5 Inquiries To Make Before Hiring an Engineering Consultant

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hiring an engineering consultantThere’s no reason you need to settle for an off-the-shelf solution to a problem within your industrial or manufacturing company. Engineering consulting firms, such as Design Systems, Inc., can formulate a custom solution to your unique problem.

However, not all engineering services are alike, which is to say that they do not all work on the same types of products, do not all have the same level of expertise, nor do they all produce the same quality of results. Just as you need the right tool to perform a job correctly, you need to hire an engineering consultant with the knowledge and expertise required to face your particular challenge.

Understandably, representatives for every engineering consulting firm you contact for information are going to try to put their best foot forward and show off their companies in the most positive light. Asking questions about the following topics can help you discover which firm is capable to best provide the engineering services you need.

1. References

The portfolio of work that the firm has provided on its website is a good place to start getting an idea of what they can do for you, but to really perform your due diligence, you need to go beyond that by asking for references from previous clients. Refusal or inability to provide references is a cautionary sign. It may indicate inexperience, lack of preparation, or difficult relationships with past clients.

2. Point of Contact

It can be very frustrating to create a rapport with the firm’s initial contact person only to find out that someone else will be handling your project. You can eliminate this frustration by inquiring up front who will be in charge of the project once it gets underway and obtaining his or her contact information. Clarifying this matter at the start is beneficial for all involved, as it helps prevent a breakdown of communication between you and the consultant and saves everybody time and energy by not having to redirect calls.

3. Degrees and Specialties

One way to determine if an engineering consulting firm is qualified to handle your project is to ask about the educational background of its consultants. This is particularly important if it is a small firm of one or two people that hasn’t been established in the business for very long. Another helpful question to ask is whether the engineering consultant who will be handling your project specializes in that area. If not, it is not necessarily a disqualification, but the more specialized experience and knowledge your consultant has, the better the results of the project are likely to be. Along these same lines, you can also ask if the consultant and/or the firm has won any industry-specific awards.

4. Experience With Similar Projects

An engineering consultant with all the right education and credentials still might not have specific experience working with projects that are similar to yours. You shouldn’t dismiss the consultant out of hand on this account, but it is a consideration that should receive some extra weight as you compare different consulting firms with an eye toward which you should hire for your project. It’s still worthwhile to have the conversation and find out what the firm has to offer. You may have a future project that is more in line with the consultant’s experience.

5. Modifications to Projects in Progress

Circumstances sometimes necessitate changes to a project while it is in progress. It is a good idea to talk about the process involved in submitting modifications to a pending project to avoid any confusion that may arise later.

When you work with an engineering consulting firm, you want to ensure that they will perform as efficiently as possible to provide the promised results in a timely fashion. For questions or more information, contact Design Systems, Inc. today.