Consultants rarely ever discuss our pricing before we understand the project. Annoying, but necessary. Engineering consulting is not a commodity that you buy like a box of cereal at the grocery store. We customize every single project based on the value we can offer to our clients. This requires us to consider a range of factors.
- Our own costs for the required project scope
- Client’s budget for the project
- Market value of the engineering requested
- Potential for complications and project risks
Given all these interacting factors, every project is different, with a different price. But at DMS, we believe you deserve some information about pricing. So here is our general guidance.
We are the experts; experts should be confident enough to handle the risks. That is why DMS typically employs fixed pricing on our projects. As the expert consultants, we should be willing to handle the risks of running over budget. We guarantee the price for a fixed scope of work. (If needed, we can always expand the scope of work to handle new tasks.) This approach allows you peace of mind.
- One price, no worrying
- Engineering recommendations are not tied to project budget.
- If we recommend extra work, it is for your benefit, not ours.
We also offer time and materials projects. This pricing scheme works best for research and development projects. Cases where no one knows the scope of the problem at first. Discovery is half the challenge. For a time and materials project, you only pay for actual expenses and labor. But you also take all the risk. If costs go way over estimated budget, that remains your responsibility. In general, DMS does not recommend this pricing scheme, but it can be suitable for some project types.
Want to Control Your Price?
Uncertainty and risks are the biggest variation from one project to the next. If you want to keep price down, provide plenty of information. Everything on your project, including the items you don’t think are pertinent. Pictures are especially useful. For proper price control, we need to know many factors:
- Project goals
- Project context: what are your schedule demands. Contingency planning?
- Specific details of your individual tasks
- List of all the players involved
For further control over project pricing, DMS offers two categories of service for our projects, both backed by the same high-quality engineering. The two services primarily differ in the quality of communication regarding results. With our Budget Service, we provide limited reporting and only include essential information. Our Premium Service includes all the details of a rigorous scientific report and includes review by our clients. Both services use the same billing rates, but the Premium Service requires a larger time commitment from DMS.
The Budget Service does carry a higher risk of misunderstanding and miscommunication, due to the limited reporting. Clients should consider this when reviewing project proposals. DMS recommends the Budget Service for routine tasks where the client and DMS both have a clear understanding of the objective and underlying ship science involved.
For more complicated tasks, DMS recommends the Premium Service. Premium Service include far more explanation and support. We intend to educate our clients about the ship science incorporated into the task, subject to fair use. For some tasks, DMS will require Premium Service due to the complexity of task and the potential for misunderstanding.