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6 Reasons Why Analyzing Your Consulting Spend Will Make You a Pro at Buying Consulting

Working with consultants can bring in tremendous benefits, but if you don’t know how to manage the procurement process, the results might be far from satisfactory. A first scan of your expenses, where the observation period will be the previous fiscal year, will give you a good basis for slicing and dicing the information. Having this structured data will allow you to understand the patterns of your Consulting Spend. You can capture quick gains, get the buy-in of your employees and embark on a self-funded journey.

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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.
 
 

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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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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.
Book your call

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Everything You Like to Know About In-House Consulting and How to Optimize Your Internal Consultants’ Potential

Everything You Like to Know About In-House Consulting and How to Optimize Your Internal Consultants’ Potential

Your internal consulting, transformation team, or excellence group, is a great asset that can make every project a success. The point is to use the best strategy and methods and to be able to optimize this team’s potential.
CEOs have the opportunity to execute any project two ways:  in-house or to bring in external consultants. In the prime of Strategy Consulting, the decision was invariably leaning towards external consultants. We could see companies externalizing their entire strategy to consulting firms.
But today there is a clear tendency to use more in-house Consultants-
We see corporations more willing and ready to manage their own projects, especially when these are impacting the future of the enterprise.
Among the top trends are:

Shrinking experience gap between external consultancies and in-house consulting on strategic matters. The frequent movements between consulting firms and strategy groups combined with almost systematic use of MBAs or leadership development programs have provided corporations with a blend of talent, knowledge, and experience to manage the strategic agenda by themselves, using consultants only on very specific projects.
Substitution of external consultants by internal resources embodies a trend that started in the strategy function, now has spread to other functions and activities.
It’s a win-win situation for companies and consultants alike – former consultants have the opportunity to join a company in a transition role that will leverage their expertise and allow them to learn more about the company before taking other responsibilities. So companies enjoy the luxury of having expert resources in-house to drive their projects or oversee consulting projects for a fraction of the cost.
Healthy competition – creating some emulation and to force internal teams to provide state-of-the-art performance, prompted some companies to give their business units the option to use or not internal consulting teams, placing them in competition with external consultants.
Value for money – even though there is a significant potential for savings, internal and external consultants rarely mix their resources. Moreover, when they do it is more in one direction, adding a few resources to the consulting project to reduce costs and transfer some knowledge

Measure your Performance, Optimize your Consulting Spend

For Consultants – if the Client continues to buy their services, probably not so critical, but for Clients it’s exactly the opposite…
Read More

Inspired by the way General Electric is leveraging its pool of high potential through the black belts, many companies have now connected their excellence groups with their high potential development. Being a part of those teams becomes the place to be at for accelerated career development. Also, the credibility and performance of the teams are not questioned anymore.
 
10 Ways to Fully Optimize the Potential of Your Internal Consultants –
Consulting is an important lever for business process improvement and for acquiring a new perspective on stagnant areas of your business.
Internal consultants are a valuable asset, as they can show you where processes break down and why, how projects are derailed and by who, and a whole host of other insights into the operation of your organization.
As an external consultant, your team members offer a variety of fresh perspectives that cannot be found in the manager’s office or the C-Suite.
How to best engage internal consultants?
 

Here are few ideas you can explore and launch the process:

Identify the highest impact challenges, also the most common challenges your organization deals with
Determine the areas of excellence and the areas of deficiency
Outline operation inefficiency issues
Discuss organization’s culture issues
Staffing levels, Staffing quality
Analyze onboarding process, and training effectiveness
Efficiency and Effectiveness of communication
Regulatory compliance issues
Effectiveness of marketing on sales, on Customers’ expectations, and how to improve Customer experience

So we discussed the benefits of using in-house consulting, now let’s take a look at some of the challenges.
Challenges in Managing Internal Consultants –
Internal consultants have a unique role and can greatly affect the success of the project.
Many projects are launched to achieve change objectives within an organization. And sometimes there can be a conflict of interest between teams and individuals who support the change, and those who want to preserve the status quo.
Internal consultants bring important knowledge and experience to a project, but often they might face different constraints compared to external consultants. Their relationships within the organization and the expectations of their direct bosses can affect their performance in the project.
The hierarchy, politics, and culture within the organization can also play a role in the resolution of such conflicts.
The project manager needs to understand the implications and leverage the role of the internal consultants.
Strategies to Successfully Manage Internal Consultants:
The value and the importance of the project are always the top considerations. The project manager and the consultants need to keep in mind the critical elements to ensure success:

The project’s goals and objective – agree on the result, main principles, and team communication
Project plan and checkpoint – agree on the phases, activities, tasks, milestones, timing, and dependency
Roles and responsibilities – who is responsible and/or accountable for what, when and how.
Visualize the result and the direction the project will be taking
Decide on the commitments – agree on the key people, empower teams, ownership, and give credit.
Communications – how to keep people informed and how to get the right message across at the right time
Measure results – when to show status visibility and progress toward goals.
Managing risk – agree on the degree of innovation without compromising the success of the project.

