Would Non-Traditional Consulting Deliver the Best Results for Your Business?

by | Nov 12, 2019 | Consulting

“Companies are increasingly seeking more agile, tailored, practical consulting support, rather than a large team of consultants, commodity players, or a high-priced brand name.” Kausch Oza, Senior Practice Director, Integrated Solutions at Resources Global Professionals

Have you been completely satisfied with the consulting companies you’ve hired in the past? Or, did they fail to meet your business’s exact needs?

If the latter is the case, you’re definitely not alone. A survey of 472 companies by Resources Global Professionals (RGP) showed that there was a gap between the services offered by traditional consulting companies and the precise needs of their clients. (1)

In addition, UK-based Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) said they regarded £12.6 billion they had spent on external professional services to have been wasted, because the advice did not lead to improvements in their businesses’ performance.

One of the main reasons for wasting money was the “inflexible” fees charged by external consultants, which was mentioned by 40 per cent of the respondents to a survey carried out by Zeqr, a freelance and knowledge sharing platform. This inflexibility included consultants charging either expensive fixed fees or ongoing fees in cases where there was no demonstrable need for a continuous service. (2)

How Is the Consulting Industry Being Disrupted to Meet Clients’ Unmet Needs?

Traditionally, consulting companies have been of two types:

  • those offering strategic advice and charging high prices,
  • those using large numbers of consultants to implement business processes for more competitive fees.

However, the research by RGP revealed that these two types of consulting companies were not meeting their clients’ needs. The highest levels of dissatisfaction, mentioned by nearly one-third of respondents, were in the areas of:

  • Delivering results that are sustainable for the company in the long term, without needing to engage more consultants
  • Knowledge transfer to the company’s own staff members
  • High prices.

In the current business environment, many industries are being disrupted. Consulting is no exception. One of the latest developments in the consulting industry is that a new type of consulting firm is emerging to meet clients’ unmet needs.

These new-style consulting firms work with a business’s employees to plan, execute and deliver solutions that are tailored to the exact requirements of each individual business they work with. Companies pay only for the clearly defined consulting services they need, rather than paying for a full-scale, wide-ranging service, which they may not require.

For example, one business will need an external consultancy to come in and carry out an assessment of the current state of its systems, while another business will already be aware of the exact changes that need to be made following an in-house evaluation.

In the latter case, a consulting firm would provide expertise to supplement the business’s own in-house knowledge when implementing changes. The external consultants would then train the in-house staff, so that they could continue to manage and maintain the upgraded systems on a long-term basis.

The Benefits of Hiring a Non-Traditional Consulting Company

Above all, the new, innovative companies emerging in the consulting industry are flexible. They won’t offer your business a “one size fits all” solution, because they know that each business has different needs and different levels of in-house knowledge and skills.

These consulting firms act as your partner rather than your advisor. Instead of providing recommendations or blanket solutions, they give support, advice and practical solutions that are tailored your business’s exact needs. They then work closely with your employees to deliver the solutions that will improve your business in the long term.

A new-style consulting company encourages you to harness the skills and knowledge you already have in-house. This means that their consultants’ expertise will dovetail neatly with your in-house expertise, filling any gaps. It is a much more efficient and collaborative way of working than traditional consulting.

Would a Non-Traditional Consulting Firm Meet Your Business’s Needs?

If you’re looking for consultants who will work alongside your employees, complementing their skills and expertise, then a non-traditional consulting firm would be a good fit for your business.

If you’re seeking practical rather than strategic or theoretical assistance, new-style consultants will develop a strong understanding of your business and its needs, so that they can deliver tailored solutions that will provide your business with sustained results over the long term.

Since each client has different requirements, non-traditional consulting firms provide you with a menu of options, allowing you to choose only the services you actually need, thus filling the gaps between in-house and external expertise. Their pricing is therefore very competitive and offers excellent value for money.

Non-Traditional Consulting Companies are Meeting Unmet Needs

In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, client companies are looking for a more agile, practical and cost-effective approach to consulting, with consultants delivering ready-to-use solutions that can be managed in-house in the future.

Although the demand for these types of consulting services is increasing, it is not yet being fully met. This provides many opportunities for innovative consulting firms that offer flexible, tailored and collaborative solutions to their clients.

References

1 The rise of third category consulting

2 UK SMEs spend £60 billion on professional services, yet much is wasted

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