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Why This Management Consultant Needs Your Advice On Outsourced Marketing?

You Will Never Believe These Bizarre Truth Of Management Consultant.

Global Supply Chain Group - viveksood

I was in a hard bind. I just came out of a meeting with a highly polished marketing professional, who was pitching to our company for outsourced marketing work. She had correctly diagnosed that similar to many small companies, ours did not have any real marketing capability. Most of our sales came from word-of-mouth and repeat customers. We are so good at our work that the quality of our work draws in more work. But, therein also lies the conundrum.

Whenever we come up against the big brands in top-tier strategy consulting firms, most people have never heard of our company, and hence they are reluctant to award the contract to us. And, rightly so.

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After all trust is the basis of all action, more so when a company chooses its strategic advisor. We try and combat the brand unawareness through providing testimonials from CEOs who have used our service in the past, and give examples of the results from our past projects.

However, the extra due diligence puts strain on many people looking to make a quick decision. We have recognized the need for at least some marketing as our business grows.

However, most of it has been ad-hoc efforts of amateurs, with the help of some junior designers. Mind you, we are very good at what we principally do – which is helping companies multiply their profits using the full power of their global supply networks.

But, none of us has the marketing flair, experience or down on the ground knowledge of how it is done in a day-to-day manner.

For example, this lady who was pitching for outsourced marketing work took one look at the cover of my latest book and exclaimed ‘that is so 90s that it will never fly off the shelves’.

Before meeting her, I thought it was perfect! But suddenly, I could see her point of view and the cover did start to look staid and stolid.

I think that comment probably applied to all the marketing material we had. On reflection, I can now genuinely resonate with the quote “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”

We ask our clients and potential clients to trust us as the guides and coaches on their supply chain transformation projects because our people have led more than 400 of these large scale projects in every conceivable situation, and all with great results.

Yet, when it came to marketing our own business, it never occurred to me to go out and look for people who have an equally impressive track record in marketing.

For the last 14 years, I have been making the classic mistake that I see a lot of our clients making – persisting by ad-hoc means and sheer will power to win in a field where our own capabilities were never going to be world class.

It would have been far savvier to admit this lack of capability and find a way to bring it into our company.

Professional Business Management Consultant.

Global Supply Chain Group - awdcrt

However, the decision was not that simple either. Otherwise, I would not be up at 5 am writing this blog piece to document my thoughts. There were several complicating factors. First was that while the lady I spoke to was obviously very good at marketing her company, I did not know what real capabilities lie behind the façade.

I was unsure how much personal time she would be able to devote to our business once we had engaged their company, and did not want to be in a situation where we were dealing mainly with a sub-ordinate who was not as good as her in marketing.

After all, in our business, the person who sells the job is also responsible for delivering it. In this way, no false promises are made in the sales process and nothing is lost in translation between the sales team and the delivery team.

Secondly, their rates were quite high – almost comparable to what we charge our clients. But our clients being large companies can not only afford these, but also get a way bigger business impact for their expenditure.

In our case, the worst scenario is our full quarter’s profits could be easily wiped out simply by spending on marketing and design projects that yielded no tangible benefits on the sales.

Of course, we would be carefully managing the process, but it would certainly put in place an unnecessary tense situation which does not exist at the moment.

The third question was how we square this with our current team of amateur marketers, designers and other sundry bunch of free-lancers who all are genuinely doing their best, and yet falling short of world class.

I do not see them as responsible for the current muddle we are in, that is my own responsibility. After all I created that team, and I was responsible for setting the benchmarks.

How Will Management Consultant Be In The Future.

My own ignorance of what constitutes world class in marketing cannot be their mistake.

So, I feel responsible for taking as many of them as we can on this transformation journey so that they also upgrade their skills and thinking, while we revamp our marketing portfolio.

Last, but not the least, all this marketing effort might distract us from our core business of serving clients to our best possible capabilities.

This could become especially a problem if the tensions listed in second complication surface where their firm is looking to expand their revenues while we are managing our costs carefully.

After all someone famously said ‘about half of my marketing dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which ones’. Being a lifelong operational person, I am not used to wasting a single cent!

