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Getting Started with Labor
Getting Started with Labor

Learn about how to add labor to your projects

Written by Ashok P
Updated over a week ago

Labor is a fee you charge your customers in addition to the price of the products supplied as part of the project. For example, A/V installation labor for a Retrofit project, A/V consultation labor, A/V installation labor for a remodeling project, or A/V repair labor for a Services project.

D-Tools Cloud is built for businesses of all sizes, so we have taken exceptional care in designing our labor addition and estimation capabilities. All products in our Product Library (D-Tools Library) come with our curated labor recommendations. Businesses that want to set their own labor can suppress our recommendations and add their own or their estimates on top of our recommendations.

Labor Type

Labor Type represents the nature of labor (work) done to complete the tasks in the projects. Labor Type is the fundamental unit of labor on D-Tools Cloud.

A Labor Type itself is not labor but a global definition for a type of labor. Labor Types determine the rate and cost for any labor of the specific type. Labor associated with a Type “inherits” the values of its type - saving you time and effort when quoting labor.

Adding Labor to Projects

As part of adding labor to your projects’ quotes, you will need to add labor by the relevant Labor Types. There are four ways to add labor:

  1. By factoring in labor into the Estimated costs of products using Category labor rules

  2. By adding Labor Only Packages that group multiple Labor Types directly in the quotes

  3. By adding relevant pre-created Labor Types directly in the quotes

  4. By adding a new labor requirement as a Labor Type in a quote

You can use all four ways of adding labor in a project, use two or three, or just one way, depending on the size of the project and your business requirements.

Factoring in Labor into the estimated costs of Products

Here, labor for a product is bundled into the estimated cost of the product using Category labor rules. A Category labor rule is a combination of a pre-created Labor Type, the time needed to complete the labor, and the phase of the project for all products in a specific Category in the Products Catalog.

Category labor rules are global and reflect the relevant labor estimates of the products in the quotes. A product can have multiple Category labor rules. For example, a Television with a labor rule of 30 minutes for Installation and another rule of 30 minutes for Programming.

Start with your preference for whether to use Category labor rules on the Settings > Catalog > Categories page.

You can set Category labor rules in one of three ways:

Category Options set to Suggest

Use our labor recommendation as a benchmark, apply it to the product, and add more labor rules or edit the ones that came with the recommendation.

Category Options set to ON

This is the quickest and the best way to add labor for projects. You accept our labor recommendations, and all products in all categories use our curated labor estimates.

See Configuring Labor for a Product for more details.

Category Options set to OFF

Switch off labor recommendations for all products in the Catalog and add labor using one of the Labor Packages or Labor Types.

Category labor rules are meant to display itemized labor costs in the quotes. Even with Category labor rules set to ON or Suggest, you have complete control over whether to use itemized labor in the quotes. You can disable itemized labor at the level of a quote and add your own labor Packages or Labor Types.

Note: Once you have set Category rules settings, you can change them anytime. However, there are some implications to labor items that are already added to the quotes using the rules settings. Always see and understand the impact of the change we show in the UI.

Adding Labor as Packages

On D-Tools Cloud, a Package is a combination of one or more products and all associated labor (Product + Labor Package) or a group of multiple labor requirements (Labor Only Packages).

To create a Package, go to Catalog > Packages in the navigation, click New Package, and select the type of package.

As an app entity, Packages are like Products on D-Tools Cloud. You can add a package the way you add a product as an item to a quote.

Packages can be used for a wide range of labor requirements:

  • Quotes built using one or more Product + Labor packages built using the Category labor rules and mapped to your budget-based project offerings. For example, a mid-range Home Theater package and a High-end Home Theater package.

  • Quotes built with all labor added as a Labor Only package for Services Only projects. For example, a Drywalling project for which you want to supply only labor.

  • Quotes built using Category labor rules and more services as a Labor Only package when you want to offer annual maintenance for products as a service. For example, an optional add-on 1-year Maintenance Services as part of a Home Theater setup project.

Adding Labor as pre-created Labor Types

Irrespective of whether you are using Category labor rules, you can still add pre-created Labor Types as labor requirements for a project. If you are using labor rules, all labor requirements are listed in the Labor Summary part of the quote by Location, System, Phase, and Category views. Pick a view, add Labor Types as line items in the Items part of the quote, and specify the duration of labor needed for each Labor Type.

Adding labor as items is a must-do for labor-inclusive projects when you are not using Category labor rules or Packages in the quotes.

Adding a new Labor Type in a Quote

Some projects may require a new labor requirement that you have not foreseen. In such cases, you can add a new Labor Type as a line item in the Labor Summary part of the quote. At the time of creating the Labor Type, specify the duration of labor needed.

Adding Labor as Adjustments

Labor can also be added as a price adjustment to quotes.

See Price Adjustment for more details.

Adding Labor to Won Opportunities

Although the best practice is to accurately estimate labor costs when finishing the proposal, you may sometimes miss adding all required labor.

For Won opportunities that are currently Projects, you can add a Labor Package or a Labor Type as a Change Order.

See Building a Change Order for more details.

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