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FAQs

There are countless management consulting firms. Why would I choose to work with Trilogy?

There are indeed a great many consulting firms. At one extreme are the very large, expensive companies with household names -- the ones "you cannot get fired for hiring". At the other extreme are solo practices with a high degree of industry or domain specialization. Trilogy lies between these extremes, but we're closer to the latter model. Our clients hire us for our market and technology domain experience, our knowledge and insight, our professionalism and thoroughness, and our responsiveness and value. Our two decades of success is based upon one simple premise: We gain a complete understanding of client needs, then we deliver what's needed on time and for an established fee.

What's the organizational structure of your firm, and how is it different from others?

Our firm is a collection of independent consultants. We do not have a permanent staff. Each engagement is staffed by a small team of very experienced practitioners perfectly chosen to solve the problem at hand. We do not employ trainees at client expense. This model has proven to be ideal for our clients and for us. On the one hand, ours is a low-overhead enterprise, so our costs are less than those of name brand firms. On the other hand, our reach is considerably greater than that of a solo practice.

What services do you provide?

Our services are summarized here.

How and when did Trilogy Associates get started, and who is involved?

Trilogy was founded in 1989 by Joseph Kalinowski following his 24-year industrial career dedicated to developing and commercializing new technologies and products. Joe is an engineer by training, and most of our associates have technical backgrounds as well. These backgrounds, coupled with extensive experiences in the trenches in commercializing new products and developing new markets, prepare us well to understand both the technology and market dimensions of new-product commercial success. Our core team is identified here. In addition, we maintain awareness of and relationships with a large number of other professionals with unique skills and domain knowledge.

What is a typical consulting engagement with Trilogy like?

There is certainly some variability in our engagements, but a typical project lasts 3-16 weeks. The longer engagements tend to be phased. We always start with a client meeting or teleconference to precisely understand client needs and constraints, set the deliverables, and plan our work. The next step is always process- and content-dependent. We communicate throughout each project in accordance with client and project requirements. Upon conclusion, we report our findings in a briefing, email exchange, and/or teleconference. Conclusions are reached and recommendations are offered in a written report. In some cases we are also involved in implementing our recommendations.

How would you describe a typical client of your firm?

There is no typical Trilogy client; they vary greatly by size and business function. However, the majority are either suppliers of medical or laboratory products -- some well established firms and some new ventures -- or investors in such companies. We also occasionally work as a subcontractor to one of our consulting partners.

How can I quickly find out if you have expertise in my domain of interest?

Our domain sweet spot is medical and life science markets, products and technologies. Of course this is an expansive domain. But having been at this for about 25 years and many man-years before that in industry, we really have covered a great many topics. Many of those topics are covered here, but the best way to test our expertise in a particular domain is to contact us for an exploratory discussion.

What and how do you charge for your services, and what are your terms?

As you might expect, your costs in working with us include payment of professional services fees and reimbursement of our direct, project-related expenses. We can usually establish a fixed fee in advance for a well-defined project; otherwise we provide an accurate estimate of fees and expenses. We never charge by the day or by the hour unless only a brief telephone conversation is needed. It is not possible to cite typical fees since our fees are strongly dependent upon many variables not known until a consulting program is defined in response to a particular client need. Our typical payment terms are customary: approximately 50% up front and the balance due upon project completion. Phased projects call for more numerous invoices.

What outcomes should I expect from working with you?

You can expect our best efforts to meet the requirements that we establish together up front. In the great majority of cases, we meet those requirements and then some. All consulting relationships are about two things: expectations and results. We work diligently on both, and our many clients tend to be pleased and come back to us repeatedly.

What's the first step toward getting a project underway?

The first step in every case is a no-fee, freewheeling, detailed discussion of your needs and the reasons behind those needs. We like to know the background because that information allows us to define the best approach to the problem at hand, and sometimes it allows us to redefine the problem and thereby add value even during these initial discussions. Our initial encounter can take place by telephone or in person, but we ask that you fund our travel expenses for personal meetings. We do occasionally respond to formal RFPs. However, much as we relish the competition, the important background information and personal interaction is missing, so we lose the potential opportunity to redefine the engagement for the client's benefit.


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