Thailand Management Support (TMS) – Operations Consultants
We are not strategy consultants who operate at the highest level of the Thai consultancy market, with a focus on strategic topics such as corporate and organisational strategy, economic policy, government policy and functional strategy. TMS focuses on operations consulting; we are consultants who help customers improve their performance of their operations. Our consultancy activities range from consultancy services to hands-on implementation support, for secondary functions (such as finance, HR, supply chain/logistics, etc.). Since business operations are often closely linked to the strategy and technology of a company, we as operations consultants regular work together with strategic experts.
Consulting at TMS is advice and implementation!
As mentioned above, many of the large consultancy firms focus heavily on extensive qualitative research and the strategy of companies. Assignments that often result in thick reports containing the conditions and objectives for over three to five years and the advice on how to implement those strategy step by step. But it is precisely the advice to design and shape these steps, and then implement them, actually work with them and realise concrete results with which you create enthusiasm in the organisation; that is much more difficult.
Here lies the knowledge and power of Thailand Management Support. Everything we do aims to improve the performance of people, departments and organisations in a distinctive way. We do this together with our clients and their staff, on the basis of existing or drawn up by our advice, insights into the crucial matters and applicable implementation plans.
We connect people with each other, provide insight and energy and clarify the complexity with practically applicable work methods. Connecting from the heart is what characterises TMS: from the ‘soul’ of the organisation and the people who work there, the chosen direction, improvements and changes actually gets off the ground. Our strength lies in being able to identify and solve obstacles at organisational and individual level quickly and efficiently.
TMS is capable of creating organisations that are ‘fit for the future’ and offer a context in which desired behaviour flourishes and in which responsibility is focused on execution and results. To feel what is needed at that moment, to carry out, continuously keep adjusting and continually develop and secure the process. Inspired and decisive with a pragmatic style; process improvements, innovations and optimisation, cultural developments, changes in combination with improved results.
Consulting Tasks As Operations Consultants
In consulting, we take a combined role, based on the wishes of the client and the assignment requirements;
• expert (knowledge source)
• problem solver
• project manager
• trainer (tutor, educator)
• coach (mentor)
• sounding board
• inspirator (guru)
The activities that we can take on, among others, are subdivided into;
1. Translating (possibly unclearly defined) customer demand into a concrete consulting assignment (the consulting phases; problem analysis, recommended advice, designing / developing change strategy and/or processes, implementation management or support, or an addition to the previously mentioned phases; an independent review or feasibility / second opinion)
2. Provide information to and consultation with the client
3. Solve client’s problems and achieve goals
4. Guiding the customer in setting up and arrange advice & implementation processes
– objective and preconditions
– the organisation; communication, people involved, tasks/responsibilities, consultation structure, reporting method, document management and decision making
– determining the structure and content of advice and implementation plans that have to be drawn up
– making recommendations or suggestions for optimising management, support and communication
5. Managing the advice & implementation processes
– if desired as process owner or as a partner of the appointed process owners
– management includes leading and monitoring progress in time, money, quality
– monitoring risks, analysing these and mitigate risks (anticipation)
– organise by taking actions to achieve the objectives within the given preconditions
– initiating and updating the conditions, goals, alternatives and decisions to be made and priorities to be set, all to receive administrative permission/approval
– regular consultation and reporting on status and (to be made and made) management decisions
– providing interim and final evaluations
6. Provide support for advice & implementation processes
– to the process, owners to take original steps, set up and manage their process, document results and communicate
– by providing and introducing knowledge, thoughts, concepts, techniques and instruments, findings and (tested) data
– giving training/coaching, doing research and setting up experiments and do some testing
– supporting, as a sounding board, the involved employees in their ‘inner’ process of transition that affected people that go through an (organisational and/or cultural) change
7. Active facilitating emotions and involvement in change processes
