Topic Thread

flat rate book choices

  • 1.  flat rate book choices

    Posted 14 days ago


    We are looking to move to a flat rate book and was looking for suggestions. Any pros or cons to various products would be helpful. We currently do time and material


    Thank you



    John Scola, Service Manager


  • 2.  RE: flat rate book choices

    Posted 13 days ago
    So I put the horse before the cart a while ago, and purchased a FR program before we even had customers to use it on.... Since then I have learned quite a bit about them as there are many many choices to choose from.

    I will tell you this make sure what ever company you go with has a system so you do not have to carry actual books in the trucks... (My first mistake), they suck....

    I purchased Callahan Roach the first time and while I have no issues with them as a company they only have a book option and the books are freaking huge. Since then I have researched several other companies (New Flat Rate, Cool Front, Etc...) I have not made the final choice as I want to make sure the one I choose integrates with our new dispatch and invoicing software.

    Stand alone I really like Cool Front its easy to use has breakdowns for most common brands, even has generic parts listed and they put the price of use into each job so it pays for itself in the long run.  I like that it will even track your Service Agreement Sales and schedule when to do them...

    Just my 2 cents hope it helps a bit...

    Karl Ferry
    PayLess Services HVAC & Refrigeration
    Houston TX

  • 3.  RE: flat rate book choices

    Posted 12 days ago
    Good luck with the conversation to FR. 

    We did NSPG a million years ago. We recently signed on with Profit Rhino. I like their platform and pic / visual aids 

    Gary Wilson 
    Wilson Services 
    Northampton MA 

    Gary Wilson, Owner
    Wilson Services, Inc.
    Northampton, MA

  • 4.  RE: flat rate book choices

    Posted 12 days ago
    Edited by Kimya Bailey Cajchun 12 days ago

    We have tried many flat rate systems on the open market and found all of them focused on parts and pictures. We have also found that 99% of all customers could care less about what parts are necessary to fix the system and what the parts looks like. When trying to use the many flat rate systems out there we have found them to focus only on these parts and pictures and NOT THE LABOR. Focus on the labor with a flat system and not the parts as most all parts are cheaper than the labor and overhead tied to it. How many contactors do you need in a price book, how many fan motors do you need in a price book, how many condensate repairs do you need in a price book and the bigger question is how much time are going to spend training people how to find the exact parts on a spread sheet or in a book to quote the repair. Focus on the labor when setting up service flat book and forget about the parts and if you look at your P&L direct expenses for a service division what is your biggest expense LABOR not parts, not warranty parts. The manufactures have taken over the parts in our world so use that to your advantage, I think we can all agree that if there is one thing the manufactures suck at is customer service. We built our own flat rate book and have been using it  for about 6 years and I can tell you I have not looked up or adjusted a part cost since we set it up not even R-22. Who has that much time. Part cost is not where you will find your losses, it's labor. All of our time is spent training technicians and staff on confidence, operating systems and flow. Put your money there and most problems will go away. Everything in a service division revolves around labor, everything in a service company revolves around labor. Every customer requires labor not parts and yes there are plenty of people out there that love to work with others like them not you, so grow your own team.


    Winston Hancock




    Gilman Htg Clg  Plbg - Sig

    11479 Fox Cross Road • Ashland, Va. 23005

    (804) 798-0455 • (804) 798-0456 fax">


  • 5.  RE: flat rate book choices

    Posted 11 days ago
    Edited by Kimya Bailey Cajchun 11 days ago

    Good Morning John,

    We have been using Collier Consulting for about 15 years now and it seems to be a pretty good program. Easy to use, set up, and it comes with a lot of options. That being said I exported all the info into excel about 7 years ago and have found it much easier to work with and edit, but I love excel. Just starting out with flat rate though purchasing a program will give you a good solid base to start from. Before purchasing any program I would suggest you make sure it integrates seamlessly with your management and accounting software. If you are paperless in the field I would highly recommend trying a few different companies / test runs, and make sure the chosen program works well with your field software.

    Technician training in how to use Flat Rate and explain the new pricing structure to customers is crucial prior to implementation in my opinion. You have to sell the idea to your techs, so they can in turn sell it to your customers. Menu pricing is a big change from T&M and your techs must be on board 100% or it will be a bumpy road ahead.

    I would highly recommend a program that allows you to be in the driver's seat and stay away from the subscription based programs. You'll be doing a lot of fine tuning the first year and you don't want to pay someone for every change.

    In house part numbers helped us a lot. We used to use manufactures / vendor part numbers but you know how often they love to change them, which meant changing flat rate descriptions every couple months. Using in house part numbers will allow you to change vendors, part numbers, etc. without updating flat rate descriptions.

    Another big help I found was creating repairs using stock numbers. All the programs I looked at listed every brand out there and every possible repair, for example "control boards". Given most everything is OEM just gas furnace control board's encompassed over 30 pages "If you printed the book". Years ago, unless it was a truck stock part (in house part #), I deleted all the brand specific repairs and replaced them with "stock number repairs". The stock numbers are just our direct cost of the part, so it can be used for brand / model repair. For example: SRV-123456 (repair #), "Replace furnace control board stock #14-20-150" (description)  would cover any furnace control board up to $150.00 in direct part costs. The "14-20" are just fluff to hide the costs numbers in the description. Depending on the repair we  use  increments in parts. Using stock numbers our techs can price out virtually any repair on the spot as soon as they have our cost on the OEM part. They just select the stock number equal to or greater than our part costs. Each section of our book, motors, control boards, compressors, etc. already has the labor and ancillary materials factored in. This repair format took our flat rate book from over 400 pages down to less than 100, and we have far more repair options now. 

    Hope this helps.



    Joel Key, LEED AP

    Service Division Manager

    Airmakers Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing

    919-878-8800 ext 26


    LEED Accredited Professional

    BPI Building Analyst

    BPI Building Envelope Professional

    Certified Energystar Contractor

    North Carolina Licensed Contractor, #'s 20066 & 3928



  • 6.  RE: flat rate book choices

    Posted 10 days ago
    Winston is spot on. If capacitor A is $5 more than capacitor B who cares ? your guy gets a call from his S.0. that interrupts his work for 5 minutes it cost you more than that. make the book simple and easy to use.

    Joel Boucher
    Boucher Energy Systems
    Mendon MA
    (508) 473-6648

  • 7.  RE: flat rate book choices

    Posted 10 days ago
    Check out Profit Rhino

    Randy Hastings
    R & R Heating & Air Conditioning inc.

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 8.  RE: flat rate book choices

    Posted 8 days ago

    1st off thanks for the feedback. Does anyone use The new flate rate or Profit Rhino. We are moving over to Service Titan and they recommended those 2 companies. We were also looking at Cool front.  We are a small company with 5 techs with 2 office staff.



    Thanks for the support


    John Scola, Service Manager


  • 9.  RE: flat rate book choices

    Posted 7 days ago
    We are currently using Thermogrid, we love it.
    If you do commercial and residential you can still use the same system whether you do flat rate or T&M.
    Also it has a built in load calculator, complete employee time tracking and geo locating, club maintenance contract management, as well as lots of other things.
    However you still need an accounting software on the back end (also make sure it setup right, as it can be a pain if it's not.)

    Samuel Petrie
    Red Barn Electric, LLC