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What Do Corporate Consultants Do?

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  • Written By: Jan Fletcher
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 29 June 2014
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Corporate consultants apply expertise to improving one or more aspects of corporate operations in order to increase a corporation's performance. The consultant may investigate what factors led to unsatisfactory performance, or he or she may respond to a corporation's specific request to revamp one aspect of company operations. A person working in this area of consultancy may also oversee a corporate restructuring. Corporate consultants also commonly recruit talent, lead visioning exercises, or work to increase the efficiency of manufacturing operations. These business experts may specialize in one particular area of corporate operations, such as human resources.

Companies may hire a consultant to increase production efficiency. For example, a lean manufacturing consultant may be brought in to assess ways to streamline the company's manufacturing processes by eliminating unnecessary steps. A consultant will typically gather data on the current operation, looking for areas in which waste or overstaffing may be occurring in the manufacturing process. Human resource corporate consultants may assess human resource policies and make recommendations that would increase compliance and improve retention.

Revamping one aspect of a company's overall operation is frequently done by corporate consultants. Those who specialize in one area of business operations may have much more developed skills that can be applied to a specific area within a corporation. Possessing an outsider viewpoint can be immensely helpful for a corporate consultant. He or she may spot problems that could be harder to detect by those too familiar with ongoing operations.

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Corporate consultants who specialize in corporate law, finance, or preparing a company for an initial public offering may provide expert help during the transition from a private to a public company. A consultant may specialize in the area of advising and instituting succession policies. Drafting fair labor practices, or pointing out areas in which a company may have liability exposure due to the corporation's existing workplace policies may also be done by a corporate consultant. Often, the reason consultants are hired for these areas is that an outside perspective may better catch ingrained, outdated employment practices.

Sometimes a corporation must undergo a restructuring in order to remain viable. Corporate consultants are often involved in assisting with this restructuring. Specific duties may involve recruiting and vetting new leadership, or making recommendations on which activities or departments should be retained, eliminated or revamped. In family corporations it is often a delicate task to assist a corporation in transferring leadership to non-familial personnel. Those working as corporation consultants may have the experience to avoid the more difficult aspects of leadership transfer.

Corporations hire consultants for a variety of tasks. These tasks may include advice on interior remodeling of office space, or the installation of new information technology (IT). Other areas in which a consultant may offer a corporation advice include fiscal policies, compensatory practices, and affirmative action initiatives.

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