Why Do Companies or Municipalities Hire Consultants?

Why Do Companies or Muncipalities Hire Consultants?
Great question and I will do my best to give a little insight to the reasoning.

We Want an Outside Eye
You know how sometimes when you’re dealing with an issue in your life, you turn to friends and family for their opinions? Companies often need this, too, especially when making tough decisions. Often times, clients have a perspective on how to solve the problem they are facing but want to make sure that what they’re thinking is correct (or that they aren’t so close to the challenge that they’re missing the obvious answer). So, they turn to consultants to come in and provide their opinion.

But this isn’t just any opinion: Because consultants often work with many different companies and may have worked through this problem in the past with someone else, they can really provide a perspective based on what they’ve seen work (or not) before. And given this experience, they can often bring new and innovative ideas or possible challenges to the table that clients probably wouldn’t have been able to see on their own.

We Need Extra Horsepower
Sometimes the problems companies need solving are really important, but they don’t necessarily have the labor to focus on them. Companies still have to focus on their day-to-day operations, after all, and new projects typically require reprioritizing employees’ core job responsibilities. But hiring new employees to fill these gaps doesn’t always make sense either, seeing as many of these projects are one-offs. Whether it’s a cost reduction program requiring a dedicated team of six for a year or even a post-merger integration that requires a team of 100 for a month, clients might struggle to get the teams in place to do this critical work.

In instances like this, consultants basically serve as temporary, highly skilled employees. Consultants are not full-time employees of the company, so it is often a better value to use a consultant than hiring someone new. Because consultants switch around companies often, they’re used to the fast learning curve, and onboarding us is easier. And, by using consultants, companies don’t have to pull their employees away from their actual jobs.

We Want Specialized Skills
Another, and perhaps the most common, reason that companies hire consultants is to gain access to a specialized skill set that might not exist in house. By engaging a consulting firm, you get access to a group of professionals that has skills ranging from Lean Six Sigma process design to finance organization structures. These highly specialized people would not only be expensive to hire for, but the company might not have enough work to keep said employees busy year round. But, thanks to consultants, companies can bring in that skill set on demand when they need it.

Hwy 20 – A Clean Canvas
Zoning for the Hwy 20 corridor comes directly from the OneDecatur Long Range Plan.  Our community participated and provided input toward the needs and priorities for our future.  Hwy 20 provides a clean canvas to build a fresh Decatur!  To accomplish that we want and need the best resources.

Our Police and Fire & Rescue departments are full of professionals who are ready to deliver a baby, if needed.  However, I talk to these wonderful First Responders about opportunities like that. They will plead with momma to stop pushing and hang tight!!!  They will encourage and explain how they are near the hospital where the doctor has all the necessary skills to ease the pain and to utilize their training to benefit momma and child.  My point is, maybe we could do the zoning internally with additional staffing, but a firm that specializes will certainly provide the best value and results.

Clarion Has Project Experience
The City Council will consider Clarion Associates (please review their work) on the recommendation of our Planning Department who received a recommendation from Planning Next, which led our OneDecatur effort.  We believe they are right for Decatur and have the project experience to put the proper zoning in place for our future.

I am often asked about other municipalities and why we don’t do as they do?  Oftentimes we do as you can see below from Clarion’s Portfolio of work:

I hope this information has been helpful.  We are also in the middle of a Branding Request For Proposal.  The City along with representatives from Decatur Utilities, Decatur City Schools and our new teammate, Decatur-Morgan Chamber of Commerce have narrowed the list of companies that specialize in Branding down to six (6) firms.

These are exciting times for our City.  Thank you for everything you do as we work together for our bright future.