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Proposal work in the Architecture, Construction, & Engineering field

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This is for you architects out there from a non-architect. Any of you in the A/C/E field willing to start a dialogue on the industry and more specific to my interests- what it's like to work proposals? I'm a current Proposal Manager in the Federal IT sector (5 years years exp), currently romanticizing about an industry shift to A/C/E but frankly know nothing. The extent of my research has been the Archinect jobs website, "proposal" in the search field, and the hope that the postings represent some tenable possibility. Very interested in knowing more about the BD side of architecture... thanks for any input.
post #2 of 4

I do a good bit of this work, engineering side

in my opinion it would be difficult for a non-engineer (or architect) to offer much to the package preparation (other than mechanics)

although for a large project many folks are involved (clerical, cadd, a/v, etc.)

but the 'meat' is developed by the guys that will actually have to execute the work

 

the selling point usually involves detailing a better way to do a technical project than the other guy, so by nature, very technical and project specific, not saying it is rocket science, but to sell design services for a wastewater treatment plant for example, you need to have a great deal of experience with them...that is why in most firms one of the sr. partners is usually the BD (or practice development) guy (and one is the operations/tech guy and one manages the business), but the proposal willl be a collaborative effort between the 3, ie, solution-method/resouces/execution/scheduling from the op guy, mark-up, cost, etc., from the business guy...the BD guy shakes the trees, does the smoozing, and puts the packages together and gets the agreement signed...

 

larger firms probably are a better bet for you, they likely have large BD depts.

 

in most states, to actually sell, or make the offer/pitch for these types of services, you have to be licensed

it may be done by proxy, but the deal must be signed by the licensed individual, and he must be in responsible charge of the process, from sale to design to commissioning

 

my state

(a) In order to safeguard life, health or property and to promote the general welfare, it is unlawful for any person to practice or to offer to practice engineering in this Commonwealth, unless he is licensed and registered under the laws of this Commonwealth as a professional engineer.

 

some interpret this as meaning the offer (pitch) must be made by the engineer (or at least with him present and having it prepared under his 'responsible charge' or direct supervison and control)

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughtful response arthur. The proposal process on the AEC side sounds typical of the federal contracting side where the BD is done by a VP with client/industry in's, the technical guys develop the solution, and then the proposal development cycle is led by a guy like me. Given my lack of industry experience you're right that I'd probably have to start at a larger firm where I'd be required to wear fewer operational hats and push process more.

Now to scope out companies to research.
post #4 of 4

Given my insufficient industry experience you are right that I'd most likely need to come from a bigger firm where I'd be required to use less operational hats and push process more.

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