The problem is that many companies that offer Lean consulting do not do a very good job because they have merely jumped on the bandwagon. If you hire one of these companies then you are unlikely to get the results that you have paid for. You need to ensure that the company you hire is a good one; be sure to watch out that the companies do not do the following things:
1. Do a superficial assessment of your company. A really good consulting firm will take the trouble to study your company's current style of operation before it offers you any suggestions. Anything less than this will be completely useless and the results it offers will be short lived.
2. Hand you a Lean plan and expect you to do the rest. Keep in mind that one Kaizen event will definitely spark interest but will not be able to help your company make the necessary changes that will ensure success. The consultant ought to work with your people in order to chalk out a detailed plan for change.
3. Limit interaction to a few people in the organization only. Your business cannot become Lean only on the efforts of certain people; say senior or middle level management. This concept will only succeed if all levels of people in your organization participate willingly in it.
4. Keeps you dependent on it for guidance. If the Lean consultant does not work to develop Lean teams in your organization then you'll have to keep going back to it for consultancy. A good consultancy firm will mentor your company and provide sufficient training so that you can manage this independently.
The right consulting firm will ensure that your organization is well on its way to becoming Lean. You will find a significant improvement in the way your company functions and also in the way that customers respond to your products and services. The changes will be gradual and in small increments but will have long lasting impact on your company. Not only will your company be able to save a great deal of money this way but it will also be able to stay well ahead of competition.