• Message from the President

Qualifications-Based Selection is the Preferred Method of Consultant Selection

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Indiana and Butler, Fairman & Seufert join hands in supporting and promoting Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) as the best method for selecting professional services. The process of selecting a firm based on its qualifications, instead of their proposed fees, enables the owner to find the most experienced, capable and innovative firm for their unique project. QBS allows owners to determine what criteria is the chief deciding factor with consultant fees negotiated after the selection process. Innovation, project delivery, project management approach, cost savings, saving time, public involvement, and extending asset life cycle are just a few of the qualification factors that the Owner may desire.

The common criticism of QBS claims reducing consultant fees should be a top priority and a "low-bid" process is likely to be less expensive. Though price is important, a "low-bid" approach to consultant fees may result in inexperienced engineers, less innovative solutions, design supplements and multiple construction change orders. Engineering fees are typically a small portion of the overall project costs. Project quality should not suffer due to inadequate engineering effort and related fees. The outcome can be a finished project that is low quality, has a short life cycle and goes over budget. What may have looked like a savings up-front for engineering fees, turns into a much larger overall project cost increase once construction is complete.

At BF&S, every Owner's project is unique and deserves only the best from our team to ensure a high-quality outcome. This is why building and maintaining a close partnership between the owner and us is one of our top priorities. We know that clear communication and close collaboration from our highly experienced design or construction inspection teams will enable the project scope to be appropriately vetted; thus, minimizing potential change orders and allowing for a comprehensive review of life-cycle costs with our clients to provide long-term value and performance.

In addition to selecting engineering professionals, QBS makes sense for selecting financial and legal consultants as well. We firmly believe that this process will save the owner money in the long haul by establishing work that is done right the first time and will not need to be fixed or redone before the approximated life cycle has ended. QBS is the preferred method of consultant selection - putting our client's in the driver's seat.

John W. Brand