In reaction to a comment from a contractor who said to SWJ that ‘We never ask you to fee bid against another consultant and won’t. If a practice satisfies the criteria described above then we trust them to want the RIGHT fee, not the cheapest.’ Rhys Skym talks more about SWJ’s fee structure, why they’re not interested in a race to the bottom, and what clients can expect their quotes to include.

‘We have never aimed to be the cheapest – our philosophy is a fair price for the service we believe our clients want.

We always take the time to make sure that we understand the brief, the scope of service required, the schedule of deliverables, and what we can and can’t do. We will not quote for anything outside of the scope of our expertise – but work with specialists that we can call on in these instances.

For SWJ Consulting it is not about being cheap, it’s about value. Within our quotes is the flexibility to work with change and design development; it’s a consequence we factor in. We don’t want to get into arguments with clients over the additional cost of design changes. These kinds of situations and conversations are counterproductive and erode budgets even more. Time is wasted arguing about money and, more importantly, it is corrosive to the trust that needs to exist between the two parties.

We do have clients that take umbrage with this approach and want to pay a flat rate, and then by the hour for any changes. However, the majority of our clients appreciate a fixed cost with some flexibility rolled into the price and are happy with that. We win some, we lose some, that’s the nature of the business.

This quoting philosophy is applied to all of our clients regardless of size. We like to think that once we’ve given you our word, our quote, that’s what it is. If we overlook an element and have not priced for it – that’s our issue – not the clients.

To this end, we make sure the project is at a stage where we can comprehensively quote. However, this is not always possible. For example, if there is no site investigation for us to review, we will provide the client with an estimate of our costs and confirm the price once we receive it.

In summary, we work hard in all aspects of the business to make projects run smoothly. We spend time investigating assumptions so we can provide the most appropriate solution. We invest in digital construction technology to avoid errors and pick up issues before they get to site; quoting is no different. We want this part of the process to go smoothly and be as straightforward as possible, so the client gets exactly what they want in the long run without issues.’

If you would like to discuss your project with SWJ Consulting, please give us a call on 01993 225 085 or email Specialists in dealing with complex designs, poor ground, and challenging conditions, we are happy to offer a no-win-no-fee feasibility study by way of introduction to commercial clients.