Why Management Consultants should Outsource their Research Tasks

Published on:
TransForm Solutions

For a long time now, management consultants have helped innumerable organizations to improve their operations and business performance. Using objective advice and expertise, management consultants fill the gaps that their clients have due to business-related shortcomings.

This includes formulating business strategy, implementing both end-to-end solutions and specialist expertise in niche areas.

McKinsey, which is one of the foremost consulting firms in the world, has close to 1,605 research professionals which help it gather data and conduct research. Regular management consultancy simply cannot hire at such a scale.

Like any other business or consulting profession, a management consultancy often feels overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data and research they need to process in order to deliver the solutions that their clients need.

1. High quality insight and analysis

According to figures published by Statista, the leading challenge for close to 40% of management consulting firms is increased competition.

There are far too many consulting firms out there, and to differentiate yourself from them, you will need to go a step ahead than what your peers do. For you to be able to do this you will need access to high quality insight and analysis, which is only possible when relevant issues are identified and contextual hypothesis are formed.

Specialized research teams help you arrive at complex and deep insight-driven solutions for your clients that otherwise is not possible if you do it alone.

This helps you to:

  • Implement superior recommendations and solutions to your clients.
  • Foresee probabilities and make predictions that your competitors cannot, thereby differentiating yourself.

2. Advanced statistical and research tools

The latest business intelligence and market research tools are equipped with technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. These technologies take statistical insight to the next level and arrive at insights that are driven by smart algorithms.

However, such tools are incredibly expensive and difficult to maintain In addition, staff will need to be trained in using them to collect and process data, and arrive at insights. An outsourced research team will have invested in these tools and their training, helping you avoid both infrastructural and manpower-related investments.

This helps you to focus on your core activities such as playing an advisory role to your clients, or providing specialized services to them.

A research team helps you to:

  • Access advanced business intelligence tools which are expensive and require specialized training to use.
  • Provide specialized and niche services to your clients.

3. Risk reduction and risk-sharing

Usually, consulting firms are responsible for the data they gather and the insight they offer to their clients.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) recently stated that they will move towards 90% success fees, which set a trend towards success-based fees in consulting space.

While most consulting firms do not like this model, it highlights the importance of accountability and demonstrating confidence in what you do. By entering into a contract with an external vendor that specializes in research, you will unload your share of the burden and reduce associated risks.

Most importantly, you will not have to worry about GDPR and other regulatory requirements that your data will need to comply with.

This helps you to:

  • Make sure that your data and research insight meet regulatory compliance
  • Share your risk burden with your outsourcing partner

4. Superior project management results

One of the biggest impediments to consulting success is the way projects are handled. Most consulting firms have not yet adopted an agile methodology. Agile methodology breaks down a project into smaller parts, and assigns it to smaller teams.

In the context of consulting, this means that you can break down your project into various processes of which data collection and research are a separate entity. By outsourcing this entity to an external vendor, and by overseeing research outcomes via regular Scrum meetings, you can ensure a highly efficient project management framework.

In addition, an agile approach towards research helps you to track various KPIs related to your consulting services.

Outsourcing to an agile research team helps you to:

  • Manage your projects more efficiently
  • Track different KPIs related to consulting solutions specialization

Outsourcing to a specialized research team helps you deliver better consulting solutions

Management consultants specializes in bringing tactical solutions and advisory services to their clients. The crux of these solutions rests upon high-quality data, advanced statistical tools and rich insight. All these require investment in manpower, infrastructure, and proprietary software that management consultants may find difficult to afford.

Outsourcing data collection and research tasks to a specialized research team help you to arrive at high-quality insight without having to hire full-time employees or engaging in time-intensive processes.

Management consultants can also benefit from the latest and most advanced research tools, which are often proprietary software products requiring a great deal of investment. Most importantly, risk-sharing with an external vendor places the onus of conducting research that complies with regulations on the research team.

Finally, you can focus on providing top-notch consulting and advisory services to your clients.

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