In many cases, as buyers in both our professional and private lives, we assume that most service providers are essentially the same and it is appropriate to choose the lowest-cost option. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as some service providers may be more experienced or qualified than others. It is important to do your research and find the best option for the specific needs that you are seeking.
In this case, qualifications and experience become more important than the lowest price. The same is true for selecting consultants to engineer and design your projects. The selection process should include an evaluation of qualifications, experience, and price.
When selecting a consultant to engineer and design your project, you should consider the qualifications, experience, and price of the consultant. Qualifications include education and experience and design. Experience includes the number and size of projects the consultant has completed. Price may be a factor, but it should not be the only factor.
In order to evaluate qualifications of candidates for the advertised scope of work and services, the evaluation criteria must be related to the qualifications needed to complete the job. The qualifications that may be evaluated based on an applicant’s qualifications include, but are not limited to, the qualifications of staff, past work experience, performance, and technical knowledge.
List, in order of preference, at least three consultants you determine to be the most qualified. As you prepare for negotiations you must develop an independent cost estimate that reflects the advertised scope of work.
This estimate is used as the basis for negotiation with the selected consultant. Now you may begin the third step of negotiating cost and contractor terms with the number one ranked most highly qualified consultant.
It is important to understand you can only negotiate with one consultant at a time. Negotiations with another consultant should only occur after officially terminating negotiations with the prior firm.
If there are any problems, you must immediately address them with the consultant, so that the contract can be promptly modified or terminated as necessary.
Additionally, consultant invoices must be reviewed to ensure the costs are consistent, contract terms, and progress of the consultant’s work.
When the contract is completed, you will be required to evaluate the consultant’s performance of the items listed in the contract.
Before contracting with a consultant, contact for assistance in order to make sure you meet all regulations that apply.