When contracting with external experts, you may be uncertain about whether to select a consulting firm or work with an individual consultant, i.e. a single-person LLC or sole proprietorship.
The choice ultimately comes down to your priorities.
Some companies work with individual consultants in an attempt to reduce potential costs. However, there are certain risks associated with independent consultants that aren't as prominent with a consulting firm. If you want to avert any issues when seeking consultants for a project, you can successfully do so with a dependable firm.
Here we'll review some advantages of working with consulting firms, and why they might be the best choice.
What are the Benefits of Consultant Firms over Independent Consultants?
There are several key advantages that make working with a life sciences consulting firm worthwhile. These benefits include:
When dealing with independent consultants, you must rely on their resume, their chosen reference, and their word to gauge whether they are a good fit. Alternatively, when you work with a firm, you can rest assured that the firm has vetted consultants the same way companies scrutinize new job candidates.
Over time, consulting firms get to see whether there is sufficient evidence of their consultants' competency.
In short, if you want to be certain that consultants can do the job, you're better off going through a consulting firm.
Another potential issue that you can avoid with a consulting firm is headhunters who lure independent consultants away from you. In the event of a headhunter "stealing" your consultant, you would have to repeat the hiring process, putting you back at square one. That means spending more on hiring costs.
Even if you have a loyal individual consultant behind your business, there's no guarantee they'll always be available to complete a project. If your consultant winds up getting sick or experiencing any kind of emergency, you could be stuck without a consultant when you need one most. Again, this could set you back unexpectedly and end up costing you more money and effort.
Meanwhile, a consulting firm can make sure you always have a relevant expert who's ready to help you. You'll never need to worry about your consultant siding with the highest bidder, and if a consultant is unable to work for any reason, a suitable replacement will be available. If you're seeking a seamless process when hiring and working with consultants, you can benefit from the help of a reliable firm.
Independent consultants have individual areas of expertise and can focus on a particular niche, but none are "masters of everything." If your business has a range of issues that could each benefit from a consultant's input, an independent consultant won't likely be able to provide a consistent level of expertise across all areas. The painful truth is that you'll likely need to go through the hiring process again for each area of expertise.
When working with a consulting firm, you'll have access to the resources you need whenever you need them. Whether you require a consultant to help with clinical trial strategy or other areas such as supplier qualification audits, you'll never need to look for and hire individual consultants to handle them.
Platforms like Google and LinkedIn may be incredibly helpful when searching for an English-speaking auditor for a supplier in New York. However, they may not be able to help you locate an English-speaking auditor in Budapest who is capable of performing supplier audits. If you want to avoid spending more time and energy on finding the right resources on an international level, a consultancy firm will guide you to them.
Apart from the difficulties of searching for the best international consultants on your own, you would also need to cover the costs of flying a single consultant across the globe. This is not only an avoidable cost element, but it could also take too long when dealing with an extensive network of suppliers.
A good consulting firm will give you access to a global network of consultants they can reach out to based on your requirements. This means that regardless of the extent of your operations and the location of your suppliers, your consulting firm can help coordinate them. You'll also be able to avoid dealing with the logistics of transportation for consultants. In turn, you can save more effort and money that could otherwise defeat the purpose of hiring an independent consultant.
Occasionally, life sciences companies may need to bring multiple consultants or auditors on board on a temporary basis. Without the help of a consulting firm, this could entail multiple individual hiring processes, followed by integrating those individuals into a team through the onboarding process.
To simplify the process of bringing on multiple consultants, a consulting firm can give you access to sets of consultants who have experience working together, specifically on similar projects. This helps ensure that each consultant has the expertise that complements the rest of the team. Additionally, consultants who have worked together on multiple projects make for a stronger team. Seeing as they're already familiar with each other and their contributions, they can work more cohesively than newer teams. Again, these advantages can further reduce the costs and time required to onboard several independent consultants for the same project.
Get Everything You Need with a Life Sciences Consulting Firm
Hiring an independent consultant might seem like the most cost-effective option, but you'll find certain advantages and security with a consulting firm that a single consultant can't always provide. If you're in need of qualified and highly skilled consultants, it's best to work with an experienced life sciences consulting firm to connect you with the right people at the right time. By partnering with the right firm, you can minimize potential risks and benefit from consistently reliable consulting.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of working with a life sciences consulting firm for your next project, along with other industry insights and best practices, subscribe to our blog.