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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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    MOST RECENT

    Podcast | How to define your needs for a consulting project?

    How can you measure the impact of a given project if you don’t define the expectations? Defining the scope of your project is a compulsory step in the sourcing process.
    On this week’s Smart consulting Sourcing podcast, Consulting Sourcing Expert Hélène Laffitte explains how to define your needs for a consulting project.
    Key Takeaway: Defining the needs is an important part of the Sourcing process. The RFP will be the reference document for the consulting providers you invite to the competition.

    This Week in Consulting: Are you ready for the future of Agriculture?

    This Week in Consulting

    Wednesday, June 3rd 2020

    Are you ready for the future of Agriculture?

    THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
    “AgDrones in the market today are commonly associated with remote sensing, hyper-spectral imaging, and sophisticated data analytics for precision agriculture practices. However, investigating the current adoption and usage of AgDrones in selected Asian markets, an often overlooked functional application of this technology lies in its capability to resolve more traditional farming challenges, redefining the potential paths to adoption in the continuing assessment of market attractiveness for AgDrones.“
    There is little information on how agriculture is using drones. However, you would be surprised to learn the significance of drones in the agriculture industry.
    This Week’s Must Read is an insight piece from Ipsos Consulting on the impact of AgDrone adoption to relevant value chain players.
    Read on to Find out More: “Commercial Drone Adoption in Agribusiness“ | Markus Scherer, Jessica Chung and Joanne Lo, Ipsos Consulting.

    Podcast | How to get started with the consulting sourcing process?

    Should we organize a competition between consultants? Should we write an RFP? Who should be involved in the process?
    On this week’s Smart consulting Sourcing podcast, Consulting Sourcing Expert Hélène Laffitte explains how to get started with the consulting sourcing process.
    Key Takeaway: Putting several consultants in competition is a great way to evaluate them and start looking for the right fit. Working with the main stakeholders will ensure you have the right expertise at each step of the process.

    Top 6 Trends in Procurement Today and Why Embracing Digital Transformation is the Way to Success

    Top 6 Trends in Procurement Today and Why Embracing Digital Transformation is the Way to Success

    “It is bad procurement policy to unilaterally lock itself into one set of technologies.” – Tom Schatz

    Procurement is a truly dynamic category today. Did you know that Cloud Technology, Cognitive Procurement, Blockchain, and many new digital trends are changing the way we look at the category and how Procurement is organized and executed?
    We will take a closer look at some of the exciting new trends and see how they really shape up Procurement today. And try to see where they will take us in the future.

    Read also...
    You are moving forward with the project and close to making a final selection of your Consulting provider. Based on the proposal assessment described in one of our previous articles, you should now have a good sense of what the Consultant can do for you, on paper.

    Learn more

    Where we are today –
    Companies are getting better at purchasing. But procurement remains a labor-intensive activity with lots of data and paperwork to handle. While the digital transformation has started in many industries and functions, procurement is still lagging. However, there is a much brighter future on the horizon – Digital technologies are on pace to automate most routine procurement processes within the next few years.
    The Procurement function has already initiated a shift from tactical procurement to strategic procurement, and the digitalization could act as a boost to project procurement at the C-suite table.
    When the boring activities of procurement like contract management, or RFP process management are taken care of automatically, the core business for procurement revolves around strategic sourcing and supplier relationships. The Procurement executives can bring more value in their daily interaction with internal clients and suppliers, and thus develop a closer collaboration.

    Why embracing the digital transformation of the Procurement function is the best way to go –
    The digital transformation touches all sectors and functions. And it’s important to be clear on what the digital transformation entails.
    Digitalization is the process of employing digital technologies and information to transform business operations. Automation has a big part in digitalization, where some elements of the processes are now done automatically. The processes are digitalized.
    Digital Transformation is the overall strategy of a company that is embracing digital and leading as a consequence of both digitization and digitalization projects. The company or function is engaged in a digital transformation.
    The End-to-end Procurement process can be divided into several activities such as Spend Analysis, Procure-to-Pay or Financial Performance, Contract Lifecycle Management
    And as we move towards cognitive procurement, now it is possible to automate these activities.
    Spend Analysis
    Do you know how much you are spending on consulting?
    For the Consulting Category, the secret is to be able to cross both the financial and the performance metrics at the project level.
    Many digital platforms are now enabling a fine analysis of procurement and process data. They turn your raw procurement data into actionable insights. Most platforms allow you to slice and dice your data per region, category, supplier, and organization.
    Supplier Management
    Supplier Relationship Management for Consulting is crucial. Linking Consulting Performance to your Preferred Supplier List and your Supplier Relationship Management is the first step to Category Management.
    Supplier Management systems offer the possibility to onboard your suppliers, identify and manage your preferred suppliers, mitigate supplier risk, and implement continuous improvement. The SRM is often included in Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay suites.
    Negotiations & Decision
    Negotiations & Decision systems are rarely stand-alone solutions, but rather integrated with Strategic Sourcing or Source-to-Pay Solutions. They help enable bidding through real-time auctions or reverse auctions to stimulate competition among your providers.
    Contract Management
    Contract Management systems integrate contracts into the spend management process. They allow buyers to generate contracts from templates, automatically populate supplier information, and share documents using Word or DocuSign tools. They provide visibility and history during the life of a contract and manage expiration alerts. They are often included in Procure-to-Pay or Source-to-Pay suites.
    Procure-to-Pay
    Using a Procure-to-Pay solution for the Consulting Category can be instrumental in centralizing the spend management, and implementing demand management. Workflow management will have to be customized to follow your organizational structure.
    Procure-to-Pay solutions are all-in-one solutions merging Procurement, Invoicing, and Payment as well as Cash Management in one integrated platform. They usually include a catalog of products or suppliers, purchase order and requisition management. They also manage the approval workflow and discount programs.
    Financial Performance
    Tracking and Reporting Savings is important for Procurement Teams but can be tricky when it comes to consulting. You want the best consultant at a competitive price, but most of the benefits are in the value you will get from the project itself.
    Financial Savings Management Software and Financial Performance Solutions replace the manual process of spreadsheet inputting, project tracking, and savings estimation linked with the activity of procurement teams. It captures savings from inception to confirmation and allows real-time forecasting and reporting.
    With technology changing at a rapid pace and procurement practices as well, Companies need to rely on innovation to successfully compete. Implementing the latest procurement trends will help businesses capitalize on new opportunities.
    And here they are,
    Top 6 Tech Trends Affecting Procurement to Pay Attention to –
    1 –  Simplicity
    While there are new complex technologies and complex benchmarks, the goal is to simplify processes and improve overall efficiency. Streaming cash flow, business operations, customer services, and much more.
    2 – Nearshoring
    Reducing costs has a new destination now. Offshore operations might be becoming a term of the past. Nearshoring is a new procurement trend giving companies a chance to exploit domestic opportunities, and have more control of procurement and the supply chain functions.
    3 – Blockchain
    Data blockchain is gaining more and more power as supply chain and procurement decision are all based on data. This revolutionary technology will change the business-to-business transactions, and offer a high level of efficiency with cryptography, eliminating the role of the central trust authority in the process.
    4 – Could Technology and IoT
    Cloud-based technologies and IoT are helping erase the physical boundaries and create a centralized system increasing the efficiency and productivity of the supply chain and procurement function.
    This procurement trend is expected to give rise to the popularity of SaaS applications and encourage even small businesses to benefit from that.
    5 – Procurement and Supply Chain Collaboration
    Collaboration as a procurement trend is growing across all industries. As a part of their strategic move, businesses focus on collaboration between business functions, procurement and supply chain.
    6 – Social Responsibility
    Corporate Social Responsibility is a hot trend that is gaining momentum. Businesses are now expected to roll out programs that include sustainability practices. Savvy and well-informed consumers today prefer brands that are environmentally and socially conscious.

