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Dynamic Computing Projects - Frequently Asked Questions

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Dynamic Computing Projects - FAQ

 

When is my project going to start?

  • That's a very good question!  Our project team meets every Monday afternoon to discuss newly approved projects, so if you've approved a project quote, we'll be discussing it no later than the next Monday.  You should receive an e-mail shortly afterwards letting you know who your project lead will be and when we think the impactful work will be starting based on part orders and the current schedule.  If something is urgent or if there are questions or details that need discussed, please reach out and we can get you the answers you need.

How will billing work for my project?

There's a lot to know, so we encourage you to call with any questions you have, but here are some key things that might help.

  • Down Payments:
    • Sometimes a down payment is required. Sometimes our clients want to pay upfront for other reasons.  If you want a down payment invoice let us know and we can get that done.  When we issue a down payment it is sent immediately as a dedicated and very simple invoice.  Other invoices still get created but they have a $0 until the down payment is exhausted, so we would only send them to you if you need to see the itemized lists of parts or labor hours or the down payment is exceeded.
    • If a down payment was required, payment may be needed before we can order parts or commit to any sort of schedule for work.
  • Parts Billing: 
    • All hardware and other parts that are included in the project scope are ordered and billed as soon as your project is approved.  These should be on a dedicated invoice and will likely be the first invoice you get for your project (unless you had a down payment as mentioned above).  You should receive this invoice within the same month that the parts are ordered.
    • If additional parts are approved or ordered during the project, charges will still be put on a dedicated invoice.  In short, parts billing is always separated from labor.
  • Labor Billing:
    • Labor invoices for projects are reviewed and sent after the completion of each month.  You should generally receive these invoices between the first and the tenth of the following month.
  • Phases and Fixed vs Hourly:
    • Simple Projects: Many of our projects only have one phase with either fixed or hourly billing.  If this is the case, only one invoice will be created each month.
    • Quotes: The type of project billing should follow what is on the approved quote.  Fixed fee is used when possible and if the scope of a project is known and somewhat predictable.  Hourly is used for small projects (16 hours or less), or projects with a less defined scope.  Hourly quotes include an estimated  labor cost, but work within the approved scope beyond the quoted amount will be billed at normal rates.  Our policy is to reach out and discuss any hourly projects that are likley to exceed their quoted costs by 20% or more as soon as we are able to discuss details.
      • Fixed fee:  Labor invoices are formatted to only show hours and costs.  Hours are billed monthly.  Once the fixed fee is exceeded, no additional charges or invoices will be issued.  Any unbilled hours will be invoiced at the end of the project when the project is completed.
      • Hourly: Labor invoices include detailed notes to allow visibility into the work performed.  Hours are billed monthly.
    • Complex Projects:
      • Complex Projects can include two or more billable phases.  Each billable phase is either fixed fee or hourly and will generate its own invoice at the end of the month.  If a phase has had no completed work over a month, no invoice will be generated.
    • Change Orders:
      • A change order is considered any work within a project that was not a part of the quoted scope.  For a fixed fee project, an approved change order will be billed into an hourly invoice added to the project.  For an hourly project, change orders may be included in the same invoice, but should be identifiable by the name of the phase included in the details of each billable entry

Am I going to get charged more than was quoted?

The key thing here is understanding the details of your quote.  The quote should specify whether your project is fixed fee, hourly, or a combination. 

  • Fixed Fee Labor:  Fixed fee projects should never be billed more than they were quoted, regardless of how many hours are used to complete them. 
  • Parts:  Parts invoices should match up with the quoted amounts.  Occasionally a part may end up being more expensive or we have to substitute for something a little different, but if that is the case, someone should provide you with an updated quote or verbally discuss.
  • Hourly Labor:  Some hourly projects do end up costing more than quoted, usually because of unexpected issues or other unknowns.  Specific costs are not always discussed along the way, but what is being done during your project and how would typically be discussed with you during the project by the project lead.  If something catches you by surprise, please reach out to discuss so we can answer any questions.  We do our best to stop and discuss hourly projects that are going to significantly exceed their quoted value as soon as that becomes obvious so you know what to expect. 
    • See below on details related to "What can I do to minimize costs.
  • Its actually common for hourly labor projects to cost less than quoted as well.

What can I do to minimize costs?

  • Help us Help You:  There's nothing that makes a project go more smoothly than good communication.  Being available for a recurring meeting or to discuss all the necessary details up front will not only reduce potential costs, but also get the project completed more quickly and smoothly.  For larger projects, your project lead should be setting up recurring meetings to efficiently go over all of the details for the next phase of your project and keep things on track.
  • Downtime Tolerance:  Some projects require downtime.  The more flexible this can be, the easier and faster we can deliver on your projects.  We want to schedule downtime and make sure everyone is aware of it, but to minimize costs, it is often best to work on everything all at once, which could mean downtime during the work day.
  • User Coordination:  In general we want to make your project as little work on you as possible, but there are times when we could use your help with end users.  That could be help scheduling time with them, setting expectations, or answering basic questions.

When do I need a project instead of just opening a ticket?

In general, you need a project for bigger, more complicated work that takes longer or isn't a part of keeping your existing systems working.  Other reasons to have a project:

  • Work will take more than a half a day to complete
  • Work involves detailed coordination with additional parties
  • Work requires high level/experienced technical resource
  • You have special billing requirements (down payment/prepayment/negotiated discount/fixed fee)

I see charged for tickets opened with the service team on my project invoice, what is going on?

We look over all time entries and tickets during our billing process.  If we find tickets worked on by the service team that fall into the scope of a project, we will move some or all of the time or tickets into the project for billing.  Also, if an extra set of hands is needed, a service tech may be asked to work on parts of a project to help it get done faster.

I have questions or issues, who do I call?

Contact our solutions team IF:

  • You have not approved your quote and you have questions
  • You need to change your quote
  • You have another project you need quoted
  • You have pricing questions about your quote

Contact your Project Lead IF:

  • Your project is already underway
  • You need to coordinate work
  • You need to discuss scheduling
  • You have details about the work being performed and need to discuss

Contact Isaac Norberg IF: 

  • There is a problem with your invoice other than the amount or details related to the technical work
    • E.g.  Rate looks wrong/date is incorrect, needed a down payment etc...

Contact Russ Stewart IF:

  • You need to discuss issues with the work being done or your assigned project lead.
  • You have concerns or wish to dispute charges on your most recent project invoice.

 

 

 

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