5 Things to Ask When Hiring a Business Transformation Consulting Firm

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Embarking on a business transformation journey is a strategic move that requires careful planning and collaboration with the right partners. Choosing the right business transformation consulting firm is crucial to achieving your desired outcomes. To ensure a successful partnership, here are five crucial questions you should be asking when meeting with potential firms:

  1. How Many Consultants Will Be Staffed on the Engagement?

Some firms utilize a layered approach, staffing engagements with junior and senior team members. While this may seem economical at first, it’s important to consider the potential downsides. Junior members may be learning on the job (and on your dime), which can lead to delays and suboptimal results. Senior members, while offering valuable insights, may add unnecessary review and oversight time to your busy schedule.

Firms like NEXT LEVEL Partners®, LLC take a different approach. Our engagements are staffed with highly experienced Practitioners who work directly with the client team. This ensures that our clients have access to seasoned professionals with proven track records of success. Additionally, we provide a single Principal or Vice President to act as an account manager with industry-specific experience, ensuring the engagement stays on track and delivers the desired results.

  1. Do You Have a Way for Us to Get to Know One Another Before We Commit?

Finding the right fit with your consulting firm is essential. It’s not just about expertise; it’s about cultural compatibility, communication style, and overall chemistry. You need to feel comfortable sharing your challenges and working collaboratively with the team.

At NEXT LEVEL Partners, we understand this need. We offer no-obligation site visits that allow companies to discuss their specific challenges and the proposed process improvement plan in detail. This open dialogue helps them gain valuable insights into the firm’s methodology, team dynamics, and overall approach. This way, companies can make an informed decision about whether we are the right fit for the organization.

  1. Will You Be Asking for a Contractual Commitment?

Long-term contracts with strict commitment periods can limit your flexibility and adaptability. In today’s dynamic business environment, unforeseen circumstances and evolving needs are inevitable. You need a partner who can adapt to these changes and adjust the engagement accordingly.

NEXT LEVEL Partners offers flexible engagement models that allow our clients to adjust the scope and duration of the project as needed. This ensures that clients receive the resources and expertise they need without being locked into a rigid agreement. This approach promotes resource efficiency and ensures that the transformation journey stays on track.

  1. How Will We Define Success?

Clearly defined expectations and measurable outcomes are critical for a successful business transformation. Both parties need to be on the same page about what constitutes success, including specific objectives, measurable metrics, and a defined process for achieving these results.

NEXT LEVEL Partners uses a standard process to capture these key elements. Each kaizen rapid improvement event has a specific charter, or agreement between the client and Practitioner on the objectives and expected outcomes. This document serves as a roadmap for the event, outlining goals, milestones, and key performance indicators. It also calls out the client team members as the resources that have been committed to making the event a success. This transparency ensures everyone is aligned and focused on achieving the desired results.

  1. How Will We Ensure We Sustain Results?

Hiring a business transformation consulting firm is a significant investment. You need to have confidence that the firm will deliver the promised value and help your company both attain and sustain its goals.

The standardized process we use guides the team in sustaining the new process after the end of each Kaizen rapid improvement event. A Kaizen Newspaper is created with a short list of follow-up items to be completed post-event. This Newspaper includes a checklist for 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day reviews. This 30/60/90 review process ensures that the new process provides sustained improvement results. Mentoring and coaching by the Practitioner to the client team reinforces the learnings in the kaizen event and supports the cultural change that accompanies successful Lean process improvement.

By asking these five crucial questions and considering the additional factors mentioned above, you can make sure you’re choosing the right business transformation consulting firm for your organization. This will ensure that your Lean transformation journey is successful, leading to improved operational efficiencies, increased customer responsiveness, and ultimately, long-term improved profitability. If you’re interested in learning more about what that journey looks like with NEXT LEVEL Partners, please contact us to learn more.


Lean consulting, Lean manufacturing, Lean transformation

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