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Why I started Atlas Precision Consulting

I have always had mixed emotions about the idea of consultants.  Earlier in my career, I interacted with some consultants who, in my view, did not add any value to what was happening in the business.  The experience was a vague report and then throwing us to the proverbial wolves to sort out the mess.  I honestly could not believe people got paid for that sort of thing.

The Short History

Then an interesting thing happened.  I spent a month with a consultant who had a very keen intellect about diagnosing issues within a business.  During that month, not only did he develop a deep understanding of what was happening, he also worked with us to develop some tools to monitor and measure progress in the area of the business we were working on.  I had two similar experiences after that.  I began to see that there was a way that a consultant could add a lot of value to the company.

Later on, I faced a major departmental reorganization. I decided to use a hybrid organization of full time employees and consultants.  The consultants would cover specific areas of the mission that required specialized knowledge.  We did not need the specialized knowledge forty hours a week, but when we needed it, we needed it.  That was my first opportunity to look at a business process and develop out a plan based on total cost of ownership.  It worked out very well and the results far exceeded expectations.

A Revelation

I began to realize that “consultant” is really a catch-all term for “person that spends time in your business, but does not work for you”.  There are some subdivisions of this, usually based on a niche like inventory, finance, operations, etc.  That said, there is not a template for how a consultant interacts with the client.  In my view, that meant a consultant could really be anything they wanted to be, provided he or she could define the vision and communicate it to a client with clarity.

Emboldened by the idea, I started thinking about marketing almost non-stop.  I realized that if I couldn’t develop a marketing strategy for a consulting firm, then I either did not understand what I wanted to do, or I did not understand what potential clients wanted.  Either way, I felt very strongly that a cogent marketing plan was going to be a sort of crucible.  I needed to see if this career path was viable and checked all of the boxes for my life goals.


Throughout my professional life, I enjoyed working to solve big picture issues in the company I worked for.  There were successes and failures along the way.   I learned that I liked working on complex issues. Further, I liked building the tools that helped to provide visibility and insight into those issues.  As the subject matter of my problem solving experience began to widen, I also found that I enjoyed learning about things that I had not previously had a lot of exposure to.

The inner mechanics of how companies work, and how executives and owners view their businesses is fascinating to me.  I like having an opportunity to provide a client with a different viewpoint.  I like developing sets of tools that clients just couldn’t seem to deliver internally.  That kind of interaction is exciting to me, and that is why I decided to become a consultant.

— Andrew Podner