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Lean Banking Can Transform Your Institution. Don’t ignore it.

Let’s start with the great news – financial institutions that are leveraging Lean banking operations achieve up to 30% cost reduction within 2 years, and are maintaining cost-efficient operations better than the average in the industry.
Lean processes are being adopted globally by organizations prone to inefficiency that are negatively affecting their earnings.

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This Week in Consulting: How the Public Sector is embracing AI technology

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, December 18th 2019

How the Public Sector is embracing AI technology

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“Widespread adoption of AI has been slower in government than in the private sector. Given the magnitude of the impact that AI could have on public entities, it is important to understand the roadblocks that stand in the way of systemic government adoption of AI.​”
For the past two years, in a digital world, we leave behind us a trail of data. How many databases exist? Which database contains what information? Or how is data collected?
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from World Economic Forum where the authors explore the context of  AI adoption in Government
Read on to Find out More: “5 challenges for government adoption of AI “ | Julián Torres Santeli, Sabine Gerdon, World Economic Forum.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

What government workers need more is Time. And that’s exactly what artificial intelligence promises to offer.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

The Citizen’s Perspective on the Use of AI in Government: “Artificial intelligence (AI) has beneficial applications in many areas of government, including traffic management—with data collected in real time from traffic lights, CCTV cameras, and other sources enabling traffic flow optimization—and customer service centers manned by robots that use AI to answer questions.” Based on a global survey, this article details how internet users perceive the use of AI in government. | Miguel Carrasco, Steven Mills, Adam Whybrew , and Adam Jura, BCG
The public sector innovates just as much as the private sector: “If there is a cliché that comes to mind, it’s probably a creaking bureaucracy, struggling to keep up with the modern world. The reality is different. The RSA recently partnered with the global accountancy body ACCA to research innovation in public finance. A global survey of ACCA members, with 4,000 respondents in over 140 countries, found that 91% of the public sector innovated – compared to 90% in the private sector.” This survey’s result shows what does innovation looks like in the UK public sector. | Ian Burbidge and  Hannah Webster, RSA
Big Data Analytics in Government: How the Public Sector Leverages Data Insights? “Data is the new gold. Technological advancements and the ever-increasing amount of data are transforming the way business across industries, and in governments as well. Government digital archiving rates and data generation are on the rise. Digital information is expanding and becoming more complex. In turn, this is making information management, storage, security, processing, and disposition more complex as well.” This article is an insight into the benefits and applications of Big Data within the US Government. | Raj Joseph, Intellectyx
Middle Eastern Cities Prepare For An Age Of AI: “Most cities worldwide are preparing to use digital technologies to become “smart cities.” But truly being ready for an age of AI requires preparing more broadly for how to navigate through potentially painful transitions as the next-generation technology redefines many jobs. No city is completely prepared to meet these challenges. But three of the most prominent in the Middle East—Riyadh, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi—are well placed for the new era.” The author explores the necessary transformation of Middle Eastern cities facing fast shifts in digital technology? | Anshu Vats, Oliver Wyman

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
AI World Government 2020 : AI World Government provides a comprehensive three-day forum to educate and inform public sector agencies on proven strategies and tactics to successfully deploy AI and cognitive technologies.
 
AI & Automation in the Public Sector : AI & Automation in the Public Sector will provide the attendees with the opportunity to be a part of the discussions focusing on What does AI mean for the Public Sector, Ethics and humane use of AI, big data, etc…

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

Samsung to supply 4G, 5G telecom solutions to Canada: “Samsung Electronics Co. said on Sunday it has won a deal to supply fourth-generation (4G) and fifth-generation (5G) network equipment to Videotron, a Canadian telecom firm.” | ETTelecom
Deloitte: Digitizing Tax in the GCC: “Deloitte hosted an innovative series of ‘tax lab’ summits across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for businesses. The purpose of the sessions was to discuss how automation, digital protocols and methodologies would transform tax accounting, reporting and compliance in the region” | Zawa
Capita launches own consultancy division: Capita Consulting: “As the firm kicks on from a broadly successful turnaround – having reportedly been on the brink of collapse in late 2017 – Capita has announced plans to boost its profitability with the launch of a new consulting brand. Capita Consulting aims to hire a headcount of 450 consultants across the UK by the end of next year” |Consultancy.uk
Shimtech Industries Acquires Fastener Technology Corp: “Shimtech Industries is pleased to announce the acquisition of Fastener Technology Corp. (FTC), a North Hollywood based supplier of high-strength specialty fasteners for commercial and military aerospace applications.” | PRNewswire

DIRECTORY
The Consulting Quest Global Directory is the largest professionally-managed directory in the consulting industry. Searchable by consultancy , name or by region, capability or industry it lists and describes more than 6000 consultancies worldwide with links to their websites and social media channels.
 
 

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CONSULTING SOURCING TIPS

4 Key Areas of Category Management
"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." - Benjamin Franklin Category Management ...Read More

How to Crush Low Performance and Other Project Issues With Our 5 Best Tips
"Collaboration is like carbonation for fresh ideas. Working together bubbles up ideas you would not have come up with solo, ...Read More

13 Questions About Internal Consulting Answered. And Why Organizations Should Take Note
"You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.” ― Stan Slap 1. Focus only on the biggest ...Read More

About Consulting Quest

Consulting Quest is a global, performance-driven consulting platform founded in 2014 by former members of top 10 consulting firms with the objective of reinventing consultancy performance. With a worldwide presence and a range of proprietary performance measurement tools, we help companies navigate the consulting maze. We work with Consulting Clients to increase their performance through consulting and Consulting Providers to help them acquire new clients and to improve their performance.

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4 Key Areas of Category Management

4 Key Areas of Category Management

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

Category Management should always have two main objectives.

Generating savings, but more importantly,
Maximizing value creation

Let’s discuss how Category Management is the perfect lever for bringing your consulting procurement to the next level.

Measure your Performance

If you worry about team performance, the risks, and the issues associated with a Consulting project, you are totally right…
Read More

Companies that have implemented a Category Management System were able to make breakthrough savings (10-30%) and noted improvements in supplier performance, internal client satisfaction, supplier relationships, and visibility on spending.
The problem however is, that Consulting is rarely managed as a category, but rather as part of the indirect procurement together with Travel and Insurance. In some case, Consulting is folded in the professional services category.
But there is a much better way to do it –
The first step to optimizing the Consulting Spend is to recognize Consulting as a strategic category.
Indeed the size of the spend (0.5% to 3% of revenues) added to the potentially significant impact on the business makes it a key enabler of the strategy.
But does Category Management fully apply to the Consulting Category?
Monitoring the Consulting Category – 4 Key Areas  
One of the principles of category management is to implement a continuous analysis of the spend, the market, and the performance of the suppliers to identify opportunities for improvement.

1. Spend Analysis –
Performing a Spend Analysis is often the first step in aligning the Consulting Procurement Strategy with the Company Strategy. To analyze all the projects outsourced and to forecast for the future, you need to aggregate the Consulting Expenses across all organizational divisions.
The objective of the spend analysis is to produce a fully documented understanding of the company’s prior and future spend for Consulting Services, broken down by users and suppliers.
2. Market Analysis –
Knowing the Consulting Market is crucial to procure Consulting Services. Leveraging your existing consulting spend, you can analyze the consulting market for the main capabilities of interest for your company. The second step, often more complex, given the lack of familiarity with the subject, will be to look at the market for the services you could use to accelerate your objectives and create more value.
The outcome from the Consulting Market Analysis should be a better working knowledge of the supplier market and your place in it. You have identified potential suppliers and know your value as a customer.
But unlike other categories, you cannot limit your supplier analysis to only the major players. The complexity of the market, the diversity of the offerings and the granularity of your potential needs make it necessary to take a deeper dive into the Consulting Industry.
3. Supplier Performance Analysis –
The Supplier Performance Analysis should give you a holistic view on the Performance of your Consulting Providers, broken down per capability, organizational division, and project. It is often based on metrics on tangible performance, such as on-time delivery, respect of the initial budget and quality of the deliverables.
4. Managing the Human Factor –
Consulting Services have an intrinsic human component, that has a direct impact on the performance. Attitude and relationships have a powerful effect on the project’s outcome.
The behavior of the Consultant with the different stakeholders, his ability to build trust or to transfer knowledge are parts of the delivery as well.
Especially for Large Companies, it is recommended to look at the performance of the consulting firms at the Partner or project manager level. Indeed, it is not unusual to see significant variability of performance when looking at a company level. However, the performance can be very well correlated with individuals. In other words, people trump brands, and not all Companies are good at everything. Learn to identify the sweet spot of each of your Potential Providers and the partner that you want to work with, depending on your needs.
Last but not least – a Consulting firm can deliver perfect action plans, but fail to support you in the implementation or in transmitting enough knowledge to take over when they leave. Make sure this is taken care of.
 
