Estimates Estimating: A Guide

Within this article you will have a comprehensive breakdown of the LMN Estimate tab; inclusive of both Standard and Service estimates! 

Select from the list below to jump to its spot within the article!

Estimate Creation

Estimate Setup/Settings

Estimating Misc. 

Estimating: Proposals

 

What's the difference between Standard and Service Estimates?

LMN Offers the option to do a Service estimate (ie. recurring work such as Maintenance) or a Standard estimate (ie. non-recurring projects such as construction).

The main differences between Standard and Service Estimates can be found below:

  • Service estimates offer the ability to set billing types to reflect Per Season, Per Visit or Per Hour/Unit. You will be able to generate proposals to fit your billing type (or a mixed report if you utilize more than one). mceclip0.png
  • Service estimates will calculate the total for all of your Per Season billing areas and will allow you to split this amount between your desired number of payments. mceclip1.png
  • Service estimates have Contract Start and Contract End date fields available for selection. mceclip3__1_.png
  • Service and Standard estimates have different proposal templates available for selection.
  • Standard estimates use Payment Milestones instead of Contracts & Payments 
  • Pricing Tab
    • Standard: Workareas + Pricing mceclip3__1_.png
    • Service: Services + Pricing mceclip3__1_.png
  • Under Print Reports
    • Standard
      • Customer Proposal
      • Estimate Review
      • Estimated Job Cost
      • Purchase Order
      • Job Planner (Work Areas)
      • Job Planner (Show Totals)
    • Service
      • Service Proposal
      • Estimated Job Cost
      • Job Planner
      • Estimate Review

 

Creating a NEW STANDARD Estimate [Design Build/Install]

It's important to understand why LMN suggests using Standard estimates for any installation or "one off" work that you may offer your clients.

LMN suggests using Standard estimates for the following reasons

  • Progressive or milestone billing
  • Creating multiple workareas (projects) to facilitate hours required

When building your first Standard estimate, you can create a new estimate in two different ways:

  1. From the CRM Contact
  2. From the Standard Estimate List

Creating an Estimate from a CRM contact:

  1. From the CRM tab, open a contact from the list: mceclip2.png
  2. From the CRM contact info screen, click the "Estimates" tab at the top
  3. Click the "+New Standard Estimate" button to create a new Standard estimate for this contact: mceclip9.png

Creating an estimate from the Standard Estimates list:

  1. From the Standard Estimate tab, open your list of standard estimates:
  2. In the top right corner of the screen, click the "+New" button: mceclip4.png
  3. In the "New Standard Estimate" screen, use the "Lead/Customer" lookup tool to find the contact you wish to create the estimate for: mceclip5.png
  4. Once you've found the correct customer, use the "Select" button to verify the customer: mceclip6.png
  5. Next, in the "Estimate information" field, choose the division, salesperson, and estimator.  You will also be confirming the "Project Name" for this estimate; ensure the correct Jobsite is also chosen mceclip7.png
  6. Now, you're ready to start building your new standard estimate and customer proposal: mceclip8.png

 

Creating a NEW SERVICE Estimate [MAINTENANCE]

It's important to understand why LMN suggests using Service estimates for any repeatable or recurring work that you may offer your clients.
LMN suggests using Service estimates for the following reasons:

  • Different types of billing:
    • Seasonal
    • Per Visit
    • Hourly
  • Quoting a set number of visits during the course of the contract:
    • Weekly
    • Bi-Weekly
    • Monthly

When building your first Service estimate, you can create a new estimate in two different ways:

    1. From the CRM Contact
    2. From the Service Estimate List

Creating an Estimate from a CRM contact:

  1. From the CRM tab, open a contact from the list: mceclip2.png
  2. From the CRM contact info screen, click the "Estimates" tab at the top:
  3. Click the "+New Service Estimate" button to create a new Service estimate for this contact: mceclip10.png

Creating an estimate from the Service Estimates list:

  1. From the Service Estimate tab, open your list of service estimates:
  2. In the top right corner of the screen, click the "+New" button: mceclip11.png
  3. In the "New Service Estimate" screen, use the "Lead/Customer" lookup tool to find the contact you wish to create the estimate for: mceclip12.png
  4. Once you've found the correct customer, use the "Select" button to verify the customer: mceclip13.png
  5. Next, in the "Estimate information" field, choose the division, salesperson, and estimator.  You will also be confirming the "Project Name" for this estimate; ensure the correct Jobsite is also chosen mceclip14.png
  6. Now, you're ready to start building your new service estimate and customer proposal

 

Building your Estimate [SERVICE]

