A common objection I hear during initial conversations with clients is: “But you don’t have any experience in the (fill in the blank) industry.” My response is that a different type of experience is required. There are two broad reasons you might consider using a consultant:
SPECIFIC INDUSTRY, FUNCTION OR TECHNOLOGY EXPERTISE
Your team does not have the knowledge or experience to do an initiative or project. Some examples:
Implementing a new ERP system
Developing a marketing strategy to enter a new market
Performing an analysis of prevailing wage rates in your industry and geography
Training your sales staff on how to sell more effectively
PROCESS IMPROVEMENT EXPERTISE
You need to improve something in your existing processes. For instance:
The profit level required to sell at a competitive price is not supported by manufacturing productivity
The cycle time to produce your product or service is not acceptable to customers
Your company has a high rate of return of products by customers for defects
Your employees injure themselves at work
In the first situation above, it is crucial to find a consultant with the specific experience for the project you’re tackling (an SAP/Workday/etc. expert; a marketing strategist; a wage/benefits expert; a sales authority from your industry, respectively).
The second situation calls for a process improvement consultant. These skills are agnostic to industry or function. A good one does not come in and tell you what to change. (S)he participates with or leads a team of your employees, who DO have the technical expertise. What does this consultant bring to you then?
Most importantly, change management expertise. If you think that there will be no resistance to the changes that will be implemented, you’re dreaming. It happens in every organization. But you can plan for it and manage it.
The ability to teach, coach, mentor.
Project management expertise.
Deep knowledge of process improvement tools, from fields such as Lean, Six Sigma, PDCA, TPS, TPM or other methodologies.
Verifiable success with previous projects.
If you still insist on prior experience with your specific situation, you will miss out on engaging with the best consultants, the ones who exhibit all of the above characteristics and knowledge, and have learned to jump right in and quickly learn enough about the new company and situation to intelligently lead your team in coming up with the best solutions.
The Operations Group, LLC has experience in the following industries:
Electrical Equipment Aerospace
Insurance Pneumatic Power
Electric Utility Plant Services Geotextiles
Agricultural Equipment Fluid Power/Hydraulics
Aluminum Medical Device
We have worked in “only” those industries. But each time, we learned the new business and got right to showing value to the client from the start by helping his team of experts improve their own work. Can we do it for you too?
Contact The Operations Group, LLC at +1 (470) 362-8438 or firstname.lastname@example.org