Electrical, Pro Features, Guides, Business Tips

How Our Electrical Flat Rate Pricing App Is Different: Advanced Features for Seamless Pricebook Management

July 19th, 2022
12 Min Read

A flat rate pricing app should be a much more efficient alternative to a binder full of laminated pages, or even a document or spreadsheet listing services, part numbers, and prices. But most pricing apps for electricians fall short because of several limitations:

  • They’re usually stand-alone, third-party apps that don’t have the ability to communicate with the other tools you use to run your business (e.g. your dispatch or accounting software). 

  • You still have to calculate and manually input all of the data for each service you offer to create a flat rate price that includes job costs (equipment, materials, labor, permits, overhead, etc.) and your desired profit margin — and then spend countless hours constantly updating it.

  • You have to make edits line by line or import and export data to update the information. Column or bulk editing isn’t usually an option.

  • Most pricing software lacks the ability to automate pricing updates based on changes in supplier pricing of equipment and materials. Businesses need to constantly monitor supplier pricing for updates and make those changes manually in their pricebooks.

The lack of these sophisticated features means it may take hundreds of extra hours per year to manually maintain your pricebook. (Many businesses actually have a full-time employee on staff just for this task.) 

And after the customer accepts your bid, you still have to reenter the same information into the various apps and software you use to run your business, all of which reduces your efficiency and opens the door to numerous opportunities for error.

ServiceTitan surmounts all of these drawbacks by improving pricebook management efficiency and fully integrating pricing and proposals with the rest of a service business workflow. 

We include a customizable pricebook option with our electrical contractor software, and offer enhanced pricebook features through Pricebook Pro.

» Want to grow your electrical business? Click here to get a demo.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through how ServiceTitan’s pricing features work for electrical service companies. Specifically, we’ll cover:

Want to see how ServiceTitan works to streamline your electrical business operations? Schedule a call to get a free, live, one-on-one walkthrough of the features we describe throughout this article.

ServiceTitan’s Flat Rate Pricebook Setup and Management

Whether you’re an electrical contractor who provides residential electrical service and repair or a multi-industry service business that also provides HVAC, plumbing and/or other services, ServiceTitan recognizes that your pricebook is the lifeline of your business. It needs to be easy to use and maintain, and it should increase your efficiency for creating attractive and accurate proposals — all of which will increase your profitability. 

ServiceTitan gives you the option of creating a completely new pricebook from scratch, importing a pricebook you’re already using, or using our pre-built pricebook available through Pricebook Pro. Then, you can refine it with as much detail as you’d like.

Because its cloud-based, office and mobile views are accessible via desktop, laptop, and mobile devices such as a tablet, Android, or iPhone/iPad. This means the information is available and accessible in real-time to everyone who needs access to it, whether they’re in the office or out in the field using our mobile app.

If you choose to enable it, ServiceTitan’s Pricebook Connect functionality allows you to easily add and update materials and equipment (with images and product descriptions) through direct access to select industry catalogs. This ensures you’re getting accurate product descriptions, up-to-date pricing options, and more, from your preferred supplier.

Several key features that differentiate ServiceTitan from other pricing and field service management apps include:

1. Organizational Features

Because it’s completely customizable, you can easily create and neatly organize your pricebook to suit the size and complexity of your business. 

You can create different pricebooks for residential and commercial customers (if you service both). Or, if your business serves multiple industries, such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, you can create industry-specific pricebooks for each.

Clear, visual organization makes it easy for technicians to find what they need in the field. (In addition, business owners and managers have the ability to set specific permissions for which parts of the pricebook individual technicians see. For example, you can create settings so that plumbing technicians only have access to the plumbing flat rate pricebook, or residential technicians only have access to the residential side of the pricebook.)

The pricebook is also searchable by a variety of means, such as by product code, part number, model number, name, or category. 

In the office view, you can click to see the item description, photo/video, price, sold hours, etc. You can easily edit an individual service or add whatever other information is useful to your business, such as warranty description or an employee incentive bonus.

You can also elect to automatically attach essential materials to a specific item or service package. 