If you like to discuss how we can assist you in organizing or 
managing your in-house consultants on a specific project,
please let us known today.
Book your call

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This Week in Consulting: All You Need to Know to Choose a Lean Consultant

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, December 4th 2019

All You Need to Know to Choose a Lean Consultant

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“The value of consulting work can be subjective, or it can be measurable (or both). The value can also be long-term or there can be short-term benefits (or both). This is where I think a “contingent” fee can possibly cause more problems than it’s worth.​”
Sometimes a Lean consultant will work for a client for no up-front fee and get paid only a percentage of cost savings that are realized. But is it really a good deal for the client?
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from Lean Blog where the author proposes to debate on the price paid for most management consulting work in a Lean organization.
Read on to Find out More: “Is it a Bad Idea to Pay a Lean Consultant Based on a Percentage of Cost Savings? “ |Mark Graban.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

In the 1990s , Steve Jobs covers some of the core principles of Lean Six Sigma​.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

How can I tell good lean consultants from bad?  “Consulting is an extractive industry, where specialists are used to extract more value out of people and operations, whereas lean is fundamentally inclusive, showing the people themselves how to create more value while generating less waste – and sharing that extra value.” An interesting article that shows Lean is something you learn on the field rather than in books. | Michael Ballé, LEAN SENSEI PARTNERS
Build internal Capability or hire external Consultants? “A leading company decided to embark on the path of implementing a Six Sigma program. The program had the right support and visibility to top leadership and the program was officially run by the quality organization and supported by middle and senior business leaders who made up the steering committee.” This study gives the pros & cons of hiring external consultants and building an internal continuous improvement program. | Lean six sigma experts
Key Traits and Behaviors of Great Lean Consultants: “I know of far too many companies who have hired so-called “lean experts” who really function like traditional strategy or business consultants. They come in, create and share fancy PowerPoint presentations, make a set of general recommendations (many of which the client has already considered), charge an outrageous amount of money and then leave. As a result, many companies feel burned by the experience, and lean itself gets a bad reputation.” Working with good Lean Consultants is working with these people over the long haul and accepting to change the thinking of every person in the company. | Art Byrne, J.W. Childs Associates
Lean Manufacturing Consultants, The Real Story: “Lean manufacturing consultants help you to improve profit through waste reduction, eliminating the seven wastes within your processes through implementing Just in Time flow, 5S, SMED and other ideas that form the backbone of lean.” An interesting infographic giving the big picture of the many aspects to consider before deciding whether a lean consultant is beneficial to a company. | Christine Wheeler, Newcastle Systems
How to Choose a Lean Consultant: “Consultants claiming fantastic achievements. Sure, a successful lean deployment will yield great results but some claims are hard to believe. For instance, some consulting firms’ websites claim they have led hundreds of lean transformations. Making a few improvements in an operation is not a “lean transformation”. You need to watch out for these terms because they mean different things to different people.” As AI is becoming a key resource, this article highlights how decision-makers are using more computerized tools that extract knowledge to support their managerial work either directly or indirectly. Based on his own experiences, the author provides a guide that will help us to choose the right lean consulting services for your business. | Lean do Consulting

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
Lean Summit 2020 : The Lean Summit has become the event for lean thinkers and innovators to get together, learn, and share. Countless partnerships have formed, professional relationships started, and lean initiatives  energized.
 
