CivilStructural.com.my 25 Aug 2013
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C & S Software Solutions Sdn Bhd  

   
Management works for civil and structural consulting engineer in Malaysia!(Beginner)!

Every county has difference types of engineering practice. Our Malaysia has our own “format” of engineering practice. As we are in civil engineering field, we have certain types of standard fees in private sector. Where we have to survive based on these fees. If we not follow these, we will be slowly remove out from market. Therefore, it is an important factor in control capital expenditure in operating an engineering consultant company.

As for the present market, engineering fees are getting very competitive. In order to getting project, we have to go into business. It basically just like doing a business, we have to make profit in order to survive. Only the difference is we are professional. We can not sacrifice engineering. Since engineering fees are so competitive, we have go into control business overhead. Basically, it will divide into two phases. First is office operation and then is field operation cost.Before we going into these. We have to do some basic analysis on the project to be taken. Such as time frame of project, location of project, what will be if project has abandoned? Can we reimburse when project has extended? Is it worth to do it? For example; do a unit of bungalow in Sabah where your office based in KL.

Office operation cost mainly on the design team and some management cost. Company must have a proper organization structure. Such as said one director, two senior engineers, four junior engineers, eight-draftperson etc. The design team. First of all, we have to control in design. Then will be the drafting and final is printing. Just like computer software giant, Bill Gate said this decade is speed. We have to speeding in design by using more computer software to cut down time frame being use for a project. Every project must proper plan by allocates suitable time frame. This time frame is based on our experiences on previous project. The time frame is very important in our servicing industries. If time frame cannot be met, then we will lose our client. We cannot simply speed up our design without any qualities, i.e. design is not proper done. This will cause more overheads on the rework and mistakes. It is not recommended to do so. No doubt we speed up in beginning of project, we lose more time in operation. As a result, design can be prepare by junior engineer and have to check by at least one senior engineer. Then come into drafting. If drafting not proper monitor, it also causes a lot of wasting in time. We have to get senior draftperson to monitor junior draftperson. Senior draftperson is important in receiving instruction from engineer. He has to fully understanding message given and converts into drafting. Without him, engineer has to do this works. This also creates overhead of wrong assignment of duty. Engineer cannot concentrate on main engineering field. Printing can cause high expenses if not proper monitor. Papers and plot ink cartridges are expensive. We have to control on it. If a lot of printing then we have to print into tracing and send to printing shop to print. What ever paper can recycle, use it.

In office, project management is important. Every project documents such as design calculation, drawings, authorities letter, computer file must be proper managed. When we look for an old project or on going project, project information must able to retrieve in a few minutes. We can not spend time on searching project say a half day. One of the option is going into paperless office. It doesn’t mean not to use any paper at all. Paperless is to certain extent. Important document such as appointment letters, contract documents and authorities letters must keep hardcopies. Where else, incoming fax can be saved into computer and filter it before permanent save. These can cut down paper usage and office space used for storage. Project assignments are important, never assign two or more engineers to do a similar job. It is wastage of resource.

When come to field operation, if possible request a site representative to handle project at site from developer. So we can cut down time spend on site. Otherwise, we have to allocate people to it or send people more frequent to site. Any site inspection, if possible to carry out after site meeting. We can request contractor to send us to site. This will save on transportation cost. Site operation cost is really high. Therefore we must proper manage in order to save cost. No doubt one of our duty is carry out site inspection. We have to judge ourselves in order to carry necessary site visits. Project far away from office, such as office in KL and job site at Kelantan. Normally site visits will take you at least one or more days. So you have to proper manage it before you leave office. Do not leave out anything that required to bring to site.

No matter how we manage business, we must not sacrifice professional ethics. We can do any thing for client to a certain extent. Beyond it, we have to say NO. Such as design a structure that not complying to code of practice. Balancing expenditure versus optimum design for efficient operations and maintenance is important in engineering service industries. We have to always monitor on going project and do a judgment of new project assignment in order to survive in market.

Written by scchee
Disclaimer: the above article is based on writer personal opinion on civil and structural field. It will not represent any ultimate solution of any mention subjects. Writer will not responsible for any causes arise.

Reading level: Beginner.
(Updated 19/3/07)
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