 

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This Week in Consulting:The Future of Corporate Training in 2020

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, December 11th 2019

The Future of Corporate Training in 2020

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“At EdgePoint Learning, we believe the biggest shift in 2020 is going to be training that occurs seamlessly in the flow of work. Compartmentalized trainings (i.e., on Thursday morning you go to a training, then you put that manual back on the shelf and keep working in the afternoon) are being phased out as on-the-job training with immediate application emerges as a major trend.​”
New corporate training trends are embracing technology. How will employee training be impacted? What is the future of corporate training look like?
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from EdgePoint Learning where the author summarizes the future of corporate training in 10 major trends
Read on to Find out More: “What Should We Expect For The Future of Corporate Training In 2020? “ |Corey Bleich, EdgePoint Learning.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

Are LMS systems dying? Is the learning management system as we know it dead? Let’s talk about it!​

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Five Top Learning and Development Trends for 2020 : “With the rapid changes in available technology, learning and development strategies are evolving faster than ever. It’s time for companies to move away from that ‘one size fits all’ mentality and use new training trends to free up valuable time and money.” An interesting article that shows emerging trends in training and development that are sure to influence company learning strategies. | Katie Martinelli, Hub
Learning in the flow of life: “Learning is the top-rated challenge among 2019’s Global Human Capital Trends. People now rate the “opportunity to learn” as among their top reasons for taking a job,1 and business leaders know that changes in technology, longevity, work practices, and business models have created a tremendous demand for continuous, lifelong development.” The authors expose their take on how technologies such as robotics and AI could redesign jobs. | Erica Volini, Jeff Schwartz, Indranil Roy, Maren Hauptmann, Yves Van Durme, Brad Denny, Josh Bersin, Deloitte
Training (and enticing) a digital workforce using digital tools: “A key part of many digital-transformation strategies is the documentation and standardization of procedures. At its core, digital transformation is about connecting people, processes, and technology in order to provide valuable insights and improvement opportunities for businesses.” In this interview , Dozuki’s Eric Doster answers how his work-instruction training software to manufacturers can help them achieve digital-transformation goals.. | Eric Doster for Smart Industry
How to Prepare For The Future of Learning And Development: “Your learning and development strategy should, by nature, reflect the business goals your company is aiming to achieve. When creating your strategy, start by speaking with other departments to understand their goals and determine skill gaps to identify where learning can provide real business impact.” The article presents 5 trends to Stay Ahead of The Competition with Learning & Development Strategy. | Kerri Moore, Docebo

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
Training  2020 : Co-located with the Training Conference & Expo are the pre-conference Learning Leaders Summit and the post-conference Innovations in Training field trip event.
 
Learning Technologies France 2020 : Learning Technologies France is the #1 e-learning event in France for workplace learning and human resources that provides an un-rivalled world class conference programme to more than 7000 professionals involved in workplace learning and human resources from around the world.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

FarEye ranks on Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India 2019 for the Fourth Consecutive Year: “FarEye, a predictive logistics platform, has been recognized among  ‘Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India 2019’ and has been ranked amongst the top 25 companies based on their percentage revenue growth over the past three financial years” | ITVoice
Sony and Verizon Demonstrate How 5G Stands to Transform Live Sports Production: “Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc., Sony Mobile Communications Inc. and Verizon joined forces with NBC Sports to test how 5G can change the way live sports broadcasts are captured and produced.” | Multichannel News
Global Chemicals M&A Expected To Increase or End 2019 On Stable Note Despite Economic Slowdown: “The vast majority of chemicals executives believe that global chemicals M&A activity will continue to increase or stay at the high level of the past several years, according to A.T. Kearney’s new Chemicals Executive M&A Report. Thirty-nine percent of the chemicals executives who participated in this year’s survey believe global chemicals M&A activity will continue to increase, and 41 percent expect it to stabilize at a high level.” |PRNewswire
Implementing robotics and RPA in the public sector: “RPA has become one of the most rapidly adopted technologies in modern business. It can bring about a positive impact on cost reduction, productivity, accuracy, data analysis and decision-making, and will spearhead digital transformation. Experts from Convedo told Consultancy.uk how RPA can benefit the public sector.” | Consultancy.uk

DIRECTORY
The Consulting Quest Global Directory is the largest professionally-managed directory in the consulting industry. Searchable by consultancy , name or by region, capability or industry it lists and describes more than 6000 consultancies worldwide with links to their websites and social media channels.
 
 

Interested in submitting?
If you are interested in submitting an article, an event or an ad, contact us!

Contact Us

CONSULTING SOURCING TIPS

How to Crush Low Performance and Other Project Issues With Our 5 Best Tips
"Collaboration is like carbonation for fresh ideas. Working together bubbles up ideas you would not have come up with solo, ...Read More

13 Questions About Internal Consulting Answered. And Why Organizations Should Take Note
"You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.” ― Stan Slap 1. Focus only on the biggest ...Read More

The New Way to Optimize Consulting for Maximum Impact – Key Points to Apply to Your Next Project ( Five Wrong Approach Scenarios and How to Avoid Them?)
"There is a way to do it better - find it." - Thomas Edison Consulting can create great value for ...Read More

About Consulting Quest

Consulting Quest is a global, performance-driven consulting platform founded in 2014 by former members of top 10 consulting firms with the objective of reinventing consultancy performance. With a worldwide presence and a range of proprietary performance measurement tools, we help companies navigate the consulting maze. We work with Consulting Clients to increase their performance through consulting and Consulting Providers to help them acquire new clients and to improve their performance.

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How to Crush Low Performance and Other Project Issues With Our 5 Best Tips

How to Crush Low Performance and Other Project Issues With Our 5 Best Tips

“Collaboration is like carbonation for fresh ideas. Working together bubbles up ideas you would not have come up with solo, which gets you further faster.” – Caroline Ghosn

If you worry about team performance, the risks, and the issues associated with a Consulting project, you are totally right. But instead of contemplating, when you face low performance or other issues working on a Consulting project, it’s best to deal with them using the smartest methods and technics. Also, we should probably emphasize smooth and productive collaboration between all team members, as it is one of the key success factors.
So how to drive the performance of the project and avoid potential issues?
Check out our best, proven tips.

Manage the Consulting Category

Over the past 20 years, the growth of in-house consulting groups has been one of the most notable elements of change in the fast-moving Consulting Industry.
Read More

1. The Key Success Factor is Collaboration
Collaboration internally between the business lines and procurement to chose the best consulting firm to work with. And collaboration between your teams and the consulting team to get the best outcome for the project.
Defining your project team with the best talents might be as important as working with the right consultants. Your project sponsor has to put her weight to support the project and get the buy-in of the other decision-makers. Your project manager must have the energy and credibility to make the project achieve your goals.
If you chose right, they would embark the rest of your collaborators on the journey, and the consulting firm will be in the best position to deliver high-quality work.
The time you allocate to the project is also crucial. It should have been part of the discussion at the proposal stage: what contribution are the consultants expecting of your teams? However, it is always a little difficult to anticipate how the project will unfold. If your team is understaffed, or not available for the consultants, it can very quickly become a bottleneck for the project.
Be clear with the different business lines involved in the project of the priority you give to the project. If your project is highly strategic, maybe you should reallocate some part of your project manager’s duties to someone else. Or maybe you should reevaluate the timeline of your project if your teams have higher priorities.

