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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: Is Actuary ready for the looming digital revolution?

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, February 12th 2020

Is Actuary ready for the looming digital revolution?

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“As actuaries, we hear a lot about big data, predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Big data and predictive analytics have already created insights on risk, particularly for personal property and auto insurance.​”
Will the lessons of the industrial revolution and the arrival of artificial intelligence allow the actuarial profession to transform itself in depth?
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from The Actuary where the author explores how AI and machine learning can  transform the actuarial role.
Read on to Find out More: “The AI Revolution Is Coming“ | Emily Kessler, Society of Actuaries.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

IFoA President John Taylor discusses how actuaries can make a unique contribution to data science​​​.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

How can model governance capture value from AI in insurance? “The term artificial intelligence (AI) commonly refers to specialised predictive machines, i.e. software/algorithms that take data as input, and output predictions. Although AI also includes other areas such as unsupervised learning, predictive algorithms are the focus of this article. In insurance pricing, predictions are focused on the expected claims cost of a policy.” Simon Lim makes us think about the use of AI in insurance and how to assess its risks. | Simon Lim for Actuaries digital
The rise of the exponential actuary: “Artificial intelligence. Automation. Machine learning. The rise of technology is rapidly creating a new future of work. And it’s gathering speed, redefining jobs and transforming entire professions by enabling humans and machines to work together side by side. As this exciting future unfolds, the actuarial professional is changing dramatically – opening opportunities for actuaries to take on dynamic, new business roles.” Is the rapid emergence of new technologies the engine driving the rise of Exponential Actuary? | Darryl Wagner, Caroline Bennet and Marc Fakkel, Deloitte
Actuary 2050: data science and actuarial science as one? “Many have claimed actuaries and actuarial science should be recognised as the early practitioners and building blocks of modern day data science. After all the actuarial profession dates back to the 1800’s, the dawn of the modern insurance industry. Then and now actuaries have pioneered the use of data, maths, statistics, economics and are now increasingly using computing, automation and machines to predict the future and manage risk.” The author enlights us on what data and actuarial science can bring their profession. | SRColeman, Medium.com
Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence for Actuaries: “Actuaries understand quantitative modeling. It seems only natural that they would adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an extension to  their already extensive training and skill in predictive and probabilistic modeling. However, in addition to requiring more learning to be effective,  AI imposes requirements that are very different from current analytical modeling.” This article provides a technical overview of the tools and disciplines used in AI as well as the forces that insurance companies are using to modernize their analytical processes | Neil Raden, Hired Brains Research.

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
Actuarial Colloquium Paris 2020: The aim of the conference will be to shed light on how actuarial science can bridge the gap between individual and collective choices.
 
20/20 all-actuaries summit: At the 20/20 All-Actuaries Summit, we will see all actuaries across all practice areas come together to discuss their shared and individual challenges, making it the first Summit that brings the whole profession together.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

HTC is shutting down its Official Community in China tomorrow: “After HTC shut down its Elevate community program internationally last month, the Taiwanese smartphone maker has called it quits in China as well. In a community post earlier today, the company said that it will be shutting down its official Chinese community forum tomorrow. HTC has asked its customers to ask for support via its official service number on WeChat.” | Joel Joseph, Gizmochina
McKinsey acquires spend analytics firm Orpheus GmbH: “Orpheus’ software helps organisations ‘optimise their external expenditure throughout their operations by analysing purchasing data streams for value capture opportunities and measuring realised procurement impact.’ The move gives McKinsey a new offering to clients: Spend Intelligence by McKinsey. The service will enable spend  transparency, spend and cost analytics, and value capture management, the press release says” | Spend Matters
Zigmabit Inc. Starts a New Era in Cryptocurrency Mining: “Zigmabit is pleased to announce the formal launch of three new mining rigs with capabilities to take the global crypto space by storm. Led by some of the most experienced specialists in the cryptocurrency mining industry, Zigmabit has utilized ASIC chip technology to deliver three introductory products that are pre-configured for ease of use and promise return on investment within just one month.” |Zigmabit 
Mercer launches AI prediction tool for pensions schemes: “A new artificial intelligence tool from Mercer will assist defined benefit pension schemes anticipate the outcome of an options exercise. By using AI and data driven insights, schemes will hope to predict the chance of each individual member accepting a particular offer.” | Consultancy.uk

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Top 8 Steps to Follow When Negotiating and Preparing Your Consulting Agreement
"Every great building once begun as a building plan. That means, sitting in that building plan on the table is ...Read More

How to measure the value created in Consulting?
"The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Abraham Lincoln The Consulting industry today is considered ...Read More

Getting the Best of Both External and Internal Consulting-Is Like Getting a Special Night at the Louvre
Airbnb and the Louvre are teaming up for a special campaign that offers an unforgettable night with exclusive visits at ...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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Top 8 Steps to Follow When Negotiating and Preparing Your Consulting Agreement

Top 8 Steps to Follow When Negotiating and Preparing Your Consulting Agreement

“Every great building once begun as a building plan. That means, sitting in that building plan on the table is a mighty structure not yet seen. It is the same with dreams.” – Israelmore Ayivor

The importance of a good consulting agreement is huge, and a successful business relies on the foundation of a well-crafted contract. From idea conception to the final results, a project depends on the contract.
Consulting is a sensitive business with many variables that need to be included in the agreement, to assure as best you can the overall success of your Consulting project.
Here are the essential steps you can follow to secure and draft an effective, solid agreement.
Top 8 Steps to Follow When Negotiating Your Consulting Agreement:
Let’s start with how to negotiate better – once you have identified the most promising proposal, you can start negotiating. Similar to the selection process, you need to gather as much information as possible to have leverage during the negotiation
 

Read also...
Let’s discuss in more detail the Value creation – the pinnacle of opportunities for the Consulting industry to deliver more.

Learn more

1-Prepare for your negotiation – what you need to do​-

Before you dive into the key elements, take the time to prepare for your negotiation. The first step is to agree on what you want to negotiate. With intangible services, almost all the components of the proposals are negotiable. You can modify anything from the scope, the team composition, to, of course, the price.
You also need to keep in mind the overall value of the project vs. the price. Understanding the dynamics of the pay-off matrix will help you define the needed magnitude of the negotiation. Now, look also at how much latitude you will have in the negotiation. Do you have a negotiation edge? Or are your hands more or less tied?
Finally, get the right people at the table based on the size and the strategic importance of the project. No spending weeks negotiating cost when fixing the issue yields more each week than the cost of the project.
Try to anticipate as much as possible how the Consultants will act to get the best deal. In this situation, the best deal is when both parties have a positive outcome.

