Business Strategy Development – short and long-term strategic growth planning and goal setting for the organization, Key considerations include analysis of global and local trends, competition, customer evolution, and product placement.
Change Management – a process that prepares a firm to undergo significant organizational change and restructuring. This could result from, but is not limited to, mergers and acquisitions, new growth strategies, or downsizing. Consulting firms often assist their client’s in defining, designing, and implementing the types of organizational changes the will best meet the firms goals.
Operational Changes – a process that helps a firm adapt to changes in technology, input and/or output requirements, production methods, supply chain management, etc. Consulting firms are often brought in to determine which technology solution is best suited for a firm. Alternatively, consulting firms can be used to assess the impact a proposed supply chain disruption or modification can have on normal business activities.
Cost Reduction –most commonly seen during challenging economic times when the focus is on an organization’spreservation. Cost reduction initiatives come in many sizes and flavors and can range from exercises in procurement management, contract renegotiation to layoffs.
Due Diligence – Typically relate to valuation exercises, profitability and risk assessment associated with events such as corporate acquisitions, new market entry, or changes in production methods. An example of the need for due diligence would be if a company makes a drastic change to its production methods that will lead to a new cost structure ultimately impacting short and long-term profitability. Consultants are often hired to perform and deep-dive analysis and provide an external opinion on the perceived consequences of implementing such a decision.
Post Merger Integration – After a strategic acquisition, the client will often select a management consulting firm to assist with the logistics of executing the merging of the two companies. During this process, certain questions will arise – how should the two firms be combined to maximize output and minimize redundancy? How can two unique organizational cultures for a single cohesive entity? How can the two firms motivate their employees to remain focused on business as usual activities while a major organizational change is underway including changes in employment stability? Consulting firms have an abundance of experience in such projects in various industries, and can provide guidelines and Best Practices to help answer these questions and more.
Procurement – All large companies have purchasing departments that negotiate contracts with suppliers ranging from copier paper to key strategic distribution alliances. Management consulting firms are often hired to review these contracts, and when necessary, consolidate and renegotiate them.
Across all of these practice areas, consulting companies utilize industry standard methodologies to address problems within organizations. Although similarities between methodologies exist, each consulting firm takes its own unique approach to analyzing a problem and executing a solution.