2. Managing the Performance – What to Focus On?
The role of the Steering Committee is to make decisions indeed, but also to make sure that the project is delivering on time and quality. At every major step, the consulting firm should report to the Steering Committee on the work done, the challenges met, and the next steps.
For short projects, the monitoring becomes more merged with the reception. But for larger projects, you can use the regular meetings to check the delivery and involve the stakeholders in measuring the performance.
A low performance might involve several factors, sometimes simultaneously.
There can be many reasons for a Consulting Team to be unable to deliver the quality or timeline expected. According to our research, the main reason for dissatisfaction with consultants is the mismatch between the expertise of the consultants and the client’s expectations. Clients often reproach their consulting providers with not understanding their business or not customizing enough their delivery to the context of their company.
However, the reasons are rarely one-sided. Maybe the context has changed since the project started, or the project has unveiled some issues that are making the delivery more complicated than expected. We recommend asking the consultants to make their case and justify a change in the contract, if any.
3. Team Composition – When something is wrong with the team –
Consulting is also about people and fit. The consultants might have a hard time interacting with your teams. Alternatively, you might find the consultant too aggressive or too wishy-washy. It can also be that the consulting team is understaffed. Sizing a team for a project is always a tricky exercise, even for experienced consulting partners.
Don’t hesitate to discuss with the Consulting firm and ask for a replacement, even for the partner.
4. Focus on the Results, not the Means – What Truly Matters
Never forget that the Consulting firm has committed to the results and not the means. That is why we recommend adding the deliverables in the contract. Even if the pricing and the proposal were made with a certain team composition, you can definitely ask for changes on the team if the delivery is significantly impacted in time or quality. As a rule of thumb, unless the context of the project or the deliverables are changed, the movements in the consulting team should not impact the price you pay for the project.
5. Navigating Change in Long Projects –
For long projects with a significant change dimension, include change reinforcing elements in your communication. For instance, you can communicate on early successes and progress. It will help to keep the momentum.
Also, most consulting projects are going beyond pure transactional activities and will include a human dimension. Even though you want to keep your distance with your providers so that they don’t become too comfy with your company, you need to maintain a close collaboration with the consulting team. Having this close connection will allow you to address elements that you don’t necessarily want to address in a larger audience, to have an early warning system and to correct course in real-time. It is particularly true for stakeholders management.
 

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Need a fresh point of view? We will be happy to help.
Please give us a call today at no obligation. Let’s get the conversation started.
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13 Questions About Internal Consulting Answered. And Why Organizations Should Take Note

13 Questions About Internal Consulting Answered. And Why Organizations Should Take Note

“You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.” ― Stan Slap
1. Focus only on the biggest value projects.
Over the past 20 years, the growth of in-house consulting groups has been one of the most notable elements of change in the fast-moving Consulting Industry. It is hard to evaluate the extent of internal Consulting. But large companies such as Bayer, American Express, Google, Airbus, Samsung, Dell, SNCF, BASF, Deutsche Post, etc. have built internal consulting structures that can go from small ad hoc teams to fully-developed groups of 100 consultants and more.

Know the Consulting industry

Consulting can create great value for companies who can use it strategically and are able to leverage the advantages it offers. But there are smart ways to do it, and some not so smart.
Read More

2. Who do Internal Consultants usually work with?
Even though internal consultants are permanent employees of an organization and typically only consult for one single ‘client,’ they often provide equivalent services, and in many cases are former external consultants. One could argue that Internal Consulting is the ultimate form of specialization of the Consulting Industry. However, in doing so, companies are partially losing the best practice dimension and independence..
3. Do Internal Consultants have the same expertise as External Consultants?

There used to be an experience and impact gap between internal and external consultants. However, as the value chain is evolving, internal consultants have now access to better talent and methodologies. On some mainstream projects such as commercial excellence or lean, the impact from internal consultants is now equivalent to the one brought by external consultants.
4. How is internal Consulting affecting costs?
Costs are often given as the first reason for creating an internal consulting team, according to CEOs. When most companies were growing and consolidating, the prices of consulting firms have been steadily increasing. Internal Consulting is a great option in lowering this cost.
Large companies have professionalized their Procurement, and they now realize how much they spend on Consulting. Cost-Conscious CEOs want to decrease their Consulting Costs and stop hiring only the large strategy players such as McKinsey, Bain, or Boston Consulting Group.
 
 

5. How are Internal Consultants paid?
Employees in internal consulting groups are most of the time compensated on the same grids than internal employees. Their full cost is, therefore, two to three times lower than external consultants. This indeed it does not include the cost of the partners or the cost of the beautiful office in central Manhattan.
6. What would be the deciding factor in favor of Internal Consultants?
If internal consulting teams can provide performance close to the external ones, the trade-off will almost always lean in favor of the internal team.
7. Is working in an Internal Consulting Group a rewarding career path?
Internal consulting groups can also be used as a career accelerator, inspired by the black belt concept developed by GE. High-potential individuals get trained in consulting problem-solving and managerial concepts. They also acquire the structure and discipline of consultants.
They also get exposed to the top management and highly strategic projects, giving them a broader perspective on the company. After a few years in the Consulting Group, they take a senior position in the organization. Talent is, in this case, kept in-house and developed.
Alternatively, a few years in an internal consulting role can be a smooth entry point within a large organization. The newly hired employees can work on a broad range of projects, and in return, share their experience acquired in prestigious firms with other internal consultants. At the same time, they gain precious knowledge of the company and build a professional network.
8. How are sensitive and confidential projects handled?
Internal Consulting is the preferred choice here rather than hiring an External team. There are projects where the management does not want any outsider view. It might be because it involves a highly strategic decision or very touchy Intellectual Capital. The more people at the party, the higher the risk of breach of confidentiality.
9. How is Clients’ information protected with Internal Consultants?
Most consulting firms will argue that they have established “Chinese walls” and that all information stays private. However, it is at times difficult to disconnect from the information you have and refrain from using it in the next project. But working with Internal consultants decreases the risk of using the information collected as a benchmark or reference from another client, with the next one.
10. Is the Executives’ perspective on working with Consultants changing?
Not long ago, working with consultants was seen as a necessary evil, and we all know the joke about the consultant and the watch. However, Executives have seen the benefits over the years in working with External experts. Their image has shifted to a more neutral position, from judgment to support. As you can imagine, the growing population of ex-consultants in the Executive ranks helps as well.
Companies have understood the interest of dedicated teams working on projects independently from the rest of the organization. They have indeed identified a potential lever for improvement in creating teams with the same focus and ways of working as external consultants.
11. What are the main reasons to start an Internal Consulting team?
Consulting to its core characteristics is about internal teams, experts in their domains, working on project mode to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the company.
You will then realize that many functions in the organization fall under this umbrella. What about the excellence functions newly created to work on commercial or purchasing excellence? Or the customer experience task force? The internal audit team working on processes? The business process management group?
12. How can an organization kickstart an Internal Consulting team?
Setting up improvement teams is not a new concept. But it is worth exploring the evolutions. You can organize them as a single group or community to professionalize the ways of workings. Or manage the demand and optimize the resources by creating fluidity across the teams. Afterward, you can decide to refer to it as Internal Consulting or to keep it stealth.
Organization structures are now optimized to get synergies and make the most of the existing talents. If you put together the needs of all the business lines and support lines, most companies will be able to get a critical mass of similar projects that could justify building a dedicated team.
13. What are the first steps in setting up an Internal Consulting team?
You can start by setting your objectives and the size of the team. Having clear objectives can help the team and position their efforts on the path to success. Another big point is funding. There are various funding models, the most sustainable one is to charge each internal Client the full cost of the project. However, for kick starting your practice and demonstrate the impact you could use corporate funds.

Planning to work with your Internal Consulting Group?
We can offer you an objective, fresh advice, and any assistance you might need.
Please get in touch today, to learn how Consulting Quest could help the success of this project.
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This Week in Consulting: Can Consulting survive the take over of AI and analytics?

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, November 27th 2019

Can Consulting survive the take over of AI and analytics?

