Controlling your costs

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Terminology

Because of the many conflicting terms used in design and construction, Design Purchase standardises on certain words and phrases, and it is important to understand their meanings.

Master user The person who registers and creates the account initially. They have full access to the account.

Sub-users Users created by the master user. They each have their own login email and password, and the master user can restrict their access to different projects. They can be locked out of certain projects, for example, or allowed to view but not edit details of others.

Projects A project is any self-contained plan which can be as simple as a piece of furniture or as complicated as a hotel development. Suppliers, products/labour and id codes are available to all of your projects but thing
such as rooms, schedules and orders are specific to each project.

Suppliers Design Purchase comes with its own standard suppliers, available to all registered users, but you are able to add your own at any time. You enter quotations for various products/labour from suppliers and use them in your projects.

Products/labour Products can also be defined as labour but are often just referred to as “products” to save space. A product is any object that you can buy from a packet of screws costing a few pence to a refrigeration unit costing thousands of pounds. Labour could be a vague description such as “bricklayers” to something more specific such as “installation of main windows”. You can define them your way.
It is important to note that products/labour are independent of prices and suppliers. Your packet of screws may be defined by number and size, but that packet could be bought from many different suppliers and for many different prices (maybe even multiple prices from the same supplier). When you attach a price and supplier, the product becomes an “item” (see below) and it these items which are imported and used within projects.

Items Items are specific products/labour from a particular supplier with a specific quoted price. There could be one price from a catalogue, one from a local supplier, and two from a major supplier (one price for a single purchase and another for bulk purchases). The quotes may be limited in time so you may have multiple prices again. Within each project, you import the items that you wish to use (remember, these are products/labour with specific prices and suppliers). You can import as many items as you want so you can compare the cost of a room with products from one supplier to the cost from another.

Rooms The rooms is the basic unit of the project, the area where you add the items and total the costs. Every project needs at least one room and some will have many, either of different types (a bathroom, a living room, and a bedroom) or multiples of one (a hotel may have twenty versions of the same, identically fitted bedroom). Although, in most cases, your rooms are literally rooms, you are free to use them for other types of projects. Your “room” could be a piece of furniture or a smaller building within a larger, for instance. But they are still all referred to as rooms.

ID codes Because you can have multiple quotes within a project which can be included or excluded from a room, it is easy to lose track of what is needed and whether you have it. So we use the idea of ID codes. A bedroom, for instance, may need two bedside lamps. You may import several different types of lamps and versions with different prices to compare the effects on the cost of the room. But you want to ensure that, at the end of the day, you do have two lamps, not one and not three. So you would define an ID code as, for example, “BedsideLamp” and you attach this code to the different lamps you are using. In your room, you decide that the room must have two items with the ID code “BedsideLamp” and the room will alert you if the requirements and the actual items in use do not match.

Orders When you have finalised your room, you will need to order the items required and you can created orders for specific suppliers. When creating an order, the program knows how many of a particular item are used in the project and so can warn you if the required and ordered totals do not match.

Scheduling You can create events such a delivery dates and completion dates which can be displayed on a timeline or calendar.

Messages You can keep track of messages that are sent between you and suppliers. You cannot email directly from Design Purchase but you can keep a copy of emails that you send or receive here for reference.