    Where does your organization stand today
    in implementing the best new tech trends in procurement?
    We will be happy to discuss any questions you might have,
    in optimizing new technologies to serve your goals and strategy better.
    Book your call

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    How to Hone to Perfection Your Consultant Selection with Our Top 5 List of Attributes

    How to Hone to Perfection Your Consultant Selection with Our Top 5 List of Attributes

    “Projects are usually undertaken to either solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. The probability that the project – even if precisely executed – will complete on time, on budget, and on performance is typically small. Project management is utilized to increase this probability. So in a sense, project management is risk management.” – Bruce Pittman
    You are moving forward with the project and close to making the consultant selection for your project. Based on the proposal assessment described in one of our previous articles, you should now have a good sense of what the Consultant can do for you, on paper.
    But in reality, very few companies excel at both – selling and delivering their services. The most brilliant proposal in PowerPoint does not always translate into the best value delivery and vice versa.
    But there is one more, last hurdle – these few points that you want to clarify in the most promising proposals. Take the time to organize one-on-one meetings with your short-listed consultants. Whenever possible, you should seize the opportunity to meet the candidates in person, especially if they are new to your company.

    Read also...
    With the constant pressure on cost reductions and sustainable savings, many companies are starting to notice their Tail Spend, even in the Consulting Category.

    Learn more

    Our Top 5 Attributes list to perfect your consultant selection –

    When you prepared the RFP, you have defined the criteria that you will use to choose the best proposal. It is your starting point to compare the remaining proposals.
    1. The Main Criteria – top dimensions to consider in each proposal.

    Quality of the approach
    Team expertise
    Quality of the proposal
    Price
    Fit with your teams

    You have probably identified some particular criteria, such as an expertise in a specific sub-industry or sub-capability.
    For instance, they might include the following:

    Expertise in Network Design
    Expertise in Process Industries
    Availability to work on-site
    Ability to transfer knowledge

    On top of these requirements, you might have expectations on other dimensions such as the culture, the type of approach that are not written in your RFP but are essential to you.
    This type of criteria might cover:

    Alignment with your values
    Creativity & innovation
    Credibility with your local teams

    Before you grade the different proposals, you need to prioritize the various criteria. Keep in mind that the endgame is the success of the project, not the efficiency of the purchasing process. The priorities should change from one project to the next, depending on the context and the expected results.
    2. Levels of Priority – be able to assign a degree of importance to each criterion.
    Let’s go back to the previous list, and organize them by the level of priority:

    Quality of the approach
    Team expertise
    Quality of the proposal
    Price
    Fit with your teams
    Expertise in Growth Strategy
    Expertise in Financial Services
    Availability to work on-site
    Ability to transfer knowledge
    Alignment with your values
    Creativity & Innovation
    Credibility with your local teams

    The goal is to build an evaluation matrix that will help you give a score to the different proposals to facilitate the comparison.
    3. Price versus value – define how much you are willing to pay for the project?
    What you are looking for is value for money. You want the right impact on your top line & bottom line, and the right price. In other words, you want a good Return on Investment for the project. The price that corresponds to that positive ROI is your willingness to pay.
    For example, if you are launching a project to adapt to a recent regulatory change, then the value of the project to you is significant, and it will cost more if you don’t get it done. Thus, your willingness to pay for this type of project is higher than for a less tangible project such as efficiency improvement and company reorganization.
    The price is often the primary driver of choice. As a general rule, the price you pay should always be lower than the value you (envision to) get out of it. Determine the gray zone between your real budget and the limit before meeting with the consultants.
    4. Ask for a Presentation to accompany the proposal – to get a better idea of the Consultant’s approach
    Before you dive into grading the candidates, give the consultants the opportunity to comment on their proposal. It is sometimes hard to write a proposal because, however, thorough you are in writing the RFP, there still might be some elements that remain unclear.

    Challenge the core proposal.

    Start with your analysis of the proposal and write down the questions you want to ask the consultants. Tip: Don’t look at your preferred proposal first, save it for last. You will learn as you go and come up with the right questions.

