February 16, 2016

The Purpose of Consultants in Audio Industry

CONSULTANT [kuh n-suhl-tnt]: noun: 

A person who gives professional or expert advice

You know how sometimes when you’re dealing with an issue in your life you turn to friends and family for their opinions? Companies often need this reassurance or advice, especially when making tough decisions that may substantially impact their business. Often times clients have an idea of how to solve the problem they are facing, but want assurance that what they’re thinking is correct. Or, in some cases, find a way to develop a more efficient solution. So, they turn to a consultant for their opinion on the situation at hand.

But this isn’t just any opinion
Because consultants often work with many different companies and may have worked through this problem in the past with someone else, they have the great advantage of being able to provide a unique perspective based on what they’ve seen work (or not) before. And given this experience, they can often bring new and innovative ideas or possible challenges to the table that clients probably wouldn’t have been able to see on their own. 

Specialized Skills
Perhaps the most common reason that companies hire consultants is to gain access to a specialized skill set that might not exist in house. Or, there is an extraordinary situation that comes up and it just isn't feasible for a client to create and maintain internal capabilities to address it. By engaging a consulting firm, the client gets direct access to a group of professionals with specific expertise in that particular situation. 

Professional Audio Industry
When looking specifically at the professional audio and visual industry, a consultant provides planning, design and construction services based on direct experience in engineering and operations of theater audio-video, broadcast, recording and broadcast systems for live events. The focus is always on providing innovative and individualized designs tailored to the specific needs and budget of each project. 

Where do the consultants go for help?
If clients go to consultants for help, who do consultants turn to for help? 

  • Forums: Online forums are a great way to post questions to other Consultants or End Users to find solutions or tackle problems with designing and building a system. Examples include: PSW forums, QSC pro audio discussions, Sweetwater Live Sound
  • Organizations and Associations: There are various global organizations and associations that host industry events and seminars that are designed to focus on the latest innovative products, industry trends and networking. Examples include: SVG, AES, NAB, InfoComm, NAMM, IABM
  • Manufacturers: Go directly to the source by learning more about new products from a manufacturer's website, blog, visit them at tradeshows, call their technical support team, or book a training session.
  • Training Sessions/Classes: Training sessions are also available via third party training classes or panel sessions that are geared toward industry trends, specific markets, or developing technologies.
  • Other Consultants: When in doubt, ask your peers!

How does Clear-Com help Consultants?
Clear-Com has always supported our consultant clients throughout our 45 years of business and continues to offer specialized services to our consultants. Clear-Com has a secured Consultant Portal where Consultants can get access to helpful tools, such as Visio and AutoCAD Stencils, A&E Specs, System Design Examples, and so much more. For specific questions, Consultants can search our Solution Finder to find a quick solution. If Consultants still have questions, they can submit a Support Request that goes directly to our global Technical Support teams  who can offer help when they really need it. 


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