How do "design houses" get Picked?

So, what makes a company pick one Design consultant over another? How does that process really worK? How much design work actually comes from a design house soliciting work from companies?

every place I have worked leaves that option up to the designers discretion. In many cases it has to do with several factors… proximity…how close is the firm, skills=what do they offer, price=if they charge crazy money they must have a proven record of crazy good.

other factors…at HP we used ZIBA, fiori because they were close to home. also Ziba’s owner used to work at HP. There are other firms that are used but knowing someone and proximity is key.

btw, at my current position we have never used anyone who simply solicited us.

…i have contracted the preliminary concept phase of a project to several design studios at once and then selected the best of the group to complete the project…you might spend a little more upfront this way, but it also gives you a feel for what various studios can deliver in the future.