Price List: A Guide

This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the Price List Tab in LMN Estimating for your convenience! 

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

 

Setting Up Your Labor Catalog

The purpose of this article is just to give you a quick overview of the Labor Catalog within your Item Catalog.

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Labor Catalog Information

  • The labor catalog is used to calculate your hourly rate(s) for your labor on estimates.  This calculation will include all costs as well as your overhead recovery markup and profit margin from your budget.
  • Your Default BudgetOverhead Recovery % and Profit Margin will be featured at the top of the page. mceclip1.png
  • We typically suggest setting up your labor in Crews, since you will not necessarily know exactly which of your staff are going onsite during the estimating phase.
  • For work that is done individually (ie. Snow), we suggest setting these labor items up individually by Staff Type - not by individual staff member (ie. Snow Plow Operator and Snow Laborer). mceclip0.png
  • To add a new labor item, click +New. mceclip1.png
  • You will be taken to the Edit Labor Item page shown below.  From here, add in the fields as recommended below. mceclip2.png

Item Information

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  • Name:  Start by setting up your labor item's Name. You don't need to setup each crew in your company, but you'll likely want to setup each type of crew, as different crew types tend to get paid different wages.
  • Units: This will defaulted to Hours.
  • Description:  We suggest adding a description here to advise how many of each type of employee are included in your crew (ie. 1 Foreman, 3 Laborers).
  • Internal Notes:  Optional, any text added here will be displayed in the description part of job planners.
  • Sales Tax:  This will be pre-populated from your Default Tax selections.  If you have not already setup your Default Taxes, we highly recommend you do this before proceeding with Estimating. 

Labor Cost Calculator

  • Average Wage:  This is the average wage per man, per hour for this crew (not including labor burden).  Click the calculator button beside the average wage field to pull up a list of employees from your budget.  Then fill out the count column (e.g. 1 Foreman, 3 Laborers) to let LMN auto-calculate the average wage for this crew. mceclip4.png
  • Overtime Factor:  Will automatically be calculated for your crew after you add your staff in (as shown above).  This calculation is based on the Overtime Hours indicated in the Field Labor tab of your budget.
  • After you've selected your crew, click OK. mceclip5.png

Cost + Breakeven Calculator

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  • Unbillable Factor (%): Unbillable factor is to cover the costs of payroll hours that aren't estimated to customers.  Unbillable % typically range from 10% (for companies who include all their setup/driving hours in their estimates) to as high as 35%.  
  • Labor Burden:  This is read from your budget.  It's the default % to add to employees' wages to cover payroll taxes, worker's compensation, unemployment insurance and another payroll expenses over and above their raw wage.  
  • Overhead Markup:  This number comes direct from the budget you are using and will change as you switch your default budgets.  This number is how LMN needs to markup your labor costs to recover labor's share of your company's overhead. 
  • Breakeven:  This rate covers the costs of labor, plus overhead.

Price Calculator

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The price calculator has three different settings you can use to calculate the billable rate you need to charge for labor.

  • Use Profit Margin from Budget: This is the default setting.  LMN will use the budget you've selected and pull the desired net profit margin from the budget.  This is the hourly rate that's designed to help you hit the sales goal you set in your budget.
  • Set a Custom Profit Margin:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to ignore your budget and use a custom profit margin.  Please note: if you are unhappy with the Profit Margin indicated in your budget, it would be easier to adjust it in the budget then to set a Custom Profit Margin for each item in your catalog.  
  • Set a Custom Price:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to use a specific billable rate per hour.  Once you customize your billing rate, LMN will automatically calculate, and show you, what your net profit margin is a that rate.

Labor Catalog Important Note

Labor items are priced per man hour (ie. per man, per hour).  It is essential you estimate in man hours as well.  

Example 1:  Mowing takes a 3 man crew 2 hours.  Estimated hours = 6 man hours (3 people x 2 hours).

Example 2:  Building a patio will take a 4 man crew 3 days at 10hrs per day.  Estimated hours = 120 man hours (4 people x 10 hours x 3 days).

 

To view a video tutorial about Labor Pricing, click HERE

 

Setting up Your Equipment Catalog

The purpose of this article is just to give you a quick overview of the Equipment Catalog within your Item Catalog.

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Equipment Catalog Information

  • The equipment catalog is used to calculate hourly or daily rates to recover the costs of the equipment that you entered in your Equipment Budget.
  • This calculation will include all costs as well as your overhead recovery markup and profit margin from your budget.
  • Your Default BudgetOverhead Recovery % and Profit Margin will be featured at the top of the page.

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Frequent Question:  "Didn't I already enter my equipment?  Where is it?"  

