A production support consultant participates in all stages of product planning, development, and maintenance. He or she usually works as part of a project team to identify what the product user requires. In addition, the consultant assists in the assessment of what materials, technologies, and packaging are available.
A primary responsibility of a production support consultant is to conduct a business analysis of the product design. Feasibility of manufacturing, potential issues, and probable end results are all things the consultant analyzes. A report is generated, with the analysis results and shared with the team as well as other key players. Addenda to the report are added as needed throughout the production process.
In some cases, the consultant is expected to suggest designs for new products. Armed with ideas, plans, and a list of available materials, the consultant puts together possible design scenarios for future products. He or she also lists potential costs and issues with each design and suggestions to work around them.
A production support consultant works in a fast-paced, constantly changing work environment. The consultant may work on several projects at the same time. Organizational skills are important to success.
In addition to working on product design, a production support consultant must communicate with others. Meeting attendance is essential to the position to provide answers to questions asked by members of management. Computer skills, slide-show design, and report-writing are also duties fulfilled by the consultant. Ongoing notes help keep the projects on track.
Production support consultants must be able to multi-task due to juggling several projects at the same time. Working with different types of people is also common to the position. A consultant may work with assembly-floor employees as well as members of management. When an issue with production is discovered, quick, effective communication is expected to curtail the negative impact the problem has on the company.
The production support consultant analyzes current production methods to evaluate the cost effectiveness of the operation. He or she makes suggestions to streamline the process and reduce waste. In addition, the consultant may be able to locate less expensive production materials or more effective shipping methods. The cost of hiring a consultant is typically offset by the money-saving ideas the consultant comes up with. In addition, the designing of future products can help a company stay one step ahead in its production schedule.