Consulting Firm Innovations

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Consulting Firm Human Resources Innovations

Mckinsey is one example of a company that has introduced an innovation digital hiring tool known as the 'Digital Assessment Gaming Tool' which is a video game of sorts. CGI Corporation, which is a global IT consulting firm, adopted a cloud-based learning and training platform to bridge the skill gap for its employees and enable them to serve their clients better.

1. Use Of Digital Technology For Hiring

  • Consulting firms globally are moving beyond the traditional methods of recruitment/hiring employees and are increasingly adopting digital methods.
  • Talent is a treasured asset in the management consulting industry and consulting firms are moving towards recruiting a diverse workforce, with a focus on hiring skilled assets beyond the top universities using modern methods.
  • The primary need for such digital adoption arises from the fact that the consulting firms, to serve their clients better, need to have a multi-skilled workforce with competencies such as project management, growth strategy, strategic planning, supply chain, and innovation strategy, as these are most in-demand consulting skills among Fortune 1000 companies.
  • Consulting firms have evolved their recruiting practices from hiring fewer MBAs and more developers, to building out their own digital practices, like McKinsey Solutions.

Company Example

  • McKinsey is one example of a company that has introduced an innovation digital hiring tool known as the 'Digital Assessment Gaming Tool' which is a video game of sorts.
  • The digital hiring assessment is 60 minutes long and consists of three separate blocks, wherein each section simulates a bunch of different scenarios that tests candidates on their way of thinking and decision-making.
  • The McKinsey digital assessment explicitly doesn’t test business knowledge and has been designed to identify and analyze how various candidates think about and approach problems, regardless of their background.

Reason for the Change.

  • The primary reason behind introducing this change is to test the candidates on the core of the business, as in its most basic form, management consulting is the business of problem-solving and thus, the digital tool was designed to tests the candidates in their problem-solving abilities and see if they are a good fit for the firm.
  • It also helps the firm in removing the cognitive bias from the selection process using traditional methods, which leads recruiters to hire people who are similar to them perpetuating a single-minded culture.
  • In addendum, the digital hiring tool helps attract candidates who find this type of assessment appealing. Hence, they are a better fit for the consulting company where problem-solving skills are a must-have and screen out people who hate the unknown and ambiguity of problem-solving.

2) Cloud-based Learning & Training Platforms

  • One of the other innovations that consulting companies are adopting is apropos of the incorporation of cloud-based learning and training platforms in lieu of traditional training methods, such as classrooms, which although still pertinent, are no longer the prime delivery method for learning and training.
  • Such traditional training methods are slow to set up, are expensive, and consume too many productive hours due to which, the consulting companies are shifting towards more digital and innovate solutions.
  • In addendum, such technologically advanced training methods are prerequisite for the consulting companies to help their employees keep up with technological advances that impact their everyday work processes and thus, better serve their clients.

Company Example

  • CGI Corporation, which is a global IT consulting firm, adopted a cloud-based learning and training platform to bridge the skill gap for its employees and enable them to serve their clients better.
  • The cloud-based learning system, which was leveraged by the company could be personalized to the learner and included video-based courses and online-learning rooms to foster social learning opportunities with other students and instructors.
  • The centralized, cloud-based platform allows employees to exercise the flexibility to learn when they have the time and need the knowledge most. This proved to be a big success for CGI, enabling it to double the number of consultant training and certifications across the company’s 3000+ consultants.
  • The easier access to learning and training through this platform has saved the company approximately $150,000 due to fewer class cancellations alone while speeding up access to training on the latest SAP technologies by 70 percent.

Reason for the Change.

Part
02
of five
Part
02

Consulting Firm Sales Department Innovations

CONSULTING FIRM SALES DEPARTMENT INNOVATION

Commercial Excellence Framework and Sales Enablement Optimizer are the changes or innovations that sales departments of consulting firms are undertaking to sell their services.

