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Mechanical Engineers are just one area of a interdisciplinary team
Even with each component of a project working, making them work together can stall product development. This costs timeliness meeting market pressures, strategic benchmarks, and contractual deadlines. Engineers solve such problems, balancing literal and conceptual.
Employing a permanent engineering staff proves cost prohibitive for many businesses investing in third party engineering consultants. A good engineering consulting firm offers a diverse range of specialties, without charging you for any service when not needed. For example, electrical engineering consultants can help develop new medical devices from product design all the way to defending that design in court if needed, but neither need burden your payroll for the entire system design life cycle. Of course, an interdisciplinary engineering team with mechanical engineers, materials scientists, and software engineers is often needed. They can be brought to bear on the tasks as needed, without incurring burden and overhead non your company.
Choosing where you contract engineering consulting services can determine success or failure, and good firms want clients aware of this. Glew Engineering Consultants expects potential clients to consider eight different factors before even securing a contract. They provide a link to a whitepaper called, “8 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Engineering Firm”, for anyone considering third party contracts
Perhaps the most important consideration is the Scope of Work (SOW). Simply contracting with electrical engineering consultants would not meet the SOW demands for manufacturers of a new industrial air conditioning system. That might also involve testing the stress points of Freon tubing for general integrity, safety, and environmental compliance. A third party engineering consulting firm should offer either skill set as needed. If customer abuse of a product causes its failure that leads to expensive lawsuits even when a company lacks valid liability. Then having a firm that can also provide expert court testimony can quickly pay for itself.
So the first step in choosing engineering consultants is eliminating those addressing your SOW too narrowly. Then consider the qualifications of individual engineers on their team. You need both credentials and experience. The best consulting engineers master their own specialty areas as well as understanding how it interacts with others. Passionate about their work, they often hold patents of their own besides those secured for clients.
Once you’ve determined which firms meet your SOW needs and have the most exemplary qualifications, then you should contact them. Only after having discussed your engineering consulting needs with an engineer firm should you apply cost priorities. It takes that dialogue to recognize the true cost benefits of contractors, and to learn what range of pricing flexibility they offer.