Home > SI Documentation (v18) > User Guide > Catalog > Package Explorer > Solutions

Solutions

A Solution is one type of "Package" in SI and they are managed in the Package Explorer. These behave differently than the three other types of packages in SI: PackagesAllowances and Bundled Cable. The primary differences are:

 

  • Other Package types can be added to a Solution
  • They are linked (by default) to other same Solutions in a Project so changes made to one updates all

 

A Solution is a grouping of Products, Labor Items, and these Package Types: Packages, Allowances, and Bundled Cable. Solutions provide a quick way to add multiple Items to a Project. They also provide flexibility on how labor is charged for the Solution. If the items you add to the Solution contain Accessories, you have the option to include or exclude them.

 

Solutions can be something as simple as a wire assembly or as complex as a complete system with every bit and piece accounted for within the Solution.

 

Solutions cannot be added to Purchase OrdersTasks, Service Orders, or Service Plans. The Products and Labor Items within the Solution can be added to these "entities".

 

Solutions cannot be transferred to QuickBooks on Estimates or Purchase Orders, rather the Products and Labor Items within the Solution are sent as Items to QuickBooks.

General Tab

 

The General tab displays basic information about the Solution. This includes a Name, Group, Description, Image and Options.

 

general tab.jpg

 

Name

Displays the name of the Solution

Category

Displays the Package Category assigned to the Solution. Click the Package Categories button on the ribbon to manage your groups.

Abbreviation

This allows you to set an abbreviation for the Solution that can be used in the Component ID format for the Solution.

Description

Displays the Description for the Solution.

 

Click the Check Spelling button to check the spelling and add to the dictionary:

 

check_spelling.jpg

 

You can change the case of one or multiple words at a time. Make multiple selections by holding down Shift (to select a series) or Ctrl (to select outside of a series). Your options are: Upper, Lower, Title, Sentence.

 

update_case.jpg

 

You can also insert an existing Snippet or add a new Snippet. See Snippets.

 

Part Number

Here you can enter a Part Number for an Allowance if desired.

Image

Here you can add an image to a Solution. You can use the Add, Paste, Clear functions or you can drag and drop images directly into the field.

 

The Options section allows you to specify how this Solution will behave when added to a project.

 

Prompt Accessories

This setting applies when adding Solutions to a Project via the Package Explorer within a Project. This will prompt you for any Accessories for Products and Labor Items when adding the Solution to the Project vs. automatically adding them. This setting does not apply to Products/Labor Items that are within Packages in the Solution, i.e. the Package setting for this option will override the Solution's setting.

Note: In order for this feature to work, you must also check "Include Accessories".

Ignore labor in products (Calculate labor only from labor items in package)

This setting will ignore all Phase/Hour labor rates for all Products in the Solution. Labor for the Solution will only be calculated based on Labor Items that have been added to the Solution, or to Packages within the Solution. See Labor Considerations.

Summarize in Client Reports

This will hide all item detail for the Solution on Proposal reports. The fields that will display are Name, Description, and Price for the Solution, as well as the image if you are running a report with images.

Include Accessories

When checked, the Accessories for any Products and Labor Items added to the Solution will be included in the Solution. This setting does not apply to Products/Labor Items that are within Packages in the Solution, i.e. the Package setting for this option will override the Solution's setting.

 

Accounting Item Name

This field does not apply to Solutions.

Approved

Indicates whether a Solution has been approved for use.

Price Tab

 

All pricing and labor hours for a Solution comes directly from the prices of the items added to the Solution.

 

price tab.jpg

Product

 

Unit Cost

Displays the sum cost of all Products in the Solution. Read-only.

Unit Cost (With Tax)

This displays the sum cost with tax if a Use Tax is set for any/all Products in the Solution. Read-only.

Unit Price

Displays the sum price of all Products in the Solution. Read-only.

Margin

Margin =(1 - (Unit Cost / Unit Price)) x 100. This field calculates automatically for you based off of the Unit Cost and Unit Price. This behavior varies based on your Price Settings. Read-only.

Markup

Markup = (Selling Price - Product Cost) / Product Cost * 100%. This field calculates automatically for you based off of the Unit Cost and Unit Price. This behavior varies based on your Price Settings. Read-only.

Discount

Here you can enter a discount percentage for the sum price of the Package. 

Net Unit Price

This field will show the unit price of the Solution after the discount is applied.

Labor

 

Cost

Displays the sum cost of all labor in the Solution. Both labor from the Products added to the Solution as well as Labor Items. You can choose not to have labor from the Products be included in this price if you check the "Ignore labor in products (Calculate labor only from labor items in package)" on the General tab. Read-only.

Price

Displays the sum price of all labor in the Solution. Both labor from the Products added to the Solution as well as Labor Items. You can choose not to have labor from the Products be included in this price if you check the "Ignore labor in products (Calculate labor only from labor items in package)" on the General tab. Read-only.

Margin

Margin =(1 - (Unit Cost / Unit Price)) x 100. This field calculates automatically for you based off of the Unit Cost and Unit Price. Read-only.

Markup

Markup = (Selling Price - Product Cost) / Product Cost * 100%. This field calculates automatically for you based off of the Unit Cost and Unit Price. See "Pricing Settings" below. Read-only.

Hours

Displays the hours from Products and Labor Items added to the Solution. Read-only.

Factor

Here you can enter a percentage to increase or decrease the number of hours on the Solution.

Net Hours

Here can adjust the number of hours on the Solution. Editing this field will automatically set the "Factor" field above.

