Far too often, business executives misunderstand the role of consultancy firms in their organization. Some view the consultants as “armchair quarterbacks” who seem to have strong opinions about the play while doing little to no lift work during the game to influence the outcome.

However, if you are serious about making a shift in the food processing industry, you need a partner that can provide solid ideas as well as implement them in a way that transforms your team, processes, and facility at large. Here are five questions that can help you pick the right project management consultant for your food processing plant.

1. How Will Their Design Services Improve Your Facility?

The project consulting service should tell how their design consultancy will improve your plant construction. If you are not sure of the direct benefits that the project management group may bring to the table, request case studies. A seasoned consultant can recognize design challenges that you may have and outline clearly the solutions that you can utilize for your food processing plant. Let the experts demonstrate the tangible benefits that you may accrue from your engagement with them.

2. What’s Their Approach For Your Food Processing Plant?

Qualified consultants understand that there are no two food and dairy industry plants that exactly alike. While their methodologies may be consistent, the project design consultants should provide unique solutions to your facility. What industrial flooring solutions can they provide? You need to speak to designers and engineers that understand your challenges and can provide a clear outline on how to improve your current design projections.

3. How Long Have You Been A Consultant For Food Processing Industry?

It is one thing to draw up cool design concepts for your plant. It is a completely different ball game when it comes to implementing and actualizing the solutions provided. You need to assess their competence, ethical conduct, interpersonal skills, transparency, and accountability. Find out how long the industrial project management firm has been in the food industry. Request for case studies and portfolios of projects completed in the past. Have they handled design consultations for a food processing plant of similar scope and size? You need an experienced team that can see the project to completion.

4. What Do Their Services Cost?

You may need to plan financially for any consultancy engagement that you may have with the project management firm. Most firms offer packages that go over and above project management, including strategic planning and people management. You may receive different invoices for the different scopes of work. Sign a written contract that specifies the scope of the project, the expenses, and the period that you will utilize their services.

5. What’s Their Current Workload And Availability?

Most food processing plant construction projects are often on a tight schedule. You need to find design consultants that can ensure your project is complete within the necessary timeframe. You need a firm that will provide the maximum time and attention to your project.

Improving the design processes and workflows in your food processing plant may require the services of project management consultants. The five questions above can help you find the right fit for your firm. For more information on what to look for in a food industry consultant, reach out to The Project Group.