CivilStructural.com.my 25 Aug 2013
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What will be the consequences of low professional fees rendered? (Intermediate)

In this dynamic business world, business men are busy on getting more and more businesses. This case will be the same to professional engineers. Professional engineers also fighting to gain businesses. In certain case; in order to successfully bid a project, engineer may lower down the engineer’s fees. No doubt there is a guide line on professional fees by board of engineer. Somehow, this guide line has not been fully utilized. Client may gain better ‘price’ on engineering service. Somehow, if the fees rendered to low, it may cause a number of unhealthy on engineer professionalism.

First of all, with the lower professional fees rendered. It means engineer may get lower income. In order to survive, engineer needs to get more projects. Therefore, engineer may face lacking of time on performing his service to client. As for example, a project with actual fees of RM100,000 but engineer rendered his service at RM10,000. So he has to get nine more projects to get a equivalent on RM100,000. As a result, engineer needs to work ten times more. So he has to spend ten times more of time on works. Indirectly, he will have less attention on each project. He may scarify his professionalism. Normally you will see our country engineers are always “BUSY”. They are always fighting with time to meet dateline of client.

Secondly, engineer may cut down his normal service of engineering. As for example, engineer may only prepare the design and drawings but he is no longer offer site visit service. No doubt, he knows that this is part of his service. This scenario is quite common in our country. Certain unethical client may take advantage of forcing engineer to withdraw on site service which is a must; where his fees to be reduced further.

Another issue may arise is once engineer has rendered such low fees, he may no longer can increase his fees for future projects to client. Client may say that he can work on such fees. He only can increase such fees to new client. Somehow, new client is much difficult to get. Most engineers are tied up with his regular clients. They work from project to project from same client.

Whenever, engineers’ fees are lower; it will create a chain link effect on engineers’ welfare. Engineers will not get better remuneration. Indirectly, this will discourage people to study engineering and end up our country will shortage of engineers. This kind of scenario will needs government to has some afford on improving engineers remuneration. Else in long run, it will not benefit our country.

If engineer fees is too low; what means that is the rendered fees cannot cover the running cost; such as transportation, staff wages, office rental. Sometime, engineer rendered such fees that he needs to has immediate income to overcome some expenses such as staff wages. Engineer thinks that every month, he needs to pay his staff wages. If he can get some projects; even with low fees, at least he can pay staff wages. No matter how, this is not a good practice. This practice may good for short term. But it wills not good when this practice is applied for a long period. Worst case, it will end up with end up his professional service to public. With the above mention matters, before providing any engineering service; engineers have to always think twice. So that engineers will not get into any problems.

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: Intermediater.
(Updated 01/6/08)
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