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Top Considerations When Hiring A Manufacturing Consultant

June 16, 2021

 by David Collins III

two manufacturers discussing in a factory

Manufacturing is a complex industry; running a successful business often requires years of experience to fully understand manufacturing from different perspectives. Therefore, we recommended that new manufacturing business owners hire a manufacturing process consultant to overlook any manufacturing issues they might encounter.

This blog covers the most critical factors for you to consider before hiring a manufacturing consultant.

The Top 3 Considerations for Hiring a Manufacturing Consultant

1. Your Company is Not A "Manufacturing Company"

Just because a company manufactures products does not make it a manufacturing company. For example, Apple or most electronics companies do not produce their products; instead, they outsource them to 3rd parties and focus on innovation and marketing.

This also applies to small companies. MTG Global, for example, had a startup client that developed small jewelry for men. The designs and marketing efforts were adequate, but the manufacturing was woefully inadequate to meet the rising consumer demand. Our consultant addressed its manufacturing problems to focus on its strengths.

Hiring a manufacturing consultant should allow you to focus on growing your business and adding new products and not on the day-to-day manufacturing process. You know your manufacturing is successful when you do not have to think much about it.

2. Are You Losing Money Due to Manufacturing Operations?

If you lose a lot of money from scrap, missed or late orders, and quality issues, or your internal efforts have not produced results, consider acquiring manufacturing consultancy services.

Many companies claim that they don’t need help as time will eventually fix the problems, and they don't realize that it will cost them more in the long run. A manufacturing consultant can ease the inefficiencies and save your company money in the medium and long run. Most good manufacturing consultants will pay for themselves within a year.

3. Considering the Manufacturing Consultants Skill Set

A manufacturing consultant should have a broad and diverse experience in manufacturing. Companies with a wide variety of experience in different industries can bring additional solutions that only years of expertise can assume. Apart from this, there are a couple more things to look out for when hiring a manufacturing consultant.

Training Company

Be wary of working with a training company if you need on-the-ground guidance on making changes. With training companies being a widespread form of consultants, it’s best to stray away from these manufacturing consultants if you want hands-on support on manufacturing operations.

Initial Offerings

Consider the initial offer a manufacturing consultant makes. They likely cannot solve the problem if they give an exact quote for the solution without seeing the factory in question. Each factory is different, and so are its problems.
Manufacturing consultants usually need to see the factory before making an informed judgement on what methods and tools should be used to solve the problem.

Beware of Overpriced and Generic Solutions

On a related note, distrust an overly expensive or basic solution. “Just add automation” is not usually the solution. Automation is excellent, and an essential tool for high-quality manufacturing but automation without process improvement is just automating waste.

Niche Offerings

Finally, specific industry expertise is valuable but not necessarily required. Good manufacturing is good manufacturing regardless of the product produced. From a plastic ball to a jet fighter, any item must follow specific processes to keep costs low, provide the highest possible quality, and deliver on time.

It is a question of complexity more than anything else. Better to find a manufacturing consultant with more experience and proven results than one in your industry, all things being equal.

Bottom Line

There are many variables to consider when looking for a manufacturing consultant. Hopefully, this brief introduction gives you an idea of what to consider before hiring a manufacturing consultant. Remember that a manufacturing consultant is like any consultant: a tool to improve your company’s operations, increase revenue and reduce costs.

 


Curious about the impact the right manufacturing consultant can do for your operations? Read more about how we helped our client turn around a delayed product launch.

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Topics: Production Planning, Mistake-Proofing, Process Improvement

David Collins III

David Collins III

David was a Senior Strategy Consultant for Deloitte, served in Iraq as a Special Operations Civil Affairs soldier, and as a Governance Advisor to the Afghan Government with the Department of State. At CMC, David advises clients on strategy and investments.

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