For consultants with "after-hours" rate, what constitures "after-hours"

cnfuzzdcnfuzzd Member Posts: 208
Hi Everyone

Just curious. We are having a company discussion about after-hours stuff, and this came up. I was wondering what your experience has been. We have an after-hours rate, but it has always been applied haphazardly depending on the technician, the client, and many other "meta" factors. What is your policy.

I used way too many quotation marks in this post...

Thanks!

John
__________________________________________

Work In Progress: BSCI, Sharepoint

Comments

  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    We don't have one.

    For one reason, many times you need to inconvenience the client and turn off their server...essentially shutting down their business...meaning you are costing them money.

    Another reason is, just as you stated...what is 'after-hours'?

    And generally, 'after-hours' considers a business is open 1st shift hours...so anything from 7am to 5pm (7-3pm or 8-4pm or 9-5pm etc).

    Again, being in IT, we are most effective when we can work on servers/networks without traffic or risking lost files...so our 'on' hours are before 6am and after 6pm.

    I'd recommend if you want to pursue an 'after-hours' policy, consider establishing what is generally 'after' the hours your clients are closed for the day...meaning, at what time of day do they handle sales calls and accounting calls...anything AFTET those hours could be considered 'off-hours' and at a different rate.

    Otherwise, consider changing up your Techs shifts and have one or two work 12-8pm or 2-10pm to cover your client needs after your companies regular work day...rotate if needed or simply just hire someone for that timeframe.

    Or evaluate how much work you do between 5pm-10pm each week and weekends and does it really impact your business frequently? Or do you maybe have an opportunity to market your company where other IT companies may be failiing to meet those needs?

    Lots of opportunity for you, really. But I'd think if you wish to pursue such a policy, defining what 'off-hours' means would be the place to start.

    FWIW
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • AshenweltAshenwelt FIP, CDPSE, CIPP/E, CIPT, CISM, PSM I, MCSE x3, MCITP x3, MCTS x16 Member Posts: 266 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Honestly, Afte-hours rates is the quickest way to lose clients. I would figure 8pm-6am. But like I said... you will often lose clients.
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • apd123apd123 Member Posts: 171
    Unless you are charging differently than the rest of the consulting world I see after hours rates as basically fleecing. The markup for professional services is already what I would consider on the extreme limit of markups for any product or service in any industry.
  • PashPash Member Posts: 1,600 ■■■■■□□□□□
    These matters are usually dealt with in customer agreement contract's. We have clear policies than define charges that apply and scope of work that can be performed.

    For ad-hoc project type work we usually base cost on consultancy hours/engineering hours/documentation to be produced.

    As others have said, charging for out of hours work on ad-hoc basis is wrong, if you think your scope of work requires out of hours work, include this in the engineering cost.

    One thing ive noticed from experience, some businesses like a detailed break down of how we arrive at our figures and therefore sometimes the quotations can become quiet detailed, for example:-

    Server Build (including hardware drivers RAID configuration and OS installations) - 3 man hours cost £xxx

    Obviously the above is an example, servers rarely take 3 hours to setup with no apps on ;)

    Cheers,
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    We charge emergency rates if some random person calls us on a weekend to get them back up and running, but we never do anything like that for on-going projects that are setup in advance.
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