So you are looking to hire a BCM consultant for your next initiative. What characteristics should you look for and evaluate as part of your selection process? Below are a few items we recommend you consider:
4. Customer Focus
5. Ability to Execute
This is a critical aspect of your assessment. Does their methodology follow industry best practices, standards and guidelines? Make sure their proposed methodology is in line with the industry to make sure your final deliverable meets your needs and does not produce information that could expose you to additional risks or findings. Their Statement of Work should be clean, concise and consistent with today’s industry best practices.
Are you looking for the lowest price? Well, if you are, there is a risk associated with that. There is a great quote that goes like this: “If you think it’s expensive hiring a professional, wait ‘til you hire an amateur!” Our prices at MHA aren’t the lowest, but they aren’t the highest either. A good consulting firm is not going to be cheap, so don’t expect something for nothing. The price may be higher, but if they are capable they should complete your assignment on time and on budget which can be cheaper than a lower priced firm that goes over budget or produces a poor deliverable.
Now this can be a tricky one. Just because a consultant has multiple certifications and 20+ years experience doesn’t mean they can execute when the Statement of Work is signed and they come onsite. You MUST validate the consultant(s) have the proven ability to execute and produce your deliverable. Also, if you need a consultant to speak in front of your senior management, make sure they have the requisite personal appearance and presentation skills to be successful.
#4 Customer Focus
At MHA, we strive to build long-term partnerships with our customers and be a “trusted advisor.” In today’s business world, consultants are often treated as disposable, where companies do everything to get you to the lowest price possible for the maximum number of deliverables. That is not a good relationship for either party, even though it may seem best for the client. A good consulting firm will focus on customer service and seek to exceed your expectations.
#5 Ability to Execute
This is where the rubber hits the road. Does the firm have proven experience executing on their Statements of Work with other clients? Can they be trusted to execute on your behalf when needed? Do they have a reputation for exceeding expectations and not just meeting them? Lastly, a good consultant will push back when he sees you are headed in the wrong direction. They won’t go in your direction just because you signed the Statement of Work.
A Final Thought
Do we, as consultants, ever fire customers? Yes! When I first started MHA, I was terrified to let clients know we didn’t need or want their business. We now look for MHA to be part of organizations that build successful BCM programs that are best practice, and, most importantly, executable when needed in a crisis. Good customers and consultants work as partners to meet each other’s needs.