2. Negotiate the key elements – what not to miss –
When you enter a negotiation with multiple dimensions, the BATNA (Best Alternative To Negotiate Agreement) and ZOPA (Zone Of Possible Agreement) concepts can come in handy. They will allow you to draw a bundle of potential deals along the different dimensions. To build such a bundle, you will need to analyze how the changes in scope or team staffing will impact the price and conversely identify the trade-offs you are willing to accept. Do not lose sight of the ball, usually it is better to achieve your expected results than a half baked result at low cost.
If you still need to reduce the costs, you should explore other savings opportunities such as travel expenses, or expert staffing.
3. Why is better to give feedback to the unhappy consultants?
Don’t forget to debrief the consultants who lost the project. Take the time to explain why they didn’t get the project and what they could have done differently. It will help them improve their proposals for your next project or with their next client.
You can also ask the Consultants to give you some feedback on the project as well. It can bring you some valuable insights on how your teams manage a consulting project, and help you improve your practices.
4. Drawing the contract –

“A contract is only as good as the people signing it.” – Jeffrey Fry

Once you have negotiated the terms of the agreement, you can start drawing the contract. You can either work with a standard consulting agreement, or a couple Master Service Agreement (MSA) plus Statement of Work (SOW). The latter solution is particularly interesting when you work with the same consulting providers on a regular basis. We strongly recommend to work with your legal team to develop your own agreement templates.
5. Formalize your expectations –
Even if you work with a standard consulting agreement, the Statement of Work is the first element to include in the contract. It covers the scope of work & deliverables, the schedule & phasing, the Governance & Escalation procedure, and the expected outcomes & metrics.
The contract is always the reference in case of litigation. You want the Consultants to commit to the results of the project, not the means.
6. Define the terms & conditions – how and why –
When you have described what work will be done, how and when, it is time to define how the consultants will be paid. Even if you have opted for a flat fee, the schedule and the terms of payments should be clearly stated in the contract.
If you work with hourly fees or performance-based fees, you should include the conditions to get paid and the potential safeguards to avoid derailment.
7. Clarify the rules –
Depending on the project, and the company, some rules should be included in the agreement.

Confidentiality – This clause should always be involved in a consulting agreement. Many projects include confidential information about the company’s strategy or products.
Use of Third-Party – Many Consulting Firms work with subcontractors or partner with other firms on projects.
Intellectual Property – Monitor the information and the models developed during the project and clarify the ownership in the contract.
Client Policies (such as information management and safety) –The Consultants should comply with any rules that you might request.
Conflict of Interest and Non-Compete – On some projects, you might want to make sure that the consultants won’t have any conflict of interest, or won’t go and sell the methodology they developed for you to your competition.

8. Prepare for the worst – avoid the risks and the pitfalls –
As the old saying goes, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. In your contract, you should integrate clauses that cover the most probable problems you might encounter if the project goes awry. The resolution of the issue if and when it occurs will be much easier to manage.
 
 

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This Week in Consulting: What’s next in the Construction industry?

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, February 05th 2020

What’s next in the Construction industry?

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“The construction industry is under a significant paradigm shift. When we look back throughout this industry’s history, we notice some great advancements have taken place. As the end of the year approaches and we look ahead to 2020 there’s no reason we shouldn’t expect more of the same to occur. In fact, here are some of the most noteworthy trends experts believe you should expect to see in the construction industry next year​”
From Augmented Reality to Robotics, this article presents how the digital transformation is impacting the construction sector.
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from LetsBuild which explores some construction technology trends for 2020.
Read on to Find out More: “Top 10 construction technology trends for 2020“ | LetsBuild.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

From digital construction apprenticeships, to geospatial information systems and taking a “design for manufacture” approach – watch how Kier, one of the UK’s leading contractors, are embracing technology and innovation​​.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Decoding digital transformation in construction: “After spending five years and countless sums on trialing new software platforms and ways of working, the executive team at a large contractor was nearly ready to call an end to its digital-transformation program. Dozens of attempts to streamline projects with digital solutions, such as 5D BIM, had failed to deliver.” This article shows practices that can help E&C companies to unlock digital’s value across their enterprises. | Jan Koeleman, Maria João Ribeirinho, David Rockhill, Erik Sjödin, and Gernot Strube, McKinsey
The Next 5 Years: Building an AI Future for the Construction Industry– “The construction tech market has seen tremendous growth in the past decade. Ambitious startups and software developers have realized the potential of developing technology for the traditionally underserved industry, releasing products aimed at streamlining workflows throughout the construction process.” Will the use of AI and machine learning tech become the rule in the industry rather than the exception in the next few years? | Karuna Ammireddy, Pype Inc
7 Construction Industry Trends to Watch in 2020: “Technologies are already making a huge impact on many industries around the world, and the construction industry is no exception. Buildings are becoming ever more complicated, and these technologies are helping architects and construction teams improve designs and detect design errors.” The author enlights the most exciting construction tech trends you should keep an eye on in 2020. | Christopher McFadden, PHH Energy Limited
How will robots make buildings more human? “Less than half (47%) of real estate companies are automating their businesses, despite artificial intelligence (AI) coming at us like a freight train. But that means that over half are on the road to automation – and we are starting to see fundamental changes in the real estate sector as a result.” How are real estate companies automating their businesses with the coming of  artificial intelligence (AI) ? | Selina Short, Ey.

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
ICARACE 2020: ICARACE aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Augmented Reality for Architectural and Civil Engineering
 
2020 Engineering Summit: This is a focused summit for architecture, engineering, construction, and survey professionals

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

Deloitte to prop up mining transformation with Global IO: “Deloitte has acquired Global Integrated Operations (IO), a remote operations specialist in the mining and energy industries, to deepen its operations transformation offering” | Vanessa Zhou, Australian Mining
Barclays invests in digital receipts start-up Flux: “Barclays has acquired a minority stake in its partner Flux, the London-based digital receipt manager which also works with UK challenger banks Monzo and Starling” | Ruby Hinchliffe, FinTech Futures
World Cement Consumption Rises by 2.8 percents in 2019: “ The rise in demand is largely accounted for by the expansion of the Chinese cement market in 2019, which reached an estimated 2.28bnt, up 4.9 per cent on the year before, and representing 56 per cent of global consumption. Excluding China, world cement consumption is estimated to have remained flat at 1.81bnt, rising by just 0.3 per cent, year-on-year.” |PRNewswire 
Capco joins consulting heavyweights in Valuable 500 scheme: “Capco has become the latest consulting industry member to sign up to a campaign to encourage the inclusion of disabled people in businesses. Launched at last year’s annual World Economic Forum in Davos, the Valuable 500 hopes to push for global businesses to putting disability on their agenda – with the historical ‘Big Five’ of Deloitte, PwC, EY, KPMG and Accenture having already signed up in 2019.” | 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 measure the value created in Consulting?
"The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Abraham Lincoln The Consulting industry today is considered ...Read More

Getting the Best of Both External and Internal Consulting-Is Like Getting a Special Night at the Louvre
Airbnb and the Louvre are teaming up for a special campaign that offers an unforgettable night with exclusive visits at ...Read More

Why Building a Performance Measure System That Lasts Delivers The Best Results?
"The system, to a large extend, causes its own behavior." - Donella H. Meadows Markets and conditions constantly change, but ...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 measure the value created in Consulting?

