by Patrick Lee, Manufacturing Growth Lead
With UK manufacturers increasingly concerned about efficiency and productivity (as identified by EEF’s 2016 Productivity Report and Skills Report), it is not surprising that many are turning to expert consultants to provide strategic advice, guidance and training to improve and streamline their business processes. However, how should a company choose the right partner to understand their challenges, identify opportunities and create sustainable growth?
Here is a quick checklist manufacturers can use to narrow their search:
- Do they have experience demonstrated by a proven track record of case studies?
- What experts would you be working with? Do their bios speak of the experience you’re looking for?
- Do your peers have any recommendations based on who they’ve worked with in the past?
- Do they have broad industry experience (sometimes too narrow experience eliminates the opportunities to learn from other sectors, such as automotive manufacturing learning from what aerospace manufacturing does well)?
- When you meet with the expert(s) who will work with you directly, do they fit your work style, personality and workplace culture? Do they give a sense of credibility?
- Do they offer a flexible approach tailored to your specific needs rather than a generic solution?
- Do they offer a broad range of support to help reach your goals, including training in Lean and management skills?
Location and cost advice
Some organisations put undue value on having a local partner; however, the best partner for you might be from another locale. Business transformation consultants will travel to any location for the necessary meetings and visits as well as utilising today’s technology to keep in touch.
While consultants will typically provide a day rate for business transformation services, companies should also ensure they are provided with an estimated return on investment in financial terms or percentage productivity improvement. Ultimately, your business isn’t just interested in the cost, but also the benefits.
One of the most common mistakes businesses make when it comes to Lean and business transformation programmes is not selecting a partner with a long-term view. Creating an improvement programme that continues to reap benefits long after the partner leaves requires an approach that values training and embedding processes rather than a quick fix.
To find out how EEF supports organisations of all sizes reach their business transformation goals, get in touch.