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OK, I will respond to the "call to action" and stop my lurking here. 

 I work in a large corporate environment as a project manager.  As an SE
and GE, I am looked to as the in-house staff expert on all things structural
and/or geotechnical.  I administer contracts with a number of
medium-to-large engineering firms on a routine basis.  I work among and
advise industrial engineers, finance officers, MBA's, scientists, and
diverse other (non civil engineering) folks.  That said, I assure you
all that QUALITY is not their primary concern in contracting for SE services.
 Primary concerns are TIME and MONEY.   Many among them feel that
all engineering services should be competitively bid based on lowest
cost (primary) and ability to deliver on time (secondary).  It is, of
course a position of ignorance (not stupidity).  To many, all engineers
with the SE/CE/GE "tickets" are seen as identically qualified. 
(Ironically, none would agree to select their personal physician or
attorney blindly out of the phone book.)  It is this ignorance that we
all must fight. It is an ongoing crusade to educate and inform and to
bring quality issues into their "decision matrix".   

If this situation weren't difficult enough, the current rage among
corporations is design-build project delivery.  Now we have the principle
player - the contractor - selecting architects, engineers, testing labs,
etc.   My experience is that the typical contractor is even MORE
predisposed to selecting SE/CE/GE based on cost alone.   The only
defense a corporation/owner may have against this "evil force" is staff
"experts" like myself, or (rarely) a qualified consultant "third party".
 TO THE CONTRACTOR, ALL SE's APPEAR EQUIVALENT, DISTINGUISHABLE ONLY BY
COST.  They know, of course, that the SE can be readily blamed for all
problems in design, construction, and performance, and at the same time,
the SE must be responsive to the contractor as the client.   Fast, cheep,
and not one nickel's worth beyond the Building Codes is the order of the
day.  Any sign of "gold plating" and the SE will never get another
project ( and might even be relieved of the project at hand).  

SE's who are seeking contracts from such a corporate owner should understand
the nature of this customer.  To sell quality, you must find a way to
help the client understand that quality is not equal among all engineering
firms.  Further, you will have to show that you understand their
business well enough to convince them of the VALUE of quality
engineering.  You will have to convey and convince the finance officers,
insurance administrators, MBA's, scientists, industrial engineers and
other of the value of your quality.   AND you must convince them of your
capability to deliver that quality on schedule.  My employer has the luxury
of an in-house staff engineer to help sort out these issues.  Most
corporations and building owners do not, and you will have to fill this
void for them. 

Sorry for the long post. ( Maybe I should speak up more often).

M. Russell Nester, SE, GE
rnester(--nospam--at)juno.com
____________________________________________________________
On Thu, 13 Mar 1997 16:55:49 PST "Deneff Chris" <cid(--nospam--at)EQE.COM> writes:
>He'll let the courts and your insurance take care of his (real or 
>perceived) problems with "A"
>Chris Deneff
>
>> Stan,
>> 
>> I sent a copy of this to the annoying client of ours.
>> Guess what his choice was?  Items "B" and "C". |;>
>> 
>> Sasha Itsekson
>> ____________________
>> At 10:53 AM 3/13/97 -0600, you wrote:
>> 
>> >In the mid-1980s, I visited the office of a structural engineer
>> >practicing in a small town in East Texas.  Carefully lettered at 
>eye
>> >level on the entrance door was the following message to all 
>prospective
>> >clients and other visitors:
>> 
>>______________________________________________________________________
>> >
>> >We offer services that are:
>> >
>> >A)	High Quality
>> >B)	Fast
>> >C)	Inexpensive


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Subject: Re: Another Thought from Texas
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