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  5. Rating Tables (including Rates)

Rating Tables (including Rates)

Rating tables are an ingenious way of using the selling price rates you have agreed with a customer or have set for a product, to help you determine your costs. They can help you to quickly calculate the cost of a job and help you to fix the costs of items and work appropriately.

There are different types of rates within BigChange, those associated with a specific contact and those which apply to specific Job Types.  Both types of rates can be used  to create Rating Tables that will automatically calculate pricing for your Financial documents.

Rates

Job Type Rates

Job Type Rates

The rates that you set help you to calculate the selling prices for jobs or items.  In relation to working hours, you can set them up against either planned or actual work time, ie the estimated time you expect the work will take or the actual logged time which it took the resource to perform the job.

To set up rates  navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Schedule → Job Types → select/Add a Job Type →[tab] Financial → [subtab] Rates → Add:

The rate for a job of this type will be determined by taking these answers and then calculating a total figure.

  1. Override contact’s set rates – Where you have set specific rates for individual clients, here you are given the option to override them if needed. You may wish to do this, for example, for a call-out charge where you have a standard rate which is universally applicable.
  2. Period – This is the time period where this rate is applicable. For example, the standard rate may be 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, and an out of hours rate may be anything outside of those times. Select days and times from the dropdown list.
  3. Fixed Price – This is a fixed rate. For example, a call-out charge.
  4. Driving Hourly Rate – If you charge time for driving to a job, the hourly figure can be input here.  It may differ depending on whether you select planned or actual in field 15.
  5. Rate per mile – Allows you to set a cost per mile driven whilst undertaking the job. Again, your choice of planned or actual will make a difference, it will either be an estimated distance or literally how far the driver travelled from their start point, including any diversions, etc.
  6. Driving from a fixed location – Choosing “No” will calculate the distance driven from the point the resource says ‘start driving to job’ to ‘start job’ on the tablet. Choosing “Yes” will allow you to choose a fixed starting location, such as Head Office. More relevant when using planned duration (15).
  7. Drive Time Rounding – Allows you to choose to either round up or round down the driving time, commonly in 15 minute increments. This is more often rounded up. If 60 is chosen, this will round up to the nearest hour.
  8. Driving Multiplier – This option allows you to multiply the final selling cost of travel by a specific number. For example, 1 would be standard rate. 0.5 would be half the standard rate and if you wanted to charge a customer for travel both to and from their location, you would set it at 2.
  9. Working Hourly Rate, First Hour – This allows you to set a rate for the first hour, if it is to be different from the following hours. For example, the first hour charged at £45, and then £35 per hour thereafter.
  10. Working Hourly Rate, after 1st hour – As in the above example, this allows you to set the rate after the first hour.
  11. Working Hourly Rate Over Planned Duration – This allows you to set a figure for working time which exceeds the planned period of the job.
  12. Hourly Rate Rounding (minutes) – This allows you to round your hourly rate up or down. If for example you wanted to round up to the nearest hour, you would choose 60, or 15 for a quarter of an hour.
  13. Multiply by the number of resources – If there are multiple resources undertaking a job, you can multiply the hourly rate by the number of resources. For example, if the standard rate was £10, if 4 resources were used, it would be £40.
  14. Show working rate even if amount is 0 – This is to be used if you want an hourly rate shown, even if the number of hours worked is 0, eg if you are already on-site and don’t want to add driving time.
  15. Durations used – You can use either Planned or Actual durations. If you choose to charge the rate quoted, regardless of the duration actually taken, then use Planned. If not, Actual will charge the rate of the time actually worked.
  16. VAT Code – You can choose the VAT amount charged here.

If you have a job which has a call out rate which includes the first hour’s work. The fixed price would be the call out rate, the ‘Working Hourly Rate, First Hour’ would be £0 (as this is included in the fixed price), with the hourly rate being input into ‘Working Hourly Rate, after 1st Hour’.

Please note, the VAT Code is set in the Financial Settings by navigating My account → Administration → [side menu] Financial → VAT codes and cannot be created here, only assigned. 

Once you have created your options, press Ok.

How Rates Work When Applied to a Job

How Rates Work When Applied to a Job

So how do Rates work in practice when applied to a job?  The easiest way of demonstrating this is by using an example.

For our example, we will use our demonstration company, Fast Repair carrying out a Boiler Service for Fitzwilliam Enterprises.