This article will walk you through the basics of getting started building your Service estimate for your maintenance work.
Service estimates will allow you to create a proposal for your customer and also allow you to provide a quote for multiple services that you offer.
To begin with Service estimates, you will need to ensure that you have first setup your list of Services in Job settings - Service Time**

Starting your Service Estimate:

  1. With your new Service Estimate Open, you'll start building your estimate from the "Services + Pricing" tab at the top of the page: mceclip15.png
  2. You'll now add a "service" to your estimate by clicking the "Add Service" button: mceclip17.png
  3. In the "Add Service" window, you'll select your service type from the dropdown list, the service (task) name, the billing type (Per Visit, Per Season, Per Hour/Unit), the number of visits, and the Cost Code.  Once you've made your selections, click "OK": mceclip18.png
  4. Once the service has been added to the estimate, you'll need to start adding your labor, equipment, and any materials from the LMN Item Catalog to price out the work.  To do this, click the "+Add Items & Templates" button the far right: mceclip19.png
  5. This will open the LMN Price List and allow you to enter labor items, equipment to be used and any billable materials you will be quoting for the work: mceclip19.png
  6. Using the " + " Buttons beside the items, these will get pulled from the LMN Item catalog and added as a line item in your estimate: mceclip20.png
  7. Once all your billable items are added, click the green "Save" button, or the small red "X" to close the item catalog: mceclip21.png
  8. With the service added, you can see the Service Name (Task), the Cost Code, the Service Type, the Billing Type, number of Visits, Cost per Visit, Breakeven per Visit, Price per Visit and Profit margin: mceclip22.png
  9. One key point to always remember as you're working is to save your work, click "Save Changes" and continue: mceclip23.png

There are so many ways to build your new Service & Standard Estimates and using the LMN Estimating Platform that we strongly suggest you review our LMN Academy Online content on Estimating, or join us for Live Virtual Academy Sessions to learn more!

 

Services and Service Types Explained

SERVICES

Services are a very important feature in LMN Jobs / Crew App as they allow you to track what was completed on a job. For example - when a crew clocks out of a job, services are going to pop-up and ask if they completed them or not. Services are also very useful for billing, reporting, and scheduling purposes.

SERVICE TYPES

If you have any existing estimates in LMN, you will notice that there is now a Service Type field available for selection.  You will need to add a Service Type for each Service Area in your Estimates in order for it to come over to LMN Jobs appropriately.  

Before you can add Service Types to Estimates, you will need to create them in LMN Settings.

Service Setup

 *Note that Services need to be setup in settings before adding them to a job. This creates a standard list to use for each job and eliminates creating duplicate or similar Services in your account.

  1. Login to you LMN account
  2. At the bottom of the left menu, Click on Settings > Jobs > Services
  3. Click + New icon in the top right corner

mceclip24.png

mceclip25.png

Once your Service Types are created, follow the instructions below to apply them to Estimates.

  1. Select the Estimate you wish to edit and go to the Services + Pricing Tab.
  2. Click on the service area you wish to edit.
  3. Click the drop-down under Service Type to select the related Service Type. mceclip26.png
  4. Add a Service Type for all service areas in your estimate and then click Save. mceclip27.png
  5. f you have any services with Billing Type: Per Hour/Unit, we suggest that you adjust your labor directly in the Estimate based on any different rates you will offer (ie. Maintenance Labor @ $42.36/hour and Supervisor Labor @ $60.00/hour).  Once you import the estimate into a Job, any rates in the job will be automatically added into the Job under Hourly Rates (see below). mceclip28.png
  6. Once you create this job, two Hourly Rates will be offered for the Job: Maintenance Labor and Supervisor Labor (see below). mceclip29.png

When you import an estimate into a Job, the Services will come with it.  This will include the Est Visits, Billing Type and Price (if applicable).

mceclip30.png

Contracts

Contracts will apply to your Billing Type: Per Season services.  Here, you will be able to determine the dates and breakdown for each payment for the estimate.

mceclip31.png

Once imported, you will be able to generate invoices from the Job Invoices Tab as per your contract!

mceclip32.png

 

Estimate Relationships: Enhancements & Change Orders

On the Estimate Information screen, you’ll be able to see whether there is a relationship between one estimate and another. Currently, our “Relations” field indicates: "None", this means that this estimate does not have a relationship with another estimate:

mceclip33.png

If we click on the dropdown menu, we can select whether there is an Enhancement or Change Order relation. Regardless of whether we select Enhancement or Change Order (click to show both), the “Related to” row will appear underneath the Relations: mceclip34.png

mceclip35.png

Now we’ll need to select an estimate to link this estimate to by clicking here:

mceclip36.png

From the change relationship screen, we can choose an existing estimate for the same customer to use as a parent estimate. Once we’ve selected the estimate and click ok, we can see that estimate project name populates here which means it has successfully been linked: mceclip37.png

Now let’s take a look at the parent estimate that we have linked this new enhancement estimate to. Let’s go back to our Service Estimate page and select the original estimate. Under the Estimate Information, we can now see that the relations for this estimate says “Has Changes/Enhancements” and if we click on the “Show Changes/Enhancements” button, we can see the project name of the estimate we had just linked to this one. mceclip38.png

 

Standard Estimates: Payment Milestones

With Contracts for Standard Estimates, you can set up Milestone payments for your Standard jobs. With those Milestones you can split payments up by a dollar amount or a percentage of the total job.

