Welcome to RGS Engineering. This simple, clean site illustrates our approach to helping you. Our firm commitment is to deliver results in ways you can easily understand and implement.
Welcome to RGS Engineering - a proven internationally-experienced resource with 35 years experience in Test and Measurement hardware and software product development, product management, global marketing, sales channel and infrastructure development, and company ownership. Do you have understaffed projects, or urgent challenges developing, marketing, & selling technology products? We can help with engagements from a few hours to months or more.
A brief sampling of projects past and present:
* Development of a combined e-commerce and direct sales strategy for marketing dynamic sensors in commodity markets
* Finding and developing OEM markets for dynamic sensors
* Development of new international distribution channels for a historically US-based supplier
* Review and comparison of emerging technologies and competitors
* Development of an information system for product management and internal & external distribution channels' collaboration and training for increased sales resource effectiveness
* Market survey and opportunity recommendations for wireless vibration sensors
* Manage distributors selling US-manufactured industrial products into Asia including Japan
* Evaluating market potential for results from an SBIR project to characterize a new approach to difficult VHF (10-500KH) mechanical dynamics measurements, including a unique approach to mechanical fault trending
* Development of an expert system for trending and diagnosis of faults in induction motors
* Development of a multiparty collaboration plan to resolve vibration problems in ID and FD fans in the Interstate-70 Eisenhower Tunnel
* Founding of and directing technology development for a major player in the machinery predictive maintenance industry
* First application of business database framework to information management challenges in machinery predictive maintenance
How do you locate resources with the combination of people skills, technical expertise, and experience that matches your true needs and wants? How can you be sure the person you finally hire ends up fulfilling your "conditions of satisfaction?" And finally, how can you contribute to your consultant's success so that solutions ultimately recommended (and implemented) will genuinely advance your stated goals?
Over the course of many years working as both consumer and supplier of a wide range of services, we've observed six practices that typically lead to rewarding engagements. To obtain full value from consultants, contractors, or new employee hires, follow these guidelines:
1) Define your end point - the results you expect to see when the new resource has finished the job. Let's say you wish to increase your sales and develop new business. Can you be more specific? What final numbers will make you happy? What conditions would exist that would cause you to say, “That effort was a success”? Though a good resource will be able to help you to define this objective, try to be reasonably well grounded beforehand so that whomever you hire doesn't begin by so radically redefining your problem as to send you both off in an entirely irrelevant direction.
2) Decide for sure if you need a consultant at all.
Sometimes a consultant may not actually be what's called for. Instead, a part-time contractor or even a new employee may better fit the bill. This will be true when you need someone not to help identify a problem or devise a solution, but simply to carry out recommendations or implementation plans. Of course, such "implementers" normally require closer supervision than consultants.
Here's a rule-of-thumb for choosing a contractor or new staff employee over a consultant: When you're fuzzy about the problem itself, find a consultant. But when the problem seems obvious and you know what you need to do to correct it, call in a contractor, or a full-time staffer when the solution to your identified problem requires ongoing effort. Example: "Quick" computer fixes like Y2K adjustments back in 1999 required specialized outside contractors. But in most companies, needs are continually shifting so that keeping a full-time, jack-of-all-trades computer technician on the premises may also make sense.
3) Seek out a person who listens.
Many hired guns have their own agenda ready or a bag of tricks to perform before they ever walk in your door. They have much to tell you, including that they've seen all this before. If the candidate starts out this way, instead of asking a lot of questions, beware!
Instead, the best resources save their "magic" answers (in reality, usually conclusions based on a rational integration of facts, logic and experience that in hindsight frequently results in a “why didn't we think of that” response) until all pertinent data has been gathered by listening and seeking out everything pertinent about your organization and industry that will help them understand. Their goal is to work objectively on your behalf to determine appropriate actions for resolving your problems at hand.
4) Credit to the "credentialed."
How do you distinguish between resource candidates who, on paper, appear to be equally qualified to help resolve your dilemmas? One way is to earmark consultants who have gone the extra mile in their professional lives under the assumption they might similarly stretch the extra mile for you.
Is the consultant under consideration, professionally licensed or associated with a professional association or industry group? Does he freely supply references to satisfied clients and professional associates? Consultants commanding extra credentials deserve to be elevated to the top of your candidate list as they've shown their desire to achieve real results for themselves. That same spirit to achieve probably translates to their commitment to their clients as well.
5) Allow your resource enough space to operate.
You must allow the resource to do their thing, especially if you are engaging a consultant. Give him full rein to inquire, research, survey, poke around and roam free, generally doing whatever it takes to thoroughly understand your problem. Then be ready to brainstorm, because he will be ready for you.
6) Don't just go on with day-to-day operations.
Once you've received a final analysis, don't just say thanks, send a check, then go on with life as before. A surprising number of assignments end this way, with the company shoving the report in a drawer and doing nothing further about it. Instead, assemble relevant staff in a conference room or off-site retreat, turn off cell phones, discuss what your consultant has had to say, and open-mindedly consider plans for implementation. Gaining full value requires that you, the insider, appreciate the gold in an outsider's insights and conclusions. Want to gain absolutely no value from your consultant's time with you? Scoff at a consultant's recommendations by responding, "We already tried that!" or "That would never work around here." Such negativity will stop resolution of your problem in its tracks every time.
Locating the right candidate for your wants and needs can be tricky, but these six guidelines should maximize your chances for a successful experience. Along the way, it's quite possible that with fresh outside thinking, your vexing business issues can be addressed satisfactorily in ways your internal staff would not have imagined, not just one time but for years to come.
R. Gene Smiley, PE is a proven, creative leader with strong global business development, sales, marketing and customer-oriented engineering background. He has worked as technical consultant and manager of engineering projects, successfully started and run a software engineering organization, been Asia regional sales manager of PCB Piezotronics, and started & co-owned his own successful global business in machinery health monitoring for ten years. He has been a member of AIAA, ASME, and SEM, is a licensed pilot, and is a registered professional engineer.