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What is a consultancy or a consulting firm?
A consulting firm or consultancy is a professional service firm that provides expert advice by charging a fee. These firms may have only one person or thousands of consultants in a single firm they consult in a broad range of domains, for example, management, engineering, business and so on.
Many consulting firms also helps with implementation support, either by the consultants or by technicians and other experts in their field. This is called outsourcing.
What do consulting firms do?
Consulting firms are businesses comprised of industry-specific experts who provides professional advice and guidance and actionable solutions to businesses experiencing the issues they can’t deal with themselves.
Every company may have problems and consulting firms are contracted to solve them.
Management consulting firms
Management consultants typically work with company executives and provide them with generalists and industry-specific experts, they are known as subject-matter experts and are usually trained in management or in business schools. The deliverable of a management consultant is his recommendations for achieving a objective, leading to a company project.
Management/strategy consulting firms concentrate on the issues such as:
- The quickest way to adapt itself according to the new market
- Be updated with the current trends/advancements in technology and adapt accordingly.
- Dealing with global market changes.
- Improving the sales process to increase revenue generation.
- Reorganizing a specific department of the company.
- To strategically respond to negative press allegations.
Top management consulting firms in the US (source: Forbes)
Operations consulting firms
Operations consulting is focused on streamlining, improving, and taking costs out of the key processes that enable a client company to function properly.
If you think about a bank – processing and printing statements, opening and closing accounts, settling accounts when a customer passes away, managing safe deposit boxes, bringing a new branch online.
Software/IT consulting is providing expertise specific to software, software engineering, and/or information technology.
Need of Software/IT Consulting
Software and IT projects are notoriously risky and a large percentage of them fail. There are many specific types of software and technology where deep expertise is valued. Companies bring in software/IT consultants when they need help in a specific area to help them successfully complete their projects. When a company needs help starting, completing, or improving their software or IT infrastructure, they’ll bring in a software/IT consultant.
Most IT consulting firms offer services around the following areas:
- Custom software application development
- IT project management
- Systems analysis
- Software testing
- Infrastructure (hardware and networking) support
- Software package integration
- Data analysis
- Cyber security
- Artificial intelligence
Top IT consulting firms in US
3.IBM Global Services
4.Boston consulting Group
5.Mckinsey and company
Financial Advisory Consulting Firms / Practices
The Financial Advisory Service offerings span a wide variety of topics, such as:
- Financial transactions
- Real estate
- Financial risk management
- Accounting services
- Bankruptcy/restructuring guidance
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Initial stock offering
- Small businesses will often become clients of a financial advisory consulting firm to engage with a highly specialized finance consultant instead of hiring a full-time finance manager. Larger corporations may need to supplement their own in-house financial organization with expertise in an area that they might be exploring for the first time (an audit, explosive growth, or acquisition).
Human Resources Consulting Firms / Practices
Many companies will seek outside help to set up, optimize, or completely outsource Human Resources (HR) functions so that they can focus on their core business mission.
HR consulting firms can assist in any or all of the following areas:
- Compensation and bonuses
- Leadership development
- Management succession planning
- Organizational structures
- Benefits administration
- Diversity and inclusion
- Employee surveys
- Ethics and violation reporting
- Policy administration
- Talent acquisition (recruiting)
- Talent retention
- Layoff execution
- Post merger/acquisition integration
- Labor relations
- Workforce planning
While the larger consulting firms that we have been covering in this article all have HR consulting practices, in this space, there are hundreds of firms that focus predominately on HR areas. The list below contains only a few of them (clicking on a company below will bring you to its web site):
Top supply chain consulting firms in the US
supply chain consultants are consultantswho help companies design and execute strategies to navigate their most pressing challenges.