Milestone Generation Options

  • You have three options to calculate your milestones: Estimate, Work Area or Cost Code. mceclip39.png
  • Payments will be broken down according to how many payments you need (deposit, progress payment 1, etc) and estimate pricing.
  • These milestone payments will not have dates by default. This is the major difference between Standard and Service Estimates. Once the estimate gets sold and goes over to Time, you can then set the dates for these invoices.

Estimate

  • Will take your total estimate value, and divide it accordingly depending on how many payments you have selected. From there to come up with the price for each payment you can select to do it by percentage or by dollar amount.

Work Area

  • Will take your total estimate value, split by work area on your estimate into multiple payment milestone line items.
  • This will be ideal for customers using Quickbooks for job costing or to give more details to your client.

Cost Code

  • Will take your total estimate value, split by cost codes on your estimate into multiple payment milestone line items.
  • This will be ideal for customers using Quickbooks for job costing.

Splitting Milestones by Taxability

If your Estimate contains a mix of taxable and tax-exempt items, you'll definitely want to make use of the 'Split Milestones by Tax Status' function, which is toggled on by default when creating a Standard contract:

Screenshot 2024-04-09 193612.png

Regardless of which of the three milestone options you selected, having 'Split Milestones by Tax Status' toggled on will create an invoice that has separate line items for the taxable and non-taxable portions of each work area, cost code, or user-named milestone:

Screenshot 2024-04-09 194521.png

Service Estimates: Contracts & Payments

Please note: this is an LMNPro +Plus Pack feature.  You will only be able to move forward with the below if your company is subscribed to LMNPro +Plus Pack.  For more information on LMNPro +Plus Pack, please click HERE.

Options for Creating Contracts

  1. Create Contract in LMN estimating and Import into a Job.
  2. IF job is already in your Job list, you don't need to add your contract back in the Estimate. You can create a Contract manually right in the job itself. 

*In this article, we are going to explain Option 1: 

Billing Types

Your Billing Type is determined on the Services + Pricing tab in an estimate and can be adjusted as necessary. Contracts will apply to your Billing Type: Per Season services.  Your estimate's Per Season Total will be displayed on your Services + Pricing tab (as shown below).  

  • Billing Type options include:
    • Per Season - If a service is included in a contract , it will not trigger additional billing since the cost for this service is included in your monthly invoicing.
    • Per Visit - This option will not be included in the contract as it will be billed when the service is completed on Crew App, triggering billing outside of the monthly invoicing.
    • Per Hour/Unit - This option will not be included in the contract as it will be billed when the Service is selected for the exact amount of time someone is clocked into the service in LMN Crew App.

mceclip40.png

Once your Billing Types are indicated for each service in your estimate, you can follow the steps below to create a Contract.