– promote and provide assistance, assuming that development creates opportunities and the courage to change
– in consultation with management, teams and individual employees giving insight and increase involvement, commitment and positive contribution and at the same time aligning the need for the emotion (of shock, denial, anger, frustration/dissatisfaction, depression/distancing, negotiation and acceptance)
8. Communication at advice & implementation processes
– initiate or co-determine/ formalise the internal and (if desired) external communication, notification, content and methods
9. Make a diagnosis (analysis), which may require a redefinition of the problem
10. Making recommendations based on the diagnosis for possible decision-making
11. Supporting decision-making processes and verifying those decisions
12. Assisting with the implementation of recommended advice/solution(s)
13. Constructing consensus and commitment regarding implementation and if needed corrective actions
14. Letting clients learn to develop themselves to solve similar problems in the future and to be able to do such implementations themselves
15. Continuously improve the effectiveness of the organisation
Our expertise and the variety of assignments we carry out as Thailand Management Support, have successively been listed under our expertise. We, therefore, refer you to the pages of
Expertise Accounting Finance
Expertise Communications PR
Expertise Facility Services
Expertise Human Resources
The Agreements To Be Made At The Start Of An Advice Assignments
Advice comes about through an interaction between client and advisor, and that is why an advisory process always begins with a proper patronage engagement. We as TMS believe that this consists of agreement on the following components;
1. Result formulation
What purpose does the advice serve? What do you as a client want to achieve and why? Please also mention what is not the intention. Furthermore, as a client, you also need to provide all the information and to grant access to all available sources that can provide insight into the issue. After all, you use the experience and expertise of your advisor much better by adequately discussing your issue(s), which goal you want to achieve and what you would most like to have from your advisor.
2. Advice role and working method
A good adviser can and has multiple roles in the advisory process, and shows some flexibility in the importance of obtaining good advice. But the experience and personal character formed will always have a particular opinion role in the upper hand. It is crucial that you as a client are aware of this and openly express the desired preference of ‘how’. We as TMS distinguish the following advisory roles;
• Advice role 1: the henchman
In this role, the consultant is reactive and executive. If you have the role of a henchman, then as an advisor you carry out what the client demands within the given frameworks. The client takes all responsibility, initiates, gives guidelines and takes the decisions. The advantage of the ‘ accomplice’ role is that the client probably accepts the advice entirely, but as an advisor, you run the risk of getting the blame, if the advice is terrible in the elaboration. The main task will be the targeted collection and classification of information for decision-making, the elaboration of advice plans and often a contribution to a specific detailed knowledge of a specific area.
• Advice role 2: the coach
The coach can also leave the responsibility to the customer. The coaching advisor offers insights or techniques, but the choice or implementation is left to the client. The coach is confident, tactful in communication and quickly gives the customer the feeling that the project will succeed. A disadvantage might be that the coaching advisor leads less, checks little, overlooks specific details and takes a global approach, which means that the advice cannot be sufficiently precise.
• Advice role 3: the director (or stage manager)
The director is used to guiding the advisory processes tightly, doing business and tackling is the strength. Clients are sure that something will happen, when and how. The director adviser is a project manager, likes to have control over the process and preferably works with a step-by-step plan; plan of action or introduces phases during the advisory process. A goal-oriented and result-oriented active approach, but this working method can also lead to little input from and a passive attitude of involved and conflicting understandings.
• Advisory role 4: the expert
In the position as an expert, questions are asked by customers to solve a specific problem from the advice expertise. In this case, the responsibility lies with the consultant and thus takes the initiative. The consultant largely independently determines the working method, makes plans and takes the most substantial part of the work for his account. The client is reasonably passive, and his contribution is determined at the request of the expert adviser. The advantage of this role is that work can be done quickly and there are generally only a few differences of opinion. However, the risk is that the content of your advice does not match the client’s request and that there is no support for it.
