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View Full Version : Should you charge extra for " RUSH NOW " jobs?



David Powell
04-04-2012, 12:34 PM
Most of the work I do comes in with sensible deadlines. Just once in a while I get a " help we need it NOW" job" from customers Yesterday afternoon I dropped everything else I had planned and set to add some features to a testing device for a regular customer whose engineer had forgotten to tell us all that he needed! I worked till 11 pm and returned the tester at 6 am. Now comes the dilemma, do I , should I, do other people charge extra for this kind of a job? I am on good terms with this customer. Lets have your views and experiences. Regards David Powell.

SGW
04-04-2012, 12:55 PM
IMO you're at least justified in charging for overtime. I think you ought to charge them something extra, lest they start assuming such service can be had any time they want it, with no premium. It should be a "reasonable" amount -- don't hammer them -- but you provided "above and beyond" service and deserve to be paid for it. When you present the bill you can be apologetic and sorry that you have to charge extra for that kind of turnaround time, etc.

Dr Stan
04-04-2012, 12:58 PM
IMO you're at least justified in charging for overtime. I think you ought to charge them something extra, lest they start assuming such service can be had any time they want it, with no premium.

Amen to that. My regular rate is $60/hr. For anything beyond regular business hours and weekends it's $120.

Michael Moore
04-04-2012, 01:01 PM
If you have to stop in the middle of another job and/or break down a setup on a machine be sure to charge for that disruption.

Anyone who is asking to be jumped ahead in the queue should be prepared to pay for that.

cheers,
Michael

Carld
04-04-2012, 01:38 PM
If I am doing work and have to stop and start working on an emergency job I always tell them that I have jobs scheduled and it will cost a lot extra. If I don't have any work going on I just charge normal or slightly higher if I have to work long hours.

Ryobiguy
04-04-2012, 01:42 PM
How absurd to think not to charge extra for additional demands. Ever try to send a letter overnight? It wasn't the same price as regular, was it?

If you think you're doing them a favor in order to keep their business, then there will probably be a long future of them abusing you.

wierdscience
04-04-2012, 01:43 PM
Definitely charge more,if not most will get used to jumping line/wanting fast turnarounds and some will downright abuse the service.I generaly tell them I have work in progress and the only way to get it out in their timeframe is to work overtime and that costs double.If they can't accept that well

My personal favorite are customers who don't need the part for another week,but are on the phone daily bugging me for it.They don't know it,but they tend to become back burner customers and get quoted longer lead times in the future.The tend to tell you they need it now thinking somehow you will jump and put them ahead of the line.

The absolute worst are the ones who get you to drop everything else and bust a-- getting their job out only to not pick it up for a week after it's finished:mad: I cut those folks out entirely.

A.K. Boomer
04-04-2012, 01:57 PM
Yup - more, and tell them up front so it's not a surprise - then they can't whine about it later.

KiddZimaHater
04-04-2012, 02:07 PM
One of my regular customers needed a job "RIGHT NOW!!!"
I told him I'd have to charge him an additional 20% for "Rush" jobs.
He didn't bat an eye.
He needed it "RIGHT NOW!!", and he gladly paid for it.:)

DR
04-04-2012, 02:31 PM
I would only charge "extra" if it required tearing down another machine setup to accommodate the rush job. And, I would make it clear to the customer why I charged extra.

The OP said this was a regular customer on good terms. By my definition that would be a good customers and good customers are ones who will not take advantage of you.

That's the way I've operated for thirty years and it's paid dividends many times over to me in having loyal, repeat customers. Quite a few times I've received things like a gift certificate for an expensive dinner for getting a rush job out the door to help a customer. Looking at my customer list the "newest" of my regulars has been with me for 15 years so I must be doing something right in the customer's eyes.

I've come into contact with lots of shop owners over the years. The ones who have the most trouble with customers have a paranoid attitude toward customers. They seem to view customers as their worst enemies and treat them accordingly. I see the same thing over on the PM forum, guys ranting about customers always trying to screw them over.