For example, if you get a service call to install recessed lighting in a residential home, you can pre-set that service item in your pricebook to automatically include any necessary components, such as the can lights, cable, trim, bulbs, and the option for a new wall switch. 

But, if that service call reveals a bigger problem — like the entire service panel needs to be upgraded in order to install those lights — you can opt to add all necessary parts, materials, and inspections to a generic service upgrade package that can then be tweaked instead of having to add them individually every time.

2. The Ability to Upload Photos and Videos 

When you add items to your ServiceTitan pricebook through Pricebook Pro or Pricebook Connect (more on that below), item descriptions automatically come with professional-quality photos. This helps techs find, identify, and verify parts. 

Unlike most other pricebooks, our app also allows you to upload photos and videos of your own. You can then insert these images in the proposal for the customer to view. This might help the customer select an option they prefer or better envision the final product. 

3. Bulk Editing Functionality

In most pricebooks, editing must be done line by line. Or, for larger edits, you have to export lists to spreadsheets, use formulas to create edits, and then import the updates back into the pricebook. This is a complicated, time-consuming process and a major headache if something goes wrong.  

Of course, you can do inline editing as needed, but ServiceTitan’s bulk editing feature allows you to make changes that carry across your entire pricebook or just to specific areas.

For example, with a few clicks, you can apply a percentage markup to many pricebook items all at once: 

Or, you can edit your pricing formula to update all of your pricebook — or specific parts of your pricebook — as shown below:

You can edit five columns at once or just edit select groups and categories. 

You can select or deselect the columns you want to see in your list of services, such as a member price, warranty description, upgrades, linked equipment, and whether an item is taxable or not. 

And because ServiceTitan’s pricebook is integrated with the rest of your software program, changes you make to your pricebook automatically extend to all other relevant applications, like purchase orders and invoices, and to your accounting software (e.g. QuickBooks or Intaact).

In addition, when updates are made, they’re made across the platform in real-time. This means any estimates or proposals that are created from that moment forward will automatically reflect the most up-to-date pricing — saving businesses from delays because of the implementation of any pricing updates.

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4. Pricebook Connect

Pricebook Connect is a pricebook content delivery tool that’s available to all ServiceTitan customers who elect to use it. It allows ServiceTitan to easily deliver pricebook content from the Pricebook Pro catalog and/or other top service industry catalogs directly into your pricebook. And, it will help keep your pricebook updated with minimal effort on your part. 

(Talk with your ServiceTitan customer service manager about the specific suppliers you work with whose catalogs may integrate with your pricebook through Pricebook Connect.)

After you download a catalog, select the material and equipment you’d like to add to your pricebook, and then click, “Add to Pricebook.” Pricebook Connect then adds those items to your “Equipment” or “Materials” lists. 

If a change becomes available to any item in your pricebook, you’ll be notified via the “Updates” page. Changes could include adjustments to material costs, marketing descriptions, industry standards, product images, sold hours, and more. 

Simply click the “Update in Pricebook” button to add selected changes or updates. 

Updates are configurable as well. You have the option to preselect items you want ServiceTitan to automatically update (e.g. equipment costs), automatically dismiss (e.g. product descriptions), or hold for you to manually manage (e.g. hours sold or changes to member pricing).

The Updates feature also alerts you to new products you may want to add to your pricebook with a purple “New” label. 

By keeping your pricebook up to date in this way, you ensure your estimates are accurate so you don’t inadvertently underbid or have to make revisions later. And, by keeping up with new products, you provide your customers with the latest options and have the opportunity to upsell with the latest recommendations or upgrades.

Additional Functionality with Pricebook Pro

The above features are a significant improvement over most flat rate pricing apps. However, building and maintaining a first-rate pricebook that maximizes profit margins requires a significant time investment — time many business owners struggle to find, even when they know the value.

That’s why ServiceTitan also offers Pricebook Pro — the dynamic pricebook we build and maintain with the guidance of experienced industry experts. Our customers who upgrade to Pricebook Pro see an average year-over-year revenue growth of about 13%. 

With Pricebook Pro, all categories and services (including hundreds of ready-made templates) are preset for you and include professional images, descriptions, sold hours, average prices, and more. You insert your labor rate, and the software automatically updates all of your flat rate prices accordingly.

