Wednesday, October 22, 2008 D-Tools October 2008 Newsletter   VOLUME 8 ISSUE 9  
Title Blocks 101: How to Display Existing Document Information
Pricing for Proposals
Marketing in Tough Times
Visimation Joins D-Tools Certified Partner Program
Global Settings for Reports
Only 3 Weeks Until DTU
Manufacturer Vantage Point (MVP) News for October
Pricing for Proposals
by Seth Enos

How much pricing detail should be shown on a proposal?  Opinions vary on this but the general consensus seems to be “as little as possible”.  Of course you will always have clients that demand more detail than others.  System Integrator 5 has many built-in options that allow you to choose how much pricing detail you display on your client reports, many of which do not require creating a custom report using the Report Designer.  But do not fear the Report Designer, there is ton of help here.
Report Definitions and Default Settings
Report Definitions are what you see when you expand the [+] next to a report name.  They are named to show how the report will group.  To view the properties of a Report Definition you must be within the Reporting Center interface.  Right-click the definition and select “Edit Report Definition”.  You can also create new definitions by selecting the Report Name, right-clicking and then selecting New->Report Definition.

The Report Definition form will open.  Click the Parameters tab to view the settings for how the SI 5 Proposal reports display. 

Show labor by phase in the summary? – This is unchecked by default so that labor shows as one entry in the Project Summary.  When checked, each Phase will display as a separate line that totals the Base and Misc. labor.  There will also be two line items shown for Management and Design labor if you use these fields within your Phases.

Show Labor Items in report? – Products assigned the Category “Labor” (Labor Items) in SI 5 are not shown by default on the SI 5 Proposal reports except for the “Install Price” reports.  If you choose to display Labor Items on a Proposal report, the price of the labor will not display next to line item since all labor calculations display in the Project Summary.  On an “Install Price” report, each line item displays the price of the equipment plus the labor so the price for Labor Items displays.  The “Proposal Report” image shown below has this option to show Labor Items selected.

Summarize Packages/Accessories? – The default settings for these two options is to summarize on a per/item basis but you have the ability to summarize all or none of your packages or accessories for products.  SI 5 Proposals put the price next to the Package Name and next to the “Parent Product” that includes the price all products in a package and that includes all accessories, respectively.  In the example below, a package and a product with accessories are shown not summariezed.  Notice that prices don’t display next to the individual components in the package or for the accessories:
Show detail prices? – This option is unchecked by default.  When checked, the individual prices for products in a package and the individual prices for accessories are displayed on the report.

Show item prices? – This option determines whether or not prices display for each line item in the proposal and is checked by default.  Pricing will show for each grouping in the report.  In the example below, the report was run “By Location” with both the “Show item prices?” and “Show detail prices?” options unchecked.

Well I hope that this gives you some insight into the design and flexibility of the SI 5 reporting engine.  How you present yourself to your clients can make or break a deal and reporting is a huge part of the equation.
-Seth Enos


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