Quoting Jobs: Cost of a Consultant?



Cost of a Consultant?

What would you pay a consultant to help Implement an ISO Quality Management System, for a company of 25 employees?

I have been asked to do this for a company and I have no idea what compensation should be or even how to ask for it. I have a meeting with the Company Tuesday morning to discuss this very thing, Please help!!!

Thanks, Paula:)
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I'd estimate them at between US$4K to US$10K.

This is from an old quote for a 60+ person shop:

At this point I am hesitant to provide other than a Rough Order of Magnitude quote until a gap analysis is performed. Without knowing the specific status of your facility, I would be less than truthful to attempt to predict implementation costs. The Gap Analysis below is Firm Fixed Price and includes all expenses - there are no 'hidden' costs, such as travel.

Gap Analysis:
On-Site 1 Day
Office 1/2 Day
Total US$1250.00

The gap Analysis will consist of a one day on-site visit during which approximately 1/4 of the time we would be touring the facility with an up-front document review (desk audit) and question/answer session. Within 5 business days of my visit I will provide you with the following deliverables: 1) A detailed analysis of your current status (including a base document review), 2) a proposed project plan and 3) projected project cost.

In response to your request for quotation, I submit the following:

Rough Order of Magnitude Quotation XXXXXXXX:

I am going to estimate the fees for services for the project to be somewhere between US$ 8,000 and US$ 15,000.

Fees: On-site Daily US$ 600 / Day
On-site Weekly US$ 2400 / Week
Office US$ 55 / Hour

There are two basic reasons for the range. The first is that I have not yet evaluated the status of the facility (needs are not identified). The other is each company has their own personality. Some companies really take control and get things done internally. Some want more direct assistance some want other 'incidentals' such as documentation origination. Some need certain training and some need none. Others simply let a project languish for a number of reasons.

Per our telecon:

Scenario 1: ‘Complete’
This includes all ISO related documentation. As discussed, without a visit I would not begin to quote on process documentation.
Includes applicable ISO 9001:2000 related training, but does not include the price of training materials.

Note: Using the word ‘complete’ does not relieve the company of the responsibility to have personnel available for implementation and system responsibility. For example, if no nonconformance system exists, someone in the company will have to be responsible for the system once it is designed. ISO 9001 is not something a company ‘implements’ and that’s it. The nonconformance system will have to be overseen by a company employee – a new responsibility. In addition, a system cannot be designed in a vacuum. This is to say appropriate employee(s) must be available for me to interface with as the system is designed.

Another example is internal audits. They are a requirement and either training will be necessary for several individuals or the function must be contracted out yearly. In addition, there must be a person responsible for the system internally – another new responsibility – whether audits are out-sourced or not.

What this means is I cannot come in and give you a bunch of systems and walk out the door without the involvement (read time) of key company personnel. In addition, your company must have an on-site ‘expert’ who understands ISO 9001 and how your company complies (see General Notes, item 2 below).

Developing and managing your implementation plan
* Drafting your Quality Manual
* Establishing and documenting process flows for your procedures - Level 2 documents
* Identifying essential records to prove compliance with your Quality System
* Helping selecting a registrar


Scenario 2: Minimal
This is more or less how a typical implementation works in companies which prefer to do most of the work internally. In this scenario my main part is to oversee the project, help with systems design and other general help. I suggest you take a read through the attached PowerPoint file (Quote_Considerations.ppt) for some extra thoughts on your project.
Includes applicable ISO 9001:2000 related training, but does not include the price of training materials.

US$ 8,000

General Notes:
1. Other than the original assessment, there is a minimum 2 day requirement for visits because of the distance I must travel.
2. There are no hidden charges. Stated rates include all travel and related expenses.
3. While I can work with you in your project, I cannot ‘take the exam’ for you. During the registration audit appropriate personnel in your company must be ready to answer the auditor’s questions. An alternative is to contract your management representative position, which some companies do. I do not particularly recommend this methodology, particularly in a company of your size. This is discussed in a forum thread at: http://Elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1788




Hello Marc,

Thank you so much, that is everything I needed to know but just couldn't spell it out for myself. WOW! Now I can sleep. Thanks again for the Forums and all your help.

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
I agree, Marc. This was a very clear statement of the 'fudge factors' which affect the price of any consultancy. Do you have something very similar you give prospective clients before you even get engaged?

I note on your website that you have a "rough order of magnitude" worksheet to generate a preliminary quote. i wonder if more of the candor you exhibit in this post would also work on your website (i.e. give some ranges of fees subject to fine-tuning based on preliminary gap analysis.)

I may be naive, but I think a lot of small to medium companies like to have an idea of the minimum buy-in and table stakes before they sit down to poker with a table of strangers. (before they submit a request for proposal or quote)


Super Moderator
Marc is pretty much right on.....mostly anyhow

Many times I let my clients set the price. I've got one that set it at $900 onsite per day, $300 per day travel + costs, and $125 per hr offsite. They had to twist my arm to get me to take it ;)

Normally it is about what Marc said.....

Bottom line,you'd better be able to deliver or your career will be short.


Randy said:
Bottom line,you'd better be able to deliver or your career will be short.​

My career hasn't even started yet...this company is one of our suppliers. I contacted​
them after they sent back our supplier quality survey without listing any QMS, or​
BMS but stated that their customers include Honeywell and Boeing. I asked their​
Quality Manager what standards they work to or if they are in the process of Implementing a QMS.​
He said no but they are interested in doing it soon. We talked​
for a while, I gave him some suggestions on how to get started and mentioned I would​
be interested in doing some of their Internal Audits to gain audit time. We met for​
lunch and his boss told him if he liked what I had to say to ask if I would be​
interested in helping them with their Implementation process. I am a QMS Provisional​
Auditor and thought that outsourcing Interal Audits would be a great way to gain​
Audit time and experience. I have been on 3 Surveilance Audits as an observer and​
would like to do this full time some day. I am the Quality Manager/ISO Rep/about​
12 other job titles for the company I am with which is a total of 6 employees​
including Top Management. I helped set up our ISO9001:1994 system and pretty​
much did all of our ISO9001:2000/AS9100A on my own. We are going for our​
AS9100A Registration November3,4 and 5th. The fact that I work at a small company​
and can relate to how their employees feel about change is why they are​
interested in my helping them. I have every intention and I am confident that I can​
deliver, but I am not sure I should charge them for it. Since this would be the first​
time I have done this for another company and because I had intended to gain audit​
time, now I am not sure.... Maybe I just need a kick in the butt or maybe after what​
you all have read, I should refer them to someone more qualified.​
:confused: Help! Thanks Paula​


Go ahead raptorwild,
Get your feet wet and good luck.
Mark's reply is on the ball, though you should prepare well in advace for this consultancy work.
Just keep in mind, and remind your client that, you are offering your client a service and not a quality system ticket or badge of registration.


For this company I would be consulting. It would be a conflict of interest for me to audit them after I did consultant work for them. I originally wanted to do some outsourced Internal Audits but now thier needs have pointed me to another direction. You are not the first person who told me not to quit my day Job :vfunny: I know that to get ahead and learn along the way is not going to be easy. Thats why I am willing to do it full time but would rather do it part time.


Super Moderator
I'll be horribly honest here Paula. Unless you are at least a QMS-A and preferably a QMS-LA most Registrars won't even answer your submissions. You will need to bring something else to the table like an advanced EMS credential, auditing backgrounds in AS9100, TS, medical or some other scheme, and a multiple industry base, so on and so forth. When you can do this you may, I repeat, you may get an email saying thank you.
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