SEI PROFESSIONAL SERVICES and SEI ENGINEERING
POLICIES FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS (CONTRACTORS)
The information presented on this page will assist you, as a SEIPS and/or SEIE Service Provider, in the many facets of our relationship. Included below is insurance information, invoicing and payment policies, correspondence policies, etc. Once you have completed reading this page make sure you accept the policies at the end so we know you have read and understand them before moving forward. Failure to accept these policies means you have not read them and may result in no work assignments.
As the Prime Contractors on our projects SEIPS and SEIE have a responsibility to provide services to our clients in a timely and professional manner. Consistency is obviously important as we present ourselves to the outer world. Having so many Service Providers spread across a vast geographic region means we have a responsibility to make sure you have all of the tools and information necessary to do your job well. Outlined here are the main areas of our policy, which should answer most questions that come up.
The relationship that is established between you and SEIPS or SEIE is categorized as that between a Contractor and Subcontractor (aka Independent Contractor). This means you are your own entity from a tax and legal perspective. SEIPS and/or SEIE will send you a 1099 at the end of each year stating your income. We will require you to fill out a W9 in order to process your invoices. It is your responsibility to pay your quarterly taxes and include the 1099 information in your tax returns. SEIPS and SEIE provides insurance, but not workers compensation, for all of our subcontractors as explained below. If you have any question regarding this part of our relationship call or email and we’ll make sure everything is clear.
You may be given a SEIPS email account upon the execution of your first Work Authorization. Use of the SEIPS email account is meant for all communication with our clients. The email account is hosted by Google Apps, so access is simply through Gmail.
Your SEIPS email account is the official channel of communication between you, us and our clients. It is imperative that all correspondence is kept on a professional level and done through this email account. Please use the following signature block in all of your emails by copying it into the signature part of your email software:
39845 Mathews Lane
Paonia, CO 81428
You may want to add your cell phone to this signature block. You may notice that SEI Engineering is absent from the logo above. This is because we are attempting to brand all of our work under one entity, regardless of the legal structure with the client. This is mainly to avoid confusion, simplify our marketing and reflect the original intent of spinning of the orginal company.
All email correspondence shall be copied to an SEIPS manager, such as Jeff or Joe Villacci, or both. You should not be communicating directly with our clients without our knowledge. Please use the Reply-All feature of your email program for all communication with the client, which makes it easy for us to all stay connected. This is for the protection of everyone involved. If you have any problems with this arrangement please let us know.
Email accounts will be reviewed on an annual basis and may be closed if they are inactive. This will not change your status with SEIPS. It is purely an administrative action as part of our regular management activities. The email account will be reopened as necessary with new activity.
SEIPS/SEIE Cloud Services
Beginning in September of 2016 we are using Box.com as our cloud server to store documents and collaborate with you. We encourage, but don’t require, you to install Box Sync on your computer because we will grant you access to various parts of the SEIPS and SEIE server for each project you work on.
Upon execution of a Work Authorization, access to files on our cloud server will be sent to you at your email address for that project. Once you are granted access to a project directory all working files and deliverable documents should be stored there. If you choose to install Box Sync on your computer it will install a directory on your computer where a local copy of these documents will live. At no time should SEIPS or SEIE documents be stored anywhere else on your computer. As noted above, you are not required to install Box Sync on your computer and may choose to access all of the information online through your web browser using your Box.com account.
In addition to Box.com, we are using Smartsheet for project management. If you are involved on a project with us you will likely need a free account with Smartsheet. We will send you an invite from one of our documents using the most appropriate email address (whether it’s an assigned SEIPS address or your own personal address) and you will be promoted to create an account.
One feature of Box.com is it gives us the ability to send links to various documents without needing to attach them to emails. This is an important feature that eliminates conflicts between different versions of the same document. Instead of sending email attachments you will send a link to the document eliminating any worries about who has what version.
Our clients are our lifeblood and keeping them happy is our priority. We expect you to maintain the highest level of ethics and integrity that SEI and SEIPS/SEIE are known for. Because we are the Prime Contractor on our projects all financial and contractual conversations are to be through the SEIPS/SEIE management team. At no time should you attempt to negotiate anything on behalf of SEIPS or SEIE.
