In a recent article in an Indian article, titled “Why SMEs Need Management Consultants,” Senior Director and Chief Operating Officer of consultancy firm APS suggested three reasons why small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across India need to engage management consultants. At the time when the author was preparing the article, the global economic recession had struck India and it was not just an Indian phenomenon. So, in this article, we shall take a detailed look at what is behind the need for this consultation, as well as how it can benefit small and mid-sized Indian businesses.
Consulting firms have evolved to provide better services at better value to their clients. This can only be possible if the consultant understands the operational and business requirements of the client in a very granular manner. In other words, a good SME needs to be apprised about each and every aspect of its functioning, including its customers, its vendors, its internal processes, as well as its competition. Only then can such a person to devise solutions that are tailored exactly to meet the specific needs of the business.
Small and medium-sized companies face a number of unique challenges, which they can overcome with the right kind of assistance. For example, it may not be possible to run an IT department alone. So, most of these companies would require training and professional help with IT practices. Furthermore, they would also require specialized support services for things like supply chain management, financial consulting, risk management, human resources management, and so on.
There are many firms that offer IT consulting services to SME’s, but only a few of them are capable of delivering customized solutions. So, it is essential for such companies to partner with a professional consultant who can give them tailor-made expertise. Moreover, such firms require regular help with implementation, systems integration, and system optimization. However, SMEs often do not have an in-house IT team. In such cases, it is essential for such firms to acquire the services of third party consultants, who can provide the necessary technology, guidance, and expertise to handle their businesses. In fact, most of the firms that do not have any in-house IT teams often hire third-party consultants, who can provide the required functionality, expertise, and other technology support at a much lower cost than what would be incurred if the firm decides to purchase its own technology.
The third reason why management consultants must be hired by SME’s is because they can provide the best possible advice. When firms buy their own technology, they often take advice from the various IT service providers, including management consultants. However, those companies, who do not have the financial resources to purchase their own technologies, often take advice from SME’s vendors. On the other hand, management consultants are skilled in analysing a variety of technologies and can provide valuable inputs in such a way that the best possible option can be made, as per the requirement. In addition, these consultants also provide SMEs with innovative ideas and new concepts that can help the firm.
Finally, SMEs often do not have an in-house IT team, and hence they require the services of third-party consultants. There are various reasons why these firms require the services of management consultants. For one, many firms are not equipped with the technology, personnel, and resources required to handle the day-to-day functioning of a company. Also, as most of the firms dealing with technologies do not have the expertise to handle such matters, they outsource them to the consulting companies. Also, management consultants have the required knowledge and skills to integrate the technologies with the rest of the company and help the firm implement solutions and make it function smoothly.
To conclude, SME’s need IT help because the technologies they manage do not have the appropriate interfaces with the systems and applications of major organizations. On the other hand, to provide a comprehensive solution for companies in this case would require extensive research, development and analysis of the problems. It is only after these things are done that the consultants would be able to offer viable solutions. Hence, the need for these services becomes essential for SME’s looking forward to a successful future.
There are several reasons why companies require the services of third-party management consultants. However, the number one reason why all companies require the services of management consulting is because their processes and operations are poorly aligned and they are losing out on revenue due to these misalignments. Hence, it is very important for SMEs to understand these reasons and invest in the services of a professional management consulting firm.
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