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Lean Banking Can Transform Your Institution. Don’t ignore it.

Let’s start with the great news – financial institutions that are leveraging Lean banking operations achieve up to 30% cost reduction within 2 years, and are maintaining cost-efficient operations better than the average in the industry.
Lean processes are being adopted globally by organizations prone to inefficiency that are negatively affecting their earnings.

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Define the pricing for your Consulting Services using Perceived value

Define the pricing for your Consulting Services using Perceived value

The power of perceived value is a fascinating thing. And how one uses perceived value can be significant.
Even recent scientific research agrees. In an essay for Forbes about behavioral economics, Mukul Patki asks the following question: “Are you more likely to admire a $5 bottle of wine, if I lied to you and told you that it costs $45?“
The answer, according to behavioral economic studies, is a resounding yes.
The reasons why this happens actually holds some fascinating lessons for business consultants. Besides having excellent analytical skills, as well as honed sales techniques for pitching ideas and proposals, a business consultant who has an understanding of perceived value and the science behind irrational value assessment can gain an edge.
We know this because we match up consultants with the companies who needs their particular skill sets. We know how hard it is for consultants to rely on networking to get by, and what it takes for a consultant to become a company’s preferred consultant. And we have the data and science to explain it.
The Power Of Perceived Value
Let’s look a little closer at the science behind perceived value. Although the following three examples—the wine-club experiment, the puzzle-solving experiment, and the growth-hacking example—lie outside of the business-consulting domain, they demonstrate powerful principles that consultants can use.
Researchers invited the Stanford Wine Club to taste a few bottles of wine. The bottles had no identifying labels on them other than price tags. One bottle was labeled with a $5 price tag. Another bottle was labeled with a $45 price tag. But this was the catch: the $45 price tag was a lie. The high-priced wine was no different from the $5 bottle.
The results were telling: the wine club rated the $45 bottle higher and the $5 bottle lower.
But the Stanford Wine Club were not being elitists. They really did enjoy the wine with the $45 label more, even though it was the same cheap wine in disguise. When the experiment was done again under an MRI machine, researchers found activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain that showed that they really did experience greater pleasure when they drank the wine marked with a higher price.

The implications here are profound. Higher prices actually change the way our body experiences a product. The brain responds to a higher perceived value with a stronger release of dopamine.
But that’s just the beginning.
Can Higher Perceived Value Improve Problem-Solving Skills? Yes, It Can.
In another experiment that Patki references, researchers had students complete as many puzzles as they could in a set time. But beforehand, the researchers had the students purchase energy drinks with high levels of caffeine and sugar to improve their alertness during the puzzle test.
Here was the catch: half of the students had to pay full price, but the other half was given a huge discount. The results? The discount group solved fewer puzzles. In fact, their success rate was 30 percent lower than the group that paid full price.
The higher perceived value of the energy drink improved their alertness and focus.
Learning About Value Proposition From Growth Hackers
Behavioral economics and irrational value assessment can be, as Patki wrote, “the key to developing winning value propositions.”

Launch your Consultancy

Starting your consulting business will not be easy, but it will almost certainly be exciting and fulfilling.

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Startup companies, in this case, provide a useful example. In Ryan Holiday’s monumental book on growth hacking, he used DropBox as the classic example. DropBox created an invitation-only waiting list for early adopters. Rumors about the waiting list spread, and a sense of exclusivity swarmed around the new app. The waiting list exploded to 75,000 names, and when the app was released, it was a huge success.
Building perceived value, whether or not anyone knew anything about Dropbox, sent their value proposition sky-high. It strengthened their promise of value that they would deliver to their clients, and it created a strong belief within the clients that the promised value would be delivered.
What Business Consultants Can Learn From Perceived-Value Principles
Although the example above involves startup company tactics, the general principle is the same for consultants: use the power of social proof and exclusivity—while retaining courteous professionalism—to help companies see your value. The psychology behind it has been proven: when a person is asked to work a little extra or pay higher to get something, their belief in the value of that person or idea increases.
But the reverse is also true and by underpricing for the value you deliver you may impact negatively the way you are perceived and drive yourself out of the race you thought you would win through a large discount.
In the context of business consulting, it is a subtle art. You should always be easy to work with—as we explain in our blog post The 10 Commandments of a Great Consultant—but you should also be careful that you’re not diminishing your perceived value. Make conscious and strategic efforts to increase it when you can do it in a reasonable way.
Apply to yourself some simple principles to align your pricing and the value you deliver, keeping a detailed database filled with information from evaluation and feedback can be of priceless value and will help you to continuously improve.
And no matter what kind of strategy you employ on the ground level, the broader lesson here is simple: do not neglect the incredible power of irrational value assessment, and use it as a complement to your carefully honed analytical and sales skills.

