powderDesk v1.2 - Parts & Billing

In a recent blog post we introduced you to a new suite of Parts & Billing features and we are excited to announce that these features are now available with our v1.2 release!

We have put together short videos that show the basics of configuring and using Parts & Billing but if your organization would like to take a closer look at how these features work, feel free to schedule a live tour with us

Parts and Billing Configuration

Parts and Billing Ticket View

A Technical Overview:

Parts & Billing: This is an optional extension that has been added to all powderDesk instances which allows the tracking and management of parts-and billing-related information and data.  Tickets are not required to include billing details so it is an optional piece but it can be very useful if you track any billable parts, service or, labor.

If you wish to utilize the new functionality, you will first want to visit the "Parts / Billing" area under "Configuration". Here you will be able to setup and manage all of your custom parts-and billing-related details.

Parts: Parts represent billable items that are used/consumed for a given ticket. This differs from "Assets" which are not consumed in a ticket, but are rather things that your service staff may track and need to maintain, and are assigned to various employees, etc. 

Parts are organized in a somewhat general hierarchical fashion that allows your organization to set things up as you see fit. "Equipment" is the top level in the hierarchy. Each equipment then can have several categories underneath it, which further separates the various possible parts. Each category may then be comprised of several specific items. And finally each item is made up of several individual parts. Specific parts are what have unit prices, and are what gets assigned as "parts" to given tickets. You can assign any number and/or combination of parts to a ticket, and the number of specific parts assigned, multiplied by their respective unit costs, count toward the total cost for the ticket.

Example: A building maintenance department must track HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and work vehicles. Their top level equiment entries could be HVAC and Vehicles. Then, for categories under HVAC there could be "electric" and "gas", while vehicle categories may be "truck" and "van" (or even specific models of vehicles, the logic allows for flexibility). 

Next, for items you could have subsystems for each category, for example a "compressor" for an electric HVAC, and "engine" for vehicle categories. Finally a specific part is a piece of its parent item, and a part is the level at which you track a price/cost for billing purposes.

Billing: There are several billing-related configuration sub-tabs under the "Parts / Billing" configuration area:

  • Billing Rates: You may optionally assign various billing rates (which you define in this tab) to your Responder users. Then, whenever that Responder adds a note with a work time value to a given ticket, this now represents billable work time which is calculated as that responder's billing rate times their reported work time. In this way the labor cost for a given ticket can be calculated easily, based on the responder notes that are entered for the ticket.
  • Billing Periods: Currently you can define a set of different billing periods that you may choose from and assign to a given ticket. These don't affect any total cost calculations for the ticket and for now are solely internal indicators for your organization.
  • Cost Codes: Like billing periods, you may define a custom set of "cost codes" that can then be chosen from and applied to specific tickets, and this will be another internal indicator. These values do not affect total cost calculations.
  • Billing Codes: Another generic set of internal indicators you can use to further detail a ticket's parts/billing information. Like billing periods and cost codes, a billing code can be assigned to each ticket and the system will retain this indicator internally, but it is not used in the total cost calculations.
  • Invoices: This tab is where you setup other miscellaneous information for your organization that will show up on any invoices that you generate.

Icons: This tab is the same as the "icons" tab under the Assets configuratoin area, and is duplicated here for convenience, since you must choose an icon for each top-level equipment entry that you define. So this are lets you choose which icons you'd like to add to your instance of powderDesk so you can then select these icons when defining either new equipment entries or new assets.

After your parts/billing configuration information has been defined, you can start assigning parts to tickets, and you can start viewing the related parts/billing information for each ticket, and finally you may generate a PDF invoice which tallies up the parts and labor cost for the ticket and also applies a manually specified shipping cost and/or discount, and shows the final total cost for the ticket.

You can add parts to a ticket via the "Parts Lookup" button in the ticket details area for a given ticket. This allows you to see what parts are already assigned to the ticket, if any, and also add new parts and quantities of parts to a ticket.

Labor is added to a ticket by way of adding notes to the ticket with a work time assigned to the note. If a responder with a billing rate adds a note with work time to a ticket, that work time multiplied by that responder's billing rate is added to the labor cost for that ticket.

You can see all the parts/billing information for a given ticket by clicking on the "Parts & Billing Details" button in the ticket details area. This is also where you can select the values for billing period, cost code, and billing code, and also you may define a shipping cost and discount to apply to the ticket's total cost. Finally from this area you may generate a PDF invoice for the ticket.

Again, we have put together a short video(link) showing the basics of Parts & Billing but if your organization would like to take a closer look at how these features work, feel free to schedule a live tour with us

Here are two video tours of the functionality mentioned above:

Finally, we are putting together the framework for our next batch of features and your feedback is critical to our process.  When you have 5 minutes free, please take our latest survey 


As always, let us know if you run across any bugs or if you have any ideas for features! 

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Nathan Nadeau - Lead Developer

Nathan Nadeau