Contract Engineer versus Mechanical Engineering Firm

Sometimes a company needs to augment its internal product development team with someone from outside of the organization. The initial thought may be to hire a contract engineer or contract designer through a contract employment agency. However, there is a better alternative: utilize the services of a dedicated mechanical engineering firm. Following are a few important factors to consider before making this important decision.

Experience and Continuity

Hiring a contract engineer can be a gamble. The resume of a candidate and the “pre-screening” performed by an outside agency may not accurately reflect the individual’s true capability, work ethic and personality. The new contract engineer’s ability to perform to the team’s expectations may not be realized until well into the term of the contract. The result may be enduring the low-performer for the duration of the contractual obligation.

The best scenario is when the candidate hired exceeds expectations as a knowledgeable, high performer that is a perfect fit with the engineering team. The downside is that the contract engineer may not be available for an extension to complete the project or for any future projects should the need arise. The search process must be repeated in order to find a new candidate to integrate with the team.

We do not view our people as a commodity and each member of our staff at Forthright Engineering has more than 20 years of proven, applied experience. Our extensive portfolio and list of satisfied customers is proof of our commitment to quality and client retention. Our reputation is our most valuable asset.

Contract Commitment

Contract employment agencies require a fixed time commitment, typically three or six months. However, in practice, the scope and timeline for a project is often dynamic, which could result in significant idle time for a contractor that must be paid for “seat time” all day, every day. Forthright Engineering, a NC mechanical and product engineering firm, understands that flexibility is important in the real business world. We do not require a time commitment and our engineers and designers are available on an as needed basis.

Billable Time

Billable time versus non-billable time should be considered in the decision process. A contractor’s clock starts “ticking” the moment he or she walks through the door in the morning and does not stop until the end of the workday. The time billed is for the entire eight hour day of “work”, but in reality it includes slack time awaiting directions or decisions, administrative issues, computer problems, training and even personal business.

Forthright Engineering only bills for the actual time dedicated to your project. For most project we can accurately estimate what our labor will be so that you can compare your alternatives. We focus on the two main factors that are most important to your business: a) was your project successfully completed on time; b) did your project conclude within the budget. Forthright Engineering provides a competitive advantage on both counts and we understand that our future depends upon your success.