Whats the difference? Material, Equipment, Service

New Contributor III

Ok, so I joined a company who has been using service titan for a while now and have been trying to learn all I can. Recently I was tasked with getting the company setup in the inventory module. This company has been running for years using service titan the way they currently are but wishes to add inventory tracking and all the features that come with it. As I work my way through, I am discovering the way things are set up for them has been working, but the workflows will not work correctly in inventory. I have been watching every video and reading every article I can find on inventory and price book but it’s the same information repeated over, and over which shows how the system works in a single use case but does not explain the system at all to allow people to adapt the system to their use case.
My biggest issue is understanding the differences between the benefits and limitations of each price book category. Currently this company has created services or tasks to list what work will be performed on the job and has a set price for each service. Materials included every item they may need or buy to perform these services and equipment was not used at all. I get that services are the tasks a tech will perform and the price for the job reflects the various tasks added by the tech. I also understand materials are all the items the tech may use on the job. Equipment makes no sense to me. The only response I keep getting is equipment for large ticket items, or items you want to track in inventory. This company uses materials just fine for the big-ticket items, and with inventory tracking you can track and serialize material items too. What is the benefit of equipment? After playing with equipment a bit in next I noticed it appears on the invoice just like tasks and has pricing options like a service, but my csm tells me equipment is not meant to replace a service. So now when I create an equipment item for a water heater and then add a service to replace a water heater, I have 2 line items which both say water heater. This could lead to some very confusing situations for our customers. So, if equipment is not meant to be a service even though it displays as a service, but all of its functionality is the same as a material how is it different? You can use it to add a tag to a customer showing replacement opportunities? Sure, but you can add a tag to a material too. The difference seems arbitrary with all the information I have received.

I have not found any source that can explain to me how services, materials, and equipment differ and what the use case is for each in a way that makes sense. Also, if we use equipment how do we prevent it from being visible on invoices, estimates or any other screen or document the customer will see?


New Contributor

So this subject is especially frustrating due to the immense amount of work that goes into creation of proper price book utilizing these categories.

In short Equipment is utilized by attaching it to a service tasks "aka - 50 gal WH install" this allows tracking of the equipment and a task to be sold with proper equipment attached.  The service will list the service and the tasks to be completed and then the equipment sold will be listed below. It also helps as you can mark equipment up on a completely different schedule than materials to allow for consistent pricing. *For example my material mark up is 100% but my equipment cost more and markups have huge price impacts so I mark them up at 30%. 

This also helps track proper commissions as equipment can be marked bonus rather than straight commission to a tech.

However this is very confusing set up as you need to put everything in its place prior and it is difficult to setup quickly. 


hope this helps 

New Contributor

I think of Equipment as a material you want to track after you've left, that you may service in the future, and that may have a replacement (revenue-generating) opportunity in the future. So you don't need to know you used wire and pvc at a site (that would go under Materials), but you do need to know what was installed and the related serial number and warranty info, recommended replacement age, etc. as mentioned above.

You can use sub-items and estimate templates to hide the second line item from the invoice.

New Contributor II

I am in the same boat. There is a labor/hours option on the materials and equipment creation page. Almost as if its designed to be a 'Service with Materials' combo. But I was told that is not the case. So for every job that has multiple parts replaced, there will be two line items on the invoice, one for the labor and one for the material used. One can see how an invoice could get cluttered. I would like to have a flat rate price book and track inventory.  

ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

Inventory can be a beast...especially when you are just starting out with organizing.  Equipment typically is something with a serial number (although that can be determined by you) and the benefit of that is that there is a whole section in the location profile dedicated to equipment.  You will be able to input install date, warranty dates, memos, etc...

If you use dynamic pricing then you need a task and equipment to generate pricing.  You could also just apply an installed price to the equipment if you don't use dynamic pricing.  Then you would only need the one line of equipment and could have a good job summary of what the install includes.

Hope that helps a bit! 

Miranda Melnychuk, RSE
Acclaimed! Heating Cooling and Furnace Cleaning

Thanks for the explanation, I had the same question as Kelly. So what you mean is that if for example I am installing windows, the windows would be the equipment so that I can keep track of the serial number and warranty, and the materials would be caulking and insulation since they don't have serial numbers and don't need to be tracked for warranty purposes.

New Contributor III

Currently this company uses the date completed for a job to determine the warrenty dates which takes a little math for sure sometimes. Equipment does seem to make that information more readily accessable though.

Yes that was my plan to just not use a service and just apply the service price and information to the equipment since we do not use dynamic pricing, my csm told me "equipment is not meant to replace services". So i assumed there must be a reason not to do that.