Business Management Consulting is the practice that helps organizations improve their performance. This is done mainly through the analysis of the existing organizational problems so that plans for improvement can be developed.
Often times, the services of management consultants are employed. This is done for a number of reasons. Gaining an external objective viewpoint is crucial and employing an external agency facilitates that. Also, by employing an external agency, the organization has access to the consultants’ specialized expertise.
As business management consulting firms are in constant touch with the industry, they are in know of the best practices in the industry. However one needs to remember that what works for one organization may or may not work for another.
Business management consultancies also provide assistance in organizational change management. They also help in the development of coaching skills. Apart from this business management consulting firms assist in technology implementation, strategy development and operational improvement services. Management consultants bring their own proprietary methodologies or frameworks.
Business management consultants act as a pathway for information and knowledge. Brining in external consults provides these bridging services more economically than client firms themselves.
The last few years have seen a rapid growth in the number of business management consulting firms. These firms can be broadly classified into three main categories. Large, diversified organizations, Medium-sized management consultancies and boutique firms that have focused areas of consulting expertise in specific industries, functional areas, technologies, or regions of the world.
The consultants hired by these firms have skills on tasks and this that would involve high internal coordination costs for clients. Organization-wide changes or the implementation of information technology are examples of some such costs. Another important point to remember is that because of economies of scale, their focus and experience in gathering information worldwide and across industries renders their information search less costly than for clients.
In general, the role of consultants can cover a gamut of activities- as an expert or as a he can play a role in a facilitative approach.
Business management consulting firms are typically organized in a structured matrix. On one hand the one ‘axis’ defines a business function or type of consulting: for example, strategy, operations, etc. On the other hand, the second axis is an industry focus ie the business domain. For example retail, automotive etc. Together, these form a matrix, with consultants occupying one or more ‘cells’ in the matrix. For example, one consultant may specialize in sales for the automotive industry, and another may focus on talent management in the IT industry.
So what is the specialization that one needs in order to be part of a business management consulting firm? There are various specialties that are required like Human Resource consulting, virtual management, Information technology consulting etc.
Let us take a look at how these firms bill for their services. Typically these firms bill on a time and material basis. The staff consultants bill based on the number of hours they have worked. Travel costs and other out of pocket expenses are billed for separately.
Business management consultants are an integral part of every growing business.