The Answer:  "You did enter your equipment, but you entered it in your budget.  All your budget did was calculate how much, per year, you need to budget for equipment.  The equipment catalog has a lot more information to calculate what you need to charge, for estimating, for your equipment.

  • Similar to how you set up your equipment in your budget, you will be setting your equipment up by type (ie. Crew Truck - 3/4 Ton), not by make/model/year.  We assume that during the estimation phase, you may not know exactly which of your three crew trucks is going onsite for the work. mceclip3__1_.png
  • To create a new piece of equipment, click +New. mceclip10.png

Item Information

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  • Name:  Enter a name for your equipment (e.g. Crew Truck - 3/4 ton, Skid Steer, Mini-Excavator, etc.).
  • Type:  Choose either Vehicle or Equipment.
  • Units:  Choose either Hours or Days.  (Hint: we recommend you use hours for equipment that works in maintenance/service, and days for equipment that works in construction/install).
  • Description:  Optional.  Displayed on customer proposals if equipment details are shown.
  • Internal notes:  Optional.  Displayed on estimate job planners.
  • Sales Tax: This will be pre-populated from your Default Tax selections.  If you have not already setup your Default Taxes, we highly recommend you do this before proceeding with Estimating. 

Cost + Breakeven Calculator

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  • Depending on whether you selected Units: Hours or Units: Days above, you will see a green calculator beside either Cost Per Hour or Cost Per Day.  Click this calculator to continue.

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Usage

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  • Forecast Billable Hrs/Yr:  Enter the number of hours per year you will include on estimates this year.  This number is critical for arriving at the right cost/price.  
  • # hrs in a typical work day:  Enter the number of hours in a typical work day.

Purchasing Costs

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  • Click the Import from Budget button to pull your numbers directly from your budget. mceclip16.png
  • Select the item from your budget from the list provided and click OK. mceclip17.png
  • This will populate the Purchase Price, Market Finance Rate, Expected Life and Resale Value from your budget, leaving an Acquisition Value as shown below. mceclip18.png

Operating Costs

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  • Annual Maintenance:  Total estimated costs of parts and repair per vehicle/equipment, per year.
  • Annual Insurance:  Total cost for vehicle/equipment insurance per year.
  • Annual License:  Total cost to license the vehicle each year (maybe $0 for equipment).

Fuel Costs

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  • Average Fuel Price:  Enter the average price per gallon (or per litre) for fuel.  Hint: be pessimistic.  Fuel prices are more likely to rise than fall.
  • Average Fuel Consumed Per Day:  The average number of gallons or litres consumed per day.  (Hint:  Estimate how many gallons/litres consumed per week, then divide by 5 (or the number of working days in your week).  

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  • Once you've added information into each field provided, you will be left with an Hourly Cost and a Daily Cost. A reminder that these costs are before Overhead and Profit have been added.
  • Ensure all fields have accurate costs in them and click OK.

Cost + Breakeven Calculator

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  • Hours Per Day:  Average # of estimated hours per day.
  • Overhead Markup:  This number comes direct from the budget you are using and will change as you switch your default budgets.  This number is how LMN needs to markup your labor costs to recover labor's share of your company's overhead.  This may be indicated as 0% if you're using the Field Labor Hour overhead recovery method.
  • Breakeven:  This rate covers the costs of equipment, plus overhead.

Price Calculator

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The price calculator has three different settings you can use to calculate the billable rate you need to charge for equipment.

  • Use Profit Margin from Budget: This is the default setting.  LMN will use the budget you've selected and pull the desired net profit margin from the budget.  This is the rate that's designed to help you hit the sales goal you set in your budget.
  • Set a Custom Profit Margin:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to ignore your budget and use a custom profit margin.  Please note: if you are unhappy with the Profit Margin indicated in your budget, it would be easier to adjust it in the budget then to set a Custom Profit Margin for each item in your catalog.  
  • Set a Custom Price:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to use a specific billable rate per hour.  Once you customize your billing rate, LMN will automatically calculate, and show you, what your net profit margin is a that rate.

To view a video tutorail about Equipment Pricing, click HERE

 

Setting Up Your Material Catalog

The purpose of this article is just to give you a quick overview of the Material Catalog within your Item Catalog.

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Material Catalog Information

  • You will enter all of your materials for your jobs in the Material Catalog prior to building estimates.  LMN will calculate your costs for materials to include all costs as well as your overhead recovery markup and profit margin from your budget.
  • Your Default BudgetOverhead Recovery % and Profit Margin will be featured at the top of the page.mceclip25.png 
  • The recommended and easiest way to build your Material Catalog is to get list from your vendor(s) and import that list into LMN directly.  
    • If you'd prefer to add your materials manually, follow the instructions below.

Entering Materials Manually

  • Click the +New button.

