Item Groups

 
An Item Group is a collection of items (services, materials, equipment), pre-built for quick addition to a job.
 
Item Groups allow you to:
  • Save time when creating jobs with commonly-grouped items
  • Build job-costing into each job
  • Easily determine which items are visible to a customer or to your team

When estimating jobs, you may find yourself frequently using the same group of items, e.g., you know when planting a tree, it will take two men two hours each, the use of a backhoe, the tree itself, and post-planting mulch, fertilizers, and tie-offs.  Rather than having to manually list each of these items every time you estimate this service, you can save time and enter the task as an item group.  Now you'll be able to click and add the entire group, including default quantities, costs, and prices, while keeping the ability to modify those numbers if/as needed. 

Tips and Best Practices for Creating Item Groups 

  • When creating item groups, you will be using items you have already created at some earlier time.  If you have not yet created the items you'll be using, stop now, create the items first, then come back to this guide.
  • Expense Items cannot be added to Item Groups

Creating Item Groups 

•  Go to Admin  >>  Items  >>  Item Groups
•  Click the blue New Item Group button (upper-left under the Listing Item Groups title)
•  Enter a name for the group (required) and any description you wish to help in identifying or explaining the purpose and/or contents of the group (optional)
•  Check the active checkbox if you plan to use the group immediately (you may leave the box unchecked for now if you wish to create the group as a 'draft' and activate it later; the active checkbox will also be used to deactivate the group if you initially make it active, then later decide you no longer want/need it (see 'Removing an Item Group' below)
•  Check the 'invoice as group' checkbox if you wish the group to appear on your proposals and invoices as a single line item.  Note, if you use the 'invoice as a group' option, the Item Group Name and Description will appear on customer facing documents.  The items listed in the Item Group will not be seen on proposals or invoices, but they will appear on Work Orders and be visible for the crew to see. 
•  Check the 'ratio locked' if you wish to have the elements of the group always scale by the number of groups entered, e.g., in the example above, if the customer chooses to plant two trees, how many of the items within your group will be doubled?  How many can share elements from the first item or service?  If you lock the ratio, you're forced to maintain that scale independent of any shared items (you can always override the ratio lock at the time of job/proposal creation should you desire)
•  Begin adding items to your group in the same fashion you would add individual items to the job.  NOTE:  you must have already created these items before creating your group.  You will not be able to create items on-the-fly.  Enter the item via the item pulldown, enter the quantity of the item needed for this group, and check the box if the quantity of the item is to remain 'fixed' (think of this as a 'lock aspect ratio' if you were increasing the size of a photo, i.e., changing the quantity of item groups will increase the number of items within the group by the same amount.  

•  Prices and costs will defer to the Items' Prices and Costs if left blank. If you would like to override these, enter your default cost and default price (you can adjust these later if necessary), and check the boxes to indicate if the item group should appear as an actual, and whether the item group should appear as a billable (see this article if you need help determining which should be used).
•  When you have finished adding all the items in the group, click the blue 'Update item group' button (lower-left).  After a few seconds, you'll receive confirmation your new item group has been created, and you'll be redirected back to the Listing Item Groups table.

Editing Item Groups

To edit an item group which you've already created:

•  Go to Admin  >>  Items  >>  Item Groups
•  Find the item group you wish to edit and click the Edit button (right side)
•  Make the necessary changes to the item group
•  Click the blue 'Update item group' button (lower-left) to preserve your changes

Using Item Groups

Once you've created your item group(s), you can then add them in the job in a fashion similar as you would add an item.  Note that if you have available item groups, you will see an 'Add Item Group' button next to the usual 'Add Item' button in the Estimate section of the job.  Click the 'Add Item Group' button.  All available item groups will show in your item pulldown list, and, once added to your job/proposal, will show in a similar fashion as a single item with one notable exception:  they will have a plus symbol to the left of the item group name, and clicking the plus symbol will expand the group to show the individual items which make up the group (clicking the minus symbol will collapse the group into a single row).

 

Removing an Item Group

If you find there is an item group you no longer wish to use/have appear in your menu:

•  Go to Admin  >>  Items  >>  Item Groups
•  Find the item group you wish to remove and click the Edit button (right side)
•  Uncheck the Active checkbox
•  Click the blue 'Update item group' button (lower-left) to preserve your changes

This will remove the item group from the Add Item Group pulldown - but will keep the item group in the Listing Item Groups table so that you can re-enable it should you find you once again need it.

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