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New Feature: Appointment Cost Field

Last Updated: October 13, 2021


Hello all! It's Patrick, the creator of DoggieDashboard. That's me over there! →

Just thought I'd write a little blog post about the upcoming addition of a Total Cost field when creating appointments.

Many have asked why DoggieDashboard doesn't automatically calculate appointment cost. The reason is because pricing automation is a ton of work for pet business owners (yourself), and it tends to cause more headaches than it's worth. Let me explain...

We'll use Amos and Luna as an example:

➡ When Amos the bichon comes in by himself for boarding, it's $25 a night since he's a small breed.
➡ When Amos the bichon comes in by himself for boarding during holiday season, it's $35 a night.
➡ When Amos comes for boarding with his brother Spot, it's $20 a night ($40 for both pets).
➡ When Amos comes for boarding with his brother Spot during holiday season, it's $25 a night ($50 for both pets).
➡ When Luna the boxer comes in by herself for boarding, it's $35 a night since she's a large breed.
➡ When Luna the boxer comes in by herself for boarding during holiday season, it's $45 a night.
➡ When Luna comes for boarding with her sister Shasta, it's $30 a night ($60 for both pets).
➡ When Luna comes for boarding with her sister Shasta during holiday season, it's $35 a night ($70 for both pets).

Now we'll add on even more pricing complexity!

➡ When Amos comes in for just a grooming appointment, it's $30.
➡ When Amos comes in for a grooming appointment AND a boarding appointment, the grooming appointment only costs $20.
➡ When Luna comes in for just a grooming appointment, it's $40.
➡ When Luna comes in for a grooming appointment AND a boarding appointment, the grooming appointment only costs $30.

What do all these different pricing strategies mean for business owners? More work, that's what!

With automated billing systems, you need to set up "Billing Rules" for every single pet in your database, as well as when "holiday season" is and when "low season" is for billing reasons. Depending on how many different billing situations/combinations you have, this can take over an hour per pet. For a business with 160 pets, we're talking about 160 hours, or 4 full weeks, of setup time.

Then what happens? After completing your first quarter of business, you decide that you're not charging enough for boarding and grooming. Now you need to go into each and every pet profile and update all your "billing logic" to reflect your new pricing guidelines...another 16o hours here we come!

If you've ever heard people complain (or read about in Facebook groups) that some dog daycare and boarding software is really confusing and time-consuming to set up, now you know why. Darn near takes a computer scientist to figure out all the billing logic.

So what's DoggieDashboard's plan?

I'm glad you asked. Since my goal is to make DoggieDashboard as SIMPLE as possible, I've decided against automated billing. It's just a hassle. Spending weeks setting up your software is not a good investment in my opinion.

Within a month, there will be a simple "Total Cost" field that shows up when you create an appointment. You can type in whatever value you want for that appointment and the system will save that value. Done! When you're creating the appointment, simply tabulate what the total cost will be and then save it. Simple, yet effective. That's the goal.

If you have thoughts or ideas, send them over patrick@doggiedashboard.com


PS: Even if you're one of the few businesses that uses a flat rate for boarding ($35 a night regardless of animal size or time of year for example), with automated billing, you'd still be required to set up billing rules for every single pet. This is because the majority of DoggieDashboard users have fluctuating prices, so the software would need to be built to accomodate their businesses.

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