How to deal with wire in SI 5 is one of the most common stumbling blocks for new clients. SI 5 gives you many options for wire and if it only takes one option being set, or not set, to throw off the expected result.

Rough-In Wire and Cable

There are two Phases generally assigned to wire, Rough-In and Finish. Wire assigned to the Rough-In Phase is treated on a per foot (or per meter, please sub throughout post) basis so pricing should be by the foot and the Unit Labor Hours should be priced by the foot. Coming up with a number of hours to charge for a rough-in drop can be tricky, so start with simple math. A 100 foot drop at .005 hours is half an hour. Adjust up or down from here accordingly. Rough-In wire is for all bulk cable that you sell. What makes Rough-In wire products act on a per foot basis is the default setting “Show Head End” Dialog for Wires in Project that assigned to the Rough-In Phase.

What this option does is open a dialog when a wire assigned to the Rough-In Phase is added to a project that prompts you for the head end, wire length, and the start/end terminals. You can ignore the terminal start/end unless you plan to build a custom report that uses these fields. The Head End assignment prints on your installation reports in the “To” column. Your default wire length is displayed, well, by default. The default wire length can be changed on per project basis. You can turn off the “Show Head End” Dialog for Wires in Project prompt within a project if you wish and then any Rough-In wire added will not be assigned a Head End and the length will be your default wire length.

To better understand Rough-In wires, a small scale helps.

1. Create a new Visio project file and open it.
2. Add a Rough-In wire to the project, 14/2 for example. Choose a Head End and a wire length.
3. Add a speaker to the project.
4. Drag both products to the Plan page.
5. Attach the wire to the speaker.
6. Open the properties of the wire, click the Price tab, then click the View button. When done checking out the price, click the Specifications tab and notice that there is a Wire Length field.
7. Save the project and run the following reports: Wire Checklist, Wire Connections, and any of the Wire Label reports. Actually, run any report you are curious about to see how Rough-In wire displays.
8. Turn off the Head End prompt within the project and then add another drop of 14/2 to the project.
9. Open the properties of the second 14/2 wire, click the Specifications tab to view that the wire length assigned is your default wire length.
10. Repeat step 7 to see how a wire that is not connected to anything displays on the reports.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, here’s a video showing all that.

Finish Wire and Cable

The Finish Phase in SI 5 does not have the “Show Head End’ Dialog for Wires in Project option checked by default. A Finish wire still has wire length assigned to it and the length is 1. One unit. Wire assigned to the Finish Phase should be priced on a per unit basis and the Unit Labor Hours should be on a per unit basis. Some model numbers indicate the length of the cable (HDMI400/DVI-6M) but if not, use the description fields.

What number of hours (minutes) to assign a Finish wire is worth a ramble. A Finish wire is any interconnect cable or patch cable that is a set length and pre-terminated so the question is, how many hours do you want to charge to connect a cable? Divide sixty by the number of minutes and there’s your Unit Labor Hours value. Now if you make your own interconnects/patch cables then of course factor that in time your installers.

To see how Finish wires work in SI 5:

1. Create a new Visio project file and open it.
2. Add a Finish wire to the project, an HDMI cable for example.
3. Add a receiver and an LCD to the project preferably ones with HDMI I/O haha.
4. Drag all three products to a Schematic page.
5. Attach wire to an output on the receiver and to an input on the plasma.
6. Open the properties of the wire and click the Specifications tab and notice that there is a Wire Length is 1.
7. Save the project and run the following reports: Wire Checklist, Wire Connections, any of the Wire Label reports, and Wire Terminations report.

Who ordered the video?

-Seth Enos