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Should you charge extra for " RUSH NOW " jobs?

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  • Should you charge extra for " RUSH NOW " jobs?

    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.

  • #2
    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.
    Last edited by SGW; 04-04-2012, 01:00 PM.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by SGW
      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.


      • #4
        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.



        • #5
          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.
          It's only ink and paper


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              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 I cut those folks out entirely.
              I just need one more tool,just one!


              • #8
                Yup - more, and tell them up front so it's not a surprise - then they can't whine about it later.


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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.


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        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.


                        • #13
                          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.


                          • #14
                            It always comes down to: Price, Quality, and Delivery, PICK TWO! I realize it's an old saying but appropriate for the situation. Bob.


                            • #15
                              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.
                              "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."