Years ago I was mentoring a friend who was trying to start a job shop. Against my advice, the first thing he did was to post a sign over the door to the effect "Poor planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part". He explained he didn't intend to let anybody take advantage of him. He only lasted six months because of his paranoia.

oldtiffie
04-04-2012, 02:36 PM
If you have a schedule of rates and charges (which you should) "expedited work" (perhaps at several rates depending on additional time and effort) should be included in any quote and if requested verbally to be confirmed in writing as a variation/extra to the original quote.

Rustybolt
04-04-2012, 03:03 PM
We've all made accommodations for good customers who needed something in a hurry. It's part of doing business. Call it good will. What I always resented was the occasional customer who needed a rush job and then having to wait 90 to 120 days for payment.

oldtiffie
04-04-2012, 03:14 PM
Your "terms of trade" (payment is to be received within 14/30/60 days of date of invoice) should be included in your quote which should be signed (as acceptance) by the client before proceeding further.

Don't get caught with the "pay when paid" caper - ie you get paid when the client says he gets paid - either.

Bob Fisher
04-04-2012, 03:27 PM
It always comes down to: Price, Quality, and Delivery, PICK TWO! I realize it's an old saying but appropriate for the situation. Bob.

justanengineer
04-04-2012, 03:32 PM
Yes you should charge something extra.

If you were to ask about a fair rate, I would say I think this question depends on who the customer is more than anything. If its a potentially long term or large customer, 25% tacked on for a few hours overtime is fair, and 50% for a major project is expected. The guys that tell me double, (as some have already on here) instantly are taken off of our approved supplier list, which for a Fortune 50 company, means that shop is also off the lists of a few hundred other companies. If you act like a fool and get greedy, you will pay a penalty plain and simple, but please do claim a bit extra for the rush jobs.

Another few points many miss when quoting/dealing with customers.
1. No quote is almost always better than an unrealistic one. I would much rather hear you say youre too busy, than give me a quote that makes you seem greedy or that you do not care about getting my business.
2. Business relationships go two ways. Just as they made a mistake this time, you will make a mistake eventually and they will catch it. Most of us realize crap happens, especially if youre dealing with prototype hardware, but if you have always been good to me when I mess something up, I will likely be the same way when you do.

Frank Ford
04-04-2012, 07:03 PM
Years ago I went to a professional color processing lab to have some prints made. On the wall, there was a sign that read "Rush service = hourly rate x 2, Immediate service = hourly rate x 4."

I've kept that in mind over the years and when pressed, I'll quote rush job prices. If the request is within reason, I'll often push the deadline a bit for no charge, but if it's a serious piece of work that needs to be done quickly, I'll offer the x2 rate. Most of the time, the customer backs right down, but sometimes the reaction is more a matter of gratitude and acceptance, and it works out.

Last year I did a sizable restoration job on an important instrument - one I really didn't want to tackle at the time. It required some time on Sundays and evenings, so I used the x2 number for the regular day hours, and x 4 for the "overtime." In the end, it worked out to nearly 50 hours at an an average of $225.00/hr. Everybody was happy with the arrangement, but I don't relish the stress of doing it often, that's for sure.

38_Cal
04-04-2012, 07:20 PM
At the gun shop I worked at in CA, there were only two classes of folks whose jobs got jumped to the head of the line...friends of the boss (usually these were professional athletes he was brown nosing) and cops with duty gun problems. Everyone else was first come-first served contingent on parts availability or our regular schedule...we did recoil pad grinding once a week, and polishing and bluing every two to three weeks depending on how many we had in house to do.

David

David Powell
04-05-2012, 12:23 PM
Thankyou to all for your responses. After much thought i will NOT charge my customer any extra on this occasion but will tell him that next time this level of panic occurs , and I postpone other work to do his, and or work very long hours beyond my usual,there will be an extra charge. Given our long standing relationship and the way we interact I am sure this will be my best course in these circumstances. Regards David Powell.

greatbasin
04-06-2012, 03:14 PM
I have a good customer, and when they bring a hurry job they tell me that it is at am emergency price so charge extra. Good customers wont screw you.
My two bits. John

Grind Hard
04-06-2012, 05:23 PM
Now comes the dilemma, do I , should I, do other people charge extra for this kind of a job? I am on good terms with this customer. Lets have your views and experiences. Regards David Powell.


