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RE: Fees

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Alex:

Don't get me wrong...

We've taken PLENTY of "projects" for crap fees lately.

Instead of six 400 m high rises on the Vegas Strip (on hold due to lack of
available financing), we're doing porch repairs and condo reserve
studies....not to mention plenty of "pro bono" consulting to get new biz (By
me, of course, so I don't have to pay anyone).


I actually thought about matching the $500 fee...for about a minute.


If someone needs $500 that badly, who am I to argue?


In Chicago, there is plenty of work, just not too glamorous.

Getting paid for lousy jobs?

That's another matter.


Goldman Sachs says the Recession ended two months ago.

My bank balance does not yet reflect that.


Learning a TON of lessons, tho.

Productivity and quality of work around here has never been better.


Go figure.



Good luck to you, sir.


David L. Fisher SE PE
Senior Principal

Fisher and Partners
372 West Ontario 
Suite 301
Chicago 60654

312.622.0409 (m)
312.573.1701
312.573.1726 (f)

www.fpse.com



-----Original Message-----
From: Alex Gordon [mailto:alex(--nospam--at)gordonengcorp.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:52 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Fees

So....You lost two jobs in a tight economy but your client was able to 
get his peer review completed for a great fee. You should consider 
yourself lucky that you are able to tell these clients to go away. Many 
do not have this luxury.

Were you undercut by a some guy working in his basement? You may have 
been undercut by a qualified firm that has nothing to do and is willing 
to buy a job to get in the door with a new client. Maybe this engineer 
needed the $500.00 to pay the bills.

I have lost a number of projects to other qualified consultants based on 
fees. You can't justify your higher fee with quality when other firms 
are providing good quality for rock bottom fees. Things are really bad 
for small firms here in Southern California. The unsustainable low fees 
are not just from bottom feeders anymore.

There is too much supply and not enough demand for engineers that work 
on smaller projects in Souther California. The same conditions may be 
present for peer review services in Chicago. I was arrogant and would 
not reduce fees. I told clients the same thing. I lost some good clients 
because of it and now I am struggling to win these clients back. I wish 
we all could stand our ground and not undercut each other. 
Unfortunately, we all have bills to pay and sometimes a little money is 
better than none.

Have fun,
Alex Gordon, PE



David L. Fisher wrote:
>
> Daryl:
>
> The same "client" sent me ANOTHER RFP for a peer review this morning.
>
> I told him to hire the same guy as last time and leave me alone.
>
> David L. Fisher SE PE
>
> Senior Principal
>
> Fisher and Partners
>
> 372 West Ontario
>
> Suite 301
>
> Chicago 60654
>
> 312.622.0409 (m)
>
> 312.573.1701
>
> 312.573.1726 (f)
>
> www.fpse.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* Daryl Richardson [mailto:h.d.richardson(--nospam--at)shaw.ca]
> *Sent:* Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:47 PM
> *To:* seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> *Subject:* Re: Fees
>
> David,
>
> It's interesting that the numbers should be $3,500 and $550. Back 
> about 1983 (when times in Western Canada were about the same as I 
> expect some of you people are now experiencing) I was asked for a 
> proposal to do a library about 60 miles out of town for an architect 
> and those were virtually the identical numbers. My budget was for 
> engineering design, drafting, shop drawing review, and five trips to 
> the site. Even $3,500 was too cheap!!
>
> It's a mistake to take projects for the $500 level of fees when even 
> $3,500 is probably on the low side; $500 hardly even covers the 
> insurance. Once you do take such a job you are labeled a "bottom 
> feeder" and the best work you can get is designing one storey 
> warehouses and miscellaneous beams for residential for architects in 
> non seismic areas. You are better off to "tough it out" in my opinion.
>
> Regards,
>
> H. Daryl Richardson
>
>     ----- Original Message -----
>
>     *From:* David L. Fisher <mailto:dfisher(--nospam--at)fpse.com>
>
>     *To:* seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org <mailto:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
>
>     *Sent:* Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:12 AM
>
>     *Subject:* Fees
>
>     We submitted a proposal to do a peer review for a project in Chicago.
>
>     Our fee was $3,500.00
>
>     The winning bidder?
>
>     $550.00
>
>     Peer reviews in Chicago take about four days just to complete all
>     the paperwork.
>
>     **ouch**
>
>     Things are really tough out there.
>
>     David L. Fisher SE PE
>
>     Senior Principal
>
>     Fisher and Partners
>
>     372 West Ontario
>
>     Suite 301
>
>     Chicago 60654
>
>     312.622.0409 (m)
>
>     312.573.1701
>
>     312.573.1726 (f)
>
>     www.fpse.com
>


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