AREAS OF ONLINE CONSULTING INTERVENTIONS
The following are the areas in which I can provide my expertise to the benefit of Online Clients:
(Note: AI = All Industries - MI = Manufacturing Industry - PI = Project Industry - SI = Service Industry)
TYPE OF QUERIES/REQUESTS FOR ADVICE
Clients' queries and requests for advice - in the areas listed above - may be of the following type/nature:
It's easy to see that, in all cases above, we are referring to rather specific issues, not generic ones (see below).
QUERIES AND REQUESTS FOR ADVICE TO BE SPECIFIC, NOT GENERIC
Clients' queries and requests for advice should be as specific as possible, and not generic.
A generic query cannot be answered simply and effectively (except through a training course....).
A specific query, well illustrated and supported by pertinent information/data can be dealt with effectively.
Example of very generic query (impossible to deal with): "Personnel in Line B are very de-motivated. What can I do ?"
Example of rather specific query, answerable: "One of my collaborators, John Cauliflower - age 35 - single - machine operator - good curriculum, has changed a lot in the past 2 months. He seems to have lost motivation and care for his work. Very often he is distracted, and does not control the machine output carefully, with consequent quality problems. Nothing has happened to justify this change except, possibly, a small argument he had not long ago with George Chickpea, the department supervisor. Details of the argument are as follows: blah, blah, blah.... (full details follow).
Can you recommend a possible line of action ?"
Other example of generic request for advice, impossible to answer: "We are a company xxxxxxx, and do xxxxxx. Our turnover is not sufficient, we have to increase it by 20%. Can you recommend a line of action ?"
Other example of specific request for advice, that can be dealt with: "We are a high-tech company, specialised in xxxxxxx - xx employees - yearly turnover xxxxx - our targets are xxxxx - our people are xxxxxxx - etc. etc. We are thinking of diversifying and are considering two possibilities. The one is in the field of yyyyyyy and consists in yyyyyyy - full details follow. The other is in the field of zzzzzz and consists in zzzzzzz - full details follow. We have however to adhere to the following conditions: kkkkkkkkkk - full details follow.
Which line of action, to your opinion, is most suited to our enterprise, under the circumstances and conditions illustrated ?"
In conclusion, specific queries, problems, or request for advice - if supported by the necessary information/data - can be dealt with without any major difficulty.
ENTITY (or SIZE) OF QUERY
Dear Online Clients, please be reasonable with your queries. Don't ask me to prepare a TPM program for your enterprise or help you to solve a number of inter-connected problems in one go !
All you will get is a "sorry, I cannot deal with this request".
There is another possibility. If the "entity" of a query or request for advice is such that attending to it would require "a lot" of my time, I may propose to charge more that "one single consulting unit" for the service.
If this is the case, I would clearly state it in my initial answer.
In conclusion: if your request is "reasonable" in its size or entity - if it is "specific" - if it is well documented and supported by pertinent data and information - then we can do a lot about it, in a single consulting unit.
DATA/INFORMATION TO SUPPORT A REQUEST FOR ADVICE
The more pertinent, the better.
A problem, a choice between alternatives, a need for guidelines or evaluation must be properly documented.
Supporting information must be general and specific.
General information: about your enterprise, your policies, your people, etc. - you may skip this type of information if I know already your enterprise because we had, in the past, a consulting (real-world or online) relationship.
Specific information: about the request for advice you are making. Supporting information and data may be supplied as pure textual sentences - as written documents (MS Word) - as images (photos, sketches, drawings, plans....) - as data sheets (MS Excel) - as graphs (MS Excel).
While textual information may simply be inserted in the body of an e-mail or transmitted through the online form, all other supporting documents may only be attached to an e-mail.
A template for request of online consulting advice by e-mail is here.
The form for request of online consulting advice is here.
ABOUT CLIENT'S SATISFACTION
This is my guarantee N. 1: Online Clients must always be satisfied with the consulting service/s provided.
There might be cases in which an answer to a request for advice that I give or a solution to a problem that I provide is not to Client's satisfaction.
Well, we have to carry on exchanging e-mails until a satisfactory status is achieved.
Obviously, this must be within reason.
Normally, before accepting a consulting assignment (be it online or real-world), I verify that the necessary conditions exist to perform to Client's satisfaction.
In the case of Online Consulting, it's a matter of verifying that information/data provided by the Client are sufficient, realistic and not conflicting. That's why it may be possible that I request clarifications or further details before accepting the online assignment.
If I accept it, I will attend to it until Client's satisfaction is reached.
But I may also decline it with a "sorry - I cannot help you with this", and there is no charge (the consulting unit is not used).
This is my Guarantee N. 2: a money-back guarantee.
It may happen that a subscribed Online Client is not "generally" satisfied with my Online Consulting Service. For a number of reasons: we might be too far away in our culture, our values, our line of thinking, our approach, our "brickwall" - we are not made the one for the other.
Or, more simply, my answers are not what the Online Client is expecting to receive.
Or I may be a bit late with a couple of answers, because I am involved in heavy travelling.....
C'est la vie, these things may happen.
Well, if an Online Client is dissatisfied with my service, for whatever reason, he may cancel his online service subscription and he is entitled to a full refund of all un-used consulting units at the date of the cancellation notice, less a 10% handling charge.
No questions asked.
Why a 10% handling charge ? Because banks like to earn their commission on each and every transaction. And commissions on foreign transactions can be rather heavy, especially on small amounts of money.
But, apart from the 10% handling charge, all un-used units will be refunded immediately at their nominal purchase cost by bank transfer or draft.
An enterprise may wish to subscribe to my Online Consulting Service and have different employees utilising the service.
For instance, the General Manager of a SME may take the original initiative of subscribing and purchasing a consulting package and then wish to have his Production Manager and his Maintenance Manager and his After-Sale Support Manager to use the online consulting service.
On subscription, an OCN (Online Client Number) is assigned to the enterprise. Any employee of that enterprise may then use the service, on condition that the OCN is quoted at each request for advice.
In conclusion, multiple "users" may utilise the same OCN.
For mine and everybody's peace of mind, the statement I supply by e-mail at the end of each consulting unit goes to the user requesting advice and - in copy - also to the original user that subscribed in the first instance.