Creating a Contract

  1. Click on the Contract tab for the estimate you wish to update. mceclip41.png
  2. Click on Create a Contract for this Estimate. mceclip42.png
  3. mceclip43.png
  4. Enter the information in the fields provided as described below.
  5. Contract Start/End Dates - These dates will be populated based on the Contract Start and End dates indicated on your Customer Info tab of your estimate.
  6. PO Number/Contract Number - These fields are optional and can be added in if you use them currently for your business.
  7. Per Season Total - This number is driven from the Services + Pricing tab and is determined by your Billing Type selected for each service in your estimate.
  8. # of Pmts - This number is also driven from the Services + Pricing tab and indicates how you want the Per Season Total divided.
  9. Est. Monthly Payment - This number is determined by your Per Season Total divided by your # of Pmts.
  10. Day of Month - The day of the month you want to bill your customer.  Please note: if you pick the 31st, it will roll back for months where there are not 31 days (ie. in February, the Invoice would generate on the 28th).
  11. Invoice Text - Any text entered here will display on your customer's Invoices.
  12. Invoice Extras - You can determine if you would like Extras to be added to either the Monthly Billing, or if you would prefer that Extras are billed out separately (ie. Monthly Billing is generated on the 1st of each month, Extras are generated on the 15th of each month). Extras would be considered as any Per Visit or Per Hour/Unit billing as well as any billing for Materials/Activities specifically.  
  13. Tax - Tax is included in the estimate itself for anything that was entered under Services + Pricing.  The Tax field indicated on the contract tab will allow you to determine what Tax you want added to your Activities. 
  14. Cost Code - If you choose to calculate your Contract payments using the Recalc Payments (simple) button you will need to indicate which Cost Code you want to use.  If you use the Recalc Payments (by Cost Code) button, your payments will be divided proportionally based on the Cost Codes indicated in your estimate.
  15. Disable Warnings? - Only select this checkbox if you want to hide Payment Warnings for your contract.  A Payment Warning will display if your total payments in the contract is not equal to the Estimate Total as per the Services + Pricingtab (see below). mceclip28.png
  16. Once you've updated all fields indicated above, your next step is to determine whether you want to calculate all payments using one Cost Code, or if you want to calculate payments proportionally based on the Cost Codes indicated in your estimate.
  17. Recalc Payments (simple) - This will allocate all Per Season payments to one Cost Code - as indicated in the Cost Code drop down above. mceclip44.png
  18. Recalc Payments (by Cost Code) - This will divide all Per Season payments proportionally based on the Cost Codes indicated in your estimate. mceclip45.png
  19. If you'd like to add a Payment to your contract, use the + button on the right hand side (as shown below). mceclip46.png
  20. From here, pick the date for your payment (which will then be sorted in the correct order - by date) and add your Amount and Cost Code. mceclip47.png

Once your Contract is set up the way you'd like, you can click save.  Now you're all set to move this estimate and contract over to Jobs for Time Tracking and Invoicing purposes!

Note: after importing the estimate into  a Job, you will no longer be able to edit the Contract.  Any necessary changes from that point will need to take place in the Job page directly.

 

Setting Up Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions allow you to specify default and optional terms, warranties, etc. for your estimates and contracts. They're easy to set up and they can automatically be added to every new estimate.

 

Terms and Conditions Information

Default Terms and Conditions is text that will be automatically inserted at the beginning (Header) or end (Footer) of your Service/Standard estimates.  

You can customize Terms & Conditions on any specific estimate, but by setting Defaults, the text will be automatically inserted every time you create a new estimate.

To setup your default contract specs for your estimates

  • From the main Settings menu, Click the Estimates > Terms + Conditions  mceclip48.png
  • Click the Setup Defaults button mceclip49.png
  • Use the tabs across the top of the screen to navigate between the different areas for Defaults.
    1. Standard Estimate Header - shows up before any pricing information on standard (construction estimates).  recommended for something like:  "Thank you for allowing our team at XYZ Landscape Inc. the opportunity to quote on your project."
    2. Standard Estimate Footer- shows up after any pricing information on standard (construction estimates).  recommended for standard contract terms and conditions like exclusions, payment terms, warranty info, etc.
    3. Service Estimate Header- shows up before any pricing information on standard (maintenance/snow estimates).  recommended for standard contract terms and conditions like exclusions, payment terms, warranty info, etc.
    4. Service Estimate Footer- shows up after any pricing information on standard (maintenance/snow estimates).  recommended for standard contract terms and conditions like exclusions, payment terms, warranty info, etc.
  • Edit the text you want to appear in your estimates.  Note: this is just the default text.  You will be able to customize this text on any specific estimate!
  • To enter default terms and conditions, you can either
    1. Type your text from scratch
    2. Copy/paste text from another source
    3. Click the + button beside any of your existing terms and conditions to add them as a default term and condition
  • Click the Save Changes button in the upper right to save your changes.

 

Setting Up Your Default Estimate Settings

The estimate settings screen is important for 2 different reasons:

  1. You choose the default budget (and overhead recovery factors) to use when estimating work
  2. You choose the default values for your estimate names

Setting Your Default Budget

mceclip50.png

You setup your default budget(s) to use for estimating at the top of screen (pictured above).  Simply choose one of your active budgets from the dropdowns.  For each new estimate you create, LMN will get the overhead recovery markups, and the default profit margin, from the budget you select here.

Important Tips

Each user can setup their own default budgets.  When you create a new budget each year, it's very important to ensure your estimators know they need to switch their defaults.

Once an estimate has been created, you do have the ability to override the default budget with the budget of your choosing.

 

Setting Up Your Default Estimate or Project Names

You'll also want to setup the default naming convention for your estimators. Here, on this screen, you can tell LMN how to setup your default estimate names.  Note: you can always change an estimate name after, but its easier when your defaults name your estimates correctly!

mceclip51.png

The estimate name dropdowns (highlighted in green above) are the fields you can choose from when constructing your estimate name.  Your default estimate name can be made of up 3 distinct parts.

