Engineering Consulting Services

What Is Engineering Consulting?

Engineering Consulting Services with SynthesisSometimes you just need another set of eyes.  Sometimes it feels like you are just too close to the trees.  And, sometimes an outside perspective is just what you need to see things not yet noticed.

This is where an Engineering Consultant is very handy.  It is a perfect situation to hire a significant depth of experience for just a short time to get over a hurdle.  It is one powerful way to Leverage Your Time & Resources to maximize results.

Let's explore this concept a little, because hiring consulting services can be advantageous in some ways that are not obvious.

Engineering Consulting Services - By Definition

Defining “Engineering Consulting” is kind of like defining “Gray”.  There are differing ideas about what is and what is not “Consulting”, but really, the definition is not so important - we focus on the end result.  Finding solutions.

If consulting is someone from the outside evaluating and making recommendations, we do that.
If consulting is assisting with a design or manufacturing process, we do that too.
If consulting is looking with you at a tough spot, perhaps inventing a new way, we do that.

Our objective is to give you traction in reaching your goals - no matter what we call it.

At Synthesis, we provide value in several activities that are frequently called “Engineering Consulting Services”.  These range from phone consultations, to in-depth on-site studies with reports and recommendations.

Examples of Engineering Consulting

Here are some examples of the Engineering Consulting Services we provide:

  1. Design Review / Design Consulting Services

    When another set of eyes are needed, when validation of concepts is desired, or when your design time is constrained, we are available to assist.  We bring with us years of experience spanning a wide array of industries.

    Such an engagement can be look with you at your design proposals to help consider various aspects such as manufacturability, strength, usability, etc..  Or it might include thinking about new design aspects of a product using our creativity to simplify or streamline.

    Here is one Case Study Example in Design Consulting.

  2. Forensic Study

    Engineering Consulting ServicesForensics is a generic connotation of “something died”.  It is an area of engineering where we seek to discover why things fail.

    If you are in a spot needing to understand why something broke or breaks or why something doesn't work - it's a good time for engineering consulting services.  Usually it is not the breaking itself, but the factors surrounding it.

    Read this Case Study of Engineering Consulting to assist in solving a motorcycle engine failure associated with a serious accident.

  3. Process Evaluation and Optimization

    In many areas of industry, but especially in manufacturing, streamlined processes are often the difference in making money or not.  Finding the bottlenecks is not usually the hard part, but figuring out how to optimize throughput sometimes is.

    Call us if you need another set of skilled eyes to help evaluate opportunities for greater capacity and greater profitability.

  4. Engineering Research

    Engineering Consulting on Tiny DetailsAs part of building levers to accomplish your goals, allowing others to assist with the Engineering Research is a great way to do more in less time.  Synthesis has acted in the capacity as research facility for several customer projects.

    (The example in this image we affectionately called "Sewing the Bones".  Small parts threaded with 0.002" wire.)

  5. Product Design

    Outside services for Product Design & Development are often in the “Engineering Consulting” category.  We do that, for sure, and a lot of it.  Try this article if you wish to develop a new product.  This is something we do a lot.

    Please read about our Product Development services, and about the Process.  In a similar vein, we also do Custom Machine design and build.

Of course, these categories overlap.  A discussion that starts on why something broke can end up in a design revision or optimization in manufacturing.  It is all part of the job.

Though some of the services above might be considered "Contract" or "Freelance", we put them here just to be complete.  What we call it matters less than finding success with the project.

Why Hire An Engineering Consultant?

Metallurgical Failure AnalysisThis is an excellent question, so let's look at the positives, and the negatives, then make some evaluations.  We will discover when it is beneficial to hire an Engineering Consulting Services.

The Why's for consulting come with the evaluation.  More importantly, the Why's for your particular industry, company and situation come with understanding the benefits.

First, the Positives:

  1. With a consultant, you get seasoned expertise from years of engineering experience and consulting services.
  2. We provide a broad spectrum of experience from many different industries and from many areas of the globe.
  3. You get a temporary boost in your capability, and it is easy to start - much easier than hiring new staff.  It is also easier than the hassles of letting staff go when the project finishes.
  4. The cost of adding engineering consulting expertise is both scalable and temporary.  We come and help while you need it, then we go away when the project is done.
  5. From Synthesis, you get a broad spectrum of engineering experience spanning many years and many industries.  The big benefit is “cross-pollinating” good ideas and practices originating in other environments.  A solution from another industry might just be the key to your success.

Second, the Negatives:

(And, the reasons the negatives may actually be positives.)

  1. The high cost of hiring a consultant.  Yes, looking at an hourly rate it can seem high.  Yet, it is cheaper than hiring full-time staff because consultants don't have the burden of taxes, facilities, benefits, etc., and the cost ends when the project finishes.  Additionally, you don't pay full time - only for the work they do.
  2. A consultant does not know my industry.  In some cases that is true, and there is no doubt industry knowledge is valuable.  Yet, it can benefit you when the Engineering Consulting is not hampered by tradition or by seeing the same trees.  This way, the consultant gives a fresh look through a lense of experience to focus on solutions.  If the consultant does not recognize you as the expert in your field, and leverage your industry know-how, then find a different consultant.  They need to work WITH you, guided BY you.
  3. I don't want to share company secrets with someone from the outside.  That is a legitimate concern, and it is something we are sensitive to.  In answer, please consider that Synthesis would not be in business for 25+ years if we ever violated the trust of customers.  We use NDA's and other documents as a reminder about sensitive information, but even without such documents, we always care for the IP of others.  Any reputable consultant will.

When To Use Engineering Consulting

As noted, there are advantages in Why to use Engineering Consulting.  How about When?

The perfect example of a consultant (though we rarely think of it this way) is a doctor.  They are a skilled professional that we hire on a temporary basis to consult with about an issue, or to accomplish a specific task.  You hire a doctor when you need outside direction specific to a situation.  You don't hire the doctor to put on a band-aid, but you definitely want one for surgery.  A similar case fits for an Accountant or an Attorney.  Sometimes you just need the expertise.

Making More TimeEngineering Consulting Services is not much different.  The Consultant has skills and knowledge you can tap into on a temporary basis to fill a need.  Call Synthesis when you have an Engineering question, or need a skilled set of eyes to help figure something out.  That is what we do, and it is a great way to leverage your time.

Look around, it's the best way.  Also read How To Find The Right Engineering Consultant.  Often, Synthesis is not the best fit, and part of our job is to help identify when things fit, and when they don't.

More Information

For more information, please read our Engineering Consulting Services page.  For more about how it can benefit your business, please read this article about Levers to Boost Your Bottom Line.  And/Or the Linkedin article The Time Lever.

At Synthesis we do a lot of work that falls in the Engineering Consulting Services bucket.  If you have a need, please take a minute to Contact Us.  It is the only way to find out if your situation is something that fits with our skill set.  We can discuss your specific needs.  If it makes sense for us to assist, we will figure out how to meet your goals.

Reach out.  There is no cost to start the conversation.  Oh, and we won't pester you after if you decide not to use our services.

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