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Item Information

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  • Material Name: Enter the name of your material here.  We suggest keeping your Material names consistent so that anyone at your company can find materials quickly and easily, even years down the road. (ie. Sand - Brick Sand, Sand - Concrete Sand, Sand - Sweeping Sand, Cedar - 1" x 6" x 8', Cedar - 1" x 6" x 10', Cedar - 1" x 6" x 12', etc.).
  • Size:  Enter your material size.
  • Units:  Enter the units your material is purchased in (ie. Tons, Each, Pallet, etc.).
  • Type:  Choose the material to be either a Hardscape or a Softscape item.
  • SKU: Ask your vendors for an item number or sku number along with the list of materials. Then when you update your material costs each year, it is easy to upload the new list with the updated prices into LMN with that corresponding ID.
  • Round to the Nearest:  Used by Work Area Templates, this rounds the material quantity to the nearest rounding factor.
  • Description:  A description of the material.
  • Internal Notes:  Will be included on Job Planners.
  • Sales Tax:  This will be pre-populated from your Default Tax selections.  If you have not already setup your Default Taxes, we highly recommend you do this before proceeding with Estimating. 

Cost + Breakeven Calculator

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  • Unit Cost:  The cost-per-unit your company pays to purchase the material.
  • Shipping Factor: If your vendors charge you for delivery then build that into your material pricing.
  • Warranty Factor: This factor is to take into consideration that some materials will die/fail and need to be replaced. This will depend on the material. Plants will have a higher warranty factor. If a material has a high warranty factor you may want to increase the profit margin as well.
  • Purchasing Tax:  This will be pre-populated from your Default Tax selections.  If you have not already setup your Default Taxes, we highly recommend you do this before proceeding with Estimating.  
  • Overhead Markup:  This number comes direct from the budget you are using and will change as you switch your default budgets.  This number is how LMN needs to markup your material costs to recover labor's share of your company's overhead. This may be indicated as 0% if you're using the Field Labor Hour overhead recovery method.
  • Breakeven:  This rate covers the costs of materials, plus overhead.

Price Calculator

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The price calculator has three different settings you can use to calculate the billable rate you need to charge for materials.

  • Use Profit Margin from Budget: This is the default setting.  LMN will use the budget you've selected and pull the desired net profit margin from the budget.  This is the rate that's designed to help you hit the sales goal you set in your budget.
  • Set a Custom Profit Margin:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to ignore your budget and use a custom profit margin.  Please note: if you are unhappy with the Profit Margin indicated in your budget, it would be easier to adjust it in the budget then to set a Custom Profit Margin for each item in your catalog. 
  • Set a Custom Price:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to use a specific billable rate.  Once you customize your billing rate, LMN will automatically calculate, and show you, what your net profit margin is a that rate.

Categories

  • To assign additional categories to your material, click on the Categories tab for your material. mceclip30.png
  • Select the category you wish to assign to the material and click OK. mceclip31.png

Add Items to Your Material Catalog

Fast & efficient estimates with the LMN Estimating Marketplace

Add Material Items from the Estimating Marketplace or Vendor Directory, directly to your Material Catalog.

To add a Material Item to your Material Catalog, click +To My Catalog.  

  • Material Item will populate with the Vendor pricing and defaults provided
  • In order to complete adding Material Item, you will need to select a Category
  • Once a Category is selected, press OK to add Item to your Material Catalog
    • Please note: Material Categories can be set up to add apply Shipping Factor, Warranty Factor, Purchasing Tax, and Profit Margin.

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SiteOne

You’ll be able to get up and running faster by loading materials and pricing directly from SiteOne. This will save you lots of time by keeping your costs and prices accurate and your estimates profitable by updating your costs and prices anytime with a few simple clicks.

Please note that this SiteOne integration only works for US companies – this feature will be available in Canada in the near future.

To view a full video tutorial on how to update your Price List with materials from SiteOne, click HERE.

  • Let’s start by logging into our LMN account and clicking into our Item Catalog and then Materials. 
  • Then, click Add/Update from SiteOne. mceclip33.png
  • Next, you will be prompted to enter your SiteOne password. 
    • It's important to use your SiteOne login so the system can recognize who you are and provide you with a relevant material list based on your order history.
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  • Next, you will select your branch then pick the materials you want to import based on the list you want to download.

Determining what you want to Download

  • The first option you have when downloading SiteOne materials, is to narrow your list down by Category.  Here, you can pick from the following options. 

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  • If you do not want to download the entire catalog, you can select to only download previously purchased materials.
    • Here, you can filter further by using the “date since” to see only products which you have recently purchased.

