Insights for managing the business of businesses


Jul

13

2018

Is there really such a thing as the middle market when it comes to consulting firms?

We typically characterize providers with revenues of $100m-$500m as occupying the mid-market — not small and specialized like boutiques, but not gargantuan and multi-dimensional like global firms.

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Jun

14

2018

That is Not a Cookie in my Hand

A couple months back, McKinsey was accused by Alix Partner founder Jay Alix with being less than candid about its potential conflicts of interest in restructuring engagements.

Fast forward and we now hear a different -- yet similar -- type of situation with Accenture. The details with Accenture center on the behemoth’s Media Management group, which conducts independent media audits. Rivals say the launch of Accenture Interactive’s Programmatic Services -- an extension of the company’s Interactive’s work in performance marketing -- pivots off the aforementioned audit service and makes a sham of Accenture as watchdog.

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Jun

1

2018

Fun with Fees

Consulting fees are a funny phenomenon. We’re routinely asked by a variety of constituents to conduct benchmarking on fees for all types of consulting and advisory services -- from global or specialist firms wishing to compare their rates among competitive sets, to clients wondering if their negotiated rates are truly “market competitive,” to outside investment companies that offer advisory services to their portfolio companies and must demonstrate compliance to prevailing rates.

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May

24

2018

Qui s’excuse s’accuse: Trust in Management Consulting

One of the features of the Toyota Production System – the genesis of now-pervasive lean process improvement – is that it empowered assembly workers to stop the production line. Recognizing that errors compound as they move down the line, Taiichi Ohno (the originator of this system) instituted systematic problem-solving to remove them once and for all. Once implemented, this advanced problem-solving meant the line practically never stopped.

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May

10

2018

Opacity No More

A couple weeks back, McKinsey was roughed up by the Wall Street Journal regarding the firm’s lack of transparency when working on bankruptcy engagements. The gist of the story claimed that McKinsey had potential conflicts of interest based on investments and/or relationships with entities related to the bankruptcy. And even when it did disclose, the list was minuscule relative to other types of advisors.

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