Install (Total)

 

Cost

Displays the sum cost of all the products and labor in the Solution. Tax is not included in this value. Read-only.

Price

Displays the sum price of all the products and labor in the Solution. Tax is not included in this value. Read-only.

Margin

Margin =(1 - (Unit Cost / Unit Price)) x 100. This field calculates automatically for you based off of the Unit Cost and Unit Price. Read-only.

Markup

Markup = (Selling Price - Product Cost) / Product Cost * 100%. This field calculates automatically for you based off of the Unit Cost and Unit Price. See "Pricing Settings" below. Read-only.

Estimated Installation Price

To see full details of pricing, including taxes, click the Estimated Installation Price link: This will open a window and display the details of the pricing for the Solution based on your default tax rate and Phase Labor Rates. Taxes and Phase values can vary per Project.

 

estimated install price.jpg

Items Tab

The Items Tab displays the list of items in the Solution and is where you will add/edit/delete items. One of the major differences between a Package and Solution in SI is that you have the ability to add Packages, Allowances, and Bundled Cable to a Solution.

 

items tab.jpg

Price Type

The radio buttons will allow you to choose a specific Price Type for the Solution items than that will override the Price Type for a Project when added to a Project.

 

price types.jpg

 

See Price Types for details.

Shapes and Blocks Tab

 

The Shapes and Blocks tab will allow you to assign a specific shape or block to a Solution for use on Visio and AutoCAD Line and Plan pages.

 

shapes and blocks tab.jpg

 

Add a shape or block for each package item

This is standard behavior for Solutions and will drop a shape for every item within the Solution when the Solution is dragged and dropped onto a Visio/AutoCAD page

Add a shape or block for specific items in package

This option will allow you to select which items within the Solution will drop shapes when the Solution is dragged and dropped onto a Visio/AutoCAD page

 

select package items.jpg

 

Add a single shape or block for this package on line and Plan views

This will allow you to select a shape for just the Solution for Line or Plan pages in Visio/AutoCAD

 

single shape.jpg

Package Categories

The Package Categories button will display your Package Categories and allow you to manage them:

 

package categories.jpg

 

Package Categories allow you to organize your Packages help with filtering.

 

package categories list.jpg

Behavior in a Project

 

Solutions behave differently than other Package-types in SI when added to a Project. When you add more than one quantity of a Solution to a Project for the first time, the Solutions will all be "linked" when added to the project. Changes made to an instance of a linked Solution will update all same Solutions in the Project with the changes. This includes changes directly to Solution fields (Name, Description, options, etc.) as well as changes to any items in the Solution.

 

Linked Solutions will display the following message when open for edit:

 

linked message for solution.jpg

 

Items in the linked Solutions will display the following message informing you that changes made to the item will update for all same items in the other linked Solutions, e.g. description, pricing, adding/removing of accessories, etc.

 

items in linked solution.jpg

 

Once a Solution is in the project with other linked Solutions the best practice is to Clone an existing Solution to add more of them to the project. If you attempt to add more quantities of the same solution to the Project from your Catalog you will get the following prompt:

 

linked solution prompt.jpg

 

If you choose to Clone the items exact copies of the linked Solutions will be added to the Project and will be linked to the existing Solutions.

 

If you choose to Add From Catalog the Solution(s) will be added to the project but they will not be linked to the existing Solutions in the Project with the same name. Not only that, if adding more than one Solution to the Project, these instances of the Solution will not be linked to each other, i.e. changes made to any of these instances of the Solution will not update any other Solutions in the Project

 

Note: Once Solutions are added to a project "unlinked" from other Solutions, you can never manually link these Solutions to other Solutions.

 

The image below shows four linked Solutions added to the "First Floor" Location in a Project and two unlinked Solutions (with the same name, "Large Conference Room") added to the "Second Floor" Location. Unlinked Solutions display with a different icon than linked Solutions.

 

solutions in project.jpg

 

You can also manually unlink any Solution from others by clicking the Unlink link on single Solution when open for edit:

 

unlink link.jpg

 

You can also select multiple Solutions in the Project and right-click and select Unlock Solutions:

 

unlink soluitions.jpg

 

When you choose to unlink a Solution you will get a prompt similar to the one below:

 

unlink solutions prompt.jpg

Additional Fields Within Projects

 

Solutions have the following additional options when added to a Project:

 

fields in project.jpg

 

Package ID

This is the Component ID for the Solution.

Items in package can be in different location and system

This setting will allow you to assign items within a Solution to different Locations/Systems within a Project.

Optional

This will make the Solution optional within a Project. Click here for details on Optional Items.

 

There is also the Location hierarchy and System list for the Project.

Reporting

 

Solutions, themselves, will only display on Proposal Reports in SI, as well as one specifically created to only show Solutions named Solution Summary. On all other reports, the items within the Solution display but there will be display of the Solution name or any Packages within the Solution.

 

The big difference is that the "final level" (Level 4) of items in Solutions will not display as our Proposal reports only display three levels of items. This means that if you have Packages in the Solution with items with Accessories, the Accessories will not display. Their pricing will accounted for in the items above them in the hierarchy. The hierarchy of levels for a Solution are shown below:

 

hierarchy levels.jpg

If you are using Solutions you are likely not wanting to display all of the details of the Solution when presenting to your Clients. When Solutions are created the "Summarize in Client Reports" option is checked by default. If you uncheck this option, the summarizing settings for any Packages and/or Accessories in the Solution will prevail.

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