Step 1

Navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Schedule → Job Types and select Boiler Service from our list of Job Types.  Then click on the Financial tab…

… and then on the Rates subtab, followed by +Add.

Step 2

Fill out the Rates form.  For our first example, we will keep it very simple, with the first hour charged at £40 and every hour after that charged at £50/hour.  We will also round up to the nearest ¼ of an hour.  Note, the rate for this will be £12.50/15 minutes (£50 ÷ 4).

When completed, the Rates form will look like this:

Step 2

And this is summarised for us in the list view once we have saved it:

Step 3

If we move on to the Schedule, we can now create and save our Boiler Service:

Step 4

Once the job has been saved, click View to open the job on the Schedule:

And then go to the Financial tab.  You will see that a line item has been created in accordance with the rates for this job now that it has been scheduled.

tips icon

If changes are made to a job after it is scheduled, you will need to press 'Recalculate job invoice' to update the costs.

 

Now let us imagine the job took slightly longer than planned and took 65 minutes, rather than 60.  After clicking on Recalculate job invoice items, the line item would then look like this:

This would represent the £40/hour charge + £12.50/¼ hour rounded up (£50 ÷ 4), which we added in Step 2 (see image for Step 2).

Examples

With each change that is made to the fields in the form shown in Step 2, the cost of the job will change.  Some examples are shown below so that you can see what effect changes have and where they appear.

With the Addition of a Fixed Price

Will cost: £60 + £40 + £12.50 = £112.50

With the Addition of Driving Rates

For this function to work you will need a fixed location as a starting point, eg your depot address in order for the calculation to work.  Note that travel costs are recorded as separate line items to the main job costs:

tips icon

If you can't see the line showing travel costs, click 'Recalculate job invoice items'

With Edited Line Item Information

Line item information can be edited for a Job Type in its Templates tab.  You can adjust it to show how costs were calculated, add Job References, etc.  Navigate: My account → Administration → [Quick links] Job type → select job type → Edit → [tab] Templates. 

The default Financial description includes 2 keywords (keywords appear in blue when added): (1) the name of the Job Type and (2) a placeholder customer name.  As an example, you will also see that the Job Reference and Actual Job Duration have been added from the list of available keywords, as well as a free text description:

Using a Resource's Address as a Start Point

Using a Resource’s Address as a Start Point

In the above examples, we showed the start point as the depot address of the company.  However, you may wish to use a resource’s home address as a departure point instead, depending on how your business operates or else you may want the mileage to be measured from the previous job’s location.

Resources’ home addresses can only be used if your resources have been added to your CRM, so begin by adding those in if they are not already on the system.

Navigate: CRM → [side menu] Contacts → [tab] Contacts → Add.  You can then set it up as desired but in the below example, the resource, David Nathan, has been added to the Group ‘Employees‘ and the company has been added as the Parent contact.

Once all of your resources are in your CRM, their homes can be added as a start point.

If you want this to be applied, you can add it to new Rates or edit old ones by ticking ‘No’ on the Driving from fixed location field

Now ensure that the start location for your resources is set up to their home address.  This can be done in the Resource card working hours.  Navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Resources → Add-Edit → select resource → [field] Working hours.

Click on this field and a new popup window will open.

To use the resource’s home address as a start point, tick ‘At a contact’ and type in the resource name and select it from the dropdown list.

Resource’s home address for travel calculation

The system will now use the resource’s home address as the calculation point from which to work out mileage for a job.

Creating Contact-Specific Rates

Creating Contact-Specific Rates

In addition to the Rates set against a Job Type, Rates can also be set against a contact in CRM.  Navigate: CRM → [side menu] Contacts → Select contact → [tab] Financial → [subtab] Rates:

Here you can set rates, discounts and markups specific to the contact.  You will remember that in the Job Types you had the option as to whether or not the rates for the Job Type would/wouldn’t override the rates for the contact:

Job Type Rates

Having the option to switch between generic rates or tailored rates gives you maximum flexibility so that you can achieve exactly the prices you want, every time, contact by contact, at a granular level.  Of course, they can also be quickly edited at any time, making changes in price structuring a matter of moments.

