What is a Technical Consultant?

Back on the days when I was still a young, aggresive and hungry for knowledge, I found myself in a meeting with top management and experienced engineers in our company. The objective of the meeting was to solve a problem which was bugging production and inhouse engineers were not able to find solution to the problem. Production output and product quality are on the downward trend.

It was agreed on the meeting to hire a Technical Consultant who will be able to help the company solve the problem and increase productivity. Though hesitant, the group of inhouse engineers could not do anything. It was the General Manager and majority owner of the company who have spoken.

To make the story short, a Technical Consultant was employed who did research on the problem, interviewed the operations people and site investigation. After several weeks and some money involved, a report from the consultant arrived which required another group meeting again.

The inhouse engineers were not amused by the Technical Consultant report. The report is recommending something that the have already done. The only difference is, the Technical Consultant is recommending some controls and data logging during the implementation. The data will be analyzed and become the basis of a recommended solution for the problem.

One of the inhouse engineers said, we just wasted money in this exercise, we have already done whatever is contained on that report. The Vice-President for Engineering said, that only probe one thing

"A Technical Consultant is someone who will tell you what you already know and want you to do what you have already done".

There was silence on the room, they relaized that if only they have implemented solutions they came up with before in a controlled process, the inhouse engineers should have not needed the assistance of a Technical Consultant.