Management Consulting Service
Bulls Capital offers Management Consulting Services to its client’s covering operations, finance and projects, proposals, office administration, strategic planning. Our customized solutions provides our clients with enviable results. Our
Our boutique of Management Consulting Services
We offer a variety of management consulting services that support your needs today, while continuing to meet your needs in the future. We offer a suite of solutions to support your growth plan and the optimization of your organization as a whole.
Our management consulting services include:
Data Management, Analytics and Business Insights
Digital Workplace Solutions
Cloud Migration Assessment, Strategy and Roadmap
Cloud Security and Risk Assessment
Microsoft Solutions and Services
Regulatory Compliance Assistance
Third Party Oversite
Customer and User Engagement
Enterprise Resource Planning
Customer Relationship Management
Management development and training services
IT, Legacy and Application Modernization
Cloud Accelerated Solutions
Cloud Readiness Assessments
Business Process Improvement/Automation
Operational Efficiency/Process Improvement
Business Recovery Services
Areas of management consulting services
Managing and running businesses of any size and complexity, and on management and administration in governmental and not-for-profit organizations
Company valuation, search for new partners, redesign of accounting and control systems, application of information technology, staff retraining and so on.
Risk management, local area networks, electronic mail, action learning, management buy-outs or total quality management.
|Corporate strategy and organization development|
|Financial and administrative systems|
|Production and services management
(incl. technology, logistics, R & D, and quality control)
|Marketing and corporate communication|
|Information technology and systems|
|Economic and environmental studies|
Extending staff: Providing adhoc staff to deliver
|Acquiring information on environment, competition, business and technology trends or other matters needed to make correct plans and decisions.|
|Establishing new business contacts and linkages, and negotiating deals with them.|
|Obtaining an impartial expert opinion
|Identifying, diagnosing and solving problems,at any stage of problem diagnosis and solving, including overall diagnosis of your business.|
|Developing and implementing new methods and systems, modernizing your planning, scheduling, control, management information and other systems.|
|Planning and implementing organizational change, design and implement an effective change strategy and overcome barriers to change.|
|Training and developing management and staff|
The consulting process
During a typical assignment, the consultant and the client undertake a set of activities required for planning and implementing the desired changes. These activities are normally known as the consulting process. We adopt the ILO guide to the management consulting profession.
1 The model, shown in figure 1.1, includes the following phases: entry – diagnosis – action planning – implementation – termination. The basic logic remains the same.
In this phase the consultant starts working with a client. This includes their first contacts, discussions on what the client would like to change in his organization and how the consultant may help, the clarification of their respective roles, the preparation of an assignment plan based on preliminary problem analysis, and the negotiation and signing of a consulting contract. It is a preparatory and planning phase. Nevertheless, it lays down the foundations for everything that will follow, since the subsequent phases will be strongly influenced by the quality of the conceptual work done, and by the kind of relationships that the consultant is able to establish with his client at the very beginning.
Figure 1.1. Phases of the consulting process
At this initial phase it can also happen that an assignment proposal is not prepared to the client’s satisfaction, or that several consultants are invited to present proposals, but only one of them is selected for the assignment and gets the contract.
The second phase is an in-depth diagnosis of the problem to be solved, based on thorough fact finding and fact analysis. During this phase the consultant and the client cooperate at identifying the sort of change that is required. Is the fundamental change problem technological, organizational, informational, psychological or other? If it has all these dimensions, which is the crucial one? What attitudes to change prevail in the organization: is the need for change appreciated, or will it be necessary to persuade people that they will have to change? The results of the diagnostic phase are summarized and conclusions drawn on how to orient work on action proposals so that the real problem is resolved and the desired benefits obtained. Some possible solutions may start to emerge.
Fact finding and fact diagnosis often receive the least attention. Yet decisions on what data to look for and what data to omit, what aspects of the problem to examine in depth and what aspects to skip, predetermine the relevance and quality of solutions that will be proposed. Also, by collecting data the consultant is already influencing the client organization, and people may start changing as a result of the consultant’s presence.
- Action planning
The third phase aims at finding the solution to the problem. It includes work on alternative solutions, the evaluation of alternatives, the elaboration of a plan for implementing changes and the presentation of proposals to the client for decision. Action planning requires imagination and creativity, as well as a rigorous and systematic approach in identifying and exploring feasible alternatives, eliminating proposals that could lead to trivial and unnecessary changes, and deciding what solution will be adopted. The consultant can choose from a wide range of techniques, in particular if the client’s participation in this phase is active. A significant dimension of action planning is developing strategy and tactics for implementing changes, in particular for dealing with those human problems that can be anticipated, and for overcoming resistance to change.