Consulting Playbook: Effective Identification of Growth and Cost Synergy Brings Higher Revenues

Consulting Playbook: Effective Identification of Growth and Cost Synergy Brings Higher Revenues

The Consulting Playbook, Edition #18
The case involved two big players in the Mobility Service sector. The two companies had decided to merge and had identified areas for synergies. However, they could not, for antitrust reasons exchange information prior to the merger. Given the respective geographical coverage and market share of both parties, the antitrust process was anticipated to be quite lengthy. In order to accelerate the integration, and to speed-up the materialization of the synergies both CEO decided to use some external support.
Quantitative and Qualitative Approach Produces Desired Outcome
The Consultant was hired to provide expertise with the merger, the new company’s launch, and more specifically to identify growth and cost synergy applicable to the newly formed company. Strategic direction and top priorities were outlined as part of working groups but it was now a key issue to move down to concrete actions. The project was especially important and expected to deliver the methodology for future growth and cost synergies, including progress-tracking and reporting. Two working teams comprised of senior executives from both companies, closely collaborated in the facilitation of the consulting clean team to ensure the successful outcome.
The Consultancy used a 2-stage Approach –
Preliminary Assessment
Following the executives’ decision to merge, costs and cost synergy were assessed to determine the potential benefits.
Interviews with key players from both companies were held, and the assessment performed was based on numerous documents and records – annual reports, market studies, presentations reviewed. The reached conclusions helped chart the merger and post-merger strategy. The work on the synergies was broken down into manageable work streams with two leaders, one from each company, to supervise the process.
Detailed Synergy Identification and Action Plan
While in the pre-clearance and pre-closing periods, each team using corporate and geographical coordinates, designed synergy targets relating to costs, headcount, and redundancy. These were broken further down into secured (concrete action plans) and identified areas where more analysis was required to determine exact numbers and measures. Those areas included :

Target Corporate Model
Target Regional Organizational Model
Procurement Synergies
Revenue synergies due to better positions, new capabilities and innovation applied
G&A (communication, general services, and legal)

After an intensive exercise of baselining on both sides, tracking tools were put in place to ensure a proper tracking of the synergies as they were progressively identified, confirmed and implemented.
Total synergy and performance realized across all geographical areas and the two companies additionally to each current company’s annual performance represented the equivalent of one year of operating revenues. The consulting team continued to support the integration for a few months and then transferred the reporting tools to the PMI team. Thanks to all the preparatory work, the materialization of the synergies after closing took less than a year.

Additional Information

Synergy Excellence – 6 Practices To Help You Aim for The Best Synergies
In many mergers, it’s not uncommon that synergies do not materialize as expected leaving the companies’ executives puzzled. This fact alone can be very disappointing to executives and staff alike. Let’s take a closer look at the possibilities of optimizing synergies. One of the underlying reasons for the sub par outcomes, is related to huge overestimation of the synergies due to lack of solid due diligence, board estimates, and a lack of clear understanding of the expectations of the merger.
However it is highly recommended to look at some mergers that over delivered, and see what practices produced these results.
We should also mention that synergies strongly depend on the company’s size and type of industry. A good example for lower synergies is the retail sector, while telecommunications companies often realize bigger synergies.
Here are 6 Practices to Apply for the Best Synergies:

Fact – Announced synergies in more than 65% of the cases are overestimated. It is important that companies have more realistic projections.
The best companies who achieved greatest synergies are the ones that had a clear blueprint in realizing their ambitious goals. They are the companies who reached full potential, and were able to minimize inefficiencies and reaped the fruits of scaling up.
Merging companies need more accuracy in calculating synergies. Costs prior to the deal must be well evaluated, and a deeper understanding of what can be gain with the merger is a must.
Also important is to set clear target of the costs compared to bigger and smaller competitors.
Using the Deal Thesis and function-by-function benchmarks can provide the best approach in evaluating the costs and the best synergies.
Setting ambitious goals of 5% instead of expected 1-3% in synergies, is achievable when all aspects of the merger are fully optimized.

