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Re: Sharing projects

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We have occasionally teamed up with one other structural engineering
firm (a very large firm) when we get into areas that are outside our
area of expertise, or when we need to do a project that requires
additional staff.  It has worked out very well for us.  We always remain
the Engineer of Record for the project, and hire the outside engineering
firm as a consultant to us.  While they are working for us, I treat them
just as if they were an employee working out of their home.   We have
used them mainly for seismic retrofit work.  They also have been
retained to do a peer type review
of the working drawings for seismic retrofit work.

We stay in contact via e-mail, phone, and Fed-EX.  I was a little
hesitant the first time we tried this arraignment, but I was very
surprised at how well it turned out.  A lot of it will probably have to
do with the personalities of the people involved.  The Principal of the
firm who is our contact is just great.  Even though we are a small firm
( 11 engineers and draftsman), and they are a VERY large firm, they do
not try and run us over, or take over the projects.  They advise us, and
tell us why they believe certain things should be done certain ways, and
we respond back when we have a different opinion.  We have always been
able to come to agreement on most things.  We have worked very
successfully with them on many projects now, and intend to continue with
this arrangement as long as they will put up with us.  It puts us in the
position of being able to do some project a small office such as our may
not normally be able to do.   Having them as a member of our "team" also
allows a small local office to offer experience and expertise that small
local firms could not offer.

I can see how ego's and personalities could get in the way though.  I
consider ourselves lucky to have established this relationship.


Dennis S. Wish PE wrote:

>  I have been getting some very interesting replies to my request for
> consulting work. The level of responses has been from totally
> unqualified to other engineers looking to expand their practices. This
> led me to start thinking of the possiblities of networking among our
> professional community to share responsiblities on projects -
> essentially increasing a small office potential and decreasing a
> larger offices overhead and expense.I was wondering how many of you
> have formed cooperations between other professionals either in your
> own area or outside your area? How have you split responsiblity and
> who has taken the lead? What distribution of fees is reasonable when
> dealing with other professionals? When is it reasonable to step out of
> the lead as EOR with your client and pass the responsiblity to your
> Internet associate?There are a ton more questions, but I am curious if
> and how others have worked through an Internet based network. Does
> distance create a problem? Do you have any tricks or techniques to
> communicate design problems and resolve them?Now that I got the ball
> rolling with this thread, I would be very interested in hearing from
> others who are establishing professional relationships and what
> expectations you have had or are having for sucess.Dennis Wish PE