TME normally contracts with a customer for an outsourced engineering project. TME will also contract for consulting or engineering retainers. TME will start the process by meeting with the customer to discuss their needs and subsequently providing a written project proposal. TME will negotiate, modify, and re-issue the proposal until it is satisfactory to both the customer and TME. The proposal becomes the contract when both parties sign it and TME receives the initial payment stated in the proposal. At that time, TME will begin work on the project.
A typical proposal names the parties involved, technically describes the project in high level terms, describes a project acceptance method, estimates price and delivery, and provides business terms in an agreement. An example "Terms and Conditions of Sale for Contract Engineering Services" is shown here for reference. The proposal considers the consulting time, engineering time, risks, and other costs involved in the project. Manufacturing, tooling, materials, labor, yield, rework, warranty, and other costs are considered for product prototypes or custom equipment. Proposal prices generally do not include the cost of shipping, special packing, insurance, or taxes, which are extra costs for the customer.
If needed, the proposal can be re-negotiated during the course of the project to accommodate significant changes in the project scope, requirements, or responsibilities. However, some kinds of project changes can be accommodated without proposal re-negotiation by using TME non-contracted services.
TME normally provides services under contract but can provide them without a contract. Non-contracted services can be useful in early stages of a project, such as for business and technical planning, project definition, idea generation, or other tasks with difficult to determine durations or scopes. They can also be used to accommodate minor changes in a contracted project and to perform material, component, or equipment searches where engineering or consulting judgment is important. TME does not generally provide consulting and engineering services on an extended “work for hire” basis. Fees, billing, and payment terms are:
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