For Further Reading –
– The World is Bumpy
– To Get Value from a Merger, Grow Sales
– Cost Synergies
– M&A: Identifying and Realizing Synergies
– Negative Synergies in M&A

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About The Consulting Playbook
The Consulting Playbook is a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.

This Week in Consulting:The Digital Transformation in Aerospace and Defense

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, October 30th  2019

The digital Transformation in Aerospace and Defense

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“The impact Industry 4.0 technologies can have on A&D companies varies depending on a company’s size, where it is in the supply chain, what its role in the supply chain is, and, most importantly, its business focus. For A&D companies to successfully implement Industry 4.0 at the enterprise level, digital transformation should occur at three levels: customer engagement, new products/services and platforms, and intelligent assets.”
Digital transformation is certainly a lever for aerospace and defense companies and industrial 4.0 technologies could be the key to future competitiveness..
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from Deloitte where the consultants discuss what A&D companies can do better to achieve digital transformation.
Read on to Find out More: “Aerospace & Defense 4.0 “ | Robin Lineberger, Aijaz Hussain, Tim Hanley, Vincent Rutgers and Brenna Sniderman, Deloitte.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

Aerospace companies are tasked with designing and creating products for conditions that may not exist inside a lab or even on the planet.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Agile methods in complex Aerospace & Defence projects: “About 25 years ago, the hype around “lean” took of: lean management, lean production, lean etc. Nowadays, the new buzzword is “agile”. At our clients and everywhere in the industry we find change projects around agility: agile company, agile management, agile deve­lop­ment, agile processes etc. However, the understanding of what “agile” means and what these change projects are aiming at is very vague.” The author explains how Agile methods and mindset can be applied in A&D. | Martin Kraus, Actrans
Blockchain Technology for Aerospace MRO and Parts Tracking: “Blockchain Technology enables end-to-end component lifecycle visibility, trusted data exchange across internal and external MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) stakeholders, and unified operational efficiency across the MRO Value Chain. This results in decreased risk, decreased turnaround time, and cost savings for the entire industry.” The article shows how blockchain technology can be used to improve the traceability of Parts for Safety, Compliance, and Interoperability across the Aerospace MRO value chain. | Kevin Doubleday, Fluree
Harness the engine of innovation: “With aerospace and defense companies continuing to contend with myriad challenges—from insurgent competitors and breakneck technological change to geopolitical instability—being relevant is more important than ever. Industry players are working hard to develop new and innovative ways to serve the needs of their customers, suppliers, partners and workforce at the “moments that matter.” The article gives an overview of technology trends reshaping aerospace and defense. | John Schmidt, Marc Gelle, Accenture
How A&D organizations can achieve digital manufacturing transformation: “In the aerospace and defense industry, tremendous growth opportunities are emerging through new business models, blended partnerships and technological advancements in digital manufacturing. However, that growth can frequently be held back by outdated processes, aging technology and fragmented value chains. By adopting and integrating new technologies, and deploying them at scale, businesses can thrive in the digital age.” Here the author enlights how to improve product availability and profitability through an Aerospace and Defense digital value chain. | Chris Lennon, DXC Technology

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
Aerospace Europe Conference – AEC2020 : This conference will be offering scientists and engineers from industry, government, and academia an exceptional opportunity to exchange knowledge and results of current studies and to discuss directions for future research in the fields of aeronautics and space.
 
IEEE Aerospace Conference : The international IEEE Aerospace Conference, with AIAA and PHM Society as technical cosponsors, is organized to promote interdisciplinary understanding of aerospace systems, their underlying science and technology, and their applications to government and commercial endeavors.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

P&G doubling recycled content for European cleaning brands in 2020: “Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. is more than doubling the amount of recycled plastic in its packaging for household cleaning brands in Europe by early 2020”. | Shahrzad Pourriahi, Crain Communications
Nokia slashes profit outlook in fight for 5G business: “The telecom network equipment maker, which met third-quarter profit expectations, also said it would pause dividend payments to raise investments in 5G and only resume them when its cash position improves to around 2 billion euros”. | Tarmo Virki, Reuters
Majority of UK staff ‘would perform as well’ with no boss: “Micromanaging bosses are leaving many employees craving more freedom to do their jobs, with two-thirds of workers stating they want more responsibility at work. At the same time, a failure to adequately motivate and support staff means a majority believe they could effectively execute their role without their manager at all”. |Consultancy.uk
Deloitte buys SAP and Oracle partner Presence of IT: “Deloitte has announced that Australian cloud and HR consultancy Presence of IT will join its Human Capital Consulting practice. Sydney-headquartered Presence of IT is a 20-year old consultancy that specialises in human capital management consulting and technology implementation. The company partners with SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Kronos, and has won numerous partner awards.” | Simon Sharwood, CRN Australia

DIRECTORY
The Consulting Quest Global Directory is the largest professionally-managed directory in the consulting industry. Searchable by consultancy , name or by region, capability or industry it lists and describes more than 6000 consultancies worldwide with links to their websites and social media channels.
 