Implementation, the fourth phase of consulting, provides an acid test of the relevance and feasibility of the proposals developed by the consultant in collaboration with his client. The new system is finalized, developed in detail and put into effect. The changes proposed start to become a reality. Things begin happening, either as planned or differently. Unforeseen new problems and obstacles may arise and false assumptions or planning errors may be uncovered. Resistance to change may be quite different from what was assumed at the diagnostic and the planning stage. The original design and action plan may need to be corrected. As it is not possible to foresee exactly every relationship, event or attitude, and the reality of implementation often differs from the plan, monitoring and managing implementation is very important. This also explains why professional consultants prefer to be associated with the implementation of changes that they have helped to identify and plan.
This is an issue over which there has been much misconception and misunderstanding. Many consulting assignments end when a report with action proposals is transmitted, i.e. before any implementation starts. If the client is fully capable of handling any phase of the change process by himself, and is keen to do it, there is no reason why he should keep a consultant. The consultant may leave as soon as he has completed diagnostic work. Unfortunately, the decision to terminate the assignment before starting implementation often does not reflect the client’s assessment of his own capabilities and his determination to implement the proposals without any further help from the consultant. Rather it mirrors a widespread misconception about consulting according to which consultants do not have to achieve more than getting their reports accepted by the clients. Some clients accept this because they have not really understood that even a very solid consulting report cannot guarantee that a new scheme will work and that the promised results will be attained. Other clients (those looking for an alibi) may be happy with this solution because all they really wanted was a report, not a change.
The fifth and final phase in the consulting process includes several activities. The consultant’s performance during the assignment, the approach taken, the changes made and the results achieved have to be evaluated by both the client and the consulting organization. Final reports are presented and adopted. Mutual commitments are settled. If there is an interest in pursuing the collaborative relationship, an agreement on follow-up and future contacts may be negotiated. Once these activities are completed, the consultant withdraws from the client organization and the assignment is terminated by mutual agreement.
The consultant’s roles in the process
As a general rule, consultants aim never to forget that they are advisers and helpers, not decision-makers. Their purpose is to help the client to make and implement the right decisions, not to take decisions on the client’s behalf. The consulting profession has developed various models of consulting for achieving this general purpose. These models involve quite different consultant behaviours in relating to the client and collaboration with him at various stages of the assignment.
Take an example of business strategy, an area where consultants intervene quite frequently. Consultant A will interview the client, collect the data and reports from marketing, planning and accounting departments, gather further information on market trends, export possibilities, competition, technology, raw material prices and so on. Then he will work out a strategy, possibly in several alternatives, which will be presented to the client for review and selection.
Consultant B will tackle the same assignment differently. In his approach to consulting, the best thing is not to deliver a finished product packaged in a nicely presented report, but to stimulate and support the client so that he himself develops the same (and hopefully a better) product. Most of the work will be done by the client. The consultant will limit himself to helping in the diagnosis, giving feedback to the client and making him aware of the processes that are taking place in the organization, the attitudes and the behaviour of the people involved, the influence of organizational traditions and culture on the process of strategic analysis and planning, the mistakes that have been made and their causes, and so on. Furthermore, when necessary, the consultant will provide specific technical inputs whenever the process risks stalling as a result of a lack of technical knowledge, information or know-how. There are several reasons behind this approach, but three of them are particularly important.
The first reason is the client’s attitude to the assignment and its outcome: solutions prepared by outsiders, without any client participation, do not get the same support and treatment as solutions that people in the client organization develop, understand, accept and support as their own conception and solution of the problem and the product of their own effort. Expressed in other terms, the client has to “own” the solution of the problem, and to own it in the psychological sense of the term he must develop it himself, not buy it from a consultant as a finished product.
The second reason is learning: if the client receives a final product from the consultant and is told what to do about it, he and his people have been deprived of an excellent opportunity to learn in working with the consultant.
The third reason is pursuit of effectiveness in using company resources: as a rule, clients can and want to do many things involved in a consulting assignment, although the job in its totality may be beyond their competence, at least at the present time. In addition, there is a lot of wisdom and know-how in every organization, which an external consultant can tap not by interviewing but only by enlisting people’s active participation in the assignment. In many organizations, the problem is not lack of competence among its staff, but poor communication and collaboration, and insensitive management. Competence is dormant and people do not bother to submit proposals for improvement, being convinced that management is not interested.
Consultant A’s behavioural role is described as an expert (resource, content) role (or model) of consulting. The consultant provides the special technical expertise, does the job and suggests to the client the decision to take. The client accepts or rejects this suggestion.
