Surely you have ever raised the question about what a business consultant does and how that consultant should work in your company. Taking into account the success of consultancy today, we all can do little more or less an idea of what is or what objectives are developed in this consulting discipline. However, we do not always know in depth what are the tasks that a consultant should develop in your company.
To maintain its leadership position in the markets, companies from all industrial sectors are constantly facing the challenge of growth, a challenge that they can achieve with adequate strategies that allow them to increase their income and profits, guarantee the financial returns demanded by shareholders and, above all, be competitive.
Knowing where to conduct business is the dilemma that firms face and that can be solved in large part thanks to strategic consulting.
The main issues that are in the minds of business leaders -according to the directive- and for which they seek specialised advice are: how to face digital disruption, how to be more competitive, how to define more efficient operational models and how to prepare their workforce for the future. All these issues converge in the efficiency and business growth agenda.
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Consulting is extremely useful, for example, information consulting is a field that focuses on advising other companies how to use information technologies to achieve their business objectives. In addition, they estimate, manage, implement, install and manage computer systems under subcontracting. In short, it is to offer advice to companies in all areas related to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), always adapting these technologies to the routines and day to day of the company in order to increase efficiency and productivity in the same.
However, the main reasons that should lead a company to hire a consultant are the following:
The experience offered by the consultant:
- It allows us to take advantage of the skills and experience that are sometimes outside the competencies of the company’s internal staff. Not all companies can afford to have a highly qualified or qualified manager.
- A consultant is a specialist in this field, they will be able to focus directly on the work to be done, usually obtaining results more efficiently than the internal staff, which is usually more focused on the day to day.
- Consultants can help solve problems that arise for the first time in a company. This causes internal insecurities, but surely the consultants have found similar cases in other companies. Companies can take advantage of the extensive experience of consultants in other companies, sectors, etc.
- When a company is aware that changes must take place, and even knows where it wants to go, but it is not clear how to reach that goal, then it should seek external advice.
- When you want to avoid the risk of buying new equipment or systems that require an important investment, it is advisable to obtain an external expert opinion.
- Consultants tell us about the “best practises” used by the leading companies, preventing companies from having to “reinvent the wheel” and helping them to keep updated with the new processes and systems. In addition, working closely with the internal teams, a knowledge transfer is produced that improves the skills of the staff, thus also contributing value to the company.
- They allow promoting “lateral thinking” within the company, helping to generate new ideas and increasing creativity. In addition, consultants make available to companies a significant amount of information (market studies, research reports …) that otherwise would be difficult to achieve.
Consultants offer an independent point of view:
- When you are fully involved in the problems, sometimes it is difficult to approach them with the correct perspective and do not take into account points that may be obvious to external personnel. By seeing things from the outside, consultants can help identify needs to improve our business.
- In many situations, a consultant may have a more objective and impartial point of view than the internal staff, as they have no “self-interest”. Consultants allow us to obtain a neutral analysis of options and without any type of “sentimental” conditioning.
- Consultants can play an important role when there are different conflicts of interest, acting as a bridge of communication. Sometimes communication can be more open with them than with internal staff.
- Sometimes due to legal requirements, it is necessary to resort to external audits, or even when obtaining funds from investors, they can demand the report of an independent body of information.
- In its concept, a vision of the short term can lead to wasting time and opportunities and often to enter actions to mitigate risks for threats that have already materialized.
The resources offered by the consultants:
- Each time internal templates suffer more cuts and pressures in day-to-day work, making it difficult to react or have resources for unexpected problems or sudden demands of work. The resources contributed by external experts can be of great help in these situations.
- They allow managers to free certain jobs so they can focus on more strategic issues.
- They allow to minimise the time a project takes to be completed, when being contracted exclusively for that project. Generally, the internal staff does not have time to focus solely on a single project.
- There is a growing tendency to outsource those activities that are not central or not part of the company’s core business.
- In many occasions it can be cheaper to hire a consultant or project manager specialised for occasional projects than to have staff on staff throughout the year. This can be a source of savings.
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