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  • The Remove Items feature will allow you to compare the new download with existing materials.
    • This will be helpful if you've already downloaded a group of materials to your catalog from SiteOne.
      • If it finds materials that were available the first time but not available the second time, those missing materials will automatically be removed from your list.
      • This is assuming that SiteOne is no longer carrying these materials.
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    • Once you click Confirm, this request gets pushed to SiteOne and you will receive an email saying that the materials and pricing will be updated in a couple of hours.
    • After materials have been updated or added into your material list, they will show alongside the other materials which you manually imported from other vendors.

Editing SiteOne Materials

  • When you open a SiteOne material, it will specify that it’s from SiteOne and there will be certain fields that you cannot change.  These fields are marked in grey.

    • Material name
    • Size
    • Units
    • SKU number
    • Minimum Quantity
    • Cost mceclip38.png
  • The fields marked in white are able to be edited.  
    • Type
    • Description
    • Internal Notes
    • Taxes
    • Shipping and warranty factor
    • Profit Margin
    • NOTE: If you want to adjust your materials' Shipping, Warranty Factor and Profit Marin in bulk, you can go to the categories section and adjust these markups for every item in that category. 

Congratulations - you should now be able to log into your SiteOne account from LMN, add new materials and pricing or update your exiting SiteOne materials and prices. Now it’s your turn to go ahead and try it!

Ordering SiteOne Materials

  • After you've entered your SiteOne credentials, your order page will pop up.
    • This will remember which branch you’re ordering from.
    • There will be a PO# and reference number that will be generated which references back to this estimate.
    • If you scroll down, you’ll be able to see a complete list of all the materials, quantities, and costs for all the materials you’ve estimated.
    • If you wanted to order more, you can adjust the quantity at this time as well.
    • You can see the subtotal of your order right at the bottom, and a note that let’s you know the prices and available might differ at the moment of your order.  If you're comfortable with this information, click Confirm to process the order. mceclip39.png
  • Once you click confirm, the branch is going to receive the order, send an email confirmation, and reach out to you to confirm or discuss substitution if necessary.

This will help you save a ton of time, the risk of making mistakes, and the need to email or call the vendors directly to get the prices. You can download the order summary or see a summary of SiteOne Orders directly from this estimate. You’ll be able to see the order date, PO and Reference number, and Subtotal all from this page.

Congratulations - you should now be able to log into your SiteOne account from LMN and order your SiteOne materials in your estimates directly from your estimate page. Now it’s your turn to go ahead and try it!

To view a video tutorial about Material Pricing, click HERE

Setting Up Your Subcontractor Catalog

The purpose of this article is just to give you a quick overview of the Material Catalog within your Item Catalog. 

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Subcontracting Catalog Information

  • Enter your Subcontractors that you use regularly here.  LMN will calculate your costs for subs to include all costs as well as your overhead recovery markup and profit margin from your budget.
  • Your Default BudgetOverhead Recovery % and Profit Margin will be featured at the top of the page. mceclip41.png
  • To add a new Subcontractor, click the +New button. mceclip42.png

Item Information

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  • Sub Name:  The name of the subcontractor or subcontractor type
  • Units:  The units (e.g. hours, square feet, lin. ft, flat price) by which the subcontractor charges you.  Enter Flat Price if the subcontractor charges you a custom price for every job, and then leave Unit Cost as $0.00.
  • Description:  Optional.  Here you can add notes about the subcontractor that would show up on client proposals if you listed the subcontractor items (uncommon, but possible).
  • Internal Notes:  Internal notes about the subcontractor that would only appear on Job Planner Reports.
  • Round to Nearest:  Used by Work Area Templates, this rounds the subcontractor quantity to the nearest rounding factor.
  • Sales Tax:  This will be pre-populated from your Default Tax selections.  If you have not already setup your Default Taxes, we highly recommend you do this before proceeding with Estimating. 

Cost + Breakeven Calculator

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  • Unit Cost:  the default cost per unit for this subcontractor (can be changed on any estimate).  If the subcontractor charges you a custom flat rate specific to each job,set the Unit Cost to $0.00.  This will then show up in red on estimates, reminding you that you need to update this.
  • Purchasing Tax:  This will be pre-populated from your Default Tax selections.  If you have not already setup your Default Taxes, we highly recommend you do this before proceeding with Estimating. 
  • Overhead Markup:  This number comes direct from the budget you are using and will change as you switch your default budgets.  This number is how LMN needs to markup your material costs to recover labor's share of your company's overhead.  This may be indicated as 0% if you're using the Field Labor Hour overhead recovery method.
  • Breakeven:  This rate covers the costs of subs, plus overhead.

Price Calculator

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The price calculator has three different settings you can use to calculate the billable rate you need to charge for materials.

