Remote Consulting27. April 2020
Remote Consulting - 5 advantages for you as a customer
Dr. Jochen SchlickSenior Partner & Co-Founder
Business consulting without on-site contact?
That sounds rather unusual for most people.
'How do you want to correctly grasp the problem there?', Prospective customers ask.
Without having seen our production from the inside ... does that work?
Especially due to COVID 19, we at NEONEX have been able to gain very intensive – and very good – experience with so-called Remote Consulting in the past few weeks. This means that the consulting service no longer takes place physically in the company, but is instead transferred to the Internet and carried out using virtual collaboration tools.
We can cover most of our activities digitally - it only requires a rethink in structure and working method.
However, many customers remain skeptical. They shouldn't be: Remote advice – when done the right way – offers you advantages that go far beyond location independence.
We are therefore answering the question today: How can you, as a customer, benefit from remote consulting? In the following, we consider in particular the NEONEX consulting on smart factory transformation in the manufacturing industry.
1. Knowledge anchored more sustainably
Through remote consulting, you as the customer take on greater operational responsibility in the project. This is because organizing different parties into a video conference potentially requires more organization than simply stopping by the person in question. In addition, the field of action of the consultant involved is limited. The question is therefore often asked: What can (or must) you do alone? Since those responsible in the company take on tasks themselves, they get to know methods and tools better and discuss challenges and results with the consultant. Knowledge is anchored much more sustainably in your company and can be called up later independently. At NEONEX, for example, at the beginning of the assignment we distribute the task of digitally recording the value stream according to a predefined model. This replaces the personal factory tour. You will also receive clear 'homework' in the further process - for example, you will evaluate different providers for a software based on jointly developed criteria and thus deal more deeply with your own requirements and offered solutions.
2. More efficient way of working
Hours of meetings take away concentration and attention. This is particularly the case in video workshops, since the spatial distance leads to drifting into one's own thoughts and activities. To prevent inefficiencies, we at NEONEX limit the duration of the workshop to a maximum of two hours whenever possible. But that also means that what is usually worked out in significantly more time must now be possible within two hours. This requires even more precise preparation and clearly defined goals, from both sides. But not only the workshop structure, but also the tools used allow a more efficient way of working: Digital collaboration tools such as Mural, Lucidchart or Miro enable digital post-its that are easy to edit, duplicate and move. In addition, e.g. Voting can be carried out faster with the help of digital tools, because automation means that nobody has to sort and count. At NEONEX, self-developed analytics tools, which evaluate machine data, in many cases ensure better transparency and thus a starting point for potential derivation. These tools can be edited particularly well online if all the people concerned see them in full screen.
3. Consulting service that can be planned flexibly
In the remote project you set the pace as a customer. The consulting service adapts perfectly to the individual absorption speed of your team. Example: A project duration of one week is planned for the creation of digital quality inspection plans. In analog counseling, a team of consultants travels several hundred kilometers to accompany the work step. Now it turns out that the basic data needed for the quality inspection plans is missing. The task of preparing for the week is not properly understood. You can obtain the data on your own, so the initially blocked consultant time is not required. An unsightly situation; both for the consultant team, which now spends a week in the company that could be used elsewhere. As well as for you, since you may have to pay for the consultancy expenses, although the project has actually not progressed. There are no such situations in the remote project. If the working basis for the next video workshop is missing, it can be postponed. The consultant is doing something else and will not bill any time units.
4. Cheaper overall project
It already crystallizes from the above statements: Remote makes the consulting project cheaper overall for you. This is not due to a reduced hourly rate for the consulting service. Remote consultation is not a 'light' consultation, neither in relation to the hourly rate nor to the end result. Of course, with the travel expenses, there is no obvious cost item in the overall invoice. But that is not the crucial point either. Rather, focusing on the essentials and flexibility in most cases lead to less consultant time billed. In addition, the output, i.e. what you get in the end, is usually higher. This results from the more intensive involvement of your team in operations. What is essential for operations consulting anyway, the ability of the team, is done faster by remote consulting. Although the firm anchoring of methods and tools cannot initially be measured in monetary terms, it pays off over time.
5. Win-win situation: for your environment too
Don't worry about the reduced working hours of your beloved business consultants. Because: Cheaper individual projects do not result in reduced earnings if more orders can be accepted on the other hand. The omitted travel times not only protect the work-life balance of the consultants, but also our planet and your own ecological footprint.
Conclusion: remote consulting - the future of business consulting
The COVID 19 crisis finally opened our eyes at NEONEX that the consulting concept of the future must clearly make better use of the advantages of digital communication. These advantages arise on the part of the consultancy, but above all on your side, i.e. our customers.
Even after the worldwide exceptional situation, you should therefore consider requesting remotely consulting services whenever possible - from NEONEX, but also from other management consultancies.