7 reasons to hire a consultant
Hiring consultants sometimes remains controversial. Are you a large company, an SME, or VSE? Or a start-up? You are in the right place. And you are probably asking yourself these questions:
- Why should consultants know the business better than us?
- How can they deliver value in just a few weeks?
You're wondering if hiring consultants will help your company, right? Please note that studies carried out over the last ten years have proven that management consultants improve a company's performance. We will study that of the World Bank and Stanford from 2012 later. Also note that consulting companies have perfectly adopted the digital revolution and reinvented themselves. Their consultants are just waiting for a call from you!
Are you facing these problems?
- You don't have time to complete certain tasks or missions in your business
- You don't have the resources
- Your employees do not have the expertise you are looking for and you cannot train them (for various reasons)
You probably need a consultant! But what can it bring you?
Advantage 1: Indispensable help
You need this consultant. No one in your company can accomplish the mission you have in mind. It could be a lack of time or skill. Or, you don't have the right resources. The consultant can take care of tasks that are burdensome for you and your colleagues. This will lighten their load and yours, your employees will have less pressure on their shoulders.
Advantage 2: Expertise
Indeed, the consultant represents a certain expertise in one field or several. He has the right experience, knowledge and abilities to accomplish what you need. The consultant also has the advantage of knowing your competitors well, having certainly worked with them before. He also has a good vision of new market trends in your business. This person will therefore be able to provide you with good advice and guide you towards an effective and innovative strategy, regardless of the purpose of the mission. ERP software is an essential project management tool that can help you identify the consultant who will have the appropriate expertise for your missions.
Advantage 3: New solutions thanks to an external perspective
Their perspective – in addition to being experienced – is external to your company, therefore much more objective. The consultant thus has no personal interest and can remain impartial in his decisions. It will give you another perspective and help you accomplish your goals using an approach you might not have thought of.
Advantage 4: You will save money!
A consultant can be expensive. But it remains a good investment for the company regardless. First, you won't have as many costs as if you recruited employees with these skills (overheads, equipment costs, leave, insurance, etc.).
Then, the consultant is very efficient and can complete a mission quickly. You will only have to pay for it for a limited time. You will save time on these tasks, because training employees can take time. However, you can consider hiring a consultant to train them over the long term if you wish.
Finally, you may be eligible for state aid to co-finance the hiring of a consultant. More information here
How can you demonstrate with facts and figures that a consulting project offers the expected value?
It is not always obvious. An experiment conducted by a Stanford professor for a 2012 World Bank study provides some interesting findings. The aim of the study was to answer the following question:
- Can management practices explain differences in productivity, particularly in countries where the performance gap is particularly large?
To investigate, the Stanford team organized a field experiment.
Mid-sized Indian textile companies were selected. They were offered a free 5-month management consulting project with Accenture to change their factory processes. The results were compared to a set of similar Indian companies that did not change their factory processes.
–> The results are indisputable : companies that followed the consultants’ recommendations improved their productivity by 10%. But also product quality and inventory management. They managed to speed up production.
Is it only in India you may ask? Well, the same professor had worked on a similar study with two LSE researchers and gathered data from around the world. The results were similar.
How can management consultants stay relevant in a world that is changing at such a pace?
Let's take a closer look at the four main consulting functions of information, expertise, intuition and execution. It is very clear that management consulting firms have taken drastic steps to maintain their competitive edge.
Let's look at each of these functions and understand how consulting firms adapt to each of them:
- All the expertise Accenture or other consulting firms bring to their clients comes from the massive amount of data they have collected over the thousands of projects they have completed.
- Nowadays, accessing a large volume of data has become much easier. Historical data from a single consulting firm is less valuable. How do consultants reinvent themselves to remain the information gurus they once were?
- Many consulting firms have established in-house data science teams to take advantage of the abundance of data available.
- McKinsey is hiring experienced data engineers. They help the teams on the ground.
- BCG has established a BCG Gamma team responsible for data science. Because even though finding data has become much easier, it is now difficult to calculate it intelligently to be able to provide the right recommendations.
- Most consulting companies prefer to hire generalists rather than experts. Notably, larger consulting firms hire MBAs who can work on a supply chain project one month, and a pricing project the next.
- However, they have developed an extensive network of experts who join the team whenever a project requires it. Leveraging this network is very powerful in providing better information to business clients.
- Every consulting firm should strive to expand its network of independent consultants.
- There is always a hope of financial return when a company hires consultants. The information provided by consultants is expected to generate significant or clear improvements.
- Increasing shareholder value has always justified the high project fees charged by consulting firms. BCG's famous Growth Sharing Matrix has been called the "$1 Million Framework." It provided information so useful that it justified a $1 million fee for such a project.
- With the growing number of strategy books and the rise of business schools, classic strategic analysis has become more accessible.
- But the most important insights from consulting firms now center on their view of industry changes and what companies should do to increase their competitive advantage rather than simply providing a strategic framework.
- This is an area that consulting firms began to adapt to a long time ago. Consultants have always offered to help implement the strategy they have defined.
- But the gap between insight and execution is greater now than it was a few decades ago. Strategy execution has indeed become increasingly technical. And the world is becoming more and more digital.
- For example: if the strategy recommends “developing an e-commerce website and increasing search engine optimization (SEO)”. Or “create a cross-platform analytics tool to predict customer demand.” The client company may not have adequate internal resources. Nor the resources to execute this strategy.
- This is where good consulting companies can help. Only if they have internal resources or in partnership with the appropriate experts.
A consultant is flexible, he adapts and responds to the needs of his clients. It works quickly and efficiently and will be a real added value for your business. What matters to him: your satisfaction. If the collaboration between you is correct and fluid, you have the advantage of having this consultant in reserve for other missions.
With a tool resource planning , you can collaborate even better with them, and integrate them into your team. The project management tool will allow you to successfully manage your subcontracting and monitor performance indicators in real time.
To learn more about the Stafiz platform, request a demo.