BUSINESS NEWS LOCAL FIRM SCJ ALLIANCE PART OF AWARD-WINNING PROJECTS A project worked on by a statewide team of SCJ Alliance staff recently received two awards for excellence. SCJ’s Lacey, Centralia, and Wenatchee offices worked together on project design, outreach, and construction management for the award-winning city of Chelan projects. For more than a decade Chelan had been trying to figure out the best way to address Woodin Avenue Bridge safety issues, with its shifting and crumbling concrete, faulting electrical, and narrow sidewalks. Although structurally sound, renovations were sorely needed for this front door to downtown. The city had outgrown the narrow concrete bridge, originally built in 1927, and there was no longer enough room for all the pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicle traffic. In partnership with city staff, the Historic Downtown Chelan Association, Chelan Douglas Transportation Council, and others, SCJ designed a project that combined bridge restoration with other efforts. The Woodin Avenue Bridge Restoration Project was selected as the Project of the Year in the “Historic Less Than $5 Million” category by the Washington chapter of the Association of Public Works. Significant upgrades were also made to the adjacent Woodin Avenue Landing Park, which provides access to the downtown from the water. The Washington State Main Street Program selected it for an Excellence on Main Award in the “Outstanding Special Project” category. “By incorporating the park into the overall construction
fee proposals with you. This is very valuable intelligence. It can provide a great learning experience. 6)Ask for a better fee. Again – from the “department of the obvious” – this may be common sense but many principals in this business just won’t do it. “Ask and ye shall receive” (sometimes)! Believe me – we have worked with firms in this business – some of them which were decent-size companies (not small niche players) – that had average labor multipliers above 4.5. It can be done and you can do it! MARK ZWEIG is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. “We had a principal who sold millions of dollars of work ... The problem was the way he sold was he gave the work away for such low fees anyone could have sold it.” Staff work collaboratively with public and private clients to anticipate emerging needs and priorities, envision projects that enhance communities, and create designs that bring visions to life. The firm has offices in Ballard, Seattle, Gig Harbor, Lacey, Centralia, Wenatchee, and Spokane, Washington, as well as Boulder, Colorado. SCJ has been nationally recognized many times for growth, award-winning projects, and as a great place to work. project, it saved the smaller project thousands of dollars. It’s now an inviting space for both locals and visitors alike, with increased access to Lake Chelan,” said SCJ Project Manager Dan Ireland. Ireland, an engineer, is based out of SCJ’s Wenatchee office, while the principal landscape architect, Jeff Glander, is part of SCJ’s Lacey office. Engineer Bob Tauscher, who oversaw the construction, calls the Centralia office home. “In today’s COVID world, the lines are more blurred regarding the significance of an ‘office’ location,” says Ireland. “But we’ve been ahead of the curve in that regard. For years our teams have included colleagues working seamlessly across disciplines and offices, with tremendous results.” SCJ is a 100 percent employee-owned firm specializing in civil engineering and site development, transportation planning and design, environmental and urban planning, landscape architecture, public outreach, and cable- propelled transit.
2020 FEE & BILLING SURVEY REPORT Zweig Group’s 2020 Fee & Billing Survey Report of AEC Firms is the standard guideline for AEC industry firms looking to benchmark fees, billing rates, and billing practices, and evaluate productivity and utilization. The 2020 edition includes data on fee structures for every major market type in the AEC industry, billing rates and chargeability statistics for 33 levels of employee (ranging from clerks to principals), statistics on consultant fees and reimbursable expenses, and a variety of statistics related to payment collection methods and experiences. The 2020 Fee & Billing Survey Report of AEC Firms includes the following fee markets: ❚ ❚ Commercial development ❚ ❚ Corporate facilities ❚ ❚ Education (K-12) ❚ ❚ Education (Higher education) ❚ ❚ Healthcare ❚ ❚ Marine ❚ ❚ Transportation ❚ ❚ Entertainment ❚ ❚ Federal/state/municipal ❚ ❚ Industrial facilities ❚ ❚ Multi-family residential ❚ ❚ Single-family residential ❚ ❚ Religious ❚ ❚ Environmental – public ❚ ❚ Environmental – private Visit zweiggroup. myshopify.com to learn more.
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3)Raise fees every year on January 1. Warn clients that in mid-November your billing rates will go up. Lots of goods and services go up in price some every year so people expect it. And this 45-day warning could result in a bunch of new work from those clients who want to lock in this year’s rates before they go up. And then later, when they do go up, you get paid better! Your costs for labor go up every year so fees should reflect that. 4)Reduce scope and make more of what you “normally” do an extra service. I have seen more of this from the largest architecture firms in the last few years than I ever did in the past as they figure out how to compete with other design firms and how to give their clients what their clients really want and need but still get paid decently for what they do. 5)Research the market. There are a number of fee surveys available that could be helpful to your understanding of what is normal for a project or client of the type you are serving. Use these resources and others to figure out if you are competitive. Sometimes long- standing clients you have a particularly good relationship with will share the other firms’
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THE ZWEIG LETTER JULY 27, 2020, ISSUE 1354
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