Automation in engineering has created a shift in historical cost structures and altered rules of thumb that have been the basis for fees and project budgeting. Automation can make jobs easier by reducing the number of staff required to perform a task, but add expense because staff must be trained and equipment must be purchased. Consequently, savings in labor costs are spent on technology. This article describes the variety of impacts that automation has on design firms, including staff and non-labor cost changes. The author urges firms to document computer costs, especially as their systems evolve, not just initial costs. Challenges in providing automated services are changing internal firm management and preparing clients for higher billing rates. The transition is expected to be slow, though, which will allow design firms to adapt and then educate clients.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Civil Engineering News, Incorporated

    1255 Roberts Boulevard, Suite 230
    Kennesaw, GA  United States  30144
  • Authors:
    • Fanning, W F
  • Publication Date: 1996-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 33
  • Serial:
    • Civil Engineering News
    • Volume: 8
    • Issue Number: 1
    • Publisher: Civil Engineering News, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 1051-9629

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00720455
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 29 1996 12:00AM