COMMERCIAL EXCELLENCE FRAMEWORK

Description of Change

  • L.E.K. Consulting, a consulting firm, helps clients across industries to improve and accelerate sales performance by ensuring that the right processes and enablers are in place to maximize the commercial team’s effectiveness.
  • To ensure sales effectiveness, a company introduced a Commercial Excellence framework that focuses on defining improvements in commercial processes and their key enablers.
  • Commercial Excellence Framework is a series of steps undertaken by the sales department of an organization to define its target customers and plan the delivery of its value proposition supported by excellent sales and marketing execution.

Example of a company that is making this change/innovative:

  • L.E.K. Consulting is a company that is making Commercial Excellence Framework to take a holistic approach in addressing these key challenges faced by companies.
  • Boston Consulting Group follows a comprehensive commercial excellence framework that allows medtech companies to unlock the full potential of their resources and to identify necessary transformations for their organizations.

Why they have made this change:

  • A consulting firm such as L.E.K Consulting ensures that the business leverages the right sales channels (e.g., direct, inside sales, third-party intermediaries), and design and deployment of the optimal commercial organization, to serve the chosen customers and channels.
  • L.E.K Consulting ensures that the right sales and marketing processes and systems are in place to maximize the effectiveness of the sales and marketing activities.
  • Commercial Excellence Framework is a new commercial model that helps to ensure sales force effectiveness, channel management, competitive pricing, account management, service, reimbursement, and market access to attract clients.

II. SALES ENABLEMENT OPTIMIZER

Description of Change

Example of a company that is making this change/innovative:

  • Lenati is the premier consultancy company that makes innovation in terms of Sales Enablement to improve Performance. The Sales team helps to work and to develop sales strategies to implement analytics, processes, and sales enablement to drive sales revenue, productivity, and overall performance.

Why they have made this change:

  • Consulting firms such as Bervert operates at the intersection of strategy and sales. The company partner with complex organizations that have the vision and guts to transform their selling effort and increase productivity.
  • These changes are required because it helps to transform strategic consulting, custom training, and modern reinforcement of ideas into tangible results.
  • The company's change management expertise and innovative tools help to guide through the complexities of the sales transformation journey. [Source 6]
Part
03
of five
Part
03

Consulting Firm Marketing Department Innovations

Two of the changes or innovations that marketing departments of consulting firms are undertaking to obtain or keep clients are upstream marketing and digital personalisation.

Consulting Firm's Marketing Department Changes/Innovations

Upstream Marketing

  • Upstream marketing means the strategic process of identifying and fulfilling customer requirement. It starts at very earlier stages by developing a clear market segmentation map followed by identifying and precisely defining which customer segments to look over.
  • It entails incorporating deep customer insights on new products, services and channels.
  • EquiBrand adopted upstream marketing strategy and it claims that this strategy raised it to one of the top management consulting firms ranked by Forbes.
  • EquiBrand adopted upstream marketing in order to set itself apart from the rest of the consulting companies who adopt downstream marketing and to make their clients to not only play but also win.

Digital Personalisation

  • Digital personalisation entails the strategic process of custom tailoring the digital needs of clients. It increases the engagement and loyalty of the clients’ customers because of individual based messages and offers.
  • Collection of behavioral data plays a crucial role in digital personalisation, in order to deliver triggered messages.
  • McKinsey adopted digital personalisation marketing strategy to create more value based insights to its clients.
  • McKinsey states that personalisation is the prime driver of successful marketing in the next 5 years. It also claims that this strategy has wide opportunity given that less than 10% of companies currently deploy personalisation on digital channels.
  • McKinsey also states that digital personalisation tends to reduce customers' acquisition costs by half, raise revenue by 5 to 15% and increase the marketing efficiency by 10 to 30%.


