Project Manager: $100/hr
What our averaged flat rate is: $100/hr
What this really means:
A hands ON approach!
This means that everyone is on a level playing field. It means that everyone is involved on a daily basis and everyone is coming up with ideas and doing the work necessary to create the design. It means that the principal is working on the project, just as much as the youngest designer is. It means that there is more collaboration and dialogue. It means that the work load is divided equally amongst the project team members, instead of one person doing the majority of the work and getting little pay and recognition, compared to the management above them that are doing less work while getting almost all of the credit. This equals a hands on approach and in turn, a superior, more well thought out, product and design.
We are able to maintain this structure by never taking on more projects than we can handle. This limits the amount of profit that we could potentially make, but results in better projects, and is what differentiates us from traditional design firms whose main priority is profit.
Project Manager: $140-$150/hr
What their averaged flat rate would be: $145/hr
What this really means:
A hands OFF approach!
This means that all of the work is delegated down the corporate ladder, resulting in the majority of the work and involvement on a project coming from the cheapest employee, as to not go over budget. In this model, Principals are not regularly and actively involved on projects. They are mainly there for initial designs and then when the project manager needs help with the project. This model is great for time management of several projects and delegation is necessary in any company, but by having the pay structure be tiered it creates a stand off culture and a lack of collaboration. The higher up in the pay scale you go, the less involved and more reluctant the managers and principals are to get involved in a project because of how expensive their time is.
This method is typically used in large firms because it helps them deal with the large number of projects that they take on. That's the main purpose of the tiered structure, to create the most profit possible, not to maximize the design and product that is being delivered. This method allows principals to take on more projects than they could ever have the time to work on. This is why the projects are delegated down to other employees in this method and why, inversely, UD4U chooses to never take on more projects than the principals and all the staff below them have the time to devote to them. We would rather sacrifice or delay profit, to ensure a quality product, rather than take on as many projects as we can to make money, but deliver subpar results.