The digital transformation of the automotive industry has become so hectic that companies find it difficult to recognize all the trends and market needs. Even if they do, they can spend too much time doing market research, contemplating innovative ideas and assessing risks. This is why automotive IT consulting has been gaining popularity in recent years.
There are many reasons to hire an automotive IT consulting company. Still, a lot depends on the actual choice you make. Thus, be scrupulous when selecting among the potential consulting partners and get as much information about your future cooperation as possible. The following 10 questions to ask you potential automotive IT consultants will help make a smart choice and set the right expectations.
Why should we hire you as an automotive IT consultant?
Why not ask this question before any other? Let your potential automotive IT consulting partners tell their unique value propositions and explain why they consider themselves a good fit for your company. This way, you will see what the company’s strong sides are and what it values in the first place.
Could you tell about the cases showing your expertise?
This is a smart way of asking about expertise as such. You can actually read everything the company can do on the landing page of the service. Thus, in the interview, it is better to focus on the actual experience of the company and its ability to implement a theory in practice.
What are your capabilities?
Capabilities related to the team and material resources that are necessary to perform core functions. To handle complex projects, the consulting company should have a dedicated team of experienced professionals. Thus, ask about the qualification of the team. Ask whether the company hires distant and seasonal workers – this can potentially lead to communication and security issues.
What emerging automotive trends do you consider the most promising?
To provide automotive IT consulting services, the company should be well-versed in the industry trends. However, Listen to what trends the company is passionate about. Analyze how current and challenging they are. This will give you a great insight into whether the consulting partner is a good fit for your company.
What cooperation model will be used?
The most popular cooperation models are time and material and fixed price models. However, some companies are also ready to invest in startup ideas in exchange for the equity percentage stake in a product. Discuss what model the IT consulting company offers and why it considers it more suitable for your project. This is must-have information, which will also help you understand if the candidate understands financial and budget planning well.
How data security will be managed?
Ask what level of access to your internal data a consulting company will need. Therefore, ask how the company will ensure the security of the data it will have access to. Be sure to enquire what cybersecurity and GDPR compliance best practices are already in place in the company. Thus, agree upon signing a relevant non-disclosure agreement.
What will you need to make this cooperation a success?
No matter how experienced the consulting company is, it cannot rely on itself for full project success. Thus, make sure that the prospective partner understands the needs to communicate well with the management of your company and engage them in the process of digital transformation. Other things consultants could mention here is a specific budget, existing IT instruction, your company’s commitment to change, etc.
What are the conditions for terminating the contract?
Negotiate the conditions that will let you terminate the contract without additional losses and how long in advance a respective notice should be given. Enquire whether a company has ever experienced the termination of the contract before and what the reasons were. Voice the conditions under which you would consider opting out of the consultancy services.
Have you ever tacked the issue that was outside of your experience or expertise?
What will happen if your automotive IT consulting company faces the challenge or an opportunity it has not worked with before? Strategic and management consulting requires constant learning and the ability to quickly call upon reliable research and critical thinking to provide good guidance. Make sure your partner is not afraid of the unknown waters.
How will the ROI of consulting services be calculated?
Of source, it is up to you whether to have an ROI-based consulting contract. However, you should clearly understand how the company plans to measure success and how it will communicate it to you. Thus, discuss the possible ROI metrics and the regularity and the format or reports you will receive.
An in-depth discussion with a potential automotive IT consulting company will help you choose the best contractors as well as set the ground for fruitful future cooperation. We, in FPT Software, are ready to answer any of your questions and lead your company to successful digital transformation.