Spend Plan: Offer Customers More Options to Fit their Budgets

Blog, Field Service

Last updated Nov 2, 2023 at 7:22PM | Published on Jul 5, 2021 | Blog, Field Service

Regardless of the industry you are in, quoting is part of the service process. Before your technicians can complete any work, generally, a quote is produced and given to the customer to sign off on. Whether that’s for a simple break/fix repair, or the start of something more significant like a preventative maintenance contract, or even more extensive work such as an installation project, it all begins with a quote.  

 Quoting can be challenging, especially when doing it manually. Errors can happen in calculations, prices and costs could be incorrect, and your sales team could miss customer margins and negotiated pricing. It’s why quoting is a significant part of any field service because it needs to be correct, and it needs to be accurate.  

 However, a simple quote might not be flexible enough for your field service business, and you need greater flexibility and control in producing quotes. Fieldpoint introduced spend plans to our field service software to provide our customers with the tool they need to build accurate quotes, with the flexibility and accuracy to control: 

  • Various packages 
  • Price options 
  • Price Margins 
  • Adjustable spending plans

Let us look at how spending plans will enhance your ability to quote work orders and projects for your customer.  


Flexible spending plans options 

One option sometimes is not enough. It would help if you could quote for more than one thing. There are two typical business use cases in field service where businesses need to produce multiple quotes for a customer. However, they want it to appear on the same quote, which is where building a proper spend plan comes into play.  

1. Customer wants options

When a customer asks for service, they might want to see all their options available. It could be an instance where they have two repairs and want a quote to fix one piece of equipment and then a second to fix both in the same visit. In addition, it is common for customers to ask for different prices of parts or ask for comparisons. For example, what would be the cost of part A with three hours of labour versus the price of part B with four hours of labour? With flexible spending plans, you can offer your customer the exact quote by building the spending plan. This way, the customer can select the price that fits their budget and needs.  

2. Service packages

Some field service businesses offer different packages of service. The platinum, gold, silver, and bronze package, as an example. Each package has its own costs, prices, and parts attached to it. Through a spending plan, you can cost out each of those packages to show your customers. Spending plans gives flexibility to your customers, as they can select the package that best suits them. It also gives them more options, which is a competitive landscape, can help win more bids, especially if you go in with multiple prices and the customer can make a selection.  


Control your margins and mark-ups 

To be competitive, you need control over your prices. That means having control over your margins and mark-ups to win more bids and more service. Field service businesses can find themselves where they must cut profit margins and mark-ups on parts to lower prices and win the bid.  

As you add parts and labour to your spend plans, your profits and mark-ups are automatically calculated based on how you set up your cost calculations in Fieldpoint. This automation gives you an accurate price on your spend plan, ensuring that what you are submitting is honest with the customer. However, to win bids, you may need to reduce the margins and mark-ups. But you do not want to lose money and give away service. 

In the spending plan, you gain the ability to reduce your margins and mark-ups. But the original cost of the part or labour hours remains, ensuring you are covering your costs appropriately. It is here where you can start to adjust your bids to win business. Get real-time gross profit figures, so you know exactly what you are making on each job.  

For example, you may have set a 50% mark-up on parts, but you reduce the mark-up to 30% to win the bid. Fieldpoint will automatically calculate the new total price and gross profit. This ability to alter mark-ups and profits ensures you stay profitable on every job while also remaining competitive with your pricing. 


Turn your spend plans into service 

After presenting your customers with multiple spend plans, the selected spend plan needs to be turned into service. To maintain the accuracy of the spending plan, you can automatically turn it into a work order or a project. When you convert the spending plan, it will bring over all the equipment, parts, and labour hours and put it on a work order or project.  

For projects, this automation will populate customer locations, tasks involved in the project, parts, equipment purchased, and show all the project’s budget, the same way it appears on the spending plan. You can now track the project budget, estimates vs. actuals, and ensure the project is coming in on budget that you quoted in the spending plan from inside the project.  


Build accurate quotes to budget. 

Fieldpoint’s spend plan functionality gives you the flexibility to work within your customer’s budgets, which will help you increase your win/loss rate. As you adjust, automatically see what service will cost you and maintain a level of pricing and gross profit that you are comfortable with to help you win more service. This level of automation will have you producing the most accurate quotes possible, improve your bidding and quoting capability, and ultimately win more service in the future.