The CRM Rates form is very similar to the Job Type Rates form.  the only difference is in the first field, where you will instead be asked to indicate which Job Types you would like these rates applied to, with the option to select all if preferred

CRM Rates

Imagine if you have agreed set working hours and driving rates for all jobs for this customer, rather than on a Job Type basis.  It might then look like this:

CRM Rates

as compared to the Job Type rates which would otherwise have been applied:

When you click on the Financial tab for the job, the change in pricing can be seen:

Contact-specific CRM Financials

Job Type Financials

Discount & Mark-ups

Discount & Mark-ups

This section can be found by navigating: CRM → [side menu] Contacts → Select contact → [tab] Financial → [subtab] Rates → [icon] Add discount:

The discounts and markups section, shown above, allows you to make changes that can be applied in single areas for that customer without having to amend it for everything, eg a fixed 10% discount across the board for Fitzwilliam Enterprises or for each Job Type for a customer.

For instance, using the same Boiler Service example as earlier, imagine that the Job Type costs were calculated on the basis of a small van being used for the jobs.  Now imagine that the restrictions of the site mean that whenever your resource visits Fitzwilliam Enterprises the vehicle used needs to be a different type of van, with 50% higher running costs and a 50% higher value per mile.  By simply amending the Driving hourly value and Rate per mile fields, the cost will be updated for all jobs without having to input the changes one by one or adding additional information in the other fields.  You could, of course, narrow it down by a single Job Type or multiple Job Types if desired, using the dropdown menu in the first field:

Discounts & mark-ups

Discounts & Mark-Ups Financials

So which option should I choose?

  1. If you want to set rates that will apply to all customers for a specific job type, use Job Type Rates and tick Yes in the field asking if you want the Job Type Rates to override the contact’s set rates.
  2. If you want to set contact-specific rates then tick No in the Job Type Rates section and then complete all relevant fields in the CRM entry for this contact,
  3. If you want to add a discount/markup in a more granular way, it can be done by using the Discounts and markups section.  Navigate: CRM → contact name → [tab]Financial → [subtab] Rates → Discounts and markups.
    The additional costs shown will be added to all Job types at all times because it is a site-wide issue in this instance.  You will notice that the options can be made as general or as specific as you like here.  Note that if you were to add a discount, that would be prefixed with a ‘-‘ eg -50%, whereas markups are added as positive numbers.

advisory icon

Changes added via Discounts and Markups will be applied even if you have ticked 'yes' to the Job Type Rates overriding the contact's set rates.

 

Rates Across Multiple Time Periods

For Job Type Rates

JobWatch can also calculate the actual cost of Jobs that span two or more Rate periods.

Begin in the back office by setting rates for the relevant Job Type if you have not already done so. Navigate: My Account → Administration →  [side menu] Schedule → Job Types → Select a Job Type → [tab] Financial → [tab] Rates → [icon] Add

For Customer-Specific Rates

For Customer-Specific Rates

For those customers with overlapping rates, it is possible to customise a Contact’s rate configuration, either for one or all Job types.

 

Navigate: CRM → [side menu] Contacts → select contact → [tab] Financial → [icon] Add discount:

Once you have clicked on the ‘Add discount’ icon, a new popup window will open:

Complete the fields appropriately, paying particular attention to using ‘-‘ before a number for a discount.  The finished forms may look something like this, with the 2 different rates clearly labelled for example purposes only:

A Boiler Installation for Royal Bathrooms, taking place between 8.00-10.00 will, therefore, cross two rate periods, Rate A and Rate B.

The job rate will be therefore be calculated as follows:

A Financial Document for this job will, therefore, be totalled as the combined cost including differing rates and markups/discounts:

Rating Tables

Creating a Rating Table

Creating a Rating Table

Rating tables differ from the rates which are for Job Types or contacts as they work by combining 2 elements – the x and y axes or rows and columns – rather than just one element, eg £ per hour.

A new Rating Table can be created by navigating:

My Account ➔ Administration ➔ [side menu] Financial ➔ Schedule of rates ➔ Add 

You can Add or search by Group here:

Once you click to add a new table, a pop-up menu entitled “New Rating Table” will appear:

This should now be populated with the appropriate information,  taking note that all fields marked with an asterisk are mandatory and must be completed:

  1. Name – the name you wish to attribute to this table.
  2. Group – the group which this rating table belongs within
  3. Currency – the currency you will be working in eg GBP, Euros, etc.
  4. Invoice description – this field can hold several auto-populated keyword fields eg Job type, Order number but also can be combined with free text, as required.
  5. Nominal code -you can attribute a number code to this table here if you wish to do so, however, this field is not compulsory.
  6. Department code – you can attribute a department code to this table here if you wish to do so, allowing for easier traceability and internal recharges, however, this field is not compulsory.
  7. VAT – choose the level of VAT attributable to this rating table.
  8. Row type – you are provided with a list of categories that you may select from and this then populates the x-axis label of your table.
  9. Column type – you are provided with a list of categories that you may select from and this then populates the y-axis label of your table.
  10. Multiply price by – an optional field that can enable more complex calculations to be automatically calculated, including the option to multiply by both the x and y axes.
  11. Use predefined invoicing items – an optional field which by drawing in predefined items (Navigate: My Account → Administration → [side menu] Financial → Predefined invoicing items) can enable more complex equations to be automatically calculated.  This field is a fantastic time-saver which also reduces the possibility of input error.  Additionally, it allows you to set up customer-specific pricing as predefined invoice items (discounts or mark-ups) and this pricing will be used.

As noted above, the name which you attribute to (1) Row Type will appear as the x-axis  label and that which is selected for (2) Column Type will appear as the y-axis label:

Additional rows and columns can be added to your table by clicking on the ‘+’ symbol or removed by clicking on the ‘-‘ symbol (this only appears when there are more than 3 tabs on each axis).

If you select a Worksheet answer for a Column or Row type, additional fields (1) and (2) will appear:

Available answer options on ‘Answer units’ are:

  • Number, Boolean (yes/no), Text, Day/Time, Time:

  • You can customise the VAT attribution for each Rating Table, allowing you to either apply a VAT % for the line item or, if you have VAT codes set up, apply these:

  • You can use the Comparison method field, allowing you to select either <= (is less than or equal to) or = (equal to), useful, for example, for returning multiple line items when more than one list based option can be selected

If you wish to create a new Rating Table that is quite similar to an existing one, you can do this by navigating:

My Account → Administration → Financial → Schedule of Rates → select Rating Table → Duplicate

The Duplicate table will appear in the list with the word ‘copy’ after the title, so can easily be identified, renamed and reused.

So for our Boiler Service Job, a Rating Table might look like this:

The X-Axis – There are 2 tabs on the example, ’60’ and ’90’.  You will notice that each of the tabs is attached to 2 rate boxes, one for lower than that amount and one for above it.  For example, the ’60’ tab has links to both line 1 (in this case, 0-59 minutes) and line 2 (in this case, 60-89 minutes).

The Y-Axis – There are also 2 tabs on this example, ’10’ and ’20’ and they work in precisely the same way.  If a distance is between 0-9 miles it would use column A and if it was between 10-19 it would use column B.

So, if a job is scheduled of this Job Type and takes between 0-59 minutes and is a distance of between 0-9 miles away, the charges will come from 1A.  If it took 65 minutes and was 21 miles away, the charges would come from 2C.

Triggering a Rating Table

Triggering a Rating Table

Rating tables are called into use via a dedicated WorkSheet branch type.

To set a Rating Table trigger, navigate as follows:

Navigate: My Account ➔ Administration ➔ Schedule (from the left hand menu) ➔  WorkSheets.  Then click on Add to create a new WorkSheet:

You should now name your new WorkSheet and complete it by deciding at which stage you wish the questions contained in it to be answered eg “before starting the job”, “at any time”, etc, before saving:

Please note, if you would like more detailed information on WorkSheet creation, conditional branching and triggers you may find it useful to read this article first.

Having created your WorkSheet you can now edit it by selecting it from the menu and customise it by creating new questions. To do this, navigate:

Select file ➔ Edit ➔  Tasks/inspection/parts… ➔ Add

  1. Ensure that questions are configured in a way that provides suitable responses/values for use in a Ratings Table, eg Number of tonnes collected?
  2. Ensure that the response (Type) works with the question and is suitable for use in rating tables.
  3. The box in the Mandatory field should be ticked.
  4. Once your WorkSheet question has been completed as desired, click on ‘+ Add conditional branching‘. *

*Conditional branching is the process by which you can build a decision tree based on the possible answers to a question, ie your required actions will change depending on your response to a question.  In the example below, if the answer to the question ‘Have you carried out a vehicle check?’ is ‘Yes’, then you can sign your Worksheet.  If you answer ‘no’ it will take you to a vehicle check.

Your completed question will look something like this:

but currently, there is nothing that advises the system that you want to use it in partnership with a rating table.  To do that we add conditional branching as a trigger.

