Subscribe to Blog:
SEARCH THE BLOG
- Asset Maintenance
- Building Products
- Case Studies
- Chemical Processing
- Food & Beverage
- Forestry Products
- Hospitals & Healthcare
- Knowledge Transfer
- Lean Manufacturing
- Life Sciences
- Material Utilization
- Office Politics
- Oil & Gas
- Private Equity
- Process Improvement
- Project Management
- Spend Management
- Supply Chain
- November 2023 (1)
- October 2023 (6)
- September 2023 (3)
- August 2023 (4)
- July 2023 (2)
- June 2023 (3)
- May 2023 (7)
- April 2023 (3)
- March 2023 (3)
- February 2023 (5)
- January 2023 (6)
- December 2022 (2)
- November 2022 (5)
- October 2022 (5)
- September 2022 (5)
- August 2022 (6)
- July 2022 (3)
- June 2022 (4)
- May 2022 (5)
- April 2022 (3)
- March 2022 (5)
- February 2022 (4)
- January 2022 (7)
- December 2021 (3)
- November 2021 (5)
- October 2021 (3)
- September 2021 (2)
- August 2021 (6)
- July 2021 (2)
- June 2021 (10)
- May 2021 (4)
- April 2021 (5)
- March 2021 (5)
- February 2021 (3)
- January 2021 (4)
- December 2020 (3)
- November 2020 (3)
- October 2020 (3)
- September 2020 (3)
- August 2020 (4)
- July 2020 (3)
- June 2020 (5)
- May 2020 (3)
- April 2020 (3)
- March 2020 (4)
- February 2020 (4)
- January 2020 (4)
- December 2019 (3)
- November 2019 (2)
- October 2019 (4)
- September 2019 (2)
- August 2019 (4)
- July 2019 (3)
- June 2019 (4)
- May 2019 (2)
- April 2019 (4)
- March 2019 (4)
- February 2019 (5)
- January 2019 (5)
- December 2018 (2)
- November 2018 (2)
- October 2018 (5)
- September 2018 (4)
- August 2018 (3)
- July 2018 (2)
- June 2018 (4)
- May 2018 (3)
- April 2018 (3)
- March 2018 (2)
- February 2018 (2)
- January 2018 (1)
- December 2017 (1)
- November 2017 (2)
- October 2017 (2)
- September 2017 (1)
- August 2017 (2)
- July 2017 (2)
- June 2017 (1)
- April 2017 (3)
- March 2017 (3)
- February 2017 (2)
- January 2017 (2)
- December 2016 (2)
- November 2016 (4)
- October 2016 (4)
- September 2016 (3)
- August 2016 (6)
- July 2016 (4)
- June 2016 (4)
- May 2016 (1)
- April 2016 (3)
- March 2016 (4)
- February 2016 (2)
- January 2016 (4)
- December 2015 (3)
- November 2015 (3)
- October 2015 (1)
- September 2015 (1)
- August 2015 (4)
- July 2015 (6)
- June 2015 (4)
- May 2015 (7)
- April 2015 (6)
- March 2015 (6)
- February 2015 (4)
- January 2015 (3)
CONNECT WITH US
We’re celebrating a milestone here at USC Consulting Group — 55 years partnering with businesses around the globe empowering their performance. Our goal is to help our clients drive operating excellence, increase throughput, become more efficient and boost their bottom lines.
We got our start in 1968 when founders Tom Rice and Pat Price founded a fully-engaged operations management consulting firm that strives to impart positive, impactful change to our clients. Back then, we were Universal Scheduling Company, communicating with clients over mimeograph and analyzing their schedules. We’ve grown quite a bit since those early days. Over the years, we expanded into other industries like mining & metals, food & beverage, life sciences, transportation & logistics and more. Our reach opened up to serve companies all around the globe. In 2001, we changed our name to USC Consulting Group to better reflect the breadth of our services and a few years later, relocated to Tampa, where our corporate headquarters is today.
That’s a tremendous growth story that we’re incredibly proud of.
During our half-century-plus in this business, we’ve seen a lot of changes come down the pike. The ups and downs of the economy, employment markets that wax or wane, the ongoing challenges brought on by the pandemic, technology advancements in machinery and tools for businesses we serve, and a whole host of other factors that ebb and flow during the passage of time.
We’ve rolled with it all and learned some valuable lessons along the way.
What has 55 years of consulting taught us?
Here are some of the top things we’ve learned during our 55 years in this business.