    Does the proposal cover all the scope from the RFP?

    Are you satisfied with the quality of the approach proposed by the Consultant, including the precise scope of the work and the potential next steps? Do you feel the approach proposed by the Consultant would have a positive impact on the project?

    Do you find the deliverables relevant?

    Is the timeline proposed by the Consultant in line with your expectations? Are you convinced by the verbal and/or oral presentation of the proposal?

    Do the people in the room have the right expertise?

    It is easy to write the perfect proposal with the support of your best experts, even if you don’t have the right depth of knowledge. It is more difficult to pitch the said proposal without their help. It is standard for Consulting firms to include subject matter experts in crafting the proposal to increase their technical credibility. But if that expert is not present on the field, and the Consulting firm staffs junior or inexperienced Consultants, the expertise was smoke and mirrors. Also, some consultants are poor communicants, and their proposals might look weak. But their depth of knowledge and their ability to deliver can be outstanding. When you hire a Consultant, you also buy access to their knowledge.
    5. Access to Consultant’s knowledge base – a significant advantage you can utilize, provided it is the expertise you need

    Who will be the consultants working with you on a daily basis?
    Did they understand the context and objectives of the project?
    Do they understand your business and know your market?
    Will you have access to their knowledge during the project?
    Will they be credible with your technical teams?
    Do you feel they will bring you the competencies and expertise you are looking for?
    What is their experience prior to this project?
    Are they the ones that worked on the referenced projects

    You have now all the elements in hand to make your consultant selection. So what are you waiting for?

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

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    How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes in Managing The Tail Spend – Top 5 Recommended Practices

    How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes in Managing The Tail Spend – Top 5 Recommended Practices

    “The paradox explored is that successful companies can fail by making the ‘right’ decisions in the wrong situations.” – Clayton M. Christensen, ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ book

    Clayton Christensen is not referring specifically to the Tail Spend, but it is a well-known area for savings’ possibilities. With the constant pressure on cost reductions and sustainable savings, many companies are starting to notice their Tail Spend, even in the Consulting Category.
    The Tail Spend Defined-
    The Tail Spend is the part of the spend that is not actively managed in a given spend category, and might still have an impact on the performance of the Company through COGS or S&A. It contains a small portion of the spend (usually less than 20%) but represents a large number of suppliers.

    Read also...
    Positive and mutually beneficial relationships with business partners, clients, and collaborators are an essential part of every project.

    Learn more

    The Tail Spend Can Represent Significant Savings –
    Companies often tend to neglect the small consulting projects, contracted directly by the business line managers. However, consolidated at the Company level, they can add up to 25% of the Consulting Spend.
    Not much, you might say. But when the Consulting Spend can be 0.5% to 3% of the total revenue, any savings on this front can significantly improve your bottom line and delight your CFO.

    The Most Common Mistakes in Managing the Tail Spend for Consulting-
    The first question you can ask yourself to find out if you are managing your tail properly is: “How big is my tail? And what is in it? “
    Mismanagement of the Tail Spend, independently of the category, usually involves the following elements:

    A scattered supplier base
    Decentralized purchasing behaviors where customers are buying on their own, and procurement is almost uninvolved.
    A minimal supplier Qualification
    No or minimal performance Evaluations
    Limited or no category management

    Consulting is no exception to that, however, contrary to other indirect categories, the absence of comparable elements and the diversity of the projects combined with the importance of interpersonal relationships can make it challenging to optimize and control.
    Top 5 Recommended Practices to Avoid These Mistakes –
    1. Consolidate Your Supplier Base with Caution –
    One of the levers used to manage the spend is to consolidate the number of suppliers. Some companies have applied this methodology at the Category level. Suppliers have to be qualified for a given category, and the number of suppliers per category limited.
    What starts out well can end up with a sound failure if you don’t take into account the specificity of the Consulting category. If your sub-categories are not granular enough, you might end up with a handful of large one-stop shops. Price increase mechanically, erasing the savings made by the cleaning-up of the Tail Spend.

    2. Effectively Manage the Variety of Projects –

    To help you organize and manage the various projects, it’s best to sort them out in 5 categories:

    One-time projects.

    One-time projects are the core of your Tail Spend. They are usually small projects with a clear scope and little likeliness of sequel. (Think diagnosis or workshop facilitation)

    Recurring projects.

    Recurring projects are, most of the time, medium-sized projects designed with a repeat model. (Think pulse survey, voice of the customer, benchmarking, coaching)

    Never-ending sequels.

    You have certainly already seen one of these large projects designed in small chunks to fly under the radar. (Think one diagnosis per plant, any project reaching phase 4 and more)

    Duplicate projects.

    Several business units or departments can contract small or mid-sized projects with similar scopes and methodologies. They can be performed by the same or different consultancies.

    Externalized workforce

    The consultants can also be used to bypass too stringent HR rules or compensate for lack of internal expertise punctually.
    3. Successfully Tackle the Tail Spend –
    To efficiently clean-up your Tail Spend, here are a few pointers:

    Gather data on previous projects.

    The main challenge for most companies when facing the Tail Spend is to clearly identify the projects in the tail and cluster them into manageable sub-categories.
    If your organization is decentralized, you will need to get the support of the different parts of the organization to make sure that you have “clean data.” If you haven’t performed a spend analysis, maybe now is an excellent time to launch it.

    Assess the performance of the providers.

    Interview the project sponsors and leaders to identify high- and low-performers.

    Regroup what you can.

    Recurring and duplicate projects are good candidates for strategic management and should not be treated as the tail. How about a frame contract on coaching or a cross-business-unit RFP for excellence programs or digital transformation?

    Develop your knowledge of the local Consulting market.

    An excellent way to keep control of the tail without spending too much time on the management is to have at hand a list of additional providers. By exploring the local Consulting market, you will be able to identify potential suppliers and develop relationships. That will allow you to be reactive when one of your business lines wants to launch a one-time project on a given sub-category.