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“As artificial intelligence takes over the capital markets, will consulting be far behind? The similarity between the two lies in their core: data. Just like traders, consultants offer a data-driven service. And, historically, data challenges have ensured the necessity of a human interface to the data. Data is messy. It is hard to process.​”
Management consulting which tends to view itself as an elite in the business world is vulnerable to AI, a disruptive force of the market.
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from MITSloan where the authors explore the impact of AI and analytics on the “giving advice” industry. They encourage consultants to shift their mental model and identify the “true value” they are bringing to the clients.
Read on to Find out More: “Management Consulting’s AI-powered Existential Crisis “ |Megan Beck and Barry Libert, AIMatters.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

Meet Sheldon, the Future of Consulting by Emmanuel Jusserand, Partner at Accenture Digital Strategy​.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

How data analytics are changing the consulting industry?: “As the digital revolution takes root in the consulting industry itself, tremendous opportunities to enhance the client experience are opening up and advising clients on leveraging analytics is now an entrenched part of modern consulting.  However, consultants must learn new skill sets to stay ahead of the disruption, according to experts at management consultancy OC&C Strategy.” Data analytics, smartly deployed, can provide premium insights into an organization’s performance metrics, and the complex changes happening around them. How are consulting practitioners embracing analytics to serve their clients better? | Virtuosi
AI May Soon Replace Even the Most Elite Consultants : “The shift to AI solutions will be a tough pill to swallow for the corporate consulting industry. According to recent research, the U.S. market for corporate advice alone is nearly $60 billion.  Almost all that advice is high cost and human-based.” “In 2017, the same authors, as the cover article, were anticipating how the Consulting Industry would face the disruptive impact of emerging technologies. How have things evolved in two years?. | Megan Beck and Barry Libert
How technology is disrupting the consulting industry: “While technology will see some aspects of work become less important, it will ultimately support and augment consulting work, freeing up labour to add value elsewhere in the firm. According to industry advocates, while tedious tasks could disappear or be outsourced to robots, the need for humans will always be there.” Technology is disrupting the consulting industry alright, changing when and why clients work with consultants, but also how consultants themselves work. But ultimately, isn’t technology just getting rid of the low-value activities and freeing consultants for the high-level consulting work?. | Consultancy.eu
Artificial Intelligence in the Consulting Industry: “The business world is becoming gradually more complex, technical and faster paced hence having a good understanding as to what type of information to collect and how to collect it, in order to create long term growth by launching new and innovative products, enter new markets or seek new sources of growth is vital and a must for businesses to succeed.” As Ai is developing, managers are less relying on consultants, but rather analytical tools, to make decisions. But likewise, the consultants can leverage AI to better their services for their clients. | Dauda Barry, Daudex
Top 12 Overlooked Challenges in Digital Transformation That Can Prove Costly to Clients and Consultants: “In the new digital economy era, the demand for change to the traditional consulting business model is more pressing than ever. Digital transformation is providing consultants with nearly 40% of their revenue, but still, there are plenty of challenges for Clients and Consultants as well.” This article provides several levers that can be implemented to guide Consultants and Clients willing to embrace digital. | Hélène Laffitte, Consulting Quest

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
AI Summit 2020 : here are a number of reasons to account for Ireland’s growing reputation as an Artificial Intelligence Island.
 
WORLD SUMMIT AI : The world’s leading and largest AI summit gathers the global AI ecosystem of Enterprise, BigTech, Startups, Investors and Science, the brightest brains in AI as speakers.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

BNY Mellon saving hundreds of hours a year processing emails with AI: “Hans Brown, BNY Mellon’s global head of innovation, tells Finextra that the bank’s operations team has applied AI to the relatively mundane task of reading e-mails and auto-forwarding them to the relative department.” | Finextra
Deloitte Digital Wins Three Partner Innovation Awards at Dreamforce 2019: “Deloitte announced that it has received three Salesforce Partner Innovation awards in the B2C Commerce, Higher Education and Health Care and Life Sciences categories. Deloitte Digital was recognized for its work with True Alliance, Southern New Hampshire University and Amgen respectively. The awards were presented at Dreamforce 2019.” | PRNewswire
Twitter acquires London AI startup as it looks to target small businesses: “Twitter has snapped up artificial intelligence (AI) marketing platform Aiden as it looks to expand its advertising offering for small businesses.” |James Warrington, CityA.M
Bain & Company expands unpaid parental leave scheme in UK: “Global strategy consultancy Bain & Company has sought to improve the gender equality in its upper echelons by providing a parental leave package that does not “imply or even financially force the birth mother to become the primary care giver.” The new scheme will give new parents – regardless of gender – up to 52 weeks of leave with the first 26 weeks fully paid.” | Consultancy.uk

DIRECTORY
The Consulting Quest Global Directory is the largest professionally-managed directory in the consulting industry. Searchable by consultancy , name or by region, capability or industry it lists and describes more than 6000 consultancies worldwide with links to their websites and social media channels.
 
 

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CONSULTING SOURCING TIPS

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About Consulting Quest

Consulting Quest is a global, performance-driven consulting platform founded in 2014 by former members of top 10 consulting firms with the objective of reinventing consultancy performance. With a worldwide presence and a range of proprietary performance measurement tools, we help companies navigate the consulting maze. We work with Consulting Clients to increase their performance through consulting and Consulting Providers to help them acquire new clients and to improve their performance.

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Consulting Playbook: Hospitality Leader Successfully Splits into Two Separate Organizations

Consulting Playbook: Hospitality Leader Successfully Splits into Two Separate Organizations

The Consulting Playbook, Edition #8
The Travel and Hospitality Industry have gone through exciting changes that have transformed the entire traveler’s experience not just the industry itself. For hotels, hospitality services, and travel agents to stay in touch with evolving consumer trends, new and effective strategies need to be designed and implemented to secure revenues. Operations, services, customer relationship and marketing plans should align with the latest dynamics shaping up the industry.
Let’s have a look at a particular situation – A Worldwide Leader Hotel Group had to be divided into two separate companies both listed on the stock exchange. Creation of the new hospitality company posed the need to launch a large scale transition program involving dozens of countries in support of new standalone strategy.
The Executive Committee decided to hire a consultant to support and help accelerate the transformation process.
The Approach the Consultant took consisted of the following steps:

In-depth diagnostic of the management and culture, governance, and strategic landscape analysis were successfully completed.
Assistance to the Executive Committee in the design of strategic direction and transition program. Including actions to engage key stakeholders:

Brainstorming and Strategy Sessions organized with the CEO, the Executive Committee and a number of employees to define the strategic direction and the structure of the company wide program (level of ambition, growth levers, and transition programs)
Get the top managers from all countries involved in the implementation of the program

Engage the Board in the strategy and planning process tools and methods designed to support the launch of the strategic framework in all 40 countries (pilot case + specific support to large countries) Design and implementation of new governance and organization’s values and principles.
Strengthening the cooperation of the executive team to create an effective working environment. The overall corporate governance was reviewed and corporate functions reinstalled in a value adding role, with clear and shared priorities identified
Definition and support of four large scale transversal change programs on Innovation, Product Development, Technology and Talent
Roadshow event organized for all the 10,000 employees of the group to celebrate the launch of the new company and share the direction

The Impact on the Organizations achieved the following:

Successful onboarding of the new CEO and executive teams, helping them achieve a year’s progress in about three months
Four large transversal change programs defined and implemented
Successful completion marked by 20% EBIT rise and stock price hike by 40% – just one year after the 1st listing on Paris Stock Exchange.

