Plant Health Care - Level Two

Plant Health Care is a growing facet of the green industry. Once a niche market for entomologists and application specialists, it is now a core operation of many Tree Care, Landscaping, and Maintenance businesses. By focusing on long-term health and taking a holistic approach, clients experience better outcomes for their trees and shrubs,  and businesses maintain continuous consistent service contracts with clients.

There are many ways to use the tools in SingleOps to manage PHC Services. This guide will include a full PHC account configuration, from Operation to Job Templates using Item Groups. 

PHC Configuration will be broken down into four sections:

  1. Distinguish the Work with Operation: PHC
  2. Brainstorm and Refine: PHC Service Strategy
  3. Build the Foundation: Items & Item Groups for PHC
  4. Optimize Workflow: Job Proposal Templates

(1) Distinguish the Work with Operation: PHC

Tracking PHC Services through a separate Operation differentiates data specific to these activities as your business grows and evolves. Benefits of creating a separate Operation include improved scheduling and reporting insights. 

Create a PHC Operation

  1. In SingleOps, go to Admin > Operations
  2. Name: Plant Health Care or any variation that you use (PHC, IPM, etc.)
  3. Location: If your PHC Operation Location differs from your main office, enter the address here; If left blank, your default Location will be used.
  4. Select “Create Operation” to save
  5. *Note: if you would like to set up unique branding for your PHC Operation, please refer to this resource.

Create Custom Inputs (Optional)

The following Custom Inputs are recommended for PHC:

 

Jobsite Hazards

This is an OSHA guideline for noting hazards on the site such as bee’s nest, power lines, etc.

 

To create a Jobsite Hazard Custom Input:

  1. Go to Admin > Custom Inputs
  2. Select “New” to add a new input
  3. Resource Type: Job
  4. Name: Jobsite Hazards
  5. Input type: Text
  6. Operation: PHC
  7. Important: check box
  8. “Create Custom Input” to Save

 

EPA Number

Documenting and including EPA Reg. Number for PHC materials is required in several US states.

To create an EPA Number Custom Input:

  1. Go to Admin > Custom Inputs
  2. Select “New” to add a new input
  3. Resource Type: Item
  4. Name: EPA #
  5. Input type: Text
  6. “Create Custom Input” to Save

 

(2) Brainstorm and Refine: PHC Service Strategy

PHC Applications can be set up in two ways. The first method includes 3 parts: the Service being performed, the Labor (time spent) of your Applicator, and the chemical materials used on the Job. The second method includes only Labor and Materials. All three parts are described below. 

  • Service - Include a service Item if you typically price PHC services using a flat rate per tree, have a minimum Price for a PHC offering, or typically add a service charge on top of variable labor and/or material prices. 
  • Labor - Include a labor item to track time spent performing application(s). Doing so can lead to valuable insights regarding productivity and profitability.
  • Materials - Tracking Chemical Usage is useful for both government reporting requirements and identifying opportunities to improve profitability.

Once a method is selected (all three components or only Labor and Materials), the next step is creating an Item for each of the parts and then combining those Items into Item Groups.

(3) Build the Foundation: Items & Item Groups for PHC

Prior to creating Items using the steps below, it’s important to spend some time organizing and pricing the PHC Services you offer. Please consider for each type:

  • Items Included: Will all three Item Types be included in each Item Group? If not, is a price and cost already established for Labor and Material?
  • Examples:
    • Service
      • Set price such as $50 plus variable material and labor
      • Variable based on DBH or other input
    • Labor -  Important to include to track efficiency using time tracking data
    • Material(s) - Chemical(s) being used, one Item for each type 
    • All 3 Item Types: The most popular way to set up PHC  Item Groups is using Service, Material(s), and Labor items in each application group. In this scenario, Items can be used in the following way:
    • Labor & Material only: If applications are frequent or there is no minimum charge, excluding the Service item on some or all Item Groups may work best for your business. In this scenario, all pricing for the Application will come directly from the Material and Labor Items in the Group.

