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Operations and Lean consulting tools

For the Operations and lean manufacturing consultant the tools available to identify, analyse and solve problems within any operation or business are many and may suite some applications better than others depending on the issue or problem. Some of these tools, frameworks and concepts may have different names or have variations to the ones listed here but are essentially the same and can be found in use among the many consulting firms both big and small (boutique or speciality firms). Each consulting firm usually has their own templates, frameworks, and problem working process that will be standard to the firm that they will apply to the majority of their consulting engagements.

Some of the many popular operations and lean consulting tools and frameworks which are commonly used in many consulting firms are listed below:

-Forces that shape business strategy: Porter Analysis
-Identifying Opportunities for improvement: Gap Analysis
-Identifying problems and opportunities: Employee surveys
-Understanding the process: Process flow chart
-Understanding the process and Improvement Opportunities: Value stream mapping
-Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: SWOT Analysis and its strategic use
-Different problem analysis and solving tools and frameworks
-Risk Management; Potential Risks and problem analysis

These are only some of the common tools, concepts and frameworks that operations and lean consultants use in their consulting engagements with many businesses and operations. The key to the use of any tool is its proper use by understanding the business and operation first as most of the time the answer to problems and issues lie beneath the surface and in the detail. Also refer to our previous article on the effective use of consulting teams for further tips, do's and don'ts of employing consulting firms.

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