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Features   
Calculate rates for any equipment or service
Calculate budgeted hourly rates for any printing and packaging equipment or service.
Gain insight into your true costs
Get a detailed breakdown of every cost component that composes your hourly rates.
Works with any estimating software
Provides budgeted hourly rates (BHRs) required by any estimating & costing MIS/ERP software.
Fast and easy
No accounting knowledge needed. Update your budgeted hourly rates in just minutes!
Benchmark against other companies
Benchmark your labor, factory, and overhead costs and BHRs against other companies.
Increase Good Sales, Eliminate Bad Sales
Win more orders with higher profit and contribution margins.
Built-in industry "Blue Book" rates study
Includes cost and rates studies for thousands of equipment and services for comparisons.
Import your data
Effortlessly importing your spreadsheets, income statements, budgets, and other data.
Find the best pricing strategy
Create various cost and material markups and pricing strategies using your budget.
Project your profitability
Create income statement based on your budget with projected profit margins and ratios.
Create multiple sets of rates
Manage rates and costs for multiple companies, divisions, locations, or what-if scenerios.
Track changes in costs and rates
See how your rates and costs have changed over time and why.
Satisfaction guarantee or your money back!
If you're not happy within the first 30 days, for any reason, we'll refund all of your money.
FREE expert consulting support
You receive support from a real live Profectus industry business consultant, for any reason.
Makes Spreadsheets Obsolete
Cost Rates Advisor is considerably easier, faster, and more reliable than spreadsheets.
Secure, Protected, and Confidential
Profectus employs strict security policies to your account and data.
Works anywhere you do 24/7/365
Cost Rates Advisor runs in the cloud. Use it anywhere with a browser and internet.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers to common questions about budgeted hourly rates and Cost Rates Advisor.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Expand Content What are budgeted hourly cost rates?

Budgeted hourly rates (BHRs) are necessary to accurately and confidently estimate, price, and cost orders, so that you can be more competitive and profitable. They are a best practice used by the printing and packaging industry for over 100 years.

BHRs are the hourly cost rate in which you must sell your equipment or services in order to break-even or recover your out-of-pocket costs. Some organizations make the mistake of using rates from publications or use outdated rates.

The primary goal of BHRs and the Cost Rates Advisor is to recover 100% of your expenses with the production hours you sell to customers. Cost Rates Advisor does this by distributing all of your expenses (wages, leases, depreciation, supplies, utilities, insurance, etc.) among each piece of equipment or cost center; and then recovering those expenses based on the equipment production hours you expect to sell.

Inaccurate rates can cause you to:

  • Price without a clear understanding of your true costs
  • Overprice and lose beneficial and profitable work
  • Sell orders below your cost and lose profits
  • Be deceived by your estimating and costing figures
Expand Content Why do I need budgeted hourly cost rates and Cost Rates Advisor?

If you're reading this, you probably already know that developing BHRs is a time consuming and often dreadful process; finding and gathering the required information, determining how to allocate expenses, and getting management approval on the new rates. This is the main reason why so many companies neglect to update their BHRs on a timely basis. Nevertheless, accurate BHRs are essential for estimating, sales, costing, and ultimately profitability.

We know the pain. For over 25 years, our consultancy had been calculating hourly cost rates for our customers using substandard software and homemade spreadsheets. We needed a more robust tool, flexible enough to handle the unique needs of any printing or packaging company, and easy to use. So we developed Cost Rates Advisor.

Cost Rates Advisor will:

  • Give you an accurate picture of your true costs so you can confidently and strategically estimate, price, and cost jobs
  • Ensure all of your costs are fully absorbed and accounted for in estimates, quotes, job costs, and accounting reports
  • Confirm that 100% of your expenses are recovered in the production hours you charge to customers
  • Help you be more competitive on the desirable profitable work, and avoid the less lucrative work
  • Provide a catalyst for measuring the performance and cost effectiveness of your organization
  • Determine the rates needed for your estimating and job costing software (Enterprise 32, Monarch, Avanti, EPace, CRC, Radius, Globe-Tek, Printsmith, Franklin, etc.)
Expand Content What types of equipment and companies does CostRatesAdvisor calculate budgeted hourly rates for?

CostRatesAdvisor is used by hundreds of printing and packaging organizations and consultants throughout the North America and the world. It calculates Budgeted Hourly Rates for ANY printing or packaging equipment or service including:

Equipment and services: prepress, design, proofing, sheetfed presses, web presses, flexographic presses, digital printers, large format printers, screen presses, high volume production printers, cutters, folders, stitchers, perfect binders, collators, folder gluers, die cutters, foil stamping, extrusion, inspection stations, rewinders, embroidering, embossing, grommeting, sewing, cellophane windowing, film laminating, drills, shrink-wrapping, handwork, fulfillment, warehousing, hand assembly, kitting, packing, delivery…

Businesses and processes: sheetfed and web offset printing, digital printing, large format printing, flexographic printing, inkjet printing, label printing, packaging, folding carton printing, apparel & embroidery, corrugated printing, UV printing, newspaper, publication printing, POP printing, banner printing, sign printing, screen printing, rotogravure printing, in-plant operations, mailing, prepress trade, finishing trade, photography studio…

Expand Content What information do I need to figure my budgeted hourly cost rates?

