Long-term business success requires regular company improvement. Enhanced efficiencies save time, and they often produce material and labor savings, as well.
It’s worthwhile to gather your executive team on an established basis to brainstorm and consider operational improvements. But there’s also great value in bringing in outside experts.
And not all consultants come with high fees. There are several experienced operational improvement consultants available at reasonable prices. Ben Franklin Technology Partners offers some grants to pay for their consulting while services from the Small Business Development Center are entirely free.
These organizations can help with inventory control, new product development, supply chain and many other business boosting efforts. Learn more about four Lehigh Valley-based operational improvement consultants below:
Enterprise Systems Center at Lehigh University
Lehigh’s Enterprise Systems Center has helped many companies in and around the Lehigh Valley improve efficiencies and save money through its low-cost, high-quality consulting services.
The Center’s Senior Fellows are semi-retired executives from major corporations who work with Lehigh professors, PhD, graduate and undergraduate students on high return-on-investment consulting projects.
The Center’s consulting rates start at $65 an hour, and the center also undertakes semester-long projects offering 36 mentor hours and 144 student hours at a total cost of $9,000, or $45 an hour.
The Enterprise Systems Center only takes on projects with at least a five times return on investment (5 x ROI).
The Center’s areas of expertise include:
- Supply chain
- Additive manufacturing
- Predictive analytics
The Center is sometimes successful in obtaining matching funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance, MidAtlantic Trade Adjustment Assistance Center or Ben Franklin Technology Partners to pay for their consulting projects.
Small Business Development Center
The Small Business Development Center at Lehigh University can help businesses with production and inventory control, layout analysis, new product scheduling, and project management. All SBDC services are free.
Ben Franklin offers operational improvement consulting services for both early-stage technology firms and established manufacturers.
For its manufacturing clients, the organization has a matching grant that can be used for enterprise-wide solutions, including enhancements to a company’s manufacturing process, developing new products, or improving existing products. The grant is up to a maximum of $50,000.
Manufacturers Resource Center
The Manufacturers Resource Center helps manufacturers with training, consulting and financial resources. The MRC offers some low-interest loans to help pay for its services.
A sampling of some of the services that MRC offers are:
- Experts in all Lean Tools (5S, Value Stream Mapping, TPM, Problem Solving, Standard Work)
- Lean Master Certification
- Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt Certifications
- Maintenance Excellence Training and Certification
- Executive Leadership Training and Certification
- ISO Training and Certification
- Project Management Training
- Supervisor Bootcamp
- Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T)
- Strategic Planning
- Market Research
- Voice of the Customer
- Lead Generation
- Website and Brand Strategies
How to Apply
Concannon Miller is personally acquainted with the key personnel at these organizations and can help you navigate with various agencies and programs to determine the route for maximizing your opportunities to get your business on the path for greater success. Many of these organizations provide businesses with free or discounted assistance. Contact us here for more information.
Looking for more grant and tax credit opportunities? Check out our Business Guide for Growth, which offers details on more than 40 tax strategies, grants, credits, low-interest loans and other business resources to help companies grow. Download your copy here.