Working with a manufacturing company is much different than working with a consultancy. There are many differences between the two, although on the surface they can seem to be very similar. For example, in most cases, you will be working as an outside specialist, charged with helping the manufacturing company to identify what parts they need and how to best source them.
You will then take these components and source them for the manufacture. This is not always the case though. The manufacturing company will need certain things to source their own components. They will need access to a large number of raw materials and they may want you to source components from their plant.
They will need you to provide labor and other skills they need. If you fit all these things into the package, you are working with a very different kind of company than one that is primarily concerned with the supply of components. Let’s look at the above example a little closer.
In most cases, a consultancy firm would be one that deals mainly with sourcing raw materials from suppliers. The manufacturing company would require engineers, designers, industrial designers, and so on, all of whom would be part of a “coalition” of specialists working together.
These specialists would have the responsibility of developing concepts and designs for new products. Once the concept has been finalized, a manufacturing company would approach the coalition for the raw materials. So if you were working with a manufacturing company, your job would be to get them to supply the necessary components.
This is just one example of how the consultancy/manufacturing collaboration can vary. Of course, there are other similarities, including the fact that both parties need to focus on their core competencies. However, there are also key differences.
In most cases, the manufacturing company will outsource their work and will rely on their consultants to do the lion’s share of their work. When working with a manufacturing company, you need to think in terms of “asks”. You need to think about what it is you can do to help the manufacturing company get the most out of every project.
So how should you go about this? First of all, you need to think about the skill sets you have. For example, an engineer probably has far more skills than you. So you need to think about how you can make yourself more valuable to the manufacturing company.
One way you could do this is to take on some consulting or management roles – these are great ways to build up your skills and develop your ability to think about different scenarios and work with different business models. In addition, you need to think about your personal skills set.
Do you have the interpersonal skills necessary to communicate effectively with other people? Can you motivate and guide others towards achieving success? Do you have good problem-solving skills? If so, then you might just have the mindset and the skills needed to be successful in a consulting or management role with a manufacturing company.
The first step to taking on a consulting role is to get in touch with the head of a manufacturing company. Don’t be shy! Most people who run manufacturing companies have never had to hire anyone, so you should have no trouble finding someone to work with you.
Tell them why you would be great at the job and show them examples of your consulting work. Make sure you emphasize how your background and qualifications match up to their vision. Of course, if you don’t get in touch with the right person, then nothing will happen.
Keep looking for opportunities to work with the manufacturing company – it’s a never-ending process. Eventually, you’ll get the position you want. But even if you don’t land the job that you want right away, which is likely, over time you’re bound to build up enough experience to get the job you need. For more manufacturing solutions, please do not hesitate to hover over to Elemet Mfg.