You will need to enter or import the following information:

  • Equipment list or cost centers, available production hours, and square foot occupied
  • Assets list with equipment investment costs and depreciation - fixed assets
  • Company expenses typically from an income statement or operating budget
  • Employee list with annual wages and benefits
  • Allocations of employees, expenses, and assets (overhead, occupancy, department, or cost center)
Expand Content How long will it take to enter and figure my budgeted hourly cost rates?

This depends primarily on how organized and available your information is. If your information is available, the average size company can take between 2-5 hours to import or enter the information, set up the allocations, and finalize budgeted hourly cost rates.

Expand Content How do costs get allocated?

Cost Rates Advisor gives you the flexibility of allocating costs a number of methods manually or automatically using built in industry best practice formulas.

Company Sales & Administrative Overhead Costs - Managers, salespeople, office employees, office furniture, supplies, advertising, utilities, automobile expenses, and asset depreciation can be allocated as indirect Sales and Administration Overhead costs. These expenses are automatically allocated to each cost center proportionately.

Building Occupancy Costs - Building leases, mortgages, building repairs & maintenance, real estate taxes, maintenance employees, and other building expenses can be allocated to Building Occupancy. This determines your building occupancy cost per square and are recovered based the square feet assigned and occupied by each cost center.

General Factory Overhead Costs - General Factory Overhead can include a plant manager that oversees all of manufacturing, a scheduler that schedules the plant, maintenance employees, an air conditioning system, general factory supplies shared by all factory departments, and a paper trim waste and bailing system. These expenses are automatically disseminated to each cost center.

Department Costs - Supplies, shared equipment in a department, department supervisors can be allocated to a department as direct manufacturing costs. Department costs are automatically disseminated to each cost center in the department.

Cost Centers Costs - Equipment operators, helpers, repairs and maintenance, and equipment asset depreciation that are specific to a cost center can be allocated directly to that cost center as direct manufacturing costs.

Labor Costs - Direct and indirect employee labor wages and benefits costs can be manually or automatically allocated to any of the categories described above. You can even split costs up between multiple categories. For example, a department supervisor can be split between SG&A, multiple departments, and/or multiple cost centers.

Expand Content What if I need help setting up my budgeted hourly cost rates?

Cost Rates Advisor includes easy to understand online help screens, a Quick Start Guide, and a detail Users Manual to help you setup, maintain, and implement your cost rates. You can also contact our expert consultants for advice or questions through our online Support Request Form.

We also offer more in-depth one-on-one professional consulting for an additional fee. This includes printing industry expert consultant assigned to your account, personal phone consultations, advice on best practices, what to include and exclude in your rates, a review of your finished cost rates, approaches for implementing new cost rates, and more.

Expand Content What estimating, job costing, MIS, or accounting software does Cost Rates Advisor work with?

The Cost Rates Advisor has the ability to import data from software products like EFI Pace, Enterprise 32, Avanti, Printsmith, Monarch, Radius, Franklin, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Sage Accounting, and other products using the Data Import Wizard. The Data Import Wizard has Import Spreadsheet Templates and field mapping functionality that enables you to import income statements, payroll information, fixed assets, cost centers, and other data from a spreadsheet or a .csv file directly into the Cost Rates Advisor database.

Expand Content How often should I update my hourly cost rates?

The industry best practice is to update your hourly cost rates at least every 6 months or anytime there are increases or changes in expenses, equipment, staffing, utilities, and other expenses. This will help you constantly recover out-of-pocket costs, forecast profitability, manage your company, and improve your bottom line.

Expand Content How secure is my information? Can other people see or steal my information?

The Cost Rates Advisor runs on a secure SSL-protected website with 256-bit encryption, providing one of the highest levels of security and authentication. Your financial and personal information is encrypted and protected so other parties cannot gain access to your sensitive and confidential data.

Expand Content If I'm not satisfied, can I get my money back?

You can cancel your subscription at any time, regardless of the reason, and you will no longer be billed for future charges associated with your subscription. If you're not 100% happy within the first 30 days of your purchase, for any reason, we'll refund your money. What do you have to lose?

Expand Content Can I upgrade my plan?

Absolutely! You're in full control of what plan you would like and you can easily upgrade your account from within the account manager dashboard.


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Profectus, Inc. · Sarasota, Florida · United States · Phone: 1-888-868-8662
Business management consultants specializing in the printing & packaging industry since 1993.
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