Why Do Companies Hire Manufacturing Consultants?
Manufacturers face many challenges as they seek to grow their business and run daily operations. This is why they need to hire manufacturing consultants to help them. But why on earth would you want to hire an outside consultant? To come in and tell you how to do things?
What Are Manufacturing Consultants?
Manufacturing consultants are experts in the manufacturing industry who provide valuable advice on improving a company’s production process and overall efficiency.
The consultant does this by analyzing the company’s current operations and then developing ways to improve them. This sometimes includes suggesting new technologies or engineering methods that will make the business more competitive in its industry.
A manufacturing consultant may also be called upon to assess a company’s operations and recommend improvements in areas such as quality control, inventory management, and production scheduling.
Do You Really Need Manufacturing Consulting?
So if you’ve made it this far without one, why should you hire a manufacturing consultant now? First, let’s assess. As the division manufacturing leader, surely you must have:
- The perfect team – Your plants never miss anything in a process and always hit their targets.
- Perfect execution – Each plant flawlessly executes the introduction of new products on time and without problems.
- Optimal supply chain – Your raw material sources are secure for your lifetime and always obtained at the lowest cost.
- Marketing harmony – Changes dictated by marketing are always well received and understood by your team.
- A stable workforce – Your annual employee turnover is less than 1%, and you never have to suffer a RIF while maintaining product output and quality.
- World-class quality – Speaking of quality, you lead your industry across all benchmarks, and all your customers are happy.
- Total cost control – Upper management dictates to annually lowering costs by X% can always be achieved without capital expenditure.
Or is your reality just a bit different than the one described above?
At IntoCeramics, our collective experience from over seventy years of boots-on-the-ground manufacturing certainly didn’t look that perfect, so don’t beat yourself up.
However, you shouldn’t hire a manufacturing consultant just to come out and tell you what to do, be the master of the obvious, or belittle your talented plant team. Instead, you should hire a consultant who will work with your team to help them deal with problems #1 through #7 (though it’s not a comprehensive list by any means).
Finding the Right Manufacturing Consultant
Worthwhile manufacturing consultants are highly tuned to the “can’t see the forest for the trees” syndrome. They bring a fresh pair of eyes and outside experience — sometimes from another industry — that can have an immediate impact. It might be as simple as the consultant validating ideas generated by the plant team that needs higher-level support to gain traction.
Their experience can also be a shortcut to the right know-how, and transferring this knowledge to the plant team goes a long way. Suppose you’re facing a specific challenge with a particular process or material. In that case, the right consultant can often help quickly and cost-effectively (provided the project scope is well defined and has a clear timeframe and endpoint).
There are times when outside leadership brings a new, critical vision to inside leadership. And, as we often say: “You manage things, but you lead people.” The best manufacturing consultants exude “been there, done that” and understand what you are going through on a professional and personal level.
The biggest benefits of manufacturing consulting services include:
- Providing growth strategies
- Implementing lean operations
- Improving compliance with standards and regulations
- Optimizing the supply chain
- Demonstrating stellar leadership skills in manufacturing
- Developing your existing workforce
- Offering an outside perspective on your operations
- Improving employee morale
Manufacturing consultants provide different services for different types of clients. For example, they can provide cost-saving solutions for small manufacturers or help large manufacturers to streamline their production processes. Consulting firms are often specialists in one or a few industries, so it’s crucial to find the right consultant who can provide the right type of advice.
IntoCeramics Offers Premium Manufacturing Consulting Services in Houston and Nationwide
If you are tearing your hair out or struggling with a problem for what seems like forever, then it’s time to hire a manufacturing consultant who can provide solutions, deliver training, and implement action items.
Competition, rising costs, ensuring product quality and customer satisfaction, and hitting deliverable targets mean your plant cannot be allowed to suffer for long periods of time. Bringing in outside support is the right call, not a sign of weakness. IntoCeramics has 70+ years of experience in manufacturing operations and leadership. We specialize in mineral processing, ceramic consulting, waste stream evaluation, toll manufacturing, plant management, extrusion/granulation, and more!