A Guide To Rate Cards

Sam Murray

What is a rate card?

A rate card holds cost/s and, if required, price/s for a product. This product can be made up of one or more materials. A specification is associated with the rate card.

Rate cards can be client specific or generic, rate cards can only be used for clients with active contracts.

Building a rate card

Constructing materials

Materials are the holders of costs within rates cards. Materials can be a one to one mapping of the rate card product i.e. the material being a Poster, or they can be the actual materials required to make up the product i.e. substrate, production & delivery. A material doesn’t have to be a physical thing it can be a service.

A material needs a name – we suggest that this is highly descriptive of the material so it can be easily identified when building rate cards.

Materials can be procured from suppliers or supplied internally, if outsourced then there can be multiple suppliers associated with the material, one supplier must be identified as the default.

Materials must have a currency associated with them, extra consideration must be given to currency selection where Items are to be consolidated in other areas of the solution.

As part of your system setup you will have defined work types and you need to select one of these to be associated with your material, the same applies for taxation.

In Materials, you can specify an optional lead time. This lead time is only used in Catalogues. Suppliers can specify the days they don’t work in a calendar year and this enabled actual delivery days to be calculated based on actual working days specific to each supplier.

Costs (pricing)

Each material has an option for pricing, the default exposes quantity driven pricing but there is a flag which when checked enables flat rate prices. Flat rate pricing could be for example a setup rate and a multiplier. If this was the case you have an additional option of allowing partial quantities - 200 sheets for make ready and 0.25 per copy as printed 4 up to produce, (Note: as standalone costs these may be used only in Job Bag Budget and Purchase Orders).

Quantity based pricing can be a single quantity or price breaks can be used to accommodate volume discounts. When constructing quantity based prices it’s important that the use of run ons’ and quantity breaks are calculable, for example if you had three quantity breaks of 1,000 / 2,000 & 3,000 and run on of 1,000 the system would never use the run on as you’ve a price break.

If you are planning to build rate cards with multiple materials the Primary material must be a ‘quantity’ based price and all other materials must be the ‘flat rate’ type.

Once you’ve completed all fields within the material you can save the material. Alternatively, instead of manually building materials you can use the import routine to create many at once from an excel spread sheet. If you are using the import routine you need to manually create one of each type of material in the first instance, export this data and then use this to build your new materials from.

Once materials have been constructed you can begin to port them into your rate cards.


Every rate card must be linked to a specification; this could be an existing specification or you can create a specification when building the rate card.

If you opt to build the specification within the rate card when you select your form type the form may be presented to you slightly differently to when you are creating a specification from scratch or within a job. The specification form has fields that are flagged as ‘rate card’, this indicates that this information is pertinent to the overall value of the product or service and only these will be displayed when creating a specification within a rate card.

You can simply search and select the specification to be used in the rate card.

To aid the creation of rate cards if you are using existing specifications you can download them using the ‘export for rate card’ option which delivers the specifications in a format where you can paste into the rate card import.When re-importing the specification, you will need to remove the code under 'Specification ID' in order to create a new one (as the system will assign IDs automatically). 

Creating rate cards

As with materials the rate card needs a name, again we suggest that this is highly descriptive of the Item so it can be easily found within other areas of the solution. If the mapping of the material to the rate card is a one to one, then it makes sense to give them the same name.

Rate cards also need a code, there is a system setting controlled by Mtivity on your behalf that defines if this code needs to be unique across the solution.


As materials are the holders for costs rate cards are the holders for prices (cost being what you pay for goods or services and price is what you sell these at).

Sales prices can be empty (no sales value visible to the catalogue user), this is the default. The other options are automatic pricing, this will use the cost and the values set in the contract to calculate profit, savings, gainshare etc. (you must specify the benchmark when using the automatic option), and manual pricing where you set a specific sales price regardless of the contracted values.

If you are creating a rate card to be used for multiple companies do not select the company against the rate card, this then indicates it can be used for all clients (if you chose this option you must set the sell pricing as do not enter).

If you want to set manual sell prices, then you must select a specific client to be associated with this rate card.

Select the pricing option add all relevant materials (one must be the quantity based cost type which will be the primary material, if additional materials need to sit on the rate card they are fixed-price secondary materials), but you only need one primary material on the rate card.

Select update pricing to create your sell prices and save your rate card.

Your rate card is now ready for use in ad-hoc jobs as a sourcing option or for catalogue orders.

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