What Is Operational Consulting and Why It Benefits Your Business

2023.02.02 12:59 PM By Joshua Taddeo, Principal Consultant

Hiring the right operations consulting firm to improve business processes to deliver results may seem daunting, but consultants can advise entrepreneurs on best practices while providing an introduction to the strategy that can help shape the direction of your new business. If you don't have a strategy to improve business processes, your business will face problems, and you could lose everything you've been working on. Hiring an interim management consultant to help your small business can help you find the answer and steer you in the right direction. When problems arise in your company's supply chain operations, your management and consulting partners can diagnose the problems, offer cost-effective solutions, and help ensure smooth implementation, which can easily save the company heaps greater than the consulting fees it invested.

We’ll show you how operations consulting can help you improve the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of logistics and address the supply chain challenges facing your organization. We start with an overview of what operational consulting is, its general operational services and benefits, and then move on to explore how management and consulting partners can work with you to optimize your supply chain management strategy, operations, logistics. management and other aspects of your business.

Consulting Is Big Business

Indeed, there are now 700,000 consulting companies operating around the world. According to the same source, the management consulting industry alone is worth $250 billion. It’s an excellent time to be a consultant if you love helping businesses and individuals reach their goals! Profit and nonprofit organizations across the globe clearly feel the need to seek expert insight into how to improve their businesses. If they didn't, then there's no way they would spend such sums of money on hiring consultants. It also means that these companies are seeing the return on their investment for this professional advice.

There are many different types of consultants: Strategy, finance, human resources, risk and compliance, marketing, sales, and operations are all common areas that demand a consultation. Of them all, it's arguable that operational consulting is the most crucial to a business' success. After all, operational processes exist in every department. These processes are the structure by which a business succeeds or fails. The wrong operational processes can quickly cause chaos and disruption within an organization as easily as the right ones can lift a company to incredible success.

So, what is operational consulting? What goes into the process, and how can it be beneficial for business?

What Is Operational Consulting?

Let’s begin with what we mean by this term. To some extent, we’ve already hinted at what’s involved.

At its simplest, operational consulting is the provision of expert advice on any processes within an organization, team, project, or workflow. Operations consultants are often brought on during the aftermath of significant business events (think market fluctuations, managerial alterations, and high employee turnover). However, they can often have the same impact at any point in an organization's history and can even help avoid or prepare for those significant events.

Internal procedures get assessed and adjusted to enhance the overall operations of a business. Crucial organizational components, such as procurement and supply chain management, are looked at and optimized. Operations consulting is oriented around problem-solving. It's primary objectives involve reducing a business’ costs, increasing its efficiency and effectiveness, and ensuring (or improving) the quality of its products/services.

What Does An Operations Consultant Do?

Consultants are ready to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into your pockets to help you and your organization achieve your business goals. They work with clients from business development, through finance, marketing, sales, operations, customer service, accounting, financial planning and more. But how does an operations consultant differ? 

operational consulting

A strategy and business consultant is a business coach who takes the time to review your business goals, benefits and goals and helps you understand the direction you should be going while operational consultants specifically use data and research to help organizations streamline their operations and improve operational performance. Once an adviser has a good understanding of how things are going, he or she can start giving advice on how to improve various operational functions. They find ways to save money, such as manpower and materials, make necessary changes and improve the business. In some cases, supply chain management consulting teams can not only help develop new strategies, but also redesign existing strategies to support the business more effectively.

Depending on the consulting firm, the operational experts often help implement their suggestions. They don’t stop at merely giving advice. Instead, the consultant will collaborate with a business to bring their expert advice to fruition

10 Key Business Benefits of Operational Consulting

Let’s now talk about some of the advantages of business consulting services and their benefits for your business.

1. Consultation PLUS Implementation

This is worth emphasizing a second time: Most operational consultants don’t go home after the PowerPoint presentation. They’ve assessed the situation, made their recommendations, then stick around to implement them. Talk about value for money! Now, the way they help deploy their suggestions does vary. Some consultants will remain a presence as you do the work (passive support). They can offer further advice and insight into how to proceed. However, others will actively participate in the updates. It’s for you to decide if you’d prefer active or passive support and to find the firm that matches your needs.

2. Time-Savings

Any form of outsourcing has time-saving at its core. Managers, employees, and business owners may not have the time or inclination to work out the best operational way forwards. Even if they have the right know-how, they may not have the time to think about how to make it happen and then train the team for the adjustment. That’s where a consultant steps in.

Having a consultant helps restore everyone else’s focus on their primary role. Everyone gets back to work on what they do best, while the consultant sets about improving the overall state of affairs. Sure, it isn’t free (or cheap), but consultation means improvements occur while business continues unimpeded. Those adjustments can have huge impacts, which ultimately result in the benefits outweighing the costs.