    Fine-tune the rules for the tail projects.

    To maintain your Tail Spend reasonable, and make sure you are not building up another false tail, you need to set up workflows with the right agile check and balance and chase the false tail.

    Use vendor management systems.

    Use best-in-class systems to manage the one-off supplementary workforce. Automate the process to find, procure, and manage external talent in full compliance with your policies.
    There are many other levers you could use, but the above selection should probably give you a good 80/20.
    4. How to Kickstart a New Tail Spend Project –
    Below we have listed a few proven steps you can take.

    Evaluate the size of the prize

    First compulsory stop on your journey: evaluate the potential savings and improvements to expect. We have stressed many times the importance of creating value. You need to make sure that there is more to gain with the project than what you are spending. It is the right moment to start gathering data about the different projects to build a solid overview of your Consulting Spend. Depending on the maturity of your Procurement practices, you can expect between 5% to 40% savings on your Tail Spend.
    Once you know what to expect from the project, you can start implementing it.

    Get the buy-in of key managers

    One thing is sure – if your managers don’t believe in your project, it will never happen. You need to develop a sense of urgency, or in other words, demonstrate why it is essential to launch and implement the project now.
    Develop a compelling story to tell your key managers and convince them. What is the reason for this change? The size of the prize can be an excellent starting point. Usually, consulting projects are paid on OPEX, and Executives have a lot of pressure to decrease their expenses. Saving 10% of your Consulting bills can help reach their annual objectives, for instance. Leverage meetings gathering your top leaders to explain that small streams make big rivers. The efforts from all of them may seem insignificant taken separately, but altogether they are worth the effort.

    Design the battleplan and confirm the stakes

    Like any large project, you will need to define how you will proceed. It means having a project team, governance, and a clear work plan.
    Also, start analyzing in detail the consulting spend and the past performance of your providers.
    You can now refine the stakes lever by lever. Some of the projects that you led in the previous years were not strategic or redundant. You can probably take most of that part of the spend out of the equation. Grouping projects and negotiating on larger volumes can allow you to secure 10 to 30% of the costs.

    Identify and involve the most impacted Executives

    Some of your Executives will be directly impacted by the project; in particular, those who use Consulting regularly. Through your Tail Spend analysis, you will be able to identify the individuals or departments spending a lot on small projects. You can apply the same principles than the tail: what part of your executives spend 80% of your Tail Spend? These Executives are the ones you want to work with.
    When you have identified the most impacted Executives, take the time to listen to them to understand why they are buying Consulting Services in small bulks. There could be many good reasons why they would work that way. Think broader than procurement itself. The roots can be in strict HR policies, local management decisions, regional culture, etc.

    Formalize the case for change and the communication plan

    Take a step back. You have created a sense of urgency in your top management team, defined your implementation plan, and worked with the most impacted Executives to design the right solutions.
    You now need to organize your findings in a well-built case for change to minimize resistance to change and make sure you capture the most value from your Tail Spend projects.
    5. Start small, go big, auto-finance-
    Most successful companies start small. Of course, you want to adopt a medium-long term mindset to make the savings (and the change) sustainable. But modest quick gains can ease the way, in helping to convince the last irreducibles, but also to capture enough savings to have a self-paid project.

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

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    Most Popular

    Is it better to work with familiar consultants?

    Is it better to work with familiar consultants?

    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.

    Source Consultants

    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.

    Read More

    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.

    Consulting Playbook: Key Steps to Navigate Antitrust Regulation during a merger

    Consulting Playbook: Key Steps to Navigate Antitrust Regulation during a merger

    The Consulting Playbook, Edition #15
    Two big Energy Organizations were merging and the newly formed company was an entity subjected to some issues with Antitrust Authority, and it had to get clearance. That predicament required both companies to follow certain procedures, while creating the future company of such scale. During the negotiation process neither company was permitted to share information regarding bid content, pricing, cost structure, their strategy or teams. The negotiations with the authorities continued for about a year, and pushed the companies depending on location, to divest some of their activities before the merger.
    The fines for non-compliance with the antitrust regulations would have been double digits of a year’s revenue of the whole new company if they found any violations, and naturally that had to be avoided.
    The company decided to hire a consulting firm to help with planning the integration, designing the new business model with clean team processes while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
    Setting the Ground Rules for the Integration
    The Consultant focused on the most important objective – to ensure successful merger and smooth launch of the new company, while in case that the antitrust authorities didn’t okay the merger, to have both companies successfully function as independent entities, in their competitive landscape.
    Clean Team Consultants sanitizing the information exchange, did their work based on 3 Main principles:

    No discussion and disclosure of financial, dealings, and negotiations parties
    Meeting were attended by a lawyer and clean team member to ensure the agreed agenda was implemented
    Sensitive topics discussion had to be sanitized and their content could not be revised by either party.

    Preparation Pays Off in the End
    The Clean Team Approach allowed the two companies to prepare for the merger while awaiting the Antitrust authority’s decision of the new company.

    New Company’s vision was created
    New Company’s key executives and staff were selected
    Synergies were identified and associated implementation plan drafted
    Labor negotiations prepared
    Day 1 Readiness and Launch executed

    Additional Information

    Overcoming Antitrust Issues in Mergers
    Mergers and acquisitions are for many companies and in many cases, the most viable option to survive and thrive. However antitrust regulations and other serious complications can derail the process. Many arrangements and negotiations can become risky matters between competitors in pending mergers.
    Here are a Few Steps that can Help Parties Better Prepare for a Merger and Minimize Risk:

    Consult a reputable law firm and receive the necessary support in assessment of the pros and cons of the pending deal. Specifically, in regards to type of industry, what investigating enforcers will look at, and for preparation of negotiating agreements.
    Notifications and exemption review – while they differ for various industries, a number of notifications must be filed prior to the merger. Knowing the exemptions in each case is also very important when preparing the documentation for pre-merger filing.
    Careful examination of all relevant directives under the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, European Union Merger Control and the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, must be carried out, and necessary clearance obtained.
    Additional clearance by over a 100 jurisdiction bodies and regulatory organizations might be required too. The process can be lengthy and tedious.
    To facilitate the merger review process, and minimize the scrutiny as well as longer delays, have a full set of economic and legal presentations, data, and evidence, and be ready to respond to any inquiries in a timely manner.
    Organize the non-parties and witnesses to assist the review process as called up by authorities, and have them prepare to cooperate as necessary.

