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  • Tee and em

    As requested in the ever so popular propress thread, lets get a T&M debate going.

    How do you guys do it and why?

    I have worked for both and will highlight the quick pros and cons of each for those that don't know.

    T&M-
    The usual method a plumber charges you. Will bill you XXX per hour, plus parts.
    It can be the cheaper route. Or, more expensive if something goes wrong.

    Flat rate-
    Think of this like the menu at McDonalds, you know up front exactly what it is going to cost to repair your plumbing. Weather it's cheaper or not is up for debate soon! In a perfect scenario, this may cost you more, but if something goes wrong this is the kind of pricing you want.

  • #2
    Re: Tee and em

    Originally posted by stolen View Post
    As requested in the ever so popular propress thread, lets get a T&M debate going.

    How do you guys do it and why?

    I have worked for both and will highlight the quick pros and cons of each for those that don't know.

    T&M-
    The usual method a plumber charges you. Will bill you XXX per hour, plus parts.
    It can be the cheaper route. Or, more expensive if something goes wrong.

    Flat rate-
    Think of this like the menu at McDonalds, you know up front exactly what it is going to cost to repair your plumbing. Weather it's cheaper or not is up for debate soon! In a perfect scenario, this may cost you more, but if something goes wrong this is the kind of pricing you want.

    It depends on the plumber, his business, and the circumstances. There is no right way or better way. Whatever makes you happy and makes you money is the right way.
    I flat rate all my larger jobs and even a lot of my service jobs. I guess you could say I'm t&m if it's a service call because I charge a minimum charge plus parts. I Guess I do both. I won't quote any price over the phone though because I give free in home estimates. My service area is a half hour drive in any direction.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tee and em

      I like how you bill ranger, seems basically fair.

      I prefer flat rate, simply because t&m jobs can get out of hand.

      And if I have to sit around and wait on something when the customer asks AM I PAYING YOU TO SIT AROUND?!?! I can say nope on a flat rate job. But would suck for t&m...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tee and em

        Originally posted by stolen View Post
        As requested in the ever so popular propress thread, lets get a T&M debate going.

        How do you guys do it and why?

        I have worked for both and will highlight the quick pros and cons of each for those that don't know.

        T&M-
        The usual method a plumber charges you. Will bill you XXX per hour, plus parts.
        It can be the cheaper route. Or, more expensive if something goes wrong.

        Flat rate-
        Think of this like the menu at McDonalds, you know up front exactly what it is going to cost to repair your plumbing. Weather it's cheaper or not is up for debate soon! In a perfect scenario, this may cost you more, but if something goes wrong this is the kind of pricing you want.
        Do you or have you ever run a company?

        If not then there is a lack of understanding as to what a owner needs and wants to charge.

        A year ago I thought those who charged Flat Rate were the worst of the worse and were only trying to screw people. Since then I have tried to pay my bills out of what I could make on my own. In a area that does not allow for a proper hourly rate, flat rate presents a means to get the hourly rate that is truly needed.

        Even as a one man show with little overhead you might be surprised at what a break-even level is.

        Also, you mentioned ironrangers billing method seems "fair". What makes one method fair and the other not?
        Last edited by Mayberry Plumber; 08-16-2011, 10:09 PM.
        If I can't fix it, I will help you find a good plumber.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tee and em

          It just seems fair to me that he uses both methods.

          And both methods are fair, so long as the plumber is honest.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tee and em

            Wee fought flat rate for years and finally went over to the dark side. We are at least 20% more profitable now. Is it good for a one man shop? Depends but remember that in the end, regardless of what you use, you need to know your bottom line to the penny and then charge whatever and however you need to break even and make a few bucks too.
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tee and em

              I'm T&M on most stuff. I do alot of bid jobs and alot of jobs where I flat rated it. I've found T&M works best because there are too many variables in plumbing. If your replacing a water heater or installing a water closest that one thing, but flat rating a sewer repair uder a home in a crawl space is another. I bill out time, at a honest rate. Do I make money? Sure, am I gonna get filthy rich? Probably not.
              Will Rogers Plumbing
              Moore, Oklahoma
              (
              405) 323-2852

              "Your Solution for Any Sewer and Drain Cleaning Needs"

              "We Unclog Drains That Others Can't"



              www.willrogersplumbing.com
              http://willrogersplumbing.com/?page_id=8

              "Oklahoma's Favorite Plumbers!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tee and em

                Originally posted by stolen View Post
                It just seems fair to me that he uses both methods.

                And both methods are fair, so long as the plumber is honest.
                So if both methods are "fair", what's the point of the debate?
                If I can't fix it, I will help you find a good plumber.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tee and em

                  Maybe before this thread heads south like all the T&M v FR debates, how about everybody that hasn't prepared a budget for a working plumbing company stay on the bench.
                  If I can't fix it, I will help you find a good plumber.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tee and em

                    Originally posted by Mayberry Plumber View Post
                    Maybe before this thread heads south like all the T&M v FR debates, how about everybody that hasn't prepared a budget for a working plumbing company stay on the bench.

