Why companies hire management consultants
Hiring management consultants is expensive, especially when companies engage top-tier strategy firms such as McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group or Bain. The price tag for typical projects can range from USD 1mn to 10mn. So why are companies willing to pay a large premium for this external advice. Below are the 5 key reasons.
Outside perspective. Consultants always bring an objective outside perspective into the company. Since they serve mostly very large corporations or governments, the clients are prone to suffer from management inertia, groupthink, and daily routines. Bringing fresh and objective thinking from the outside can go a long way in such environments to crack crusted structures and old paradigms.
Drivers of change. As an external force, they are often called to evaluate a company’s issues, recommend solutions and lastly, help overcome or circumvent internal politics to drive change in the organization. Consultants are not bound by the client’s internal political landscape or other issues. Therefore, their substantiated advice can often be used as a powerful force of change. Additionally, consultants increasingly support the implementation of their recommendations.
Expertise. Large consultancies are specialized in all industries and business functions. When adding up the experience of their consultants from junior business analysts to senior partners and knowledge experts, they can bring thousands of years of experience in each particular sector to the client. Additionally, top firms spend millions in industry-leading research each year. Lastly, they are able to tap into the best external knowledge via expert platforms.
Problem solvers. Consultants are the most experienced problem solvers in the business world. They have established processes, tools as well as access to data and experts to deal with every question a company, government or NGO can imagine. It is amazing how the drive of a small motivated and experienced team of hard working problem solvers can identify and solve business problems, that the client they are working for is unable to solve within a much longer timespan and a much bigger workforce.
Employee training. Besides the analytical work a typical consulting engagement often includes, consultants can spend a significant amount of their time to train employees of their client, either in 1-on-1 coachings or full-fledged workshops. They transfer skills, build up knowledge to help bring their solutions into the organization and facilitate the implementation. Consultants usually train people from senior client leadership to sales staff and shop floor workers.