Research Strategy

In order to garner information on 2-3 changes or innovations that marketing departments of consulting firms are undertaking to obtain or keep clients, we perused through multiple consulting firm marketing articles, blogs, case studies with an idea that these might quote some examples of changes or innovations. However, we could only locate information on marketing innovations, and insights on marketing strategies for consulting firms in general but not specific to changes or innovations that marketing departments of consulting firms undertake to obtain or keep clients.

Next, we tried looking for some of the leading consulting firms with innovative marketing strategies across various business reports and consulting websites such as Forbes, Bain&co, BCG, and Deloitte. We learned that Forbes ranks consulting firms as best management consulting firms and also delivers certain awards for best marketing strategies and we found out that EquiBrand had received an award as top marketing strategy consulting firm. Based on this information, we looked into the company's marketing strategy and found that EquiBrand uses upstream marketing strategy.

Lastly, we looked at some other best management consulting firms and located McKinsey that uses digital personalisation.




Part
04
of five
Part
04

Consulting Firm Innovations Case Studies

People Analytics by McKinsey and MSP Catalyst by BCG are examples of innovative programs in human resources and marketing.

Case Study #1: People Analytics

Description Of The Innovation:

  • McKinzey's People Analytics helps clients match top talent to critical roles and build a strategic plan for the workforce, using advanced analytics to reduce the risk in hiring decisions.
  • It also provides programs through the McKinsey Academy and their HR department that building HR-team capabilities.
  • Using People Analytics, McKinsey recognizes the link between talent and value and helps “clients run organizations that create value and adapt at the speed of business.”
  • This involves building new human resource automation technologies that enable more consistent human resource services at a lower cost.
  • The segment has a great untapped potential to generate business value by promoting better talent acquisition.

What The Firm Is Changing With The Innovation:

  • With People Analytics, the company can help clients improve the way they identify, attract, develop, and retain talent.
  • People Analytics “helps managers and senior talent leaders unlock the power of data by increasing rigor, reducing bias, and improving performance.”

What Drove The Change:

Metrics of Success:


Case Study #2: MSP Catalyst [3]

Description Of The Innovation:

  • MSP Catalyst is a software solution created by BCG that allows marketers to more easily access data, research, and analytics.
  • The catalyst uses complex data to help marketing professionals optimize brand performance, marketing-investment allocation, marketing mix, and campaign planning.
  • MSP Catalyst “helps marketing leaders derive meaningful insights, optimize marketing decisions, and drive winning results from a robust set of business data.”
  • It has two modules that give each user access to a well-organize and structured data, to a common toolkit, and to an easy-to-use approach for budget allocation, marketing mix, and campaign planning.
  • There are two main modules. The strategic module helps determine the marketing resources allocations across markets and brands while the tactical module helps in building effective marketing plans.

What The Firm Is Changing With The Innovation:

  • With the deployment of MSP Catalyst, BCG plans to introduce a common currency across brands and markets that uses a multi-lens approach to view tasks from multiple angles in order to integrate underlying data sets in a single source.
  • The suite also helps in allocation options based on ROI, future profit pools, and cost of growth. It has an optimum marketing mix and an easy to use interface that enables real-time scenario planning to help in keeping the work between marketers and agencies consistent.

What Drove The Change:

  • The increasing integration of digital and human channels and capabilities has pushed companies to come up with new ways to strengthen customer relationships.
  • Consulting firms are focusing more on AI, software, and technology stacks to identify the right price and improve their branding across multiple digital and offline channels.

Metrics of Success:

  • The MSP Catalyst was introduced in more than 60 markets in less than 12 months.
  • The BCG estimates that, in its first year, Marketing Catalyst will generate a profit equivalent to more than 5% of the global marketing budget from accelerated top-line growth.
  • The company anticipates similar levels of growth in the future.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

Consulting Firm Innovations Case Studies 2

'Be Yourself At Work' is an innovation by Capco in the area of human resources that supports the diversity of thoughts in the workplace, which ensures better support and service for customers. 'Digital transformation' is the innovation by A.T. Kearney in the area of sales, which provides digital innovation and transformational impact on the businesses of customers.

