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Once considered cutting edge, online advertising is now a staple in the modern-day marketing mix. Immediate, interactive and effective, online advertising is an affordable alternative to traditional -- and typically more expensive -- advertising vehicles such as newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and direct mail.

Public Policy Schools

Public policy schools train students to work in the public sector as creators of policy. Since public policy affects everyone, this profession is extremely influential.

Making the Most of Online Advertising

Making the most of online advertising requires an advertising strategy for engaging the consumer and inciting user participation. New technology and design creatives work to provide entertaining, cost-effective branding solutions for online ads.

Making the Most of Purchasing Organizations

Small businesses pinch pennies to see black at the end of the month, and making the most of your purchasing organization can definitely save you money. Analyze how much time you or your purchasing manager spends price/vendor shopping and identify how much spending you incur.

Using Quality Management Software

Using quality management software helps businesses not only reach the highest standards in process control, but also assists with meeting regulatory requirements, increase customer satisfaction and cut costs. Quality management systems assist companies with modifying and enhancing business policies, processes and procedures to improve overall quality of goods and services and customer satisfaction.

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Purchasing Organizations Education and Training

Whether you're new to purchasing or you've been at it for several years, purchasing organizations education and training programs will ensure your success for years to come. Group purchasing organizations and purchasing departments within small businesses perform many tasks every day that require skills and knowledge related to vendors, products, negotiation, contracts, budgeting, contractor grievances, preparing bids, social/political/economic conditions and trends that can affect employers and so much more.

Quality Management Software Key Terms

Quality management software is based on quality management principles, which concern management theory and how to continually improve your products and services. Quality management software key terms will give you the vocabulary you need to choose the right program for your business by helping you identify the type you want.

Online Advertising Key Terms

Whether you have a brick and mortar company or an ecommerce store, you simply can't avoid online advertising. Internet advertising is a good way to get your message to many people at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods.

Purchasing Organizations Key Terms

Purchasing professionals are a critical asset to many businesses. These dedicated analysts make sure that inventory and production conform to the needs of a company.

Business operations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The outcome of business operations is the harvesting of value from assets ...

Operations management - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operations management is an area of management concerned with overseeing, designing, and controlling the process of production and redesigning business ...

What are operations? definition and meaning

Definition of operations: Jobs or tasks consisting of one or more elements or subtasks, performed typically in one location. Operations transform resource or data ...

Operations


Your organization may benefit from a consultation with a professional operations expert, but how can you tell? Improving business operations can start from within by evaluating productivity and efficiency against profits.  Considering the benefits and pitfalls of hiring a professional operations consultant can assist with determining whether or not the cost is a worthwhile investment for your organization.  Hiring a professional operations consultant also requires time for researching consultants, their backgrounds, and their potential ability for developing an effective business plan for your industry.  Improving business operations from within your organization can save money and provide employees with a sense of investment in the organization.  Soliciting suggestions and developing operation plans with managers and staff can improve operations within your organization without the expense and risks of hiring an outside consultant.

Benefits

Optimizing Internal Processes

Large and medium-sized businesses can benefit considerably by streamlining their existing operations. Manufacturers, distributors, retail chains and large service providers can hire professional operations management consultants to optimize their internal processes. This is particularly important in the current market environment where only the companies with optimal operational efficiencies are likely to survive in the long run.

General operations management consultancy can help a large manufacturer to consolidate its profit-making units or brands, and shut down or scale down other units that are not able to compete in the marketplace. Distributors and large retailers can streamline their transportation, storage, distribution and purchase processes in a more scientific manner to enhance their operational efficiencies.

Introducing Latest Tools and Techniques

Operations management consultants can introduce a business to cutting-edge technologies, tools and methods to improve their overall performance. A number of advanced software products are available in the market that can help to automate and streamline the working of various business departments such as production, marketing, finance and human resources.

According to the Operations Research and Statistics Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management, 85 percent of all businesses report improvement in their business performance after the implementation of automated tools and techniques to manage their work operations.

Improving Cost Efficiencies

One of the most important benefits of hiring experienced operations management consultants is that they can identify the areas of wastages and advise the company to plug those wastages and leakages. Furthermore, they can give useful tips to reduce the costs in production and distribution departments. They can also guide the company to outsource certain services at a cheaper cost instead of using its own employees for such tasks.

Increasing Productivity and Output

General operations consultants usually have special expertise to help in improving the factory operations and production processes for large manufacturers. Even large distribution networks and other service providers can also benefit from such expertise to enhance their output and productivity per employee. They can ensure that the business operates at its maximum capacity utilization, and achieves the lowest cost of production per unit.

Pitfalls

Costs

The cost of an operations consultant can be very expensive, which makes it a bad alternative for small businesses that are working on a tight budget. This is especially true if the consultant is working full time doing a job that a normal employee could be doing at a much lower cost. A few hours of consulting can increase productivity, but only if used properly.  It is often cheaper to hire an in-house consultant than it is to seek the help of someone from an outside company.

Quality Control

When you hire outsiders to work within your company, you never know if they truly have your best interests in mind. It is also difficult to know upfront what their true skills and abilities are before they start work. You must check references before you hire consultants in order to make sure you get what you are paying for.

Lack of Knowledge

Outsiders will not know company visions or policies and procedures. Even if they are briefed on the matter, they will not know the business as well as someone on the inside of the company. Consultants help you make big decisions on the direction your organization will take.  This can be a major pitfall if they make assumptions. Consultants should first be trained before you allow them to begin directing the path of your business. Outsourcing can often fail simply because of cultural differences between the consultant and employee.

Conflicts

A consultant’s findings will cause change to occur within your organization.  Often these changes will cause a certain amount of conflict. This is especially true in companies that have been performing operations a certain way for extended periods of time. Employees may not like the changes, which can cause a high turnover rate or conflict until the new procedures have been learned.

Pricing

Operations consultants are in charge of developing operations strategies and working to improve the process of production within a company. Some larger companies have a staff of operational consultants, while others outsource.

Factors Impacting Cost

There are many factors that can impact the cost of hiring an operations consultant. The level of experience and education that the operation consultant has is a major factor. While some consultants work at an entry level as an operation consultant analyst, others can work as high as partner or vice president within a company. The size of the company, size of the workload and geographical location can also highly impact how much an operational consultant will cost.

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest numbers of operations consultants for the computer systems design industry were hired in 2010. Consultants made an average of $82,260 per year. Consultants for the data processing and hosting industry made an average of $83,920 and had the highest concentration of jobs in the same year.

Conclusion

Efficient operations are essential for organizational success. The decision to hire an operations consultant is based on comparing pitfalls to benefits, which include optimization of operating processes, increased efficiency, a reduction in operating costs and increased profits. Pitfalls include ineffective operations consultants, time taken away from production and services when employees attend operations efficiency training or seminars, and internal conflicts caused by operational changes. Evaluating your business plan in the context of industry changes and forecasts can assist with improving operational efficiency. Networking with business associates within your industry, reading industry publications, and soliciting suggestions from management and staff also provide ideas for improving operations and cutting costs.