Questions to Ask When Choosing an Engineering Firm


Whether you are developing property, building offices, or starting out on any other kind of project, the process of hiring the right engineering firm for your needs can often feel easier said than done. Hiring an engineering firm to oversee the work or take on extra projects is not always easy, especially if you have never done it before. Before you select the right engineers for you, it’s important to ask a series of important questions to determine whether or not they are the right fit. After all, the engineering firm that you choose could make or break your finished project. You should consider whether or not the firm has the right experience and expertise to work on your project, and whether or not you are able to work with them. To find the answers to these questions, ask this before you hire:

Has the Firm Worked on Similar Projects?

You will want to hire an engineering firm like Cochran that has worked on projects that are similar to yours in the past. Determining whether or not this is the case and finding out more about the projects that they have completed in the past will help you get important insight into whether or not the firm you are considering has both the experience and expertise to get the job done to your standards. Since no two engineering projects are the same, a firm that has a similar range of projects on their portfolio can give you the peace of mind you need to know that they’re the best fit for your job.

Staff Training and Experience

For many companies, the experience and expertise of the engineers who are going to be working on your project are indicative of how successful it is likely to be. Don’t be afraid to ask your engineering firm to share further details of degree qualifications, extra training, specific past jobs and more to help you get a better understanding of just how knowledgeable and experienced the individuals you will be working with are.

How Much Communication Will You Get?

When you decide to hire an engineering firm, it’s important to understand what to expect when it comes to communication, especially if you expect to have several questions during the process and would like to be kept up-to-date on the ongoing progress. Along with asking this question, it’s important to be clear about any expectations that you have when it comes to communications and response times, since this gives the engineering firm a chance to let you know whether they can work with what you need or not. It may mean that you need to do some negotiating with the firm to come to the conclusion that everybody is satisfied.

Who Are Their Previous Clients?

Today, customers are relying more and more on recommendations from others and past reviews when it comes to making a purchasing decision, and businesses are no different. Before choosing an engineering firm, it’s a wise idea to ask about their past clients and get referrals wherever possible. Any good engineering firm should be more than happy to put you in touch with previous clients that you can discuss their work with and there may even be a portfolio including contact details on their website that you can use to contact clients and get the answers you need, said Gus Romo. Gus Romo’s company, Romo Planning Group, provided city planning, engineering, and environmental document preparation services to the City of Adelanto for two years with a contract interim director, 4 contract planners, a contract city engineer, and a contract environmental services project manager. Romo received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Pomona University before receiving his MBA from the University of Redlands.

How Flexible is the Process?

While you might have a firm plan in place at the beginning, it’s a wise idea to understand that just like any other engineering project, yours might be subject to change and evolution. Whether or not you foresee any potential changes in your project right now, it’s a good idea to speak to any potential engineering firms about their ability to accommodate changes in scope, such as the project taking on a new direction or scaling up to more than you bargained for. Be upfront about any potential changes that you suspect might happen, and find out whether or not the firm will have the flexibility to accommodate them.

What Tools Do They Use?

More often than not, modern engineering projects are dictated by the use of different technologies. It’s important to not only find an engineering firm that has a lot of expertise in the specific software that your project will need in order to be successful, but you should also make sure that they have access to both the hardware and software required to ensure that you find solutions in a timely manner. Some engineering firms may recommend different software and tools to the ones that you believe your project will require; it’s a good idea to inquire further about this and determine why they think it’s a better fit, and if it will work for your project.

What Sets Them Apart?

Hiring an engineering firm is just like hiring any other business or consultant for working on any project that you might oversee. When asking questions to help you determine which firm to pick, it’s a good idea to ask for them to give you some key differentiators and let you know what makes them different from their competitors. What will this firm in particular bring to the table that other engineering firms in your area do not? This can help you make sure that you have made the right decision when it comes to choosing the firm that is the best fit for your company. As after all, making sure that you are completely comfortable with hiring a firm that is essentially going to be in charge of a very important project for your company is of utmost importance.

There are many reasons why your business may be considering hiring an engineering firm, but this decision is not one that should ever be rushed into. If you need an engineering firm to successfully complete your next project, the key to finding the right fit for your needs is asking plenty of questions and interviewing different firms before making the right choice for you. Keep your project and needs in mind at all times.

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