Additional Information

Mobile and Technology Trends Affecting the Industry
Below we have outlined 3 new and notable marketing trends that every hotel and hospitality industry management needs to pay attention to:
1. Personalized Marketing Approach with a Guest Mailing List
With the growing share of online traveling and booking services and the leading providers such as Expedia, Booking, etc.; there is an underlying discrepancy with hotel chains and their access to guest’s personal contact information. If the booking agent desires to not share the guest’s email address, the hotel is at a disadvantage. Data is as important to hotels, as it is to all other businesses, when it comes to planning future marketing activities. Guest’s contact information is an essential and valuable piece in that puzzle. In creating that precious mailing list with previous guests, often the best option hotels are left with is their front desk staff being able to capture this information.
2. Mobile Marketing Impacting the Hospitality Services
Did you know that 52% of travelers who book trips online in 2016, are doing so using a mobile device? The mobile enabled technology and new consumer trends require a comprehensive mobile marketing strategy, and to become an integrated part of the overall marketing plans of every hotel and hotel management organization. This means that focus on responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology are very necessary points. Guests often use a cross-platform approach, so hotels need offer a seamless multiplatform experience before, during and after their stay.
With the growing competition from private accommodations, vacation rentals and alternative accommodations, the need for personalized guest offers and experience is even more pressing now, as hotels and hotels chains need to work harder to capture and retain market share. Creating last-minute mobile promotions with attractive bonuses can appeal to local residents as well, and younger guests who travel more spontaneously.
3. Increasing Revenues with the Help of New Data Trends
A few new trends in traveling and vacationing are rich in opportunity to be explored. They include last-minute trips which are growing steadily, the short local getaway and mini-vacations adding to that, and business trips combined with fun and pleasure, or Bleisure, as they are referred to. We will also see more multi-generational and multi-family travelling. But the best part is that, most of the new data on traveling is well captured via CRM that integrates data from both online and offline sources. This data, used properly, can empower an organization into planning and delivering the best experience and the most value, revenue and profits.
For Further Reading:
– Hospitality Industry Trends to Watch in 2016
– Predicting the Rise of the Smart Hotel in 2016
– What Do Millennials Want? Hotels Have Some Ideas
– The Best Travel Apps For 2016

t

About The Consulting Playbook
The Consulting Playbook is a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.

3 Essentials When You Present Your Proposal to the Client

Sweat trickled down Bernie’s neck.
He sat in the lobby with his briefcase balanced on his knees, panicking.
His meeting with the client was scheduled for 3pm. It was now 3.09 and no sign of the client. None of this waiting around was doing his nerves any good. The longer he waited, the more time he had to forget his practiced lines and get his thoughts jumbled.
Bernie was a top-notch consultant. His clients loved him. Whether it was improving processes, cutting costs, or finding efficiencies in already super-streamlined processes; Bernie worked magic on his clients’ businesses.
His firm held him out to their other employees as the bright light; the example that everyone else should follow. They proudly shared feedback they had received from customers about the projects Bernie had worked on. Not a year had passed where Bernie hadn’t been the recipient of a huge bonus.
People who had worked with Bernie knew he was good, but they also knew about his weakness.
Bernie was deathly scared of public speaking. When it came time to do presentations, Bernie went from hero to zero. And this was a big problem… Because, for Bernie to work his consulting magic, he first had to present the client with a proposal and convince them that he had some magic tricks to share.
That’s where Bernie found himself right now. Sweating up a storm in the lead up to a presentation to convince a client he was the confident, self-assured guy for the job. The thought of “being confident” brought the sweat in gushes.
At 3.14 the receptionist called his name. “Apologies for the wait, Mr. Jones. Mr. Grisham will see you now in room 3.”
Bernie’s heart rate shifted from “fast” to “gallop”. He picked up his things, dropped his briefcase, picked it up again, and then made his way to meeting room 3.
*
Unless he’s very lucky, Bernie’s presentation is going to be a tough one. Have you ever found yourself in Bernie’s position? Feeling as though if you could just get past the presentation part, everything else would be a breeze?
Next time you have a proposal presentation coming up, focus less on your anxiety about public speaking and your fear around making mistakes. Focus instead on the people you are speaking to and how you can help them. This will not only improve your presentation, it will also reduce your nerves.
If you want to get your next proposal accepted by the client, here are 3 essentials for your presentation:
1. Empathize with your listeners
When you have a presentation to do it can be tempting to just want to “get it done”. You rush through it as fast as possible because you know you’re going to feel more comfortable when you get to the end.
There’s a big problem with this approach. You’re focused on yourself, not your audience.
When you focus on yourself in a presentation– how you feel, who’s judging you, how embarrassing this is –the message of who you care about is transmitted loud and clear to your audience.
When the audience understands you don’t care about them, and that you’re just trying to “get it done”, they disengage from you and your message.
To keep the audience with you, to influence and persuade them, you need to empathize with them.
That means focus on them. Forget about how you feel and focus on how they feel.
In the lead up to, and during, your presentation, think about the audience. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. When you do this your presentation will be better received.
2. Clearly outline the benefits of your proposal
If you don’t tell the client what’s in it for them you give them no reason to listen to you.
You start out with their undivided attention, so don’t squander it by not showing them explicitly how their lives will be better.
Talk about the benefits of your proposal rather than the features.
Let’s look at a TV remote as an example.
Imagine you’re selling TV remotes, back when they were first introduced.
Selling on features sounds like, “This button changes the channel. This button switches the TV on and off. The infra-red beam has a range of 10 feet.”
Selling on benefits sounds like, “Now when you want to change channels you can do it while you sit in your comfortable sofa, enjoying your beer.“
Benefits beat features because you’re building an image in your customer’s mind about how their life is going to improve.
3. Contrast before and after
Another way to paint a clear picture for your client is to contrast before and after.
Outline for your client the problems that they are currently experiencing and then show them what they can expect once they have accepted your proposal.
In summary, when you empathize with your client, you show them how they can benefit from your proposal, and you contrast before and after you set the stage for a winning bid.

Learn the Secrets Behind an Sucessful Consulting Pitch

Learn the Secrets Behind an Sucessful Consulting Pitch

Your proposal is ready. Your team has researched, brainstormed, written, and designed the proposal to perfection.  And you’re pretty sure that you can do an amazing job on the project you’re writing about. Once the client has read your proposal, they’ll see that you’re the consulting team for the job.
Unfortunately, just sending a proposal doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be read. Proposals tend to be hefty things and most people have a lot to do with their time. They may not get the chance to read the whole proposal cover to cover. In fact, they may just skim through it, skip to the pricing section, or only read half of it, if other obligations arise.
In order to make sure that you get your ideas through to your audience, you can’t rely only on the written material. It’s also a good idea to make a verbal pitch. Before you make the pitch, keep these pointers in mind:

Present the members of your team to spark the interest of your client and really build your credibility.

If you’ve misunderstood the needs of your client—that’s OK. You can always re-evaluate and get back on track.

While most of us are more comfortable sending out written material than we are standing in front of an audience and presenting our ideas, having your team pitch its proposal can be incredibly effective.  Here are our top five tips to present your proposal and to impact your audience:
1. Don’t forget that it’s all about the client.
It’s tempting to devote time to talking about your background and your achievements—don’t. Take advantage of the time you have with the client to ask questions and provide further clarifications about your proposal.
If you feel that the proposal went slightly off-track, don’t be afraid to adjust and take it in a different direction. These meetings are great opportunities to co-construct with your client, according to her requirements. Take advantage of the time and to really home in on the client’s needs and create the buy-in.
2. Be mindful of the selection process.
Every company will define its own criteria to select the best consultant for its unique needs. During your proposal, you must make sure that you fulfill as many of those criteria as possible. If you do, you’ll maximize your chances of earning the project. There are several key points that almost every client will want to hear about, so make sure that you address them.

Deliverables: Be clear about what you will deliver to the client.

Impact: What will your impact be? Will your impact be made on the bottom line? On the teams?

Differentiation: What makes you the right consultant for the project?

Grow your Consultancy

The many common mistakes performed by consultants while preparing their proposals are not just inside their head. Mistakes often enter into proposals and presentations in the most awkward time and manner.