Experience matters, but every challenge we tackle for our clients is different. Many consulting firms dole out cookie-cutter solutions. But we’ve learned there is no such thing if you want to find sustainable results. Even if two businesses are in the same industry, they are not the same. We understand companies have unique processes, procedures, management styles, cultures, machinery, employees — you name it. So we go into every project with fresh eyes, knowing that what worked for others may not work again. There are too many variables to apply cookie-cutter solutions. That’s why we start by listening rather than talking to learn each client’s challenges before implementing improvements.
Upper management walking the shop floor is vital. We can recommend operations changes all day long, but the meat of the action happens day-to-day on the front lines, no matter the industry you’re in. If you’re a manager or in the C-suite, it’s so important to get down into the nitty-gritty of how their work gets done. You’ll get a better understanding of your operations, spot trouble sooner and also spot diamonds in the rough for promotion. You’ll hear great ideas to improve operations from the people who are actually doing the job, and when those employees are engaged, it leads to ultimate business success. Read more about it in “How to Increase Employee Engagement and Training to Improve Retention.”
Getting people onboard at the outset is a key element of success. Over the years, we’ve learned not everyone in a company is excited about process or operations improvements. Consultants can be viewed with skeptical eyes. That’s why we encourage engagement with employees at all levels, getting people on board early so employees understand they’re part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Going beyond Lean Six Sigma… Lean, which has been around forever and has recently migrated from the manufacturing floor into other industries (they’re even talking about Lean HR methods) and Six Sigma, a newer technique, are two methodologies for improving processes. Two sides of the same coin, Lean looks at making processes more efficient and reducing lead times, while Six Sigma focuses on cutting down on defects. The combination of the two produces powerful results. They’ve joined to become one methodology in some circles: Lean Six Sigma, or LSS, which aims to cut defects and shorten lead times. Striking the perfect balance between the two is tricky. It requires training and certification in the techniques. At USCCG, Dr. Frank Esposto is our Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Senior Director of Quality. He is also a certified LSS instructor. Read more about it in our eBook, Lean Six Sigma: Do You Really Know These Methodologies?
…but we don’t just set it and forget it. Dr. Esposto says: “When we employ the Lean Six Sigma methodology to help our clients’ operations, we don’t simply do it for them. We train clients in these techniques so they can employ them long after we leave.” That goes for any process changes we help our clients make. It’s not about giving them a fish. It’s about teaching them to fish. That’s how lasting change happens and it’s a key differentiator between us and other consultants out there.
We could go on forever about lessons learned in a half-century plus. But the bottom line is, putting our customers’ needs squarely in the forefront of every engagement, understanding the marketplace and challenges the business faces, and focusing on people and processes will help your business reach a state of operational excellence.
Contact us today and let USC put our experience to work for you.
Back to top ↑
If your business has a problem or obstacle you can’t solve — a slowdown in throughput, trouble on the line, machinery problems, supply chain issues, demand outweighing supply and more — and your team is struggling to overcome the challenge, it’s time to bring in an operations management consultant.
Operations management consultants will first look at your current operations model, systems and day-to-day processes of getting the job done. Then, they work with your team to implement positive, impactful changes to help your business strive toward operational excellence.
Why Hire an Operations Management Consultant
Is it the right time to hire an outside resource? Perhaps. Before we can answer that question though, let’s look at the reasons why you would need to bring in some help. While each business and situation is different, we find companies seek an operations management consultant due to one or more of these common reasons:
- Current processes aren’t getting the job done
- You need fresh eyes to assess a situation
- Process improvement expertise
- When you don’t know if it’s time to upgrade assets
- Time and workload snags
- Resistance to change
- Planned shutdowns or outages
- When you need to reduce operating costs or improve throughput and efficiency
Operations management consultants can be the ‘horsepower’ your team needs to overcome these various challenges to achieve improvements quickly and effectively.
Now, for the burning question… When is the right time to bring in operations consultants? It boils down to dissatisfaction with the status quo, problems organizations can’t seem to overcome, and challenges they’re not equipped to solve. But, like many things in life, it’s not that simple.
For that reason, our subject matter experts at USC Consulting Group walk you through the process in the following eBook:
This eBook covers various concepts, including:
- Defining what are operations management consultants
- The benefits of an outside resource
- The best time to bring them in
- Where consultants can help your business the most
If you have questions about operations management consulting and what it can do for your business, give us a call or email us at email@example.com. We want you to be well-informed so you can feel comfortable and confident bringing in some help.
Back to top ↑
A little goes a long way. It’s an old adage, but one we’ve seen play out, day after day, during our 55-plus years in the consulting business. It’s the notion that what may seem like small changes actually produce big results. At USC Consulting Group, one of our specialties is the “detective work” we do to find hidden opportunities for greater efficiency. Acting on those opportunities can create great change.