 

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Consulting Quest is a global, performance-driven consulting platform founded in 2014 by former members of top 10 consulting firms with the objective of reinventing consultancy performance. With a worldwide presence and a range of proprietary performance measurement tools, we help companies navigate the consulting maze. We work with Consulting Clients to increase their performance through consulting and Consulting Providers to help them acquire new clients and to improve their performance.

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Consulting Playbook: Executing a Strategic Change from Hospitality to Service Provider

Consulting Playbook: Executing a Strategic Change from Hospitality to Service Provider

The Consulting Playbook, Edition #29
A large hospitality leader decided to initiate a strategic change from a pure hospitality business to becoming a service provider. As a result, all the global distribution teams needed to be repositioned, including all 800 direct and indirect sales people. The company decided it was best to look for the support of a consulting firm.
The Consultant’s Approach
The first task was focused assessing and optimizing the performance of the sales force and sales tools. The diagnostic addressed multiple dimensions of the sales force effectiveness: Sales force organization, sizing, territories, workload, talent, compensation, etc. The entire commercial perimeter was looked at: B2B sales in all sectors (by company, intermediary, etc.) and for all businesses, one shot sale, or multi annual contracts. The recommendation was made and the consulting firm also aided in the implementation of the strategy. The implementation of new tools was done in the first few months. They were able to save time by using standard tools and reducing costly customization. After the arrival of new tools, the organization adjusted and optimized all processes. Additional talent was brought in to handle the new scope of work.
The Success of the Project Concluded with the Following
Great reorganization deployment was achieved in less than 6 months, and all stakeholders provided support. The company achieved the deployment of the new sales process without additional investment and noticed a significant improvement in their B2B Sales Performance by 15% for all large and medium size accounts.

Additional Information

The Most Interesting New Trends in Hospitality
Smarter Hotels
Hotels managed by robots? It’s happening in Japan already! And it’s becoming more common for hotels to have self-check-in available in the lobby and even at hotel bars, while in-room Netflix, sufficient Wi-Fi, and Apple TV services are quickly becoming an industry standard. Hotels are abandoning the old and embracing the new.
Free Wi-Fi Always
Wi-Fi is as necessary as a bathroom for most traveler’s stays. Many hotels are expanding their networks to provide more reliable service, while some beachfront properties are even expanding their networks to outdoor areas and beaches.
Lax Check-Out Times
Late check-outs for no extra charge are becoming more popular, with many properties allowing guests to decide when they are going to checkout, instead of requiring them to vacate their room at a certain time. Other hotels are experimenting with 24-hour blocks; if you check in at 3PM, you have until 3PM the next day to check-out.
Hotels Get Ready for Millennials
Hotels try to appeal to millennial travelers. Millennials are looking for hi-tech, high-touch experiences when they travel. They also seek out personalized, gourmet experiences for a reasonable price. Big-brand hotel groups are tapping into the youth market by launching brands with cheaper price points and putting a strong focus on lifestyle, locality, and insider knowledge. Lobby bars and hotel restaurants in these new hotels are being opened up for a combination of work, play, and dining spaces, designed with this youthful customer in mind. Since millennials are quick to criticize via social media, customer service will be key in winning over this group of travelers.
Eco-Friendly Focus
Hotels continue to commit to sustainable practices. In New York, 16 hotels have signed a commitment to lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in the next decade. 1 Hotel Central Park has started educating guests on sustainability, where all of the hotel’s showers have a five-minute hourglass in order to remind guests of careful water consumption.
For Further Reading:
• Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook 2017 • The Future Of Customer Service: Five Consumer Trends And Best Practices • 6 Mega-Trends in Hotel Technology

t

About The Consulting Playbook
The Consulting Playbook is a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.