How to measure the value created in Consulting?

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

The Consulting industry today is considered to be in good shape, but we can all agree on one thing – that there is plenty of room for improvement and growth. The more interesting question, however, is: what is the best direction to explore these possibilities?”
Let’s discuss in more detail the Value creation – the pinnacle of opportunities for the industry to deliver more.

Read also...
Main points for every business to develop an efficient Consulting Group to serve their needs.

Learn more

1-The Value Creation Equation – a Look at 5 Different Options–

There are many Schools of thought when looking at how value coming from consulting can be put into equations. Let’s try to explore from the simplest to the most elaborate one.
The simplest way to look at it is to consider the savings side of the equation. The value becomes what you were willing to pay for a given project minus the price you actually paid. So you were willing to pay 100 for a given project and ended up paying 80, you would consider a savings of 20.

Option 1: What you think you saved = Willingness to Pay – Price Paid

Unfortunately, your willingness to pay is all relative as it is at times difficult to assess, and might not be representative of the actual value of the service. You could, therefore, consider the value created using a more robust savings stick. Comparing what you paid to what you would have paid if you had selected one of the highest bidders. You could refine this notion and take the average of a representative sample of proposals (make sure you consider the full cost, including bonuses and expenses).

Option 2: What you saved and can be measured = Reference Cost – Actual Cost

If this notion covers partially the impact of a good sourcing and a good selection/negotiation, it, unfortunately, does not address the value brought by a quality scoping, with tapping into an infinite reservoir of cost avoidance if you buy more than you need. Why would you, for instance, purchase a market study covering the entire market when you only need one segment?

Option 3: What you actually saved = (Reference Cost – Actual Cost) + Cost Avoidance

However, you probably would not have launched the project if it was not creating an attractive value for your company. Depending on your company and your natural tendency to use consulting, the expected returns can be quite high. As a minimum the costs have to be paid back within a year. By experience the expected returns are usually minimum three times the cost. If you consider a cost corresponding, for instance, to one year of savings, the net present value with an average discount rate is around 7 times the costs involved.

Option 4: Theoretical Value = What you were expecting as return + What you actually saved

Value = Expected Return * Reference Cost + (Reference Cost – Actual Cost) + Cost Avoidance
Interestingly you can see that if your expected returns are greater than three times your costs, the first part of the equation will always trump the second one. The only caveat to this reasoning is that indeed, depending on the projects and the quality of the providers you select, the impact can be quite heterogeneous. Therefore there is a multiplier effect in the first part of the equation.

Option 5: Actual Value = Returns you will get based on the impact + What you saved

Actual Value = Impact * (Expected Return * Reference Cost) + (Reference Cost – Actual Cost) + Cost Avoidance
There are three major factors in this equation. Demand management will determine the expected returns. Quality of sourcing and negotiations will drive the savings. The efforts on the scoping will pay off through cost avoidance. While selecting the right consultants and managing them properly will drive the impact. Unless the expected returns from the project are quite low, the impact will be the determining factor.
2. Where to Focus the Efforts – Present & Future –

Where is the focus today?

Many organizations are leaving consulting procurement to the executives needing the services. In this case, the executives usually focus on scoping the project and managing it. The sourcing and negotiation parts are often overlooked as the organization does not manage enough projects. When organizations leverage the procurement teams, they tend to address Consulting Procurement as an indirect purchase among others. As such, the procurement organization is often looking at savings as a measure of performance. The focus is therefore on organizing a proper competition and negotiating lower prices at the back end of the process.

Where should it be?

In the same way that mature procurement organizations for direct purchases are looking at the total cost of ownership, mature consulting procurement organizations are now looking at the entire Value equation. It will drive a much higher focus on the impact and the value created. Those organizations are also implementing some form of demand management to make sure they invest where the most value will be created. As a consequence, the focus is placed on selecting the right projects, sourcing the right consultants, and managing them during the project to maximize the impact achieved. It does not prevent from taking care of the savings side of the equation but will ensure an optimum result.
3. Charting a New Route and Going Further-
As we discussed, maximizing the value creation of a project is where most efforts should be focused on. Should you remember only one rule when it comes to value created through sourcing of consulting projects, just remember that unless the expected impact is low, the value created by the project itself will most of the time outweigh the savings realized through the sourcing. It is particularly true when you look at one specific project.
If you are using consulting regularly and are managing a portfolio of providers, many other actions can yield substantial value. Those actions will range from implementing a performance management system or demand management to ensuring the full alignment between your strategy and your consulting investments.

Ready to get started on your next project?
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Please give us a call today, at no obligation. Let’s get the conversation started​
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This Week in Consulting: Is the UK’s Automotive Sector the biggest loser of the Brexit?

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, January 29th 2020

Is the UK’s automotive sector the biggest loser of the Brexit?

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“In 2020, the economy’s expansion may not be much better given all the uncertainty surrounding the government’s negotiating stance with the EU following Brexit. Few people inside Whitehall or even the cabinet know which industries will be sacrificed to achieve a quick and dirty trade deal. And while that situation persists business investment will remain low and the manufacturing sector will stumble along, possibly in recession as it is now.​”
This article presents the impact of Brexit on the Automotive sector in the UK and what will be the consequences for most of the manufacturers.
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from The Guardian where the author explores the economics of Brexit in the UK automotive industry.
Read on to Find out More: “If the UK doesn’t act now, the car industry might vanish“ | Phillip Inman, The Guardian.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

Herbert Diess  speaks with Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua and Haslinda Amin at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on “Bloomberg Markets: European Open.”

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Brexit: ‘No alignment’ with EU on regulation, Javid tells business– “Speaking to the Financial Times, Sajid Javid admitted not all businesses would benefit from Brexit. The automotive, food and drink and pharmaceutical industries all warned the government last year that moving away from key EU rules would be damaging.” Sajid Javid, Great Britain Chancellor, explains how Brexit would impact businesses. | BBC
Production is becoming smart. Industry 4.0 and the networked factory: “Digitalization, robotics, artificial intelligence – even recently this all sounded more like science fiction than a Swabian production hall. Today, these developments are changing industrial production fundamentally.” The digital transformation is changing the automotive landscape. What is the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on this transformation ? | Daimler
Steering into Industry 4.0 in the automotive sector: “Over the past 50 years, the automotive sector has invested billions of dollars in enterprise systems, automation solutions, and advanced product technologies. Nonetheless, in some aspects, automotive companies remain a slow follower to data and technology companies that are defining the competitive landscape of the Fourth Industrial Revolution—Industry 4.0.” An interesting overview of how automotive companies have to  align with the Industry 4.0 paradigm and take advantage of turbulent times in the automotive sector . | Debanjan Dutt, Vijay Natarajan, Alexander Wilson and Ryan Robinson, Deloitte
Brexit could cut UK car production in half: “Global car sales are falling this year. But the slump in UK production is much more severe and that’s because of nearly three and a half years of uncertainty over Brexit, and the continued risk that leaving the European Union will make it much harder to trade with a market that takes 57% of the country’s car exports.” How Brexit could limit annual automotive output to just half of what the industry was planning to make in 2020?| Charles Riley, CNN Business.

