CINCINNATI - Dave Dombrowski wants Excellence Alliance Inc. (EAI) members to be able to control their own pricing system. That's why he took time out from his duties as a district manager with Metro Services/ARS in North Carolina to talk with EAI meeting attendees about flat-rate pricing.

"Flat-rate pricing keeps a consistency to what you are doing," Dombrowski said. "Techs are focused on the tasks and not on the time it takes to complete the job."

Dombrowski acknowledged that the printing cost of flat-rate books can be costly. But he emphasized the positives. "This is a sales tool," he said, referring to the EAI flat-rate system. "It can get the techs to sell more. All of the rates in the book are in addition to the normal diagnostic charge. Use the diagnostic as a real selling tool before moving on to flat-rate pricing. Make sure that you always collect the diagnostic charge. If the equipment is replaced, the diagnostic charge could be a closing tool; it can be waived."

The EAI flat-rate system is a Microsoft Office-based program. Meeting attendees were given a CD-ROM designed to allow them to get a customized program up and running within a few hours of installation. The training includes setting labor rates, markup percentages, and discounts for multiple tasks and service agreements. With the aid of a preset template, contractor members are able to drop in their logo and begin printing. The template is preloaded with the majority of standardized tasks as well as anticipated labor charges.

Publication date: 01/19/2004