Consulting Playbook: Implementation of a Client-Centric Organization

Consulting Playbook: Implementation of a Client-Centric Organization

If your company is left behind on the ever-changing market environment, and struggles with new business models that can increase growth and profitability, you might need to look at the benefits of a Client-Centric approach.
The Obstacles Were Starting to Pile
An organization had to deal with slow growth in a mature market and find ways to expand market share and promote growth. An increased level of competition made their competitiveness subpar. In addition to this, the company had to deal with poorly mobilized staff, and employees who seemed to have lost their drive. The company at the time also had a disjointed organizational design with increased complexity resulting in higher operating costs, duplicate efforts, and poor overall performance.
Recalibrating Your Focus
Accustomed to analyzing problems through an alternative lens the consultant was able to add tremendous value by providing insights in the areas of developing a new value proposition centered around service and quality of life on a daily basis. Focusing on the client, the organization would become better equipped to compete in the new market environment. The consultant was also able to improve the organization’s competitiveness by implementing a new performance management framework.
The course of action included a 3-Phase approach in executing the project. Phase One consisted of a thorough assessment which comprised of direct and open communication. A key factor in understanding leaders’ perspective was the series of dynamic interviews. The conversation addressed operational and functional levels of the company. An in-depth cost analysis and identification of drivers was performed. Furthermore, an assessment of the levels of services provided to functions and the associated level of satisfaction was conducted as well as an evaluation of the employee and staff mobilization and motivation levels.
In Phase Two, the focus was on creating the New organization – from conceptual to final design. Establishment of main design principles for a target organization by the Executive committee, detailed design developed with specific working groups, and an agreement on the final design and development of implementation plan was accepted.
Phase Three, arguably the most important one, was the Deployment of the new strategy.
The Impact on the Business
The project resulted in a more flexible and decentralized business structure accomplished through staff and employees interacting with clients, becoming more accountable and motivated.  There was a realignment of key functions in contact with clients as well as a transfer of functional resources towards operational decision centers. A new business model was developed improving upon the business processes with the support of a new Governance system and a better cost tracking mechanism leading to overall cost reductions.

Additional Information

Create an Agile, Responsive, Client-centered Organization
Many businesses today want fast and bulletproof solutions to every issue or problematic stats that do not satisfy expectations, but many times the most viable solutions are hidden in plain sight. You only need to know where and what to look at. However, in a fast paced environment, it’s the large organizations that are often sluggish to stay in tune with the ever-evolving demands of the most essential party in their business model – the clients.
Your executive team might be brilliant and come up with ideas and solutions that can benefit all parties, however in practice it might take years for these ideas to get an implementation.
This issue has been explored in countless studies and it truly represents a concern. A number of prominent executives have shared their views on the topic.
How can your organization become more responsive to clients’ needs?
The top barriers that you need to address are:

Complexity – Simply said the bigger the company and the customer data base, the harder it becomes to adjust and respond to changes, trends and new demands.
Fear of Change – Change in business as in life, is inevitable. There is nothing to fear if you can adequately respond and adapt to change. However, it is human nature to feel more comfortable with the status quo, but if you would like your business to grow and thrive, you should welcome change.
Different clients at different points of their product or service lifecycles. You need to be aware that each client is unique and might be at a different point of their product or service cycle, therefore they will require customized approach from your organization. Your ability to change might be directly related to the speed of that cycle.
Lack of knowledge and communication with your client. You need to know your clients well, and ensure you have an open, timely and efficient communication. This alone can make a big difference on your business relationship and affect your long-term prospects with each client.
Lack of understanding the changing environments – Markets and economic conditions continuously change and it is one thing to be aware of changes, but a whole different thing to have a strategy and update your tactics to deal with them.

For further reading:
– How to Create a Customer Centric Strategy For Your Business
– 7 Secrets Of Building A Customer-Centric Company Culture

t

About The Consulting Playbook
The Consulting Playbook is a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.

Learn the Secrets Behind an Sucessful Consulting Pitch

Learn the Secrets Behind an Sucessful Consulting Pitch

Your proposal is ready. Your team has researched, brainstormed, written, and designed the proposal to perfection.  And you’re pretty sure that you can do an amazing job on the project you’re writing about. Once the client has read your proposal, they’ll see that you’re the consulting team for the job.
Unfortunately, just sending a proposal doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be read. Proposals tend to be hefty things and most people have a lot to do with their time. They may not get the chance to read the whole proposal cover to cover. In fact, they may just skim through it, skip to the pricing section, or only read half of it, if other obligations arise.
In order to make sure that you get your ideas through to your audience, you can’t rely only on the written material. It’s also a good idea to make a verbal pitch. Before you make the pitch, keep these pointers in mind:

Present the members of your team to spark the interest of your client and really build your credibility.