You can use Custom text 1 and Custom text 2 (optionally) for fields that are not available in the dropdown.  For example:

  • If you wanted the estimator's initials as part of the estimator name, I could set Custom text 1 to SA (or whatever your initials are)
  • If you wanted the year to be part of the default estimate name, you could set Custom text 2 to 2018 (or whatever the year is)

The Separator field is the character that will 'split' the pieces of information.

To set your estimate name defaults, look to the green highlighted section above.  Choose the three parts using the dropdowns. You can choose Custom text from these dropdowns if you'd like.

To see a preview of what your estimate default names will look like, look at the yellow highlighted section above.

 

Setting Up Your Default Estimate Status Mapping

Finally, you'll want to setup your Estimate Status Mapping.  This will set your estimates to a Status of your choice when your customer either approves or rejects your proposal from the LMN Customer Portal.

Using the dropdown option on the right, select the status of the estimate you want when the customer replies to your proposal in the Customer Portal: mceclip52.png

 

Setup Divisions for Estimate Assignment

You'll want to take advantage of the new Divisions feature to help you organize and track your estimates. 

Divisions are a way of organizing/tracking your estimates by department (or, division).  You can create as many divisions as you need, but we recommend you keep it simple.

When you create estimates, you'll assign each estimate a division so you report on sales by divisions using the CRM.

How to setup your divisions...

  1. Open the Settings section at the bottom of your page
  2. Click on Estimate then Divisions
  3. Click the +NEW icon
  4. Enter the name for your division mceclip53.png
  5. You can also set a Sales goal, Labor Hours goal & Expected closing rate % which is where your Estimate Dashboard will pull its Sales goals from. Once you enter that information, the Revenue/Hr goal and Estimate goal will auto populate!

mceclip54.png

The Estimate $ Required will look at your Sales goal, and based on your expected closing rate, let you know how many dollars you should aim to estimate in jobs in order to hit your sales goal.

 

Setting up Estimate Statuses

Estimate Statuses allow you to create your own 'sales pipeline' in LMN.  They allow you to see how much potential, actual or lost revenue you have at each stage of your sales pipeline.  LMN comes shipped with some sample statuses for you, but you're free to customize this list to create your own meaningful reports.

Estimate Statuses Information

mceclip55.png

  • Estimate statuses are a critical part of Estimating and CRM reporting.  You will apply a status to each estimate, and as it goes through your sales pipeline, you will adjust accordingly.
  • LMN comes with a default status list, however estimate statuses should be customized to reflect your company's sales pipeline.
  • Statuses can vary depending on whether you are applying them to Standard or Service Estimates.
    • To switch between status lists, use the drop-down menu at the top of the screen as shown below: mceclip56.png

Adding New Estimate Statuses

  • Click on Settings > Estimates and Statuses.

mceclip58.png

  • Click on the +Add New button. mceclip57.png
  • Enter your Status Name and Sales Pipeline Status.  Please note: Sales Pipeline Status will give you three options:
    • Pending:  Not yet won or lost.
    • Lost:  The customer did not proceed with this estimate.
    • Sold:  The customer agreed to proceed with this estimate.

mceclip59.png

Editing/Deleting Estimate Statuses

  • To edit existing Statuses, click on the Edit button, shown below mceclip60.png
  • To delete existing Statuses, click on the Delete button, shown below.

mceclip61.png

Adjusting your Status Order

  • Your list of estimate statuses should start with the first step of estimating (e.g. Estimate In Progress) and then proceed to the final step (e.g. Billing Complete) in the order the estimates are most likely to progress.
  • To change the order of your statuses, change the number value to the left of the status, as shown below. The order will automatically save on each change.

mceclip62.png

 

Setting Up Cost Codes

The purpose of this article is just to give you a quick overview of the setup for your Cost Codes.  For a complete tutorial, we recommend you visit our Academy Online to watch our Cost Codes video, please click HERE. mceclip63.png

  • Cost codes will be set up in LMN to link revenue to your Service Items in Quickbooks.
    Please note: Most contractors have a lot of service items, or they use them incorrectly.  We strongly recommend you check out our help desk for videos that guide you through setting up Quickbooks. 
  • Once your estimates are pushed to Quickbooks, Service Items will help to show you how much revenue you earned in different areas of your business vs. how much you spent on COGS (Labor, Equipment, Materials, Subs) to earn that revenue.  

Adding Cost Codes to LMN

  • Click on Settings > Estimates and Cost Codes.
  • Click the +Add NEW button mceclip65.png
  • Add Cost Code Name and External ID.  External ID can be used as a field to add your Quickbooks Account ID (if applicable) mceclip64.png

 

Adding Discounts to Standard & Service Estimates

LMN users can add discounts to both Standard and Service estimates to ensure accurate pricing is both quoted to a customer, and applied to contracts.