Read More

Ask your contact or procurement beforehand if there are other important points you should address.
3. Know your proposal inside and out.  
This may seem like a given, but the better your team knows its main talking points, the more confident you’ll be when you’re actually in the pitch. Before the actual pitch, try going over all of the main points out loud, so you can find any areas that could be better clarified.
Make sure that you know your parts, and that every team member knows his parts, too. Take reassurance in the fact that this is a collaborative effort, and that your teammates wil be there to field questions with you.
The bottom line is that the better everyone knows all parts of the proposal, the more confident you’ll all feel while you’re making your presentation.
4. Tell a story.  
People are always more interested in stories than they are in facts and figures. Even if the facts and figures are impressive, a story is much more likely to grab an audience’s attention and keep it.  
Stories work because at the heart of every story is the main character. A story involves people who look, think, and act like us. We’re always curious about what other people are like and what they’re thinking and feeling. So if you can make a point with a story, your team is sure to grab the audience.  
The story can be a simple one about how you went about implementing your ideas at a company, or it can be taken from historical and news sources. In general, if you find the story interesting, your audience will, too. A pitch is your team’s chance to impress and interest the audience with a story they can relate to.
5. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words.  
Whether you believe in this saying or not, there’s no harm in using a few pictures along with all the written words in your proposal. This is easily done nowadays with the help of programs like PowerPoint.
Choose your pictures carefully. As per this article from Sitepoint, it’s possible to put your audience to sleep with too many charts and graphs. Of course, if your chart or graph makes an important, dramatic point, such as how changes like the one you’re suggesting have greatly increased revenue for other organizations in the past, you need to show your audience this.  
Overall, the images that work the best are the ones that people can easily relate to. If you’re suggesting a human-resources overhaul, you can use a couple of images of happy, smiling employees. This might seem too simple, but people respond positively to smiling faces and images depicting health and happiness.
6. Be humorous—but cautious.
Making people laugh can also help you to pitch your proposal. Make sure that none of your jokes are made at anyone’s expense. It’s hard to stay politically correct when it comes to humor, but a verbal presentation of a proposal is no place to challenge people’s norms!  So keep your jokes as harmless as possible.  
At the same time, there’s not much point in using a joke unless it is actually funny, and maybe even a little edgy. Have your team test out the jokes with friends and colleagues before you use them in your pitch. You don’t want your audience groaning when your punch line comes around.
7. Keep it short.  
This is a good rule to follow both for pitching proposals, and for writing them. Most good writers will tell you that writing concisely is the most difficult task. Delete everything that’s not necessary. Of course, this can be hard to do, because everyone falls in love with their own writing.
Make your pitch exciting, dramatic, informative, and short.  Pour as much as you can into the time you’ve allotted yourselves. Choose the points you’re going to emphasize with care and explain them fully. If your audience wants to know more, they can always read the proposal.
Try to think about your pitch from someone else’s point of view, so that you can remove any unnecessary talking points. No one wants to listen to an hour-long monologue. In short, your pitching material is different from your detailed proposal.

Consulting Playbook: How to Organize for International Growth

Consulting Playbook: How to Organize for International Growth

The Consulting Playbook, Edition #19
 
Welcome to our series, the Consulting Playbook, a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.
 
Organizing for International Growth
As it aimed to penetrate new markets in Asia and North America, a Global Industrial Company presently in South America and Europe, starting to plan acquisitions.
The strategy included consolidation of existing business and resources in existing geographies, while enabling expansion into new markets with higher growth potential.
The current Management Committee needed to be rearranged and position for its new role as boundaries between the Management Committee and Units’ Heads were at times confusing. Managerial roles and responsibilities had to be redefined. The corporate organization was not flexible enough to move ahead with the new business model. The New Markets Expansion required fresh partnerships and updated acquisitions.
The present functional design no longer matched the new potential growth the company was headed to. The CEO decided to engage the support of a consulting firm.
Analyzing the Best Model Moving Forward

Aligning the leadership team on the key principles for the new organization. Those would serve as design criteria for selecting the best option.
Assessment of all advantages and drawbacks was performed, aimed at improving the group organization design and governing principles. New possibilities and options were identified.

Purely regional model was strong for seizing growth opportunities but was not enabling efficiency improvements required by the industry
Purely sectorial model was enabling specialization and move towards customized high value solutions but was not the most reactive from a commercial standpoint

The best options were specified for further examination by the Group Management Committee which was expected to make decisions on A/ Organization, B/ Governance Principles and C/Roadmap of the main steps in implementation
The company decided to move towards a hybrid model enabling the best of both worlds at the cost of some added complexity

The New Scheme Successfully Positioned the Organization on the Path to Market Expansion
The new organization was poised for growth internationally. The current company could quickly evolve and position itself for new markets acquisition. The right balance between the business and the regional organization was established.
New organization’s structure was created with new management team in place. Key executives were picked & clearly defined responsibilities for each person were set. Next stage agenda has been outlined, to lead the new operational governance model.

Additional Information

How New Technology is Impacting Productivity in the Steel Industry?
With the development of new technologies, the impact on the productivity in the Steel Industry has been tremendous. Technological innovation is riding the wave through the industry. Market share of mini-mills has increased significantly, also plants that were not sufficiently vertically integrated were outperformed by competition, and output has been reallocated to more innovative produces.
The Industry Productivity has increased due to a few major factors:

The average plant becomes more efficient
A shift in resources from less efficient plants to more productive ones is taking place too
The arrival of the new and more efficient production process – the mini-mill, makes every plant more efficient

The face of the industry is changing, both on a geographical level and economic level. As a result of implemented changes, the prices and profits have decreased in the past few years. Productivity growth today is mainly driven by process innovation rather than new goods.
The Steel Industry according to latest stats, is still one of the fastest growing manufacturing industries behind only computer software and equipment industries.
The trends of the past 30-40 years in the US, shows that the rapid productivity growth and consequent decline in employment, were predominantly connected to the mini-mill. Contrary to some beliefs, globalization or steady drop in steel consumption did not cause that.
As a number of researches found out, the mini-mill outperformed the traditional steel plants, displaced the older technology (the vertically integrated type) and this way triggered reallocation of output, resulting in one third increase in productivity. This increase of productivity is entirely due to the new technology of the mini-mill.
It’s interesting to note the link between the lowered markups that fell by 50% in the last 40 years, and higher productivity led a consumer surplus of about $10B a year, an in-depth study on the topic was published in the American Economic Review in 2015, titled ‘Reallocation and Technology: Evidence from the US Steel Industry’ by Allan Collard-Wexler and Jan De Loecker.
For Further Reading –
– Outlook for the global steel market
– Steel Industry Stock Outlook – May 2016
– Steel Market Forecast 2015-2025

t

About The Consulting Playbook
The Consulting Playbook is a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.

The Perfect Consulting RFP or the Fun of Creating a Blueprint for the Right Consultant

The Perfect Consulting RFP or the Fun of Creating a Blueprint for the Right Consultant

A script to a movie, is what the RFP to the Consulting project is. And the Master of Film suspense can provide us with sound advice on how important that document is. The Consulting RFP holds the same weight when it comes to setting your project on the path to success, and in creating the value you expect besides the general scope.

“To make a great film, you need three things – the script, the script, and the script.” – Alfred Hitchcock

How to craft the best and most effective Consulting RFP?
The single biggest objective of the RFP is to provide your prospective consultants with a clear picture of your needs and issues, and the desired outcomes.
To ensure the success of the project, we comprised a List of the Top 10 Secrets of the Perfect RFP.
The goal, of course, is to find the right and the best provider uniquely suited to you.
1. Don’t rush it, and include all the elements in your RFP –
Many RFPs for Consulting are rushed in their development. Sometimes the details or the context are insufficient to understand the business problem you are facing.
Maybe some key requirements are missing, or the language is ambiguous. You also might have omitted the common pricing framework to be followed, or given too little time for the candidate consultants to respond RFI/RFP. However, the result is always the same: it is difficult for Consulting Firms to send a solid proposal, in particular, if they are newcomers.

Know the Consulting Category

In this post, we would like to talk about two extremely important elements that determine the project’s success. Passion and value created.The type of Consultant you decide to hire should not only be based on the right expertise and experience, but their passion and commitment to deliver the best value.