If you’ve misunderstood the needs of your client—that’s OK. You can always re-evaluate and get back on track.

While most of us are more comfortable sending out written material than we are standing in front of an audience and presenting our ideas, having your team pitch its proposal can be incredibly effective.  Here are our top five tips to present your proposal and to impact your audience:
1. Don’t forget that it’s all about the client.
It’s tempting to devote time to talking about your background and your achievements—don’t. Take advantage of the time you have with the client to ask questions and provide further clarifications about your proposal.
If you feel that the proposal went slightly off-track, don’t be afraid to adjust and take it in a different direction. These meetings are great opportunities to co-construct with your client, according to her requirements. Take advantage of the time and to really home in on the client’s needs and create the buy-in.
2. Be mindful of the selection process.
Every company will define its own criteria to select the best consultant for its unique needs. During your proposal, you must make sure that you fulfill as many of those criteria as possible. If you do, you’ll maximize your chances of earning the project. There are several key points that almost every client will want to hear about, so make sure that you address them.

Deliverables: Be clear about what you will deliver to the client.

Impact: What will your impact be? Will your impact be made on the bottom line? On the teams?

Differentiation: What makes you the right consultant for the project?

Grow your Consultancy

The many common mistakes performed by consultants while preparing their proposals are not just inside their head. Mistakes often enter into proposals and presentations in the most awkward time and manner.

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Ask your contact or procurement beforehand if there are other important points you should address.
3. Know your proposal inside and out.  
This may seem like a given, but the better your team knows its main talking points, the more confident you’ll be when you’re actually in the pitch. Before the actual pitch, try going over all of the main points out loud, so you can find any areas that could be better clarified.
Make sure that you know your parts, and that every team member knows his parts, too. Take reassurance in the fact that this is a collaborative effort, and that your teammates wil be there to field questions with you.
The bottom line is that the better everyone knows all parts of the proposal, the more confident you’ll all feel while you’re making your presentation.
4. Tell a story.  
People are always more interested in stories than they are in facts and figures. Even if the facts and figures are impressive, a story is much more likely to grab an audience’s attention and keep it.  
Stories work because at the heart of every story is the main character. A story involves people who look, think, and act like us. We’re always curious about what other people are like and what they’re thinking and feeling. So if you can make a point with a story, your team is sure to grab the audience.  
The story can be a simple one about how you went about implementing your ideas at a company, or it can be taken from historical and news sources. In general, if you find the story interesting, your audience will, too. A pitch is your team’s chance to impress and interest the audience with a story they can relate to.
5. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words.  
Whether you believe in this saying or not, there’s no harm in using a few pictures along with all the written words in your proposal. This is easily done nowadays with the help of programs like PowerPoint.
Choose your pictures carefully. As per this article from Sitepoint, it’s possible to put your audience to sleep with too many charts and graphs. Of course, if your chart or graph makes an important, dramatic point, such as how changes like the one you’re suggesting have greatly increased revenue for other organizations in the past, you need to show your audience this.  
Overall, the images that work the best are the ones that people can easily relate to. If you’re suggesting a human-resources overhaul, you can use a couple of images of happy, smiling employees. This might seem too simple, but people respond positively to smiling faces and images depicting health and happiness.
6. Be humorous—but cautious.
Making people laugh can also help you to pitch your proposal. Make sure that none of your jokes are made at anyone’s expense. It’s hard to stay politically correct when it comes to humor, but a verbal presentation of a proposal is no place to challenge people’s norms!  So keep your jokes as harmless as possible.  
At the same time, there’s not much point in using a joke unless it is actually funny, and maybe even a little edgy. Have your team test out the jokes with friends and colleagues before you use them in your pitch. You don’t want your audience groaning when your punch line comes around.
7. Keep it short.  
This is a good rule to follow both for pitching proposals, and for writing them. Most good writers will tell you that writing concisely is the most difficult task. Delete everything that’s not necessary. Of course, this can be hard to do, because everyone falls in love with their own writing.
Make your pitch exciting, dramatic, informative, and short.  Pour as much as you can into the time you’ve allotted yourselves. Choose the points you’re going to emphasize with care and explain them fully. If your audience wants to know more, they can always read the proposal.
Try to think about your pitch from someone else’s point of view, so that you can remove any unnecessary talking points. No one wants to listen to an hour-long monologue. In short, your pitching material is different from your detailed proposal.

