Jeff Stephenson, P.E., is the Team Leader of [...]
Last week, Sain Principal/Owner Joe Meads shared his thoughts about what makes a dream client. We thought it would only be fair to give our clients the opportunity to share the attributes that make up their dream civil engineering consultant. This week and next week, two of our favorite clients will share their thoughts in guest posts.
When I get to work with a company I would consider to be a “dream consultant,” the project typically goes smoothly and is more enjoyable. Dream consultants are easy to work with, and I would say they have a few important attributes.
First, my dream civil engineering consultant would provide expertise where internal staff might not be totally proficient. They would complement our staff and provide the “answer” to what we are asking. This also means they deliver the true perspective of what the “question” actually is to help us know the full scope of the project and what will be involved.
Another top attribute would be honesty to assure that our question is being fairly and objectively answered. Integrity is also an important attribute. Consultants need to provide all the stakeholders with the true representation of the issues. They must possess the expertise to be able to meet the client’s needs without over stepping or just saying, “Sure, we can do that” when that might not honestly be the case. Finally, they need to be able to deliver work both timely and professionally.
While it is easy and enjoyable to work with dream consultants, there are others who make the working relationship more difficult. Behaviors that add to the difficulty include telling us “That is not the way we do things in another state.” Consultants who ask our staff to do most of the work, or even worse, do such poor work that we end up spending more time reviewing and revising what they did are especially problematic. In those situations, it would have been easier for us to do the work internally.
These types of negative situations are the ones we hope to avoid by carefully choosing consultants. We are always thankful when we don’t run into issues and projects end successfully for both client and consultant.