Read More

2. The most important elements in the Consulting RFP  –
The RFP will be the reference document for the consulting providers you invite to the competition. Don’t forget to include elements on the RFP process such as timeline, criteria of choice and requirements. It will help the candidates to be laser-focused on your needs.
3. Looking for the right Consultants –
With your RFP in hand, you can start identifying the potential candidates. You might be impressed by some Consultants expertise or interesting projects they have been part of, but the most relevant question, remains to find out if they are right for you and best fit for your project?
4. Adapt your short-list to the project’s Budget and Timeline  –
Look closely at the scope of the project, the budget, and the internal procurement policies to define your criteria of selection for the short-list. Be mindful of your time and adapt the length of your short-list to the level of priority and the budget of your project.
Small and Large projects –
When you have a very tight timeline or for small projects with limited impact on your business, prefer a small short-list too so you can spend enough time on the proposal and the references checking. We recommend to not go beyond three prospective providers.
For larger projects-
you can broaden the first round (briefing/proposal phase) to up to ten consulting firms (depending on the project and the stakes) but keep at most four-five companies for the final round (pitching phase).
When your short-list is ready, contact your suppliers and check their interest by sending your Consulting RFP

5. Secure Confidentiality –
It is important always to protect your confidential information. Don’t hesitate to make your candidates sign a confidentiality agreement at the beginning (even at RFI or RFP stage) to protect proprietary information and make sure the consulting firms will not be sharing your project’s details with your competitors.
If the proposal includes collaboration and sub-contracting, make sure that an NDA legally binds all the contributors on the project.
If your project is particularly confidential, you should even consider working with a third-party sourcing company, like Consulting Quest, that will handle the process anonymously. They will keep your company and your project confidential until the short-list stage.
6. Simplicity Always Wins –
And it’s best to make things simple. Unless you are handling a multi-million dollar project, don’t organize extravagant tenders. Looking through proposals and listening to consultants’ pitches can be extremely time-consuming. It will also considerably slow down your project. Make sure that your RFP process is adapted to the scope and the budget for your project.
If you only have a small number of consulting firms, or if the project is specifically complex, you might want to organize briefings to discuss the details of the project and make sure the consultants have well-understood what is at stake.
If you have a large number of candidates, a clear Consulting RFP, and little time on your hands, you can just send the RFP and assess the written proposals to identify the most promising one for the next step.
7. Assessing the written proposals –
Once you have received the proposals, take the time to review them with the other stakeholders. Always keep your objective in mind: maximizing the chances of success of your project. You need the candidates to submit their best proposals, and for that, they need to understand the problem very well.
Level the ground, so all companies have a fair chance in the competition. It is in your best interest to do so too. Don’t hesitate to explain in length the background of your company, and the context of the assignment, and to take some time to polish the Q&A documents.
8. Evaluate the fit with your RFP –
Make sure the candidates have responded to the most important elements in your RFP. Their proposals should help you answer the following questions:

Has the consultant understood our objectives?
Do the deliverables answer our questions?
Do we trust the approach the consulting provider proposes?
Does the team have the required experience?
Is this consultant the right fit for you?
Does the budget fit the value we expect?

Note if there are any gray areas and potential for misunderstanding.
9. Identify the most promising proposals –
When you are working on a large cohort of Consulting Providers, you should focus at first on the most promising proposals to save time and energy. You can always go down your list if you are not satisfied with your first batch.
Start ranking your proposals based on your assessment of the proposals. You can use these five dimensions: objectives, deliverables, approach, experience, fit and budget.
10. Discover and resolve any uncertainties –
You should also be able to put your finger on the uncertainties in the proposals and articulate them into questions. The list of questions will be the basis for the pitch session with the most promising Consultants: an excellent opportunity to clarify the Consulting RFP if necessary and assess the fit with your teams.

Ready to get started on your next project? Need a fresh point of view?
We will be happy to help. Please give us a call today, at no obligation.
Let’s get the conversation started.
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A Foolproof Guide to be sure to Ruin Your Proposals

A Foolproof Guide to be sure to Ruin Your Proposals

The many common mistakes performed by consultants while preparing their proposals are not just inside their head. Mistakes often enter into proposals and presentations in the most awkward time and manner.
The following is a list of many of the possible ways we have seen consultants ruin their proposals. Examine the following list with care (and humor) because the proposal is often the first impression you make on the client and you know the saying: “The first impression is always right, especially if it’s a bad one.”

Call your client by another name. They like that; it’s like role playing! Even better, if you forget the name of their entire company, that will really impress them. They’ll think, “Wow, they can’t remember our name? Their business must be booming!”
Forget the name of a previous client on your document. Who cares about confidentiality? I mean, isn’t a name on a document just like a referral?
Present a generic presentation. Like people, all businesses are the same, so you don’t need to put too much effort into building your presentation. Right?
Don’t insert the company’s logo, or if you do, use the wrong one. What’s in a logo, anyway? Chances are, the client won’t even notice.
Don’t customize the resumes of the project team. No one cares about who the guys are on your consulting team. Their seniority and expertise don’t actually have much bearing on the project. Besides, the client should trust your judgement in personnel. That’s why they’re hiring you, isn’t it?
Don’t answer the questions of the clients. If you’re not careful, you could learn a thing or two about the context of the project and better tailor your proposal. Yikes!
Forget the criteria of choice included in the RFP. The client included that just for kicks. It’s really not that important and definitely not worth your time to include.
Present a bland presentation. Graphics and images are much too distracting. Keep your documents black and white with 12-point Times New Roman font and no formatting, except for paragraphs. That will catch their attention and show them that you mean business.
Don’t explicitly state your pricing. When it comes to pricing, it’s better to keep your client in the dark. He should just trust you on this one. After all, trust is rarely earned through clear communication.
Hide some fees here and there. It is just like an egg hunt. Clients love it, and it keeps them on their toes.
Forgo details about your approach or the deliverables. If the client has done their research, they should already know how your services will fit with their business needs.

Don’t explain the governance of the project. You might give the client a good understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the different parties involved. This would give the client the elements to estimate their internal cost for the project; see point 9 above.
When you change the pricing, don’t say so. Especially when it goes up! Clients love hidden surprises, almost as much as they love egg hunts.
Don’t talk about timelines or milestones. It is very often a minor subject for your client. Focus on how this is going to be a long-term relationship with no clear results or predictable costs. That will reassure your clients that you have everything under control.
Send the proposal by email, and wait for the client’s answer. Don’t give them the chance to ask questions. You could end up having to rework the proposal. What a waste of time!
Ignore the timeline explained in the RFP. The client will not include that element in the evaluation, unless you actually think they need your services in a timely fashion.
Use psychedelic color schemes. The tie-dye theme was a great hit at your seventies party. Your clients will love it too!
Don’t ask questions. You already know their business. Why would you waste all that time and energy? You are the consultant, and they’re here to learn from you, right?

Grow your Consultancy

Unfortunately, just sending a proposal doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be read.
Read More

Provide solutions to issues not found in the RFP. After all, you know their industry/product/market better than they do. Why not “wow” them with your prescient ability to create solutions in areas without any problems?
Don’t listen to the client. Listening to the client talk about their needs is a pain. You might have to collect more information or even have to rework your proposal to better meet their expectations.
Base your price upon a client’s ability to pay. Larger companies can pay more. It’s not like they picked you because they thought you would offer a better price, right?
The longer, the better. Need we say more?
Give them a long, comprehensive overview of your company. The client really needs to understand who you are, as a company, before anything else. You’ll get extra points if they fall asleep.
Don’t demonstrate an understanding of the scope and goals. Go directly to the pricing section. That’s what really matters to the client. 
Offer them the moon. Sure, you know that you can’t actually deliver the customer a 500% return on their investment in the first 6 months, but hey, the customer is really excited about that guarantee.

Okay. So, you get the idea. This list could go on and on, but these points are starting to sound like variations on a theme. (Speaking of variations, if you have never listened to the Paul Simon song this post is parodying, enjoy.)
In truth, these points are guaranteed ways to start a bad consulting relationship and probable ways to never start one. Some of them are even possible causes for litigation. The best way to avoid them is to do these 5 simple things: ­

Customize ­your presentation for each client. Every time.
Work on the form ­of your presentation. People are visual, visuals do matter.
Be clear on how you will do the work. Definitions and roles give everyone guidelines on how to move forward.
Be transparent about the pricing. Customers really don’t like hidden prices, and it’s not like an easter egg hunt.
Start working the relationship with the client. Communicate, listen, ask questions, and understand that this is their business. Your job is to help their business succeed.

Do these five simple tasks and you can avoid any number of ways people ruin their proposals.