 

Create Item(s) for Each Application

Service Items

  1. In SingleOps, go to Admin > Items > Items
  2. Select “New” to Add New Item 
    • Name: Name of Service/Application
    • Description: write any details you would like to include for this Service (will appear on Proposal and Invoice by default)
    • Default Price: enter the default Price you would like to charge for this service. It is best practice to enter the most common price charged for the service; this can be adjusted when creating a Proposal, if necessary.
    • Default Cost: Enter the estimated cost of performing the service. This may include factors outside of direct Labor and Material costs. If all cost is going to be factored in using Labor and Material items in the Item Group, the cost may be left at $0.
    • Item Category: Service
    • Unit of Measure: Leave as “None Selected” 
    • Advanced Tab:
      1. Default Operation: PHC
      2. Minimum Service Interval: use if application must skip a number of years before being applied again (ex: 2 years = 2 years must pass before application can be applied again)
    • Save by selecting “Create Item”
  3. Repeat steps a-f for any remaining Services in your PHC program

Labor Items

  1. Select “New” to Add New Item 
    • Name: “PHC Labor” 
    • Description: write any details you would like to include for this Labor line item (will appear on Proposal and Invoice by default)
    • Default Price: enter the hourly price you would like to charge for PHC Labor
    • Default Cost: enter the estimated hourly cost of Labor. Best Practice is to match this to the rates on Labor Resources for PHC work
    • Item Category: Labor
    • Unit of Measure: Labor Hours (or other variations, i.e. MH, Hours, etc.)
    • Advanced Tab:
      1. Default Operation: PHC
      2. Include in Route Capacity: check if using Route Capacity
    • Save by selecting “Create Item”
  2. Go to the Admin Module, then Account Settings. Click on the Labor section and enable all three settings:
    • Use timesheet/labor line entries for labor reports?
    • Use start and stop times for Labor Resource Line Items
    • Use timesheet/labor line entries for labor costs?

mceclip0.png

Material Items

  1. In SingleOps, go to Admin > Items > Items
  2. Select “New” to Add New Item 
    • Name: Chemical or Product name such as “Cambistat” 
    • Description: write any details you would like to include for this chemical (will appear on Proposal and Invoice by default)
    • Default Price: enter the default Price you would like to charge for the chemical. If all pricing is done through the Service item, this may be left at $0.
    • Default Cost: Enter the estimated cost of purchasing this material using the Unit of Measure. Accurate costing may require conversion (i.e. chemical is purchased in Liters, but applied in mL; it is best to use mL for Unit of Measure and divide the Liter cost by 1000 to get accurate costing in mL).
    • Item Category: Material
    • Unit of Measure: mL, Oz. (the UoM used in application)
    • EPA #: enter EPA Reg. Number of material
    • Advanced Tab:
      1. Default Operation: PHC
      2. Minimum Service Interval: use if chemical must skip a number of years before being applied again (ex: 2 years = 2 years must pass before application can be applied again)
    • Save by selecting “Create Item”
  3. Repeat steps a-f for any remaining chemicals in your PHC program

 

Create an Item Group for Each Application

Items can now be bundled to create Item Groups. Adding an Item to one Item Group does not disqualify it from being added to others. For example, one chemical may be used to treat several different Application Types. This is fine, and the chemical’s price, cost, etc. can be adjusted as it is added to each Item Group, if necessary. 

