Our posts have discussed the many trials and tribulations of crisis management at length. The unexpected nature of any crisis and the many responses to it make it an inexhaustible topic of discussion.
In the midst of adding value to specific, critical business functions, however, one area that has been overlooked is general business operations. Business operations are a vital part of any company’s value chain. This makes it an essential part of growth strategies and a foundational role in your company.
When COVID-19 hit and made us rethink everything we took for granted about our business model—including our travel needs—business operations, once again, moved to the forefront.
The unique value of optimising your operations through consulting is that professional insights can help you rebuild the foundation of your processes in strategic and value-added ways. Post-COVID-19, businesses were up against a host of challenges that changed the everyday processes of any business.
Travel restrictions are one such challenge that may seem insurmountable for any business that depends on travel to fulfil its product or service. An operations consultant can prepare your business for these challenges in strategic and targeted ways without weakening your processes and leaving them susceptible to greater risk.
When we discuss business operations, a range of processes may spring to mind. Today, business operations are an umbrella term for the strategic processes a company follows to add value to its final products and solutions.
This may seem like a vague term used to describe virtually anything a company does, but organised operations are critical to any business function. Not only is it a feature of every single business function, but it is also unique to each one of these functions.
Your operations don’t just support your day-to-day processes. They have the potential to boost the value of your final products and services. This value creation is what all businesses strive to achieve and what an operations consultant can help you reach.
While day-to-day activity may seem like a self-sufficient process, this all changes during a crisis.
The COVID-19 crisis made this abundantly clear. Not only did the crisis pose risks in terms of safe working conditions and disruptions to supply chains, but it also redefined business as usual.
The crisis required more than just increased efficiency and improved bottom lines. Businesses had to contend with a business environment they had little to no control over. Governments all over the world intervened in regulating business operations in a bid to slow the spread and protect the entire population. This meant lockdowns and subsequent travel restrictions.
Under normal circumstances, it is difficult to imagine an environment in which our day-to-day life is upended and our movement is limited. COVID-19 forced this environment on individuals and businesses alike.
For companies for which travel was necessary to manufacture or supply their product or service—this posed a major challenge. Adapting to these changes required more than just simple tweaks to their operations. Business operations needed to be revolutionised.
This was a task that was made even more complex by the need to stay solvent in order to survive. The value of operations consulting is clear in this instance.
Consultants are trained to improve the value chain of your business in targeted ways. This includes the development and implementation of target operating, the optimisation of service delivery models, the execution of cost reduction strategies, and the overall improvement of company processes.
The unique value of operations consulting
Operations consulting is generally leveraged during periods of great change.
A company is susceptible to a range of trials and changes. Whether it is a crisis like COVID-19, a merger or acquisition that boosts an organisation’s growth, or any other major change in current operations—these changes can be positive or negative.
These changes can be both internal and external to a company’s operations but the ultimate goal is to make transitions as smooth as possible.
The restrictions of COVID-19 were the ultimate transition. The speed at which these changes occurred and continue to occur to this day, even in the midst of the vaccine rollout, is proof of this fact.
Regardless of the widespread impact of these crises, operations consultancy is designed to rethink the parts of your business you may take for granted.
If, for instance, your company was among those impacted by travel restrictions, you are unlikely to have a backup plan for your travel needs. The solution to this challenge is unlikely to exist internally.
This creates a need for you to look externally for novel solutions to unexpected challenges.
In addition to the unexpectedness of these changes, your business operations are the foundation of your company. This means that changing your operations takes more than just the rude awakening of a crisis, it takes an all-new framework.
Operations consulting can give you insight into the best frameworks to meet your needs while also offering implementation support.
Make the most of operations consulting for value addition during a crisis
The benefit of operations consultancy is that the professionals you choose are likely to possess experience in a range of different business functions.
Whether that’s procurement, finance or project management, these consultants approach your company needs as one part of a whole.
Losing sight of smaller operations is natural during the struggle to survive a crisis. This is one key way that companies tend to lose their future-focused approach to growth and fall flat when it comes to long-term value addition.
The experience of operations consultants can help you avoid this. Their insights help you build resilience through procurement risk management and a host of optimisation strategies geared towards each critical business function.
All this means that your business will not only survive the crisis but ensure that value addition is achieved despite major overhauls to your processes.