Consulting Playbook: Startup Capital Secured in Partnership with Chinese Party

Consulting Playbook: Startup Capital Secured in Partnership with Chinese Party

The Consulting Playbook, Edition #30 
The context of this project comprised of assisting the CEO in developing a funding and marketing plan for his new business as well as the implementation of the plan. The assignment also included a trip to China, accompanying the CEO, to develop the supply chain and present his business case to potential funding sources.
The main goals were to create a viable business plan and to obtain funding in addition to coaching the CEO on leadership, strategy, and marketing.
The Consultant’s Approach
The consultant first needed to develop a deeper understanding of the business case and make an assessment on the CEO’s native skill set. After the initial analysis, the CEO was advised on the critical skills needed for the company’s growth identifying which capabilities were already in-house and what needed to be outsourced.
It was important for the Executive to gain a firmer understanding of the investor’s perspective on the company prior to engaging in funding conversations. After further review, the consultant connected with local finance experts tailoring the case to Shanghainese norms and expectations. The business case was presented and thereafter began to facilitate the negotiations. After the project was completed, the CEO maintained the relationship utilizing the consultant as a mentor.
The Successful Outcome
The sourcing aspect of the assignment went exceedingly well as several suppliers signed preferential term sheets with the client. The funding was secured, and accomplished in two phases, VC’s from connections with CEIBs and the CEO’s personal connections. The company as per VC market was still underdeveloped. The investors were interested in 50% or less ownership, additional funding on behalf of the CEO had to be secured through a Small business loan.

Additional Information

Doing Business in China – Tips for Entrepreneurs
China is an interesting destination, and by now, is no secret that is one of the most important developing countries to do business in. However it is well-known to foreigners that cultural difference can present a serious obstacle for successful completion or even start of any business initiative.
Therefore for anyone planning to travel there and engage in business, it is absolutely necessary to learn cultural models and adjust their expectations and behavior accordingly.
Here are a few valuable insights:

All Proposals and Agreements Must be In Writing –

Regardless of phone conversations, meetings, and email communication, all business related issues must be put in writing, in detailed and clear form. Also if translations need to be made of the documents, they must be done too, in order to ensure all content is understood by all parties. Copies to be provided too…

Business Card Exchange –

In Chinese culture, this is still an important part of meeting a new prospective partner. So make sure you have plenty of cards when heading to a meeting.

Importance of Relationships –

If you are just a stranger, and haven’t met Chinese people and done your networking, this is where you need to start before any actual business takes place. People feel more comfortable doing business with people that they know and are comfortable with. Keep in mind that it takes time to establish and nurture relationships, so the sooner you start, the sooner you will be able to conduct business too. As they say in China, it can take a year or two, for Chinese people to start trusting a new partner. So plan in advance and adjust your timeframe.

Never Make a Chinese Person Lose Face –

Western culture can be more tolerant toward cynical behavior, jokes, or critique, but to a Chinese business person, a sense of dignity is crucial. Whenever there is an issue or a conflict situation, it should be resolved with extra care in order to preserve other parties’ reputation. Once an offensive action has been taken, it will be very hard to overcome the damage it caused.

Respect Rank and Hierarchy –

China might be less strict in this way, compared to other Asian cultures, but still it is important to observe hierarchy of individuals you do business with. For example, meetings are conducted between individuals on the same level. The Chinese party can be greatly offended if this protocol is bypassed.

Friendliness and After-Work Socializing –

In Chinese culture business relationships extend into informal team dinners, lunches, even karaoke visits, and relaxing massages at spa centers. Do not be surprised by these invitations, and be willing to accommodate them in your schedule. It is just the opposite to the popular idea in the West that business and pleasure should not mix, Chinese people will disagree with that. It is a normal behavior to engage in fun activities as team after work, so just enjoy it!
For Further Reading:

Why Entrepreneurship Is So Different between US and China
China’s Startup Scene: Some Important Lessons Learned
Tips for Entrepreneurs that want to do business in China
American Vs. Chinese Business Culture

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About The Consulting Playbook
The Consulting Playbook is a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.

This Week in Consulting:The Digital Transformation in Aerospace and Defense

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, October 30th  2019

The digital Transformation in Aerospace and Defense

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“The impact Industry 4.0 technologies can have on A&D companies varies depending on a company’s size, where it is in the supply chain, what its role in the supply chain is, and, most importantly, its business focus. For A&D companies to successfully implement Industry 4.0 at the enterprise level, digital transformation should occur at three levels: customer engagement, new products/services and platforms, and intelligent assets.”
Digital transformation is certainly a lever for aerospace and defense companies and industrial 4.0 technologies could be the key to future competitiveness..
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from Deloitte where the consultants discuss what A&D companies can do better to achieve digital transformation.
Read on to Find out More: “Aerospace & Defense 4.0 “ | Robin Lineberger, Aijaz Hussain, Tim Hanley, Vincent Rutgers and Brenna Sniderman, Deloitte.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

Aerospace companies are tasked with designing and creating products for conditions that may not exist inside a lab or even on the planet.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Agile methods in complex Aerospace & Defence projects: “About 25 years ago, the hype around “lean” took of: lean management, lean production, lean etc. Nowadays, the new buzzword is “agile”. At our clients and everywhere in the industry we find change projects around agility: agile company, agile management, agile deve­lop­ment, agile processes etc. However, the understanding of what “agile” means and what these change projects are aiming at is very vague.” The author explains how Agile methods and mindset can be applied in A&D. | Martin Kraus, Actrans
Blockchain Technology for Aerospace MRO and Parts Tracking: “Blockchain Technology enables end-to-end component lifecycle visibility, trusted data exchange across internal and external MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) stakeholders, and unified operational efficiency across the MRO Value Chain. This results in decreased risk, decreased turnaround time, and cost savings for the entire industry.” The article shows how blockchain technology can be used to improve the traceability of Parts for Safety, Compliance, and Interoperability across the Aerospace MRO value chain. | Kevin Doubleday, Fluree
Harness the engine of innovation: “With aerospace and defense companies continuing to contend with myriad challenges—from insurgent competitors and breakneck technological change to geopolitical instability—being relevant is more important than ever. Industry players are working hard to develop new and innovative ways to serve the needs of their customers, suppliers, partners and workforce at the “moments that matter.” The article gives an overview of technology trends reshaping aerospace and defense. | John Schmidt, Marc Gelle, Accenture
How A&D organizations can achieve digital manufacturing transformation: “In the aerospace and defense industry, tremendous growth opportunities are emerging through new business models, blended partnerships and technological advancements in digital manufacturing. However, that growth can frequently be held back by outdated processes, aging technology and fragmented value chains. By adopting and integrating new technologies, and deploying them at scale, businesses can thrive in the digital age.” Here the author enlights how to improve product availability and profitability through an Aerospace and Defense digital value chain. | Chris Lennon, DXC Technology

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
Aerospace Europe Conference – AEC2020 : This conference will be offering scientists and engineers from industry, government, and academia an exceptional opportunity to exchange knowledge and results of current studies and to discuss directions for future research in the fields of aeronautics and space.
 
IEEE Aerospace Conference : The international IEEE Aerospace Conference, with AIAA and PHM Society as technical cosponsors, is organized to promote interdisciplinary understanding of aerospace systems, their underlying science and technology, and their applications to government and commercial endeavors.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

P&G doubling recycled content for European cleaning brands in 2020: “Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. is more than doubling the amount of recycled plastic in its packaging for household cleaning brands in Europe by early 2020”. | Shahrzad Pourriahi, Crain Communications
Nokia slashes profit outlook in fight for 5G business: “The telecom network equipment maker, which met third-quarter profit expectations, also said it would pause dividend payments to raise investments in 5G and only resume them when its cash position improves to around 2 billion euros”. | Tarmo Virki, Reuters
Majority of UK staff ‘would perform as well’ with no boss: “Micromanaging bosses are leaving many employees craving more freedom to do their jobs, with two-thirds of workers stating they want more responsibility at work. At the same time, a failure to adequately motivate and support staff means a majority believe they could effectively execute their role without their manager at all”. |Consultancy.uk
Deloitte buys SAP and Oracle partner Presence of IT: “Deloitte has announced that Australian cloud and HR consultancy Presence of IT will join its Human Capital Consulting practice. Sydney-headquartered Presence of IT is a 20-year old consultancy that specialises in human capital management consulting and technology implementation. The company partners with SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Kronos, and has won numerous partner awards.” | Simon Sharwood, CRN Australia

DIRECTORY
The Consulting Quest Global Directory is the largest professionally-managed directory in the consulting industry. Searchable by consultancy , name or by region, capability or industry it lists and describes more than 6000 consultancies worldwide with links to their websites and social media channels.
 
 

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