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
Nada Show : This NADA Show networking and education event will spark the entry of women executives and professionals in the auto industry.
 
Materials in Car Body Engineering 2020: New developments and generations provide better forming properties, higher strength and, ideally, significant weight savings.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

Developing electric motors less dependable on rare earth magnets: “Materials such as Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB) made great performance benefits possible, facilitating the creation of small yet powerful traction motors. However, by 2012 these materials had begun to increase in price, and the industry in turn looked for alternatives, with more availability and sustainability.” | Cristian Tangemann, Automotive IQ
Gemini Becomes First-Ever Crypto Exchange to Pass Deloitte Second Level Security Exam: “In a bid to establish its authority as one of the biggest players in the crypto space, leading cryptocurrency exchange and Bitcoin (BTC) trading venue, Gemini, the Winklevoss twins-led exchange, has become the first exchange to pass the Deloitte SOC 2 Type 2 security examination.” | Osaemezu Ogwu, Coinspeaker
Pfizer launches Centers of Excellence Network to conduct real-world research on vaccine-preventable diseases affecting adults: “Pfizer Inc. announced the launch of its Vaccines Division’s Centers of Excellence Network, a global programme of collaborations with academic institutions to conduct real-world epidemiologic research to accurately identify and measure the burden of specific vaccine-preventable diseases and potentially evaluate vaccine effectiveness affecting adults. Pfizer Vaccines has designated the University of Louisville as its first Center of Excellence with a second global center anticipated in the first half of 2020.” |Pharmabiz
Top car-makers face €14 billion fine for emissions failures: “As Europe looks to cut down on its emissions footprint to offset the worst effects of climate change, 13 of the continent’s leading automotive manufacturers face a combined fine of €14.5 billion. According to new estimates from PA Consulting, Volkswagen will face the heaviest individual fine, being hit with a €4.5 billion bill after a surge in uptake for its petrol-powered vehicles.” | 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!

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CONSULTING SOURCING TIPS

Getting the Best of Both External and Internal Consulting-Is Like Getting a Special Night at the Louvre
Airbnb and the Louvre are teaming up for a special campaign that offers an unforgettable night with exclusive visits at ...Read More

Why Building a Performance Measure System That Lasts Delivers The Best Results?
"The system, to a large extend, causes its own behavior." - Donella H. Meadows Markets and conditions constantly change, but ...Read More

The 6 Little Secrets of Objective Proposal Evaluation to Help You Select a Winner
"Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things." - Isaac Newton ...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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Getting the Best of Both External and Internal Consulting-Is Like Getting a Special Night at the Louvre

Getting the Best of Both External and Internal Consulting-Is Like Getting a Special Night at the Louvre

Airbnb and the Louvre are teaming up for a special campaign that offers an unforgettable night with exclusive visits at the museum, to one lucky winner who likes to travel and is passionate about art. It definitely sounds like a fresh and exciting idea! The same idea of combining the best of two different worlds pretty much applies to Internal and External Consulting.
Every business leader should be able to select and work with the best consultants for each project, regardless of whether they come from an Internal Consulting group, or an External Consulting firm.
And every business situation at hand, in some cases will be better served by the Internal group, and in other cases, the External Consultants will provide the expertise the Organization lacks.
We can safely say that both types of Consulting have advantages and disadvantages, and it all comes down to making the best selection when evaluating which experts are the best fit for your project.

Read also...
Markets and conditions constantly change, but a progressive system of evaluation of Consulting projects, established within your organization, can produce desired results on a regular basis.

Learn more

6 Points to Consider When Working with Internal Consultants–

Identify your Consulting needs in the next 3 to 5 years and consider developing an efficient Internal Consulting Group to serve these needs.

Establish a clear value proposition for your Internal Consulting Group in order for them to deliver sustainable results. Even though you want the group to remain flexible, their core expertise and focus have to be very clear. The group should describe the topics where their knowledge will have the most significant impact but also the subjects they will not touch under any circumstances.

The group has to demonstrate its value to the rest of the organization. The group has to win projects thanks to a superior impact on the organization.

When projects have failed, many companies appear to have tried to force using the internal Consulting Groups. The exact opposite effect happens then, and the Internal Groups is singled out as the root cause for project failure.

Funding of the Internal Consulting Group – even though the team could be set up through an injection of corporate funds, they need to be able to fund itself by charging the internal clients. If the internal clients don’t see the value in it, the group will be short-lived.

Select the best fit based on your context and objectives -Like any other consulting firm, an internal consulting group has its own Consulting DNA, which takes its roots in the creation of the group and the profiles of the managers. Unless you have an extended internal consulting group, the skills and experience of your consultants will probably be focused on a few capabilities: this is where you want to use them. If you are dealing with a project that will span over a long period or requires to connect strongly with the teams, blend in to create buy-in, or potentially manage sensitive issues, the Internal Consulting team will be your preferred option

6 Points to Consider When Working with External Consultants –

External strategy consultants can bring in important advantages, many of them corresponding with the perceived weaknesses of internal strategists. Their specialist knowledge and experience can fill in the gaps the business has internally.

External consultants can deliver excellent results, and make a real impact on the business. However, Clients need to be crystal clear in project definitions and tasks. If they leave room for interpretation, there can be misunderstandings and unsatisfactory results.

They can ease the acceptance of stricter and harder decisions. When consultants are used to helping implement painful decisions such as cost-cutting or making sure that teams are delivering synergies at an accelerated pace, good relationships are challenging to sustain. For Internal consultants to manage a situation like that can be tricky. However, to External consultants, who are transiting once the project is complete, is easier to do that, and there are no long-lasting consequences. In that case, working with External consultants can be a better solution.

They are more objective. They won’t have to deal with internal politics and personal or sensitive issues. We can assume they will be more unbiased too.

Based on years of experience, they can contribute and apply successful insights and practices from other similar projects.

Your make-or-buy decision process can cover both options and you can integrate your Internal Consulting Group in the competition for projects where their skills and experience could be an advantage. Also using a Hybrid team of External and Internal Consultants, can be a viable option for getting the experts’ support you need, ensure knowledge transfer, and reduce your costs at the same time.

How to Decide Which is Best?
It’s important to always measure the performance of your projects.
When you are running projects through your internal Consulting Group, it is essential to measure the impact of the projects and the satisfaction of the internal clients. Having feedback on their work is a fantastic tool to build improvement and development plans. Your internal consulting group will be able to grow their skills on the right dimensions and serve better their internal clients. It is also a compelling way to convince internal clients to use their services while comparing with similar external service providers.
When deciding on your next project it is worth evaluating all the elements, and pick the team of Consultants that is best suited for the project, one who is prepared to deliver the best results.

