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Rubbish creates wealth

IT and consultancy firms

the fonz
post 5.Feb.2013, 11:29 AM
Post #1
Joined: 16.Dec.2009

I am constantly at loggerheads with both IT companies and consultancy companies.
Any jobs these guys do are charged by the hour and they always far exceed their estimates. But it has occurred to me that the crappier the firm, the more you pay. By being inefficient they effectively earn more money - would anyone accept this in any other industry? Any suggestions on how to overcome this?
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post 5.Feb.2013, 12:57 PM
Post #2
Location: Sweden
Joined: 12.Sep.2011

The clearer that you can make the client requirements/demands known at the earliest stage the better the outcome. In my experience it is often the client-side where the problems reside and in particular when it comes to the development side it is common for clients to receive what they *think* they want as opposed to what they actually need.

Where consultants fail is helping the client to bridge that gap at the start of the project.. An agreement for fixed price deliveries is also favorable especially if there are many unknowns. It may appear to cost you more money from the outset, but so long as it is budgeted, and the client spec is detailed then there should be no reason to have any confrontation.
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post 7.Feb.2013, 08:03 PM
Post #3
Joined: 8.Aug.2012

I would suggest you hire me the fonz! i am in the process of setting up shop as I have 10 years experience working for software companies. I believe that a job is charged as a job and that you keep a dialogue open. Its all about communication. I am working on an e-learning platform at the moment and had to install the system to another vps as the java parts of the application were eating through the memory. It took me an extra few hours and couldn't really have been foreseen but you can't charge for that. For me its a privilege to be self employed and its only IT - its an intellectual product. I can imagine working with some Swedish companies is quite hard as they are not known for giving anything away or communicating very effectively.
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post 8.Feb.2013, 12:01 AM
Post #4
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 1.Jul.2007

QUOTE (John.Smith @ 5.Feb.2013, 12:57 PM) *
it is often the client-side where the problems reside and in particular when it comes to the development side

All right I will bite. In IT the initial customer contact is often done by the sales star. The IT provider sales star may or my not have a clue about IT but has the relationship with the decision makers of the client. The client decision maker may or may not have a clue about the scope or the details of the project and in those cases those individuals basically become a bean counters having no knowledge of the the actual project or the rat holes that may exist on the path to successful project completion.

In dealing with IT firms I would suggest that secondary and closing meetings occur with the actual project manager of the IT firm present and fully briefed on the project. I would also suggest that the client interview the actual IT lead workers that will be performing the contracted assignments. Problems occur when bean counters come to a nebulous agreement and the workers from the consultancy and the client firm that actually have to make things work have never been introduced nor lay down the actual requirements.

IT projects go from very small to very large. Your IT consultant should be knowledgeable with local laws and have contacts with local labor unions if your project is a large significant one. Breaking down walls, core drilling or burring cable on miles of roadway require both time and permits. Somebody needs to know how this is done. Is your IT consultant following the IEEE proposals or just selling you what is overstocked and will be out of spec and useless in a few years. There are many many things to consider. Helpless consumers should be encouraged to pit one IT firm against another. In doing so their detailed knowledge will unfold and show the helpless IT consumer which questions should be asked.
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post 8.Feb.2013, 12:34 AM
Post #5
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (the fonz @ 5.Feb.2013, 11:29 AM) *
By being inefficient they effectively earn more money - would anyone accept this in any other industry?

Electricians, Plumbers, Painter and Decorators, Garage Mechanics ...You name it, it is a tried and tested formula to never stick to budget and/or time ...the 'Oj oj oj!... Never seen that before' principle applies. biggrin.gif a consumer in Sweden you have a nice little guideline to work against is considered not acceptable if the real cost is greater than 15% more than the oriignal estimate.

However, you are dealing business-to-business ...There unfortunately, it is Your own fault! Sorry, but you did the contracts!

IT Companies and/or Consultants is rather a broad description of whatever it is you are saying they are inefficient with... If it was consulting, maybe they have charge because members of your company were not delivering, cancelling meetings etc... wasting their time and your money. It if was development, then it is likely the analysis and design was not done sufficient. If it was process engineering, then You didn't know what you wanted, and couldnt work specific ways... If it was support, You payed them to fix problems, but not to educate people in root cause so it happens again and again...

If your contract is written such that they can just continue to charge by the hour and be inefficient again and again ... Change Your contract biggrin.gif ...Do a little analysis of what the root cause of the over-charging (actually You obviously didnt have a limit!!!) and learn.

Feel free to PM Me with details, include a contract with a supplier ...or post it here, along with the description of tasks/services they are supposed to provide, and I would be more than happy to give pointers, without something more specific, it is not possible to say what you are really doing wrong ...apart from the contracts themselves!
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