What is Management Consulting?

Management consulting is a service that helps management or owners solve complex or technical issues that affect their company or business.

Management teams in organisations often face critical decisions. For examples of these decisions include, “What options are available when dealing with government or council issues?” "How organisational structure is best for maximum human capital or other investment return?” or even “What action should be taken on a commercial contract dispute?”

Strategic questions management may ask include what action should be taken to stave off competition through increased research spend, or even how to leverage the use of technology to reduce operating costs and time required to complete business-as-usual processes.

Organisations may not have the resources to act

It’s easy for management to become overwhelmed by these critical decisions as they may not have the resources, time, people or even objective lens, to figure out the priorities. Management consulting involves assisting management make these decisions so that they achieve the best outcome.

Management consultants are advisers with technical competence in a professional field such as law, accounting, engineering, healthcare. They are typically hired by senior management, on the basis that they are highly capable of quickly wrapping their head around an organisation’s predicament and applying their expertise and knowledge to solve practical problems. In other words, management consultants solve business jigsaw puzzles.

They identify the issues faced by an organisation, perform in-depth research (both general and specific to the organisation’s issue), develop a solution strategy, and work with management to implement and evaluate the strategy.

Management consultants are typically generalists – they have experience and skills across multiple industries and functions – and are comfortable operating in an ambiguous environment. Their speciality is in business strategy at the highest level.

What are other forms of consulting?

Public-relations consulting deals specifically with public relations matters external to a client organisation and are often engaged on a semi-permanent basis by larger organisations to provide input and guidance, often on sensitive or controversial issues facing the organisation.

Sales consulting focuses on all levels of sales and marketing for the improvement of sales ROI and gaining market share from the competition.

Engineering consultants provide engineering-related services in a variety of fields (such as mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical or electronic, aerospace, etc). These services include design and execution of specifications, and operation, maintenance and repair of plant and equipment. They also make recommendations to companies, industries and other stakeholders using their technical expertise.

Pharmaceutical Consulting Services consulting on critical areas such as company and portfolio strategies, fundraising pitch materials, platform or program opportunity-feasibility assessments, new product planning, value-based pricing and market access, and product launch preparations. This field is sometimes termed Life Science, Health Care and related industries.

Operational, Manufacturing, or Business Services Consulting assists in process improvement, cost reduction, review of the layout of a production department, production control, productivity and incentive schemes, address quality control problems.

Financial Consulting involves developing and implementing budgetary control systems, profit planning or capital and revenue budgeting, reviewing expense schedules and cost centres.

Human Resources Consulting involves organisational design and structuring of personnel, talent search and remuneration structures, employment policies, manpower planning, job enrichment, job evaluation and employee relations.

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