An Honest Estimate

Today I created a quote for a possible programming project, a task that is somewhat alien to me. Toni, one of our full-service advertising agency’s creative copywriters and New Business Development Lead, typically handles the task of quote creation, but when a repeat client requests a new project, the responsibility often lies on the shoulders of the Project Coordinator.

The  times that I take on this task, I am always marveled by our development team’s estimating ability. For the most part, our projects are billed on an hourly basis. Why do we do this? Unlike many companies that bill at a fixed cost, we bill our clients only for the work that was expended. In the long run, it is a system that fosters a productive working environment, where the staff of DDA do their best to work as efficiently as possible. From the  client’s standpoint, they have the assurance knowing all pricing is based on the actual estimated work expended rather than padded to ensure a lofty profit. In short, it is an honest way of doing business and at DDA, this is what we’re all about.

This form of proposal does present unique challenges in the quoting process. To accurately estimate the anticipated budget, the custom programmers, video experts, graphic designers, and creative copywriters must analyze the description of each project to arrive at an accurate estimate. Obviously, if the scope should change, so too would the estimated development time but for the most part, our staff does an excellent job predicting the anticipated work expenditures. And as we are committed to complete transparency in business, we will never low-ball a proposal to hook a client. We are upfront with our estimates and should a project’s scope change over time, we are quick to point out the impact on budget.