3. Cost-Savings

Consultation can lead to significant cost-savings in business operations. Worthwhile reductions go beyond one-time cost-cutting endeavors. Operations consultants will find easy ways to save money (such as with labor and materials) and make the necessary changes. However, these won’t solve significant financial problems. It’s the consultant's job to go one step further to figure out how to save money long-term. How they do it will depend on your specific situation. However, you can guarantee it will be at the forefront of their mind.

Additionally, consultants save you money in a variety of ways. There’s no need to hire a new staff member to do the work. As such, there are no HR costs, training costs, salary, or tax considerations for the business. Instead, you pay only for the support you receive. Indeed, cost-reductions are a factor in 87% of outsourcing decisions in the business and IT sectors.

4. Financial Advice

Small business consultants can help you develop a strategy to achieve improvements on all fronts. They can provide you with an analysis of your accounting so you can identify areas where improvements are needed to achieve your financial goals. They can give you an insight into the financial situation of your company, its business strategy and its financial performance.

5. Swifter Product Development Cycle

Businesses are built upon their products and/or services. Frequently, an operational consultant will work to shorten the time it takes to get it to market. Development processes will be analyzed, tweaked, fine-tuned, or completely overhauled. These improvements will speed up the development cycle, meaning more money made at a faster rate. Adjustments are made to reduce lead-times and respond quickly to marketplace changes too.

6. Explore New Markets

consulting business

They have the skills to see the future of the market and can tell you the pros and cons of efforts in new markets. An important advantage of the services of a business consultancy is that your company can explore new market segments without forgetting expert advice and adventures in the new market. When they try to expand their established business or expand into other industries, they can take advantage of the hiring of consultants. 

7. Expert Advice

Consultants are experts in what they do. At least they should be! They’ve likely been there, done it and got the t-shirt a hundred times. The benefit of that experience is that they can walk into a business and address the issues without breaking a sweat. You know that you’re in good hands. Consultants can provide you with the knowledge you may lack in key areas of your business. They work with IT professionals who are experienced and well-trained - they are trained in infrastructure and business systems, while working at affordable costs. A small business consultant is the perfect business idea for those interested in helping other entrepreneurs. Consultants can draw on their expertise to offer solutions to longstanding problems. Their insight and perspective will highlight the weaknesses in your systems. Their knowledge should help rectify or at least improve the situation.

8. Greater Efficiency

Efficiency is simply doing things the right way. Inefficiency can cost your business 20 to 30% of its revenue every year. A consultant will stay on top of things to ensure your organization's efficiency. They’ll monitor and assess and make suggestions to improve your operational efficiency in a variety of ways. Likewise, their input frees up the workload of other employees. Everyone can now focus on their actual task. Each element of a business becomes more efficient as a result. Hiring a consultant can optimize and develop your core processes, giving the company an objective eye set that can help it work more efficiently.

9. Wider Set of Skills

Consultants bring a wide range of experience and skills to new and existing companies. They help businesses grow and expand, provide the impartial advice that is needed for your business, and act as neutral third parties who can give your business insight into what you are doing wrong and where you can improve. Consulting firms would leave no stone unturned to help your organization grow and thus increase productivity. 

10. Innovative Solutions

You will not only be able to innovate in your company's technology sector, but you will also be able to solve many other problems that may slow down your growth or limit your competitive advantage. For businesses and small business owners who need to take a fresh look at their business and learn the secrets of technology applied to the business world. 

operations consultant discussing plan

Consultants help to find technological solutions that often eliminate inefficiencies and reduce corporate expenditures. Due to the global scope of the Internet, most consultants are found advising online companies. There are a number of consulting firms, and service managed providers that can offer great services and can produce great returns.

Bring an Operations Consultant on Board

There you have it: what operational consulting is and how it is advantageous to a business. More and more businesses around the world are employing consultants to improve their services. They’ve seen the light! Outsourcing to an expert in the industry simply promises (and delivers) a number of significant advantages. Operations Management Consulting can help your company to become better and achieve much more by aligning people, processes and assets. It helps you to find the right balance between running the company and further scaling through the business consultancy. 

Consultancy partners offer teams high-level advice by using their expertise in a particular industry or function. Business consultants monitor the work and performance of team members, offer advice and give the management the necessary feedback it needs to grow the business. The same is true of operational consultants. These individuals are hired to support the very lifeblood of a business: its operations. Using their insight and experience, they analyze current systems and then work hard to implement the changes that will have the most significant impact. No matter where your organization is at, whether it's just starting or already an international Goliath, there's always something to gain from bringing an operations consultant on board!