2020 Lean Coaching Summit : Constantly developing new skills and sharpening your existing skills is the difference between a good coach and a great coach. Which is why this event has become so important.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

Services Australia partners Infosys to digitise welfare entitlements: “IT services major Infosys on Friday said it has inked an agreement with Australian federal government’s Services Australia to transform the entitlement calculation engine for the nation’s welfare system.” | The Pioneer
IG Group Holdings Reappoints PricewaterhouseCoopers as Auditor: “IG Group Holdings plc (LON: IGG), a global leader in online trading, has announced that, following the conclusion of a formal tender process led by the Company’s Audit Committee, the Company has reappointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as its auditor for the year ending 31st May 2021. PwC will hold office until the next Annual General Meeting of the Company in September 2020, when their appointment will be subject to shareholder approval.” | Giles Arbor, DirectorsTalk
BPCL appoints Deloitte for government’s stake sale: “The Department of Investment and Public Asset (DIPAM) has appointed Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd as advisor for the strategic sale of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) which will see government selling its direct stake of 53.29 per cent in the second largest oil refiner, sources said .” |Business Insider
UK’s largest food & beverage companies see performance dip: “UK’s largest food and beverage companies have seen their performance dip last year, amid an increasingly uncertain economic landscape and lower levels of consumer confidence.” | 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

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

Wanting to Read People’s Minds? Discover Instead the Best Sources and Publications on the Consulting Industry
What clients want? If there was a way to read people's minds, like in the movie "What Women Want" with ...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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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?)

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 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.
So how is your company spending on Consulting? And what projects are best to focus on? You probably have seen an internal project not delivering fast and strong enough because the team players were too busy in their daily operations. And were petrified at the idea of jeopardizing their careers.
Consulting can be a powerful lever for Companies to accelerate value creation and avoid some pitfalls. It addresses two main challenges: focus and independence. Projects supported by the right consultant can achieve higher value than the same projects done internally.
But Clients do not always optimize the way they use Consulting. Based on years of experience in helping companies like yours, we have seen the most common issues play over and over again.

Know the Consulting industry

How to add extra value to my project? How can a Consultant help me expand the possibilities beyond solving the main issues?
Read More

The Three Major Aspects in Optimizing your Consulting Spend for Maximum Impact –
1. Focus only on the biggest value projects.
The first step in optimizing your use of Consulting is to make sure you are spending your money on the right projects.
What this means is aiming for alignment of projects with your strategy, and decide which projects are best to spend money on. Your strategy reflects your vision, and your Consulting projects should be fully synchronized with it.
There is no one-fits-all strategy that will magically produce a competitive edge for your Company. But most executives would recognize that, besides an ambitious strategy, success cannot happen without the alignment of all the elements of the business, including the spend and the organization, to the overall strategy.
2. Are your projects strategic?
There are two Main Categories of Consulting projects, and it’s important to distinguish them.
Among the consulting projects done during the last 12 months, how many were supporting your strategy? Or at least considered strategic at the time they were launched?
 

The two types of strategic projects:

Core Strategy Projects – These are projects that support a core strategic workstream, and directly advance the long-term vision of the company. Projects enabling strategic projects fall in this category as well. For instance, your company has decided to implement a customer-centric organization. The consulting project supporting the transformation will be considered a core strategy project.
Strategic Adaptation Projects – These are projects that are needed to adapt an issue or a new regulation. For instance, when the French government decided to regulate Gas Distribution in 2000, all gas operators in France had two years to get compliant with the new regulation. The project supporting the adaptation of internal rules and organizations was a strategic adaptation project.

It’s really easy to view and sort your projects in these two categories. You can have a limited number of non-strategic projects, in particular, small projects under the demand management threshold.
3. Five Wrong Approach Scenarios and How to Avoid Them?
– Underutilizing Consulting:This situation is quite frequent in traditional industries, such as chemicals or manufacturing and applies to small to mid-sized Companies. Executives tend to think that consulting is expensive, or that Consultants do not really create value. Using Consulting is seen as a sign of weakness and a waste of money.
– Overutilizing Consulting: In some Companies, Executives cannot move a finger without the help of a consultant. A Large European bank noticed during a budget exercise supported by a large Consulting firm that all the different functions of the group had prepared the meeting with their “private” consultant. Another Change management consultant realized that all participants in the team-building workshop he was facilitating for his manufacturing client, were, in fact, coming from various consulting firms.
– When Consultants are utilized on the wrong projects: This mistake is the most common one. Companies don’t always anticipate and prioritize their needs for Consulting and draw their consultant anytime they are stuck or need to accelerate. The first one to use the budget gets the resources. But was implementing a brand new ERP on a division that is about to be divested, a smart move?
– Getting lost between internal and external resources: This is a tricky situation. These companies have identified the priorities of their projects, but they underestimated the challenges of handling them internally or the benefits of third-party intervention.
– Applying the wrong compensation models: There are many ways to compensate consultants, and each one of them has a range of applications when it benefits both sides. Few companies have mastered this subject and apply optimized compensation models. Should you compensate for time or impact? How to handle a project that is late by one year? You need to be very clear on these questions.