  • Use Profit Margin from Budget: This is the default setting.  LMN will use the budget you've selected and pull the desired net profit margin from the budget.  This is the rate that's designed to help you hit the sales goal you set in your budget.
  • Set a Custom Profit Margin:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to ignore your budget and use a custom profit margin.  Please note: if you are unhappy with the Profit Margin indicated in your budget, it would be easier to adjust it in the budget then to set a Custom Profit Margin for each item in your catalog. 
  • Set a Custom Price:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to use a specific billable rate.  Once you customize your billing rate, LMN will automatically calculate, and show you, what your net profit margin is a that rate.

To view a video tutorial about Subcontractor Pricing, click HERE

 

Setting Up Your Other Catalog

The purpose of this article is just to give you a quick overview of the Other Catalog within your Item Catalog. 

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  • The other catalog is for anything that doesn't fit well into the categories of Labor, EquipmentMaterials, or Subs.
  • The unique thing about the other catalog is that is has no overhead markup.  Items in the other catalog take the cost and add a profit margin, but no overhead recovery.  This makes it useful for items like Equipment Rentals (where the rental vendor carries all the overhead burden of owning/maintaining the equipment), but also for things like Discounts and Rounding Factors which we'll touch on later.
  • Your Default Budget and Profit Margin will be featured at the top of the page.mceclip47.png 
  • To add a new item to your Other Catalog, click +New. mceclip48.png

Item Information

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    • Other Name:  The name of the item.
    • Units:  The units (e.g. hours, square feet, lin. ft) by which you charge.
    • Description:  Optional.  Notes about the other item that would show up on client proposals if you listed the item details on the proposal.
    • Internal Notes:  Internal notes about the other item that would only appear on Job Planner Reports.
    • Round to Nearest:  Used by Work Area Templates, this rounds the other item's quantity to the nearest rounding factor.
    • Sales Tax:  This will be pre-populated from your Default Tax selections.  If you have not already setup your Default Taxes, we highly recommend you do this before proceeding with Estimating.  

Cost + Breakeven Calculator

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  • Unit Cost:  the default cost per unit for this other item (can be changed on any estimate).
  • Purchasing Tax:  This will be pre-populated from your Default Tax selections.  If you have not already setup your Default Taxes, we highly recommend you do this before proceeding with Estimating.  
  • Breakeven:  This rate covers the costs of subs, plus overhead.  Remember, other items do not recover overhead.

Price Calculator

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The price calculator has three different settings you can use to calculate the billable rate you need to charge for materials.

      • Use Profit Margin from Budget: This is the default setting.  LMN will use the budget you've selected and pull the desired net profit margin from the budget.  This is the rate that's designed to help you hit the sales goal you set in your budget.
      • Set a Custom Profit Margin:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to ignore your budget and use a custom profit margin.  Please note: if you are unhappy with the Profit Margin indicated in your budget, it would be easier to adjust it in the budget then to set a Custom Profit Margin for each item in your catalog.
      • In some circumstances (such as Discounts or Rounding Factors), you must set Other Item's profit margins to 0%. 
      • Set a Custom Price:  Select this option if you want to force LMN to use a specific billable rate.  Once you customize your billing rate, LMN will automatically calculate, and show you, what your net profit margin is a that rate.

To view a video tutorial about Other Pricing, click HERE

 

Production Rate Calculators

Production rate calculators make it easy, consistent, and trainable for estimators to calculate how much time it should take crews to perform different types of work. Watch this video to see how its done!

In this video, you will learn:

  • How to add a production rate calculator
  • How to calculate man hours for a specific task
  • How to measure a site and translate an area measurement (e.g. acres or square feet) into man hours for estimating
  • How to create 1 calculator that handle different production rates for different pieces of equipment (e.g. mowing with a 48" deck vs. mowing with a 36" deck)
  • How to copy production rates to setup calculators that can estimate easy, average, and difficult jobsites

Creating a Production Rate Calculator

Production Rate calculators are used for calculating Labor times for your landscape estimates.  Unlike Work Area Templates, they are used only for labor.  Simply put, they are a way for you to translate tasks and measurements (e.g. sq. ft, lin ft., yards) into labor time(s).

Before you use your landscape production rate calculators in your estimate, you have to create them first.  Follow these steps to create your first production rate calculator:

  1. On LMN's left menu, click the Price List menu
  2. Click the Prod Rates submenu

Here, you'll find your list of production rate calculators.  If you haven't created one yet, this list will be blank.

  1. Click the New button on the top right of the list to create a new production rate calculator
  2. The new production rate calculator screen opens.  Start by giving your production rate calculator a name.
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Next, you want to add Tasks to your production rate calculator.  Click the white +New button to add a task to your production rate calculator.

