Engineering consulting can be crucial to the future of a small company as well as a big company. Let's first define what a consultant is.
What is an Engineering consultant?
An engineering consultant is a professional who provides expert advice on a given set of topics. And as we are talking about engineering, these topics need to be related to engineering.
Consulting is a technique that is commonly used in industry all this explained by the fact that almost all engineering processes rely on a large set of discipline. Taking, for example, the automobile industry, an automobile requires electronics, mechanics, hydraulic, aerodynamic, ergonomic, programming, and a lot more and technology is an ever-evolving discipline. An automobile might be required to fly in the future if we happen to solve the issue of regulating air traffic to a certain degree.
All these contribute to pushing companies to adjust with the trend or to die, we have seen what conservatism has done to Blackberry and Nokia the past few years.
How does a company quickly adjust to those trends? Usually by slowly shifting their focus point and adding new features to their outcome.
But generating new ideas and implementing them, at least on the prototyping level can also help companies foresee the future and have their hands prepared for mass production if the future decides to lean toward that path.
In engineering consulting, we often distinguish two different type of consultant. The internal consultants and the external consultants.
The internal consultant
The internal consultant is often an internal employee of the company (or team) available for consultation by another department of the same company. An obvious example of this, if we were to take current events, Tesla lately acquired SolarCity. If Tesla is seeking to introduce solar roofs in its new generation of cars, they would move a lot quicker working with SolarCity team. So Tesla will be seeking consultation from SolarCity.
The external consultant
The external consultant is simply an external member of a company, usually, a temporary one hired to provide its expertise on a certain topic for a fixed amount of time.
Both these types of consulting are important. By hiring a consultant, companies have access to deeper and sharper knowledge they would not have had access to otherwise. Building some expertise can take time and sometimes may not even worth the pain; Hiring an external team would thus be the best solution to take.
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