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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by TheHotShotKid, Mar 11, 2006.
How are you using them in your lighting business?
Anyone using spreadsheets?
I can't live without my Excel spreadsheets! I have built templates to calculate cost and pricing for project installation. It allows me to change fixture types, models, markups, etcetera. I can adjust my overall gross profit to be more competitive if necessary or increase the margin if there is reason for that, also. Knowing exact cost allows me to "see" what I can and can't do with the final price. I rarely adjust quoted price at a closing meeting, however, if it is a multiple phase project, I can discount in order to incent client to sign for more work. This idea is based on lower cost to mobilize crews, efficiency in ordering materials, and better planning, all of which save me real dollars as opposed to breaking the job into separate pieces.
I also have my secretary keep my most often used products in a different spreadsheet with their most recent price changes. This allows me to have MY pricing at my fingertips, on my Palm Pilot, at all times. We will also use this template to place an order with our distributors by fax, eliminating errors. Easy for us and they love it because we include part numbers. We ask them to attach a copy of the fax (purchase order) to our invoice, which goes a long way to streamlining her work in the office.
Another way we use spreadsheets is after the project is complete. Taking copious notes in the field, allows me to compare my actual cost, as-built, with my proposal. Sometimes we'll spend a bit more time or wire than originally planned, sometimes less. It keeps us close, and allows for better planning on each subsequent project.
Bottom line: I'm a student of cost-accounting. With out spreadsheets, I'm a fish out of water!
PS: I noticed you re-posted your query. It is frustrating when a good question goes un-answered. I thought we would get a good exchange going on my post regarding service / maintenance agreements and Paul was the only member to respond. Maybe some will take a second look at my post, however it has fallen back a page or two.
I have family in Ohio, what part are you from?
Mike and Lucia would you mind sharing with us the program that you use for spreadshhets. By chance would it happen to be Microsoft Excel?
That would by far be the most generous thing of all time since others are selling isimilar programs for 100usd. What part of Ohio are you from Hot Shot.
He's not from Ohio, he's from New Jersey.
I was thinking of a place much much much hotter that New Jersey, if you know what I mean. I love this ignore feature!!
If your not going to take the time to READ someones reply when you start a thread dont start it.
BTW that was great info mike. Would it be possible to email me a copy so I can see your layout so I can customize it for me ?
I was thinking big