     
    For Further Reading –
    – 20 Key Due Diligence Activities In A Merger And Acquisition Transaction
    – How to Avoid Antitrust Violations
    – Antitrust Compliance Booklet

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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.

    What Happens Once You Diversify and Optimize Your Consulting Providers’ Panel?

    What Happens Once You Diversify and Optimize Your Consulting Providers’ Panel?

    “The core of the consulting business is going in and essentially making yourself indispensable by eating the brain of the organization, meaning consultants go in and assume key functions in the organization.” – Matthew Stewart

    You might or might not have an official list of preferred suppliers, but most likely you have consulting firms that you work regularly with. We will refer to them as your panel, just to simplify things. So now, let’s see how to upgrade and prepare the right panel for your future challenges.
    Most Companies work with consultants to access their skills and experience that are not available In-house.
    One of the main procedures to do is a Performance Diagnosis, that will allow you to measure the Performance of each of your suppliers and identified the high- and low-performers.
    Rationalizing Your Panel –
    #1- Let Go of Low-performers –
    This is a no-brainer. You don’t want to work with Consultants that are not delivering the results expected. Get rid of the companies that are consistently underperforming.
    When the feedback is alternating from good to bad, try to identify a pattern.
    The poor feedbacks are on the same type of projects. They don’t have good results when they work in a hostile environment. Or they don’t really do well with very operational teams. Maybe you shouldn’t consider them for these projects in the future.
    Only one of the Consulting partners has low-performance. Why not ask to work exclusively with the partners that have positive feedback?

    Create Value Through Consulting

    Looking at your Consulting Spend as a whole doesn’t always bring enough information to identify trends and patterns. 

    Read More

    #2 – Lack of Bench Is Not an Issue –
    It’s best to avoid tying yourself to only one supplier on your strategic needs. Think Supplier Risk management and apply the same sound principles than for other purchases.
    Besides, each Consulting Firms have a different DNA profile and a different portfolio of projects at which they excel.
    Find 2 or 3 different Consulting Firms for each strategic need. You might end up with the same supplier for several needs, and that is fine. And competition will keep all providers on their toes.
    #3 – Identity Rising Stars on Your Team –
    You will probably realize that you need to find new Consulting Providers for some strategic needs. When you are screening for new profiles, don’t forget that you only want high-performers. Ask for references and check them or ask a third-party to do so (when references are with competitors, or if you want to remain anonymous). Make sure they have done projects that are relevant to the said strategic need.
    #4 – Diversify and Expand Your Sourcing –
    Lack of actual knowledge of the current Consulting market leads many Executives into sourcing locally for their Consulting Projects. It’s also a fact of life that most sourcing is based on word of mouth and personal networks.

    But you need to know that the Consulting Industry is not one homogeneous block. There some regional specificities, including on the capabilities. If you are looking for Operational Excellence Experts, you might have a look at Europe where companies are more mature in that field. For Leadership capabilities, on the other hand, you should explore the other side of the pond, where North American firms are more numerous and experienced.
    Besides, you might need Consultants in locations that are on the other side of the globe. Will you have your Consultants travel thousands of kilometers to work on a project? Or should you just find Consulting Firms in any part of the world, when they best match your project’s needs? You know the answer.
    #5 – Hunt for Freshness of Ideas –
    Another key winning component is the freshness of ideas. Independently from the performance of your existing Consulting Providers, you might want to bring in new blood and fresh ideas. The Consulting Industry is constantly evolving, and new concepts are emerging. To stay current on the innovation trends disrupting your market, for instance, you want to look at the emerging players to test them out on projects.
    Focus on Developing Synergies –
    An interesting insight of the portfolio of projects is the potential synergies between different groups or business units, in particular for smaller projects.
    For instance, you might find that you bought several times more or less the same project in different parts of your organization. Depending on the feasibility, you might consider grouping these needs in the future and organize a joint competition.
    You might also realize that the same Consulting Firm sold more or less the same project in different business units. Putting all the projects together would have helped you to increase your bargaining power and get better prices.
    Last, if one part of your organization has a high-performer of a specific type of Consulting Project, while its neighbor had a low-performer, you probably want them to share the love (while you take out the low-performer from your panel).
    So, we just described a best-case scenario, the steps, and the approach you can take.
     The results will be worth the effort! As extra value and savings are generated, you will be jumpstarting your transformation.
    This is the most efficient way to win the buy-in of the stakeholders and to fund the desired transition.
    The next step is to hire a data scientist, get started on crunching the numbers, add a pinch of artificial intelligence and a good dose of machine learning. Cool trendy techniques are fun but don’t forget classic methods can be very efficient also.

    Do you have a List of Preferred Suppliers for Consulting? How did you build it?
    Or do you want a little boost to get started? Don’t hesitate to reach out.
    Share your opinion, and if you need our perspective, we love to debate.
    Book your call

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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

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    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

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    About Consulting Quest

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

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    Leverage Management Consulting to boost the Performance of your Business

    Leverage Management Consulting to boost the Performance of your Business

    The world of consulting has been seen as out of reach for small to midsize businesses for far too long. In the past, only large corporations had the resources to find, vet, and pay for consultants, giving them a distinct competitive edge over smaller companies in their industry.
    However, with advancements in technology and communication changing the way we all work, the consulting industry has suddenly opened up to businesses of all sizes and stages of development. Large players in search of growth pockets have turned to SMEs, while spin-offs focus on medium-sized businesses.
    Companies and nonprofit organizations that would never have been able to find or afford the right consultants in the past, now have the opportunity to get world-class consulting services for an affordable price.

