Because we at IDE believe in small, effective teams, our contracting terms reflect our philosophy.
Naturally, we are happy provide a quotation in the 'traditional' manner of either time and materials or firm fixed priced. These mechanisms work well in an environment where the objectives are well defined and not likely to change during the course of the project.
However, it is our experience that a well defined project is the exception rather than the rule. So IDE has developed a unique approach to contracting that has proved very successful. In cases where business needs are changing, IDE will propose charging a single monthly service fee. The amount of the fee would be based on IDE's estimate of the average resource required to meet the needs of the client. This single fee covers all development, operations, maintenance and required support.
With a monthly service fee, the client may elect to opt-out completely at any time with 30 days advanced notice. This means that IDE either delivers value or the client can terminate service without any further obligation. IDE can take this approach because of its confidence in its ability to get results.
One advantage of this approach for the client is that the client is able to make changes to the requirements at any time, without resorting to lengthy 'change requests' and haggling over what was, or was not in the original specification. IDE will hold its fee until such time as there is a mutually agreed material change to the service level requirements.
Experience has shown that 'contract administration' may account for as much as 50%, and sometimes more, of the cost of building and operating systems. IDE's approach greatly reduces this massive overhead so that money spent by the client goes directly to getting results.