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What Does a Manufacturing Consultant Do?

February 10, 2023

 by David Collins III

Manufacturing consultant

We have already spoken about if manufacturing consultants are worth the money (in summary, yes they are) and how to choose the right manufacturing consultant. Now let’s talk about what a manufacturing consultant does on site.

What is a Manufacturing Consultant?

A manufacturing consultant is a professional who brings expertise in optimizing production processes, integrating technology, and ensuring quality and compliance within manufacturing operations. Their role is pivotal in enhancing operational efficiency, product quality, and strategic alignment with industry standards and market demands. Through targeted strategies, these consultants help businesses achieve sustainable growth and maintain a competitive edge.

Key Roles of a Manufacturing Consultant

1. Process Optimization

Identifying inefficiencies within manufacturing operations and implementing lean manufacturing principles to reduce waste and improve workflow efficiency.

2. Technology Integration

Advising on the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, automation and equipment that enhance product quality and operational productivity.

3. Quality Control and Compliance

Developing and refining quality control procedures to ensure products meet or exceed industry standards while navigating regulatory requirements to minimize risks and legal issues.

4. Strategic Planning

Assisting businesses in strategic decision-making to adapt to market changes, identify growth opportunities, and implement sustainable practices for long-term success.

Manufacturing consultants are instrumental in driving improvements across these critical areas, leveraging their knowledge and skills to foster innovation, efficiency, and profitability in the manufacturing sector.


Real-World Impact: A Manufacturing Consultant at Work

Manufacturing consultants help companies make their products better by focusing on the core elements of manufacturing: costs, quality, delivery, safety, and morale. Every task they engage in should focus on one or more of those elements. Let’s take a practical example.

A factory came to MTG with a problem. The factory manufactures fuel tanks and many of its tanks had leaks. The leaks were a quality problem, but they also were a cost and delivery problem. Poor quality is expensive. Extra time and manpower had to be devoted to rework. The rework caused delivery delays which were even more expensive because the parts needed to be shipped by air freight to meet the buyer’s needs.

Manufacturing consultants conduct an assessment to see the root cause of the issue

In this case, the MTG team found that the problem was with the automatic welder. The welder was not regularly maintained so there was often a bit of slag (waste material from the weld) that was on the end of the welder. This prevented the welder from completing the seal thus some of the tanks leaked. The immediate action was to clean the welding tip. That is a fix; not a solution. For a solution, the MTG team worked with the client to develop a maintenance program for the equipment that would prevent this problem from happening again. The client was able to improve its quality, reduce costs, and deliver its products on time.

Manufacturing consultants find long-term solutions to the problems clients face

A band-aid approach is not delivering good value to clients. Manufacturing consultants need time to not only find a solution and implement it but also assist in making the change a new standard. Change is difficult and manufacturing consultants provide support as companies move to a new normal. Otherwise, it is very easy to fall back to the old ways since those are what people know and require less effort. This is true even if, intellectually, organisations know that they should use the improved methods.

Manufacturing consultants should be on the production floor, not the office.

Given the nature of the challenges that manufacturing consultants solve, they should not be in an office. Their place is on the factory floor where production happens. A manufacturing consultant who spends most of the time in the factory is not successful and cannot accomplish the practical tasks they need to be successful. If we refer back to the UPS ad from earlier, they need to be on site to “do” anything.


The Essential Value of Manufacturing Consultants

Manufacturing consultants are pivotal for modern manufacturing success, blending expertise in process optimization, technology, and strategic planning to solve complex challenges. The case of MTG addressing fuel tank leaks exemplifies their role in not just fixing immediate problems but in driving sustainable improvements. By working directly on the factory floor, these professionals ensure operations are efficient, products meet quality standards, and companies remain competitive. In a fast-paced industry, their insights and actions are indispensable for any business aiming for growth and operational excellence.

To explore how MTG can support your organization in achieving its manufacturing goals, don't hesitate to fill out our contact form and get in touch with a manufacturing consultant for a free consultation today.

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Topics: Manufacturing Consulting

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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