Your analysis projects deserve the best. Finding that perfect analysis partnership is like finding a good contractor for your house: you want someone who can deliver a job well done and can fix any issues that might arise. You want an analysis partner that understands your business and needs. A long term partnership benefits both of your businesses: they get projects, while you get someone that knows your expectations and needs.
If you outsource your engineering analysis projects often, it's important to find a consultant that you can trust with all of your projects. We've shared our tips on deciding whether you need a consultant, looking for an independent engineering consultant and the questions to ask them before agreeing to work with them. But how do you foster a long term partnership with an engineering consultant? How do you ensure that you're doing all you can to build a mutually beneficial relationship?
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Communicating with business partners has never been easier. With email, file transfers, conference calls, and videoconferencing, it's easier than ever to communicate in order to keep a job running smoothly. Different projects call for different milestones. While some projects don't have a definite end date, others have clear milestones and deliverables articulated from the get-go. Be clear about what you're looking for from the start: no one wants just an analysis; you're looking to learn something from the simulation.
Communicating with your engineering consultant, no matter how you choose to do it, with progress discussions, expectations, changing goals or needs, and other project changes along the way is important to building a successful relationship where both parties feel like they're in the loop.
Make sure your data is secure.
Data security is a hot topic today. With so many companies' data being exposed to bugs and leaks, it's important for you to feel like your analysis data is secure with your engineering consultant. Non-disclosure agreements are usually standard and engineering consultants should ensure that data, procedures and results are secure. Ask your engineering consultant what they have in place to ensure data security. This sense of trust is necessary to building a fruitful relationship.
Be comfortable with the billing structure.
If you're seeking to find a long term partner for analysis, you should be comfortable with the engineering consultant's billing structure. Some consultants bill as low as one day's work, while others propose contracts with fixed or not-to-exceed prices. If you're unsure about jumping into what could turn out to be an expensive project, test the waters with a small project first.
Make sure you're getting a valid analysis.
The worst thing that could happen with an engineering consultant is getting a faulty analysis. That's the reason you hired them in the first place right? Make sure you insist on getting some basic hand calculation to make sure that the results are in the ballpark. Analysts should be able to share equations with you. If you're going to work with this engineering consultant again, you want to make sure they're doing good work!
Finding a good fit for engineering analysis projects can be tough, but when you do find a match made in heaven, your FEA projects will be better than ever. If you're interested in learning more about RGBSI's engineering services, including our simulation and analysis services, click here.