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Corporate consulting is a professional service designed to assist businesses in developing or achieving goals that lead to success. Corporate consultants offer a wide range of services that include evaluating an existing process or structure, fine tuning some or many aspects of the company’s operation, and offering practical training to key people within the corporate structure. Corporate consulting can be focused on specific areas of a business or address the overall function of the company.
One of the more common examples of corporate consulting has to do with developing the skill sets of a management team. Within this application, corporate consultants assist officers of a corporation to understand their roles within the structure of the business in more detail, and offer practical advice on how to maximize their effectiveness for the good of the company as well as to the benefit of the individual. The main goal of this type of corporate consulting is to make sure that the talents and abilities currently present among members of management are utilized to best advantage in the task of achieving company goals.
Corporate consulting may also address the efficiency and cohesion of a particular section or department of a corporation. For example, if a company wishes to restructure the financial process within the organization, a corporate consultant with a background in financial accounting may be called in to evaluate and restructure the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable components of the accounting division. This will usually include observing current procedures and understanding the original rationale behind those procedures. With that background firmly in place, the consultant can move forward with restructuring the processes and guidelines that govern the activities of the department in a manner that enhances efficiency and thus saves the company money and time.
Another common form of corporate consulting has to do with the sales and marketing effort. Consultants may be called in when the product line of a company begins to lose market shares or when the business wants to launch a new product. The consultant can investigate the reasons behind any loss of market share and provide ideas on how to turn the situation around and restore the former level of productivity. In the case of a new product, the consultant can help the sales and marketing team develop a strategy that makes use of the company’s reputation among consumers to cultivate a base for the product, as well as attract the attention of new buyers altogether.
Corporate consulting can also focus on refining existing policies and procedures rather than overhauling or creating a new process. An efficiency consultant may be able to study the layout of a production floor and determine that a simple reorganization of the elements of the process will save both time and money. The consultant may also identify steps in the process that were once necessary but for some reason have become outmoded and continued for no reason other than no one thought to eliminate them from the process. As a result, resources such as labor and time are used to better efficiency and the company is able to enjoy a lower operating expense per unit produced.
Just about any type of business can benefit from some type of corporate consulting. By addressing specific sectors of the overall operation, consultants can strengthen the efficiency of the company and make it possible to use resources to better advantage. The consultant can also help to refine, update, or rework some aspect of the company structure that is not functioning as it should. In either case, the business emerges from the process with added potential to succeed.
@Vincenzo -- the notion that consultants tend to drop jobs was a primary basis for the "Office Space" movie. That's a fairly old movie, so it's safe to say that consultants have had a bad reputation for slashing jobs for some time. Perhaps they need better PR.
Want to terrify some employees? Let the word get out that corporate consultants have arrived and are looking at ways to increase efficiency.
Rightly or wrongly, consultants have the reputation for saving money by cutting jobs.
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