StructureAll Ltd. will focus on traditional Architect/Engineering (A/E) contracts. The owner will usually contract the A/E to perform planning and design services. These design services include preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates.
Construction services may be limited to occasional field visits and certain contract administration requirements. Typically, these types of projects distribute total design fees amongst the professionals involved in accordance with the following guideline:
Our most important clients will be established architectural/engineering firms who require structural engineering services.
The market for engineering services may be summarized with the following groups:
The Potential Market Chart and the Market Analysis Table are based on percentages which each of these groups could contribute to the services offered. This manner of describing the potential market is more appropriate for this type of business. As can be seen, the Established Architectural/Engineering firms account for 65% of the potential market with the other participants claiming the balance in smaller proportions.
The following sections describe in more detail these aspects of the service business environment:
The majority of consulting services cater to the needs of the Territorial Governments. The Territorial Governments operate on a budget of approximately $1,170 million per year, based on the 1998/1999 Main Estimates. Of this total, approximately $1,028 million is spent on Operating and Maintenance Expenditures while $142 million is allocated to Capital Expenditures.
Within the Capital Expenditures, Buildings and Works is a sub-category. This is the area of the annual operating budget from which all building design consultants must draw upon. Our analysis of the 1998/1999 Main Estimates indicates a total expenditure of $59,339,000. A typical A/E contract derives fee estimates from total budgets. For this analysis, we will apply 9% as a guideline for design fees. This yields a figure of about $5,340,000 in design fees available for distribution to the consulting industry.
The major clients within the Territorial Governments include:
Our competition matrix indicates a total of 102 persons within the consulting field in the Territories. This total has been subdivided into the types of positions these people hold. Based on reasonable estimates of salary expectations including 30% burdens for administration yields a value of about $7,800,000. This figure represents an estimate of the revenues required to sustain engineering consultants in the Territories.
From this evaluation, the Territorial Governments account for close to 70% of design fees while other participants in the building marketplace account for the balance. The Territorial Governments retain consultants for the following types of buildings:
These types of buildings are constructed on a rotating basis across several communities in the NT. In addition to new construction, rehabilitation, renovations, and additions are also in demand.
Typically, the Territorial Governments issue a proposal call to consultants to service these needs. StructureAll will position itself as a Structural Sub-Consultant or resource to the Prime Consultant.
StructureAll Ltd. will also promote its services as structural specialists and project managers to the Territorial Governments.
Pricing of projects and billing rates are surprisingly variable. In consulting at this level, it is easier to be priced too low than too high. Clients and potential clients expect to pay substantial fees for the best quality professional advice. The nature of the billing, however, is sensitive. Clients are much more likely to be offended when a job starts at $20K and ends up at $30K because of overruns, than if the same job started at $30K or even $35K.
Clients rarely compare consultants directly, looking for two, or more, possible providers of a proposed project or job. Usually they follow word-of-mouth recommendations and either go for the job or not, rather than selecting from a menu of possible providers.
The most important element of general competition, by far, is what it takes to keep clients for repeat business. It is worth making huge concessions in any single project to maintain a client relationship that brings the client back for future projects.
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