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A Fee for Service

Civil Engineering Firm News

At All County and Associates, our main purpose is to Help You Make Informed Decisions. You will see it on most of our social media posts, throughout our website and on documents we provide. The reason is that assisting our clients is our mission. This is why when you call in with a question, we answer it without charging any fees. See, most services only have one billable service, a fee for service, time. Think of a doctor, an attorney, or another service provider, their chargeable item is time. You consult them because of their reputation. They benefit you with their experience. You pay for the time it took to hear your concern and respond.


It Starts with Experience

Experience is the root of a professional’s knowledge. It is the basis for their decision making and recommendation, it comes with time. As professionals practice their trade, they usually specialize in a specific field. The more time one spends crafting their trade, the more they offer, and the more they charge for their time.

Experience is also what drives a reputation. A more experienced professional is clearer, concise, and reliable with their recommendations. Additionally, the experience others have had with the individual will drive their perception. This perception leads to the reputation of the professional. The more beneficial and helpful the professional is, the better their reputations will be, and vice versa.


What is in a Reputation

A reputation starts with the experiences the firm, clients, and community have together. This reputation is one of the most important aspects of hiring the firm. Have you ever heard the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know?” Though not 100% accurate, there is a large part of the truth to that statement.

As a professional, it is important to have a good reputation in the community of peers. This reputation can open up doors for better service. A good reputation signals the individual will have better contacts. This results in better designs, reviews, and even allows them to consult other experts. When combined with experience, this creates an unlimited benefit to clients.

In considering an engineering firm’s reputation, you should consider:

  • How is the consultant seen by the regulatory community? A recommendation of a firm but a regulatory agency shows that there is a great partnership. This partnership will help in the review process. It could lead to quicker reviews and more realistic designs.
  • Does the contracting community respect the consultant? When seen as reputable, there is less disagreement over the project implementation. A firm that does not have this rapport, might see a contractor try to change our products or disagree with the design. This leads to delays and extra costs for meetings, reviews, and costly redesigns.
  • Is the firm a trusted or preferred vendor of other professionals? One of the biggest compliments is when a peer sees you as a trusted partner. Now, not all programs are alike, with some requiring a fee for status. That said, most of the time, it is the reputation and experiences between the professionals that lead to one recommending another.


It Boils Down to Time

Simon Sinek is a well-known motivational speaker and author. After leaving high profile ad agencies in New York City, Simon wrote his first book, Starts with Why. In this book, he talks about “The Golden Circle.” The concept is that you are selling three things: “Why”, “How”, and “What”.

Far too many people think the engineering firm’s products are the drawings, reports, and regulatory approvals. It is “What” they provide. It is the result of the two more important and differentiating elements, “How” and “Why”.

Think about the “How”, it is the time. The consultant needs to dedicate time to the client. Though the more time the professional dedicates doesn’t mean a better result. Instead, it is quality time, reputation, and ability to use experiences.  It starts with time to listen to the individual and understand their needs. It is the time they dedicate to practicing their trade, continuing their education, and being ready for the next question. Finally, it is the time it takes to prepare the needed documentation for submission.

Ultimately, it is the “Why” that is the hardest to explain, but it is the thing that sets firms apart. At ACA, our “Why” is Helping You Make Informed Decisions. As we started out saying, we are here to answer your questions and determine what you need. From there, we move into the consolatory phase and offer a service.

So, the next time you have an engineering, land surveying, or sewage question, we are glad to answer it. We hope this leads to our ability to offer a service and to benefit you with our reputation, experience, and time. And once it is all done, like you, the professional expects timely compensation for their time.


Who is ACA?

Started in 1992 and located in Chester County, PA ACA has grown to become a full-service civil engineering firm. Today, we merge professional services with practical knowledge for residential and commercial projects. No matter the scale, from installing a fence, to building a structure or developing land, you need permits. Because the approval process includes many permits and agencies, it can be a headache. Working with ACA’s full-service team saves you time, money, and headaches.  Every step of the way, we are here to support you and educate you about the process. Here are some of the basic services we provide:

Construction Management | Civil Engineering | Environmental Permitting | Septic System Testing and Design | Land Surveying | Wetland Delineations and Mitigation

Please feel free to browse our website or if working on a project or need help, contact us at (610) 469-3830. 

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