Logistics consultants are usually engaged to deliver a specific outcome and should utilise innovation as well as relevant experience and a track record in solving issues like yours. Consultants will tackle the assignment according to their own personal style, knowing what works best.
An additional significant advantage of engaging a consulting firm is that they will have a team of specialists to draw upon as the need arises, which effectively means more resources. A good consultant will not be afraid to challenge a client's preconceived notions or planned actions that need to be reassessed - all in a thoroughly professional and non-confrontational manner.
It is always advisable to hold an “interview” meeting with prospective consultants. It is only through an open conversation that you will get a feel for the capabilities and personal strengths of a consultant. There are many specialties in the field of logistics and you want to ensure that the resource you hire has experience that matches your issues and you feel that you can work with them. Of course, it is not called an interview but that essentially is what it is.
What it is that you want?
The attributes you want to see in prospective consultants can be summed up as follows:
- Experience - have worked in similar industries to yours and/or resolved problems that are similar to those you are facing.
- Proven capability - by way of testimonials and a track record of success, backed up by an approach, a methodology and toolset to tackle the job.
- Expert resources - both to assess and recommend, as well as to provide the benefit of their knowledge and expertise to your staff while they are engaged. A team of specialists that can be called upon for input as required.
Questions to ask
These are just starter questions because the specifics of your situation will generate ancillary questions and the conversation itself will trigger tangential queries and sub-discussions. A project that requires only expert assessment and recommendations for an issue will have different parameters and requirements from one that delivers an actual result, such as a new warehouse design. The bottom line is that you must be satisfied that you can identify the best candidate which will be a mix of apparent best fit based on requirements and often indefinable characteristics such as personality match and gut feeling.
- How long have you been involved with logistics in general?
- What more senior roles have you held in industry before taking up consultancy? (probe for areas of specific interest to you e.g. transport planning)
- What industries have you worked in carrying out a logistics related role?
As a consultant
- For how long have you delivered consultancy?
- To what industries have you provided consultancy?
- What scenarios presented the most difficult issues to resolve and what were your recommendations and the outcome?
- How did you approach the problem and what tools (if any) did you deploy?
- Can you describe a hostile member of a client team who caused difficulties and how you dealt with that situation?
- Looking at our requirements, how would you approach the project? (You want to hear that a plan would first be agreed with you, including a full analysis of the desired outcome as well as detailed deliverables, any tools that might be used and details of other resources that may be called upon).
Expert Advice From LPC
We provide a wide range of expertise and consultancy across the entire supply chain and logistics space. Feel free to contact us today for a free initial no obligation discussion or visit. It may be the first step to driving your organisation to the forefront in your market.
Not sure this is particularly a good process for us? Or at least the questions suggested?