Viewpoint: The Big 8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use a Large Consulting Firm

David Fields writes in his article, Viewpoint: The Big 8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use a Large Consulting Firm that he has become convinced that large consulting companies are no longer the best solutions to most clients problems.

The large consulting companies generally provide sound work and feature excellent processes and are smart, conscientious professionals.

In most cases, however, a company will achieve better results by turning to a small consulting firm.  He gives 8 reasons that a small firm will give better results.

  1. Larger staff does not equate to more efficacy.  Five hundred mediocre strategists just means reaching more people with mediocre ideas
  2. Big Ideas emanate from small collaborators.  Many of the new ideas are being published by members of small consulting firms.
  3. Increased personnel drive decreased efficiency.  Having your project handled by a consultant stamping out identical solutions with efficient precision is not beneficial for your company.  Thus extra capabilities only results in increased overhead.
  4. “We’re right where you need us” holds little sway.  In the current age of internet communications and efficient travel, having a consultant located closely to the assignment has little value.
  5. Entrepreneurial thinking is found in small companies. Small consultancies understand being flexible, nimble, cost conscience, and the value of disruptive thinking.  You are less likely to find this thinking in large, bureaucratic organizations.
  6. The big thinker won’t be working on your project.  When you engage a breakthrough thinker in a small consultancy, you most likely will be working with that key person.
  7. Large consultancies are slow to adopt new ideas.  Momentum is a fact of life in a large organization.  Small organizations are more nimble and able to adapt to new information.
  8. The consultant’s success is not aligned fully with your outcome.  When you work with a boutique consulting group, there is little doubt who the customer is and that the consultant’s success is closely linked to the success of the customer.

There are times, such as projects that requires a large resource pool, that a large consultancy is more advantageous, but in many cases a smaller company will be more responsive and the outcome will be better aligned with the company’s needs.