Absolutly! Just don't go overboard. If it's a good customer, add a small "do it now" charge.

T.Hoffman
04-06-2012, 05:34 PM
I don't mind doing a favor for special people, but am careful with that line.

Once is a favor, twice is expected.

oldtiffie
04-06-2012, 07:17 PM
It sounds like some here need extra machine capacity for unforeseen events such as "rush" (read: expedited) jobs and break-downs and to avoid having to take down and re-set tooling and set-ups etc.

Working with the bare minimum of machines and tools is just leaving yourself too exposed.

And what of the person who just wants a normal job done that you could do with but can't fit in?

Have you got anyone you can call in at relatively short notice to take on "opportunities" or to fill in gaps?

Have you got any arrangments with other shops to sub-contract work to them (and vice versa) to keep things going smoothly?

What if you are having problems getting paid and your supplier will not extend any more credit until you reduce your material credit level and you can't get supplies for that "special" or "rush" job?

Again - cash-flow and profit are what its all about - work (and payment) are only a way of achieving and maintaining those objectives and hourly/job rate is normally the best (only?) way of doing it.

Hourly/job rates need to set or re-set so that you are making a good return on you investments such that you show a good profit (if you have no bad debts).

Its too easy to being "going well" with work and going down-hill financially and its very hard to recover.

RancherBill
04-06-2012, 09:33 PM
Are you running a business, or a hobby for your friends.

Trust me, I am your friend. and you can work for me till 11:00 all I want.:D

Robbie's Machine Service
04-06-2012, 09:34 PM
I don't mind doing a favor for special people, but am careful with that line.

Once is a favor, twice is expected.

I don't mind helping out a "Good Customer" in a emergency situation once in a while.
Being a one man shop my overhead is low..and I'm in a position that I don't have to charge that premium rate.
I have a good customer base because of this.
I'm lucky.I don't have problem customers..

If it's a new customer.
I use "That gut feeling ." and apply a worse case and give a price that's a bit high...
Then if no unexpected issues and the job goes smooth.
I charge the normal rate.
The customer sees that "I didn't get in his shorts" for that emergency job.
He realizes that I charge a fair rate ..thus wins a new steady customer.

Robbie

oldtiffie
04-06-2012, 10:27 PM
Are you running a business, or a hobby for your friends.

Trust me, I am your friend. and you can work for me till 11:00 all I want.:D

A good question.

So far as I am aware the US IRS regards you as having taxable income as soon as you issue an invoice irrespective of whether you get paid or not.

If you issue an invoice and the client uses it as proof of payment to you as a client tax deduction, it will only be a matter of time before the IRS matches invoices and claims.

DR
04-07-2012, 06:29 AM
A good question.

So far as I am aware the US IRS regards you as having taxable income as soon as you issue an invoice irrespective of whether you get paid or not.

If you issue an invoice and the client uses it as proof of payment to you as a client tax deduction, it will only be a matter of time before the IRS matches invoices and claims.
You are totally wrong on the first part.

Your Old Dog
04-07-2012, 08:37 AM
I haven't read the entire thread.....

If you don't charge extra you'll find that everything becomes a "rush" job from clients "just in case" they have a snag elsewhere in their project. It may also mean some steady customers will have to wait longer for their work to be done if you a really busy.

gizmo2
04-07-2012, 10:48 AM
I keep my customers in a card file, and keep track of rush jobs, slow pick up or payment, and other difficulties. I highlight these anomalies. Then I have a clearer picture of their track record and what premium might be appropriate. I like to schedule my work for good flow, and not let my work schedule me. Mind you, I am not at the front counter, and the sales people are great at promising quick turn-around. So it's a daily battle at our shop.