What fees can you expect to pay?

Consultants' charges usually comprise two parts: a professional fee, and any direct out-of-pocket expenses associated with the project.

Fees may either be a fixed fee representing the value offered by the consultant or they may be based on the time spent by the consultant on the project. In some cases the total fee quoted is an estimate because the project, being a joint effort by the client and the consultant, is not completely under the consultant's control. Moreover, the exact amount of work cannot always be quantified at the beginning. In some cases the consultant can quote a fixed charge, or a fixed basis of charging for the work done.

The timing of payment of fees will vary depending upon the nature of the service and the duration of the assignment. A very short assignment may typically be invoiced on completion while other assignments may have an initial fee followed by payments based either on delivery milestones or on a regular schedule such as weekly or monthly.

To ensure that the comparison of consultants' fees does not overwhelm the selection process, you may ask for proposals to be submitted in two parts, that is, with the fee component in a separate sealed envelope. This enables you to review the essential merits of a proposal without cost considerations clouding the issue.

Management consulting fees are similar to those of other professional firms which employ staff of high calibre. Consulting firms have to provide attractive remuneration for top-level staff, as well as substantial research, training, and information services to ensure that their capabilities are equal to the best international standards.

It is not possible to provide high-quality professional services at a low fee. Experience shows that apparently cheap professional services very seldom give value for money. An unsuccessful consulting project is expensive at any price.

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CMC: A higher level of
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