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Detecting and correcting pricing errors in ServiceTitan

Haven’t you had enough of the errors lurking inside your ServiceTitan Pricebook, threatening to mess up your estimates and invoices? It renders your pricebook essentially incomplete and far from accurate - not what your business needs to run like clockwork.

Using your Pricebook as is, detecting pricing errors and correcting them as early as possible becomes critical to maintaining accuracy in the available information. Each batch of pricing data imported into ServiceTitan presents a fresh headache. Not to mention the discrepancies between quoted and actual prices that result from changes in supplier pricing info.

As we figure out a way around these headaches, we also address the question burning a hole in your head right now: Isn’t there a better way to manage this? (Yes!)

Dealing with Pricebook import errors

Despite the care and resources poured into managing your pricebook, errors inevitably creep in. In fact, if you build a ServiceTitan Pricebook, they will come :( The import stage is the big culprit - the flaw is in the process itself. Since you can’t bypass this stage, it’s impossible to prevent those errors from happening. And they’ll stay there if you don’t take the time and make the effort to search and destroy them. Sorry.

How errors happen

It’s step 1 of your pricebook setup process and any time you want to upload new items, you must deal with the accompanying import errors, like:

  • When you try to adapt the Pricebook template to suit your needs

During the import stage of setting up a ServiceTitan Pricebook, you may feel inclined to adapt the Excel template where all your pricing data gets uploaded. Watch out: the data you input simply won’t import into ServiceTitan unless it’s in the exact format of the Pricebook Excel Template. Errors will pop up when you remove or delete columns, headers or sheets from the template doc; or add any, for that matter.

  • When you try to set up pricing categories directly on the template

It might seem logical to set up your pricing categories and equipment, service or materials subcategories on the first sheet you see in the Pricebook Excel doc. Actually, if these weren’t set up correctly before this stage - before exporting to spreadsheet - the formatting will be incorrect in the template’s Category tab. Errors for days!

  • When you fiddle with spreadsheet Id’s

ServiceTitan automatically generates ‘Id’ numbers for each item entered. If you choose to delete this or override with your own numbering system, you and your template will have problems.

  • When you use the same names for subcategories

It’s splitting hairs somewhat but if you do have a similar item for, say, HVAC and plumbing services, using the same subcategory name under two or more parent categories will get you pinged with import errors.

  • When you duplicate stuff

Just try duplicating item codes on your Pricebook and for sure, you’ll get an error during import.

  • When you make typos

To err is human. But the system won’t like it. Typos and the like happen easily when you have so many items to load manually. ServiceTitan Pricebook will issue an error notification if an item contains invalid characters, like a misplaced apostrophe. You’d have to go back in there, remove the offending character from the item name, and re-export your pricebook.

How to know you’ve got errors

You can’t miss them. A glaring, red ERROR log will flash before your eyes. You have 2 choices:

  1. Pretend you saw nothing, and do nothing. 
  2. Troubleshoot each error manually.

If you opt for 1 because 2 seems like hard work, we don’t judge. For your sake, we wish those errors could be corrected automatically somehow - or better yet, avoided altogether. But here you are, and opting to do nothing raises the risks of underquoting, overquoting or delayed quoting. And, since the errors won’t go away by themselves, you'll always be back where you started: at option 2.

With option 2, ServiceTitan offers some painstaking troubleshooting guidelines to correct each pesky error. It’ll take more than a minute, but you’ll get there in the end. Until new errors flare up.

Correcting import errors

When a Pricebook import fails, the error log displayed to tell you so will also direct you to the relevant location on your Excel doc. It’ll stipulate the sheet and exact line where the error occurred. It’ll help you figure out how to resolve the issue by describing the error. For example, you’ll find it’s better to:

  • give each Pricebook item a unique code;
  • make sure your Services, Equipment and Materials are correctly listed in the Categories sheet as categories or subcategories;
  • include the category name where you have similar items under different categories to differentiate them, so that the system doesn’t short-circuit.

As with all manual systems, you’re able to detect and correct each pricing error individually until you’ve addressed all error logs (for now).

Dealing with supplier pricing errors

You know that sinking feeling when you discover the prices you’ve quoted are different than the actual supplier prices? Or when fluctuating copper prices and other commodities integral to plumbing, electrical and HVAC servicing materials, cause equipment manufacturers to increase their pricing… You can’t sit back and quote on services linked to supplier materials and equipment without giving it another thought.

Once uploaded, pricing information is static inside ServiceTitan, which means your pricebook won’t reflect external changes. New or updated pricing won’t show up on new estimates. It’s a pain - it can cost you and annoy the heck out of your customers.

  • Before adding items to an estimate, quote or invoice, take the time to compare the supplier prices listed in your ServiceTitan Pricebook against the supplier’s own pricing info.
  • Pay attention to notifications beside supplier items in your pricebook that indicate something has changed. Go into each item and manually update your data to bring it in line with the supplier update. Do this each time you see a change notification.
  • Duplicates on your vendor lists will throw up error alerts. Make the necessary changes, so that no vendor names match any others.

Upgrade notifications are great if you can get them. For example, ServiceTitan’s Pricebook Connect feature will update you on all the latest material costs and industry standards, marketing descriptions and images, sold hours, etc. You could review any updated or new supplier pricing content, select what you want, and add it to your Pricebook. But that privilege comes at an extra cost if you subscribe to Pricebook Pro. Even with that, you still need to manually fix pricing errors before and as they happen.

ServiceTitan suggests putting someone in charge of tracking your top 30 or so products on a quarterly basis at least. It’s a tough ask, and spare a thought for the staff member tasked with the mind-numbing exercise of daily or weekly error-spotting.

A better alternative to detecting and fixing pricing errors

You need a constant flow of reliable pricing info to ensure that every quote you do for your HVAC, electrical and plumbing services is correct. Automation is your best bet.

Automate your ServiceTitan Pricebook by connecting to Wink Reports. Wink partners with ServiceTitan to help users optimize their pricebook: 

  • We connect your supplier data via their API, pushing live updates into your ServiceTitan Pricebook. You don’t have to detect a thing.
  • You can access your supplier prices directly on the ServiceTitan Pricebook dashboard.
  • Wink software processes your pricing data and updates in real time, bringing you a fully dynamic ServiceTitan Pricebook. You don’t have to correct a thing.
  • Wink Reports includes functionality to identify data accumulation and duplicacy.
  • We can help you set up notifications in Wink specific to your business and suppliers that will automatically identify pricing errors.

Sign up to Wink to get started. But only if you’re ready to skip the hard work of dealing with errors. The next step is to connect to your supplier(s) just like you’ve done with your ServiceTitan integration. No need to fork out for Pricebook Pro.

With a fully dynamic ServiceTitan Pricebook kept fresh and accurate with real-time updates, you can be sure of quoting the right price for each line item on a job, every time.

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