If you are planning to launch a new Consulting project,
let us help you with finding the best Consultant.
Feel free to contact us today, to learn more about Consulting Quest and allow us to learn about your organization, needs and goals.
Book your call

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Connect with other Consulting Buyer to step up your game

Connect with other Consulting Buyer to step up your game

Among many professionals, the temptation to work alone, without the support of peers, is high. Innovative business people understand the need for connections with peers, with consultants, with journalists, and with the public at large. Great professionals need to build a network of peers, learn from experience of others, reach collective critical mass, get sparring partners, cherry pick best practices, and stay current on the latest trends.
The situation of procurement professionals and particularly the one of those in charge of procuring consulting services falls into this category. Procuring consulting services is quite different from procuring goods. Consulting is a complex industry often described as a matrix of capabilities and industries. Just add a layer a hard and soft skills. A zest of fee structure. And you have got yourself in the shoes of many Consulting Procurement leaders. They need to connect with peers to be able to exchange about their daily challenges with people who can actually understand what they are facing.

Source Consultants

The easiest solution is to look into your pool of existing providers, and choose pick from them. However, the best consultant for one project is not necessary the best for the next one.

Read More

1. Build a Network of Peers
Even though Companies can have a significant budget for Consulting Projects, most Consulting Procurement executives handle a limited number of project in relative isolation.  Many of them have been trained with core-business procurement, or indirect procurement. So, when facing consulting projects, they are very tempted to reinvent the wheel each time, or to just apply the sound principles that they have learned in their previous jobs. Just like this procurement leader, working in a railway company, who insisted in adding a 10-year guarantee clause in a consulting agreement, “because that is the company policy”.
Rather than just seeking consulting procurement information through only books and online material, find ways to connect with peers in your industry. Trade shows, a community of practice, professional organizations, and firms who specialize in networking consultants with clients are all important tools to connect with peers.
2. Learn from the experience of others
Exchanges with peers from diverse backgrounds, culture and activities give professionals the ability to discover new perspectives on consulting procurement, and learn about cases that you haven’t face yet. Increasing your surface of exchange will increase your exposure to the variety of situations faced by your peers.

And who knows. Someone in your network may have faced the same challenge…
This increased surface area multiplies the opportunities for growing as procurement leader by learning from practical cases, sharing challenges and identifying best practices. You can learn from peers, academics, journalists, as well as consultants. This community of learning empowers you to not only increase learning, but facilitates the reach of critical mass.
3. Reach Critical Mass Collectively
Many rare skills, such as consulting procurement, are acquired and maintained on the field through facing again and again the same issues. As a business professional, your services are limited by your ability to access enough information to identify trends and best practices in your field. It is hard to reach that critical mass of information to allows you to master your skill.
With more peers around the table, you accelerate the building process and guarantee that you are able to reach that critical mass collectively. Through your peers, you each gain momentum and reach the critical mass necessary to succeed faster.
4. Get Yourself Sparring Partners
Not only does collaboration increase learning about specific situations and projects, it helps you improve your internal processes at a faster rate as well. Two heads are better than one, and two sets of hands go faster. Although it feels risky for business leaders to open themselves up to even one peer, let alone a network of peers, the open source revolution in software and computing shows the power of collaboration in a field which was driven by secrets and control for many years.
Sharing about Consulting Procurement does not mean you risk to lose your competitive advantage or breach confidentiality, because you can just decide what you share. Good networking merely takes others’ work and integrates it with your own business so that everyone is empowered to grow more. Networking defines relationships based upon the level of connectedness you have with your peers: the more connected you become, the more meaningful the interactions become.
5. Cherry Pick best practices
A key part of building a network of peers and increasing your collaborative processes is to be able to identify the best practices as a group. Before integrating in your own processes, think about how it would fit with your strategy, your organization and your existing policies and what impact it would have on other processes.
Let’s say you have heard that Wenowatwedoo, a leader in your industry, is using independent consultants for their needs for marketing excellence. You immediately think you should do the same. But what you don’t know is that Wenowatwedoo has a dedicated team in charge of Marketing Excellence made of former consultants. So for that specific needs, they merely need arms and legs to complement their team, where your company would need the whole team of marketing excellence. Excellent best practice, but not for you.
Cherry picking on what consulting other companies have used might be the most difficult exercise as it requires a fit with your context and strategy but there are many other process elements that can garner tremendous value without presenting the same challenge. But on managing confidentiality, scoping projects, sourcing, selecting consultants, negotiating fees, using creative fee structures or measuring consultants’ performance, there are many levers that can help you to professionalize your own practices.
6. Stay current on the latest trends
Your needs for consulting are changing every year to adapt to new strategic context, to new opportunities opened by new technologies, etc. You have to stay current on the latest trend and be connected with academics and thought leaders. This will give you the ability to spots threats and opportunities early on, and anticipate the impact on your field.
Besides, keeping up-to-date with your industry is key for building expert power and earn the trust and respect of the other executives in your company.
Connecting with peers is part of your development as a professional, it will help you in getting better at your job, become the go-to partner for the executives of your company, and provide you with sparring partners to call when you are facing a tough challenge. It will give you the keys to enable deliver quality procurement services for your business, to get more value of your consulting spend and to create more value for your company. On a personal level, you will have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with your peers.
So now the question is … what are you waiting for?

An African Consulting Market already significant and with huge Potential

An African Consulting Market already significant and with huge Potential

Welcome to the first issue of our New Blog Series – “Exploring the African Consulting Industry”. In this series, you will learn “everything-you-need-to-know” about the African Consulting market through a set of fun infographics.

Know the Market
In 2016, the Consulting Industry in Africa was valued at $2.2 billion. Although the market is relatively small in terms of size from a global perspective, it has grown strongly over the past years, with a 6.3% growth rate. The African consulting market is bigger in size than many of the European markets such as that of Spain and Italy.
Consulting services can be found in over 30 markets in Africa. The Top 3 Locations with the greatest number of consulting firms are: 1) South Africa, 2) Nigeria and 3) Morocco.
Among these regions, Southern Africa alone makes up around two thirds of the Africa’s entire consulting market. Africa continues to position itself as an attractive geography with a double-digit growth in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, and East Africa, benefiting from the reduced attractiveness of the Asian countries.
The African market as a whole is forecasted to continue its impressive growth, thanks to the rapidly growing economy and governmental push on innovation. Despite of being a market with a huge potential, there are risks for consulting business in the region including political stability and difficulty in getting paid.

t

Consulting Quest Global Directory
Consulting Quest Global Directory is the World’s 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. With such a powerful database, we decided to dig deeper into the directory and analyzed the consulting offering in each of the following regions of the world: North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacifics and LATAM.