Here are some ways a “little” can go a long way for our clients.
Most industries that have 24/7 operations — manufacturing, mining & metals, and others — need to do planned outages, or work stoppages, for regular maintenance. It’s a practice we enthusiastically recommend. Planned outages prevent unplanned crises when a machine breaks down unexpectedly. Managing planned outages correctly is vital, because any time the operation is shut down for maintenance, that time is money.
Intricate detail and planning go into planned outages. That was the case with one of our recent clients in the mining industry. They approached USC to assist in planning and executing an upcoming plant-wide outage. Because of cost and schedule overruns year in and year out, the plant was given an ultimatum from its parent company — make the upcoming outage successful or close the plant down.
Through careful planning and execution, we shaved one day off of their planned outage. You might be thinking, just one day? That “small” improvement saved the company upwards of $1 million. The outage was successful, and the plant stayed open.
The commercial food industry has a tough nut to crack (pardon the pun) when it comes to processing and bagging their product to send to grocery stores or other end-clients that sell to consumers. Getting the most of their raw materials is all about improving yield, but it’s not easy to achieve the right balance. Let’s take the beef industry for an example. In processing beef into burger, there is a loss of moisture. That’s why when you start off with a pound of beef you don’t get a pound of burger. But, as a consumer, when you’re buying what is labeled a pound of burger, you can expect a pound — by law. To achieve that, the industry compensates for the loss of moisture and adds more ground beef into each unit. Better to pack a little too much than too little, right? It’s what the industry calls “the giveaway.” It’s essentially overpacking.
Just a little more? How big a problem is this, really? If a company is processing, say, 30,000 pounds of ground beef into burger every day, adding a smidge more into each package can be a very big problem indeed. One recent client of USC came to us when they realized they were giving away over 1.5 million pounds of beef yearly.
With process improvements, equipment fixes and increased speed and throughput, we were able to help our client strike the right balance, decreasing that overpack from 2% to 1%. Just a 1% savings? That’s a pretty small number on the face of it… until you see it resulted in a savings of $84,000 per month. That’s huge.
Not every “small” change can produce hard numbers like the examples above, but we see the benefits time and time again when we’re helping clients with change management.
We’ve learned that we can effect all the change we can muster — make the line more efficient, increase throughput, get the operation lean and mean, whatever else is needed — but none of it will stick without managing the change correctly. This part of the job isn’t about numbers, planning or complex methods. It’s about people.
Whatever the change you’re making, it’s going to involve people behaving and working in a different way. So at its core, effective change management requires helping people transform their behavior. As we all know, people don’t necessarily love that, especially if they’ve been getting the job done one way for the duration. Research shows 62% of people don’t like leaving their comfort zone.
We find that small changes really go a long way here. It’s about the CEO taking some time to walk the shop floor and talk with frontline workers about the changes that are coming down the pike. It’s about us involving those workers in the process of change from the get-go, asking for their ideas for improvements, their thoughts about what the problems are that need solving. That way, the change that we’re implementing won’t be happening to them. They will be a part of it, champion it, and make that change stick every day on the line.
One other bonus to this tactic? It creates employee engagement and loyalty. Just 36% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, and 74% are actively looking for new jobs, according to a Gallup survey. 94% of employees say they’d stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development, LinkedIn reports. With manufacturing looking at 1 million unfulfilled jobs and the cost of replacing an employee as much as twice their annual salary, those small changes can mean big numbers on your balance sheets.
This is one part of our process that doesn’t take advanced degrees, engineers or Lean Six Sigma black belts to achieve. It just takes a little time and some people skills.
Get in touch today if you’d like to talk about how USC can help your company become more efficient and effective. One small conversation can go a long way to improving your operations.
Back to top ↑
If your company is looking for process improvements, greater efficiency, operations upgrades and generally a greasing of the gears in order to function at a higher level, that’s great! Now the question becomes: Do you hire an operations management consulting firm or rely on your internal improvement team?
Here’s a look at both options:
Internal improvement teams
What are internal improvement teams, exactly? In general, they’re full-time employees within an organization, usually (but not always) within the HR function. They act as advisors, change agents, process improvement experts, coaches or trainers. But it doesn’t have to be as formal as having a dedicated “internal consultant team.” Oftentimes, companies looking to improve processes pull together a team of people from different departments within the organization to tackle a problem or challenge that is impeding productivity.
Some other aspects, including pros and cons, of internal teams:
Cost. On the surface, using an internal team may seem cheaper than hiring an outside firm because the company is not paying an outside consulting fee. But figuring in salaries, benefits and all of the other expenses involved with full-time employees that are dedicated to process improvement, those savings can dry up. Also, if you’re using an internal team made up of people from different departments, there is the issue of time away from their usual job functions and the loss of productivity that can result from that.
