Benefits to you

You're already paying a full-time staff. We can assume they're good at their jobs. Why should you take on the additional expense of a consultant?

Fair enough. My answer:

  • Your staff is already busy, fully loaded with projects and daily tasks that you need done.

  • When someone takes on a new project, someone else will have to do what they were doing. The substitute will probably not be as effective at first.

  • When the problem is solved or the project is finished, you have to reassign people again to keep them productive.

  • You may need a fresh perspective. You can't get much fresher than someone outside your company.

  • You may find just the right person but she doesn't want to relocate.

  • It takes time and money to recruit. Sometimes you need additional resources right now.

  • You may need to acquire a different skill set for an unusual challenge, or maintain a skill set on retainer to service an irregular business segment, but can't justify a permanent position.

  • That's where the right consultant presents an opportunity.

When choosing a consultant, make sure he or she can communicate clearly at all levels; can get along well with management, the shop people, and customers; knows his or her limitations; is impeccably honest and discreet; and has the skill set you need.

Bottom line: I offer what I do best in the photonics industry, to those who can see its value, when they want it, and then I leave without attachments. I know whether I know.

And if I don't know, I usually know someone who does.