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World's Only Alliance of Independent Scheduling Consultants
Not Just Another Partial Treatment of a Very Broad and Complex Subject
  Introducing ICS-Network
The ICS-Network is a gathering of seasoned construction Project Time Management Consultants from across the United States who synergistically benefit themselves and their customers through collaborative association with one another. The ICS-Network offers numerous benefits to construction Scheduling Clients and Consultants, alike.
 
Benefits to Clients
Benefits to Consultants
 

Selection

Introduction to New Clients

 
  • Largest pool of qualified construction schedulers reachable with one phone call
  • "Chemistry Ain't Right" Exchange Policy
  • Receive Network Assignments
  • Receive Referrals from Other Network Affiliates
 
Quality
More Profitable
 
  • All Network Consultants Pre-Qualified by ICS-Global for Knowledge and Experience
  • Consultant Expertise with All Leading Scheduling Software
  • Consultant Expertise in Over 40 Different Construction Market Sectors
  • Reduced or Eliminated Idle/Down Time
  • High Annual Yield
  • Reduced Marketing Costs
  • Invoice Payment within 30-Days
 
Service
Passive Income Stream
 
  • "21-Day In the Saddle" Guarantee
  • Uniform Contracts Ready to Use
  • Pre-Negotiated Consultant Billing Rates
  • Client-Consultant Dispute Mediation
  • Multi-Project/Single Call Scheduling Services Solution
  • Standardized, Detailed Invoicing
  • Client Referral Residual Income
  • Colleague Referral Residual Income
 
Value
Reduced Risk
 
  • All Consultants Extremely Seasoned
  • No Training Requirements
  • All Consultants Able, Ready, and Eager to Start
  • No Protracted Recruitment Process
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Negotiated Consultant Scope of Work
  • Client-Consultant Dispute Mediation
  • Backup Support Options
  • Affordable Professional Liability Insurance (future)
  • Affordable Group Health Insurance (future)
How the ICS-Network Works: Answered from Two Different Perspectives:
From the Client's Perspective

Your Situation: You have one or more projects about to start (or already underway) that require comprehensive Critical Path Scheduling products and services.  Your in-house ability to respond is either tapped out, or doesn’t even exist. You have searched for qualified schedulers on your own, and even used professional recruiters, but have come up dry. You’ve joined the growing chorus of contractors calling for a solution to what is surely a worldwide shortage of competent senior construction schedulers. The projects are there. The need is real and urgent.  Senior schedulers aren’t! What can you do?

Solution: You call ICS-Global and are routed to an ICS-Network representative, who performs a Client Needs Phone Interview. From this discussion, we learn about your company, the project, the needs, and the urgency. Armed with this information we review our database of available Network Affiliates (consultants) and identify three to five who have the right credentials for the assignment. We contact them to confirm willingness and ability. Next, we contact you and forward a blind Consultant Profile, so that you can evaluate the proposed consultant, even before signing a contract with ICS-Network.

Assuming you like what you see, we then complete the contractual aspect of the deal. Three contracts are involved in an ICS-Network engagement. An agreement, between ICS-Global and the Client establishes the responsibilities and protections of each party. There is also an agreement between the Client and the Consultant, and finally an agreement between the Consultant and iCS-Global.

With contracts signed, the identity of the ICS-Network Affiliate is provided, and the three entities proceed to work through the wording of the consultant's scope of work. This is a critical first step in the engagement, as it clarifies what the Consultant is promising to deliver, and confirms that the Client's expectations are commensurate.

With the Consultant Scope hashed out, the Consultant begins work on the project. The Consultant will have a direct contractual relationship with the Client, who "holds" his contract. The role ICS-Network plays is that of "scheduling manager," similar to a Construction Manager that monitors the work of a General Contractor but is not contractually responsible for the contractor's performance. Consultant invoices are passed through ICS-Network for validation before being sent to the Client for payment. The Client will pay ICS-Network who, in turn, will pay the Consultant. Through this mechanism, ICS-Network receives its compensation and is also able to pay referral fees, as appropriate.

If the Client and Consultant become unhappy with one another, ICS-Network will attempt to mediate a resolution between the parties. If this proves impossible, ICS-Network and the Client will contractually release the Consultant, and another Network Affiliate will be proposed. The process then repeats, for this next consultant.

From the Consultant's Perspective

Your Situation: You’re a small shop, with a handful of employees; maybe just yourself.  When your nose is to the grindstone cranking out work product, you’re not out marketing.  When you’re busy marketing, you’re not racking up billable hours.  It’s feast or famine.  It frustrates you to have to say “no” to a loyal Client who has another assignment for you at a time when you’re overloaded, but you also don’t want to dilute your Company’s quality by taking on more work than you can handle. You’ve thought about throwing in the towel and accepting a customer’s job offer, but you enjoy the freedom of being “on your own” and want to keep it that way.  You still dream of building a business that will grow and carry you into your retirement years, that will allow you to have employees of your own (so you can make money off of their efforts).  But the struggle to survive the competition is wearing you down. What can you do? 

