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  1. #1
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    Default Looking For A Consultant

    Good Morning, our shop has had tremendous growth the last 10 years and it's a challenge for the owners(there's two of us) to keep it going. We have done all the bookwork and both been on the shop floor all the time. Along with that, we have done all the sales. We have two locations that we are considering merging into one. I feel like we could use some good advice to guide us into the next phase. So I have the bright idea for a consultant. Is there anyone that you all know of that can consult job shops on the business side?

    I'd like to keep this thread focused on the title if possible and get into what we should do or shouldn't have done in our shop. Thanks fellows!

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    Might try SBA or SCORE. They have business mentors that might be able to help.

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    Info needed like shop sq ft, employees, machine types, and don't forget the industry served. Guidance for 2 men working out of 2 basements is different that two shops of 20,000 sq ft.

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    8,400 total sq ft. 8 employees, CNC lathes and mills. General job shop work

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    Maybe reach out to your local NTMA chapter and see if some other owners in your area have some recommended resources?

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    Quote Originally Posted by munruh View Post
    Good Morning, our shop has had tremendous growth the last 10 years and it's a challenge for the owners(there's two of us) to keep it going. We have done all the bookwork and both been on the shop floor all the time. Along with that, we have done all the sales. We have two locations that we are considering merging into one. I feel like we could use some good advice to guide us into the next phase. So I have the bright idea for a consultant. Is there anyone that you all know of that can consult job shops on the business side?

    I'd like to keep this thread focused on the title if possible and get into what we should do or shouldn't have done in our shop. Thanks fellows!
    Actually this is a really good idea as there are people which do this and provide clear insightful expertise. The problem becomes being able to find one who is completely appropriate and skilled to the task. What happens with the really good ones is that they once starting the consultancy are scooped up and completely employed and for quite good money.

    They are treated with respect also which runs counter to the regular majority of employers. These guys call their own shots don’t make them mad or they will walk. The really good ones cost money and will lay down a agreement that you will sign.

    They do not have time for arguments and sometimes they are hired and then the person who hires them can not listen anyway. They in this common case will just allow the consultant to move on being fully paid wondering why someone wasted their time. What they learn help them to screen troublesome clients. Yes the good ones pick and choose from their opportunities.

    Good luck.

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    For a reasonable price, I will send you a stack of "Do It", "Don't Do It" cards.

    If you don't like the card you can reshuffle the deck.


    Take the diagnostic...(you don't have to join the outfit to take the diagnostic and it can be informative.)
    Cloud ERP Software for Manufacturers | QAD

    No, I am not spamming QAD, I just have/had an interest in the companies stock (QADA). I'm out of it right not but did make a bundle in it in the past, it is a great outfit and companies the join have all improved.

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    This has always struck me as odd.
    You pay a consultant, and they don't want to tell you if your wrong.

    Also, they are paid by you, and if you implement their ideas, and it fails, they have no guarantees
    to the validity of their work, no "skin in the game"

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    This has always struck me as odd.
    You pay a consultant, and they don't want to tell you if your wrong.

    Also, they are paid by you, and if you implement their ideas, and it fails, they have no guarantees
    to the validity of their work, no "skin in the game"
    That can definitely happen with consultants. But that can happen with anyone providing a service. The trick is to know what you expect the consultant to do.

    I look at it like car repairs. If you go to a mechanic and say "something is wrong, fix it", there is a good chance you drive home broke. On the other hand, if you say "replace my brake pads" you have a set expectation of outcome and cost.

    We hired a consultant to help implement a new business management strategy. The consultant was great because we had specific measurables and goals right from the beginning.

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    Many more on PM who are more qualified and have more experience.....

    But...Sounds like you have the formula right for growth. Might start small and get a CPA tax guy in to take a look at your numbers and see if all that end of things is on the right track.

    Does you little good to be what you feel is wildly successful only to find out the numbers don't say the same.

    CPA/Accounting types often times have done work with other people who can help with financials.

    And.....Once the books actually are accurate there may come the time when you feel it's time to sell or an opportunity to sell comes you way.

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    Is this two going companies thinking of combining into one? If so, that is a different type of consulting. First and foremost, agreement needs to be made on what you want out of hiring a consultant. Is it for a conflict resolution, valuation, ideas on structure? So many variables.

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    Well there you go, no mention about the QAD diagnostic so I figure you did not take it.

    QAD, a world-class consultant freely giving what they think, and has proven to be key elements in business success…likely taking five minutes would be appropriate if are serious.

    RE: Take the diagnostic in post #7

    Buck

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    Quote Originally Posted by munruh View Post
    Good Morning, our shop has had tremendous growth the last 10 years and it's a challenge for the owners(there's two of us) to keep it going. We have done all the bookwork and both been on the shop floor all the time. Along with that, we have done all the sales. We have two locations that we are considering merging into one. I feel like we could use some good advice to guide us into the next phase. So I have the bright idea for a consultant. Is there anyone that you all know of that can consult job shops on the business side?

    I'd like to keep this thread focused on the title if possible and get into what we should do or shouldn't have done in our shop. Thanks fellows!

    I am 100% skeptical when it comes to consultants.

    A) I have watched one situation from a distance at a customer's facility, and the outcome was insane, and eventually just dropped, but not until after I went $180K into hock for what was to have been a bunch of work coming in, knowing full well at the time that it made no sense.

    B) I have always been under the assumption that if these jokers are "all that", then why don't they have their own shingle up?

    C) I have always been under the assumption that if you are the Big Cheese at such place that needs to hire someone (who doesn't "know" your business) to show you what you are dooing wrong, then maybe that person should have your job?


    As always, whenever this subject comes up, I will state that you are in a place that is full of peers - that actually have their own businesses, and we know your business better than the fella in the yella pages ad. Spend time here, asking and reading.


    Also - this was actually the subject of a writ in one of the trade journals in the last cpl months.
    I'll see if I can find it...


    edit:

    I have a feeling that this writ was in CNC West, and their site either is partially down, or it is so data heavy that my connection won't load it. (the archives part)
    I should have the last cpl mags at the house, and if I think of it, I will search the hard copies tonight.


    --------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    I am 100% skeptical when it comes to consultants.
    ,,
    Ox
    Me too as having seen so many bad results and very few good outcomes.
    The problem is that a outsider can not come in and within days, understand your business how it works, how it got there and how to move to the next level.
    Tread carefully.
    Not some general business building guy with a degree from Harvard, someone very familiar with your situation.
    Blue sky tales or promises are a big warning sign.
    I have seen many good running shops die with this. It can be a poison bite.
    Bob

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    ^ What about a hot dog accountant who can make suggestions about how to better manage the money side of things ?

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    It is in April '21 issue of Modern Machine Shop magazine.

    I am on my tablet, and don't know how to link it.

    Page 70 sumpthing.


    -------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Not to the OP topic, but how many of us went through the multiple ISO 2001* consultants?

    How sis that work for you? Got the tee shirt?

    *and beyond.

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    and then there's....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails non-sequetor-consultant.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    Might try SBA or SCORE. They have business mentors that might be able to help.
    SBA also runs/funds your local SBDC (Small Business Development Center). NIST funds your local Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Our state manufacturers' association also has services, Kansas may have something similar.

  30. #20
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    Modern Machine Shop April 2021 Page 72


    Or, PDF version available here:

    https://cdn.coverstand.com/59264/699...16743f61.9.pdf

    Scroll to page 78





    ----------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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