Friday, August 25, 2023

Let Technicians Focus on Service Delivery - Not Whether a Service is Covered or Extra

We get mail . . .

Reader Mr. B asks . . . 

How can I set up a way for my techs to just record their labor in our system, and the system recognize that it’s included labor or it’s extra?

Great question! Ideally, technicians should be focused on delivering service, not trying to figure out which tickets are covered (included) or extra (not covered).

Depending on your tools, much of this process can be automated.

Much of this is covered by the processes outlined in my book Service Agreements for SMB Consultants and the 5-week class on Managing  Your Service Board over at

First: What PSA are you using? In a perfect world, you will be able to create multiple contracts per client AND set one contract as the default contract in the PSA.

The basic plan is this:
  1. Create a standard (time and materials) contract inside your PSA for Client A
  2. Create a managed service agreement contract inside your PSA for Client A (*)
  3. When a new ticket is created, it is automatically assigned to the managed service contract. If it turns out to be not covered, then the service manager needs to move it to the time and materials contract.
  4. Depending on your ticketing system, you may also have specific time that is not covered, so that time would be applied to the T&M contract, not MSA.

  1. Your managed service agreement must cover the maintenance of the operating system and software. Thus . . .
  2. All adds/moves/changes are not covered 
  3. Your technicians – and especially the service manager – must understand the difference between maintenance and A/M/C

Thus, a technician gets a ticket (service request) and works it. If the ticket is properly triaged before the technician sees it, then it is assigned to the correct contract already. All the tech needs to do is work the ticket. They don’t need to know whether it’s $150/hr or covered or $300/hr. The rate is not something they need to worry about. They might need to worry about maintenance vs. A/M/C, but a well-triaged ticket will eliminate even that.

 (*) Note: this is true even if the client only signed one contract. Your ticketing system needs two contracts. Every ticket that’s “covered” should go on the MSA. Every not-covered ticket should go on the T&M contract.

Note to former students at IT Service Provider University

If you’ve previously taken the courses on Service Agreements or Managing the Service Board, you can re-take those at no additional charge. Just log into and access them. If they’ve been revised since you took them, you’ll get the revised version.

Leave questions below.


1 comment:

  1. Same Day Update:

    Mr. B is using SuperOps ticketing, which supports "Conditionals." He set custom field in the ticket form: “Contract Work: Yes/No”

    Conditional custom pricing feature in contracts: Set $0 price if the field is yes, regular price if no.

    "I think we got it! Now, we do it exactly as you suggest: Service manager hits the check box, or unchecks the box, and it’s included or not.
    Freakin’ sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!"

    Happy to help! - KP


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