The art of proposing

Singapore 16th May 2013

Back in my Singapore office after a good 2 weeks away…and not surprisingly I spent most of the day catching up with the team on project progress and other decisions that had to be made for the coming deadlines for deliverables. There seems to be a real haste at the moment in many of our project countries to move projects forward. Good for us I guess and again not surprisingly I have pile of 8 RFP’s (Request for Proposals) and fee negotiations to go through and respond to in the next couple of days, three of the fee proposals due tomorrow!

Now responding to RFP’s is an art I think. While you can calculate the fees that you think you are worth and what you think is needed to cover for all your expenses and overheads along the way, including a profit, there are so many unknowns most of the time, that you have to take an educated guess in regards of your fees. You limit your exposure as much as you can and make you sure you cover (or exclude) as much as the variable costs as possible. Example: your travel expenses…Airfares are subject to seasons and a flight in the low season can be as much as half the price of that during the peak season if not more. If you travel business class the variance can be pretty big! Same for hotel accommodation, so we generally exclude that as a “reimbursable at cost” expense for the client.

Often we do our proposals “blind” just based on an area planning list without any plan or rendering to be able to assess the complexity of the spaces. Sometimes the classification or sophistication of the project is unknown (budget hotel or 5 star?). There is a big difference. Construction schedules are another nice variable component..1 year, 2 years, 5 years? We have since years a clause in our contract to limit our involvement to a fixed project schedule…learned the hard way from past projects that started of as being a quick 12-18 months job, but which 5 years later on you are still slugging it out. The art of proposing…attractive to your client, but protective for your future…

Light Watch 4-86 The art of lighting spaces…here is a different look for inspiration…

16. May 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light and art, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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