Consulting Quest hosted its first European Client Conference- Consulting Procurement 2.0, in Paris on November 17. Thank you to everyone who joined us in Paris, on a Péniche boat.
The event was very insightful thanks to a combination of both a great mix of attendees from companies like L’Oréal, SNCF, Solvay, consulting firms and professors, mostly French but some made the trip from the UK too; and some quality speakers who presented us with some valuable insights into their expertise.
There was a nice interaction between the audience and the speakers, on topics such as the evolution of consulting, how companies buy consulting today, the impact of the digital revolution and how we can better work with consultants.
The Impact of Digital Revolution
Everything is now moving online, all companies need their web portal, being able to do e-commerce, communicating online, and keeping in mind that the consumer is more and more active on the move from their smartphone.
The consulting firm organization needs to be agile, to adapt to rapid change, to work together, to fail fast so you can succeed sooner utilizing user feedback instead of intuition.
Emmanuelle Savarit, CEO of Analyse Concept, explained in detail the variety of roles in the Digital Capability which are more diverse than most imagine. She therefore questioned the ability of the Big 4 to be the best in each digital expertise.
Alain Alleaume, Founder and CEO of Altaris, illustrated those trends with the example of cloud computing, and particularly SaaS. Clients have higher expectations as they want consultants to be specialized in their profession giving them a legitimacy to find the best solutions and to support the client when entering the project phase.
Therefore, consultants need to adopt an agile methodology, be on constant market watch, understand the vendor market evolution, and bring a real added value, the best “value for money”.
Make or Buy Strategy
Most companies work to optimize their external spend and their pool of suppliers to better support the overall strategy. What are the key activities that can be outsourced? What providers are appropriate for us? Is it worth it to outsource a particular activity for the long term? The same questions apply to consulting procurement.
Pascal Lupo, President of SNCF Consulting, explained that the advantages of in-house consulting were that the consultant was aligned with the history, the culture of the company, it also has an indisputable confidentiality edge, and of course some economic interest.
On the other end, the increasing need for highly specialized consulting makes it far more difficult for buyers to have experienced the volume of consulting projects that would enable them to develop portfolios of reliable and high-performing consulting providers. By working with companies specialized in this field, those companies will be able to analyze their consulting spend, refresh their make or buy strategy, identify robust suppliers and areas where new blood is needed.
How Companies Buy Consulting?
William Frost, President of Strategy Analysis International, explained that over the years there has been a clear shift from a product- to a service-driven economy. Products are now only a minor part of any supplier’s offering. The service economy changes the old production paradigm where the supplier’s output is the key economic variable. In the service economy, you NEED a customer to produce. You cannot stock services. The customer thus becomes an integral part of your production process. You no longer supply anything: you co-produce with your customer. The supplier’s input becomes part of the added value of the customer’s own production process whereas the customer is now the supplier’s partner. The consultant as a service provider has also evolved, from supplier of some form of expertise (or forgettable reports) to partner, increasing their integration with the customer.
After much anticipation we are very excited to announce the arrival of our newest resource – The Consulting Quest Global Directory – the World’s Largest Active Database of Management Consulting Firms. The Directory will serve as a great tool for Consulting Clients to search for firms in their geographic region and providing general information for each Consultancy. The Directory also provides tremendous exposure for small to mid-sized Consultancies looking to expand their own network. The use and inclusion in the Directory is free of charge without commitment to any membership.
The Directory currently boasts more than 2,000 Management Consulting Firms worldwide spanning more than 100+ Countries allowing to sort for firm by name directly or to search by region. If you would like to run a custom search via capability and industry experience for your business we are able to provide directly by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
For advanced research, we use our proprietary Consulting Navigator, an internal function of the website, which includes case studies and performance reviews allowing us to evaluate each firm’s specific experience and potential fit for future projects. We use our Navigator every day to help our clients source the most qualified consultants in an efficient manner.
In addition to the listing of Consulting Providers, the Directory also features various links from all over the globe covering topics such as: Consulting Blogs, Consulting Industry, Consulting Career, and Thought Leadership. The goal of Consulting Quest is to become the Go-To-Source for all your Consulting Needs whether it be general information, sourcing, performance assessment and improvement.