• Advice role 5: the supervisor or partner
A partner consultant is responsible for the advisory process together with the client. Together both bring in knowledge, and both carry out activities. There are intensive cooperation, active mutual involvement and high quality and level of acceptance of the advice. The disadvantage of the partner role is that it takes a lot of time because differences of opinion can arise about which negotiations must be made. By combining knowledge and the corrective capacity, the working method guarantees high-quality advice. The supervisor/partner adviser can listen well, is understanding, empathic, sensitive. The supervisor or partner thereby offers the customer attention, but also safety.
In the context of the advisory role, the choice of the interpretation also includes the method; a choice between vertical and horizontal advice.
• Vertical advice
In the case of vertical advice, the consultant is usually linked to a client/manager, who wants to move something from a hierarchical position. That is where the power and decision-making power lies, and because of this link, the consultant will give vertical advice.
• Horizontal advice
The consultant can also provide horizontal advice. In the first place, this will primarily be a case about changing something of what the organisation wants to achieve, wants to change, wants to improve. This can, for example, relate to work processes that are being changed and because there will be cooperation in a different way. The consultant has been appointed to give substance to such a development assignment. The advisor takes a free position between many stakeholders; he is connected for the assignment to the top management of the organisation, with the task of promoting the interaction in the organisation. Within a consultation structure with a certain level of participation, the adviser must, within the allocated powers, provide direction and instructions for the intended development and improvements. In our view, an organisation could grow from pure vertical advice to an intermediate form to eventually reach a stage where horizontal advice should be the most effective way of working. In short, this concerns the balance in relation to the existing culture and professionalism of the organisation.
3. Division of tasks and allocation of responsibilities
In practice, a consultant often needs (a lot of detailed) input from the client for good advice. Explicit agreements about who, what, when, in which way, makes the job for the consultant many times more comfortable. And as a client, if everyone keeps to the agreements, you get the desired advice on time. Another point of attention; in addition to the many involved, numerous internal and external advisory specialists which are active in organizations of some size, which each specialist with their expertise in various fields. This, in turn, yields its complexity and needs to be fine-tuned!
4. Consultations and contact appointments
As soon as an assignment becomes more extensive and longer-lasting, a client will have two main risks to consider:
a. During the advisory process, everything changes in the meantime.
b. From requests, his enthusiasm and involvement, the adviser may take all kind of side paths.
It is, therefore, necessary to have regular consultations and contact about the progress and interim advice results. To catch up with each other, to share expectations and to keep the focus on the assignment formulation and, only if necessary and mutually agreed, to adjust the assignment!
5. A neat advice process
In every organisation, interests and positions play a role, and mostly a client is convicted of participating in this. However, the consultant is an independent outsider, and an advisor will stay that way until it essential for the assignment results or the client explicitly involves the advisor in the internal company policy. Sometimes it can have a positive effect such an interaction, but again, only after reconciliation the client or explicitly on client’s request. But note; an adviser will always sincerely serve the advisory task (and therefore primarily the general business interest).
Misuse of advisers is out of the question, such as; withholding information, imposing advice outcomes, supporting requests for unethical behaviour and policies. That ultimately does not help the client and the organisation. An advisor is there to think along with the company position and goals and maintain a client to develop information, ideas and proposals that strengthen their interests and goals.
Our Definition Of A Good Advice
When an advice agreement is made the expectations will be high, and the advice work can start. This brings us to ‘what is good advice, what may a client expect?’
In our perception this is:
Good advice, does not always need to be the best advice, but comes about in the interaction between consultant and client, is well-balanced and thoughtful, achievable, monitored and implemented and always has to do with continuity, improvement and/or change and has an explicitly added value for the company.
How To Implement An Advice
The relationship between client management and executive advisor is a sensitive issue. A problematic relationship between the client and the client involvement and the executive advisor can undoubtedly arise during the implementation (of the advice) in the organisations. Advisors do bring their expertise, he or she investigates, provide possible solutions and often gives a plan to effect these solutions. But it is precisely in implementations that the consultant is asked for different expertise, namely; change management. Possibly the frequent failure of implementations in organisations has something to do with the way in which clients and advisors approach each other.
