Professional services firms are available for hire in many different industries. They include financial advisors, attorneys, architects, engineers, business consultants, and many more. These firms do not sell physical products, but they typically sell their knowledge and expertise. I would like to review some of the reasons we see companies hire professional services firms, specifically supply chain consultants such as St. Onge Company.
1. Outside Perspective
Have you ever had a big decision to make or an issue which you are unsure how to address? You may turn to a trusted friend or family member for their opinion. Companies face tough decisions or problems as well, and they often desire an outside perspective to help guide them. Consultants can give advice on the best way to proceed without a bias for what others in the organization think the next step should be. Also, companies hire consultants to identify and solve problems from an external view with no preconceived notions, emotions or without the bias of internal politics.
Watch out! – Not all consultants are independent. Some consultants have financial ties to other companies, organizations, products, etc. Be sure to hire a consultant that is completely independent with nothing to sell except their time and experience! Otherwise, you may not get the best answer for your question or an optimal project result.
2. Specialized Skills
Not all companies are experts in everything. They typically have core competencies at which they are skilled. Companies that need a skill to run or improve their business may hire a consulting firm to acquire that specialized skill set. Companies desire to hire consultants who are qualified and proven experts with the ability to solve business problems. This is a quick way to acquire the skill on an as needed basis rather than hire a permanent resource.
Hiring an independent consultant gives you exponential knowledge and access to an experienced staff who have worked with hundreds of other supply chain projects across many industries. Consultants, such as St. Onge Company, have worked with many companies with similar problems. Therefore, they have seen what has and has not worked and can bring creative ideas to solve the problem.
4. Horsepower (time!)
Although there are problems and projects to tackle, companies do not always have the resources to complete them. Employees are focused on their current job responsibilities and rather than causing a disruption, hiring outside help can keep employees focused on their main objectives. Although companies could hire additional staff, contracting with independent consultants gives companies an option of an experienced and skilled resource rather than hiring permanent employees which may no longer be needed when the project is completed.
In summary, there are many reasons companies hire consultants. From the deep expertise and experience in the specific area of need to supplementing existing staff without a long-term commitment, consultants can be an important part of your business strategy. Again, ensure that you look for a completely independent and objective company who will always work in your best interest!
—Brad Barry, St. Onge Company
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