originally posted by Don the plumber View Post
                I
                I think the economy has everything to do with it. This Sewer Rat has installed more tankless heaters than I have even bid on.
                Every1 around here is on edge, & don't want to have to pay for any repairs or remodeling unless its critical.Service work is all I have right now, & most every1 always wants the minimum work done. Getting old quick.
                Obama made sure his alma mater state was well taken care of. LOL
                There are almost 1000 union plumbers out of work in the chicago area. Chicago is driven by the construction industry and that's at a stand still right now. Everyone here was counting on the olympics to help boost the industry and look how that worked out!!

                Chicago is also very expensive to live in, so the rates are proportionately much higher, along with the average household income.

                But there's $99 drain services here too
                Last edited by Swade Plumbing; 01-26-2010, 09:53 AM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: flat rate software? not a debate

                  Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
                  There are almost 1000 union plumbers out of work in the chicago area. Chicago is driven by the construction industry and that's at a stand still right now. Everyone here was counting on the olympics to help boost the industry and look how that worked out!!

                  Chicago is also very expensive to live in, so the rates are proportionately much higher, along with the average household income.

                  But there's $99 drain services here too
                  Have you heard his ads on WBBM News radio? Apparently he wants to get tons of plumbers to subscribe to his 800 number, but he doesn't want any in Illinois. When you goto his website and type in any zip code for Cook, Du Page, Lake, Kane, DeKalb counties it just comes up with his own company's number.
                  Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                  A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                  Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                  Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: flat rate software? not a debate

                    Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
                    Have you heard his ads on WBBM News radio? Apparently he wants to get tons of plumbers to subscribe to his 800 number, but he doesn't want any in Illinois. When you goto his website and type in any zip code for Cook, Du Page, Lake, Kane, DeKalb counties it just comes up with his own company's number.
                    Yeah I've heard them...and it sounds like a similar deal with the company that was running ads for copper repiping (also on WBBM) they're really just a middle man. They field the calls and then sub it out to local contractors (a lot like the HD install deals).

                    I don't like it.

                    I think the copper guy got yanked for not listing a license # in the ad. I reported them to the Plumbing Council a while back.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: flat rate software? not a debate

                      Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
                      Yeah I've heard them...and it sounds like a similar deal with the company that was running ads for copper repiping (also on WBBM) they're really just a middle man. They field the calls and then sub it out to local contractors (a lot like the HD install deals).

                      I don't like it.

                      I think the copper guy got yanked for not listing a license # in the ad. I reported them to the Plumbing Council a while back.
                      I just heard a copper repipe ad the other day. The 800 root guy owner is the same guy as the plumbing company that pops up for the Illinois area, he based out of Wadsworth, IL
                      Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                      A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                      Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                      Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                      Comment

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