Is it better to hire a consultant or employee for your bioeconomy-related business? The answer depends on many factors, the most important three being the skill set you need, the length of time you will need it, and what you are hoping to accomplish with the hire. If you have a specific project or need a specialized skill or expertise, or even many different experts working together, and the project is not going to last many years, hiring an expert will likely prove to be the best route. Conversely, if the project is going to last many years, with the same expertise being necessary during that time, hiring an employee may be the better route.
Hiring experts are best when companies need skilled, short-term team members who can perform specific tasks with minimal supervision over a set time. In those situations, the experts will probably be a much better option at a lower cost than hiring an employee who has wages, benefits, employment taxes, income, and unemployment tax withholdings, workers’ compensation insurance, overtime pay, training expenses, health insurance, FMLA, ERISA, fringe benefits and paid time off. With an expert, the company is not locked into employment-related issues, and can easily remove one not performing well. The expert’s ability to work with minimal supervision allows you to complete the task while concentrating on running your business. Keep in mind that, with experts, you “get what you pay for”. Experienced experts know their worth and hiring solely based on price is never a good idea. A lesser hourly rate with more hours still results in more spent and trying to undercut your expert is likely to yield poorer project results.
In deciding consultant or employee, the questions to ask are whether you have the market information, skills, strategies, and techniques you need currently within your company. If not, the question is how long you will need this skillset and what plans you would have for an employee once the current project is completed. You will often find that hiring outside experts can provide solutions for a wide variety of business matters.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly should have experts in more common areas like biofuels, biomaterials, biomass, biomass power, bio-based chemicals, biotechnologies, and renewable fuels and chemicals in general. Energy consultants should be willing to discuss the client’s initial questions about renewable energy sources, the types of biofuels, biofuel companies, synthetic biology, the fermentation process, biomass renewable energy, biofuel energy, conversion technologies for things like tires and railroad ties, and about the circular economy in general. These clean energy experts would optimally be part of a larger, multidisciplinary group of green energy consultants with a wide variety of expertise in more specialized areas like biomass production, financial due diligence, organic synthesis, fuel additives, ethanol gas, biodiesel fuel including algae biofuels, solid-state and industrial fermentation, green energy grants, ag-biotech, agricultural waste, alcohol fuels, alternative proteins and animal-free products, sustainable foods, beverage fermentation, biocatalysis, biodiesel conversion, biogas production, biomass power, carbon intensity, co2 utilization, combined heat & power, Fischer-Tropsch technology, food waste, hydrothermal carbonization, industrial enzymes, landfill management, microbial fermentation, organic synthesis, plastic pyrolysis, plastic recycling, plastic waste, pyrolysis oil, reactor design, renewable identification number, the Renewable Fuel Standard (rfs2), solid recovered fuels, torrefaction and torrefied biomass, waste to energy, and waste-to-hydrogen. Finally, members and strategic partners of these green energy consulting firms should also have the availability to do things like engineering, technical feasibility studies and techno-economic analysis, due diligence, and feasibility studies, provide expert witness testimony, and should have the contacts to assist with renewable energy finance, accounting, plant safety and insurance, legal, and virtually any other services related to the bioeconomy.
For over 25 years, Lee Enterprises Consulting has been assisting companies and investors with issues relating to sustainability, bioenergy, biomaterials and chemicals, biotechnologies, and feedstocks. With over 150 consultants, we have the diverse expertise and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project worldwide. These seasoned professionals average over 30 years each in their industry experience. Our ability to assemble these professionals into multidisciplinary teams allows us to fully integrate the technical, scientific, and regulatory aspects of a project, and combine them with years of hands-on experience. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. You will note that most of our experts are also available for ancillary engagements and advice, for specialty engagements like serving as expert witnesses in litigation matters. A good overview of our group is found in this video. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information. See: Recent Interview with LEC executives; 4 minutes with Wayne Lee, CEO, Lee Enterprises Consulting.