The business consultant is your most important partner for optimizing and automating business processes. Someone with whom you want to build and maintain a good relationship. But improvement requires change. And that causes confrontations!
You are confronted with everything that is organized ineffectively and inefficiently
A good business consultant does not simply accept the current working method of your organization to subsequently automate that working method. You should start with another step: critically examine how the processes are organized and where they are ineffective or inefficient. Your business consultant will tell you where things go wrong and how you can improve this. This is necessary to take your organization to the next level. It will lead to confrontations. After all, it is not easy to change the way of working that you are used to, that you feel comfortable with and that you have mastered over the years. This will lead to lively discussions and it will create resistance among employees. But the new way of working is the first step to improvement.
Changes in processes, in the software and changes for your people
New business processes, new work instructions, new software; it brings a lot of change for the people in your organization. And people need to get used to that. Your management team should manage this the right way. Let people realize that the changes are improvements. Help them understand the changes. And show how it benefits their daily job, e.g. by saving them time. There will undoubtedly be confrontations between the business consultant and employees who do not want to accept the change. You can certainly expect an empathetic attitude from the business consultant, but don’t expect your business consultant to reverse the changes. Everything is dedicated to making the organization more successful and that requires also implementing and managing the changes.
Checks if processes run well and a critical attitude towards adjustments and new solutions
The business consultant does not disappear from the stage after you have implemented the new working method and are live with the new software. Checking whether the processes run correctly, observe bottlenecks and potential improvement, and implementing optimizations are all of crucial importance after the go-live. For all improvements, adjustments and extensions that you suggest yourself, the business consultant will look at the Return On Investment (ROI). You want to buy a new module? - What benefits will that bring? Change a process? - Why is that necessary? Develop customizations? - Why can't you work with the standard? It may sometimes feel like the business consultant does not want to help you, but that attitude is there to protect you from unnecessary investments and problems.
The business consultant is not there to please you and become your best friend. He or she wants to make your organization more successful. And that means that from time to time you will have lively discussions. There will certainly be times when you are completely fed up with the business consultant. But remember that this is better than a business consultant who agrees to everything and does not achieve the required improvements. As soon as you understand that, you may still become good friends...
Ab de Kwaadsteniet is Senior Lead Consultant at Dysel and helps customers in Europe and North America to improve their business and successfully use their ERP software.