SWIFEE Finalizer

Welcome to our SWIFEE FINALIZER Tour-torial. SWIFEE FINALIZER calculates “backwards” from sub-consultants’ final fee proposals. SWIFEE provides options to revise the target fee and adjust your team’s man-hours as needed. It also enables you to finalize reimbursable expenses and their anticipated incurrence by project phase. Special sub-consultant classification/certification participation levels are automatically quantified.

You will find instructions to every section of the FINALIZER in the yellow box numbers, which you are asked to follow sequentially. This Tour-torial simply augments those instructions by continuing the example we started in the SWIFEE PLANNER Tour-torial. Here you will learn how to use SWIFEE to  produce a final DESIGN FEE PROPOSAL that is inherently sound, strategic and scrutiny-hardy. For details on the profitability metrics required, please click here.

Reminder: Before using SWIFEE, first “SAVE AS” a new document named after your project. Then work from within the new document you named after your project.

Special Input Instructions

Before we begin, it is important to note that the SWIFEE FINALIZER carries over most of its values from the SWIFEE PLANNER. Consequently, if you wish to make any changes on this worksheet, you may make them on the FEE PLANNER worksheet. However, if you wish to preserve the FEE PLANNER worksheet and complete fee finalization quicker, then you may make changes directly on the FINALIZER worksheet , as follows:

  • To change TEXT, type  = “new text” 
  • To change HOURS and $$$,  type = new value 
  • To change PERCENTAGES, type = new value %

Project Fee Parameters

Section Asummarizes your Final Target Fee information from the SWIFEE PLANNER worksheet, for reference purposes only. In Section B you may choose to keep that target fee or adjust it upwards or downwards as needed or desired. In this example, we choose to keep the target fee.

Sub-consultant Information

#1.Unlike the SWIFEE PLANNER which asks us to focus first on the Consultant, SWIFEE FINALIZER asks that we focus first on sub-consultants. Presumably, negotiations with sub-consultants have been completed by now and their final fee proposals are in.

In #1, we simply want to make any changes needed to accurately reflect the disciplines and sub-consultant firms comprising the Consultant’s design team. In our example, we made no changes to disciplines but added firm names to identify our sub-consultants. Once again, if you are not offering the services of sub-consultants, this entire section may be skipped.

#2.We key in our sub-consultants’ final fee proposal amounts in the Fee Amount column.  For comparative purposes, percentages are calculated based on the Target Fee, rather than the final Professional Fee. The results allow us to assess how we fared in negotiations with our sub-consultants, and how well we met our target fees for each discipline.

In our example, our sub-consultants fees have come in higher than we had originally planned (45% instead of 40%). As a result, SWIFEE recalculates the balance of the Final Fee that now would be available to the Consultant for his or her share of the work. That new balance is now shown in Section B at the top of the worksheet.

#3. Here we will want to ensure that sub-consultants are accurately listed under appropriate Special Classifications. In our example, we made no changes to values carried over from the SWIFEE PLANNER.

Automatically, SWIFEE organizes subconsultant fee information under the appropriate light green columns to the right, to quantify how much of the fee would go towards satisfying the special participation considerations of the client. The transposed percentages are based on the final Professional Fee rather than on the Target Fee.

Consultant Information

#4.We now refocus on the Consultant. Make any changes to the Consultant’s Team Roles and corresponding Hourly Rates, which have all be carried over from the SWIFEE PLANNER worksheet. In our example, we made no changes to these items.

#5. Make any changes to phases of work here. Then you may also make any changes to the how each individual Team Role’s time will be distributed across the phases of work.  If you do so, remember that the total of percentages for each Team Role must always equal 100% in the blue cell. In our example, we have made no changes to phases of work or Team Role distribution of hours.

 #6. Finally for the Consultant Team, you may make Fee Allocation percentages assigned to Team Roles. If you do so, remember that the total of these percentages must again equal 100% in the blue cell at the end of the row. In our example, we made no changes to Fee Allocation percentages assigned to each Team Role.

On the basis of input thus far, SWIFEE automatically calculates each team member’s hours to be devoted to each phase of the the project as well as to the project as a whole. To facilitate your interpretation of the results in terms of adequacy, hours reflect full 8-hour workdays.

Reconciling Target vs. Final Professional Fee Differences

 #7.   Once again we will note a difference between the Consultant’s target fee (in green) and the calculated fee (black column total). This difference is caused principally by the rounding of hours to the nearest full 8-hour work day, as described earlier.

The exact difference between the two amounts is indicated in the Red Box below the Consultant’s spreadsheet. In our example, that difference is -$3,432.  This means that if we wanted both amounts to square, we would need to deduct $3,432 worth of hours from the Consultant’s various Team Roles.

SWIFEE offers the chance to reconcile both amounts, or at least bring them to within a hair of each other. To do that, we would click on one of the Reconcile buttons just below the Red Box and the row of red zeros. Specifically we will want to select the Reconcile button that corresponds with the number of Team Roles on the Consultant’s team. In our example, we had seven team roles indicated and so therefore select the “7 Team Roles” button.

#8. After hitting the button, SWIFEE will take up to a minute and a half to come up with a solution that will recommend adding, deducting and/or shifting hours around. You know it is “thinking” by the activity in the lower left hand corner of your screen. You then will receive one of three responses:

  • SWIFEE will find a solution and ask you if you wish to keep it. Select OK to KEEP solution.
  • SWIFEE will run out of time to find the ideal solution, and ask if you want to continue. Select STOP. Then select OK to KEEP solution in the next dialog box.
  • SWIFEE will not find a “perfect” solution. Select OK to KEEP solution anyhow.

In evry case, SWIFEE will replace the red zeros with other numbers representing hours to be added or deducted from the Team Roles directly above. A positive number means to add hours, and negative number means to deduct hours. You may add or deduct from one or several phases or cells. To add or deduct from any given cell, simply precede its value with an equal (=) sign, and then add or deduct the red number (example, “=48-8). After you add and deduct hours, the result will be either an exact match between the Consultant’s target fee and calculated fee and the Red Box will show “0″; or the difference will be very small and reflected accordingly in the Red Box. Let’s see how this works in our example.     

 After hitting the “7 Team Roles” button, SWIFEE advised us that it found a solution. We then selected KEEP solution. SWIFEE’s solution recommended to deduct six hours (-6) from the Project Principal, deduct four hours (-4) from the Project Manager, deduct three hours (-3) from the Project Architect, deduct four hours (-4) from the Sr. Planner-Designer, deduct three hours (-3) from the Construction Administrator, deduct two hours (-2) from Production Support, and and add one hour (1) to Administrative Support.  We followed accordingly, adding and deducting from the Construction Administration phase of each of the seven Team Roles. As a result, we achieved an equal match between the Target Fee and the calculated fee. The Red Box confirmed this with a “0″.

Final Design Fee Breakdown

#9. Based on all our input, SWIFEE has calculated a fee for the Consultant and fees for sub-consultants.  This section combines them all into one to one Final Design Fee for services. It also automatically shows how the combined Professional Fee would break down by phase of work. The phase breakdown percentages are standardized for the entire team based on default percentages that are typical to each design phase. You may revise these percentages as needed or desired. You may key in the actual amounts per phase requested by your sub-consultants.

Reimbursable Expenses Breakdown

#10. Finally, SWIFEE provides the opportunity to finalize our reimbursable expenses for the project. You may include additional expense items and required services beyond your scope of work. You may also adjust the percentages of distribution within each Expense Item to indicate when these expenses will be incurred, taking care that the revised percentages sum up 100% in the blue cells. In our example, we made no changes to the items and values carried over from the SWIFEE PLANNER.