Ready to launch your next project?
Need a fresh take or new expertise?
We will be happy to help.
Please give us a call today, at no obligation, to get the conversation started.
Book your call

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3 Best Ways to Measure Consulting Performance – In Short, Medium & Long-Term Formats

3 Best Ways to Measure Consulting Performance – In Short, Medium & Long-Term Formats

Let’s start with the question – How important is measuring the performance of Consulting Services’ providers?
For Consultants – as long as their clients keep buying the services, measuring and analyzing performance is not that important.
But for Clients, it’s a very necessary part of the process of acquiring such services and getting the best ROI.
If we take a look at the Automotive industry, for example, the ultimate price will be losing the business of the client.
In most procurement categories, the receipt and inspection of the purchased goods is a key step in the process. When the product is damaged or not compliant with the requirements, it will be rejected. When the product is compliant, but the quality is not satisfying, the provider’s contract will not be renewed. When a supplier is the subject of numerous claims it will be removed from the panel.

Manage the consulting category

Demand management is a critical tool for procurement professionals and companies in general…
Read More

But here are the shocking facts :

57% of companies don’t have a systematic Performance Evaluation system for the Consulting Category.
Consulting firms also don’t necessarily have a reliable system for measuring clients’ satisfaction. They realize the client was unhappy when they lose the account.
Which is often unfortunate, and doesn’t help either party.
Open conversation and feedback is the first step. But why is t often obstructed?
Consulting Firms are looking for feedback to engage in a continuous improvement process, and their clients are expecting them to listen and improve their ways of working.

 

There are a few reasons that prevent collaboration:

Consulting Services are seen as hard to measure, intangible, and measurement can be tricky. But companies know from experience that even intangible objectives can be measured

The best approach relies on a system. Since Peter Drucker has popularized Management by objectives in the 50s, it became a standard in General Management. SMART objectives are used across the board to help employees have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities.
The same can apply to Consulting Services. When you hire a Consulting Firm, you have some expectations such as the quality of the deliverables, the ability to understand your business, the ability to build trust with the stakeholders, etc.

Why not measure the achievement of these objectives

Implementing a systematic Performance Evaluation specific to Consulting Services is a cornerstone of the management of the Consulting Category.
The benefits of measuring can be seen at three time horizons
1. Short-Term
The beginning of the implementation can be rocky. Being attentive to feedback from the main departments or business lines using consulting can help procurement to identify the Consulting Firm with performance issues and gather the necessary information to build the right improvement plan with them.
2. Medium-Term
Tracking your providers’ performance longitudinally is the only objective way to monitor the providers, to benchmark their performance and to identify the high and low performers: two essential elements to keep a fluid Preferred Supplier List. This analysis will also help you identify capabilities with insufficient performance.
3. Long-Term
The purpose of aligning your Consulting Spend with your Strategy is to maximize the Value for Money. Year-Long performance evaluation of the impact of your Consulting Projects will help you validate your decisions and make sure the money has been well spent with the expected impact in line.
Don’t forget that Performance can be evaluated at all stages of a Consulting Assignment. And for every project time formats can be different.

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The 13 Key Steps in Demand Management Implementation

The 13 Key Steps in Demand Management Implementation

Demand management is a critical tool for procurement professionals and companies in general. Its implementation for the consulting category is a no-brainer if you want to keep your spend under control and aligned with your strategy.But what are the key steps that can ensure successful Demand Management execution?Below we have mapped out the steps in implementing Demand Management that you can easily apply too.

“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.” -Ralph Marston

 
1. The Purpose and the Challenge–
Demand management is a supply chain management system that balances and strategically aligns demand with operating capability across the supply chain through the rapid and successful integration of the market needs in the direction of the suppliers. In short, it makes sure you are spending on the right priorities.The challenge of it often lies with its successful implementation for companies that are not well-prepared and fail to deliver the expected results.
 

