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Why hire a consultant or contractor? Why pay someone for a little work when I can bring on a new employee for the same or less? Consultants only tell you what you already know but charge you for it! I don't want an idea or process person, I want a do-it person!
Yes, those are common comments (direct or indirect) that reflect some of the frustration that is typically borne out of paying for something that you believe you're getting versus what you actually get. Truth is the greatest benefits a business can ever receive is accurate 'outside' information.
Many people ask what 'best practices' are or why the term is used instead of just 'consulting'. Since there are many ways to interpret how a goal is set, course of action is drawn, possibilities determined and application is completed, it is important to ensure constant collaboration. Fact is, so many aspects can be viewed subjectively. Also consider that anyone can sell or buy what's in a book or what has already been done. More often than not in today's climate, what's necessary are customized or completely unique solutions that must be applied. The partnership between provider and client along with very specific goals are the glue.
The Wikipedia defines best practices as follows:
An idea that asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.
Despite the need to improve on processes as times change and things evolve, best-practice is considered by some as a business buzzword used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use for management, policy, and especially software systems.
As the term has become more popular, some organizations have begun using "best practices" to refer to what are in fact 'rules', causing a linguistic drift in which a new term such as "good ideas" is needed to refer to what would previously have been called "best practices."
Simply put, it describes a concept of being dynamic and staying out front via perpetual process improvement. If the goals for your business include fundamental advancement, engagement, education and awareness, it may just be what you need.
There are some great consultants out there. Take the time to find one that works based on your needs, not theirs. Right now more dealerships than ever need help. Things are changing so rapidly and they won't stop. Get someone from outside your business to help things run better for your business. And listen...you'll thank me later.
Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results