So, what should I do? Here is my proposed course of action:

5 Management Consultant Tips You Need To Learn Now.

With this in mind, if you are one of those people in a position to share your experience with marketing investments, please do. No doubt, what goes around, comes around.

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Copyright - These concepts, frameworks and ideas are copyright of GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP from the time of their creation. Do NOT copy these without permission and proper attribution.

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1. These ideas and concepts will be usually expressed by our thought leaders in multiple forums - conferences, speeches, books, reports, workshops, webinars, videos and training. You may have heard us say the same thing before.

2. The date shown above the article refers to the day when this article was updated. This blog post or article may have been written anytime prior to that date.

3. All anecdotes are based on true stories to highlight the key points of the article - some details are changed to protect identification of the parties involved.

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Table of Contents

ABOUT THE PRINCIPAL AUTHOR

Today, Vivek and his partners are among 20-30 people on the planet earth who have this deep understanding of supply chain systems, practices and tools. CEOs, COOs, executives and Boards call them in most challenging situations once they know the full potential of supply chain based transformations. Following are key milestones in Vivek's journey:

  • Started in 1983 as a merchant navy cadet at 18 years age, worked his way to qualify as a Captain – qualified to take command of any merchant ship, worldwide.
  • Earned a top tier MBA from UNSW at the top of his class.
  • Joined highly regarded strategy consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton, consulting to the CEOs, Boards and senior management of global corporations within Australia.
  • To learn and specialise in supply chain – against all odds, sought out the co-inventor of supply chain in Germany and convinced him to be a partner in his firm, GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP, launched in January 2000.
  • More than 500 successful blue chip projects with high impact business transformations in large corporations using the full power of SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT.
  • 4 Seminal and path breaking business books IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT – these are available in bookstores and universities and libraries worldwide.

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

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OUR CLIENTS

Our Clients come from a variety of industries – yet they have a common element. They rarely rest on their laurels, and are always looking to do better.

OUR PROJECTS - EFFECTIVE TRANSFORMATIONS

In the last 20 years we have completed more than 500 projects. Click below to see a sample of our projects.

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5.0
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THE 5-STAR BUSINESS NETWORK

If you are deeply passionate about the world of business and supply chain networks as I am, and enjoy digging answers to critical questions that will help build and steer your business with wisdom, then join me. This book is a journey of exploration through the world of business networks that run along the veins of today’s commercial world.

4.3
4.3/5

OUTPERFORM OUTSOURCE OUTPROFIT

The trend of outsourcing continues to grow unabated with the whole gamut of services, from simple to mission-critical tasks. There is not a single company on earth that does not outsource anything. It is not just about cost arbitrage, it is also a finer expression of division of labour at the organisational level. Like all leverage, outsourcing is a double-edged sword too. On one hand, it allows you to do more, faster. On the other hand, if it goes bad, it can easily kill your business. If you do not believe that is possible – you can google the Fox Meyer saga from the 90s and see for yourself.

4.3
4.3/5

UNCHAIN YOUR CORPORATION

Businesses Are Chained By Unseen Chains. If You Are Looking For Ways To “Unchain Your Corporation” A Successful Business Transformation Is Required.

Successful Business Transformations Are Difficult, Yet Rewarding.

Business Transformation Is Fast Becoming A Question Of Survival In The Modern Globalised Era.

Modern Supply Chains Integrate Businesses And Economies Faster By Systematic Information Sharing From Internal And External Sources.

Companies Can Multiply Profits By Progressively Ramping Up Cohesion And Collaboration Of All Moving Parts In B2B Network To Achieve Tighter Integration.

4.3
4.3/5

GREEN SUPPLY CHAIN – AN ACTION MANIFESTO

It is generally accepted that environmental consciousness is now changing to environmental proactiveness as organizations are discovering that it makes good commercial sense.

Boards are asking the management to review their policies related to environmental norms, not only to bolster their corporate social responsibility aims, but also because consumers are asking for greener supply chains

It is also widely agreed that consumers will increasingly prefer to buy more and even pay more for products or services provided in an environmentally sound manner.

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