Perth, 27th June 2010
Weekends are generally to take your foot of the (work) accelerator and spend some quality time with your loved ones. For me a time to catch up with my kids when I am in Australia. But it is also a good time to catch up on some back log work undisturbed… I managed to catch up on some of that work and one of the things I went through is to analyse a clients budget provision for the façade lighting of one of our projects. When you get to do this early in the project a lot is guesswork and assumptions, even though it is based on our past experience.
Working out a budget for the client is part and parcel of our scope of work. It is really important to log in a budget with the client as early as possible so we are all on the same page right from the beginning and do not get into endless abortive work to deconstruct our lighting design to meet an “impossible” budget. Unfortunately budgets are not always logged in when we do our design (or deliberately not told to us). We always ask for it but nearly always (in Asia at least) get the answer they don’t have one and would we please provide them with one. Then once we work out one miraculously they tell us they don’t have such budget?
In order to prepare a good budget for a client we really need to have the concept worked out in detail. We then need to decide on the light fitting systems the required quantity and their quality level. Not everything needs to be made of “gold”. You can get from A to B in a Toyota as well as in a Rolls Royce. So we need to choose the level of sophistication and comfort in relation to the project requirements. There are also many unknowns in the costing process. The budget quote we get from the supplier is for the equipmment only not necessarily the price that the client ultimately will pay as there may be many intermediate people in the supply chain that need a cut of the pie, like the local agent, the contractor, etc. It wouldn’t be the first time that our original budget estimates works out more than double by the time it has gone to tender!