Upon completion of each project a set of deliverable documents will be sent to the client. All deliverables will be sent to the client by an SEIPS or SEIE manager. You will first save them in the Google Drive directory where a manager can access them for review. You may be asked to create the final deliverable file in the form of a PDF, but you will not be expected to deliver it to the client, unless specifically asked to do so. This is for consistency and liability reasons. Please observe this requirement at all times.
As noted above, you will use the SEIPS email account to correspond with our clients. We have also provided SEIPS and SEIE letterhead in Word format at the bottom of this page. Please use this for all reports, letters, memos and any other written communication that is not in email form.
Ongoing project oversight is an important component of our service. Constant coordination between you and SEIPS or SEIE is critical to our success on each and every project. At a minimum, weekly updates are necessary to keep the management staff at SEIPS or SEIE aware of all activities, both past and planned. Even if there has been little recent activity and nothing on the horizon, you should still send Jeff or another SEIPS/SEIE staff member a weekly update. We will do our best to maintain close contact with each Service Provider on a constant basis while you are on a project, but it is also your responsibility to not allow more than a week to pass without checking in while working on a project.
As they say in the U.S. government, “safety first, quality all the time.” And we are all aware that working with electricity requires constant attentiveness to the work at-hand. At SEIPS we take this very seriously and therefore have a safety proram that you will become familiar with as you begin working for us. This is being implemented in early 2018 and intended to be rolled out to all of our contractors regardless of when you began working for us and for how often…
SEIPS carries three types of insurance that covers all of our work, both on and off the project sites. The three types of insurance are:
- General Liability – This covers your work on the project site during inspections, commissioning and other activities. Observing proper safety protocol is imperative at all times.
- Professional Liability – This type of insurance is also called Errors and Omission insurance. This covers all of our work from consulting to engineering.
- Travel – This is for emergencies while you are traveling overseas on a SEIPS project.
These insurance packages cover all of our subcontractors while you are actively working on a SEIPS or SEIE project with a valid Work Authorization in effect. You are not required to provide your own insurance. You can find proof of insurance here for your records that includes a statement explaining that SEIPS independent contractors are covered by our policies.
Workers Compensation is required for all Service Providers while working on an SEIPS project and is not provided by SEIPS. You will need to provide your own coverage. There are two ways you can go about this.
The first way is to visit the website if an insurance provider who is local to you because workers compensation is issued by providers that are unique to your state. There are web services that will assist you in receiving quotes from multiple companies like NetQuote.
The second way is to contact our insurance company, Murphy Holmes, and request assistance. Our points of contact are:
Either of these folks are able to ask you the right questions and get you covered. The information you will need, in addition to basic identification stuff like address, SSN, etc, is the state or states you think you will will be working in for SEIPS and approximately how much income you expect from SEIPS during the current year. The number you give them for income will determine your rate and whether or not you receive money back from your tax return or if you will owe additional money with your taxes at years end. It is the same as being an employee and the level of withholding and how it relates to your end-of-year tax liability.
To give you an idea about how much this coverage will cost, if you think you will receive $10,000 this year from SEIPS your workers compensation policy will cost about $523, which is made up of a $250 minimum policy expense and then $2.73/$100 of income for on-site work, or $273, for a total of $523. If you are performing design services and only working in the office the rate is $0.25/$100 of income, or $25 for an income of $10,000, for a total of $275. If you are working both in and out of the office you can break your workers compensation expense down into the two categories and pay accordingly on your taxes. This is a little more complicated and we recommend you seek the advice of a tax accountant who can answer specific questions if necessary.
The numbers above are for illustrative purposes only. They are based on quotes during April of 2015 and will vary somewhat by region and over time.
Finally on this topic, if you are a business owner you may be eligible to waive workers compensation insurance. This would apply to many of you who have your own businesses. Keep that in mind as you contemplate this requirement.
If you have any questions about insurance don’t hesitate to ask Jeff.
Our relationship with our Service Providers is intended to be transparent. We will attempt to treat everyone equally, with regards to compensation. There may be times where compensation rates will vary from our regular fee schedule due to negotiations with our clients. You will be made aware of any deviations prior to signing an agreement with us.