A task is an activity that you're going to perform that has a measurement and an installation rate.  Below, we've put together an example of mowing calculator.  It has a few different tasks:

  • A production rate (acres/man hr) for mowing with a 60" deck
  • A production rate (acres/man hr) for mowing with a 48" deck
  • A production rate (acres/man hr) for mowing with a 36" deck
  • A production rate (lin. ft/man hr) for trimming
  • A production rate (acres/man hr) for blowing

Best Practice Tip: you don't have to use every task when you're estimating.  To make less production rate calculators, you can put different rates in one single calculator.  For instance, when doing an estimate for mowing, we might only use the 60" deck. In that case, leave the other mowing tasks at 0.  This saves you from creating a production rate calculator for each type of mower.  Your list of rate calculators will be much simpler and easy-to-use.

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Just before you are finished, use the Order column to put your tasks in a logical order.  That will help estimators work through the time(s) in the order they think about them.

When you're finished, click OK to save.  Your production rate calculator is now ready to use on an estimate.

Using a Production Rate Calculator on an Estimate

Using a production rate calculator on an estimate is simple.  Anytime you add a labor item to an estimate, you'll see a calculator button displayed beside the quantity.  This is your button to launch the production rate calculator.

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When you click the calculator button, you'll be prompted to choose the production rate calculator that you want to use.  Choose from the production rate calculators on the left side of the screen.

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Next, fill in the measurements that the calculator requests.  Pay careful attention to the units of measure (e.g. sq. ft) displayed immediately to the right of the Measure column.

You can also edit your production rates for this specific job.  For instance, using the example above, if this particular job had a complicated paver pattern, you could override your standard production rate of 25 sq. ft/man hr to a rate of 20 sq. ft/man hr.  This will not change your calculator settings, it will only be applied to the calculations on this job.

Where applicable, you can also round up to the nearest man hour (or more) by using the Round Up To Nearest (hrs) field.  If you have a long list of tasks, you may have to scroll down to see this field.

Here's what a completed calculator might look like just before it's added to the estimate:

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Click OK and the final calculation will be inserted into your estimate's labor item where you initially clicked the calculator.

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Production rate calculators for tasks greater than 1 hour

When creating a production calculator, you may have jobs that take longer than one hour to complete one unit of work. To enter that time into a production rate calculator takes just a little bit of math, and then you can create production rates for tasks longer than one hour.

For example, maybe you have a task in mind that takes 2 hours and 35 minutes. You don’t know the times for some of the smaller steps involved in the task, but you know the total from start to finish. That’s more than enough to start.

For the below example we will use tree removal. This is just an example and not a realistic representation of any production rate for tree removal; it’s only mean to show from start to finish how to create production rates for tasks longer than an hour.

To start:

    1. Convert the time it takes to decimal. For our example above, it would be 2.59 hours to remove that tree.
    2. Then divide that number by 1. When we do this for our tree above, 1/2.59=.3876
    3. Now you enter that into the production rate calculator like this, with "Tree" for the Units of Measure and .3876 for the installation rate per hour:
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    5. And when you use that production rate calculator in an estimate, you only need to put in the number of units, in this case trees, and it will calculate the total time for you:
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If you don't want to do the math above by hand, try out this spreadsheet to do the work for you:

Excel Sheet - Find production rate for tasks greater than 1 hour

Does LMN Have suggestions on Production Rate resources?

If you're looking to get started with some "standard" production rates, here are some resources you can look to:

  • Charles Vander Kooi (Book) - Complete Estimating Book with Labor and Equipment Production Times, Written for the Green Industry
  • Jim Huston (Book) - Landscape Production Benchmarks (click HERE)
  • RS Means (Book) - Landscape Estimating Methods (click HERE to view more info)

To view a video tutorail about Production Rates, click HERE

 

Work Area Templates

Work Area Templates make landscape estimating fast, streamlined, and mistake-proof! Templates group labor, equipment, materials, calculators and even client/crew notes so that you can build complete, thorough landscape estimates in minutes, with far less errors and experience required.

In this video, you'll learn how to:

  • Create your own Work Area Templates (also known as Assemblies or Kits)
  • Add labor, equipment, materials and more to your templates
  • Build production rate calculators to calculate man hours based on a measurement (e.g. square feet or each plant)
  • Add default Client Notes to work area templates for instant, professional proposals
  • Add default Crew Notes to work area templates for streamlined operations, less mistakes, and crystal-clear insight into what the estimator had planned when they sold or estimated the job
  • How to use work area templates when estimating

Setting Up Work Area Templates

The purpose of this article is just to give you a quick overview of Work Area Templates within your Item Catalog.

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Work Area Templates Information

  • Work area templates can save you an enormous amount of time and mistakes when estimating.  They can store:
    • A checklist of labor, equipment, materials for estimating tasks
    • Production rate calculators to help calculate labor and materials
    • Client notes (for default estimate descriptions when estimating)
    • Crew notes (for default crew notes like tool checklists and instructions)
  • With templates, you can estimate frequently performed work (like gardens, snow plowing, mowing, and paver driveways in walkways) in 3 minutes or less and with much less risk of mistake or forgotten items.

