When the time comes to work with a supply chain consulting firm there are several elements to consider. A common consideration is the size of the consulting firm and determining if working with a large firm or a boutique firm best fits your needs.
Since the term size can mean a variety of things to people it’s important to have an agreed upon definition. For our purposes, a boutique firm has between 25-200 consultants that are subject matter experts (SME) who provide highly specialized project advice and solutions. These SME are also used to manage and implement niche projects, such as an SAP solution for a manufacturing company. The word “boutique” can also reference a focused area versus the actual size. Although both aspects are important to consider when thinking about what size consulting firm to work with, it’s also important to identify the advantages and disadvantages of partnering with either firm size.
Advantages vs. Disadvantages
Advantages and disadvantages are commonly associated with any choice, which is why it’s good to outline both during the decision making process.
Outlining the advantages and disadvantages should be one aspect when selecting which size firm to work with. It’s also important to identify specific questions which can be used as a “tiebreaker” if the advantages and disadvantages aren’t significant decision factors. Other questions to ask include:
- Does the firm’s approach to managing or implementing projects align with the company’s organizational style
- How were your initial interactions with employees from the firm
- Does the firm have any proprietary solutions that give them a true competitive advantage
- If a project has a short completion timeline can that timeline be met without risk
- Does the firm have partnerships or referrals relative to your industry (I.e. SAP partnerships)
Deciding which size firm to work with is never an easy task, at the same time by doing the diligence along with listening to your gut increases the likelihood of a successful firm selection.
Contact us if you would like to take advantage of the many advantages of working with a boutique firm with a global reach.