Pricebook Pro automatically pulls in the most up-to-date product photos, descriptions, and costs, and continues to automatically update that information. This ensures your estimates are accurate and saves you (or your staff) from hundreds of hours of manual edits and potential errors. 

We also suggest upgrades and other service recommendations that maximize revenue from each sale. 

Price Insights is a new ServiceTitan feature exclusive to Pricebook Pro that helps you bid with even more confidence. It compares your flat rate price with the average ticket price for that service in your geographical area. 

Pricebook Pro isn’t just confined to electrical services. It also includes access for plumbing, HVAC, drain, and sewer trades as well. So if you provide services in more than one field, you’ll have access to everything in one pricebook. 

Create Multi-Option Estimates and Proposals From the Office or the Field

ServiceTitan allows you to draw from your pricebook to quickly and easily build accurate and professional proposals that protect (and even increase) your profit margin. 

Note: While the terms “estimates” and “proposals” are often used interchangeably, in ServiceTitan, estimate templates are built for specific services and are used to populate proposal templates that allow technicians to present multiple options to customers in the field.

From the office-side of the platform, businesses have the ability to build their own estimate and proposal templates from scratch, or customize any of the hundreds of templates we’ve already created.

Once estimate templates have been created for specific services, Good-Better-Best-style proposal templates can be created for presenting multiple options to customers in the field. 

By presenting options such as “Silver, Gold, Platinum” or “Good, Better, Best,” electrical businesses can increase average ticket amounts while removing the burden of “selling” for techs.

When technicians are out on a job, they can choose from the estimate template library to add common services to a proposal, or build custom estimates and proposals from scratch based on the business’s pricebook — all from their tablet or mobile device.

Then, they can simply click “Present” when they’re ready to share the proposal via their tablet to the customer.

The customer can see as much or as little detail as the technician or business chooses to share in their estimate templates

They have the ability to click into each option and view further details of the service, including the material images and descriptions we covered above.

Finally, ServiceTitan’s financing feature offers another way to boost sales. This option embeds a financing application in proposals that allows customers to apply for financing in just a few steps. 

Seamlessly Connect to the Rest of Your Service Business Workflow From Your Estimate/Proposal

Because most flat-rate software apps don’t integrate with the other apps or software an electrical business uses, all of the information from the pricebook and the estimate has to be re-entered elsewhere to complete other processes associated with the job workflow. Not only is this inefficient, but every time that information has to be manually entered in another app or program, it’s an opportunity for error.

ServiceTitan, however, automatically integrates the information from an accepted proposal throughout the system, which efficiently streamlines the workflow.

For example, once you’ve created a proposal in ServiceTitan, you can easily:

  • Order materials: Find the material in the pricebook. Click ADD to add the material to the job as a cost. After that, you can send it to your warehouse for approval and to order the materials. Or, you can send it directly to the supply house for fulfillment.

  • Create purchase orders: Clicking on the materials you and your technicians use on the job automatically creates a purchase order to conveniently manage parts replenishment. This is a vast improvement over having to call in or handwrite orders for parts.

  • Integrate with your accounting software including QuickBooks or Intacct

  • Generate invoices: ServiceTitan takes the information from the sold estimate, including the job description, materials, labor rates, and any additional work orders from the job, and generates the invoice. You may choose to add a summary of the work and supporting photos as well. As with the estimate, technicians may present the invoice to the customer on a mobile device, or it can be sent via email or any other traditional method.

  • Collect payment: ServiceTitan Payments allow customers to accept and even pay for services from the link to the personalized portal you provide. Alternatively, your technicians can process credit cards or checks on the spot with our mobile app and card reader. We also integrate with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Plus, the auto batching feature means you don’t have to manually log payments. They’re easily exported to your accounting software.

A well-built pricebook is one of the most significant investments you can make in your business. And, while some apps provide a few of the same features, such as the ability to connect with dispatch software and to create estimate templates, none offer the complete functionality or ease of use of ServiceTitan. 

Want to see how ServiceTitan works to streamline your electrical business operations? Schedule a call to get a free, live, one-on-one walk through of the features we describe throughout this article.

ServiceTitan Electrical Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive electrical business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

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