Over the recent years the idea of management consultants have changed dramatically in both, management consulting and in other professional services. Management consultants have begun to change and redefine their business, widening and enhancing their service offerings, blending or establishing alliances with other consultants and professional service firms, and walking away from self-imposed constraints on the sort of work they are going to undertake. These changes have been triggered by a number of factors, including the growing intricacy and complexity of accomplishing business in national and inter- national environments, market deregulation and liberalization, new opportunities for innovative consulting, growing demand for integrated and “one-stop” professional services, competitive pressure coming from other professions and, above all, the advancement of information technologies and their rapid puncture into management and business processes. In using consulting and other professional services the clients are asking “what will add value to my business”. Rather than identifying needs, devising a solution and implementing a new and “tailor-made” system for every client, a consulting firm has a range of products available to everyone clients (or kinds of clients).
Advice and know-how have become a item. The client can choose among standard offerings “off the shelf” — diagnostic instruments, change and project SOC 2 審核 management programmes, training and self- development packages, production control systems, enterprise resource planning or customer relationship management systems, e-business or knowledge management software and so on.
Commoditization of methods and systems is currently an element of knowledge management and transfer. It takes action to demands from clients, who wish to get the best system, technique or approach at an affordable price, within reasonable time limits, and with security of applicability and standard performance. It’s this that the commoditized professional services try to provide. Professional carrier’s networks who have commoditized their knowledge enjoy an enormous business advantage — if the product is in demand and sells well. They can serve large numbers of clients. Instead of using experienced and highly competent consultants for each task, the consulting firm can develop standard procedures for delivering standard products, so because of this use more jr and less experienced staff, and cut the price.
In larger IT and management consulting firms, freelancing is just about the fastest-growing area of service and an essential source of stable and long- term income. This demonstrates the fact that the consulting firm may be better equipped to use certain activities, which it can perform more efficiently and in the economy than the client while keeping up to date with advances in the field. It also demonstrates new ways of performing and managing knowledge, in which clients focus on their core business and use intelligent capital and savings in areas of their principal strength.
Consulting in finance, including financing the enterprise and financial control of operations, also started developing rapidly. Most of the new management consultants had a background in accountancy and experience drawn from working with firms of public accountants. To meet their clients’ needs and to attract clients from new sectors of economic and social activity, management consultants allow us various strategies, creating and offering new special services, devoted to particular sectors or, on the contrary, providing broad comprehensive packages of services.
In recent years consultants have arrived out of the traditional limits of the management field and deal with plant automation, communication systems, quality control, equipment design, software development, economic studies, environmental protection etcetera if these are of interest to clients and can enhance a consultant’s competitive edge. In addition to improving service quality and offering new sorts of services, management consultants have become more dynamic and even aggressive in searching for new customers and trying to encourage potential clients that they can provide a better service than others. It’s caused many developments in the advertising and marketing of consulting services.
Many large consulting firms have sought to internationalize their operations in searching for new markets, establishing to the changes in the international economy, and taking advantage of the new opportunities for consulting in the developing countries. In large consulting firms, foreign operations may contribute 30-70 percent of income. Great efforts have been built to increase the long-term benefits derived by clients from consulting tasks, by diversifying and refining the involvement methods applied at all levels of the consulting process. Many organizations private and public have become experts in using consultants. They have developed their own criteria and strategies to selecting consultants, working together with them during tasks, monitoring their interventions, learning from their approach and evaluating results. Consultants have become crucial advisors in major business decisions and transactions.