A second challenge in implementing is finding the right balance between the daily operation and realising and guaranteeing the changes. The current on-going business, the issues of the day and also the realisation of sustainable optimal returns require constant attention for the operations and should not be really negatively affected by the change that is initiated.
In our view, an implementation is a process-based and/or systematic introduction of innovations, improvements and/or changes. Implementing, it sounds so easy. However, in practice, about 75% of the implementation processes within organisations show an entirely different reality. They fail or, despite the high investments, often have counterproductive effects. Planned implementation must be a well-considered decision.
Implementation is a mix of project management and change management, besides the operational management regarding the current business. A full implementation plan recognises these three facets. Implementing is not only a matter of applying the hard side and taking the technology of new processes or another method into use. The challenge is often mainly in the soft side of implementation: change management.
Successful implementation is the joining of implementation project management and change management! And here is the finesse; Many implementation processes fail due to a lack of planning and high time pressure because the implementation of project management or change management has received insufficient attention.
We, Thailand Management Support, help our clients with:
• clearly and concretely, at organisation, process and employee levels, setting up structures and managing them in an appropriate manner
• setting up a directed learning process for all involved and training-on-the-job
• facilitate management, team and individual employees in change processes; provide insight into their emotions and increase their involvement
With our approach we aim a (pre-agreed) result and return:
• within the set standards, time and financial budget, people learn step by step to apply the desired changes in their own role, they feel practically and personally supported and are able to carry out their change assignment.
Change Management Itself Changes
In recent years, a shift has been visible in the vision on change management. The traditional approach sees change as a manageable intervention and emphasises analysis. The focus is on problems and things that do not go well. After a thorough diagnosis, organisation and work processes are redesigned. This is followed by the implementation of this blueprint and ultimately evaluation and possible adjustments.
Nowadays change management is much more regarded as an integral process in which at the same time attention is needed for the factors; processes, organisation, technology and people. Especially the ‘soft’ side of organisations has long been neglected and today more often receives the attention it deserves. Behaviour and the interaction between (groups of) people largely determine the success of a change. People and culture have become essential factors. Change, in particular, a shift in attitude and behaviour, is also considered less feasible; at most as something that can be influenced. This can be done by, for example, involving people, strengthening their own responsibility and entering into an open dialogue.
Change is also increasingly seen as a constant and therefore as a regular part of business management. Organizing and managing are now always adopting changing. More and more organisations strive for continuous improvement, or in other words; a constant change. The focus herewith has shifted from problems to solutions. Look not so at what is or goes wrong, but take opportunities instead. And which solutions are easy to apply? Change is often no longer seen as ‘a change’ but as a continuous process that the organisation as a whole is continually working on. A necessity because the environment is changing ever faster. Changing, organising better, agility and managing differently are becoming more and more a unity. They come together in the regular business and daily work, whereby external impulses and knowledge can, of course, increase the chances of success.
In the desired change motivates itself. There is a direction, a vision, but not an exhaustively detailed implementation plan; the line and the users go to work in a controlled manner. (Although, at the request of top management, a consultant often marks the milestones located further in time. ) It is the philosophy of scrum and agile, more of a mentality than a comprehensive roadmap. Objective, practical support and agreements on decision making create a tempo in the implementation of changes. More and more people are starting to work in this way also in project management and innovations. Scrum is the philosophy of ‘see-feel-change’; learning by doing. In other words: Better, with small steps, achieving success instead of implementing a complete system and failing after a lot of work. This does not mean that the change process will then be pleasant and smooth in such a way. In case of implementing changes, there is always a hassle, it is trial and error, experimenting with mistakes.
We, Thailand Management Support, help our clients with:
• continuous change
• scrum and agile implementation, a ‘see-feel-change’; achieve success by learning by doing and by taking small steps
• objectives and preconditions formulation with milestones planning, which goes further than implementations in progress