Headquartered in Boston with a global network of experienced professionals, this management consulting firm has perfected its framework for developing strategies that deliver long-term results. Due to its unique philosophy, the firm has acquired Fortune 500 clients across various sectors — accelerating problem resolution to complex issues in a seamless way.
If there is one constant in the business world, it is that market conditions are always in flux. Maintaining one's position as the leading company in a particular industry requires keeping up with evolving business trends. That's the challenge the client of this Boston-based management consulting firm was facing.
The end client was finding itself at an inflection point. Highly interdependent and changing industry dynamics dramatically affected its ability to perform optimally, and its leadership position in the market was at stake. With multiple options in strategically positioning itself in this new business environment, the luxury goods company needed help from the firm to define the best path forward.
But there was one problem holding the consulting firm back from attacking this new engagement with zeal. Current team members were already allocated to existing client initiatives, and the senior consultant they wanted to deploy to this initiative had moved on to a new opportunity.
The firm could not wait to onboard another full-time hire while the market opportunity left the company behind, so they decided to find an independent senior consultant to quickly augment the team's capacity. Specifically, it needed an expert to support the team in understanding the current state of existing challenges in the diamond industry.
Once identified, the firm would also need the expert to develop and evaluate strategic options to address these challenges — creating the business case and roadmap to execute the most attractive strategic option. It was also important for the Partner that the chosen consultant have at least 5-10 years of professional experience, of which at least four would need to be in management consulting and market mapping in the retail space.
After discussing with internal team members about the level and expertise they wanted in the independent consultant they would onboard, the partner at the firm asked their peers if they knew of a service that could help them with this search. A colleague familiar with Graphite sent additional information about the platform and coordinated an introduction with an Account Executive (AE).
Once connected with Graphite’s AE, the partner provided them with the scope of work and the desired characteristics and experience of the expert they were looking for. The AE then shared this information with the talent engagement team to find the right match for the engagement. Over 62 experts with relevant experience were invited to apply for the project. Of those invited, the AE shortlisted four experts who best fit the role description and presented it to the partner.
To ensure the best person was selected for the role, the partner invited a colleague to join the process — using Graphite's in-app meeting room and scheduling features to interview each candidate. Throughout the process, the partner kept returning to one specific expert: an ex-Bain and EY strategy consultant with over 10 years of experience.
Because of the independent strategy consultant’s background in the retail space and prior Big Four experience, the partner moved forward with onboarding them to the project.
The expert kicked off the project by first conducting a current state assessment. Doing so allowed the expert and the end client to understand the existing challenges posing a threat to the luxury goods company. In turn, this allowed them to prioritize which challenges to tackle based on the level of impact.
Once completed, the expert moved on to develop strategic options the company could take based on where they are currently. After carefully reviewing each option, the expert suggested that the best option would be to find other operational bases closer to Southeast Asia.
Since the end client was a non-profit organization based in the US, but its operations were located in India, it was apparent that changing tax laws were starting to impact the end client's profitability. It was unable to enjoy the advantages of its tax-preferred status.
Another main challenge for the end client was the growing importance of emerging markets like China. As a result, the manufacturing and diamond-polishing bases had also moved.
By moving its operational base closer to Southeast Asia, the end client could diversify its operations while also gaining tax advantages for its non-profit status in the US. With the end client agreeing with the strategic option presented, the expert developed the roadmap for executing this initiative — detailing all the components and digital transformations that would need to occur.
As the scope of work evolved, the partner reached out to their AE to extend the project with the expert. They wanted to retain the expert for the project's execution phase — enabling the end client to maintain its market leader position in the diamond industry. From the start of the initiative, Graphite's AE worked closely with the partner throughout key project milestones to understand the project status and level of satisfaction with the platform. The partner expressed their satisfaction with the caliber of talent on the platform, how quickly they could find and onboard an expert to their team, and the ease of communicating and paying the expert.