To add a discount, you will first need to add in Discount as a line item within your Other catalog located under Price List. You will only add in the description of the item, and ensure there is no tax and profit override of this line item when added into an estimate.

mceclip66.png

Within your Estimate, add a new Work Area and label it Discount. Add the line item Discount within your work area by clicking Add Items + Templates. Now you can add the discounted price with a negative in front of the amount. This line item will impact your Total Price being charged out to the customer for Standard Estimates & Per Season Total for Service Estimates. mceclip67.png

You can now navigate to the Contract tab and it will allow you to create your milestones based off of the price indicated after the discount. Please note that if your contract was created prior to discount line item being added, you will need to delete contract and create a new one to reflect the correct payment amount. 

Service Estimates with mixed billing/monthly contracts, the discount work area must be listed as Per Season or the discount will not be calculated into contract milestones.

Service Estimates with Per Visit billing, ensure that Discount is added in as a Service Type within LMN Jobs Service Settings, and add that Discount service line item as a stand alone within your first invoice to the customer and/or adjust price of per visit within Service Areas before exporting into LMN Jobs.

 

Correctly Calculating Estimated Labor Hours

When using LMN for estimating, it is very important to note that when estimating the labor for either a service estimate (maintenance/snow), or a standard estimate (design/build), you are calculating the total man hours to complete the service/installation.

Remember that when you are estimating, you are selecting the labor charge from your LMN price list to identify the price for the customer to have that job completed.  However, when you decide to schedule that job later, you can always adjust the crew size of the team that will actually be working on the job based on the total hours estimated.

When estimating, be advised that we would recommend the following steps:

  • Use the Labor Production Rates to assist with the final calculation of total man hours required on the job mceclip68.png
  • When setting up your LMN Price List, make sure that you add crew size variations so that you can adjust the price correctly on an estimate mceclip69.png
  • When completing the estimate, remember that the labor pricing should reflect the total man hours on the job and NOT the individual hours per crew member:

    • In this standard estimate example, we see 480 total man hours for a driveway installation job completed by a 6 person crew.  Based on this, the crew is required for 8, 10 hour work days.
      • 6 crew members x 10 hrs/day x 8 days = 480 total man hours

mceclip70.png

  • In this service estimate example, we can see that each mowing service will require 3 total man hours for a crew of 3.  Therefore, we know that there would be 1 hour of onsite time per visit.
    • 3 man hours / 3 crew members = 1 hour onsite

mceclip71.png

 

NEW Estimate View

When your business is growing fast, your pile of estimates can get cluttered in a hurry — which doesn’t help when you need to bring up a specific list of estimates for follow-up or analysis. As part of this update, we’re pleased to roll out a fully redesigned Estimate List that will make it easier than ever for you to generate the tailored list you need:

  • Standard and Service Estimates on One List. Ever been asked to pull up all the different estimates for a certain customer — then had to click between two different lists to do it? Say goodbye to that extra work with Standard and Service Estimates on one list! (Note: you can still use a filter to drill down to one type or the other.)
  • Critical information up front. The Estimate List now includes several brand-new new columns, so that you can view and sort by critical data points like proposal status. Need to view a list of estimates that starts with the ones that were most recently updated? Now you can! Here’s the full list of new fields that we’ve added:
    • Type (Standard or Service)
    • Date last updated
    • Proposal Status (mouse over icon to read the full status name)
    • End Date
    • Estimate Price (total)

mceclip72.png

  • A new pane just for estimate filters.To make filters easier to navigate, we’ve moved these into a new sidebar where you can not only apply new filters, but visually keep track of the ones you’ve already applied. Within, you’ll also find some brand-new filters that we’ve added as part of this update:
    • Line Item — type in the keyword for a material or piece of equipment, and the Estimate List will filter to show only estimates that include that text within at least one line item.
    • CRM Tag - filter to only show estimates for customers who have certain tag(s) applied to them within CRM.
    • Proposal Status — Refine the view by one or more proposal statuses so you can view — for example — a refined list of all proposals that are Awaiting Approval.
    • Date Ranges — set a date range filter by Estimate Date, Contract End Date, Estimate Last Update, or Proposal Last Update.

