Architecture, Engineering and Construction (A/E/C) firms solve problems every day in an environment of risk and uncertainty. A breath of knowledge, experience, and capabilities, and diverse perspectives and approaches are needed to develop solutions and manage risks effectively. A/E/C firms can benefit from retaining outside consultants to provide subject matter expertise, additional capabilities, and capacity or a different perspective or approach to a problem.
While many design and construction problems seem routine to the parties involved, most projects have particular challenges that can add cost or risk, if not properly addressed. In some cases, these challenges will be decisive in determining the composition of the design or construction team. However, in a lot of cases, a specific issue or problem is of disproportionate difficulty. A consultant who is knowledgeable and experienced in the subject can efficiently assist the develop a solution that balances performance, cost and risk.
A/E/C firms bear responsibility for managing the risk from their operations and business, as well as risk borne by stakeholders in their projects. As is the case for all businesses, lawyers, accountants and insurers play important roles in helping A/E/C firms manage risk, but this is only a partial solution. A/E/C firms are exposed to particular risks that are technical and operational in nature. Additional approaches to risk management can help better define risks and opportunities and develope strategies.
While large firms often maintain significant in-house capabilities to manage their business and operational risks, smaller firms typically must place this burden on the personnel they have, in addition to their everyday responsibilities. In addition, smaller firms typically lack in-house access to subject matter experts, limiting the depth of services they can offer their clients and exposing them to risk when unfamiliar problems arise.
Larger firms too can benefit from supplementing their in-house capabilities with the assistance of subject matter specialists to provide as-needed depth for their projects or to provide additional capabilities or capacity for special projects and tasks. Engaging a specialist consultant can allow a large firm add depth for a specific facet of a project without having to subcontract an entire discipline.
Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer (RJDCE) presents a broad base of experience with a variety of project and client types. Working collaboratively with clients, RJDCE can assist A/E/C firms with a variety of technical, operational and business problems, allowing these firms to add capabilities and capacity in a way that serves the demands of their internal and external projects. RJDCE also has the flexibility to tailor a scope of services as broadly or as narrowly as warranted and work with other internal and external team members.
See also: Contractor Services, Delegated Design, Design Phase and Construction Phase Services, Forensic Engineering, Foundation / Geostructural Engineering, Peer Reviews, Risk Management, Structural Engineering