Company knowledge. Internal people have an immediate understanding of the organization. No learning curve needed. There’s already a deep knowledge of the culture, the processes and the “unspoken rules.”
Accountability. Some external consultants “fix it and forget it.” In other words, they swoop in, offer recommendations for change and swoop out, leaving the company to implement the changes and deal with what comes next. (Note: We do NOT do that at USC Consulting Group) Internal people are there, onsite, through it all, and after it all.
Internal politics. This is one of the big “cons” of using an internal team. In many workplaces, you’ve got internal politics and drama running through everything. Who takes recommendations and advice from whom can become an impediment to progress. Certain people may want to be the one to come up with whatever fix is needed, and if they aren’t, they can put up roadblocks or sow seeds of negativity. The internal pecking order can rule the roost. Not ideal when you’re talking about making process improvements, which typically involve changing the way “we’ve always done it.” That’s a delicate endeavor, even for outside consultants. When you have Phil from HR telling a 30-year veteran on the line there’s a better way to do his job, it doesn’t go over very well.
Internal view. Internal teams have a great view of their organization, but not what’s going on out there in the industry at large. They are also not necessarily on top of the latest developments in process improvements, and certainly aren’t experts in things like Lean Six Sigma.
Operations management consultants
Operations consulting, simply put, is a discipline designed to improve your company’s internal operations and processes, making them more efficient, streamlined and ultimately, profitable. At USC Consulting Group, we’ve been dedicated to that since 1968.
Operations consultants will first look at your current operations model, systems and day-to-day processes of getting the job done. They talk with front-line workers, executives and everyone in between. Listening is a big part of the job. They employ methodologies like Lean Six Sigma, the Fishbone, the Five Ms and other tactics to uncover what’s bedeviling your operation and create ways to solve those problems.
Some operations consultants are advisory consultants, or “boardroom consultants,” who perform a two- to three-week study and provide a book of recommendations to help you out, and then hand it to you and go on their way. Implementing consultants, like USC, roll up their sleeves and work with a company’s internal teams to help implement the changes, and ensure the sustainability of those improvements.
Other features of outside consultants include:
Above the fray. This is a main reason execs hire outside consultants. An outside firm is not subject to internal politics and company red tape. They can make the changes necessary for improvements to get results without stepping on anyone’s toes. Oftentimes, recommendations for change go down easier when delivered by someone outside the organization.
A fresh set of eyes. You know what they say about the forest for the trees. Sometimes, when you’re too close to a problem or challenge, you can’t see the big picture of how to solve it. Operations consultants are outside experts who can look at your operations with a fresh set of eyes.
Horsepower. In many cases, operations management firms actually augment the efforts of internal teams and provide “horsepower” to improvement initiatives and help achieve results quicker.
Cost. Outside firms are hired for limited engagements and are not full-time employees. Therefore, a company does not need to provide salaries, benefits and other costs for full-time employees who are part of their internal teams. Yes, the upfront investment for an outside firm is more than you would pay your internal employees. However, once the project engagement is complete, those consulting costs are removed from the ledger, but the benefits are realized for years after.
Industry expertise. Another facet of bringing fresh eyes to a challenge is the fact that those eyes have seen a thing or two. Consultants like USC Consulting Group have worked in the industry for decades and have seen how similar companies have solved similar problems and challenges. While every situation is unique, the decades-long expertise in operational improvements is impossible to duplicate in-house.
Process improvement expertise. It’s a fair bet that companies don’t have many black belts in Lean Six Sigma on staff. LSS is focused on eliminating waste and improving throughput, and it takes years to become an expert in it. External consultants like USC bring that expertise, and even train your staff to implement these tools.
A final thought: Sure, we’re biased. We’re a consulting firm with 55+ years of experience helping companies improve their efficiency and ultimately boost their bottom lines. However, there is a stigma about consulting that seems to be rumored. To clear up this misconception, read our blog “Debunking Myths About Operations Management Consulting.”
Which option should you choose?
Bottom line is you need to make a decision that is best for your business. Whether utilizing your own internal improvement teams or employing an outside consultant, the main focus is reducing your operating costs and improving your productivity and efficiency.
If you would like to talk with one of our subject matter experts to see if USC would be the right fit for your improvement project, give us a call.
Back to top ↑
If your business is experiencing challenges with processes and operations, it isn’t as efficient as it should be, or if you are striving to increase throughput while cutting costs, it may be time to bring in an operations management consultant.
