We have noticed more oftne we are being asked to install materials tha are supplied by the customer. I'm not talking about lighting materials but contactors, circuit breakers, ETC. We generally refuse this but I'm debating whether or not to re-consider?
1)some of our commercial customers get better prices for things like lamps and ballasts from their corporate buying program than we get. So we install their part, and bill them our time.
2)smaller commercial/residential that are on "flat rate" jobs, we simply will back out the cost of the material (leave in the markup though) and remove any warranty for the product. If there is a defective product, they pay extra for us to replace it, etc.
3) but if we were doing these smaller jobs at T&M and relying on the material markup, i'd probably talk them out of it.
We do this all the time, they have a buying agreement and we install it for them. Its just part of the business, especially if you are working for a retailer; they are always trying to work a buying agreement angle for profit.
1-You don’t have warranty their material, and they understand this or should. Make sure they do understand in your proposal and contract just incase they forget.
2- Add a little extra labor for handling their gear to cover your overhead, because when they say “we furnish” they mean in a truck to the site, and “you unload”. If you use a 1.5/h labor unit on a contactor, bump it up to 1.6/hour or 1.7/h if the conditions warrant it.
A variation on this is they will have a national account that you have to buy from, and then you get to warranty parts from a vendor you don’t know and who is VERY unresponsive. I just did an OfficeMax, and REXEL had the national account for the fixtures, and worked me over pretty well. My local vendor will handle any kind of shipping damage, while an out of town national account vender will just make you buy new fixtures at your expense laugh about it.
[This message has been edited by ITO (edited 01-13-2007).]
We have run into several varaitions. Most often; The customer (commercial cust's) will have materials on-site for us to install. With one recent job they shipped the materials directly to us to receive, transport to the site and install. We told them there would be a labor charge for receiving the materials, a transportation charge for reloading the stuff onto our truck and xporting it to the job. Not a lot of materials, but a van full. The customer response; "Oh, you're going to charge us for that?" I was surprised an explantion was necessary! They didn't argue the charge, just seemed a little surprised we would be charging for our time. I hope this isn't a trend because I don't like it!