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2.  Have a Clear Strategy –
The driver for the demand of Consulting should be projects closely aligned with the strategic direction of the Company. Executives have to translate the strategy into the Demand Management principles and decision-making process. A clear strategy will simplify this work and facilitate the buy-in of the top Management.
3. Use Effective Decision-making Approach –
All projects cannot be viewed the same way. The Company has to define a segmentation of the potential needs in Consulting and the associated Decision-Making Process. It will include a threshold for projects to be handled directly, as well as the person including in the decision for each segment.
4. Have a Proper Budget Limits Defined –
The budget constraints are a critical element of Demand Management. You need to agree, at the highest level of the Company, on how much money you want to invest in Consulting, and what are your expectationsin termsof returns.
5. Your Degree of Centralization Choice –
The important questions to answer here are: What needs to be done?And who is best suited for the role overseeingthe process? Management requires some degree of centralization of the consulting budgets or at least the decision to proceed.To ensure good synergy between Consulting Investments and Strategy, many companies have given the accountability to manage the demand fortheir strategy or transformation teams.This role can be located at the Corporate or BU level. Or both depending on thresholds and company culture.

6. Get Top Management’s Support –
The Implementation of Demand Management is very likely to change the ways of buying Consulting Services. Most executives will be reluctant to lose flexibility from“before.”Beyond the project, the Top Management has to openly support and push for the DMS to ensure that the principles and processes will be respected across the board.
7. Create Alignment for a Successful Demand Management Launch–
You need to focus on creating alignment. It’s properly done when you formalize the target process. Methodologies and prioritization criteria have to be clear and fair, to allow proper consolidation and treatment.Once the key stakeholders are aligned, you can communicate with your teams.
Ideally,you can try some dry runs on historical data or with your largest units and fine-tune the methodologies. Then consolidate projects assessments and resources requirements, and set a deadline for demand management to start.
8. Prioritize Projects and Launch Immediately –
As with many other things, it’s a smart approach to prioritize your projects and start with the most important ones immediately. Other attractive, or “nice to do” projects, are placed in a pool and prioritized based on budgetfeasibility. Small projects (under the threshold) are left to the discretion of the management (resource permitting).
Any demand above a certain threshold has to be addressed by either the strategic or the indirect procurement team.
9. Simplify Based on Results –
Strict governance is mandatory on all projects with the possibility to kill projects,not yielding satisfactory results. Therefore, it’s mandatory to analyze the results. At the end of each project, you should lead a post-mortem analysis to assess the performance of the Consulting Firm.
You will also check if the priority criteria were justified enabling a virtuous cycle. Depending on the results, the strategic team will adjust the decision-making process, the panel of Consulting Firms and the procurement team will adapt the panel of Consulting Firms available for further work.
10. Review the Projects’ Sequenc-
Positioning your projects sharply over the course of the year is a key element that is oftenunderestimated. Make sure you have a goodbalance between transformational projects and projects,generating short-term results that can help you to do more with less. In other words, some cost savings projects can unlock enough resources to kick-start a digital transformation.
11. Adjust Costs into 1 or 2 Fiscal Years –
It is sometimes tricky for Companies to finance major Consulting Projects over the course of a fiscal year. If the costs are in year 1and the results in year 2, the bottom line is impacted. A better way to do that is by spreading the costs. For example -to circumvent this unfortunate situation is to start projects after the summer break. With a 60 days payment term, if you accrue for costs,you will spread them over two years,and if you don’t, there is a good chance you will start paying in January,and the cost vs benefits will end up positive. Even if you don’t get the impact on the earnings, you will get the cash.
12. Apply Successful Practices –
The key element is to find the balanced mesh between the core principles of Demand Management, the specificities of the Consulting Category,and the Company Culture. If the system is too rigid, Executives will work around it. If it is too flexible, the Company will not get the full benefits of the system.
13. Have Effective Communication with Suppliers –
Last but not least, you have to communicatewith your suppliers. Explain why and how you will implement Demand Management and how it will impact them. They need to understand the new rules to play alongwiththem.Demand management is a well-known tool for procurement teams. But the implementation for intangible categories such as consulting is not always easy. But implementing these above simple steps will get you closer to a best-in-class consulting sourcing capability.
 

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The Consulting Market of Oceania is Embracing the Digital Wave- Top 8 Features

The Consulting Market of Oceania is Embracing the Digital Wave- Top 8 Features

“Australia is just so full of surprises.” – Bill Bryson

Australia is unique not only for the amazing nature, and species like koalas and kangaroos, but the remarkable Consulting market growth of 6-7% for the past few years. 
Let’s take a couple of minutes to discuss the Economies of the region and how the current Consulting market is shaping up.
Oceania in a Snapshot – Top 8 Features –
1. Stable growth as the economy transforms
Oceania economic region consists of 14 countries. However, Australia and New Zealand account for 97% of the associated GDP. The region is growing approximately 3% on average and is one of the fastest growth rates among the mature economies. New Zealand – Economic Perspective
New Zealand continues to rely heavily on tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing with exports representing 30% of GDP and a vivid set of SME’s. Steady and Above average Population growth –
The region’s economic growth is also influenced by the population growth, and by the significant government investments, notably in Australia and New Zealand.

