When Using an External Consultant
External consultants offer several advantages to conventional hiring alternatives; however, there may be disadvantages in certain situations. External consultants can provide exceptional value when existing teams lack the skills or are too busy to successfully complete the work on time. Capital projects that involve group-wise change are especially suited to using consultants.
Often senior resources are required to initiate a new program but once initiated, a junior or intermediate resource can run the program. Consultants are excellent resources to launch new programs, as they bring a wealth of industry knowledge that can be applied to the project. Consultants can improve internal decision making by identifying internal bias, facilitating conflicting perspectives, and introducing new ideas into the organization.
Pros and Cons
The following is a list of reasons for and against using an external consultant. At Abinsi, we target projects that cannot be delivered by an internal team (due to available skills, resources, or conflicts of interest); however, we also provide manager coaching and training services when a company has the resources to lead a project. Browse our full list of Services and see where Abinsi may make a difference; or call us now at 780-702-7532 for a no obligation conversation about your business.
- Access to broad networks of resources and expertise.
- Consultants add skills and capabilities that you may not have in your team.
- Improve diversity and reduce internal bias through an external perspective (e.g. project reviews).
- Facilitate decision making processes and mitigate internal competition.
- Access knowledge from other organizations and industry best practices.
- Build capabilities (skills transfer) within your internal team (mentoring).
- Isolate internal management from sensitive internal decisions.
- Support internal staff during operational peaks (load balancing).
- No long-term commitments - use the contracted resource as needed.
- Access part-time senior skills and resources through retainer relationships.
- Focus your organization on its core competencies, use consultants to deliver projects.
- There are minimal administrative barriers to engage a consultant.
- Used wisely, consulting services can expedite the development of your business or products.
- It may take some time for the consultant to understand your business.
- Knowledge leaves with the consultant if skills transfer is not managed.
- The consultant has limited stake in the outcome of the recommendations.
- Using external resources can potentially undermine the self-esteem of existing staff.
- Hourly rates and travel costs can be expensive on the short-term.
- The consultant may not have the skills you are looking for - choose carefully.
The Abinsi Approach:
Abinsi’s strategy is to establish long-term relationships with clients where our services are used on an as-needed basis. As part of this commitment, we differentiate ourselves from “body shops” and “outsourcing companies” by providing value-added business services, skills transfer, and resources that augment your capabilities. Our team is committed to enhancing your organization's core competencies.