We are looking to engage a logistics consultant, what attributes should I look for ?
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Member since: 2011-10-01Have they done what you need before?
Will they fit culturally?
Have they got experience of your industry?
Carry out your own independant reference checks.
Do you feel you can trust them? Your gut feel..........
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Member since: 2012-07-23Expertise, experience, professionalism
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Member since: 2012-07-19You should be looking for a "spider in a web" with plenty experience...where do you find them? NVOCC's - mid to executive level.
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Member since: 2011-10-01Alan makes some very good points. We find with many of our clients that they want consultants to work closely with their staff to come up with solutions and to follow through on the recommendations. Experience is essential but not necessarily in your sector - there can be advantages in bringing best practice ideas in from other sectors. Meet up with the consultants and and see which one you can work with - people buy people at the end of the day! Always take up references!
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Member since: 2012-07-19Their portfolio, worked with for and the study result obtained, how did the results benefit the overall objective/project.
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Member since: 2012-07-19Too broad a question! Which specific area of Logistics ? As consultants would vary in terms of their capabilities, it is important to know
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Member since: 2012-07-19There are a number of factors you would want to consider – I’ve listed 12 below.
First consideration - what size consultancy do you look for? Are you going for one of the larger consulting organisations, a sole trader or a small to medium sized consultany? While the large boys generally provide sound work there are certainly some considerations that may steer you away from this direction, these include: A larger staff does not equate to more efficiancy or better solutions (100 or more mediocre strategists do not deliver better solutions than a solo strategic genius – they just reach more people with their mediorce ideas); Big ideas emanate from small consultancies – 70% of pre-eminent business management articles are from authors in small consulting organisations (only 18% come from the ‘hailed brand name’ consultancies); Entreprenurial thinking is found in small companies – if you are looking for ‘out-of-the-box, nimble, disruptive thinking you are less likely to find this admidst the cogs of bureaucacy; The big thinker won’t be working on your project (unless you are an equally big player chances are the large consulting organisations signature talent won’t be plying their skill directly to your project); Large consultancies are typically slow to adopt new ideas; and, with large consultancies the consultants success is not aligned fully with your outcome (when you work with the owner of a botique consulting organisation there is little doubt what custoemr he wants to please: you). All that said there are times when you should turn to the large boys these include: if a ‘brand name’ is the only likely success factor to get recommendations agreed further up the tree (this may be the situation where international reporting is applicable); when you need broad simultaneous geographic reach; when you need a lot of bodies for implementation; and, when the best-in-class independent consultants do not have capacity to accommodate you.
Second consideration – are they accredited consultants? Professional consultants attain accreditation in the form of being a CMC (certified management consultant)from the Institute of Management Consultants of New Zealand, part of the International body for management consultants. Refer http://www.imcnz.org for further information on the accreditation process and what it means.
Third consideration – can the consultant demonstrate how their clients are better off after they leave? A superior consultant will be able to tell you the benefits they deliver at the end of a typical project
Fouth consideration – do they have an outstanding methodology/approach or are you dictating it?
Fifth consideration – Do they have experience in delivering your desired outcome? This does not necessarily have to be specific industry experience, rather the ability to deliver the outcome is of greatest importance.
Sixth consideration – Are they willing to push back when appropriate? While the use of any consultant will always have an element of ‘borrowing your watch to tell you the time’, you are never-the-less retaining them to challenge and have strong views that they will debate and defend where appropriate.
Seventh consideration – Are they responsive?
Eighth consideration – Is there rapport?
Ninth consideration – how likely are they to succeed?
Tenth consideration – is the risk-adjusted ROI acceptable? By way of example ‘let’s say your leadership development project is estimated to deliver $1m in value. You are considering hiring a coach for $85k and you estimate there is a 75% chance (refer to 9th consideration) the project will live up to your expectations. The risk adjusted ROI is 8.8 ($750,000/$85,000) Any risk adjusted ROI above a 7.0 is typically a better investment than you’ll get from other uses of your money.
Eleventh consideration – are they the real deal? Check
Twelve consideration – what guarantee do they offer?
Good luck in tracking down an appropriate consulting partner.
Middlebank Consulting Group