Debunking Myths about Operations Management Consulting: Part 2
There are a lot of myths swirling around out there about operations management consulting. At USC Consulting Group, we (good-naturedly) take issue with a good majority of them. We’ve been committed to operations consulting for more than a half century. It’s what we do.
In a previous blog, “Debunking Myths about Operations Management Consulting,” we took on some of the top misconceptions about operations consulting, namely:
It’s all about math. At USC, we like to say we’re 80% people and processes, 20% numbers. Yes, some data crunching is involved in what we do, but the key to it all is getting into your operations with our own boots on the ground.
It’s only for manufacturing. Not quite! We work with a wide range of industries, including food & beverage, mining & metals, chemical processing, forestry products, transportation & logistics and a whole lot more.
It has no strategic importance. This one stings. It’s ALL about strategic importance, like Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning (SIOP), which helps companies get a better, clearer look at their company in order to make better-informed strategy decisions.
But there are more myths out there about operations consultants and what we do.
Debunking operations management consulting myths: Part 2
Myth: Consultants work only with the C-suite
We can’t speak for other consultancies out there, but at USC, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, we meet with the top brass, but that’s only the beginning. The secret weapon to our success is getting down on the shop floor and listening to your people on the front lines. People doing the job day to day have valuable input about efficiencies, how processes could be done better and ideas for improvement that top management may not see. Plus, if you don’t have the buy-in and respect of the people doing the job, making changes to how that job gets done is going to be an uphill battle. Involving them from the outset is the key.
Myth: Consultants offer cookie-cutter advice
In other words, they take what worked at one company and bring it to another. That may be true elsewhere, but we understand that every company is unique, even if they work in the same industry. You can’t just overlay one company’s solution onto another company’s problem. We use tried-and-true techniques that we tailor to each individual challenge or situation. It’s about digging into your processes, finding opportunities for operational improvements, and devising ways to best leverage those opportunities.
Myth: Consultants think they know best
This may be the most common beef out there for companies considering or avoiding hiring a consulting firm — consultants swoop in, tell everyone what they’re doing wrong and offer their lofty advice on how to fix it. This misconception gives consultants a bad rap. It induces fear and mistrust among employees that this interloper is going to change or eliminate their jobs. When we go into a new project, we never come in with that agenda. Our first job is to listen and learn in order to make improvements to the process.
Myth: Consultants set it and forget it
Admittedly, some other consulting firms can and do operate this way. They come in, diagnose problems and provide a playbook for how to fix them, bidding the client adieu when that process is complete. We don’t work that way. This is one area where USC stands out from the crowd. We are change management experts who don’t just recommend changes, but help our clients implement those changes as seamlessly as possible. We are ongoing support partners for the duration, boots on the ground to work side by side until our clients are good to go on their own. This ensures sustainability so the solutions stick long after our engagement.
Myths and misconceptions bedevil every industry. We hope we’ve debunked some of these for you about ours.
If you have questions about operations consulting and what it can do for your business, give us a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to walk you through the process so you can feel comfortable and confident bringing in some help.