When the Greek philosopher Heraclitus uttered the words, “Change is the only constant in life” back in 535 BC, he may not have realized just how powerful that statement was, or that the phrase would stand the test of time and still hold true today. Just look at the events of the last few years, for example, and the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) era that we’ve all been wading through.
The consulting sector is one of many industries that’s faced more than its fair share of uncertainty over the last few years. According to Hinge’s Rachna J. Raniga, consulting firms have fought to stay afloat in the turbulence created by a global pandemic, waves of social change and other outside factors.
“Understandably, not all firms thrived in this climate. Some firms did see major wins, however, while others were forced to play defense and tend to their wounds,” Raniga adds. “Consulting firms of all stripes are reexamining their businesses in an effort to adapt to today’s unexpected challenges.”
Managing through Disruption
According to consulting firm KomplyTek, most global consulting businesses need to refocus their business models, organizational framework, cost structure, proposals and project plans. “Volatile times bring a lot of change, which is exactly what global consulting firms are dealing with right now,” the company points out in 8 Top Challenges Faced by Consulting Firms.
“They’ll have to use a wide range of marketing strategies to adjust to growing market challenges, move ahead and stay at the top,” KomplyTek adds. “However, adversity provides an opportunity to create persistent and powerful firms.”
Some of the key shifts that consulting firms are dealing with right now include changing client demands, increased levels of competition, tighter deadlines and more intricate projects. They’re also dealing with the continued impacts of the global pandemic, a worldwide labor shortage and geopolitical issues like the war in Ukraine.
For help managing these and other challenges, more consulting firms are turning to technology for help. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms like NetSuite, for example, can help these organizations get all of their operations on a single platform, manage their remote teams, reach a broader swath of global customers and operate more profitably.
By replacing disparate systems, spreadsheets and manual processes with a robust, cloud-based ERP, consulting firms can also streamline their operations, improve performance levels and better serve their clients’ ever-evolving needs.
Putting ERP to Work
In Management Consulting Trends to Change in 2023, consulting firm ExecHQ® discusses the need for increased digitalization and “digital response” to the growing demand for consulting operations, structure and terms of service that can more swiftly respond to customer needs.
“Even though management consulting is still a labor-intensive business service, other sectors have already embraced digitization,” the company states. “The transition away from using humans for research, analysis, process, management and facilitation in consulting services has only started.” It goes on to say that emerging business models—and the use of digital technology—continue to present challenges for the management consulting industry.
“To maintain the connection between the C-level and stakeholders,” ExecHQ states, “consultants will build thorough digital strategies and reimagine the current business and operational models in 2023.”
The good news is that opportunity still abounds in the management consultancy market, which is expanding on a global scale. It showed a growth rate of 4.1% in 2022 (versus 2021), ExecHQ reports. “Expect this to continue as local specialist consulting businesses emerge to serve clients, and as the online freelance consulting sector expands,” it adds. “Subject matter experts (SMEs) can easily access the cloud for almost any issue.”
Here’s What NetSuite Does for You
Using NetSuite as a foundation, ERP Success Partner helps consulting firms minimize administrative tasks while also helping them gain valuable insights to improve realization rates, project profitability and client satisfaction. NetSuite also helps firms optimize staffing levels, improve collaboration and automate processes like time and expense management. With the #1 cloud ERP in place, consulting firms can also accelerate growth and foster innovation between all functional areas.
Some of the other benefits that companies can expect from NetSuite include:
- Improved operational and business agility. Companies can respond quickly to regulatory and market changes and meet their customers’ changing needs.
- Integrated budgeting and forecasting. Equip your organization with planning, budgeting and forecasting tools to ensure financial stability and growth.
- Improved customer relationship management (CRM). Gain a full understanding of all of your customer interactions and preferences across all locations, branches and divisions.
- Accurate revenue management. Eliminate spreadsheets and disparate systems and start reporting revenue with confidence and accuracy.
- Better people management. With NetSuite HCM, you can maximize the value of your company’s most important resource: its people.
- Manage costs. Acquire services and leverage better spend management in NetSuite.
Success with ERP Success Partners
NetSuite also gives your team members a 360-degree view of each and every customer and allows you to manage multiple subsidiaries, business units and legal entities—all from a single cloud ERP. Contact ERP Success Partners today to learn how we can help your growing consulting firm navigate the current market complexities and achieve even higher levels of success in the future.