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Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

Is anybody exploring this? Seems better than a retainer. Seems to be working for all the software providers. Like us with our software, if clients have no choice, they will follow.

RE: Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

The software example perhaps leads to one possible outcome. We use Octave and OpenFoam, which are both FOS, as alternatives to the paid software, and of course most companies of any size use Linux somewhere or other on their servers.

I don't think FOS engineering has legs as a career, but then I don't really think your proposal has legs either!


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

How would engineering as a subscription work?

At one time I started to negotiate a monthly fee with a contractor client to assist them with their bids and miscellaneous technical questions on projects as it came up. It ultimately did not work for them bc they needed to assign costs directly to projects for their accounting, and I was nervous about them potentially over using my time. I liked the idea bc it was potentially a stable revenue stream, but it didn't go anywhere.

RE: Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

Like working by the hour or some other increment? I'd love to do this. No more haggling over scope, no more wondering if I have the budget to try and make a design cleaner or more economical, no more fretting about plan changes from architects and wondering if it's enough to ask for more. Unfortunately my clients pretty well universally aren't interested. They'd rather pay for the certainty, even if it means paying more because I have to price the uncertainty in.

Generally the only time people actually want to pay us by the hour is when either:
- Our lump sum is higher than they want to pay and they think they can do better hourly
- We refuse to work on a lump sum basis because the scope is too nebulous or open-ended

RE: Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

I can't see this ever working for us.
We have clients that provide us with projects maybe once or twice a year.
We have others that provide us with many projects - with multiple projects on-going.
All for one easy-to-sign-up price? And then once their one project is done they cancel the subscription until next time?
Don't think so.

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RE: Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

Do it like mobile carriers. Have an "unlimited" plan but after the first 40 hours, productivity is 25% (reduced speeds). You'll need a massive cancellation fee too.

On a more serious note, I think someone needing consistent engineering would just put engineers on staff rather than use a consultant, maybe?

RE: Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

I have known drafters that work the first 40 hours at reduced speed.

I think that it would make sense for a subscription service to be tied to a very specific task and specific terms. I think this is often done but it is not called a subscription service. I have seen ports for example have an engineering firm be responsible for all of their electrical related responsibilities. I don't think that subscription service is much different than a blanket service contract. Client engineers I think often work under similar terms.

If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

I do mostly forensics and remodeling projects. We had an hourly agreement in place with a large property management company for site visits and quick turnaround fixes. Probably once a month they called me out to look at some column that got hit by a forklift, or a spandrel beam that a car slammed into. If the repair(s) were substantial then we would develop a larger proposal. But for those 500-1500 dollar projects they were fine with the hourly rate.

RE: Providing Engineering Services on Subscription Basis

Doctors have gotten into a couple of subscription models
> concierge services with essentially a full retainer, but some escape paths if the incurred cost is too high or outside of the concierge service
> capitation with a relatively low monthly fee per subscriber that makes up in volume for HMOs -- the incentive is to keep the subscribers healthy so they don't visit the doctor. Likewise, there are outs if the cost is too high.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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