Management consultants can provide external assistance and advice for organisations that need specialist expertise or an outside perspective on their business. The role will typically include the identification and assessment of a problem, the analysis of a specific part of a business, the documentation of findings and the devising of recommendations for future improvement.
Management consultancy firms vary in size from small, niche firms that specialise in one or more areas to large firms that offer complete solutions.
 Management consultancy areas
There are a wide variety of potential management activities and so management consultants will typically specialise in one or more of the following areas:
- Long-term planning.
- Overall business appraisal of the organisation.
- Rationalisation of services and products.
- Reorganisation of the structure of a company.
Financial and management controls:
- Implementation of budgetary control systems.
- Profit planning or capital and revenue budgeting.
- Reorganisation of offices and administrative arrangements.
Manufacturing and business services:
- Assessment of productivity and incentive schemes.
- Assessment of the layout of a production department.
- Identification of quality control problems.
- Review of production control arrangements.
- Providing advice on personnel policy or resources planning.
- Providing guidance on industrial relations.
- Providing recommendations for job enrichment.
- Undertaking job evaluations.
- Market research and business forecasting.
- Sales force training.
- Organisation of retail and wholesale outlets.
- Development planning.
- International economic research.
- Cost benefit and social analysis studies.
- Physical, economic, ecological and sociological studies.
- Formulation of policy and strategy.
- Assessment of customer satisfaction.
- Performance measurement.
- People and process management.
- Defining information needs.
- Providing software, systems analysis and design.
- Undertaking feasibility studies.
- Implementing applications.
- Undertaking hardware evaluations.
 The Institute of Consulting
The Institute of Consulting (IC) is the professional body for consultancy. Its main role is to set the standards for the consulting industry and deliver benefits for its members. Standards are set through consultation with practitioners in business consulting and academics researching the profession and other interested professionals.
 Management Consultancies Association (MCA)
The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) is the representative body for management consultancy firms in the UK. Its mission is: ‘To promote the value of management consultancy for the economy and society as a whole’:
- Being a powerful voice for the consulting industry.
- Creating better engagement with and between members of staff.
- Standing up for high standards of professionalism and integrity within the industry.
Membership of the association is possible after a consultancy has been operating for at least a year and if they employ consultants on a full time basis. They must in addition, offer consultancy services in at least two areas such as marketing, IT, HR or strategy.
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Appointing consultants.
- Consultant team.
- Collaborative practices.
- Commercial manager.
- Consultant team start-up meeting.
- Independent client adviser.
- Integrated project team.
- Integrated supply team.
- Lead consultant.
- Leadership styles.
- Local consultants.
- Professional indemnity insurance.
- Team behavioural roles.
- Team management.
 External references
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