Click on the ‘+ Add conditional branching‘ icon and a new line of fields will appear below the original form.  In most instances, it is safest to select ‘other answers‘ in the first field. Ensure that you have selected ‘Apply rating‘ and then select the appropriate Worksheet.  From the popup, choose the question from the Worksheet that you want to use.  These are the triggers that tell the system that you wish to use the answers to this question in your Rating Table:

Once a rating table has been successfully added to a question as a trigger, it is signposted by the appearance of a blue ‘$’ sign next to a worksheet question in a list.

Please note that rate tables will be applied in addition to any other pricing elements, such as; Job Type Financials, Cost Questions, Predefined Invoice Items and Stock.

Sample Rating Tables

A Rating Table for Different Levels of Seniority

A Rating Table for Different Levels of Seniority

Imagine a scenario where the rates for a Job Type – here we will use ‘Machine Run Inspection’ – are created on the basis of a Junior Engineer carrying out the work.  For more complex issues, however, a higher level of expertise is required and you want to add additional charges because of their higher rate of pay.

Step 1 – Create a Rating Table

Navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Schedule of Rates → Add

  1. Add a name
  2. Add a currency
  3. For row type, select ‘Worksheet answer‘. Two new fields will appear. For ‘Row description‘ we’ll use ‘Engineer category’ and for ‘Answers unit’, we’ll use ‘Text‘. A new ‘Comparison method‘ field will now have appeared.  Choose ‘=‘ because we want the text to be this exact answer.
  4. For column type, select ‘Job actual duration (minutes) because we want to charge for the engineer according to the costs.

Your completed Rating Table should look something like this:

The Junior row has been added as zero because the Job Type Rate already covers this level of expertise.

Step 2 – Create a Worksheet

Navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Schedule →  Worksheets  → Add.  Your Worksheet should look something like this:

Now re-open the Worksheet and add a question

  1. In this case, we want to ask what level of engineer completed the job
  2. The answer will be from a list of possible answers based on the levels we use in our company so we will select ‘List’ and we will then be asked to enter the possible answers.
  3. Make the response mandatory as we want the rating table to be triggered.
  4. Finally, we need to add conditional branching in order to tell the system that we want the rating table to be applied.
    1. Choose ‘other answers’ as we want the rating table to apply regardless of the answer.
    2. Select ‘Apply rating’ as we want the rating table to be used.
    3. Choose the rating table that you want to use

Your Worksheet should look something like this:
Step 3 – Job Type

Navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Schedule → Job types → Add/Edit.  Now ensure that you select the Worksheet that you just created as the default Worksheet (more than one Worksheet can be selected).  It should look something like this:

Step 4 – Schedule a Job

Now we can see the rating table in action by scheduling a job of the Job Type it is applied to:

The Worksheet we just created will have automatically been added, meaning so has our rating table.  Once the job has been completed, a Job result tab will appear on the far left.  If you open it, you will see that there are 2 sub-tabs, click on Worksheets. You will see the engineer’s response to the question we set:

If you now move over to the Financial tab, you will see the charges which have been levied based on our rating table:

If the level of the engineer had been Junior, then it would have looked like this:

A Rating Table for the Collection of Waste

A Rating Table for the Collection of Waste

In this scenario, the Rating Table calculates the tonnage of waste material collected.  For full step-by-step details, please see the first example, above.

Step 1 – Create a Rating Table

Navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Schedule of Rates → Add

Step 2 – Create a Worksheet

Navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Schedule →  Worksheets  → Add.  Your Worksheet should look something like this:

Step 3 – Job Type

Navigate: My account → Administration → [side menu] Schedule → Job types → Add/Edit.  Now ensure that you select the Worksheet that you just created as the default Worksheet (more than one Worksheet can be selected).  It should look something like this:

Step 4 – Schedule a Job

Now we can see the rating table in action by scheduling a job of the Job Type it has been applied to:

The Worksheet we just created will have automatically been added, meaning so has our rating table.  Once the job has been completed, a Job result tab will appear on the far left. If you open it, you will see that there are 2 sub-tabs, click on Worksheets. You will see the resource’s response to the question we set:

If you now move over to the Financial tab, you will see the charges which have been levied based on our rating table:

In the rating table we asked for the number of tonnes collected (25 mtu from the job’s worksheet), to be multiplied by the cost per mtu (£30).

Video

Rates & Ratings Tables: Recording of a Live Tutorial

Rates & Ratings Tables: Recording of a Live Tutorial

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Updated on 7th July 2021

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