Services are packages that may consist of kits, items, equipment and labor that are provided to clients in an as needed, optional, or required fashion. The service may be completed only once, but also has the functionality to take place on a recurring basis. Services have been designed to streamline the workflow and estimation process that is specific to maintenance-related jobs. For example, a “Lawn Maintenance” package would include items related to completing this Service – Mowing and Trimming for example. A Garden Care service could contain a Mulching Kit and Bed Edging Kit. In addition to kits, the Service could include any number of other Costbook items required.
Maintenance, unlike other parts of the business is a fast paced and administratively heavy function that needs to be managed more effectively. As maintenance work is typically a more standard based process, the repeatable Maintenance work provided to clients can be standardized within DS|Manage360 as a Service, ensuring that there is nothing left out of an Estimate. They are configurable on a job-by-job basis according to what the client needs, allowing the content of a Service package to be generalized and flexible. Additionally, all individual components within a Service may be set up to be optional within the contract, required for the Job, recurring across a period of time or as-needed based upon changing requirements.
A determination of how the Services should be categorized needs to be made prior to the addition of Services into the DS|Manage360 Costbook. Services categories are important as they are linked directly to the Divisions that have been set up and this selection controls the available Services available when creating an Estimate (as with Labor and Kits, only Services from a single Division can be added to an Estimate). Additionally, the categories are used to potentially filter for specific Services during the Estimate creation process and can be used during the Reporting process.
CHARGING FOR SERVICES #
Unlike Kits, as Services are added, their pricing option can be set as being determined per visit or on a time and material basis. When using the per visit pricing, the price of the Service is determined by the price of the items that are required to complete one visit. A “Mow and Trim Service” is a good example for this pricing option. The service could contain all of the labor and items needed to complete quick lawn mowing and hedge trimming tasks either independently or bundled together as kits. A standard rate can be set for small to medium residential/commercial mow and trim jobs, or for large open properties. Once all the components of the Service have been added, it is possible to further adjust the Service price as a whole.
Services that use the time and materials pricing option will be set up as an hourly rate (based on the number of hours of labor required to complete the task) and any materials will be priced based on the amount used. As an example, a “Mulching – As Required” Service could contain a Bed Prep Kit which includes Bed Prep Labor and Cedar Mulch.
IN CONTRACT, ON DEMAND and AS NEEDED SERVICES #
Services that are defined as ‘In Contract’ are client requested services that will be included in the total price of the Estimate. ‘On Demand’ Services included in the contract are those done at the request of the customer with pricing provided on the Estimate, but not as part of the total contracted price. There are several Landscape Maintenance Services that could fall under the scope of an On Demand Service – for example, Stone Pressure Washing, Mulching, Raking, Pool Maintenance or Aeration. ‘As Needed’ Services are included within the Estimate with pricing, but with the stipulation that they will be performed based on external factors. For example, there may be a Salting Service which will be done and billed when it is needed (not necessarily at the customer’s request).
SERVICE FREQUENCY #
Any Services that are setup to be ‘In Contract’ may also be done multiple times over the course of the season. The frequency of these Services can have a recurrence pattern set up during creation (as the default for the Service). This can potentially be adjusted an individual Estimates if necessary. For example, the aforementioned Mow and Trim Service can be marked as Recurring.
Once flagged as a recurring service, the frequency of the service itself can be de further defined to include how often it will occur, how the service recurs (daily, weekly, and monthly) and what the standard and maximum number of visits would be. Further information about these settings can be found in the Technical section of this Guide.
SERVICE DETAILS #
Prior to any Services being created, at least one Service Category needs to be made. This is done from the main Settings area (Costbook Settings – Service Categories). This allows for similar services to be grouped both for searching and reporting processes. The creation of Service Categories is predicated on having a ‘Maintenance’ type division set up (if this is not done, then the Service Category cannot be created). The Categories are Division specific (that means that Services will be Division specific as well).
In DS|Manage360, the Service elements are on 3 tabs – Details, Notes and Items.
DETAILS TAB #
- Name – required
- Display Name – required. This is the name of the Service that will be displayed on the Proposal and Invoices (can be different from the Name if desired).
- Optional – Defines whether or not the Service is an optional item on the estimate.
- Division and Service Category – required. Categories defined in settings
- Kits are only visible in chosen Division
- Charge type – required. Per Visit or Time and Material
- Include – Determines how the Service will be handled in the overall pricing of the estimate
- In Contract – These services will be done as part of the Contract and will be used to calculate the price of the contract
- As Needed / On Demand – These can be priced so that the customer knows what they will cost, but they are not part of the total contracted price. They are billed if and when done. The main difference between them is as follows:
- On Demand – done on Customer request
- As Needed – done based on external factor (i.e. snow/ice services)
- Recurring – if selected, this will allow entry of how the service will recur and what the expected (Number of Visits) and maximum (Maximum Visits) visits will be.
- Daily –Every x days
- Weekly – Every x weeks
- Monthly – Every x months
- Per Contract – Based on Number of Visits but without any recurrence pattern.
NOTES TAB #
The Notes tab of the Service contains additional information that can potentially be used on the proposal.
- Description – Internal description of the Service.
- Crew Instructions – Details of what the crew should do in performing the service. Will be visible on the Timesheets (both paper and mobile)
- Customer Description – Description of the Service that can be displayed on the estimate if needed.
SERVICE ITEMS #
A Service can consist of Kits and/or individual items. They are added to the Service by using the Add Item button. General Conditions can also be applied to a Service by using the Add General Conditions button.
- The Quantity, Cost and Price columns will be listed as per visit if that was chosen on the Details tab.
- The quantity and cost can be adjusted once items have been added to a Service (the price of the items can also be adjusted for ‘Fixed Price’ items)
- A Discount can be applied to the Service as either a percentage or specified amount. This is typically set at the Estimate level (not the Costbook)
- If a Minimum Price/Visit is required, it can also be set here. This will show a message on the Estimate if the current Service price is less than the minimum. It can be left as it is, or the price can be increased.
- If there are a specific number of Visits for the Service, then it is also possible to set a price for any visits over that amount with the Price/Extra Visit. If no extra charge is to be used, then 0 can be entered.
- The Analysis button will show Overhead and Profit breakdown for the Service.
CLONING A SERVICE #
In order to facilitate the creation of similar Services in DS|Manage360, it is possible to clone an existing Service and then make any necessary adjustments to the items or pricing of the Service and then save it. This allows a second Service to be quickly created that is based on the original kit. The Service Details, Notes and Items tabs will be duplicated and the Name (and Display Name) will have the number 1 appended to them – if it is the first copy of that Service. The name should be updated before the Service is put into use.