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What are the advantages of hiring a management consultancy?

13/03/2014
Bringing business consultants into your firm can often be a controversial decision. Business and management consultancy rarely comes cheap and, as some of your most senior staff will be happy to point out, no team of management consultants can understand the workings of your business as well as the existing management team.

However, in the right circumstances, and with a proper plan in place, business management consultants can offer excellent value for money. Companies such as Wellstead Business Consultancy can also bring fresh insight and expertise to bear on problems which the incumbent management team may sometimes be just a little too close to.

Listed below are five of the main benefits which business management consultancy can provide to your business.

Supplement Existing Staff
This is probably the least effective use of management consultancy. However, all organisations will experience periods of unusually rapid growth. Another common problem can be the sudden and unexpected exit of key staff. Where current staff numbers fall short of business requirements, the use of management consultants can be a very effective method of augmenting existing staff in the short to medium term.

Provide Highly Specialised Skills
Even when staff headcount is at the correct level, there may be skill gaps that require to be dealt with. These may arise due to new markets, products, processes or even new customers.
In some circumstances, skill gaps may be relatively short lived, quite possibly to the point where hiring long term permanent staff is not justified. The skills required may also be highly specialized and needed at short notice.

This can be a problem which is more often found in small to medium enterprises, and small business management consultants can be an excellent solution.

Identify Best Practice
Given that they will work for a number of different clients, management consultants will accumulate broad experience in a number of companies and industries. They can often provide valuable information on best practice within an industry sector.

Even where this is not possible, or where no such established best practice exists, consultants may be able to transfer highly effective functional techniques from other industry sectors which would address any issues, but which might otherwise be overlooked.

Act As Change Agents
Experienced managers know that change is necessary and unavoidable. However, that doesn't always make it any easier to implement. Turf wars, vested interests and sacred cows (all businesses have them), can make the process more painful, more protracted and more costly than it needs to be.
Consultants are less attached to the established products, processes and procedures in a business. They can step back and be more logical and analytical. Hiring specialized change management consultants can be very helpful during periods of necessary change.

Provide A Fresh Perspective
Sometimes looking at a persistent problem with a fresh pair of eyes can be very effective. When combined with industry experience and organisational know how, the fresh perspective of consultants can add a great deal of value.

Hiring Business Management Consultants In Summary
Like any other business technique, external management consultants can be extremely valuable to business success when used in the right way.

Choose your consultants carefully; your selection process should be every bit as rigorous as that which you would use to appoint a full time member of staff.

Consider whether you wish to choose a small, highly specialised, consultancy or if a larger firm, such as the Wellstead Business Consultancy, would be a better fit for your organisation.

You should make sure that there is a clear project plan in place. Scope and budget must be well defined. Reputable and experienced consulting firms, such as Wellstead Business Consultants, will be happy to agree a mutually acceptable and transparent fee structure in advance. You should also agree an appropriate approval procedure to be followed in the event of additional work being required. 

Appointing a single point of contact to manage the project and the consultant will make things run much more smoothly. This will go a long way towards guaranteeing a satisfactory outcome from the consulting process.