ESTIMATING AND BILLING: How we quote electronics
We use the Proposal to quote electronics costs for our customers. The proposal starts with a 1-2 hours interview with the customer where we define the intended use of the boat and the customers’ personal preferences. The intended use of the boat and the customer preferences then determines the electronic equipment that is selected for the boat. For example, a day sailor will not get the same electronics as a boat that is going to circumnavigate. A boat used only on weekends will not get the same package as a live aboard or extended use vessel.
There are 3 elements of the proposal. They are Proposal Detail, Proposal Summary, and Outside Labor costs. The sections below describe these 3 elements and why they are required.
- This element is one difference that sets us apart from other
electronics companies. The amount of time required to draft this
element in the proposal is significant and probably the main reason
other companies do not have this element in their proposals.
Customers’ knowledge levels of marine electronics vary
significantly and the proposal detail helps the customer to see the
capabilities of the electronics that will be installed. We divide
the total package into sections and show the cost of each section so
that the customer can decide which section they want or don’t want.
For example, if the customer decides not to put a SSB radio on the
boat, we can easily delete that section from the proposal and the
customer can easily see the new cost of the package by deleting it
from the proposal summary page. The proposal detail page also lists
where the electronics will be installed and how each section
integrates into the other sections that make up the entire package.
We use the proposal detail to develop the data drawings and the
power source documents that will be used to perform the
How we charge for electronics
Our objective is to complete the job under budget. Our invoice to the customer will list all of the costs associated with completing the installation. These costs are the parts required to perform the installation, any outside labor charges, sales tax, freight, and the actual labor hours that it took to complete the job. We usually reach our objective by using the billing policies listed below.
We list all of the parts required to complete the installation on the invoice. This is usually a line-by-line transfer from the Proposal detail section of the proposal to the invoice with minor changes. If a part is listed on the proposal, and it is not required to complete the installation, it is not billed.
The way that we bill labor hours is another difference that sets us apart from other electronics companies. We do not charge the hours estimated on the proposal. We charge the actual labor hours that it takes to complete the installation. We consider this a much fairer policy than holding to the number of hours listed on the proposal. The proposal is broken into sections with the labor hours listed on each section so the customer can pick and choose the options they want so they can customize their package. However when the systems are installed on the boat, they are essentially installed at the same time. This usually results in a savings in labor cost to the customer.
In the rare event of an overage of quoted Labor Hours, we’ll do our best to limit the amount of overage. Any additions to the proposal or large overages will be discussed with the customer prior to the work being completed.
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