If we invlove you during the proposal process everyone will know what their fees will be, but if we land a project without your input fees will be set by what has been negotiated with the client. Of course there will always be exceptions, such as if you bring a project to SEIPS and are participating in the work or if the volume of work is large enough to warrant a lower SEIPS margin. If you have questions or concerns about this arrangement please let Jeff know.
On some of our projects we will negotiate a day rate with you. This means you will be paid per day and not by the hour. If, for some reason, you work over eight hours in a day you will still receive the day rate. If you predict that you may be working beyond eight hours during a day, it is your choice whether to continue working or stop and start up again the next day. The reason this is being explained here is, if we negotiate day rates with you and our client, and you decide to work 10 hour days and bill us for your hours it will not match our agreement. If the total days required to finish the work looks like it will exceed the expected time discussed at the beginning of the project it needs to be discussed with an SEIPS manager so we can change the expectations with the client. It is your responsibility to communicate any expected changes to the time-frame set out at the beginning in your work authorizations.
*It is very important that you read and understand this policy. Failure to do so may result in non-payment for your work*
As of October 19, 2018 our policy regarding payments to contractors and employee payroll can be found here.
Because you are your own legal entity we will require you to submit invoices for your work on a monthly basis, if not multiple times per month. If you do not have invoicing software like Quickbooks, or if you don’t already have an invoice template, you can download and use the invoice template here. Please submit your invoices no later than the 30th of each month. If a project is completed in the middle of a month you may receive an email request to submit your invoice through our collection system.
Remember that you must submit your invoices through our invoicing collection system. You may do so here:
Invoices received more than 30 days past the last service date will not be paid. We have a responsibility to our clients to invoice them in a timely fashion. You are responsible for providing SEIPS and/or SEIE with invoices in a timely fashion so we can bill the client for your work. Failure to do so will result in non-payment – no exceptions!
Project finder’s fees are given to individuals who bring potential work to SEIPS that turn into paying projects. Finder’s fees are not paid for projects that do not go under contract or that do not generate any income for SEIPS, as described below. SEIPS reserves the right to refuse finders fees if the spirit of the relationship with the client and/or contractor is abused or terminated. This program is meant to act as an incentive towards creating a mutually beneficial relationship with everyone involved. The term “contractor,” as used below, can be interchanged with the term “individual” or “Service Provider.”
There are two tiers for finder’s fees:
For a simple email or call forward with minimal cultivation and no discussion of specific project(s):
Referring Contractor receives $100 if Professional Services signs a contract for paid work. An internal audit will be done at the end of each year, which is when payments to contractors will be made.
For a contact that has been cultivated by a contractor over time and/or a specific project has been discussed and/or a contractor assists with finalizing the deal/negotiating the contract AND the expected gross value of contract is a minimum of $5,000:
- Referring Contractor receives $200 if Professional Services signs a contract for paid work. An internal audit will be done at the end of each year, which is when payments to contractors will be made.
- At the end of each year Referring Contractor receives the value of 1.5% of collected gross revenue from the job minus the original $200. If Referring Contractor participates in the project, Referring Contractor is not eligible for a Finder’s Fee.
To claim a finders fee use this form and hit the submit button. If you have any questions whatsoever about this process please contact us.
Managing SEIPS and SEIE can be challenging with various projects happening literally all over the world with many Service Providers. Each Service Provider is considered a part of our team and integral to our success. Once you have completed a project you can be listed on the SEIPS website on the About Us page. To keep things simple there are two titles – Technician and Senior Technician – which will depend on your level of expertise. When it is time for you to be listed on the website we will ask for a picture and bio.
That wraps up our policies and procedures. As noted throughout these webpages there are links at the bottom of each page to every document you will need. Please bookmark this page and/or the other page so you can easily find this information whenever you need it.
Thank you for taking the time to digest all of this information because it is critical to our success as a team. We appreciate your participation in our activites and look forward to working with you.
The SEIPS Team
Blank Work Authorization
Travel Insurance Information
General and Professional Liability Insurance Policy Certificate
Service Provider Survey
Blank Invoice (Excel)
Blank Invoice (PDF)