mceclip73.png

  • New bulk actions to make life easier. Now from the Estimate List you can perform the following actions in bulk:
    • Send a proposal reminder. (Note: you can only do this for estimates that have been sent out as Customer Proposals via Customer Portal).
    • Include estimates in statistics. (Note: previously you could only exclude in bulk.)
  • Copy an estimate from the Estimate List. Need to copy in a hurry? Now you can do it without even having to open an estimate up, by clicking the icon found in the new “Copy” column.
  • Choose a budget for estimates created via copying. When you copy an estimate using the Estimate List’s copy icon, you’ll be able to designate a new budget (or stick with the old one!) for the duplicated estimate you’re creating:

mceclip74.png

  • Save a default view. If you’re a more specialized member of the team — for example, you only deal with clients whose work involves swimming pools — you can apply the filters you like, then click the new “Save as Default View” button. The next time you open up the Estimate List, your go-to filters will already be applied.
  • Export Excel for Current View Only. Want to export an Excel-friendly Estimate List table that only includes your filtered down list? Now you can, by choosing “Current View” from the dropdown after clicking the “Excel” button.
  • New Data Fields in the Estimate Excel Export. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from our contractors about data points that would be helpful to have within the Estimate List export. After this update, the exported sheet will now include fields for:
    • Estimate Type (super helpful now that your list may include both Service and Standard estimates)
    • Sales Pipeline Status
    • CRM Tags
    • Breakeven

 

Proposal Management - Individual

In this article, we are going to show you how to manage your customer's proposals through your LMN Estimates. This exciting new feature is going to help you communicate better with your customers as they can review proposals, request changes, and ask questions in real-time.

If you'd like to review a video tutorial on this process from both your view in LMN and your customer's view in the Portal, please click HERE.

As a contractor, you're going to receive notifications as soon as your customer starts using the features in the Customer Portal proposal. To receive a full breakdown of the actions they're taking, follow these steps.

  1. Login to your LMN account
  2. Click on Estimate in the left-hand menu
  3. Click on Standard or Service in the left-hand menu depending on what type of estimate we're reviewing
  4. Click on the specific estimate you wish to review
  5. Click the Portal tab

mceclip75.png

  • From the Portal, the estimate will be downloaded as a PDF document and your customer can review the proposal that you have created.
  • To see the PDF that they can see from the Portal, click "View Proposal".

mceclip76.png

  • If you need to delete the PDF, click Delete PDF
  • If you want to send a Reminder email to your customer, click Remind

mceclip77.png

  • If you have uploaded files or photos for your customers to view along with their proposal, you can see those documents under the Attachments section.

mceclip78.png

  • In the proposal history section, you will be able to see when the proposal was shared and whether any changes have been requested with the respective date and time.

mceclip79.png

  • The comment section is perfect for communicating with your customer.  For example if your customer has a question they wanted as you about the proposal, they can type it into the comment section which will be sent to you directly. 

mceclip80.png

  • The biggest action for your customer from the Proposal section of the Portal is the option to reject, request a change or approve an estimate.
  • If your customer clicks to reject the estimate (which we hope doesn’t happen), then they have the option to select a reason why and add a comment which will be sent to you to review. 
  • That can be reviewed as shown below.

mceclip82.png

  • If instead, they request a change, you can review this status and change request notes as shown below.

mceclip81.png

  • If the customer has reviewed the proposal and they are happy with the pricing that was presented – they can go ahead and click on the approve button from the Portal tab, which will allow them to enter their name and digitally sign to approve the estimate.
  • If they have any comments that they want to send back to you –ADD  “Great! Thank you!", then they can add those here.
  • Once they click the confirm button, the approval will be date stamped and you will receive an email notification with the proposal attached, to let you know that you have an approved estimate from this customer.
  • The proposal will now be frozen from the Customer Portal end so no additional changes can be made.
  • See what this looks like in LMN, below.

mceclip83.png

It's that easy! We're confident that this update will improve customer relations as well as the turn-around time on communication when sending out proposals.  

 

Proposal Management - Bulk

In this article, we are going to show you how to manage your customer's proposals in bulk through your LMN Proposal tab. This exciting new feature will help you communicate better with your customers and allows them to review proposals, request changes, and ask questions in real-time.

If you'd like to review a video tutorial on this process from both your view in LMN and your customer's view in the Portal, please click HERE.

As a contractor, you can make bulk changes to proposals with a couple of clicks. See the steps below.

  1. Login to your LMN account
  2. Click on Estimate in the left-hand menu
  3. Click on Proposal

mceclip84.png

  • Here is where you can manage and review all the proposals that have been published to the customer portal.
  • Use the filters at the top of your screen to easily find a published estimate that you are looking for.
  • At a glance, view Estimate information such as the date, customer name, jobsite address, proposal name, version number and status.