Consulting Playbook: How to Organize for International Growth

Consulting Playbook: How to Organize for International Growth

The Consulting Playbook, Edition #19
 
Welcome to our series, the Consulting Playbook, a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.
 
Organizing for International Growth
As it aimed to penetrate new markets in Asia and North America, a Global Industrial Company presently in South America and Europe, starting to plan acquisitions.
The strategy included consolidation of existing business and resources in existing geographies, while enabling expansion into new markets with higher growth potential.
The current Management Committee needed to be rearranged and position for its new role as boundaries between the Management Committee and Units’ Heads were at times confusing. Managerial roles and responsibilities had to be redefined. The corporate organization was not flexible enough to move ahead with the new business model. The New Markets Expansion required fresh partnerships and updated acquisitions.
The present functional design no longer matched the new potential growth the company was headed to. The CEO decided to engage the support of a consulting firm.
Analyzing the Best Model Moving Forward

Aligning the leadership team on the key principles for the new organization. Those would serve as design criteria for selecting the best option.
Assessment of all advantages and drawbacks was performed, aimed at improving the group organization design and governing principles. New possibilities and options were identified.

Purely regional model was strong for seizing growth opportunities but was not enabling efficiency improvements required by the industry
Purely sectorial model was enabling specialization and move towards customized high value solutions but was not the most reactive from a commercial standpoint

The best options were specified for further examination by the Group Management Committee which was expected to make decisions on A/ Organization, B/ Governance Principles and C/Roadmap of the main steps in implementation
The company decided to move towards a hybrid model enabling the best of both worlds at the cost of some added complexity

The New Scheme Successfully Positioned the Organization on the Path to Market Expansion
The new organization was poised for growth internationally. The current company could quickly evolve and position itself for new markets acquisition. The right balance between the business and the regional organization was established.
New organization’s structure was created with new management team in place. Key executives were picked & clearly defined responsibilities for each person were set. Next stage agenda has been outlined, to lead the new operational governance model.

Additional Information

How New Technology is Impacting Productivity in the Steel Industry?
With the development of new technologies, the impact on the productivity in the Steel Industry has been tremendous. Technological innovation is riding the wave through the industry. Market share of mini-mills has increased significantly, also plants that were not sufficiently vertically integrated were outperformed by competition, and output has been reallocated to more innovative produces.
The Industry Productivity has increased due to a few major factors:

The average plant becomes more efficient
A shift in resources from less efficient plants to more productive ones is taking place too
The arrival of the new and more efficient production process – the mini-mill, makes every plant more efficient

The face of the industry is changing, both on a geographical level and economic level. As a result of implemented changes, the prices and profits have decreased in the past few years. Productivity growth today is mainly driven by process innovation rather than new goods.
The Steel Industry according to latest stats, is still one of the fastest growing manufacturing industries behind only computer software and equipment industries.
The trends of the past 30-40 years in the US, shows that the rapid productivity growth and consequent decline in employment, were predominantly connected to the mini-mill. Contrary to some beliefs, globalization or steady drop in steel consumption did not cause that.
As a number of researches found out, the mini-mill outperformed the traditional steel plants, displaced the older technology (the vertically integrated type) and this way triggered reallocation of output, resulting in one third increase in productivity. This increase of productivity is entirely due to the new technology of the mini-mill.
It’s interesting to note the link between the lowered markups that fell by 50% in the last 40 years, and higher productivity led a consumer surplus of about $10B a year, an in-depth study on the topic was published in the American Economic Review in 2015, titled ‘Reallocation and Technology: Evidence from the US Steel Industry’ by Allan Collard-Wexler and Jan De Loecker.
For Further Reading –
– Outlook for the global steel market
– Steel Industry Stock Outlook – May 2016
– Steel Market Forecast 2015-2025

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About The Consulting Playbook
The Consulting Playbook is a collection of posts designed to offer insights into how businesses and their executives can utilize consulting as a strategic lever to boost performance. Each Consulting Playbook post is broken down into a few elements: Case Study, Additional Information regarding the technical application, and Additional Links related to the topic.

