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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a MS office kind of guy-with an exchange server I can log on anywhere and access the info in my Outlook box. one thing I set up some time ago was color codes utilizing the 'categorize' feature in Outlook 2007. with it, entry's in my calendar, tasks lists or mail folders can be categorized with color codes which can be assigned names. For my, I have category's and colors such as 'personal', administrative, meeting, project reminder, project schedulied and my newest addition, project billable.

the latest entry, project billable, is a place to keep track of additions to a contract or those jobs where you bill T&M but takes place over a period of time. Now, to go back and look over the calendar, everything with the 'project billable' color of maroon helps me not to miss a money opportunity.

an example: http://www.living-with-outlook.com/color-categories.html

just thought of sharing this-use it if you like it. if you have something else need, feel free to share.
 

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Why would this be kept track of through outlook?

Doesn't a change order need to be generated, signed and then entered into your invoicing software? How does keeping track of change orders in an email program help you?

Are you sending yourself an email as a reminder?
 

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Contractor
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
for a contract job I generate a CO at the end of the job (small things)-this is a way of not forgetting items. for small T&M jobs this is a convenient method of keeping track of the hrs/mat's until the job is complete and invoicing is submitted.

I can see a larger CO needing to be signed before the work begins, say you're installing a jet tub versus the originally speced plastic tub, but a lot of the small things I have experienced in the past are add on's such changing the paint color of an already painted wall.

Mike-if the client gets the wall color up and dislikes it enough to have it repainted-do you generate a CO on the spot or get the wheels rolling to get this done add on and collect with the final payment at walk through?
 

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Mike-if the client gets the wall color up and dislikes it enough to have it repainted-do you generate a CO on the spot or get the wheels rolling to get this done add on and collect with the final payment at walk through?
That would depend on the client to some degree. Paint goes on pretty early, before tile on my jobs so they still might have 2-3 payments still coming, so it would either get paid before the repaint or more likely be added to the next payment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
my methods are slightly different for 'trusted' customers: the little things acrue and are tallied at the end of the contract and collected with the final. it's easier for me as the draw amounts were all ready determined in the contract and the value of the added items is easy to float through the project. iff cash flow was an issue...
 

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Project Manager
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I guess it depends how little changing the paint color after color is on the walls changes the bottom line.

Even with trusted customers, I still like to have a Change Order that is paid as soon as possible or at the next draw. My change order's even have a section that automatically adds the new cost to the project cost, and I can break it down for the next payment as well.

And who's cash flow are you talking about? H/O or contractor?
 

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my methods are slightly different for 'trusted' customers: the little things acrue and are tallied at the end of the contract and collected with the final. it's easier for me as the draw amounts were all ready determined in the contract and the value of the added items is easy to float through the project. iff cash flow was an issue...
Well, a trusted customer I would allow to float to the next progress payment instead of paying at time of change. I avoid like the plague building up the final payment. Anything over 5% at the end makes me nervous. I have seen the devil in the eyes of enough customers at the end of a project when the leverage is in their hands with final payment.
 

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When we have a change - we create the CO and bill NOW. Why ? It helps the customer more than the contractor. No one likes suprises at the end. It keeps the original budget intact and on track. By paying the CO right away - it helps the customer budget.

How would you like to be at the end and shown a CO that may be a couple of months old and you as the contractor may have to eat it.

Here is a handy tip I learned over the years:
If you have a CO at Time & Material - I put a copy in the job notebook, then I have the staff record separate time in the notebook for that CO - such as running to lumber yard, installing, etc.

I told the staff if their time is not in the notebook, for the Customer to see, then we won't pay.

This really helps - I was getting caught in the middle between the Customer and the Staff as to the billed time on a CO. Most of the time the staff did not keep accurate time and was pulling it out of the air and the customer would argue with me.

Terry
 

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I am guilty of letting them go for "trusted" customers until the completion of job . I say guilty because it is not in the best interest of my company . It puts you at risk when final payment comes around . I haven't been burned by this yet but it will happen if I continue to play nice guy . I do like the idea of staying ahead and only having to deal with 5% at closing . I too have seen the devil and I don't like it .
 

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Contractor
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hey guys, this got off topic-I was just trying to share a method of keeping track of info using technology not to debate CO's :rolleyes:
 
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