Solution: You call ICS-Global and are routed to an ICS-Network representative, who performs an Affiliate Needs Phone Interview. From this discussion, we learn about your company, the project, the needs, and the urgency. The nature of your request might be one of three possibilities:

  • You have a Client who has requested you to take on an assignment and you do not have further capacity to handle another job, on top of the ones you have. You wish to refer the Client to ICS-Network. You want ICS-Network to find another Network Affiliate who will do a bang-up job for your Client. But you do not want this substitute consultant to "steal" your Client.
  • Same situation, except you are looking for a subconsultant who will work under your direction. You will accept the assignment from your Client, and you will use the Network Affiliate as staff augmentation. Still, you want assurances that the Network Affiliate, acting as a subconsultant to you, will not steal your Client.
  • In this situation, your current workload is winding down, and no new work is on the horizon. You want ICS-Network to keep you in mind for one or more assignments in the near future.
Depending on the nature of your request, ICS-Network takes different steps. In the first two situations, you are looking for a Network Affiliate who will provide scheduling services to your Client in lieu of, or for, you. We will search our database of available Network Affiliates and find a few meeting your needs. Once we confirm their availability and interest, we will send you blind Affiliate Profiles for your review and consideration. If you like what you see, we move to contract negotiations. Once contracts are signed, introductions are made, and scope negotiations are conducted.
Key Terminology

Decision-Making Authorities (DMA): ICS-Network and ICS-Placement were each created with a single, common customer in mind: those who have ultimate and decisive responsibility for the successful outcome of the construction project. Most often, these organizations are recognized as the Project Owner, the Owner’s Representative, the Construction Manager, or the General Contractor.  Each of these key project participants qualifies as a Decision-Making Authority, because each meets its contractual responsibilities to the Project by making decisions that either directly influence, or are directly influenced by, the Project Schedule. ICS-Network and ICS-Placement were created to directly serve construction’s DMAs.

ICS-Network: A separate operating division of ICS-Global, ICS-Network is committed to assisting Decision-Making Authorities in locating and contracting with established consulting companies that are in business to provide construction scheduling services for a fee.

ICS-Placement: A separate operating division of ICS-Global, ICS-Placement is committed to assisting Decision-Making Authorities in locating and hiring individuals who possess specialized construction scheduling knowledge and expertise. 

Client: A Client is a Decision-Making Authority that has entered into a contractual relationship with either ICS-Network or ICS-Placement. The goals of ICS-Network and ICS-Placement are similar in that they seek to unite construction Scheduling Practitioners with those who wish to consume their products and services.  Both ICS divisions share another principle: they only seek to serve the construction project’s ultimate Decision-Making Authorities. 

Third Party Brokers: Since the definition of a Decision-Making Authority specifically excludes third-party consumers of the services of Scheduling Practitioners, Client status is denied to any third-party “brokers” of scheduling products, services, or personnel.  Sometimes called “body shops” or “job shops,” these companies hire schedulers in order to rent them out -- to place them on projects where they will work under the direction of a Decision-Making Authority.  Other “brokers” sell developed scheduling products and services to Decision-Making Authorities.  Hence, they cannot be DMAs themselves, if their customers are Decision-Making Authorities. As a policy statement, neither ICS-Network nor ICS-Placement will accept as a Client any company that qualifies as a third-party broker.  Only Decision-Making Authorities be granted Client status. 

Two reasons for this policy exist.  First, there is a worldwide shortage of seasoned Scheduling Practitioners, qualified to perform on construction projects.  A Decision-Making Authority is the entity that most urgently needs this elusive talent, and it is ICS-Network’s Mission to bring that talent together with Decision-Making Authorities.  Second, ICS-Scheduling, a sister organization to both ICS-Network and ICS-Placement, provides third-level support to Clients who prefer to use a well-known construction scheduling entity to perform scheduling activities on its projects.  The Integrated By-Laws of ICS-Global specifically prohibit any ICS entity from “competing with, or detracting from the stated goals and objectives of any other ICS component.”

Scheduling Services Provider (SSP): Any company (but not individual) that generates the majority of its revenue by providing project scheduling services to the construction industry is considered by the ICS-Network to be a Scheduling Services Provider.  For purposes of ICS-Network, “scheduling services” refers to the creation, maintenance, and usage of Project Schedules.

Network Affiliate: An ICS-Network Affiliate is a Scheduling Services Provider that has entered into a contractual relationship with ICS-Network. Therefore, a Network Affiliate must be a company and not an individual, since Scheduling Services Providers are companies, not individuals. An essential, although hardly only, qualification for Network Affiliate membership is that all work performed by the Network Affiliate for Network Clients must be executed by, or under the direct supervision of, an IQ Consultant.

IQ Consultant: The prefix “IQ” stands for ICS-Qualified and indicates that the Consultant (individual) has passed careful screening that is designed to distinguish “qualified” Scheduling Practitioners from those who call themselves “schedulers” but who do not really have sufficient knowledge or experience to meet the high standards that elevate the International Center for Scheduling in the eyes of the broader construction community.

For More Information
The idea of a network of independent scheduling consultants is both fresh and exciting. For more information, write to us at ICS-Network@ICS-Global.com.