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Practical Motorsport Wiring - Professional Level

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Hello guys,

Recently some changes at my workplace regarding the accounting/inventory system have been applied. To keep this short, everything now needs to be onto the client invoice. We're talking like, the amount of kapton tape used, the amount of splices used, the amount of Tefzel used, the amount of terminals used...you get the idea. Kind of like a dealership invoice where you have 23 lines of part numbers for a regular brake service.

Now maybe I have been doing this wrong for the past few years, but the way we did it in the past, was a fixed price for a harness depending on the amount of cylinders/sensors needed. This was very easy for me and it worked well. When you do a few you know pretty much your cost on wires/connectors/supplies. I knew by just looking at a roll of kapton tape if I needed to re-order, or by the amount of dtm connectors left in the bin...

I know Rapidharness have a BOM which is very usefull and could be the solution to my new problem. I loved the software and the features but we don't do enough harnesses to justify the pricing. Now back to my original plan was to fabricate an Excel template and just tick or write at the end of the harness everything that was used. A real PITA if you ask me. Imagine doing this for a serious project with 100 hours involved.

So here is my question. What is your method of billing customers ? Labor rate + parts ? Project pricing ? Pay as you go during the project ? We can't be the only ones billing everything right ?

Thanks !

hello, I am my shop we charged just like you were doing it in the past, I now do it by the hour, and all parts get added as I go, it has become more expensive for the customer but inventory and profit margins are far better off for it,

Hello Ross,

Thanks for your input. That was the main reason why they changed the system. Too much left on the table when it comes to parts/inventory.

Hey Charles,

I usually do project pricing, including common hardware (tefzel, kapton, splices, sheating) but I bill connectors separately as I keep track of the inventory in our billing system.

Salut Frank !

That's how we used to do it. But think about how much sheating you go through a year and how much tefzel.

I ended up strongly suggesting the software option. Once you start demonstrating the advantages over anything else, it's worth the money. We will most likely go with it. In the end the customer will pay more, but we will also provide the information of the materials used so they get something out of it too.

Thanks guys !

A bit late to the party here, but I'd like to revive this lol.

I built an excel system to track my usage of parts and materials, I track everything pretty closely. At one point I didn't know how much to charge for an engine harness, so I sat down and mathed out all the wire, DR25, boots, and connectors I used. Once I had built some formulas in and got it working with mark ups it now takes me maybe 30 min at most to bill out a complete harness.

Then I took it a step further and figured out base costs for each engine and each chassis, making quoting engine swaps etc pretty straight forward.

I usually put everything thats not a connector, wire, heat shrink boot or DR25 into a lump sum "shop supply" which is a safe amount added at the end.

I see it as a worthy investment of time mostly into giving accurate quotes and being able to beat expectations I give customers, as well as accurately tracking costs which seem to just keep going up these days.

Where I'm struggling at the moment is what to charge for labour. At the moment an engine harness takes me around 40 hours from planning to final testing ("milspec style"). I am not sure if this is good or not, and it gets even more complicated with a chassis/engine harness. The last full car I did was almost 100 hours including tearing out the old spaghetti and install/pdm programming. I don't know anyone locally that does motorsport level wiring to compare myself to.

Keeping in mind that different parts of the world have different costs of living, what do others charge for a harness? And do you always bill as a package or by the hour? (and if as a package, how did you arrive at that number?)

I bake in 'consumables' such as kapton tape, pre-cut shrink tubes for (most) termination and splices to my hourly and charge accordingly for interconnects, wire, etc.

If its a small patch harness that I can churn out that model kind of goes out the window but you get the idea.

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