Process Consulting: Understand the Benefits for Your Business

        Everything a business does involves processes that are designed to achieve a certain result. But sometimes, those results aren’t what we would like them to be, and we realise that it is time to bring some changes. Process consulting means the analysis and improvement of company processes by a 3rd party expert.

        A process consultant  is an external consultant who helps businesses by researching and analysing the processes and systems that a business implements. Once this has been done, he or she will make recommendations to improve these processes and practices with an eye to improving overall efficiency.

        How to get started with process consulting

        Defining process consulting

        A process consultant will work with a business to help them understand their processes and how they can be improved. This will involve interviews, analysis, and research. Once the consultant has a good understanding of how the business works, they will make recommendations on how things could be done better.

        The aim is to help businesses improve their processes so that they can be more efficient and effective. This, in turn, will lead to improved results.

        The three steps of process consulting

        There are three steps that a process consultant will take when working with a business:

        • The first step is to understand the current situation. This will involve interviewing staff, observing processes, and gathering data.

        • The second step is to identify areas for improvement. This will involve analysing the data and making recommendations.

        • The third step is to implement the changes. This will involve working with the business to implement the changes and monitor their progress.

        How does process consulting work?

        The set of activities that governs good process management requires a high level of organisation. And it is only possible to measure this quality through continuous monitoring of the stages involved.

        For this, it is necessary that your company has well established objectives to be achieved, a clear vision about the tasks that actually bring results and the available resources to be employed in this endeavour.

        First, it is necessary to identify the areas with the greatest deficiencies in the processes so the processes may be optimised and prioritised correctly.

        Process consulting then comes into play, combining problem-solving, technology and management approaches to create optimal strategies in corporate routines.

        Below, we list some of the main procedures and strategies used during process consulting:

        • Mapping – gathering information about current processes, including interviews and other qualitative approaches with the stakeholders involved.

        • Critical points assessment – after reaching the process map, the time has come to assess the most bureaucratic points or those with the greatest evidence of inefficiency, in addition to proposing actions to mitigate or eliminate these bottlenecks.

        • Modelling – organisation, design or redesign of the process flow.

        • Mapping opportunities for improvement – identifying bottlenecks and triggers of wasted resources, which prevent increased productivity.

        • Standardisation – formalisation of the process steps with employees. 

        • Deployment – definition of how the process will be carried out.

        • Monitoring – selection of performance indicators for measuring results.

        What does a process consultant do?

        When we mention process consulting, we are essentially talking about greater agility in the execution of activities and, mainly, saving time and resources by improving operational routines.

        The professional hired for this type of consulting needs to be an expert in the organisation and administration of processes, capable of analysing the company's routine and proposing improvements.

        But he or she must also be a good communicator, so that they can pass on their knowledge to employees and help them understand the importance of change.

        In addition, it is essential that the consultant has experience in project management, so that he or she can plan the steps to be taken and monitor the results achieved in each one.

        The process consultant's work is very important for small businesses, which often do not have a specific department or professional dedicated to this area.

        The specialist's task is to streamline operations, optimise resources and, consequently, increase productivity.

        In other words: the process consultant is the person responsible for making your company's routine more efficient!

            When to hire a process consultant?

            The decision to hire a process consultant should be taken when there are indications that the processes of a company are not working as efficiently as they could be.

            There are several factors that can interfere with the efficiency of company processes, such as:

            • Lack of standardisation;

            • Ineffective communication between teams;

            • Redundant tasks;

            • Lack of automation;

            • Inconsistent results.

            If you notice any of these problems in your company's routine, it is time to seek the help of a process consultant!

            What are some of the challenges that can arise during a process consulting engagement, and how do you overcome them ?

            There are a few challenges that can arise during a process consulting engagement.

            • First, consultants may not be familiar with the industry or the company they are working with. This can lead to problems when trying to understand the business and its processes.

            • Second, consultants may not have the right skills or knowledge to properly advise the company on how to improve its processes. This can lead to ineffective or even harmful advice.

            • Finally, consultants may not be able to properly communicate their findings and recommendations to the company. This can lead to confusion and mistrust.

            To overcome these challenges, it is important to choose a reputable and experienced consultant like the ones from Simplify-ERP.

                  Questions to ask when hiring a process consultant

                  When you decide to invest in process consulting, it is essential that you choose the right consultant for your company. To do this, you must first understand your needs and establish what you expect from the professional.