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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Consulting Playbook: A Smarter Growth Approach in Reducing SG&A Costs

Consulting Playbook: A Smarter Growth Approach in Reducing SG&A Costs

The Consulting Playbook, Edition #12
A leader in the Commodities Market, despite experiencing double digit growth needed an expert’s advice as their SG&A expenses grew at a proportionate rate as well. This fact was alarming as their major competitors successfully reduced their SG&A expenses.
The organization decided to engage a consulting firm to help analyze the reasons for the SG&A increase, and make the shift in breaking the cycle, improve SG&A efficiency and control, by finding the main drivers behind the higher SG&A costs.
Top Down and Bottom Up Approach Successfully Applied
The Strategic Approach of the Consultant centered on establishing a competition benchmark, setting up a clear cost baseline and proposing sizing down levers. The top-down method was combined with bottom-up approach to fully identify internal gaps, set new goals, and explore new savings opportunities. Also, business performance specific levers were identified, with the ultimate goal to reduce costs, and a new plan was designed for implementation with a full sizing model.
The levers analyzed consisted in a combination of the following: adjusting service levels and implementing demand management, centralizing indirect purchasing, reviewing the make or buy for SG&A scope, consolidating for scale and implementing shared service centers, offshoring some activities, renegotiating contracts, optimizing the organizational structure, rationalizing the footprint as well as some working capital measures.
The major impact on the organization produced the following results:
The organization significantly improved its understanding of SG&A cost evolutions and put in place the necessary actions to progressively reduce the costs escalation, place costs under control and ultimately achieve a cost of reduction of approximately 20% on run rate vs their strategic plan. In addition, the findings pointed out a bigger issue – a clear sign of growth crisis.
Part of the SG&A costs savings were allocated to growth initiatives resulting in an EBITDA growth at twice the market rate.

Additional Information

How Management Mistakes Can Hurt SG&A Costs Savings?
All businesses are concerned with strategy and the best approach to reducing SG&A costs while boosting profitability. We would like to take a brief look at the mistakes many businesses make, and common things they overlook.
There are several factors that can influence costs, such as political events, economic uncertainty, company’s financial situation, and many more. Management should be looking at short-term and long-term measures to achieve desired results.
Mistake #1 – Unjustified Large Cuts or Increases in Costs
This approach is a bit tricky and often overlooked. In a period of recession for example, companies will cut cost to preserve profit margin, however in recovery they will not make the necessary adjustments to boost growth. It’s important for executives to be very selective which expenses to cut without hurting sales volumes. Being strategic about across-the-board cost cuts, and identifying costs that don’t promote growth, must be a top priority.
Mistake #2 – Broad Cost Cut Mandate
Applying a broad cost mandate can lead to disappointing results. What often happens is that if all costs are treated equal without differentiating their effect on growth, costs like procurement can be affected. The smarter approach would be to manage SF&A specifically in relation to their importance to top-line and bottom-line. Flexibility and better understanding of types of costs, will be very beneficial.
Mistake #3 – Benchmarking Approach
The Benchmarking approach has its benefits; however, it also has some minuses too. While it provides a solid basis to align by, it doesn’t determine accurately enough which costs to regulate for a long-term growth. Also, when benchmarking compare performance by company size and industry, it misses to identify the difference in strategy and the specific factors that affect growth and cost structure.
For Further Reading –
– Globalization and New Strategies for Growth
– Three Strategies for Achieving and Sustaining Growth
– How do you create new growth strategies?
– Five ways CFOs can make cost cuts stick
– The Importance of Sustainable SG&A Cost Cutting

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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.

How to Best Define Your Procurement Strategy: Pillars & Pitfalls

How to Best Define Your Procurement Strategy: Pillars & Pitfalls

We should probably start with a definition of Procurement Strategy –
A successful Procurement Strategy for the Consulting Category requires a good understanding of the overall Strategy, the Consulting Market and the past performance within the category. It has to be in line with the Procurement Guidelines, and custom-made to Consulting.
We have reviewed below the ‘pillars’ that can produce effective outcomes, and pitfalls to try to avoid.
Feel free to apply what suits best your specific vision and policy

Optimize your Consulting Spend

The journey toward maturity of Consulting Procurement Capability is infused with challenges. It’s all part of the process. However, there is always a better way to face the challenges ahead.
Read More

our Consulting Strategy

Halfway between Strategic planning and Demand Management, one of the overlooked levers is to define a Consulting Strategy.
This Consulting Strategy aims at identifying the key projects or project areas where using consultants will accelerate your strategic objectives and create the biggest impact. Once defined and planned over a period of 12 to 24 months the consulting strategy will help in guiding the teams towards the key actions supporting your strategy, and alternatively will indicate areas where a lower effort should be engaged.
Pitfall – failing to provide a proper time frame, delegating extra effort or human resources to projects that are smaller, or not enough resources, can backfire.

Choosing Between Make-or-Buy Strategy

Defining a Make-or-Buy Strategy is another key step in establishing the Procurement Strategy for the Consulting Category.
The Make-or-Buy Strategy is very closely linked to Demand Management, and both matters should be (re)evaluated altogether.
The goal here is to come to an improved, more effective decision-making process, often including a decision framework and a decision matrix.

This framework allows deciding what projects should be prioritized and what is the best execution model for each project.
As an example, think of a major transformation exercise for an insurance company across all sites in Asia to implement new development methodologies inspired by the lean startup and the scrum principles.
The consulting firm could provide all resources for the project, or you could decide to implement a hybrid team mixing external consultants and your own in-house scrum masters.
Pitfall – Missing out on fees’ reduction due to the inadequate decision process, weak buy-in from the teams, and uneven knowledge transfer from external firms.

Your Preferred Supplier List & Master Service Agreements

One of the Strategies that can be extremely efficient in Consulting, like in other categories, is to build a Preferred Supplier List.
It is based on the fact that 80% of your needs are usually covered by 20% of your Suppliers. You can anticipate what Suppliers will be engaged, when and how, by looking at both your past Expenses and the strategy for the years to come.
With these “Preferred” Suppliers, you can start negotiating Frame contracts, or Master Service Agreements, including pre-agreed terms and conditions and volume discounts.
Pitfall – not having clear expectations, or deficiency in the list of Preferred Suppliers can affect the projects’ success in various ways.

When and How to Do a 2nd and 3rd Tier Consulting Firms Integration

It can be quite beneficial to leverage 2nd, and 3rd Tier Consulting Firms (small to mid-sized) to decrease the average costs and cover the niche and/or very operational needs from your business lines, and help you get control of the Tail Spend while optimizing the ROI.
Pitfall – Do not miss out on identifying specialized niche providers who can deliver excellent performance at lower rates, that other general providers won’t.

Your Consulting Procurement Process

 “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.” – W.Edwards Deming

To set the process on the right track, you can start with RFPs. They are an amazing tool for buying Consulting Services. You should always write an RFP, even a simplified one. Why? Because it sets expectations like the scope and the deliverables.
In that specific case, writing an efficient RFP will maximize not only the performance of the procurement but also the chances of success of the project.
You might also want to segment the projects based on the size, the strategic importance, the potential impact and/or the complexity to define what will be the process: RFI or not, simplified RFP or not, competition or not, procurement support or not.
Pitfall – Make sure you leave room in your RFP to the Consulting Firm to bring innovative ideas and approaches. Lack of clarity in your expectations and the criteria of evaluation in the RFP, might not produce the best proposals.
And as a final piece of advice, once you have identified your preferred Consulting Firm, do not forget to formalize the agreed expected deliverables, terms and conditions in a separate Statement of Work (SoW)

How does your Procurement Strategy look like?
Do you want to learn about how to get started or just want to discuss further Procurement Strategy.
Do not hesitate to contact us today.
We’d love to hear from you!
 