Consultant B’s behavioural role is described as a process mode of consulting because it focuses on diagnosing and improving processes whereby the client organization makes and implements decisions. These processes can concern the “hard” side of management (applying the right sequence and combination of techniques in data collection and analysis, needs and opportunities assessment, etc.) or its “soft” side (interpersonal relations, motivation, sharing of information, collaboration and other people-related processes within the organization).2 The client cannot reject the solutions thus developed because he himself is their principal author, while the consultant was involved as a helper and a catalyst.
It is obvious that the choices concerning the consultant’s roles have direct implications for the client’s roles. The consultant’s and the client’s roles are communicating vessels. If the consultant does all the work, he forces the client into the role of a passive observer with all the risks and inefficiencies involved. Conversely, if the consultant expects initiative and specific technical inputs from an unprepared and inexperienced client, the project may halt owing to lack of direction and proper communication. It should be stressed that, in their own interest, the consultant and the client should be able and willing to discuss and vary their roles in the course of an assignment to make the best use of both the consultant’s expertise and the client’s own potential.
An alternative perspective
David Maister has provided another perspective for explaining the roles played by consultants in serving clients. His allegoric model, reproduced in figure 1.2, includes four prototypes of intervention patterns characteristic of various consulting firms:
- A consultant practising “surgery”, or even “brain surgery”, is an outstanding expert and intervenes individually or in a small team of professionals of equally high level. Usually he is faced with very difficult if not critical situations requiring quick, radical and highly competent interventions to restructure or turn around a company, achieve major cost reductions, find a takeover partner, remove incompetent senior management and so on. The client has little choice and trusts the consultant. The client’s participation may be limited or nil. Surgery is practised under anaesthetic in most cases and an unconscious patient cannot be expected to participate.
- A consultant intervening in a “psychotherapy” or a “family doctor” mode is similar to the process consultant (consultant B) as described above. He may face an equally complex and difficult problem as the surgeon, but the approach taken will be different. With patience, methodically and step by step, the consultant will help the client to dissect the problem, uncover and understand forces hampering change, agree on the best treatment, and provide the patient with advice and help as long as necessary, until he recovers his health and full strength.
- A consultant who carries out “nursing” will have a client who does not face particularly difficult problems, but is not very sure of himself, needs someone to act as sounding-board, “hold his hand” and increase his self-confidence. From time to time, the consultant may provide missing information and give advice on various matters. He will need to be skilful and tactful to make sure that the client does not become used to always having a consultant behind him. Indeed, the purpose is not to provide nursing on a permanent basis.
- A consultant who has chosen the “pharmacy” model can provide two sorts of drugs: standard systems and techniques that can be used in a wide range of client firms, and custom-made systems designed for specific clients (or developed by adapting standard systems). Usually this will involve costly developmental work, but once the systems are available it is easy to purchase and apply them, using junior and less experienced consulting staff since the principal job has not been done in the “front room” (where the client is received and served), but in the “back room” (the firm’s laboratory and design facility). The client may even be able to purchase the system and introduce it without further consultant help, as a standard medicine purchased from a pharmacy.
Figure 1.2. A model of professional service firms
Table 1.3. Consultant intervention techniques
|(1)||Finding and providing management and business information
(for the client to use or ignore; the consultant can be responsive and answer questions, or pro-active, selecting and giving information that the client should know)
|(2)||Performing the client’s task
(instead of the client, who may choose to be involved or not; as a rule a consultant would not be used for routine tasks)
|(3)||Delivering systems and methodologies
(proposing and helping to introduce systems and methodologies developed by the consulting firm or purchased on the market)
|(4)||Demonstrating and teaching how to do a job
(showing and helping the client to master an improved method)
|(5)||Diagnosing the client’s condition
(helping the client to become aware of strengths, weaknesses, market position and development potential on the basis of hard data)
|(6)||Telling the client what to do
(so-called advocacy, if the client wants the consultant to make a choice, or if the client is indecisive at a critical moment)
|(7)||Presenting alternatives with recommendations
(the consultant recommending the best alternative, leaving the final choice to the client)
|(8)||Presenting alternatives without recommendations
(same as 7, without recommendations)
|(9)||Asking questions to stimulate thinking and action
(bluntly or softly drawing the client’s attention to existing or missed opportunities, available choices, needed decisions, idle resources, etc.)