Creating a Work Area Template

  • To setup a Work Area Template, being by clicking the +New button. mceclip3.png

General

  • Enter the Name of your template and a Description (optional).  Click Save.

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Items - Adding Items

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  • Click the +Add Items button to add items to your Template. mceclip60.png
  • Navigate through your LaborEquipmentMaterials, Subs and Other catalogs by clicking the tabs beside the blue arrow, adding your LaborEquipmentMaterials, Subs and Other items by clicking the green button (shown beside the Red arrow).
  • Add any/all items that should be considered, even if you don't need them on every estimate you will use this template for. These items can be removed easily after a template is added to an estimate.
  • If you do not know exactly which material will be added to each estimate you will use this template for, you could add in a placeholder (ie. Paver [Select Paver Here]).  This will remind your estimator to add their desired Paver when they select this template.
  • Once you've added all required items to your template, click the X button as shown below. 

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Items - Material Calculators

  • Green calculators will appear beside all items in your template.  Please note: these calculators should only be used for materials.
  • These calculators will help you to estimate how much of a certain material you will require, depending on your estimated job's size.  We strongly recommend setting these up within your templates.
  • To add a Material Calculator to your estimate, click the green Prod Rate button as shown below.

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  • Enter in the Quantity of a material and the Units of measurement for that material (ie. Qty: 100 Units: sq. ft, Qty: Units: sq. ft, etc).
  • Then, enter the Quantity of material that the above can cover (ie. If 1 ton of sand can cover 100 sq. ft, your calculator would read as follows). mceclip64.png
  • Once complete, click Save. And continue with your other Material Calculators.

Notes

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  • You can add both Customer and Crew Notes to your templates.
  • Customer Notes:  Typically used as work descriptions, will display on your Customer Proposals.
  • Crew Notes: Typically used for checklists and internal notes, will display on your Job Planners.
  • After adding in your desired notes, click Save.

Categories

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  • You can add Categories to your templates, making it easier for your estimators to find the templates which are relevant to their divisions.
  • To add a category, click on the desired category and click Save.

To view a video tutorial aboutTemplates, click HERE

Material Categories

Fast & efficient estimates with the LMN Estimating Marketplace

Categories are a great way of organizing your Materials and Templates and making them faster to find when estimating.  Materials and templates can also belong to more than one category.  For instance, a material like gravel might be found in a Paver category, a Natural Stone category, and a Drainage category.  You can add a single gravel item so that it shows up in all three categories.  

In addition to sorting Materials and Templates, Categories can now apply pricing defaults when adding an item from the Estimating Marketplace.

To create material categories and apply defaults follow these steps:

  1. Click the Settings | Price List | Categories menu.
  2. Click the +Add New button to add a new material category.
  3. Add your Category name and setup defaults per Category.
  • Shipping Factor
    • Enter a cost percentage factor for shipping.  If shipping charges are typically 5% of the total value of the materials, enter ‘5%’.
  • Warranty Factor
    • Enter a warranty cost factor as a percentage.  If you expect to warranty 3% of your installations, enter ‘3%’.
  • Purchase Tax
    • If the Purchasing Tax for a Category is different than your defaults taxes, change to appropriate tax.
  • Profit Margin
    • If you wish a Category to be assigned a profit margin different than your budget default, enter the desired profit margin % here. Your profit should be expressed as a percentage (e.g. 15%) or as a decimal (.15).  You can skip this column if you wish everything to be priced according to your budget default profit margin.
  • Update Materials
    • You can select:
      • Do not update existing materials: this information will only carry over to new materials added to this category
      • Update the materials that are only assigned to this category: this will only update those materials that are only assigned to this one category
      • Update any/all materials assigned to this category: this will update ALL materials that are in this category

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Category Tips

  • LMN can also create material categories when importing items from an import file.  Just add a column called "Category" to your import file.  If the category doesn't exist at the time of import, LMN will create one for you. 
  • Please Note:  Only one material category can be assigned per item when importing from files.
  • You can Edit or Delete categories using the buttons to the right of that category.  Please Note: This action deletes the category name only.  Materials assigned to this category will not be deleted.

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Material Category Defaults

Fast & efficient estimates with the LMN Estimating Marketplace

Category Defaults will assist with pricing consistency among categorized items added to your Material Catalog from the Estimating Marketplace.  The default pricing which can be set up per category will apply a Shipping & Warranty Factor, Purchase Tax, and Profit Margin (if different than budget) per category.  

