|PDH Online Course Description||PDH Units/
Learning Units (Hours)
Samir G. Khoury, Ph.D., P.G.
Contractors and consultants in all fields face a wide range of contract types and terms and conditions in proposal requests from both government and commercial clients. Winning the contract and delivering the required products and services while making a reasonable profit is becoming more and more difficult in the face of stiffer competition, more demanding clients, and more onerous liability clauses. This course is designed to take some of the mystery out of computing cost, and estimating revenue and profit. The course also describes the various types of common contracts and associated key financial and managerial issues.
The material is divided into three sections. The first section explains how to determine your real cost of doing business, including development of salary costs, employee benefits and overheads, and how these costs are incorporated into a billing structure. The second section explores the various common types of contracts (for example, cost plus percent fee, cost plus fixed fee, per-diem rates, fixed price, etc.). For each type of contract, the advantages and disadvantages to both the client and the contractor are described, and issues such as how to handle changed conditions and change orders are addressed. Also for each contract type, examples of billing rate calculations are presented, and potential pitfalls and financial exposure are discussed. Popular additional contract stipulations, such as incentive bonuses, liquidated damages, not-to-exceed ceilings and retainage are also described.
In the third section, a case history is presented, including how the contract was bid and won, what unforeseen events occurred soon after project start, and what steps the Project Manager should have taken to protect the profit margin and still complete the project successfully. Finally, an actual case of creative contracting is presented and followed to its conclusion.
The information presented in this course is based on the experience and insight of the author gained through over 30 years in the engineering consulting business. The approaches to developing billing structures and protecting profits under various contract types are timeless principles that are valid irrespective of the prevailing business environment and are applicable to any business where profit is made through billable hours.
This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.
* This course is acceptable to all the state PE boards except the New York State PE & PLS Board.
NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.