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How to Stretch Your Investigation Budget Using Consultants

Look outside to fill in gaps in your organization

Posted by Timothy Dimoff on July 3rd, 2014

Using consultants is a great way to help stretch your investigation budget, especially when your budget is limited, but it’s important to find someone who can become a valuable member of your team. Fostering open communication and setting clear expectations will ensure a smooth working relationship and a successful team effort.

Outside consultants can bring new ideas, new methods and offer expertise you may not have in-house, and can actually save you money in the long run.  Hiring consultants can help to alleviate the expense of additional full time employees, benefits and the overhead of office space and equipment.

Working with Consultants

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Here are few guidelines to help you succeed when working with investigation consultants:

  • Take the time to fully understand the problems or issues that need to be dealt with. Be clear about what you expect the consultant to accomplish and identify everyone who may need to be engaged in the project. A good consultant can help you think through your objectives. Be clear about your time frame and budget when choosing your consultant.
  • Once your goals are clearly outlined, find a consultant with the right skills and experience. Then be sure to check references and conduct due diligence before finalizing an agreement.  There are many professional security and investigative organizations that may be able to help you find the right consultant.
  • When you begin a project with a new consultant, you’re laying the foundation for a potential long term relationship. Explain your needs clearly and answer any questions the consultant may have. Be sure to agree upon the scope of work and on how you’ll work together. Finally, provide your consultant with all the necessary introductions, along with background information and, if needed, internal support.
  • Even with the best consultant on your team, you won’t be able to delegate everything, so be sure to build in enough time to manage your project. You may want to check in with your consultant on a regular basis to air any concerns, troubleshoot potential problems, or discuss findings.
  • It’s important to officially conclude your engagement when it’s complete. Meet with your consultant to provide feedback and discuss how you intend to put the findings to work in your company. Have an honest conversation about the consulting relationship and discuss ways you might work more effectively together in the future.

When you enter your relationship with a consultant with a shared, clear understanding of your goals, roles, and expectations, you are on your way to a successful partnership and, ideally, a successful investigation.

Timothy Dimoff
Timothy Dimoff

President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services

Timothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues.
He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University.

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