However, before you sign on the dotted line, you should know the advantages and drawbacks to hiring operations management consultants to help. Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at operations consulting, how it can benefit your business and some pitfalls we can help you avoid.
Pros and cons of operations management consultants
Operations consulting is what USC Consulting Group has specialized in for more than half a century, and with that, we have been exposed to various situations around the world. But it’s not always easy bringing in people from the outside to tackle the challenges you’re having internally. Here are some pros and cons to consider.
Pro: Process improvement expertise. Your company is in the business of whatever it is you do. Consultants are in the business of process improvements. It’s all we do. We are experts in techniques like Lean Six Sigma (LSS) — there aren’t many companies out there with many in-house black belts in this discipline. LSS is focused on eliminating waste and improving throughput, and it takes years to become an expert in it. External consultants like USC goes beyond LSS to focus on both your people and processes.
Con: Lack of accountability. Some external consultants “fix it and forget it.” They swoop in, offer recommendations for change, hand you a file stuffed full of info about what they found and then swoop out, on to the next project. This is a serious drawback. (Note: USC does NOT work this way)
Pro: Industry expertise. At USC Consulting Group, we have 55 years of experience under our belts. We’ve seen it all. And while every situation and challenge is unique, we are coming at those challenges with decades of experience as our solid foundation for success.
Con: Learning curve. Consultants lack knowledge of in-house procedures and it takes a couple of weeks to get up to speed with a company’s specific processes. USC performs Feasibility Studies to build the business case for the project and at the same time get acquainted with the client’s facilities and operations. We start by listening, hastening that learning curve.
Pro: Training and improvement for staff. If you’re working with the right outside consultant, that is. At USC, we aren’t just about fixing challenges for companies. We coach and teach our clients on how to sustain those changes, instead of just fixing and forgetting. In other words, we provide the training and know-how for you to take it from there. The result is the upskilling of your employees as part of the bargain. That’s an added bonus not all consultants provide.
Con: Lack of sustainability. This is another potential downside of hiring the wrong consultant. Sure, it’s great to highlight challenges and offer recommendations for change, but those changes don’t stick if the consultant leaves it to you to implement them. That’s why we work with your team to implement the process improvement changes and train your people along the way so they can sustain the success long after we’ve left.
Pro: Unbiased third-party advisors. Consultants are not part of a company’s internal politics. We are above the fray. This comes in handy when recommending process changes, because who takes direction from whom can be tricky in companies. We’ve seen it time and time again: recommendations for change go down easier when they come from outside the organization, rather than from within it.
Con: Don’t know the unwritten or unspoken rules. Yes, we may be the aforementioned unbiased third-party advisors, and that’s a big advantage. But it also can be a stumbling block because we don’t know the unwritten rules in your organization. These are cultural norms, do’s and don’ts, that aren’t in any company handbook. Depending on the company, this may be good or bad.
Pro: Cost. Bringing in an outside consultant is actually less expensive than doing the project in-house. If you use an internal process improvement team made up of current employees from different departments, you’re not only paying the cost of the project itself, but the cost of lost productivity when team members are away from their usual duties. If you have a dedicated internal process improvement team, we’re talking about costs involved with salaries, benefits, perks and the whole nine yards. On top of all of that, you are risking the costs associated with failure because you don’t have experienced pros on the project. At USC, there are no net annualized costs due to the results and benefits achieved within the first year that continue for many years after.
Con: Cost. Yes, there are both pros and cons to cost. With consultants, you’ll have a large upfront investment. There’s just no getting around that. But, in the immortal words of the author Kurt Vonnegut, you get what you pay for. Hiring a consulting firm, you’re paying for process improvement expertise. At USC, we have 55+ years of it under our belts. One important thing to note: The breakeven point, when you’re reducing operating costs and improving productivity and throughput, this offsets the cost of the project and is usually realized within six months or sooner.
Pro: Fresh eyes to overcome challenges. You know what they say about forests and trees. Sometimes, internal people are simply too close to the problem to see their way out of it. We can look at the big picture and shine a light on processes and gaps that may be weighing you down.
Pro: Horsepower. USC Consulting Group empowers employees with the tools and techniques that drive optimal performance, adding “horsepower” to your teams. We can augment your team’s efforts and achieve results quicker.
So what does this all mean? Yes, there are drawbacks to be aware of when bringing in operations management consultants. However, when done right, the benefits they bring to your team and process improvement projects completely outshine those concerns.
USC Consulting Group stands ready to help you. Operations consulting is what we do. We know we can come in and get the job done, helping our clients achieve greater efficiency and throughput, improved processes and ultimately a healthier bottom line. We’ll be happy to talk with you about how we can augment your operations.
