Four Consulting Trends That Can Benefit Your Company
Earlier this year, Moody’s Analytics Knowledge Services wrote about some major trends that are changing the ways consulting firms do business, and these trends provide crucial opportunities for client companies to get more out of their consulting budgets.
In this article, we take a look at each of these trends and how it can benefit your company when you hire consultants.
With business needs becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies to get all the services and expertise they need from a single consulting firm.
The days of firms having in-house capabilities to handle every client need are largely over, so they’re now partnering with outside specialists and boutique consultancies to offer a full spectrum of services.
Additionally, consulting clients are increasingly asking multiple firms to team up and work together to ensure the client can cover larger projects and niche areas of expertise.
As a result, a disruptive model called “crowdsourcing” has emerged in the consulting industry. In this model, an online network of firms and freelancers comes together to provide solutions to a client.
It’s a way for firms of all sizes to fill knowledge and skill gaps while partnering with other firms and independent consultants to deliver the full range of services their clients need.
Consulting firms are also responding to the increasingly complex and sophisticated needs of their clients by looking beyond traditional channels to scout for the best available talent.
Instead of relying on incoming university graduates to fill their junior ranks and develop their next wave of talent, consulting firms are increasingly tapping outside specialists and diverse individual candidates with specific skills and creative aptitudes.
This helps them provide more services or products while assembling the right teams for specific projects, without being restricted to their existing talent pools. It also means they can be much more agile and adaptive to client needs, and they can create a hybrid talent pool of both in-house and outside consultants.
Ultimately, clients reap the benefits by getting access to a higher caliber of consultants with more diverse skills, while still working with a single consulting firm.
When it comes to getting value for your investment, most of us prefer to see measurable outcomes. In the case of consulting, most companies are looking to realize that value in the form of operational improvements, strategy formulation, or project execution.
This is why some consulting firms are now calling for performance-based billing rather than traditional time-and-materials pricing models.
In performance-based billing, consulting firms define the outcomes they will deliver, with pricing based on the level of success in those outcomes. This means they share the client’s risks and rewards, but they can also achieve greater revenue by tying this approach to a premium pricing model.
On the client side, overall costs could potentially be higher with optimal outcomes, but clients are able to minimize financial risk while placing more accountability on the part of the consulting firm.
It remains to be seen whether this new billing model will become commonplace, but it’s certainly something to watch for the future.
Many industries are being “Uberized” by the gig economy, and consulting is no different. The rise of online platforms has enabled millions of talented individuals to work as freelancers, and consultants are increasingly joining the ranks of these independent workers.
As opposed to working for a traditional consulting firm, consultants are able to market their capabilities and connect with clients online, through platforms such as Graphite.
This allows clients to find highly qualified specialists who are pre-vetted and ready to take on specific projects or talent needs. Clients can choose the exact services they need and engage consultants on demand. It’s an efficient and flexible way to get strategic advice, tackle important projects, and even audition talent or hire interim experts to fill crucial roles in management or the C-suite.
On-demand consulting also provides significant financial advantages for clients because they can hire consultants directly, without the high overhead costs and other expenses that come with working with many traditional firms.
There is also greater control and flexibility to build teams and pursue targeted projects by unbundling the traditional consulting model. By hiring on demand, companies can choose the precise talent they need and avoid unnecessary costs and complexity.
Ultimately, whether it’s through trends in sourcing, talent management, on-demand hiring or billing, the consulting industry will be transformed in the years ahead. But the winners will be consulting clients who can leverage these innovations and put them to work for their businesses.
If you’re interested in exploring some of these opportunities for your firm or business, one way to get started is right here at Graphite.
With a network of over 5,000 pre-vetted and highly qualified consultants, we offer immediate access to some of the world’s best business talent. Our independent consultants have an average of 10 years of experience, and 70% have an MBA or PhD, with 100% of our consultants have at least two years of experience at a major firm or corporation.
You also get the peace of mind in knowing that every Graphite consultant is pre-vetted, verified and tested through our proprietary screening process. Only 1 in 20 consultants survives our screening process and is accepted into our network, so you’re getting the most elite professionals available today.