How to Evaluate an Operations Consulting Firm for Organizational Fit

Several years ago, as part of our internal continuous improvement efforts, we took an in-depth look at executives' priorities when vetting and hiring an operations consulting firm. We were looking at the research results again the other day and the priorities and advice that emerged from that effort have not changed.

Derived from a series of one-on-one interviews, here are 15 considerations and questions that key decision makers asked before hiring an operations consulting firm. Use these questions during your internal evaluation process to determine which firms and consultants have the expertise and capacity to help your company achieve its objectives faster. For a snapshot of these questions and a refresher on the many benefits of Operational Excellence, click here.

Framework and Structure

1. Will the operations consulting firm you are considering assess and help create a detailed roadmap for implementation and achievement of your goals?

2. Does the firm offer a mature framework and methodology that leadership can learn and adopt that will be left behind after their engagement?

Ability to Scale

3. Does the operations consulting firm have the experience and resources to be effective at a company with a multi-site, global footprint?

4. Do the operations consultants speak the local language and understand the nuances of regional business cultures?

5. Are they willing and able to have someone on-site whenever and wherever they are needed?

Measurable Results and ROI

6. Can the operations consulting firm be counted on to introduce relevant metrics that will track progress in areas that will contribute to bottom-line results?

7. Does the firm offer clear deliverables and frequent status reports, and guarantee leadership satisfaction with the results?

Depth of Experience

8. Do the operations consultants offer the necessary technical or vertical industry expertise?

9. Will your assigned team consistently be made up of highly experienced operations professionals?

10. Have they worked closely with other organizations that share your challenges and organizational characteristics?

Work Style

11. Do the operations consultants demonstrate an ability to collaborate as true business partners with a hands-on implementation style?

12. Are they “doers” with a bias for action and a clear understanding of and commitment to your business objectives?

Relationship and Trust

13. Will the operational consultants who you will be working with directly deliver an objective, unfiltered message at all times?

14. Can they establish easy rapport with senior management, operations leaders, site managers and frontline associates?

15. Will the consultants be present throughout the engagement with frequent touch points to build long-term relationships with your team?

Operational consultants can accelerate a company’s rate of improvement, efficiency gains and cost savings, and help sustain your forward momentum. Asking these question will help you find and start working with an operations consulting firm that best fits the needs and culture of your organization.

To help executives better understand where to start in order to sustain and build on their performance gains, TBM thought leaders wrote and published an eBook: Sustaining Your Operations Powerhouse. Download your copy of this insightful operations management eBook today.

Sustaining Your Operations Powerhouse eBook cover