Business Consulting. Supply chain management services

Consulting firms offering supply chain management services of a very different origin, size and nature. In fact, four types of firms can be distinguished in this market: audit firms, general firms, specialized MLS firms, and niche firms.

Although the crisis was somewhat confusing and shocking, consulting firms generally feel pretty good. And the proposal is all the more diverse, like older people from large firms or groups with their field experience, as well as young people who have received education and communicated with reality through projects or missions. In any case, perhaps it’s just a crisis, not a crisis, they are all creative in their proposals for benefits or even in the spirit of entrepreneurship, as evidenced by the numerous creation of consulting firms since 2008

So, in the face of this multitude of offers, it is not always easy to choose …

– Audit firms. Large international audit firms tend to launch, with more or less success or visibility, practices related to operations and, therefore, the supply chain. If, starting with the case, it is more difficult to combine audit and consulting activities, this is not forbidden to them (it is enough that they are not auditors in the company in which they work). consider counseling). As a result, these audit companies, which have at their disposal general and financial departments, have all the advantages in order to be at a high level and offer additional services to their clients. To open additional practice aimed at improving the communications of the Operations Directorate with the Director General and the Finance Department (see 99).

Applying for their services can be interesting when the project has a significant financial component.

– General firms. This category includes such companies as “processing experts.” In many cases, they cover services that go far beyond the supply chain in the strict sense of the word, such as relationships with suppliers, relationships with customers, new product development, mergers and acquisitions, etc. They have an international status, have many employees. and very at ease in implementing IT solutions. Rather, they are located on large accounts and are able to conduct large projects (for example, a new strategy, creating an ERP common to all subsidiaries …). They also conduct regular research (for example, “Supply Chain as a Leverage for Increasing Sales and Financing Growth” or “Global Survey of Product Returns in the Electronics Industry”).

Recent analysis trends in business consulting. Thanks to the polls and questionnaires that we were able to collect, it seems that since the summer of 2010 there has been a trembling of market recovery. Projects that are less focused on reducing costs, but more overhaul in the medium term, begin to appear again. In addition, with regard to environmental issues, it seems that they are very uneven from one company to another. Some who didn’t do anything before the crisis didn’t care, while others who had been worried for several years happily calculated their carbon footprint and entered the phase of actions to reduce greenhouse gas at several levels (warehouse, transport, products …). In any case, we can count on some consulting firms to carry a good word!

In other words, a neutral analysis should show the situation of its client and be able to analyze the real need that caused the request for external intervention. To legitimize yourself in the eyes of your client is a difficult exercise, because the consultant must take into account the diagnosis made by the members of the organization in order to be able to analyze it and have a general idea of ​​the situation.

The constant interaction between the consultant and the internal actors of the organization from the very beginning of the intervention is useful for building a relationship of mutual trust so that the consultant can take a step back and decode the real needs of the organization. organization. The legitimacy of a speaker sometimes passes by the cost of his intervention. In this regard, business consulting shows that “the cost of intervention should be the subject of careful analysis and, in order to avoid any subsequent misunderstanding, detailed contracting.” In addition, the counselor should pay particular attention to the communication around the intervention throughout the intervention. Thus, in order to neutralize any resistance, he must remind the actors of a specific mission for which he is responsible.