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Consulting Industry Today

How consultants can help you with Covid 19 Now

by | Mar 25, 2020 | Source Consultants

This article is a bit unusual. It is meants to be a living document, and we will update every week. Feel free to add comments and suggestions to help the community.

When companies are facing difficulties such as Covid 19 and start to be cash constrained one of the first actions is often to initiate a consulting freeze. Well not so fast ! In times of crisis, Consultants can help companies to get their battle plan in order, identify short and medium term opportunities and prepare for the aftermaths.

There are many projects where working with consultants can help companies to create value better and faster or to help sorting out priorities when issues are piling up. As an outsider, a Consultant often can form a perspective that others in your organization, can’t provide.

We have asked consultants in our network to share how they approach this crisis, and how they support their clients.

We have organized the answers in 6 main themes:

1. Manage customer relationship

2. Lead your teams and keep them engaged

3. Secure business continuity

4. Manage cash, costs and risks

5. Find opportunities in chaos

6. Prepare for what’s next

Feel free to contact directly the consultants. And if you can’t find what you are looking for, you can always contact me at: Helene.laffitte@consultingquest.com

 

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1-Manage customer relationship

“Now is the time to lean into mobile and audio efforts to reach both employees and customers wherever they may be. All about #dataprivacy and cybersecurity, as well as threats loom.

The most urgent need for most brands and organizations is to “know their customers” through data unification that provides more accurate insights and lowers media/operational expenses across customer service, marketing & sales. Empathy and delivering contextually relevant experiences (support, content, products…) across every point of engagement is paramount for survival and sustaining revenue. Now is not the time to over-invest in shiny objects and nice-to-have tools. “

Tim Hayden, Brain + Trust Partners

2-Lead your teams and keep them engaged

“I’ve been consulting and training from afar for the last few years…If you’ve done “live” work only, it can take a little getting used to. I converted all my training work into webinars – mostly 90 minutes, some 60. It is very different from being live. Most platforms allow for surveys during the presentation – do 3 or 4 to get a little integration going. There are lots of training out there. If you attend webinars yourself, you’ll soon see what works and what doesn’t. Slides with pics that tell the story and few words work best. Avoid typical “bullet points” and use some of the more creative looking ways to present “bullets” available in PowerPoint or other programs. Remember, you cannot use automation. Instead, use a series of several slides to build up a sense of automation. Have some fun with it. Include references and even some additional handouts to supplement the session, stimulate connection, and keep the connections going.”

Rebecca Staton-Reinstein, Advantage Leadership.

“As nation-states and citizens rally together to strengthen the collective social response to COVID-19, uncertainty is the only current certainty for many business leaders. With supply chain disruption, changes to working arrangements, constantly-shifting state guidance, and cash flow concerns, the next weeks and months will have major ramifications on the personal and professional lives of leaders’ employees, their customers, and their wider supply chains.

All too often, leaders can be gripped by inertia when action is needed. And while leaders can only do so much in times such as these, there are some small, perfectly achievable actions that can have a hugely positive impact on the lives of those working to deliver in difficult conditions.

In these complex, ever-changing times, we help companies with leadership, HR, remote working tech and well-being offers”

Katherine Henley, PA Consulting.

“We are talking to our clients about recognition during high-stress times is even more important.  For those businesses still running, the staff is under tremendous stress.    Now it’s more important than ever to remind the team how greatly they are valued, the commitment of the company (if they are able) to support them, and their deep appreciation for staying focused on getting the job done.    Simple spot rewards and public “thank you” opportunities can be found every day.    People need both appreciation and hope during really difficult times.

We all want to be proud of what we did and how we led and provided wise guidance and hope when this is all over.”

Tom Frederick, CoreCentive.

“We empower people and groups for meaningful action by unleashing the power of groups and individuals. In this time of social distancing, we can help by facilitating virtual meetings, Coaching individuals and teams, training for better online engagement and even adapting strategy”

Allison Larsen, Tadzo Consulting.

3-Secure business continuity

“At Lavister, we help energy, chemical, and services companies operate better. We have pivoted our offer to support our clients during the crisis built around:

  • People: Establish task force network to tele support / counsel employees in stress management
  • Operations: Forensically review the business for risks and opportunities
  • COVID-19 Responses: Support the local community in combating COVID-19
  • Emergent Plan for the upcoming emergence for a new business normal order.”

Brian Flis, Lavister.

“From a procurement and supply chain point of view, you want to trigger your business continuity plans (which hopefully you have in place). There is a range of various challenges that you need to master depending on the industry your company is in. Whilst the FMCG sector might be struggling with the supply side of things and the timely production and distribution of finished product to the retailers, which clearly see an increase in demand, other sectors such a car manufacturers or the hospitality sector experience subdued demand and required quick interventions by procurement and supply chain teams to assess and limit liabilities and financial exposure that could further impact your company’s bottom line. Both are very challenging undertakings. Managing this market uncertainty in a way that you support the business, your end consumer and your supply base in the right way is a humongous task. Those companies that have invested into a strong, customer centric supply chain and procurement function in the past will reap the benefits now and might come out even stronger after this crisis.”

Jens Hentschel, The Fivis Partnership.

“A lot of concepts and tools application for this environment. The proper application and sustainability of 6S to ensure we are cleaning and sanitizing to the right standards. Using Standard Work Instructions (SWI’s) for the quality of product that’s being produced for the customers. Establishing or maintaining a high standard of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) being able to apply Practical Problem Solving (PPS) is imperative during the pandemic to truly getting the right containment’s and countermeasures. There are many other rules, tools, and principles that are very applicable to what companies are dealing with today and in the future.”

