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How to Prescreen a Color-Management Consultant

To get the most for your money

Big Picture

One of the best ways to avoid costly mistakes in setting up a color-managed workflow is to bring in an experienced consultant. A well-qualified color-management pro understands the subtle differences among various products on the market and can help you choose the products and configurations that make the most business sense in terms of the level of color-control you need to be profitable. This may mean making better use of the tools you already have in-house, or recommending additional workflow-management tools that can further enhance productivity and efficiency.

But good consultants don't come cheap. Expect to pay about $1500 per day plus expenses for a top-notch pro who can help you and your staff get up and running. Here are some tips for getting the most for your money:

Before you even hire a consultant, clarify your expectations. Why are you bringing in a consultant? What results would you like to achieve? Also, ask the consultant:

  • What bottom-line benefits can I realistically hope to achieve after color-management tools and software have been installed and my employees have been trained?
  • What are your credentials in terms of background, training, and experience? How many large companies have you helped? How many small companies? Have you implemented programs in operations similar to mine? What's your success ratio?
  • Can you provide an outline and agenda for a typical day of training? How long do you anticipate the training will take?
  • What happens if you cannot deliver as promised? What type of assurance or guarantee do you offer?
  • How are follow-up support calls handled and billed? Are there any other charges I need to be aware of up front?
  • What happens after you leave? What reinforcement tools are included in your program and what follow-up is provided?
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