Engineering technology consultants are experienced engineers who have strong understandings of the ways in which developing technologies are used to improve processes. Usually, a consultant is employed at a consultant firm. When a client business contracts engineering technology consultants, it normally is because it has plans for growth or change. For example, if representatives from a business decide on introducing a new product, they might consult engineering technologists to discuss how best to implement new software, equipment, standards, and practices. In most cases, a technology consultant oversees design of new information technology (IT) systems and orchestrates implementation.
These kinds of professionals often have many years of experience and postgraduate degrees in engineering. Engineering technology consultants tend to specialize in specific industries or niches. They are experts whom managers and executives trust to give advice, manage projects, and in some cases act as gurus who redesign whole business systems to be more profitable and cost effective.
While engineering technology consultants commonly work for firms, larger corporations that continually go through growth or improvement processes may keep in in-house consultants. When this is the case, a consultant might be considered part of the IT department. He or she might also perform data management duties and dictate guidelines for troubleshooting, repair, and regular upgrades.
When executives meet with engineering technology consultants, they normally begin by discussing goals, problems, and current technological capabilities. Instead of pushing various solutions or products, consultants work closely with clients to find software, equipment, and management models that meet their needs. If executives are using a consulting firm, these early consultations might be free of charge and part of a business's search process.
Once an engineering technology consultant has developed a solution approved by clients, he or she might either design a plan or work with IT representatives. Consultants modify their processes to match preferences of clients, so levels of oversight and responsibility vary from project to project. Ideally, processes are decided in an earlier consulting stage.
Technology changes continually, and engineering technology consultants engage in continual education. They might enroll in courses that teach them to use new programs or to understand new management models. Consultants also might publish articles in trade publications. Publications and other related credentials also can help consultants to attract more customers since they might help consultants to appear as experts. Consultants also join professional organizations, attend trade shows, and earn new certifications and licenses.