Update Proposals

  • From this screen, you can make a variety of changes to the proposals that are in your customer's portal accounts.

mceclip85.png

  • Click on the Bulk Options to:
    • Send an updated version of the proposal

mceclip86.png

  • Remind your customer that they have a proposal waiting for approval

mceclip87.png

  • Adjust Proposal Status
    • Example: change an Approved or Awaiting Approval proposal to Rejected

mceclip88.png

  • Remove the proposal from the Portal

mceclip89.png

 

Emailing Proposals - Individual

This one’s BIG... Send an emailed Estimate to your lead or customer directly from the LMN Estimate Print Report tab!

Emailing your proposals directly from LMN will save you a ton of time and allow you to get proposals out to your customers much faster. The best part is if you have setup your customers in the portal, they can simply login, view and approve the work that you have priced for them, making it a great experience for your customer.

In this article, we are going to show you how to send your proposals to your customers and leads for review and approval from the Estimate Print Report tab.

To view a full video tutorial on how to send and manage Emailed Proposals, click HERE.

To get started:

  1. Click on Estimate tab in the left-hand menu
  2. Click on Standard or Service depending on what type of estimate we're reviewing
  3. Click on the specific estimate you wish to email (if you have one ready - if you don't, create your estimate and then follow the steps below)
    • On the Customer Info tab, make sure your estimate is assigned to a contact with a valid email address.
    • If you need to change the contact, you can simply click on the “Change Client/Jobsite” button down below.

mceclip90.png

  • Click the Print Reports tab
  • Click Customer Proposal (Standard Estimate) or Service Proposal (Service Estimate)

mceclip91.png

  • You can go ahead and select a Customer Proposal to generate – but before you send, make sure that the estimate proposal is displaying the way you want your customer to see it.
  • You can do this by clicking on the “Preview” button down below.

mceclip92.png

  • If you’re not happy with the proposal view, adjust on the left-hand side menu here.

mceclip93.png

  • Once you’re happy with the proposal that your customer will see, you can click the “Publish/Email Proposal” button.

mceclip94.png

  • Before you send, you can:
    • Adjust the Proposal Name
    • Add a comment which will show up inside the portal for your customer to view
    • Save PDF history which will add an attachment of the estimate to this customer’s file. This is helpful if changes are made to the contract and you need to send a revised one. LMN will also keep track of each version for future reference.
    • Adjust the ReplyTo Email if there’s another email address for your company which you’d prefer the proposal comes from. Whenever you send an estimate to a customer, the reply will automatically be setup as your account email.

mceclip95.png

  • After you’ve made any necessary adjustments, click OK
  • Congratulations! Your proposal has been sent via email AND published to the customer portal for review and approval! 
  • Your customer will see a nicely branded email, with your logo as well as a message letting them know that you have published a new proposal for their review. A link to download the Customer Portal guide will be available in the email, along with a PDF attachment of the proposal.

mceclip3__1_.png

  • Two ways your customer can review and approve their estimate:
    • Review the Estimate directly in this email by opening the attachment and replying back to you for approval.
    • Click the "log into the LMN Customer Portal" link in their email to access the portal account. From here, they can manage the proposal

mceclip3__1_.png

Emailing Proposals - Bulk

This one’s BIG... Send an emailed Estimate to multiple leads or customers directly from the LMN Estimate Standard or Service screens!

Emailing your proposals directly from LMN will save you a ton of time and allow you to get proposals out to your customers much faster. The best part is if you have setup your customers in the portal, they can simply login, view and approve the work that you have priced for them, making it a great experience for your customer.

In this article, we are going to show you how to send your proposals to your customers and leads in bulk for review and approval from the Standard or Service estimate screens.

To view a full video tutorial on how to send and manage Emailed Proposals, click HERE.

To get started:

  1. Click on the Estimate tab in the left-hand menu
  2. Click on Standard or Service depending on what type of estimates we're sending. This is a great feature for when you do your contract renewals – simply renew your contracts and then you can send all of those renewals to all of your customers at once.  

mceclip96.png

  • From the main Estimates page, use the checkboxes beside the Estimates you wish to send via email.
  • Click on Update Estimates button > Send Proposals

mceclip97.png

  • Here, we have the option to adjust the proposal details like Header/Footer before sending. 

mceclip98.png

  • If you had already sent a proposal to one of the selected customers, you can choose to Replace the Existing or Keep the Existing and add another proposal. 
  • You can also change the ReplyTo email if there’s another email address for your company which you’d prefer the proposal comes from. Keep in mind that the email address has to be associated with an LMN User Account

mceclip99.png

  • Once you’re done selecting the right options, you can click the “OK” button in the bottom right corner.
  • And just like that, you have sent multiple proposals to different customers all at once!

 

If you require further assistance, please contact our Support Team via email at support@golmn.com or reach out to us through our Live Chats feature or by Phone: (888) 347-9864! 

Was this article helpful?

Related articles

Comments

0 comments
Article is closed for comments.