    Use Consulting Strategically

    Nothing says brilliant execution like a Request for Proposals (RFP) that sings to its potential suppliers or partners.
    Read More

    Naturally, when new opportunities and tools become available, there’s a learning curve that goes along with that.
    I was recently speaking with the CFO of a small business from the Food Manufacturing Industry. He confessed he had never used management consultants, and asked for some more information about what they could bring to the table.
    So, how do you find the right consultant? How do you know if they can actually do what they say they can? What are the real benefits of using a consultant?
    This is a very common conversation that we, at Consulting Quest, have with friends, colleagues, and clients every single day. So, we thought we’d answer some of the most common questions we hear and provide you with the “why,” “where,” and “how” of leveraging consultants to enhance your business’s performance.
    Why
    There’s a famous story of a manager in the Toyota corporation briefing an executive on how well the company is doing. Profits are up, customer satisfaction is up, production is up, sales are up, and costs are down. From the manager’s perspective, nothing could be better.
    After the manager’s gleaming report on the state of the company, the executive asked: “where are the problems?” Shocked, the manager replied, “There are no problems.” The executive simply shook his head and said, “No problems is a problem.”

    Sometimes, you can’t read the label when you’re inside the jar. Meaning, it can be hard to be unbiased and objective about your business, while also being emotionally and financially invested in the company.
    Hiring a consultant allows your business to get objective, unbiased, third-party expertise that can not only offer solutions to problems you know exist, but also root out and solve problems that you didn’t even know you had. A consultant can act as a sparring partner, of sorts, who can bounce ideas back and forth with you and help you identify areas where you can improve.
    Consultants also fill the skill and knowledge gaps that may exist in your current workforce, diagnose the problems in your organization others can miss, and help you get through special projects and periods of increased demand with ease. They can play the “bad guy” in tough situations where you’d prefer not to involve your regular staff, help you brand your business, or articulate and convey important messages. Essentially, a consultant can be there to support your business in whatever way necessary.
    The role of a consultant is simple: help your business achieve a goal as effectively and efficiently as possible, while helping you, if necessary, with your management or shareholders in the process.
    Where
    The beauty of using consultants is that you can bring someone on board that has the exact expertise you need, at the exact moment you need it.
    Because of this, consultants can be used in any area of your business that needs help or attention (or they can be used to locate which areas of your business need help and attention).
    Consultants can be particularly useful in the top levels of organizations, when executives may be looking for guidance on strategic planning, resource allocation, culture, leadership development, or other areas that have widespread impact throughout the organization. In these kinds of situations, consultants can be seen as coaches or advisers that help businesses make big decisions and implement those decisions afterwards.
    Similarly, consultants can be a great source of guidance during special projects or demands that your business’s core staff doesn’t have the experience or manpower to handle. These could be anything from ensuring compliance with new regulations, handling a special request from a top client, or deploying new technologies throughout your organization.
    Consultants can also be assets to your company’s top line, helping to drive sales and profits through new strategies. For example, if you have a major marketing campaign on the horizon and want to be sure you have the best possible team assigned to the task, hiring a consultant may give you that additional competitive edge you need. With an outside perspective, a consultant can bring fresh ideas to the table that can increase marketing reach, improve audience engagement, and drive greater sales.
    If inefficiency and soaring costs are plaguing your business, a consultant can come in to help you streamline those parts of your business. A consultant can provide expertise that allows them to better see areas within your business that could be made more efficient, or identify expenditures that could be reduced or eliminated altogether. Whether it be a breakdown in your production process, a lack of communication and cooperation between your team members, or a product or service that is eating away at your operating budget, a consultant will help you pinpoint, and then fix, those problem areas, in order to reduce costs and maximize efficiency.
    Regardless of what your business’s needs are, the size of your organization, or the challenges that your face, there’s a consultant out there who can help.
    How
    So, you’re ready to get a consultant to come in and help you re-vamp your business. Now, where do you go to find the consultants, evaluate their skills and expertise, research their past performance, and negotiate their rates?
    Those are great questions. In the past, you would have had to know someone who knew someone who used a consultant that could give you their contact information, or you had to put out a call for a consultant and hope that someone with the right skills responded.
    However, in an age where you can look up reviews and shop online for anything from boats to goats, houses to airplanes, it only makes sense that you should be able to go online to find the right consultant for your needs.
    Ultimately, justifying the hire of a new consultant can be difficult if you don’t know what exactly it is they can offer your business. But, with the right tools and the right people behind you, leveraging consultants to improve your business’s performance can be a seamless experience. Many companies have already dared to take the leap. Why not you?

    Consulting Playbook: Boosting on Time Delivery in Food Services

    Consulting Playbook: Boosting on Time Delivery in Food Services

    The Consulting Playbook, Edition #26
    The delivery to a major client has spiked to an all-time high thus new buy concept and internal operations excellence booster was required. The shareholder and a major client too, needed a robust recovery plan of increased missing parts, avoiding new missing parts backlog and adequate measures for maintenance planning, headcount demand, flexibilization and supply chain optimization. The company decided to call for support from a consultant.
    Creating and Implementing the Recovery Plan

    Appointment of Recovery Manager was made to implement measures for recovery assignments from Management Board to shop floor level.
    Diagnostic of the current situation, root cause analysis and Daily Action Tracking was implemented covering supply chain, synchronization of production control rooms, for all the three plants, enabling to achieve targets and recovery plan.
    Design and application of workshops and meetings for reporting to shareholders and stakeholders, work councils conducted.
    OEE was performed to stabilize recovery, and lean workshops done to enhance team’s understanding of the changes.
    During the duration of the project, the consultant provided support to the CEO as Trusted Advisor, acting as sounding board to define the course of action and facilitating the convergence of stakeholders in a difficult period.

