What to Look for in an Engineering Consultant
release date: 05/02/2017
For most manufacturing and production facilities, hiring consultants is an inevitability. It’s nearly impossible to keep everything “in-house,” and best practices dictate that from time to time, having an objective perspective is the best thing you can do for the growth and health of your business.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by jargon when looking to hire an engineering consultant. Here are four straightforward things to look for that will never steer you wrong.
1. Consultancy as a Business Model
Although it can be tempting to bring in a friend-of-a-friend who works in an adjacent industry to assess your situation, you’re always better off going with an engineering firm that provides consulting as a channel of their business. Working with professional consultants means you won’t just get an opinion, you’ll get solutions, and knowing how to fix what’s wrong is more than half the battle.
2. Direct Industry Experience
If what you need is advice on reconfiguring laminating equipment for a specific long-term purchase order, seek out a consultant specifically familiar with laminating and ancillary equipment.
A consulting firm with years of experience in an industry – not just as consultants, but as providers, distributors, and services – will have more first-hand knowledge of the on-floor challenges you face. There are plenty of times working with industry newcomers is a smart, savvy choice; business consulting isn’t one of them.
3. Courteous, People-Focused Service
It’s hard to understate the common stereotype that engineers receive for being “bad with people!” Many manufacturing engineers spend all day with equipment, data, and parts which makes them excellent at what they do, but not necessarily at consulting.
When in-person consulting is required, it’s important to choose a team that’s honest, courteous, and communicative. Require your consultant to proverbially meet you where you are, not the other way around.
Good consultants charge a premium for their time, understandably. It’s important to know exactly what you’re paying for, though, and how your consultant plans to help you implement solutions. If you can’t get a straight answer on rates or previous successes, question whether you may simply being milked for hours. A good consultant doesn’t rely on stratospheric rates to justify their business – they deal inconsistent client volume based on industry referrals.
Learn More About Protech International's Consulting Services
Looking for an engineering consultant with the skill set you’re looking for? Consulting is one of the primary services offered by Protech International. Whether you’re looking to rearrange your current equipment, move it to a new location, increase functionality, or even considering purchasing a whole new line, we can help.
Call one of Protech’s lead engineers today to find out how reasonably priced, experienced consultants can actually save you money.