To create or edit an existing category to apply defaults, follow these steps:

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  1. Open the Price List menu, click Material Categories
  2. Click the +New button to add a new material category.  To edit existing, click Edit.
  3. Add your Category name and setup defaults if applicable per Category.

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  • Shipping Factor - defaults to '0'
    • Enter a cost percentage factor for shipping.  If shipping charges are typically 5% of the total value of the materials, enter ‘5%’.
  • Warranty Factor - defaults to '0'
    • Enter a warranty cost factor as a percentage.  If you expect to warranty 3% of your installations, enter ‘3%’.
  • Purchase Tax - defaults to Purchasing Tax setup
    • If the Purchasing Tax for a Category is different than your defaults taxes, change to appropriate tax.
  • Profit Margin defaults to Profit Margin from Budget
    • If you wish a Category to be assigned a profit margin different than your budget default, enter the desired profit margin % here. Your profit should be expressed as a percentage (e.g. 15%) or as a decimal (.15).  You can skip this column if you wish everything to be priced according to your budget default profit margin.

Category Tip

  • The Category defaults can be overridden when adding Material Item from Estimating Marketplace, by editing the individual material, or when exporting materials to update pricing in bulk.

 

Taxes

Even if you don't charge your customers sales tax, you will still need to setup sales taxes.  If you pay tax to vendors when you buy materials etc., you will need to make sure the costs of the taxes are built into your estimating.  Follow the instructions below to setup taxes in LMN.

    1. Under the main Settings menu, click the Price Lists menu, then the Taxes option on the left
    2. Click the +Add New to add a new tax.
    3. Add in the following information and click OK
  • Tax Name - A short abbreviation for your tax name.
  • Description (optional) - A description of the tax rate you are adding.
  • Active - Select this box so the tax to be used on estimates.
  • Rates
    • Name - Add a name for the rate (can be the same as the tax name).
    • Rate - The tax rate (e.g. 7.5%).
    • Purchase Credit - Select this box if you are rebated the tax when you make purchases (used in Canada and other countries that use a Value-Added Tax system).
    • Piggybacked - Select this box ONLY if you're entering 2 tax rates and the 2nd rate is charged on top of the 1st rate (used only in very rare tax scenarios).

Note: every LMN user will need at least one tax called EXMT.  This EXMT tax should be a tax with a 0% rate, used anytime you do not charge tax (to your customers) or do not pay tax (to your vendors).

See the screenshots below for an example of an EXMT tax, and an example of how to enter a STATE tax.

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Setting Up your Default Taxes

Every estimate can have its own specific tax settings, especially useful for states where taxes are unique to each city or county.

But you can also save time and mistakes by setting up default taxes.  Default tax settings should be your most common tax settings.  You will be able to override these settings on any estimate.

To setup your default tax settings:

  1. Click the Price List | Taxes menu on the left.
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  3. Click the Setup Defaults button.
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Follow the steps below to setup your defaults:

Setup your default purchasing taxes:

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  • Default purchasing taxes are the default taxes you pay your vendors when buying materials, paying subcontractors, and renting equipment.
  • If you pay tax when buying hardscapes... set the Default Purchasing Tax to the sales tax that you most often pay on hardscape purchases
  • If you pay tax when buying softscapes... set the Default Purchasing Tax to the sales tax that you most often pay on softscape purchases
  • If you pay tax on subcontractor invoices... set the Default Purchasing Tax to the sales tax that you most often pay on subcontractor invoices
  • If you pay tax on other items (equipment rentals)... set the Default Purchasing Tax to the sales tax that you most often pay when renting equipment

Setup your default sales taxes:

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  • Default sales taxes are the default taxes you charge your customers when buying materials, subcontractors, and renting equipment
  • If you charge tax on labor rates... set the Default Sales Tax to the sales tax that you most often charge for labor
  • If you charge tax on equipment rates... set the Default Sales Tax to the sales tax that you most often charge for equipment
  • If you charge tax on hardscape materials... set the Default Sales Tax to the sales tax that you most often charge for hardscape materials
  • If you charge tax on softscape materials... set the Default Sales Tax to the sales tax that you most often charge for softscape materials
  • If you charge tax on subcontracted work... set the Default Sales Tax to the sales tax that you most often charge for subcontracted services
  • If you charge tax on equipment rental rates... set the Default Sales Tax to the sales tax that you most often charge for equipment rental charges passed on to customers

Save your settings, Update your Item Catalog:

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Before saving your tax settings, you can update your estimating catalog.  This is a fast way of re-setting/updating your tax settings for all the items in your estimating catalog at once.

To update your estimating catalog, make sure you select the option to Update my catalog items to use these defaults.

Click Finish to apply your default tax settings.

To view a video tutorial about Taxes, click HERE

 

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! 

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