Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Cheap remark


The letter from Bob McKittrick infuriated me (NCE 28 September). The implication that consultants offering cheap fees are invariably offering a substandard service is a basic misconception being peddled by larger consulting practices unable to compete with the efficiency of smaller practices.

By comparison with larger practices we are cheap, but there are others who are cheaper than we are.

To suggest that we offer a substandard service to our clients without any knowledge of our clients or projects is tantamount to defamation.

At our current fee levels, profit margins are well into double figures. But we are able to offer our services for less because we have no claims on our PI, resulting in lower premiums.

While we do pay good salaries, we don't pay our senior management £700,000 a year. Our chartered structural engineers outnumber graduates and trainees so that those in training have a wealth of experience from which to learn.

McKittrick should compare the end product provided by his practice and that of a cheaper practice.

Is he suggesting that higher fees are necessary to ensure that design life is miraculously extended?

The one vital word is 'efficiency'. I am concerned that the Institution of Structural Engineers is to endorse a document that is likely to lead to its split by suggesting that one practice is better than another.

A Mirfin (M), GCA, 16-18 Market Place, Warwick CV34 4SL

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.