Lerch Bates Inc. Building Insight

Global Leaders in Technical Consulting for the Building Industry

Looking Beyond Price

Sure, these days everyone wants more for less. Who doesn’t? After all, we all are consumers and we really don’t want to spend more than necessary, but even when we make purchases for ourselves, price is a factor, but not the ONLY factor. For example, think about the last time you bought a car.  What did you think about? “Have I had this type of model before? Has this model been around for a few years or is it new? Does it meet my needs for myself and/or my family? Do I like how it drives? Where can I get it serviced?” And of course, we asked ourselves “How much?”

Shopping for a consultant is not really too much different. Price is not the only factor in determining whether or not to hire a consultant or which consultant to hire.

Before joining Lerch Bates, I worked as an architect for several years for design firms.  In that time, I was responsible for hiring consultants, consultant coordination, consultant contracts, and regular communication with consultants.  These are all an essential part of an architect’s job to complete a successful project.

When choosing a consultant there are some other factors to note, beyond price.  Below are only a few:

  • Expertise: Does the consultant have the expertise that pertains to the scope of the project?  Does that expertise add value to the project?
  • Experience:  Is the consultant familiar with the needs of the project?  Have they done this before?
  • Past working relationships: Have I worked with this consultant before and had a positive experience?
  • Responsiveness: Is the consultant responsive and able to meet the needs of the project schedule?
  • Longevity: How long has the company been in business?
  • Local Regulations:  Is the consultant familiar with local ordinances and codes that may pertain to the region?

Some of the items above are just a few of the things that a client may be concerned with when looking to hire a consultant.  These are also a few items that may be requested when responding to a request for proposal (RFP).

So, price is important, but there are a lot of considerations that can go well past the bottom line.

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