This Week in Consulting:The Digital Future of Automotive

This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, November 6th 2019

The Digital Future of Automotive

THIS WEEK’S MUST READ
“Both consumers and automotive executives put less emphasis on the brand in an autonomous, mobility-as-a-service paradigm. Brands need to prioritize in-vehicle digital experiences over driving features to differentiate.”
Radical change is looming for the global automotive industry. What actions can the industry take to accommodate this change?
This Week’s Must Read  is an insight piece from IBM where the authors explore how can automotive organizations evolve to operate and innovate in a digital and data environment?
Read on to Find out More: “Automotive 2030 “ | Daniel Knoedler,Dirk Wollschlaeger, and Ben Stanley, IBM.

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THIS WEEK’S VIDEO:

How will the automotive industry change in the future and how does that impact Europe?​

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

The race for cybersecurity: Protecting the connected car in the era of new regulation: “Cybersecurity has risen in importance as the automotive industry undergoes a transformation driven by new personal-mobility concepts, autonomous driving, vehicle electrification, and car connectivity. In fact, it has become a core consideration, given the digitization of in-car systems, the propagation of software, and the creation of new, fully digital mobility services.” As digital transformation exposes new cybersecurity threats , the authors explains what OEMs can do to protect their cars and customers from hackers. | Johannes Deichmann, Benjamin Klein, Gundbert Scherf, and Rupert Stuetzle, McKinsey
‘The pain is just beginning’: After 38,000 layoffs, Wall Street wakes up to ‘peak car’– “For the auto business, “the pain is just beginning,” according to the Nomura analyst Masataka Kunugimoto and his team. “We now expect global auto demand to be down 3%,” year on year, in 2019, he told clients recently.” The world may have passed “peak car” and people in the future will need fewer personal vehicles. It’s maybe why the industry is staring down the barrel of a significant downturn. | Jim Edwards, Business Insider
The automotive industry has not reached ‘peak car’ as some analysts suggest: “When all around you there are people saying the car business is being disrupted, that electric vehicles are coming to eat the gas-powered automobiles’ lunch, and that Uber and Lyft will destroy traditional car ownership, it can be easy to overlook the basic fact that US auto sales are strong, have been strong, and should be relatively strong in the future.” The article presents an interesting counterpoint to the previous article from Business Insider. Has the automotive industry really reached a car peak? | Matthew DeBord, Business Insider
What Does the Future Hold for Self-Driving Cars? “Self-driving cars are poised to revolutionize the transportation industry. There have been many significant shifts in the auto industry since the beginning of commercial auto production roughly eight decades ago, but the basic formula of a human operator guiding a vehicle using a steering wheel and pedals has held pretty steady across that time span. “ Here the author presents the driverless-vehicle revolution from an investor perspective. | CKeith Noonan, The Motley Fool

TRENDS
On the same theme,here is a selection of conferences that you might find useful
 
ICRVS 2019 : International Conference on Road and Vehicle Safety aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Road and Vehicle Safety.
 
Strategies in Car Body Engineering 2020 : Only one thing is certain, that nothing is certain. Which is why “flexibility” and “agility” are currently among the most frequently used terms in the automotive industry.

CONSULTING INDUSTRY NEWS

IBM, Intel, J.P. Morgan and Microsoft join others on new blockchain token spec: “A new specification to allow businesses to create blockchain-based tokens for international trade and finance has been published – and businesses have already tested digital money based on it for cross border payments and settlement.” | Lucas Mearian, Computerworld
Neal Thompson joined BNY Mellon as Head of FX Options: “BNY Mellon, US based multinational banking and financial service provider recently revealed that its senior level leadership team is undergoing a change.” | Karthik Sivasubramaniam, The Industry Spread
PwC’s Reggie Walker: On the Trust Responsibility and Why Marketing Exists to Drive Strategy– “interview : The Chief Commercial Officer defines the CMO role as a juggler, as it touches every aspect of the business.”  |Forbes
OC&C advises Bridgepoint on sale of Bike24: “UK-based private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital has opted to exit from its investment in German bicycle retailer Bike24, with support from OC&C Strategy Consultants. The news sees The Riverside Company acquire Bike24, just two years after selling it to Bridgepoint in the first place.” | Consultancy.uk

DIRECTORY
The Consulting Quest Global Directory is the largest professionally-managed directory in the consulting industry. Searchable by consultancy , name or by region, capability or industry it lists and describes more than 6000 consultancies worldwide with links to their websites and social media channels.
 
 

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