Already have an internal improvement team? Read more about both options in our article: “Operations Management Consultants vs. Internal Improvement Teams: What’s the Difference?”
Back to top ↑
Does it seem like you’re always putting out fires? Not in the literal sense, of course. We’re talking about operations problems and snafus that seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times. Machines break down. Workers call in sick. Human errors can result in costly fixes. Unforeseen backups or bottlenecks slowing things down. Too much inventory. Not enough inventory. Some days, it can seem like you’re in a constant state of troubleshooting. The problem with that is, it’s hard to move forward into tomorrow when you’re consumed with putting out the fires of today.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. At USC Consulting Group, we hear it a lot from the clients we partner with to increase efficiency and streamline operations at their facilities. Over the years, we’ve learned that the best course of action to break the cycle of constantly putting out fires is to get ahead of those problems before they become “fires.” Easier said than done, right? Actually, no. The way to do it is to implement an effective Management Operating System (MOS).
What is a Management Operating System, or MOS? Without using industry jargon, a MOS is simply a structured approach to operations. It’s intentional, forward-looking and at times anticipatory, in that it can help spot trouble before it spots you.
A good MOS is a set of tools, processes and frameworks that guide the operations of your business, namely the way employees work. It fosters continuous improvement to address issues as they occur. Or, ideally, before they occur.
Because many of the “fires” you’re stamping out every day can range from production shortfalls to problems related to worker safety, companies that use production lines or have other types of hazardous workplace environments commonly employ management operating systems.
Your MOS should be able to spot inefficiencies in an operating system before they become major problems. This ensures that adjustments can be made so operations are not adversely affected. An MOS should also use real-time feedback so an organization can safely direct operations, funding and other resources to maximize return on investment.
The best management operating systems center around four main components:
In other words, it maps out how the job gets done, in what way and by whom.
Let’s look at that in a little more detail.
When designing processes, businesses must be sure that they’re safe, secure and clear for employees to understand and tools are used to support operations — and never in ways that are not dictated by the overall structure. This means users should not use tools in inappropriate ways, especially those that could simply automate their inefficient methods. One process change we always recommend is preventative maintenance. Taking a little downtime today to service your machines can save major work stoppages tomorrow.
An effective MOS uses well-designed systems that help employees and the company as a whole achieve goals, which means they should run smoothly and enhance and even boost established efficiency.
Roles within an MOS should adhere to clearly defined job descriptions that require certain skill sets, and when combined with a business’ processes and systems can best utilize talents. The skills gap has only complicated the matter, but that’s fodder for another blog.
The best-run management operating systems always establish a business-wide structure upon which the different roles within the company interact. This is usually done last because it ensures that the processes do not dictate the entire established structure and cause further issues.
Read more about it in our blog, “How Can a Management Operating System Help Your Organization?”
Benefits of using a good MOS
Putting a carefully planned management operating system in place, one that is unique to your organization and its challenges and strengths, can result in a boatload of positive benefits. According to CEO Magazine, an MOS allows for an organization to “better control the flow of work and production, driving higher outcomes in customer service, quality and cost.”
At a minimum, these systems make use of tools that allow organizations to create plans for future work in certain operations, carry out that work, and then measure the work performance data to suggest future improvements that could be needed.
At maximum? Your company will perform with operational excellence, humming along at capacity, anticipating hiccups before they become problems, planning for growth or even downturns so you won’t be taken by surprise and generally making your life easier and your bottom line stronger.
Other ways an MOS can benefit you and your company:
- Cost savings
- Waste reduction
- Increased product quality
- Identification of workflow gaps
- Find ways to improve efficiency
- Get a handle on any compliance issues or regulations
- Elimination of impediments to your workflow
- Inventory wrangling (so you don’t have too much or too little despite supply chain bottlenecks)
A word about technology. Sure, you can automate your management operating system. Many companies do. But in our opinion, it can’t match good, old-fashioned brainpower, experience garnered through years on the line, common sense of longtime employees and forward-thinking ideas.
Ready to stop the firefighting mentality and talk about it? Give us a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll listen first and then collaborate with you on a path toward operational excellence. It’s what we do.
Back to top ↑
There are a lot of myths swirling around out there about operations management consulting. At USC Consulting Group, we (good-naturedly) take issue with a good majority of them. We’ve been committed to operations consulting for more than a half century. It’s what we do.
In a previous blog, “Debunking Myths about Operations Management Consulting,” we took on some of the top misconceptions about operations consulting, namely:
It’s all about math. At USC, we like to say we’re 80% people and processes, 20% numbers. Yes, some data crunching is involved in what we do, but the key to it all is getting into your operations with our own boots on the ground.