  1. Go to Admin > Items > Item Groups
  2. Select “New Item Group” to create a new group
    1. Select each item from the dropdown to add to group
    2. Include the Service, Labor, and Material(s) Items which were set up in the previous step
    3. Quantity: enter most common quantity for each or leave blank to allow Sales Reps to alter as needed when creating Job Proposal
    4. Cost and Price note: Leave Blank to use the Cost and Price set up during the Item creation (recommended). If certain applications price Items differently, it is fine to enter those prices here instead of leaving blank.
    5. Actual: check to include on Work Order and track costing (recommended)
    6. Billable: check to include in Billables for Invoice (recommended)mceclip1.png
    1. Name: Client-facing name for the Service. It is best to spell out any common acronyms here so that the client will understand (i.e. “Emerald Ash Borer Treatment” instead of “EAB Injection”).
    2. Description: Description of the application for the client
    3. Invoice as a Group: check if you do not want clients to see each Item within the Group (recommended)
    4. Ratio Locked: check if the ratio between Service, Labor, and Material is always constant (i.e. 1 Tree always taxes 0.5 hours Labor and 100mL Material); not recommended due to usual variance in DBH, Material quantity.
    5. Item: 

Now that all Item Groups have been entered, it is time to use them to create a Job Template. Instead of creating PHC Jobs one at a time, we recommend using a template for time savings, increased accuracy, and data consistency for higher quality reports. 

(4) Optimize Workflow: Job Templates

Job Templates provide a standard estimate structure to increase speed, accuracy, and consistency. Once a Job Template is set up, it can be used to create Proposals or Active Jobs. You can always edit individual jobs as needed. 

PHC Visit scheduling requires careful timing in reaction to weather and other conditions. Because flexibility is required for PHC applications, we recommend using On-demand Jobs.

PHC Job Template

Create a PHC Job Template - On-demand Frequency

On-demand Jobs are designed to simplify and expedite the Proposal process for the Sales Rep, and streamline PHC scheduling. They were created with flexibility in mind for unique workflows such as PHC. 

To Create an On-demand Job Template:

  1. In SingleOps, go to Admin > Job Templates
  2. Select “New Job Template” to create a new template
  3. Job Details: 
    • Name: PHC On-demand
    • Operation: PHC
    • Job Type: Recurring
    • Date Range
      1. If invoicing Per Visit: January 1 - December 31 (recommended)
      2. If invoicing Fixed Invoice: Job Range dictates invoice range
        • *Note: all Visits must fall within this range as well
        • For more info, refer to Recurring Jobs article.
    • Invoice Type: Per Visit (recommended) or Fixed
  4. Visit Frequency: On-demand
  5. Estimate type: Contract Total
  6. Estimate Table
    • Add Item Groups and/or Items for the entire Job
    • Quantity: this is the quantity per Visit, not for the entire Job
    • Occurrences: this is the number of Visits to perform for the service
    • Proposal Level: Select Optional, Recommended, or Included. For more information on Options Proposals, please refer to this article.
  7. Notes:
    • Client Notes: enter information for Clients which will be relevant to all applications, or leave blank
    • Crew Notes: enter any Crew instructions which will be relevant to all applications for these jobs, or leave blank
  8. Prepay: disabled
  9. Assignee and Sales Rep: If the same member of your team sells or performs all PHC work, that person can be selected in the corresponding field. Otherwise, it is recommended these be left blank on the template.
  10. Tags: not recommended at the Job Template level; only apply a Tag if it should be present on every Visit of every Job which will be created from this template
  11. Other fields: Complete any other desired fields (optional). Again, it is better to only populate fields if all of most Jobs created from this template will use the selection made. When in doubt, leave the field(s) blank and they can be selected at the time of Job creation instead.
  12. Select “Save & Close” to save the Job Template

 

PHC Document Template

If you are using the EPA Number Custom Input, and want to ensure this appears on Invoices to satisfy government requirements, the Custom Input needs to be added to the Document Template. To do this:

  1. In SingleOps, go to Admin > Doc Templates
  2. Next to Invoice, click “Edit”
  3. Go to the Item List section, click Add to add additional columns
  4. Add EPA and Actual Quantity
  5. Adjust Column Names to differentiate Actual Quantity from Billable Quantitymceclip3.pngmceclip4.png

 

Now that the building blocks for your new PHC Operation are complete, you are ready to begin creating and completing PHC Jobs in SingleOps.

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