What is a Multidisciplinary Consultancy Firm?
A consultancy firm is a business consists of industry-specific experts who offer professional advice, guidance, assistance, and actionable solutions to other businesses experiencing relevant challenges that could not be handled internally. Specifically, in the building and construction industry, there are firms specific to certain disciplinary of consultancy practices, e.g. architecture, civil and structural engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, town planning, quantity surveying, land surveying, and landscape architecture. As the name suggested, a multidisciplinary consultancy firm in the industry is a firm that covers two or more disciplines and provides more comprehensive services to clients compared to those that provide only a single discipline.
5 Benefits of a Multidisciplinary Consultancy Firm
1. Efficient and Effective Communication
Efficient and effective communication is the key to ensure optimum results in project management. Communication problems always arise when different parties of professional consultancy firms work together on the same project. The delayed response, impersonal nature of email, and information-fractured communication are among the causes of mistakes in project management. Such obstacles are effectively minimized when all parties of professionals work together cohesively under a single roof. Communication between different departments can be much faster and easier since all are working near to each other.
2. Single Responsibility Point
From a client perspective, wasting time in communicating and coordinating with so many different consultancy firms is pointless when it is possible to deal with only one firm for all. This is especially true for some clients with limited project management resources, i.e. lack of experienced project manager, in-house project architect, or engineer. It is a huge challenge for the company to communicate and coordinate all different parties efficiently when conflicts arise among consultants. The situation will be much easier if a multidisciplinary consultant can act as a single responsible point, which the client able to deal with for all problems arisen.
3. Effective Coordination
The coordination among departments in a multidisciplinary consultant firm is
comparatively effective if compared to coordination between different consultant firms that engaged by the client separately. The departments understand and familiar with the working styles of each other. Seamless cooperation between departments is achievable. Even any disputes that are possibly happened between departments, the arguments would not last long as eventually the same firm that needs to overcome the issue arisen. Unlike disagreement among different firms, all parties would always push away the blames to reduce the possible cost incurred.
4. Time and Cost Effectiveness
Inefficient and ineffective communication and coordination always bring to project delays and over budgeting. Project target completion date is so crucial for clients, as in most cases, the date is the mark of the date when clients need to do premises handover, moving-in, or starting their business. Delays of project completion would cause clients in a financial losing position, as they might need to perform compensation of late handing over or due to late operation of a business.
Completing project within the designated budget is also vital for clients. The return of investment (ROI) for projects would be reduced if the final project cost is higher than the expected budget that had been set. Unnecessary over budgeting due to incompetent communication and coordination shall be avoided to maintain the ROI of the projects.
With the presence of a multidisciplinary consultancy firm, the duration of the design stage is expected to be shorter as many external meetings are eliminated. The decision-making process could also be faster as most of the coordination issues arisen in the project could be solved immediately within the firms without involving the unnecessary response from other parties.
5. Knowledge Exchange
Effective communication not only boosts the efficiency of project management but also encourages the knowledge exchange among professionals from different departments within a multidisciplinary consultancy firm. The high frequency of cooperation between the professionals created a perfect platform for them to share and learn from each other. The platform ensures the professionals not only understand and think from their own perspectives but also able to think from other angles to reduce unwanted arguments between disciplines. In this sense, it is expected that the professionals in a multidisciplinary firm shall not only experts in a particular discipline but also able to assist the client in the matter outside their expertise.
Multidisciplinary consultancy firms have the above advantages against ordinary singledisciplinary consultancy firms. It is highly recommended for clients who have limited resources, e.g. small housing developers, factory owners, and property investors, to engage multidisciplinary consultant firm to manage their property development projects. This will significantly minimise their time and monetary risk by reducing the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of communication and coordination among the professionals engaged, thus, lesser headache and higher ROI.