1) Be Yourself At Work

  • 'Be yourself at work' is correctly described in hashtag variations such as #Beyourselfatwork or #BYAW. This HR concept is an innovative entrepreneurial culture, mainly focused on the recruitment of fresh career starters.
  • #BYAW is designed to challenge, change, and create ideas that would facilitate inclusion in the workplace, and at the same time, reflect on how employees work with clients.
  • #BYAW supports individuality in the work environment on the premise that "every person can bring something different, unique, and important to the table — both internally," and externally with clients.
  • Diversity of thoughts, regardless of background, is supported and encouraged by the leadership team, and this is the platform on which #BYAW thrives.

Company Example

  • Capco is the consulting firm involved in this innovation. The company is a "global management and technology consultancy firm, significantly expanding its presence, servicing the financial industry in Asia."
  • The company is using this innovation to engender an entrepreneurial culture that would allow people to make "an impact in areas that are traditionally the domain of senior staff."
  • Another thing the company is changing with this innovation is to enable people outside its workforce to be who they indeed are and never compromise their nature for whatever reason. Acting on this notion, the company promoted the LGBT community by recently sponsoring the Pink Dot Festival.
  • The change was driven based on of the rigid structure in organizations that stifle people's ability "to innovate and be entrepreneurial."
  • Consequently, Capco decided to create a structure that encourages people to "push themselves without being limited by an authorization culture."
  • The metric of success of this innovation is well captured by the successful report of fresh graduates who joined the Asian division of the company and, within four years, became managers.
  • Also, since the company opened its Asian division in 2015, it now boasts of 200 professionals based in Hong Kong after starting with "a handful of people working out of a single office." Capco is as well now established in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, and it is looking forward to more expansion in the region.
  • According to Neil Ramchandran, Managing Partner, APAC and India, at Capco, "the company is already working for the top three banks in Thailand and hopes to increase this to all the top banks by the end of the year."
  • Seeing how the innovative entrepreneurial culture has turned fresh graduates (possibly recruited in 2015) to managers within four years, it won't be presumptuous to tie the growth of Capco in the Asian region to its #BYAW.

2) Digital Transformation

  • Digital transformation (DT) entails "organizational adjustments in IT to ensure that savings are sustainable and that collaboration on new technologies can occur across functions."
  • It is a sales approach that consulting firms are deploying to better support and serve clients that were hitherto not keen on digital solutions, but are now challenged by the disruption in their industry. A good example is the automotive industry.
  • While DT helps businesses to increase value and efficiency, it also helps to "lower maintenance costs, application development, and shortens time-to-market." Structural optimization is what DT is all about.
  • This innovative sales approach identifies the need to realign the digital portfolio with existing traditional business, without destroying the business legacy in the process. It identifies gaps that allow the business to remain competitive.

Company Example

  • A.T. Kearney is the consulting firm involved in this innovation. It is a "leading global management consulting firm with more than 3,600 people working in more than 40 countries."
  • The company is changing how "established organizations in the auto industry navigate the practical challenges of prospering in the new economy" with innovation.
  • With its innovation, A.T. Kearney moves at a pace that enables customers to adapt to "both market-leading innovation and sustained growth." It is an integrated approach termed 'Practical Digital,' which ensures the pathway of clients' businesses from legacy to digital.
  • The change is driven by the fact that the world now lives in 'disruptive' times, and no one is immune. All industries have been affected by digitization, and "corporate giants that towered over their industry for decades have been sold off for parts."
  • Any company that not only wants to survive but wants to compete as well must take the digital leap.
  • The metric for success of this innovation is well captured by the case study of how digital transformation was deployed by the company to help a client find its way back to competitiveness. A.T. Kearney was brought in by the leadership of a major automotive company to help navigate their journey to the digital space in the face of supply chain inefficiency and among other issues.
  • A.T. Kearney created a "new model of business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) e-commerce for the client, which quickly ramp up online sales."
  • The integration of in-store sales with "e-commerce created a frictionless shopping experience for consumers, while also giving the company a 360-degree customer view by aggregating data from all channels."
  • With "enhanced customer experience and streamlined operations," A.T. Kearney's digital transformation increased revenue and customer satisfaction for the client's business. It also enhanced customer retention. According to the client, "the experience brought to life how digital innovation can make a transformational impact on our business."