It’s only for manufacturing. Not quite! We work with a wide range of industries, including food & beverage, mining & metals, chemical processing, forestry products, transportation & logistics and a whole lot more.
It has no strategic importance. This one stings. It’s ALL about strategic importance, like Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning (SIOP), which helps companies get a better, clearer look at their company in order to make better-informed strategy decisions.
But there are more myths out there about operations consultants and what we do.
Debunking operations management consulting myths: Part 2
Myth: Consultants work only with the C-suite
We can’t speak for other consultancies out there, but at USC, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, we meet with the top brass, but that’s only the beginning. The secret weapon to our success is getting down on the shop floor and listening to your people on the front lines. People doing the job day to day have valuable input about efficiencies, how processes could be done better and ideas for improvement that top management may not see. Plus, if you don’t have the buy-in and respect of the people doing the job, making changes to how that job gets done is going to be an uphill battle. Involving them from the outset is the key.
Myth: Consultants offer cookie-cutter advice
In other words, they take what worked at one company and bring it to another. That may be true elsewhere, but we understand that every company is unique, even if they work in the same industry. You can’t just overlay one company’s solution onto another company’s problem. We use tried-and-true techniques that we tailor to each individual challenge or situation. It’s about digging into your processes, finding opportunities for operational improvements, and devising ways to best leverage those opportunities.
Myth: Consultants think they know best
This may be the most common beef out there for companies considering or avoiding hiring a consulting firm — consultants swoop in, tell everyone what they’re doing wrong and offer their lofty advice on how to fix it. This misconception gives consultants a bad rap. It induces fear and mistrust among employees that this interloper is going to change or eliminate their jobs. When we go into a new project, we never come in with that agenda. Our first job is to listen and learn in order to make improvements to the process.
Myth: Consultants set it and forget it
Admittedly, some other consulting firms can and do operate this way. They come in, diagnose problems and provide a playbook for how to fix them, bidding the client adieu when that process is complete. We don’t work that way. This is one area where USC stands out from the crowd. We are change management experts who don’t just recommend changes, but help our clients implement those changes as seamlessly as possible. We are ongoing support partners for the duration, boots on the ground to work side by side until our clients are good to go on their own. This ensures sustainability so the solutions stick long after our engagement.
Myths and misconceptions bedevil every industry. We hope we’ve debunked some of these for you about ours.
If you have questions about operations consulting and what it can do for your business, give us a call or email us at email@example.com. We’re happy to walk you through the process so you can feel comfortable and confident bringing in some help.
Back to top ↑
Everyday we set out to conquer life in various ways. We conquer fears, objections, and challenges. It is how we overcome these obstacles that defines are character and successes.
There was a famous historical figure with the moniker William the Conqueror who set out on a conquest which changed the face of history. While we are not conquering nations in the name of our country, we do find victories everyday for ourselves and our companies.
The following is a story illustrating one such victory overcoming operational issues that many others can also achieve themselves…
This is the story of William the Conqueror. No, not the 11th century figure, but William the VP of Operations at Acme Widget Company. He is under siege with problems that are eating into operational efficiency, causing delays and slowing down his throughput.
There’s trouble on the line. Machinery breakdowns are causing delays. And William is struggling to hire and retain skilled employees to get the job done.
The result of this operational onslaught? Acme Widget Company is not meeting its demand at a critical time. William is getting frustrated. So is his boss.
So William called USC Consulting Group — an operations management consulting firm that has been helping companies identify trouble spots, reduce operating costs, and increase efficiency and throughput for more than 50 years.
Working with William, USC Consulting Group investigated the Five M’s:
1. Machine (Does it need maintenance?)
2. Methods (Can you make processes more efficient?)
3. Materials (Supply chain bottlenecks?)
4. Measurements (Are we measuring the right things?)
5. Man or Woman power (Are your people skilled and trained?)
Focusing on the Five M’s and with USC’s help, William and his team got things running smoothly, with improved efficiency and increased throughput. William’s boss was so pleased with the results that he promoted William to COO*. William had, indeed, conquered his operational issues.
If you are experiencing operational issues like William, give USC Consulting Group a call today and we will put our expertise to work for you, too. *You may not be promoted to COO, but you will increase your operation’s efficiency.
Back to top ↑
This is the story of William the Conqueror.