Herb Thompson, Lean Business Transformation.

“In the “scary times,” I believe we have to redefine our approach to any process (sales, logistics, production). So far, we do support the companies form high-mix low-volume industries with QRM (quick response manufacturing) approach. Nowadays, I see even bigger need for fast reaction in other industries. We can support with our team #4Results  any company operating in Poland, as we have more than 5 years of practical experience with #QRM. If you have any question on fast reaction let me know, I would share any experience, case that could help you (at least inspire you) to adapt to the actual challenges.  “

Michał Paradowski, 4 RESULTS.

4-Manage cash, costs and risks

“Pricingutilities.com provides A to Z transparent, automated energy procurement solutions for its clients. Creating a competitive environment and comparing electric and natural gas offers is a critical part of our service offerings. Our consulting and management services provide positive and successful customer experience, resulting in savings, and no hidden loopholes. I think the PricingUtilities.com model works well for businesses in times of crisis”

Andy Kirchhoefer, PrincingUtilities.com.

5-Find opportunities in chaos

“As I’ve been in the game over 28 years, I have seen plenty of “crises” come and go, though this is somewhat different. Where we often see more localized crises, many businesses are reacting out of fears instead of responding to opportunities to initiate positive change.

The main question I ask is, how can you turn an obstacle into opportunity in these scenarios?

We have always offered customized consulting solutions based on a business need. We are actively working with all of our clients right now based on change initiatives and potential opportunities.

We are also offering consulting time with any company in need, at no charge, based on our availability. Our primary focus for this offer is small and medium-sized companies.”

David Hall, Trustway Marketing.

“The crisis generates the selection for ‘survival of the fittest

The economic impact of the corona pandemic, which is now beginning at full force, is dramatic, and its full impact on all areas of life is not yet foreseeable.

However, one thing is already foreseeable: Only the most adaptable companies with a ‘brilliant strategy’ and appropriate management will master the crisis and emerge from it stronger. In reference to Darwin: “The crisis generates the selection for the ‘survival of the fittest,’ for the survival of the companies that are best adapted to the environmental conditions.

However, the current crisis also offers opportunities – please take advantage of the time.

Today more than ever, new strategic and organizational decisions are necessary for your company to survive and secure its future. In the period after the crisis, your company must be on the “pole position” in the selected industry. We help you effectively through this:

  • Joint development of medium and long-term strategies with new competitive organisational structures.
  • Suitable, highly qualified management personnel.

Talk to us – business transformation – is our passion!

Your future starts now.”

Rainer Ulrich, SEViX.

6-Prepare for what’s next

“Here are some questions we are helping to explore:

1. How to secure Organizational responsiveness in these very hard times? Through purpose driven initiatives and increased remote braiding within the Organization?

2. What will happen to supply chains immediately and in the future. This will be at the heart of a global transformation bearing in mind that this change will not happen overnight.

3. What will be the value in the future of global strategies vs multi local ones in order to avoid propagation effects due to heavy interdependencies.

4. The crisis shows that resilience is not at the heart of decision making. Having performed with Fortune 500 companies, in depth analysis with management boards and boards of directors on that topic leading to changes in strategies, behaviours and monitoring of performance.

5. On the short term, business continuity is at stake . New work environments have to be defined. Because Covid-19 is probably not a parenthesis but the first global sanitary crisis, that question of work design is becoming critical to face forthcoming crisis.

6. New skills and probably new jobs will appear and globally speaking workforce management have to cope more largely with sanitary or other crises. The impact on workforce planning and the future of work are another critical”

Michel Zarka, Theano Advisors.

“We think it’s not the time yet. But we can do two appropriate things after : « Cathartic counsel with philosophical engineering, to see more clearly » / « Strategic Counsel with philosophical engineering, to better understand the world that will come out of this Krisis / how to be a new start for all of us » “

Baptiste Canazzi, Noetic Bees.

“For 10 years, we have advised and supported investors, owners and managers in complex, emergency and crisis situations – From the decision process to the implementation of their strategy. This period (COVID-19) is a time of change and opportunity during which, and now the inspiring leader have to think about the “world after”. To perform, it is better to adapt. Numbers/Data will no longer be the only reading grid in the world ! Reintroducing confidence in intuition and human judgment in order to re-inject meaning into the mass of data. With our Clients and Partners, we share the conviction that sustainable performance is in simplification (decomplexification), resistance to emergency, the definition of a new relationship to time. This will help overcome slow growth and low profits.”

Christophe MAUBOUSSIN, Value Action.

“Specifically we are doing a lot of scenarios based thinking for broad industries. Understanding the main uncertainties with executive teams and developing qualitative and quantitative implications to their business and operating model.”

Georges Hemingway, Stratalis.

Feel free to add comments and suggestions to help the community,

Or contact us at helene.laffitte@consultingquest.com

Published in Source Consultants

About The Author

Hélène Laffitte

Helene is the CEO and Co-founder of Consulting Quest. She launched Consulting Quest in 2014, driven by the idea that a global performance-centric Consulting service platform would greatly benefit clients by helping them source better.  Helene’s background in Engineering, Consulting, Procurement, and Industrial Strategy has contributed to the creation of an extremely athletic business model, set to change the way consulting is procured.