Management consulting is the practice which offers consultancy to organizations in order to improve performance. It usually analyzes the current issues and the strategic objective and then continue to offer a management plan which allows organizations to reach their goals. A reason for which companies may prefer to use external management consultants is to get a broader more objective perspective on the business and management plan.
Consultants are known to have developed along two main approaches: prescriptive and facilitative.
The prescriptive one supposes expert advice offered to the client with less coordination and collaboration with the latter.
The facilitative approach, the focus is less on general expertise rather than specific task(s) that involves a closer relation to the client, understanding their needs and strategy and offering customized advice.
1) Strategy consulting
It is the type of consultancy offered to senior management in multinational companies from different sectors in order to help them analyze their management plan and develop viable solutions. The usual tasks involve facilitating companies in redesigning their business plan in order to cut costs and raise productivity, thus realizing annual savings.
2) Accounting consultants
This type of advice is offered by main audit firms and focuses more on financial tracking and reporting processes, compliance rates, improving cash flow by optimizing our billing or payment processes and policies. Although it should focus on the financial aspect of the company, as it has implications in other sectors, in reality accounting consultants also offer broader type of advice reflecting on the business plan.
3) IT specialists
This type of consultancy has developed more and more with the automatization of work through computers and the tasks can vary from transitioning from paper to computer systems, to implementing a company Enterprise Resource Planning software or a Customer Relationship Management and archiving in a safe and accessible way.
4) Boutique consulting firms
The Boutique consulting firms tend to specialize in a given industry or practice area and cover all of the needs of the company regarding that field. A typical example is human resources, which companies may outsource to this sort of boutique consulting firms, and even more specific areas such as benefits for their employees only.
5) Internal consultants
As an alternative to general and outside council, many companies operate with internal consultants, who are a group of employees specialized in offering strategic advice and developing personalized solutions.
6) Independent consultants
The main difference from the other types is that these consultants don’t usually operate under the umbrella of a company, being highly specialized individuals in their field who, for different reasons, offer their services only to a few selected clients.