Management Consultants

September 26th, 2009

All companies want to improve their profits and become more efficient and in order to do this they may hire management consultants to identify potential or current problems, and then offer or suggest ways to make improvements in those areas. Some businesses will hire professional consultants for a specific limited task, such as analyzing a certain procedure and then streamlining that procedure. Or, they may be hired to offer methods of reorganization after the company has acquired an additional business.

Consultants services may include business strategies, IT, finance, advertising and marketing, human resources or training consultants, research consultants, or even e-business and operations. Generally, the larger consultancy firms will offer end to end solutions and for the smaller ones, or niche firms, they will offer specialized expertise and industry knowledge. There is no absolute way to decide if or when to hire a professional consultant, but there are some common situations that suggest hiring a consultant could be in a company’s best interest. Management may feel that overall the company’s performance should be better, yet are unsure about how to begin making improvements. Management may require the help of development consultants when they do not have the specific skills required to obtain the desired results or they are not able to produce the desired improvements on a long-term basis. There are also times when a consultant may be required to stay on until a permanent member of the company’s staff has the necessary skills and capabilities.

Because consultancy is essentially entrepreneurial in nature and done on a per project basis, the day to day tasks of management consultants are normally varied and complex. The actual length of the project as well as the complexity pretty much depends upon the services that are needed and the demands of the client. This means that at times a team of international consultants may be required, while another project may only require one individual consultant.

Typical duties, particularly for those who are new to the field, may include research consultants and data collectors that will conduct interviews with the employees, preparing business proposals and presentations, as well as running focus groups and facilitating workshops. They will typically spend most of their time at the client’s site.

The senior and more experienced management consultants normally perform the tasks that include identifying issues or concerns and then offering hypotheses, coming up with and then implementing solutions. There are times when training consultants are used in order to make sure that the client has all the help they need in order to correctly implement those solutions and recommendations. The senior consultants are usually the ones that lead those within the entire team and normally have a much larger role in managing client relationships.

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