    The Success of the Project Delivered Desired Outcome
    An aligned recovery plan, daily management action tracker, weekly missing parts report were implemented. A stringent tracking process was applied with well-defined measures. There was a restored trust in transparency and management control by the shareholders achieved. A result and recipient oriented requirements catalogue was produced for Shareholders.

    Additional Information

    Are You Well-prepared for Crisis Management?
    Check out Our List with 12 Points on Crisis Management Below
    The Food industry is especially vulnerable to various types of crises, and many Executives feel that they can always improve their level of preparedness. Being good at crisis management should be a priority for Executives and designated employees. Food recall, Food disease outbreaks, and Product withdrawal can be extremely costly and cause serious supply disruption, as well as result in costly law suits by Consumer Advocacy groups, and the list with troubles goes on and on.
    The public, your consumers, as well as the media can be unforgiving and your business, and organization can suffer serious damages. We like to think that your organization tales all necessary and legal measures, to avoid situations like that, but here are a few great insights on how to deal with crises.
    12 Points List

    The outcome of a crisis and the effect of your business strongly depends on how your company responds and the attitude it demonstrates.
    Be prepared in advance, do not wait for an event to occur, and act afterwards. It might be too late, and the damages harder to control.
    How quickly you respond and how flexible you are in dealing with the parties affected in the crisis is very important.
    Big businesses have an advantage over smaller companies, as they are usually better organized and more prepared pre, during, and post-crisis period.
    An essential part is to have a detailed Crisis Management plan in place, and the designated parties to be well-familiar with it.
    Have a list with outside Experts who can help you manage the crisis.
    Stay on top of the developments and have the latest information, so you can take the most effective actions.
    Practice empathy and understanding of the affected party’s situation in the crisis.
    Take responsibility and make necessary commitments in resolving the crisis.
    Communicate honestly and openly with the media, outside vendors, the public, and finally with your team members and employees, to reach to the solutions as efficiently as possible.
    Manage your cash flow – a crisis event might sometimes freeze your sales and cash flow completely, so it is crucial to have an action plan in moving forward and enough cash supply for business operations.
    Plan with Insurance companies to protect your assets, business, and ensure the recovery steps and receiving compensation.

    For Further Reading:

    Food Safety Crisis Management
    Crisis Management in the Food & Beverage Industry
    Preparing for a crisis in your food business
    Opportunities to Strengthen Your Brand
    Crisis Management in the Food Chain – A Canadian Perspective

    t

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

    The Importance of the Other Elements in your Consulting RFP – 8 Points to Consider

    The Importance of the Other Elements in your Consulting RFP – 8 Points to Consider

    “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle.

    Synergy is really what most Clients and Consultants aim for when joining forces on a project. There are logic and advantage in synergy, and that’s how a single project creates extra value.
    The best way to view your Consulting project is this: You are not making a purchase, but solving a problem – don’t look at the means, but focus more on the outcomes you expect from the project.
    When you work on your RFP, there are 8 points to consider in regards to the other elements:
    1. Approach to the selection process  –
    Clarity and transparency in the selection process matters a lot and can make a big difference in the quality of the product you will receive. You need to communicate and describe to the prospective providers how the selection process will unfold.
    First, let’s outline the key milestones for the RFP process. It is important for consulting candidates to understand how much time they have to prepare and submit their proposal. It will also give them an idea on when the project could start.
    Usually, at this point, you should have signed a Non Disclosure Agreement with the potential candidates. Even if this step is not mandatory, we highly recommend protecting your confidentiality.

    Know the Consulting Category

    Is your organization expanding into Asia? Let us walk you through some of the stats and unique features of the regional markets in Asia.
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    2. Stages in the RFP process –

    Distribution of the RFP and intention to Bid
    Questions and Answers pre-proposal submission (Answers should be shared with all participants)
    Timeframe for the reception of the proposals
    Short-list and feedback
    Presentations
    Selection
    Project kick of

    3. Stakeholders engagement –
    It’s advisable to get several stakeholders involved. They can participate in the selection committee, and organize face to face discussions with the finalist (or you can leverage new technologies like Skype, Zoom, and Google hangouts).
    And now let’s have a look at the proposal’s content.

    4. Proposal’s content –

    Give some background information about who you are – Unless you are working exclusively with companies you already know (but not always a good idea), you need to let them know about your organization.
    Explain the context of the assignment – A project is rarely unidimensional. Understanding the political and technical implications of a project is key to design a customized solution to your problems.
    Detail your expectations in plain English – Put on paper the benefits and documents you expect from the project but also the constraints you might have.

    To enable proper comparisons, do not hesitate to specify in your RFP a few expectations of the proposal and from the consultant, for example, you can include:

    A description of the objectives pursued, the approach and deliverables, the planning for the project highlighting the key milestones as well as the project management structure proposed (including the contribution required from the client).
    Demonstration of competence, also the consulting firm should provide references on similar projects (industry/capability), the CVs of the actual consultants that are expected to work on the project and examples of thought leadership they have produced in the field.
    Fees and workload should be detailed enough to enable a clear understanding of the cost structure associated with the project.

    Finally, you should describe how the Q&A between sending RFP and receiving the proposal will be organized. When should the question be sent? How will the answers be shared with the consulting providers.
    5. Sharing your decision’s criteria –
    Your selection criteria and expectations of the proposal have to be explicit. In principle, you know already how you will perform the selection. If not, well, that is the right moment to think about it. Selection criteria are usually a blend of components such as:

    The capability of the firm to get the job done – Leveraging feedback from previous clients on previous projects.
    The expertise of the firm in the required field – Ideally, the consulting firm should provide some thought leadership or position papers in the niche.
    The clarity of the approach and the deliverables – You need to understand if the deliverables are those you expect but also to understand how the consultant intends to get there.
    The composition of the team – You need to make sure that the consultants who will work on the project daily have the right seniority and experience.
    The fit with the company – In short, do you think you will work well together? Will they have the right impact and recognition with your peers?
    The price of the project – Can you afford their services? Are you getting a clear value for your money? Are there hidden fees to be considered?