Book your call

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This Week in Consulting: Are You Ready for Tomorrow’s World?

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, January 22nd 2020

Are You Ready for Tomorrow’s World?

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“When we started our research, we had some preconceived ideas about tomorrow’s world. Many studies have been undertaken to explore the future of society, the environment, business, and even the workplace. Our challenge was to focus explicitly on the business context and the impact on people and work​.​”
This article presents important points around the people management challenges by identifying three worlds and business models for the future.
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from Pwc where the authors explore the future of people management.
Read on to Find out More: “Managing tomorrow’s people“ | Michael Rendell, Sandy Pepper, Karen Vander Linde and Leyla Yildirim, Pwc.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

Dave Ulrich, the father of modern HR, enlights the four key pathways to help us build a more effective organization​.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

What trends will dominate HR tech in 2020?  “Over the last several months, I’ve been focusing on the planning, execution and post-event activities for the recently concluded HR Technology Conference, which, by all accounts, was our largest and most successful event ever.” Steve Boese gives us his scientific approach to the influence of digital in HR and what to consider in 2020. | Steve Boese, H3 HR Advisors
7 Digital HR Trends for 2020: “There is a lot of interest in the topic of digital HR. In 2019, I had the pleasure of speaking at multiple conferences that bore this title. However, when I asked participants to define digital HR, it proved hard to find a definition that everyone agreed on. The good news is that when we look at next year’s digital HR trends, the first trend is that this misunderstanding will disappear. That’s important because if we don’t know what digital HR is, how can we unleash its true value?” What developments and what trends should we expect in digital HR for 2020? | Erik van Vulpen, AIHR
From Talent Management To Talent Experience. Why The HR Tech Market Is In Disruption: “HR technology follows general tech and social trends. In the early 2000s companies started to automate the forms we used in HR. Technologies like applicant tracking systems (ATS), learning management systems (LMS), and performance management systems (PMS) were growing explosively, giving birth to a market of these “talent management” tools.” An interesting overview of how “talent experience” is disrupting the HR technology market. | Josh Bersin, Josh Bersin Academy
Future of HR 2020: Which path are you taking? “This year, at first glance, seemed to be a continuation of trends and themes that we have observed over the last three years, particularly the way in which the HR function seems to be dividing into various groupings. At one end are those that are fundamentally changing their focus and priorities in order to take on the challenges resulting from digital disruption; on the other, those preferring to stick with the “tried and true.” But we quickly realised that, this year, the data has crystallized into something more definitive.” Captivating to discover how digital disruption and AI will change the overall shape of the workforce and the challenges to drive business value. | Mark Spears, KPMG.

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
Manchester HR Summit : The Manchester HR Summit is an excellent platform for collaboration between those working in the HR industry, and those who provide the latest solutions and services in this sector.
 
The HR, talent and payroll technologies expo: Over 700 professionals were gathered in 2019 for the 1st edition to discuss business opportunities as well as HR, talent and payroll technology trends.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

Microsoft pledges to be ‘carbon negative’ by 2030: “Microsoft has announced it aims to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits by 2030 and hopes to have removed enough carbon to account for all the direct emissions the company has ever made by 2050.” | The Guardian
Google now treats iPhones as physical security keys: “ Two-factor authentication is one of the most important steps you can take to secure your online accounts, and provides an additional layer of security beyond a standard username and password. Physical security keys are much more secure than the six digit codes that are in common use today, since these codes can be intercepted almost as easily as passwords themselves.” | Jon Porter, The Verge
The Net Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action– “The World Economic Forum (WEF), in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), released a report today that examines the current state of climate action by companies and governments and provides insights about the actions that corporations, governments, and civil society can take now, both collectively and individually, to limit global warming.” |PRNewswire and BCG
SAP SuccessFactors helps EY to transform HR structure: “Having doubled its headcount in five years, Big Four firm EY needed to overhaul its internal human resources systems to on-board and support its 290,000 global staff. SAP SuccessFactors supported EY in the transformation of its HR operations, boosting the ability of employees to access vital compliance training within the organisation.” | 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

Why Building a Performance Measure System That Lasts Delivers The Best Results?
"The system, to a large extend, causes its own behavior." - Donella H. Meadows Markets and conditions constantly change, but ...Read More

The 6 Little Secrets of Objective Proposal Evaluation to Help You Select a Winner
"Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things." - Isaac Newton ...Read More

The Savvy Structure and Approach to the Top 3 Dimensions in Managing a Consulting Project
"A good plan can help with risk analyses, but it will never guarantee the smooth running of the project." - ...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 choose between Generalist or Specialist Consultants?

How to choose between Generalist or Specialist Consultants?

Executives often wonder how to approach the decision to hire a consultant who specializes in one aspect of their industry, or a consultant who has proven results in most areas, but who doesn’t have any specific niche experience. After all, the population of consultants has exponentially increased in response to corporate belt-tightening in the area of permanent staffing.
If you’re looking for the right consultant, there are several factors that will help you decide whether a specialist or a generalist is right for your needs. First of those considerations are the pros of both types. But there are also some important decisions you’ll need to make before you start searching.

Source Consultants

So, if you’re wondering how to find a consultant who can provide the outcome you’re looking for, here are a few tips
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Strategic Considerations
Before you begin your search for the consultant who best fits your needs and your company’s needs, there are two important things you must do:

Be clear about the problem you are trying to solve by hiring a consultant.

The more clearly you understand the problem you’re facing, and the better you can articulate it, the better equipped you’ll be to make the decision between a generalist and a specialist.

Balance your resource allocation.

You want to procure the right consultant to create new solutions—not to create new financial problems. And obviously, correctly identifying the problem helps balance your resource allocation. Misidentifying your problem can be costly: remember that old saying, “We cut it three times and it’s still too short?”
Consultants—whether generalists or specialists—essentially have one strategic function: optimizing your ROI or expanding your customer base. The consultant you select must understand that she is fulfilling that function, and bring to the table the skillset and experience that will address one of those strategic functions.
Which projects are generalists best for? Which projects are specialists right for? Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of each:

The Generalist
Generalists, broadly speaking, tend to work in smaller, boutique consulting firms, but also play strong roles in large, global consulting firms. They may be new to consulting or new to the business world, but not necessarily. Typically they have broad-based knowledge and a willingness to adapt flexibly to an enterprise’s needs. Here are the main characteristics of generalist consultants:

They work well in teams, especially with other generalists, as they tend to have strengths in seeing both the forest and the trees, and the interrelationships between the two. In other words, they can connect the dots between the problem you are trying to solve and how potential solutions may affect the rest of your enterprise.

