Being a technology consultant is a fabulous job. We’re brought in to amazing companies to understand their business models and, by applying technology solutions, we facilitate solving the challenges they face on a day to day basis. Many times the end result is almost like a “product.” We could be building a custom solution tying together legacy systems and applying new technologies and techniques but the end result is something we’ve built and delivered.
Interestingly enough we’re often solving similar problems for different customers.
This is fortuitous because the more frequently we solve similar problems, the more skilled we become at addressing those challenges. We become “experts” in the field. When credentializing ourselves to clients we point to the many solutions we’ve already built in the same business arena with the same or similar technology.
But like Henry Ford in the early 1900’s, we’re still often doing it one project at a time. While we’re experts in the field and we can apply our experience and skill, we’re often repeating the same exercises over and over. Ford’s solution to this problem was the creation of the assembly line which allowed the cost of a Model T to fall from $850 in 1909  to $260 in 1924 .
Wouldn’t it be great if we applied some of the same principles to building our digital solutions, a digital factory if you will? The end result would be quicker delivery at a more competitive price point.
Old Method: cost to the client ~$250K and 20 weeks
Digital Factory: cost to the client $200K and 12 weeks
This requires some investment up front to be sure and thoughtful leadership but the end result is a win-win for everyone involved. It offers faster implementation of a technology solution which is a far more efficient use of your consultants and it puts your firm at a more competitive price point. The key is to ensure you’re addressing the sweet spot for a market solution when you develop your model. If you follow this pattern you’ll have laid the groundwork for developing an accelerated start to the project and you’ll have a promising story to tell your client right from the beginning.
 “Ford Model T.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Apr. 2013. Web. 27 Apr.
 “The Model T Put the World on Wheels.” Ford Motor Company – Official Global Ford Corporate Information . N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2013. http://corporate.ford.com/our-company/heritage/heritage-news-detail/672-model-t.