    As you can see, these considerations are much broader than the sole price. Even though there is no magic formula using clear criteria, communicating them to the Consulting firms early in the process is key for getting a high-quality proposal, and taking informed and fair decisions. 
    6. Providing schedule and budget clues –
    Whether your project is urgent or not, you likely have a timeline in mind. Or at least some internal deadlines or meetings. Knowing your schedule for the project is key for the consulting candidates. It will directly impact the team composition and the cost of the project.
    Users and buyers rarely include their budget in the RFP. However, if you are on a very tight budget, it can make sense to include that information in the RFP to make sure that you don’t lose time for proposals you cannot afford. Besides, the consultants will be able to come up with trade-offs or design-to-cost proposals.
    7. Indicating your other requirements –
    You might have other requirements that you want to include in your RFP. For instance, you might be interested in having references and contact information to check the references. You can also have some eligibility criteria linked to your internal procurement policies. Maybe your consulting providers have to be registered as a provider.
    8. Giving a single point of contact –
    You also need to define the main point of contact during the process. Will it be someone from procurement, one of the executives, or even a third party? All the interactions with Consulting firms during the RFP process should go through that person. Letting the Consulting firms connect directly with the Executives of their choice would give an advantage to the incumbents and distort the competition.

    Ready to get started on your next Consulting project?
    We will be happy to help.
    Please give us a call today, at no obligation.Let’s get the conversation started.
    Book your call

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    This Week in Consulting: How to get ahead of the curve in project management

    This Week in Consulting

    Wednesday, March 18th 2020

    How to get ahead of the curve in project management

    THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
    “Executive leaders are no longer simply bracing for change. Instead, they’re rebuilding their organizations to make agility and creativity part of the organizational DNA. More than half (53 percent) of organizations surveyed in Pulse say they place a high priority on building a culture receptive to change​.”
    New technologies make executive leaders rethink some fundamental questions: Why do we exist? What do we offer?
    This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from Project Management Institute about disruption in project management.
    Read on to Find out More: “Ahead of the Curve- Forging a Future-Focused Culture“ | Project Management Institute.

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    THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

    Every sector is touched by digital transformation – and more and more project managers will be required to manage the rapid changes it’s causing.

    THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

    Project Management Trends (2020): What does the Future Look Like– “Many companies have already started using AI in project management to perform their daily tasks that require human effort through task automation. The effect goes beyond automating simple tasks but is also quite helpful in obtaining performance insights. Project managers can use automation to perform complex tasks ranging from scheduling to data visualization and make informed decisions based on the captured insights.” The author explores the emerging trends in project management happening all around the world. | Vartika Kashyap, ProofHuby
    Gartner Predicts 3 Digital Business Impacts on PPM: “Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) or virtual reality (VR) will not be realized for at least the next four years for PPM practitioners,” says Kopcho. “This lack of urgency is directly associated with the lack of digital-friendly solutions offered by PPM technology providers, but we’re expecting the newer generation of PPM end users and startup providers to begin applying pressure based on the limitations of today’s PPM tools.” Do you think that continuing with the historical, predigital status quo will be enough to keep operations going across program and portfolio management offices? | Gartner
    Agile and project portfolio management: “ One common misperception of PPM is that PPM is a waterfall related methodology that needs to be theoretically modified before it can be associated with Agile. Project/Program Management in the closed loop PPM diagram is not waterfall centric. The upper chevrons do not contain a Software Delivery Lifecycle methodology. Instead, they show project initiation, project execution, and project closure. All three of these activities relate to both Agile and waterfall projects. They also fall within the same sequence regardless of project type. The attribute boxes below the chevrons (scope, cost, communication, time, quality, procurement, resource, risk, and integration) are all attributes common to all managed work, regardless of the delivery methodology.” The author debunks some common misperceptions about Agile and explains why it is a strategic move to align your Agile and PPM capabilities proactively. | Michael Ravin, Deloitte
    4 Ways Digital Transformation Is Changing Project Management: “At its core, digital transformation is “the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers.” While this seems like a straightforward concept, the “transformation” part is critical. A full-scale digital transformation can cause major disruptions in long-standing business practices and operations, and often necessitates cultural changes within a company as well.” What could be the consequences for a company that rejects digital transformation?| Jeremy McAbee, Wrike.

    TRENDS
    On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
     
    Gartner Program & Portfolio Management Summit: In this age of continuous change, only those with an agile and adaptive mindset can survive.
     
    CM2020 Status: Change Management 2020 is your time to explore The Future of Work!

    CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

    Amid coronavirus, Amazon offers more economic supports to workers: “The company said it will now offer up to two weeks of pay for any Amazon employee diagnosed with the COVID-19 illness or placed in quarantine. This payment is in addition to Amazon’s offer for unlimited unpaid leave for all hourly employees through this month, which the company started offering last week.”” | Ben Fox Rubin, CNET
    PwC selects Salt Edge to join Digital Ecosystem Banking initiative: “Salt Edge, a leader in offering open banking solutions, was invited by the consulting firm PwC to be part of the development of Digital Ecosystem Banking, which has the scope to empower banks towards next generation agility, seamless customer experience and integration with external ecosystems.” | Salt Edge
    Mentice Expands Coronary Product Portfolio with the Introduction of Coronary Intermediate Software: “Mentice , a world leader in simulation solutions for endovascular therapies, introduces Coronary Intermediate as the latest software addition to the Coronary Product Portfolio. Coronary Intermediate follows the introduction of Coronary Essentials three months earlier at the 20th International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH 2020).” |PRNewswire
    Is artificial intelligence a threat to industrial jobs? “Along with the hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to make firms more efficient and productive, it faces continued scrutiny in relation to its impact on the jobs market. Cameron Batt from digital transformation consultancy Crum Consult reflects on how AI has affected the labour market in the industrial landscape so far.” | 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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