If you would like to be listed in the Directory or need to update your firm’s information, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 business performance through consulting and also with Consulting Providers to improve upon their performance and assist in new client acquisition.
Our First Annual Conference – Consulting Procurement 2.0 was a Success! We want to thank all the attendees who were able to join us in NYC at the AMA Conference Center yesterday engaging in several high level, strategic discussions on topics such as the evolution of consulting, how companies buy consulting today, how can we better work with consultants, and what are the best practices we should share. With past and current executives from companies like L’Oréal, Citigroup, PwC, Solvay, Dow Chemicals, Pearson, and Green Silk Associates there were many unique perspectives shaping a robust collaboration of ideas and fresh takeaways. We want to thank Swapcard for co-sponsoring the event with us and elevating our networking efforts! Some great connections were made and we are already looking forward to next year’s event! Please contact us at Info@consultingquest.com to request more information for future events.
When you have a new project, you might wonder whether you should return to the consultants you’ve used in the past or start over again with a new set of proposals. There are a number of factors to consider, with good reasons for doing either. Whether you work with someone you already have a relationship with, or you take a chance and start from scratch, there are some key questions and considerations to keep in mind.
Do you want a consultant who is familiar with your business and your style?
A consultant with whom you’ve worked in the past has already done the necessary research to understand your company. She will understand your values, your core beliefs, and the fundamental information that shapes your company. This means that she will already have a solid understanding of how all of those things will shape the project that you want done, which makes her more likely to be successful the first time. She also will have existing relationships with the members of your company, which will make working with them easier.
Working with the same consultants on a regular basis will improve your ability to effectively communicate what you want from them. The individual relationship with each consultant isn’t cultivated overnight. In fact, you’ll start working on this relationship when you hire a consultant for the first time. If you like a consultant’s style, you can cultivate her into a fully informed and regular consultant for your business with a minimum of effort.
On the other hand, a consultant who is familiar with your business and your style won’t necessarily bring the fresh new ideas to the table that you’re looking for. After all, taking a chance on a different consultant will give you the opportunity to interact with someone new and benefit from the talent that she brings to the table.
What is the consultant’s area of expertise?
As with any other profession, there will be consultants who are more skilled in some areas than others. When you work closely with a consultant, you’ll learn quickly where her specific skills lie. Over time, you will learn when it’s best to call in a particular consultant who has the skills necessary for the task at hand and when it’s better to look to a different consultant.
You should always choose the consultant with the best skills for the job, rather than allowing yourself to stay with the old and familiar, simply to avoid needing to go through the proposal process.
A returning consultant will need less input from you, but a new consultant will be more likely to come back to you for feedback.
After the job has been outlined, a returning consultant will be able to get down to it. This means that your time is freed to deal with other issues, while the consultant takes care of the job that you hired her for. There might be less frequent communication as you hire the same consultant more often, which can be both good and bad.
As you develop a relationship with a consultant, you’ll learn what information she needs to work, without quite as much supervision.
On the other hand, this does mean that she is more likely to assume that she knows what you want, right up until the final product is handed over. If you’re not satisfied, it may mean that you have a delay while you wait to see the changes.
Is your business becoming too dependent on a particular consultant?
You don’t want to feel as though your business can’t function without the input of a familiar consultant, especially one who could become aware of that dependency. You always want to be able to enter into a new relationship with a new consultant if prices change or you start to see a decline in the quality of your consultant’s work.
New consultants offer new ideas and new skills.
You’re always looking for fresh new material, and bringing in new consultants is one of the best ways to get it. Your familiar consultants will bring their usual ideas and experience to the table, but a new consultant will have a different perspective to offer.
Ideally, you should always ask for a quote from at least a couple of different consultants before diving in with a single one. This will help ensure that you receive the best possible price. There’s a balance to be struck in knowing the right time to use familiar consultants and when to bring in new ones. Choosing the best option will ensures your company the greatest success.