                    Awe, no one can have an opinion about how or why they think something is fair? I guess I can't comment on politics since I have never ran for president then right?
                    Don't request things like that, just because someone has or hasn't budgeted a business, doesn't mean he can't see the pros and cons of either system. And I personally like flat rate better, because I can tell the customer it's going to be whatever it is, and not have to show them a bill with 6 extra hours on it for complications.

                    I like rangers approach to it because sometimes in my opinion flat rate isn't always the best. But i believe it to be better overall than t&m.
                    And it seems like he is being more fair with his customers by using whichever is better for whatever situation.

                    Now, come up with something better because if you research my posts I can do this allll day son. And I enjoy it!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tee and em

                      T&M is fair. If the job runs 6 hours over what you originally thought(I tell people my hourly rate and tell them it will probably take X amount of hours to complete) because I keep messing up or for what ever reason it's my fault. Then I rarely bill out the total time I was there. Most times I'm pretty accurate, most times if I say it will take 3 hours, it takes 3 hours. I like to be paid for my time.

                      Another reason I like T&M is because I like to fix whatever needs to be fixed without having to always tell the customer I bid to only do x amount of work, to get me to do this amount it will be another 60 bucks. I can get alot done in one hour, as long as I'm charging for the materials I'm making a pretty good living.

                      This is Plumbing. I think sometime people over think them selves in there business structure. Of course if I had 10 employees it would be alot more difficult to have the proper billing amount(hourly rate)
                      Will Rogers Plumbing
                      Moore, Oklahoma
                      (
                      405) 323-2852

                      "Your Solution for Any Sewer and Drain Cleaning Needs"

                      "We Unclog Drains That Others Can't"



                      www.willrogersplumbing.com
                      http://willrogersplumbing.com/?page_id=8

                      "Oklahoma's Favorite Plumbers!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tee and em

                        Originally posted by stolen View Post
                        Awe, no one can have an opinion about how or why they think something is fair?.....And it seems like he is being more fair with his customers by using whichever is better for whatever situation....
                        Well of course you have an opinion, and you are welcome to share it. It's just that giving consideration to your opinion is pointless on this topic. Much like all registered voters have a vested interest in a Presidential debate but they have no place behind the podium.

                        You want to start a debate on how prices are presented to customers but without ever having to budget for a plumbing company, so you probably don't have a clue how those prices are determined. You want to ramble on with words like FAIR when being fair has nothing to do with it.

                        When a company decides what price to charge and how to present it, the only thing that is fair is the price that lets them cover all costs and make as much profit as the market will allow. Nobody worth his salt in business gives a rats patoot what is fair to a customer on the price. Sure, people in business do have a conscience and have to live with their actions, but "fairness" to the customer regarding how a price is presented? That is only governed by whether or not the business has the skill and experience to sell it. And of course, assuming the ethical company provides exactly what they promised for whatever price.

                        I also don't really care to hear anything from people proclaiming they "started a business to help people" or "because their old boss didn't serve people right so I'm going to help them". Or maybe this one...."people cant afford plumbing so I'll be fair to them". The ONLY reason anybody starts a business is because they want more money. PERIOD. As a result, the only thing fair is what is fair to that business, its goals, and its budget.

                        And that is why without business budgeting experience, it doesn't matter what you think of t&m or fr.


                        Originally posted by stolen View Post
                        ...Now, come up with something better because if you research my posts I can do this allll day son. And I enjoy it!
                        I found your thread on tape and dope, quite enlightening. You don't want to listen to your boss regarding one of the oldest and most basic of plumbing skills, yet you think you think you have a place in a discussion on business management matters. Again your opinion on this topic is likely to be uninformed and most certainly irrelevant.

                        So yeah, I guess you will enjoy this thread if it starts to boil with members at each other's throats. Maybe I would have too, last year. But now I have learned just enough about business to know I didn't have a clue as an employee and apparently neither do you. Have fun playing in the mud, alone.
                        If I can't fix it, I will help you find a good plumber.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tee and em

                          Originally posted by Mayberry Plumber View Post
                          Well of course you have an opinion, and you are welcome to share it. It's just that giving consideration to your opinion is pointless on this topic. Much like all registered voters have a vested interest in a Presidential debate but they have no place behind the podium.

                          You want to start a debate on how prices are presented to customers but without ever having to budget for a plumbing company, so you probably don't have a clue how those prices are determined. You want to ramble on with words like FAIR when being fair has nothing to do with it.

                          When a company decides what price to charge and how to present it, the only thing that is fair is the price that lets them cover all costs and make as much profit as the market will allow. Nobody worth his salt in business gives a rats patoot what is fair to a customer on the price. Sure, people in business do have a conscience and have to live with their actions, but "fairness" to the customer regarding how a price is presented? That is only governed by whether or not the business has the skill and experience to sell it. And of course, assuming the ethical company provides exactly what they promised for whatever price.