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2. Australia’s key economic sectors include Mining, Financial Services, Agriculture, and Manufacturing
Important to mention that the aging population will cause an increase in Health Care and Social Services sectors.
Manufacturing is facing serious headwinds, as with many other developed and high-wage economies.
With natural resources having peaked, other sectors will need to expand as well to sustain growth. The Australian Government has undertaken a set of measures to increase the competitiveness of Australian businesses, to lower costs and to spur innovation. In this context, Digital transformation is expected to contribute $50 billion to the economy.
3. The consulting market is embracing the digital wave
The management consulting market in Oceania is primarily concentrated in Australia. It is steadily growing at 6% to 7%, an impressive performance for a mature market in a mature economy.
 

4. Key sectors for consulting are aligned with the Australian economy
Natural resources, energy, financial services, and the public sector are leading the way.
The Australian economy has gone 27 years without a recession, and while there are risks on the horizon, economic growth should remain solid in 2019, with business investment likely offsetting the slack created by a devastating drought, a contracting housing sector, and subdued consumer spending, was revealed in a recently published Deloitte Insights study.
Australia’s economy stays on track, and strong global growth in the region is adding to the Australian national income, while a combination of rising commodity exports and government spending is ensuring that economic growth continues at around trend pace.
5. Chinese Stimulus keeps Commodity prices higher than average
Australia’s mineral sector enjoys growth due to the Chinese stimulus, an effect of the ongoing trade conflict with the U.S.A is keeping key commodity prices, particularly iron ore and coal, higher than they would otherwise be.
However, the current strength in commodity prices is a response to an economic issue and is not expected to last long.
8 Strong leading business investment indicator-
They suggest that steady growth in profits, increased capacity utilization, low borrowing costs for big business and the need to spend money to maintain Australia’s positive mining capital stock, all point to growth in investment over 2019 and 2020, as per Deloitte Insights.
6. Economic risks on the horizon
The housing market is more vulnerable today, and there is a downturn in the house prices. Large house price falls, together with the significant fall in equity prices, may reduce households’ willingness to spend as their wealth declines. Also, Consumer spending will likely weaken as a result. Consumers will be relying on wage growth to boost spending, substituting the reduction in wealth. Wages have been improving but slowly.
Health and education sectors are demonstrating strong growth. The consumer goods industry is a clear example of disruption driving demand for consulting services. The financial sector is coping with the challenges of Fintech, the adjustment to new regulations, and the shift in customer perceptions. Natural resources and energy companies are currently looking for efficiency and cost savings.
The public sector represents a large chunk of the expenses. State and federal governments leverage digital for greater efficiency and implementing significant reforms. However, political pressure mounts to reduce consulting costs. States like NSW are launching specific programs to tackle consulting costs. They are implementing standardized definitions, capped rates, capped expense, and discount structure. But those programs will continue to face significant headwinds if sourcing revolves only around the incumbents and major consultancies.
7. Digital transformation’s effect on the region’s economy; its Stimulating effect on the Consulting Market
From a capability standpoint, the influence of digital capabilities cannot be overstated in driving a significant share of the projects initiated in the Australian market.
Projects encompass analytics, artificial intelligence, digitization of activities, and customer experience. The digital wave is also forcing companies to review their strategies, generating higher demand for the strategy consulting firms. As in most Anglo-Saxon markets, human resources related consulting is also well developed and growing.
8. Australia has embraced the Digital transformation
and sectors such as Banking, Trading, Retail, Education, Learning, Media, Communication, and Entertainment, have seen a significant technological boost.
The Australian government has launched a Digital Economy Strategy. And Australia’s Tech Future describes how the country can maximize the opportunities of technological change by focusing on key areas like developing workforce’s digital skills, deliver state digital services, building infrastructure and providing secure access to high-quality data, maintaining cybersecurity, and more.

If you are planning to launch a new Consulting project in the region, and need a fresh perspective?
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  • Know the Consulting Category
  • Source Consultants
  • Optimize your Consulting Spend
  • Create Value Through Consulting
  • Leverage disruption to create more value through Consulting