Before entering into any type of business relationship it is important to lay the groundwork by ensuring that the main decision makers and points-of-contact are all on the same page. This is particularly important when you are interviewing an Engineering, Procurement and Construction firm because the work performed will have a very strong and direct impact on your productivity, comfort, and success as a company. What follows is a discussion of some key questions to ask when interviewing a potential EPC firm.
- What types of engineering do you specialize in?
- What is your experience and background in this/these area(s)?
- Can you give me examples of past engineering projects?
- What types of engineering services would you perform for our company?
- What engineering resources do you bring to the table?
- Are you able to negotiate better prices on materials?
- How do you monitor inventory and supplies?
- If there’s a delayed shipment or other problem what’s your process for resolving it?
- How do you ensure the quality of a vendor or product?
- What’s your biggest procurement-related strength?
- What states are you licensed in?
- What types of construction work are you licensed for?
- What construction resources do you bring to the table?
- Have you worked on projects like ours before?
- What’s your approach to risk assessment and mitigation?
- Will you be using any subcontractors?
Questions About Billing
- How do you bill your services?
- What guarantees do you have in place?
- How do you handle change orders?
- Who would I contact about billing questions?
Questions About The Relationship
- Will I have a single point-of-contact or multiple ones for different divisions?
- Who is that contact person/people?
- What is the best way to contact that person/people?
- How quickly can I expect a response?
- How do we handle emergency or urgent situations?
- How long has your company been in business?
- How many employees do you have?
- What’s your safety record like?
- What types of customers do you typically deal with?
- What makes your company unique?
- What challenges do you anticipate for our project?
- How will you resolve them?
- What companies can you give as references?
Interpreting The Answers
When you are interviewing an EPC company it may not be unusual for the spokesperson to use industry terms or acronyms that you are not familiar with. If this occurs it is important to ask for clarification. Part of establishing a good working relationship is in feeling comfortable with the company and understanding its process. Also make it a point to gauge the person’s responsiveness. Are their answers direct and informative or are they evasive or vague? The most important question to consider is one that you will need to ask yourself: Do you feel comfortable trusting your industrial project to this EPC firm?
Polaris offers high quality process engineering, consulting, and EPC services to industries in the gulf coast region of Louisiana and Texas. Our customers are our main priority and we are always happy and eager to sit down with them and answer any and all questions they may have concerning their project or our services.