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Selling in house consultancy externally?

#1 Selling in house consultancy externally?
16/12/2010 21:18


I work for a large (top 20) company that is undergoing a very large lean transformation across parts of its business. This has been done as a need to address significant problems experienced since the downturn.

I want to settle an argument I was having with one of the other internal lean change agents that I work with. He claimed that the department that has now been built by the firm (c250 ppl designed around a mck led model) that has been running for 2 yrs would be in a position to go to the external market place to see its proposition.

I do not believe this could possibly be the case as we don't have any of the experience of dealing with external clients, the requite networks, the understanding of the marketplace and that our success has come from the fact that very senior stakeholders are forcing this through.

But what do you real consultants think? Does this sound plausible as an idea?

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#2 RE: Selling in house consultancy externally?
16/12/2010 22:04

anon to Pistol (#1)

Some companies have done this, but it's relatively rare. Siemens, Schlumberger, and Unipart are three examples.

It tends to be more common in engineering consulting than management consulting - perhaps because it's more common to work with partners/competitors and the intellectual capital is more easily protect-able by patents. Commonly they're offering a limited range of services and only to organisations within their industry/supply chain - more a specialist service provider with access to specific proprietary data or "off the shelf" services than a true consultancy that tackles anything clients come up with. If clients think your "consulting" is biased by your company's main business, you might have a competitive conflict of interest, or that you might not be committed to them and they won't give you access to their interesting projects.

In your specific instance, the company might run into legal problems if the department's using any McK-based materials or methods and then goes into competition using them. Cleansing the organisation and retraining everyone might make the idea a commercial dead duck. If it's only been around two years, the experience and reputation of the department may not be adequate to go to market/be allowed to go to market. Unless the company has a history and experience in launching new businesses, most big companies don't have the innovation culture or risk appetite to follow through on these things.

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#3 RE: Selling in house consultancy externally?
16/12/2010 22:33

Pistol to anon (#2)

Thanks anon, you raise a very valid point about the mck material.

My colleague did site unipart as the example and used manufacturing based examples so I think on this point you are also right. We are not in manufacturing and so I think would definitely face all the issues you raise about people not wanting to take on our brand.

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