Why should I use a consultant when I can get information on materials, machinery, etc from suppliers?

You should certainly make use of any supplier resources. However, don't forget that those suppliers are naturally looking to sell you their particular brand of product or equipment. The real value to using experienced consultants such as Crinnis is the ability to get unbiased objective assessments and recommendations for the best materials, equipment and tooling suppliers to meet your own specific operational needs.

A second reason for using a consultant is usually the time factor, especially when looking for quick resolution to urgent processing problems. Many suppliers have reduced technical service support because of budget constraints, and in many cases it is simply not a practical proposition to wait for 2 to 3 weeks before the supplier can schedule a tech service visit. Crinnis can usually respond within 24 to 36 hours.

A final reason for using Crinnis in particular is that we have real-world, hands-on experience with a wide variety of L.S.M. and other soft-polymer materials and equipment systems from most of the major suppliers. We've learned from factory floor campaigns all those special tricks and techniques that work (and just as importantly, those that don't work!) when setting up and operating an efficient real-world manufacturing plant. We've gone through the learning curve.

I'm sure I can benefit from Crinnis expertise, but what does all this cost?

Surprisingly little compared to out of control costs of a bungled start-up, purchase of inappropriate equipment or bad decisions on tooling design, poor material selection, persevering with an out of control process, and most of all, loss of an important account because of missed delivery commitments or on-going quality problems.

Can I afford your services?

In most cases we are confident you can, since our consulting rates are amongst the most competitive in the industry and offer outstanding value. This is because we are a lean, highly focused company offering a clearly defined and specialized service. We have a distinctly "hands-on" approach not only to problem solving activities with clients, but also in our own operations. That's how we keep our overhead low and rates competitive. Quotes are made after a review and consideration of the clients specific needs.

What kind of consulting plans do you offer?

We have several plans tailored to meet the various needs of clients. These are as follows:

Fixed Price Consultation
This is most appropriate where the nature of the problem, the type and extent of the assistance needed and the overall scope of the consulting program can be well defined at the outset.

Examples of a fixed price contract would be i) the development of a turn-key process and the delivery of process equipment equipment, tooling and start-up assistance or ii) operator training programs or iii) one or two-day initial process/manufacturing credit programs.

Time Billing. Daily Rate/Hourly Rate Consultation
This type of program is most commonly used where the total time required to complete the program is difficult to estimate. This could be where the nature and even the scope of the problem may be definable but for various reasons there are too many unknowns at the outset to quote a fixed price program.

Example: Troubleshooting and yield optimization program consisting of several molding machines/tooling combination from different vendors.

We can include "not to exceed" features in these types of programs to give the client the ability to keep costs within a "maximum budgetary limit" and yet still have the possibility of completing the program under the maximum cap. It is often the case under these kinds of contracts that some of the issues prove to be more easily resolved than first anticipated and a client ends up with a solution well under his budgetary limit.

Retainer Programs
These can be very cost effective where the client wants to guarantee that at least a minimum monthly amount of consulting time will be available on a continuing basis over some period of time. Crinnis guarantees to make time available for a specific number of hours per month over a defined time period. The client pays for the minimum contracted time monthly in advance. At the end of each month the actual time used by the client is determined and billed less the minimum retainer amount previously paid for that month. Any portion of the minimum time not used by the client in any calendar month is forfeited for that month.

On-Line/Telephone Consulting
Most consulting assignments require hands-on, face to face interaction with client personnel. However with the advent of digital photography, live video cams, e-mail and low cost long distance telephone calls, remote consulting has become not only feasible, but in many cases practical and cost effective. This is especially true when the client is across the country or across the world. Even process troubleshooting, especially if we have developed a good rapport with the clients' personnel and familiarity with their process and systems, can be successfully done over the phone or on-line. It can be especially useful when the client has urgent real time processing problems requiring quick answers or suggestions.

How do you bill for your services?

We offer a variety of options from standard invoicing for established contract accounts, to credit card processing for one time or first time clients needing immediate answers or opinions by phone, fax, or e-mail.

How responsive can you be to our problems?

We can usually respond to clients inquires within 24 hours. For rare "crisis situations" we also offer 24/7 telephone consultation and can usually arrange to be in a clients plant anywhere in the U.S. within 24 hours or anywhere in the world within 48 hours.


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