                  Some questions that can help you make this decision are:

                  - What are the specific areas of my company's routine that need improvement?
                  - What are my company's goals?
                  - What is the expected return on investment for this project?
                  - What is the ideal profile for the consultant I need?

                  After answering these questions, you will have a better idea of what to look for in a process consultant. In addition, you can use the answers as criteria for evaluating the proposals you receive.

                  To help you even more, we have selected some of the most important qualities that a good process consultant must have:

                  - Proactivity and creativity: to identify inefficiencies and propose innovative solutions;
                  - Analytical and critical thinking: to understand the company's routine and find room for improvement;
                  - Good communication skills: to pass on knowledge to employees and help them understand the importance of change;
                  - Experienced in project management: to plan the steps to be taken and monitor the results achieved in each one.

                  In addition to these qualities, it is important that the consultant has specific knowledge in the area of your company's interest.

                  The benefits of using a consultant

                  There are many benefits that businesses can enjoy by working with a process consultant.

                  Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.

                  1. Improve efficiency

                  One of the main aims of process consulting is to help businesses improve their efficiency. By understanding how a business works and where bottlenecks occur, consultants can make recommendations on how those bottlenecks can be removed. This will lead to improved overall efficiency and productivity.

                  2. Reduce costs

                  Improved efficiency often leads to reduced costs. When businesses can produce the same output with less input, it frees up resources that can be used elsewhere. This can lead to significant cost savings over time.

                  3. Improve quality

                  Process consulting can also help businesses to improve the quality of their products and services. By understanding how a business works and where mistakes are made, consultants can help businesses to make changes that will lead to improved quality.

                  4. Increase customer satisfaction

                  Improved quality and efficiency often lead to increased customer satisfaction. When customers are happy with the products and services they receive, they are more likely to come back for more. This can lead to increased sales and growth for a business.

                  5. Enhance competitiveness

                  Finally, process consulting can help businesses to enhance their competitiveness. When businesses are able to produce better quality products and services at lower costs, they are able to compete more effectively against their rivals. This can lead to market share gains and increased profitability.

                  If you are thinking of working with a process consultant, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

                  • First, make sure you choose a reputable and experienced consultant.

                  • Second, be clear about your goals and objectives.

                  • And third, be prepared to invest time and resources into the project.

                  What industries typically benefit from process consulting engagements most effectively? 

                  Industries that typically benefit from process consulting engagements most effectively are those that are experiencing high levels of growth and change.

                  These industries often need help in designing and implementing new processes to keep up with the demands of their businesses. Additionally, these industries may also need help in streamlining their existing processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

                  Some examples of industries that may benefit from process consulting include:

                  - Manufacturing
                  - Technology
                  - Healthcare
                  - Retail.

                  Why invest in a process consultancy?

                  Is process consulting for me?

                  There is a misconception that process consulting is a big business thing. That’s a mistake.

                  Consultancy in process improvement generates benefits for businesses of all sizes, from micro companies to large corporations. This is because it works very well in both the macro and micro context.

                  Let’s explain: a consultancy need not be just “top-down”. It is possible to address problems at the departmental level, immerse yourself in the pains of the team, structure better routines, prove the results and then escalate changes throughout the rest of the company.

                  There are also those who believe that all processes are running at 100% efficiency. Settle down, you may be surprised at the improvement margin that an apparently smooth running process can have.

                  Remember: according to the continuous improvement management model, anchored in the ideal of total quality control (including the PDCA cycles), there are always opportunities for constant improvement of processes, products and services.

                  The future of process consulting

                  The future of process consulting is very exciting. With the advances in technology, consultants will be able to offer more and more services to their clients. Additionally, new industries are emerging that will need the help of process consultants.

                  A department that wastes resources flirts with inefficiency and is subject to cost cuts. Many businesses are also too committed to putting out fires from day to day and can’t stop to think of smarter ways to improve their operational routines.

                  So if you are thinking of working with a process consultant, don't hesitate! There are many benefits that your business can reap from such an engagement.

                  Simplify-ERP's process consultants analyse, plan and execute projects according to the business value priorities of our customers. If you're looking for help simplifying your business processes, our team of experts are here to assist.

                  We'll work with you to identify the areas where you need the most help and develop a plan that will get your business back on track. Talk to one of our experts and find out which is the best solution for your business!

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                  Process Consulting: Understand the Benefits for Your Business
                  Nikola R. 14 June, 2022
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