Research Strategy

We started our findings by going through industry reports through which we found two consulting firms, Capco and A.T. Kearney, who are profiting from innovations they had introduced in the areas of human resources and sales, respectively.

We used the innovations provided by these two consulting firms to build our case studies, and we were able to describe each innovation, and the changes made with them. We were also able to determine what drove them into the innovations and the metric for success.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "EquiBrand is excited to be recognized as a top marketing strategy consulting firm by Forbes. With more than 50,000 consulting companies operating in the U.S., we believe our deep expertise in upstream marketing sets us apart,” said Tim Koelzer, Founder and Managing Partner of EquiBrand."
  • "EquiBrand helps our clients grow through upstream marketing. We use our expertise in insight, identity and innovation services to help our clients define both where to play and how to win,” continued Koelzer. “We are thrilled to be considered one of the top marketing strategy consulting firms. "
  • " To be listed among top firms like McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain is a testament to the quality of work we do and recognition amongst our peers.”"
Quotes
  • "Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent, lift revenues by 5 to 15 percent, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30 percent.2"
Quotes
  • "This approach doubled the open rate of its emails—from 10 to 15 percent for generic targeted communications to 25 to 35 percent for real-time, “triggerbased” communications acting on consumer signals."
Quotes
  • "Personalization will be the prime driver of marketing success within five years. "
  • "Fewer than 10 percent of the companies we surveyed currently deploy personalization beyond digital channels in a systematic way.That presents a big zone of opportunity. One area where the implications could be significant is in store visits. Our survey data suggest that “offline” person-to-person experiences will be the next horizon for personalization. "
  • "Some 44 percent of CMOs say that frontline employees will rely on insights from advanced analytics to provide a personalized offering; 40 percent say that personal shoppers will use AI-enabled tools to improve service; and 37 percent say that facial recognition, location recognition, and biometric sensors will become more widely used."
From Part 04
Quotes
  • "Recognizing the crucial link between talent and value, we help clients run organizations that create value and adapt at the speed of business."
Quotes
  • "Most marketing organizations are awash in data from diverse sources."
  • "This data is supposed to aid the decision-making process, and its richness should inform multiple analytics approaches that can generate powerful insights."
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "every person can bring something different, unique and important to the table - both internally,"
Quotes
  • "global management and technology consultancy firm."
  • "an impact in areas that are traditionally the domain of senior staff."
  • "to innovate and be entrepreneurial"
  • "push themselves without being limited by an authorisation culture."
  • "a handful of people working out of a single office."
  • "the company is already working for the top three banks in Thailand and hopes to increase this to all the top banks by the end of the year."
Quotes
  • "adjustments in IT ensure that savings are sustainable and that collaboration on new technologies can occur across functions."
  • "established organizations in the auto industry navigate the practical challenges of prospering in the new economy"
  • "both market-leading innovation and sustained growth."
Quotes
  • " leading global management consulting firm with more than 3,600 people working in more than 40 countries."
Quotes
  • "corporate giants that towered over their industry for decades have been sold off for parts."
  • "new model of business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) e-commerce for the client, which quickly ramp up online sales."
  • "e-commerce created a frictionless shopping experience for consumers while also giving the company a 360-degree customer view by aggregating data from all channels."
  • "enhanced customer experience and streamlined operations"
  • "the experience brought to life how digital innovation can make a transformational impact on our business"