No, not the 11th century figure, but William the Vice President of Operations at Acme Widget Company who becomes the Savior of Operational Improvements. William is under siege with problems that are eating into operational efficiency, causing delays and slowing down his throughput. There’s trouble on the line. Machinery breakdowns are causing delays. William’s supervisors aren’t communicating issues during shift changes. And William is struggling to hire and retain skilled employees to get the job done.
The result of this operational onslaught? Acme Widget Company is not meeting its demand at a critical time. William is getting frustrated with the delays, breakdowns and inefficiencies. So is his boss.
That’s when William called USC Consulting Group — an operations management consulting firm that has been helping companies identify trouble spots, reduce operating costs, and increase efficiency and throughput for more than 50 years.
Working with William, USC Consulting Group investigated the Five M’s:
- Machine (Does it need maintenance?)
- Methods (Can you make processes more efficient?)
- Materials (Supply chain bottlenecks?)
- Measurements (Are we measuring the right things?)
- Man or Woman (Are your people skilled and trained?)
Focusing on the five Ms and with USC’s help, William and his team got things running smoothly, with improved efficiency and increased throughput. William’s boss was so pleased with the results that he promoted William to COO*.
William had, indeed, conquered his operational issues.
Moral of the Story: William is not a real person, however, the struggles he and his team were experiencing are a reality for many executives today. Are you experiencing issues like William’s? Would you like to discover operational improvements in your business to increase your throughput and efficiency? Give USC Consulting Group a call at 1-800-888-8872 and we will put our expertise to work for you.
*You may not get promoted to COO, but you will increase your operation’s efficiency.
Back to top ↑
It seems most people struggle when it comes to creating an effective resume. People don’t seem to like to talk about their personal and professional achievements. However, if you want to make a career change or earn that promotion, then you need to be able to write an eye-catching resume that will attract attention. This is including a position for a manufacturing operations manager. Here are six tips for creating the perfect operations manager resume that will aid you in getting the job.
1. Understand the position you are applying for before writing your resume
Seems like a no brainer, right? “A lot of job candidates don’t really understand the position they are hiring for, and it costs them the job,” says Mary Kreger, a career blogger at Paperfellows and Essayroo. So, before sitting down make sure you understand the duties of a manufacturing operations manager and makes sure those are responsibilities you are willing to take on.
2. Decide on the format
Once you are sure you can do the job of an operations manager, the next step is to figure out which resume format you would like to use; reverse-chronological, functional or combination. For an operations management position, it’s recommended that you use the reverse-chronological format as it’s the most popular within this field. This is the most popular because it shows off all of your most recent achievements first, highlighting those skills that will make you great at an operations management position.
3. Pick the right layout
After you have decided on a format, you then need to make sure your layout is correct. For an operations management resume here are some layout recommendations:
- Margins: 1” margins on all sides
- Line spacing: 1 or 1.15 line spacing
- Font size: use either 11-12pt for normal text and 14-16pt for headers
- Length of your resume: Do not go over one page if at all possible.
These layout tips will help make your resume easy to follow and legible for the hiring department.
4. Include the right information
Now it’s time to write the resume. However, what should you include and what shouldn’t you include? “These are good questions to ask yourself. If you have been working in a similar field and are trying for a promotion within your company, chances are you probably have many years of job experience that could be relevant,” says Carl Carey, a writer at Boomessays and Lia Help. However, it could be way too much information to condense down to one page.
The main sections on your resume should be the following:
- Contact information: this should include your name, job title, email address, phone number, and a link to your digital portfolio if you have one
- Work Experience: any work experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for
- Portfolio: You can make it an entire section or just include a link to it here.
- Education: Include where and when studied and what was your overall GPA. You can also include any honours or courses you took.
- Skills: Hiring managers usually have a checklist of required skills, so if you skip this part, more than likely your resume will go straight to the ‘no’ pile. List your skills and how they are relevant to an operations manager position.
5. Proofread your resume
Before you move onto submitting your finished resume, you should make sure that you have no typos, grammatical errors, and all the information you included is correct. When you take the time to edit your resume, you can save yourself from looking uneducated or not getting a call back because you typed your phone number wrong.
If you struggle with editing your own work, tools like Resumention, OXEssays, Bigassignments, Elite Assignment Help, Best Essay Services, Simplegrad can help.
6. Write a matching cover letter
After you put all the work into crafting a great operations manager resume, don’t forget to write a matching cover letter. Cover letters demonstrate that you want to work for that specific company not just any company, making them important to the hiring process.
Using the right format, layout, and including the right information in your operations manager resume will ensure you a fair chance at getting hired.
*This article was written by Emily Henry. Emily is a writer at Academic Writing Service and Essay Services. She writes about resume writing. Emily is also a blogger at Do my homework UK.
Back to top ↑