Budgeted hourly rates and cost analysis software for printing and packaging businesses.
Maximize Sales and Profits
Increase Sales & Maximize Profits

CostRatesAdvisor.com is cloud-based software that helps printing and packaging businesses improve sales, cost-effectiveness, financial performance, and business growth.


Just enter or import your expenses, employees, equipment, and other cost items, and CostRatesAdvisor:
  • Performs a detail analysis of your organization's financials.
  • Calculates the budgeted hourly rates required by your estimating, costing, and MIS software.
  • Identifies your "TRUE" break-even, out-of-pocket, labor, factory, overhead, contribution, and other costs.
  • Tells exactly what you must charge in order to break-even and more importantly: make a profit.
  • Shows if your company's budget is on target to make a profit or if you're at risk of losing money.
  • Benchmarks your labor, factory, overhead and other costs and rates against hundreds of other organizations.
Gain insight into all costs.
Discover your "True" costs.
Cost Rates Advisor provides a detail breakdown your equipment and services costs and hourly rates including fixed & variable factory costs, selling general & administrative, labor, and more.

Cost Rates Advisor has intricate algorithms that analyze your financial and production information and calculates the annual out-of-pocket cost and budgeted hourly rates of your equipment and services. It gives you a comprehensive breakdown of your cost components including your fixed factory costs, variable factory costs, labor costs, overhead costs, and other cost elements.
  • Cost Rates Advisor takes all costs into consideration including:
  • fixed factory costs
  • variable factory costs
  • selling, general & administrative (SG&A) costs
  • assets depreciation costs
  • employee wages, benefits, and taxes
  • Employees can have their hours, wages, and expenses split between departments or machines.
  • All-inclusive rates represent your true out-of-pocket break-even costs.
  • Rates are represented several ways so they can easily be implemented into any estimating, pricing, and costing software.
  • Calculate cost rates for any equipment. Example equipment rates.




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Tells you how to price to make a profit.
how to price
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Cost Rates Advisor tells you exactly how much to charge for your equipment and services in order to cover your operating costs, but more importantly, what you need to charge to make a profit. As a result, helping you make lucrative pricing decisions.

Knowing what it costs to operate your equipment is probably the most critical number needed for a successful business. Budgeted hourly cost rates should be updated anytime there are significant changes in a company’s expenses, equipment, staffing, and productivity.
"Knowing your true costs is key for
competitively and profitably pricing jobs."
Your estimating and costing software depends on up-to-date budgeted hourly cost rates to generate accurate estimates and job costing reports. If your cost rates are flawed or outdated, so are your estimates and costing reports.

This may sound obvious, but considering the industry’s competitive environment, rates that are off just a few dollars can have a substantial impact on whether or not you win orders or make a profit.

Cost Rates Advisor tells you the minimum amount you must charge for your equipment and services in order to cover your operating costs and break-even, but more importantly, what you need to charge to make a profit.
Why your business needs CostRatesAdvisor and accurate budgeted hourly rates.

And what our 400+ customers figured out.

CostRatesAdvisor will increase your "good sales".

Knowing your true out-of-pocket costs is a vital consideration when pricing work. Considering the industry's competitive and unpredictable environment, prices that are off just a few dollars can have a substantial impact on winning orders and making a profit.

CostRatesAdvisor gives your organization's greater confidence when pricing jobs by providing a clear understanding of your "true costs". It tells exactly how much you must charge for your equipment and services in order to recover costs, and more importantly, make a profit.

Having better information will sharpen your pricing and significantly increase sales and production with high profit "good sales", and help to avoid the least lucrative work.



Business Decisions
Make better business decisions.

Measuring the cost and performance of your organization is a requirement for making good business decisions. If you don't measure it, you can't manage it and you can't improve it.

Cost Rates Advisor performs a detail analysis of your financials, production information, factory costs, labor costs, overhead costs, production equipment, staffing, and other elements. It will help you make decisions about:

Cost Recovery. Are you charging customers for all your out-of-pocket costs? Are there services you're providing that are not being billed? Are your prices recovering all your costs?

Staffing. Are you overstaffed or understaffed in a particular area? How would adding another shift impact costs and rates?

Equipment. Do you have equipment that is underutilized and non-profitable? How would new digital press impact costs and rates?



software
Your software needs budgeted hourly rates.

Your estimating and costing software depends on accurate budgeted hourly rates for estimating, job costing, sales analysis, monthly work-in-process reports, and other essential functions.

Cost Rates Advisor analyzes your financial and production information and calculates budgeted hourly rates for your equipment and services. It gives you the rates needed by your MIS/ERP software for estimating, pricing, and tracking job costs such as Enterprise 32, Avanti, ePace, Monarch, Tharstern, Accura, Printreach, Radius, Microsoft Dynamics, and other software.

If your cost rates are flawed or outdated, so are your estimates and costing reports.



Don't operate in a vacuum!

Cost Rates Advisor benchmarks your labor, factory, and overhead costs to thousands of rates from other printing and packaging organizations. Compare individual cost centers or compare your entire plant. Determine why your prices are higher than the competition on certain quotes and lower on others. Are your labor costs driving up prices? Or maybe it's your overhead costs?

benchmark
Start immediately
Start using Cost Rates Advisor now!
Because Cost Rates Advisor runs in the cloud, there's no software to install. You can start using it right away!
  • Cost Rates Advisor can be accessed from anywhere, anytime including your office, home, accountant's office, or favorite coffee house.
  • There's no software to install, no downloads, and you automatically receive the latest enhancements at no extra cost.
  • You can use a PC, MAC, notebook, iPad, or tablet with internet access and a compatible browser. (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari)
  • Includes FREE Live consulting and support from an industry expert.
Start Now
Join hundreds of other users.
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simon
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spectrum
wilen
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wilen
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oneil
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prisma
hatteras
More customers and testimonials >

quality-printing
How Outdated Cost Rates Almost Put Quality Printing Out of Business.

Inaccurate budgeted hourly rates (BHRs) can put a printing company out of business as one company found out the hard way. Quality Printing* is a sheetfed, digital, and large format printing company with 75 employees located in the Midwest United States.

The budgeted hourly cost rates they used for estimating, pricing, and job costing was indiscriminately updated over the years. When they finally updated their rates...

Read The Full Story
Includes FREE Live expert consulting support.
All customers receive live support from one of Profectus' industry expert consultants. You can speak with a real live consultant for any reason including:
  • help on setting up your rates,
  • a review of your new rates and costs,
  • advice for implementing your rates,
  • or whatever you need to successfully use CostRatesAdvisor.
Learn more
Consultant
Frequently Asked Questions

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
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.)
What types of equipment and companies does CostRatesAdvisor calculate budgeted hourly cost rates for?

CostRatesAdvisor will calculate Budgeted Hourly Cost Rates for any of the following:

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

Businesses and processes: lithographic printing, digital printing, large format printing, flexographic printing, label printing, packaging, folding carton printing, 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…

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)
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.

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 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 based on the cost center's direct expenses.

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 proportionately based on the cost center's direct expenses.

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 proportionately based on the cost center's direct expenses.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

If I'm not satisfied, can I cancel my subscription?

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.

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.


Need more information? Talk to an industry expert. Try it for a month!
Which option is right for you?
Basic Edition
The basics for small shops that only want to calculate a limited number of rates. more...
Premium Edition
Everything you need for calculating rates, comparing your rates to the industry, creating financial ratios from your budget, and developing markup and pricing strategies. more...
Professional Edition
All the features of the Premium Edition plus additional features for creating multiple sets of rates and/or what-if scenarios, creating multiple user logins, and other advanced capabilities. more...