                          I also don't really care to hear anything from people proclaiming they "started a business to help people" or "because their old boss didn't serve people right so I'm going to help them". Or maybe this one...."people cant afford plumbing so I'll be fair to them". The ONLY reason anybody starts a business is because they want more money. PERIOD. As a result, the only thing fair is what is fair to that business, its goals, and its budget.

                          And that is why without business budgeting experience, it doesn't matter what you think of t&m or fr.



                          I found your thread on tape and dope, quite enlightening. You don't want to listen to your boss regarding one of the oldest and most basic of plumbing skills, yet you think you think you have a place in a discussion on business management matters. Again your opinion on this topic is likely to be uninformed and most certainly irrelevant.

                          So yeah, I guess you will enjoy this thread if it starts to boil with members at each other's throats. Maybe I would have too, last year. But now I have learned just enough about business to know I didn't have a clue as an employee and apparently neither do you. Have fun playing in the mud, alone.
                          Oh. I'll bite.

                          First off
                          "You want to start a debate on how prices are presented to customers but without ever having to budget for a plumbing company, so you probably don't have a clue how those prices are determined."

                          Weather or not I have or have not run a company, I can determine weather it is or isn't fair to the customer.

                          "When a company decides what price to charge and how to present it, the only thing that is fair is the price that lets them cover all costs and make as much profit as the market will allow"

                          Very false statement. Being fair has nothing to do with covering overhead. If it takes me a million dollars a call to cover overhead, and I charge a million to install a fluidmaster, that's not fair to the customer.

                          "Nobody worth his salt in business gives a rats patoot what is fair to a customer on the price. "

                          No, YOU don't care what is fair to the customer, big difference and please, don't speak for everyone as that would be a insult to some. Many of us care, you may not. That's cool. I can without a doubt say that my old boss cared more for the customer, than the customer himself did.

                          "The ONLY reason anybody starts a business is because they want more money. PERIOD. As a result, the only thing fair is what is fair to that business, its goals, and its budget."

                          Again stop speaking on behalf of everyone because I assure you, some business owners got into it because they DID care about the customer.
                          But the main reason I have heard people tell me they started a business is they wanted to be their own boss. Was it really to make more money?
                          Sure maybe. But some people like the freedom and stability they have when running a company. Profit is the LAST thing they get.

                          "And that is why without business budgeting experience, it doesn't matter what you think of t&m or fr."

                          You are becoming redundant. YOU think it doesn't matter. Just you. If I were to ask for some ideas on why fr VS t/m was better for running a company, it might be a good idea to not ask so generally. I am asking for opinions of which is more fair. They both accomplish the same thing, paying the bills.

                          And on my thread for tape and dope. Yes I made a descision. I as the plumber on the job have the right to do that. And if I feel like it is safer on a 2 inch 5psi gas line to a multi million dollar paint dryer, then you're damn right I will take extra precautions. You also failed to notice I was not the only one that uses that method. My boss didn't, neither of us had leaks. We were both right. And using a little extra sealer has almost nothing to do with managing a business. Why do you keep resorting to this?

                          From a plumber standpoint I have just as much experience on what is fair to the CUSTOMER, as my boss has experience with what is needed to make a profit, weather it be large or small. Again, if he has to charge sky high fees to cover overhead per call, it's most likely not going to be fair to the customer in some situations. Which is why I said rangers approach to it seemed to be the more fair.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tee and em

                            Years ago I did a 2 year remodel t+m. It was a gut out. That was the only way I would do it, and they wanted only Me. I like an estimate out of My estimating book,but when We find rot,it goes into t+m.
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tee and em

                              When I first started my business many moons ago I did "care" about the customer and wanted to treat each and every one of them "fair". Those days are long gone. Now days I treat myself fair and could care less about what the customer thinks is fair or not. Yes of course I do each and every job in a professional manner and don't take short cuts nor do I rip anyone off, but seriously who cares what the customer thinks what's fair? I'm not in this business to kiss anyone's azzz, I'm in it for me. They have the choice to hire me or calling a handy hack, it's their choice.
                              Just like what we talked about before, why would I lower my price for a water heater if I use PP and it takes me less time? I'm not being fair? Yea right and whatever.
                              If anything I'll raise my prices because in my mind I'm doing it in a more professional way (my opinion).
                              Worrying about if the customer thinks I'm treating them fair? LOL, I don't think so. My customers call me because they know I'll do the job right and when I'm done they won't have to worry about it. They can count on my company being there when they need us and they know they will get a professional job. That's what counts.
                              Am I losing a few customers because of this? Maybe, but do I care or even want those types of customers? No I don't. I'm plenty busy enough. That's my take.

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