Global Supply Chain Group

Menu
Edit

The Difficult Choice – How To Make Sure You Get The Best Consultants Supply Chain For Your Project

Share
Share
Share
Consultants Supply Chain

Share:

The Difficult Choice – How To Make Sure You Get The Best Consultants Supply Chain For Your Project

Startling Statistics Consultants Supply Chain

I came across a startling statistics which prompted a new line of thinking that I wanted to share – hence this article.

Consider these statistics – over 70% of professionals would have worked as a consultant or will work as a consultant, at some point in their careers.

In other words, if you are reading this article, then just look around you, and include people up to 2 rungs below, and up to 5 rungs above you – and think about all those people.

About 70% of them have either been a consultant at some point in their careers or will be.

No wonder that with so many consultants around, today, more than ever before, it is extremely difficult to make a choice of the right consultant for your project.

How Do You Differentiate Consultants Supply Chain?

So, how do you make sure that you choose the right consultant for the job at hand?

Before we go any further…

Let us start with making an assumption that you have a project, and that you have a choice. That means that no one is twisting your arm to hire the nephew of the chairman, or best friend of the CEO, or that protected species – your auditors.

And, let’s further assume that the body of work is not a foregone conclusion. There are times “when a project is not really a project” – I have written an entire post on this topic as well.

Now, if you indeed have an actual project, and a choice – you will reallly be in a conundrum.

When you go to your boss, or to whoever else you go to for funding for the consultant, guess what is the silent CD running inside their brain?

“Are you going to waste my (company) money on a no good person/company (or a friend of yours), and make me look bad, OR, are you going to find someone who will visibly return 10 times the value of what you pay him out my budget, and make me look good?”

Consultants Supply Chain

There was a time when no one got fired for hiring the big blue (or whichever colour happened to be the favourite in the company).

Mediocre results could be easily buried among a lot of other things inside the company. Protestations that you hired the best brand, or you ran the best process, could easily pass muster.

A mediocre consulting result does not cut it any more, even in low-performance companies.

Today, everyone (except for your detractors in the company politics) wants you to find a consulting firm that will indisputably add enormous value that far exceeds what your company pays them.

You may not believe this, but most good consulting firms also want you to do exactly the same.

Most good consulting companies have more work enquiries than they can actually fulfil – read this blog post if you want to know more about the view from the other side of the table.

As a bonus, you will also learn how to get the most out of your chosen management consultants, while spending the least on them.

This current post will focus on how to choose the best management consultants for the job you have at hand.

To enable you to do so, I could actually give you a step by step formula, but it will be a lot easier to understand if I give you a list of the four most common mistakes, and the wrong things so many people focus on.

That will make things so much more crystal clear than any step-by-step set of guidelines.

Once you remove all those common mistakes and wrong things to focus on, all that will be left is a single thing that you should focus on.

So what are the common mistakes that people make when choosing the right management consultants for their projects?

1. Too Much Credence On The Past Relationship With The Consulting Firm on Consultants Supply Chain

I say this when our longest stretch of client ran for over 13 years because every project is a new undertaking. I kept reminding our teams that we are only as good as our most recent results.

No one should have the luxury of resting on their laurels, their brand, or their accident of birth.

From a client perspective, there is a slight edge when they do not have to ‘educate’ a consulting firm in their company fundamentals.

Yet good consultants come up to speed very rapidly and are used to fast ramp-up. Any other reason for past relationships is simply invalid and will be covered in the next few points.

2. Too Much Credence To The Past History Of The Consulting Firm

Many firms regularly tout their experience of over a century in your industry, or in management consulting in general. This sounds enticing.

Yet, many of these very same firms struggle on their projects because the senior partners lack knowledge and time, and the junior staff lack direction. your chance of getting good results just based on the long-established history of the firms is no better than 50-50.

3. Too Much Credence To The Brand Of The Consulting Firm

The brand is a powerful indicator of quality, and no doubt ensures a certain minimum performance in consulting. But, in this age of disruption and specialisation, does it guarantee the best possible outcomes for your projects.

If it was my money, I would do careful due diligence and put it a world-class specialist who is top of his/her field and work closely with them, rather than on a vapid branded team who takes over the game and the glory, and hope for the best.

4. Too Much Credence To Other Clients And Exploits Of The Consulting Firm

By all means, ask after these – ask for projects history, testimonials and clients in and outside the industry. But know this – none of them is a guarantee that your project will succeed.

There Is A Reason Why None Of The Four Things Above Matters At All

I did not want to set out to make an exhaustive list. You could add many other things to the list above – which will be either variations or extensions of the four themes above. And, when you read my two main criteria below, you will agree that only these considerations should decide the right consulting firm for each project.

These criteria are simple:

1. IS THE SENIOR PARTNER A WORLD CLASS SPECIALIST IN THE AREA OF YOUR PROJECT (INDEPENDENT OF THE COMPANY BRAND), AND

2. IS HE/SHE GOING TO SPEND AT LEAST TWO DAYS A WEEK ON YOUR PROJECT FOR THE DURATION OF THE PROJECT?

The first point is making sure that the expertise of the individual is up to the mark. In this era of internet copycats almost everyone is saying similar things in similar forums.

So, try and find unique things that the person is saying (or writing) in public and use your own innate sense to judge them.

The second point is making sure of their actual availability for your project. The only thing you are leaving to chance after covering these two points is the actual goodwill and best effort of the person.

But, it will really be a low life who will take your money, stay two days a week exclusively working on a project and still not expend full goodwill and best effort on the project.

Such a person will not survive for too long as a management consultant, or a world-class expert anyway.

In another blog, I have written about How To Get The Most Out Of Your Management Consultants While Spending The Least On Them?

Share Generously :

LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
WhatsApp

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.

Notes:

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.

4. You are encouraged to comment below - your real identity and email will not be revealed when your comment is displayed. Insightful comments will be featured, and will win a copy of one of our books. Please keep the comments relevant, decorous and respectful of everyone. All comments represent opinions of the commentators.

Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management

Part of our new “Quick Notes” series – this report answers your most pertinent questions of the topic.

LIMITED TIME
USD 20
FREE

. What are the five flows of SCM?

. Why are they important TO YOU?

. How can you map, track, and optimise these flows to serve YOU?

. What is the importance of difference between "Supply Chain" and "Value Chain"?

. What are the stellar case studies of each of the five flows?

MORE INTERESTING READING

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

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.

Limited Time

FREE

This offer expires in

Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management

US$20

USE CODE "FREETODAY"

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Our Clients say it better than we ever could:

TRENDING POSTS

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.

OUR TESTIMONIALS

RELATED POSTS

Our Books

5.0
5/5

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.

FOR SENIOR EXECUTIVES AND DIRECTORS

YOUR HIGHEST VALUE ADDED IN YOUR COMPANY

Scroll to Top