Noun: A person who provides expert advice professionally.
While attending a recent dinner party I was inevitably confronted with the uninspired question of ‘so what do you do?’ As an Operations Consultant the question can trigger a range of responses from “so your good with Excel then?” to the ultimate conversation killer, “I don’t like consultants”.
A lot of people don’t really know what it is that Operations Consultants actually do.
So, hopefully I can take this opportunity to dispel some of the myths and answer some burning questions for anyone interested in venturing into Consultancy…
What’s in it for the client?
Unlike many Management Consultancy businesses, Coriolis offers our clients a bespoke project delivery package. This is because we see ourselves as much more than just Consultants and sector experts. At the centre of our business is client focus, which is why we never provide a predetermined set of solutions to a client’s challenges. Instead, we develop a bespoke offering to respond directly to the needs of our client, and we partner with them to challenge conventional thinking and bring ideas to the table. We never really stop looking for ways to be smarter, leaner, more affordable and more than sustainable.
So on first meeting a new client, what happens next?
Once an initial understanding of our clients’ needs is established, we conduct a deep dive analysis into their business. Coriolis are renowned for their unique delivery as we work with the client delivering a project to build capability and sustainability. This helps everyone to realise the benefits identified during the analysis stage. The analysis is a great opportunity for Coriolis to develop significant insights into our client’s business, developing a compelling case which is based on facts.
Typically, an analysis is a period of high energy and short time frame delivery. As a Consultant you’ll work with other Consultants and Project Managers over a period of a few weeks to develop, prove or disprove your hypothesis.
The analysis phase of a project certainly lends itself to a highly analytical mind. If you relish the opportunity to challenge assumptions and replace them with factual information live from the shop floor, you’ll love the analysis phase.
Utilising the Coriolis toolkit, we focus on gathering real information through observation and scrutinising available data. This helps us to fully understand the opportunity to the bottom line for removing waste and realising cost savings. Diversifying our approach to form a connection with the shop floor to mine information from the ground up is key. Working across all functions gathering data and converting this into information is critical, as is presenting a clear and succinct opportunity in the business to senior stakeholders.
What about the projects themselves?
The crux of Coriolis’ offering is to work with the client to realise the opportunity available on site. Running a project while still requiring a strong analytical framework involves a wealth of skills.
Building capability, reducing waste and embedding a sustainable platform for the client to continue their journey post-Coriolis is the game. Strong project management, change management and stakeholder management are the tools.
As a Consultant you are not expected to be an expert in all fields (we leverage our network for that). However, you are effectively implementing Operations management tools which will allow the client to deploy their resource where it will add most value to their bottom line or desired focus area.
We utilise our analysis to identify opportunity, focus on the largest areas and build the capability of the site to realise future opportunities and inefficiencies analytically. We might need to build a sustainable Management Control and Reporting System, give a daily focus on KPIs within the business, or hold the site accountable to their targets.
Projects are diverse, ranging from efficiency improvements in high volume glass bottling lines, to optimising labour within a high-street clothes retailer. We might be called to utilise all manner of tools and strategies to assist the site in realising opportunities. Expect to become a facilitator, a fly on the wall, an assistance manager, a mentor, a coach and possibly most importantly of all, an outside perspective. Building strong relationships at all levels of a business, maintaining a positive can-do attitude, and embedding the behaviours which will allow the client to succeed in their journey make a successful Coriolis Consultant. All these elements align to ensure every day is hugely rewarding.
Outside of the day job, Coriolis offers Consultants much more than other Consultancy firms, or indeed other businesses in general. At some point in your career you’ve probably felt bogged down by an overbearing corporate structure. Given the option you might like to work in a flexible environment with the opportunity to travel and work in a range of industries and businesses. At Coriolis we work with inspiring leaders and high performing peers in an environment where significant growth opportunity is in your grasp and capability is rewarded. I know it sounds like a sales pitch from a recruiter’s job ad, but these are all the things I love about working at Coriolis.
“Every day is a school day” has never been more prevalent since I’m continually learning and developing myself across a range of disciplines. Couple that with being rewarded by the development of clients and the continued growth of our network throughout Australia.
I am proud to be part of Coriolis and always look forward to getting together with the team over a few cold ones. As we are spread far and wide geographically, we organise regular social events and activities (go karting, golf, sailing) to share our experiences and generally get together and have some fun.
If this appeals to you, get in touch. I will look forward to welcoming you at our next event!
Written by Oliver North, Coriolis Consulting Pty Ltd