Five Minutes with…

14 Oct 2021

Today we are talking to Matt Hilditch who has been with Develop Consulting for the past three years and mainly works within the manufacturing sector.

Tell us a little about your background and how you came to Develop Consulting?

Originally trained first-hand by Toyota, both in the UK and Japan, back in the 90s. I have been using some of the Lean and Continuous Improvement knowledge as a manufacturing and business improvement consultant for over 20 years now. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with all kinds of businesses across a wide range of sectors, and all around the world, to help solve some of their most immediate and pressing challenges – whether that be to fix a specific manufacturing performance problem, help design a new factory, or to implement a whole new way of working.

When Develop Consulting approached me, I jumped at the chance to join a business of like-minded professional consultants, whose common goal is to help our clients succeed in whatever challenge they are faced with, and to do that together with them, side by side, so that they can also learn from the experience and be able to tackle similar problems by themselves in the future. That approach has been a very consistent and successful formula for success throughout my career, and one that is at the very centre of how Develop Consulting operates.

What has been your biggest win since working with DC and our clients over these last few months?

Prior to the pandemic, I saw two of our clients (UK automotive, and electronic security in Europe) open new purpose built factories to support their growth plans, where I personally had a leading role in helping them with those major projects. During the pandemic, it has been fantastic to see most of our clients still being able to continue to push on with their growth and performance improvement plans, albeit with a few ‘different ways of working’ that we’ve all had to evolve and adapt to in the last 18 months or so.

More recently this year, it was great to be a part of the integration of two major businesses following a multi-billion pound acquisition within the global rail sector, hopefully protecting and securing a large number of jobs for years to come, here in the UK.

Has there been anything which you have learnt too over the past year on how you change your own consultancy style?

To be honest, no, not really. It’s been amazing to see how resilient and resourceful people and organisations can be when faced with new, and in this last year or so, unique challenges to how businesses and projects need to be run to succeed. My approach has therefore remained the same. Share my knowledge, experience, and a healthy dose of common sense, to what are often common problems that our clients face.

What is one top tip that you always tell your clients when it comes to streamlining their processes?

Always start from the outside. There are always more opportunities to reduce non-value-adding interference, compared to the actual value-adding part of any operation or task. It’s also faster and cheaper to secure those gains from the start as well.

And finally, where do you see your industry going within the next 6 – 12 months?

I think the manufacturing sector here in the UK, as well as further afield globally, is going to see a steady or even strong recovery over the next few years at least, as governments will want to incentivise that recovery and growth in order to stimulate their own domestic economies.

That type of positive stimulus will therefore continue to require the skills and support that companies like Develop Consulting can offer to the wider manufacturing sector, so I think we are going to remain busy for some time to come!

To find out more about Develop Consulting, click on this link or call us on 0247 736 0164 to find out more.

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