They tend to be a good fit for broader, larger-scale consulting projects for that reason: their types of experiences lead directly to their ability to connect all the dots and offer the most fitting solution.

Generalists excel at analysis, whether the presented problem is the “real” one to be solved or whether it is masking an underlying issue that needs to be solved first.

On the solutions side, generalists may have experience with a range of types of solutions. They tend not to offer cookie-cutter fixes. Instead, they custom tailor a solution for your enterprise. As a bonus, they may be able to draw upon former experience and apply it to current your problem in a way that is innovative.

Generalists may want to solve by themselves issues that could be better addressed by specialist consultants, and thus lack the right knowledge and/or expertise.
They might prove to be a costly solution if their contribution is limited to managing other consultants on your behalf

To sum up, generalists are effective in teams and ideal at tailoring solutions, especially for management-level issues or larger-scale, complex projects. Note, too, that if you think a longer-term partnership with a consultant is on the horizon, go with a generalist who can always find a specialist when needed.
The Specialist
Specialists typically have chosen to concentrate their efforts and abilities in a more narrow arena such as energy, IT, or finance, or in a particular industry, such as healthcare or pharmaceuticals. Many specialists have jumped from years of employment in their field of expertise to the world of consulting.
Major consulting firms usually have a range of specialists who are highly trained and deeply experienced in their chosen fields, but boutique firms also may specialize in a given industry or knowledge field. Here are some of the key benefits that specialists can bring to the table:

Specialists are passionate about their field or industry. They keep current on new findings and industry news. They understand the competitive pressures within their specialized industry.

They also provide solutions for enterprises. With their high levels of training and experience, specialists may be able to zoom in on and implement solutions quickly, which may conserve resources for the company.
Specialists love to transfer their knowledge, and will immediately be recognized by your teams on a dimension they comprehend.
They can see all problems through their area of expertise. As popularized by Abraham Maslow, “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.
Specialists will bring to you the state of the industry but might reuse at least for statistic purposes some of your data. That is the unsaid rule of the game.

The key to successfully using a specialist is the executive’s ability to correctly identify and articulate the problem that needs a resolution. If the scope of the problem is limited to the rapid advancement of IT changes, for instance, a specialist is the natural place to turn. If the problem at hand is limited to circuit board assembly supply chains, turning to an industry specialist makes great sense in terms of both outcomes and resources.
Ultimately, there is a role for both generalists and specialists in the world of consulting. Each type of consultant successfully helps executives find solutions, given the right situation.
Take heart if you find yourself at a crossroads and need to turn to a consultant. There is great news: a consulting brokerage firm has already done all the heavy lifting of assessing a wide range of high-quality consulting firms globally to fit every type of enterprise, budget, and project. They can be a savior in assisting you to select the right type of consulting firm.
Executives who initially turn to a global consulting brokerage company may find they assistance they need to identify which type of consultant will be most likely to optimize ROI or expand their customer base.
Consulting Quest specializes in identifying consulting solutions that boost your competitive edge. Let us know how we can assist you.

Consulting Playbook:  State-of-the-Art Techniques to fix Supply Chain in Pharmaceuticals

Consulting Playbook:  State-of-the-Art Techniques to fix Supply Chain in Pharmaceuticals

The Consulting Playbook, Edition #23 
The company’s “On Time In Full” OTIF was extremely low.  40% of orders failed to meet  the targets for both supply chain and development issues. Development Priorities were changing frequently, plus there was a lack of development activities planning for the past 5 years. All that caused high level of stress among team members, and a Consultant was hired to provide expertise in dealing with these problems.
The Approach applied was designed to address the situation on two levels

Supply-chain Activities Level

A mapping of the current supply-chain process was carried out, with Key indicators, and major issues VSM outlined. Besides, a workshop with the whole supply team was organized to review the issues that had to be resolved.
At the outset, a more effective mapping of the future supply-chain process was performed, a new structure design of the S&OP and MPS was created and implemented.
A reduction in the changeover time for the major production lines SMED was targeted as well.

Development Activities Level

For those, a new mapping of the development process was done together with improved Key Indicators and the major issues to be resolved. Workshops with the development team were organized to craft a shared action plan.
Consequently, the evaluation of customers’ demands was performed to filter developments and set new priorities.
A smoother future development process was designed ready for implementation, a new standard flow for the project’s activities was charged and a weekly meetings protocol for all the team members was established to continue the improvement of all activities and follow up.
The Successful Outcome Achieved
The organization managed to raise OTIF from 50% to 85% in one year. The project’s duration was shortened by 25%, while the stress level among team members had been greatly reduced.

Additional Information

Which Key Areas to Focus On in Drug Development Planning? 
Drug development work is a time-consuming process and it requires a solid research, planning and cooperation. It also suggests developing a strategy from start to finish, a  presentation to potential investors and arranging a toxicity study. The long-term benefits that a new product can bring in, however will neutralize the costs in most instances. And a carefully crafted strategy will make such endeavor a success.
Below we outlined 3 Main Strategic Areas to look at when Developing a New Drug

Manufacturing

This area is extremely important for the success and launch of a new drug. It is crucial to include all the segments in the drug development process in order to reach the manufacturing stage successfully. Bad decisions or unprepared actions can prove to be very costly, and likely  cause delays or result in other problems. Manufacturing includes all activities in connection to production of final dosage form, the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), decision on a viable formulation, making sure the quality is sufficient and consistent, packaging, shipping, and more.

Clinical and Non-Clinical Development

These are the standard procedures. The purpose behind the two types of research is to provide adequate support to the clinical trial teams and lead to the final approval of the drug. The Strategic plan accompanying the development should preferably include all the necessary studies as well as the additional studies that will be helpful. The studies can beneficially affect the time and the cost of the product development at the later stage, but might require a more serious investment upfront. In the Clinical Development stage, all detailed plans should be developed including – study designs, identification of investigators, statistical analyses, timelines for development, etc. Contingency planning is also essential to have.
Risk management is another big part to consider, and creating  a solid RMP (risk management plan) with risk evaluation and mitigation strategy must include all the pharmacovigilance actions, as well as measures related to identifying and preventing risks of the drug, and an in-depth valuation of its effectiveness. Sufficient awareness to prospective patients or physicians of the side effects must be provided too. The documentation in this stage should prove the benefits outweigh the costs of the drug.

Regulatory

The documentation in this area will keep the project on track and will make the process run smoothly. Risks of delays will be identified, probability of delays, extra costs, tracking mechanism of the progress should be included too in the main regulatory Strategy document.
This strategy can be revised as necessary for the duration of the project.
And lastly, topics like Intellectual property and trademark registration; compensation schedules, and marketing and selling the drug, must be addressed and developed as well.
For Further Reading:

Concepts in Pharmaceutical Development Project Management
Planning for Successful, Efficient, Pharmaceutical Product Development
CMC Development Strategies for Small Pharma
Effective new product planning
Preclinical D

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.

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