How Technology is Changing the Game for Environmental Consulting Firms

Technology has changed so much of our personal lives. Ninety-seven percent of Americans have a smartphone, and about three-quarters of us have Internet access at home. We’ve got apps for everything—from streaming our favorite shows to checking our bank balance to turning down the thermostat when we leave the house.

But the same technology that’s transformed how we live doesn’t always improve how we work. That’s especially true in the environmental consulting industry.

By adopting technology to improve key functions, environmental consulting firms can improve efficiency, drive up profitability, get a leg up on the competition, and retain top talent. In this industry, the right technology can really change the game.

Transforming a Traditionally High-Touch Business

Much of the work Quire Clients engage in is connected to commercial real estate, an industry that has always been high touch and relatively low tech. Aside from general software like Microsoft Office Suite, there aren’t many specialty solutions that automate and streamline the daily work that’s typical of commercial real-estate-related businesses, including environmental consulting firms.

It’s not because the technology doesn’t exist. After all, the emergence of cloud computing, collaboration tools, and big data has put more computing power and connectivity in the hands of businesses of every size and type. It’s also fueled a whole range of specialty applications that can solve problems, remove obstacles, and boost efficiency.

But when you’re mired in the busy-ness of your day-to-day work, knee-deep in delivering products and services to clients, it’s easy for your business technology to take a back seat. And when you are deeply tied to decades-old technology, it’s easy to overlook the fact that there might be a better way to work.

That’s why businesses that max out on capacity are likely to think, “Let’s hire more people” vs. “Let’s find a way to help our existing people work smarter, so we can expand their capacity.”  

Did You Know You Were in the Report Writing Business?

Environmental consulting firms aren’t immune to this dilemma, partly because of the nature of your work.

If you run an environmental consulting business and someone asks what you do, you’re not likely to say, “We’re in the technical Report writing business.” But when you think about it, nearly every service your firm provides has the same final deliverable: a technical Report.

For most environmental consulting firms, the technical Report writing function consumes an inordinate amount of staff time and energy (probably much more than you realize). But for many firms, it remains a tedious, inefficient process that doesn’t leverage the power of modern technologies. In turn, that limits your existing bandwidth and makes it more challenging to take on new work and grow your business.

Asking SMEs to Do What They Do Best

When a client contracts with your environmental consulting firm, they’re choosing your company because they value your subject matter knowledge and expertise. And you take the same approach when you hire new talent.

But then your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) spend a lot of their time drafting, editing, assembling, and delivering technical Reports. Those Reports are critical deliverables, but the tasks needed to get them out the door aren’t your consultants’ core competency. What makes matters worse is that often they’re not equipped with the right technology to do this work effectively and efficiently.

If a manufacturer’s primary product is widgets, you can bet they’re leveraging the most modern technology to produce them efficiently and profitably. If your environmental consulting firm’s primary deliverable is technical Reports, shouldn’t you be using the best tools for the job too?

Unfortunately, that’s not always the norm. General software packages like Word remain the workhorse of technical Report writing—even though Word isn’t built to handle complex reports filled with charts, tables, photos, and appendices, which are often passed back and forth between multiple people throughout the writing process. By equipping your environmental experts with more modern technology that streamlines Report writing and gives them more time to apply their expertise and critical thinking skills, you can improve productivity, increase profitability, and boost employee satisfaction and retention.

How Quire Can Help

The Quire platform was born out of this realization.

We recognized that many companies underestimate the time and effort it takes to generate the technical Reports that serve as the final deliverable for many of their services. In fact, we suspect environmental consultants spend more time writing than writers do!

So we leveraged technology to deliver a solution that streamlines technical Report writing, improves productivity, and allows environmental consultants to focus more on their technical skills and less on the mechanics of report drafting and assembly.

The Quire platform helps environmental consulting firms push the envelope on their technical Report deliverables—improving the final product while reducing production time.

Whether your consultants are creating Phase I environmental assessments, groundwater monitoring reports, or the many other deliverables your projects require, Quire can help them do it faster and better—and give them back more time for the work that requires their expertise.

How Quire Helps You Attract and Retains Talent

The Quire platform is also a great solution to the challenge of recruiting and retaining talent. In a tight labor market, efficiency-boosting tools can help your team work more productively, which might allow you to postpone adding staff. And while employees of every generation appreciate tools that streamline their work, you can be sure your younger job candidates will expect them.        

Pervasive digital technology has raised the bar on our expectations, both at home and at work. Meeting those technology expectations can prove a game-changer for environmental consulting firms. Contact Quire to learn how our technical Report writing platform can transform the way your environmental consultants work.

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