|(10)||Observing organizational processes and giving feedback
(making the client aware of strong and weak points in organizational processes and relationships affecting performance and possibilities of improvement)
|(11)||Acting as a sounding-board
(listening to the client’s ideas, intentions and plans, giving an expert opinion)
|(12)||Providing moral support and counsel
(listening to people’s concerns and complaints, explaining what can be done, providing encouragement, developing an optimistic vision of the future, energizing people)
The consultant’s principal intervention techniques
Clients often ask what exactly the consultant would do in applying the various models and approaches described in the previous sections. Like business executives and administrators, seasoned consultants normally use a wide range of intervention techniques in transmitting know-how and experience to clients and helping them to cope with changes. Table 1.3 provides a list of 12 generic intervention techniques used by consultants in various combinations and variations, and often under different names, in most consulting projects. This list is not exhaustive. Each technique involves the use of a number of other techniques and behaviours, and each technique can be tuned and adapted to facilitate the client’s participation. This gives the client and the consultant a rich panoply of intervention techniques for any situation.
Figure 1.3. The international professional service infrastructure
Auditors, accountants and tax advisers
A wide range of professional management services is provided by independent accountants working as sole practitioners or in public accounting firms.
Acting as independent auditors, accountants examine and verify company financial statements (such as balance sheets and income statements) as presented by management and render expert opinion (also called accountant’s opinion) as to their fairness, reliability and conformity with generally accepted accounting standards. They refrain from expressing opinion on the quality of management and the possibility of improving it. Normally the auditor’s report is short and is issued in a written form. It can be unqualified or qualified. In the latter case, there will be an uncertainty that prevents the auditor from forming an unqualified opinion, or the auditor’s opinion will differ from the view presented by management in financial statements. In addition to statutory audits prescribed by legislation and/or company statutes, accountants may be engaged for various other audits whenever management or another party wishes to obtain an independent opinion on a financial or management issue.
Accountants also provide advice and assistance to management on many questions of accounting and reporting procedures, systems and techniques, taxation, financial planning and management, sources of capital and credit, dealing with banks, and so on. The scope and form of this advice or assistance are agreed between the accountant and the client and are not fixed by official regulations. Some accountants perform the bookkeeping and accounting function for business clients, e.g. for smaller firms that cannot afford a full-time accountant. An accountant performing an audit may also be able to form an expert opinion on the weaknesses of management and give other useful practical advice on what to improve, although this is not in the auditor’s terms of reference. Tax advice has developed into a specialized service, provided by separate departments in some accounting firms, or by independent tax advisers.
The distinction between the auditing function and providing advice on how to improve accounting and management (and, possibly, even performing accounting operations for the client) is significant since different duties, interests and liabilities are involved, and may be called into question with far-reaching consequences. While accounting and management advice is essentially a private service to management (which retains the discretion to act or not to act on this advice), auditing is primarily a service to investors, lenders and, in a sense, the public at large. Independent and objective auditing is regarded as essential for the functioning of financial and stock markets.
An accountant who has done extensive work for a client on financial policy and management questions may be unable or even unwilling to produce an unbiased and disinterested audit of financial statements reflecting his own expertise and advice. Therefore, some countries insist on keeping auditing and other accounting work strictly separate and have legislation that bars auditors from doing other accounting and consulting work for their audit clients. In contrast, in most Anglo-Saxon and other countries, providing management advisory and other services to clients in addition to auditing is regarded as perfectly correct and efficient by both the legislators and the organizations of the accounting profession.
The synergy effect in doing both audits and other professional work for the same client is obvious. Auditing not only identifies weaknesses and opportunities for accounting and consulting work, but establishes a rapport with the client and makes it easier to market new services to him. Consulting done for an audit client provides the auditor with invaluable knowledge of the client’s business, helping to avoid erroneous judgement and wrong conclusions when attesting the fairness of financial reports.
The leading international accounting firms moved into management consulting in the early 1960s and are currently earning a considerable part of their income from management consulting, information technology, systems design, mergers and acquisitions, and other non-audit services. Many other accounting firms have followed the same path.
Investment bankers are firms whose principal traditional function has been to serve as intermediaries between issuers of securities and the investment public. In the underwriting business, investment bankers, acting individually or as members of underwriting groups or syndicates, purchase new issues of securities and distribute them to investors, either directly or through brokers and dealers. They make profit on the underwriting spread, i.e. the difference between the price paid to the issuing corporation or government agency, and the public offer price. In addition to their basic investment banking functions, most investment bankers also run broker-dealer operations and offer a wide range of financial and advisory services, including services that can also be obtained from accounting, consulting or other professional service firms.
Personalized attention and personal customer service and support.
Resolution of business issues,
Performance enhancements special projects, and enhance performance across their entire organization.
We conduct an assessment of where your organization exists in its current state
Work with your team to agree on where you want to be in the future
Delivery of valuable and practical advice and solutions to bridge the gap
To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us or Call/Whatsapp 08023200801