The age of modern management began with Frederick Winslow Taylor. He worked in the early years of the 20th century studying production processes in a steel factory. Taylor argued that by understanding a process “scientifically”, we could make significant improvements upon it. These improvements could be used to increase productivity, pay better wages, and generally provide a better work environment. His experiments worked, and his insights created a new level of industrial productivity that lasted through the 20th century. As a by-product, he paved the way for a whole new profession—management consulting.
Management consultants (the best ones) are expert in analyzing a company’s or product’s value chain—the process that leads from raw materials to finished products. Using the value chain model, they find opportunities for cost reduction, revenue enhancement, strategic differentiation, and quality improvement.