Archive for: May, 2023

Why Companies Use Telecom Consulting Services

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Telecom Consulting Services have recently increased in popularity by a huge margin due to the increase in awareness of the possibilities of Telecom Expense Management. Telecommunications Consultants are those people who are brought in to analyze the situation in a company and to give estimates of the possible reductions in the telecom expenses. They also provide estimates of other details such as the time required for the project to be completed and the effort required for the desired output.

The reason that companies hire telecom consultants is that they want to analyze if it is worthwhile to spend money on Telecom Expense Management. Many companies do not take the chance of hiring a Telecom Expense Management firm as the first step only to find out later that it is not possible to recover the costs of their fees from savings in telecommunication expenses. This would cost the company a lot of time and effort to no avail. Using telecom consultants may increase the cost of the project to the company by a notable margin, but it will also increase the security of the money invested in Telecom Expense Management.

Another reason why using Telecom Consulting Services is beneficial to the company is that the consultant can brief the staff beforehand on the recommended practices to be used which will help with the reduction in telecom bills. If a Telecommunications Expense Management company is hired directly, it will first have to spend a lot of time educating the staff on the same topics and methods and although this will also waste time, the main reason for concern would be the fact that the TEM company would be charging the same rate as it does while working on Telecom Expense Management techniques.

This rate is much higher than the fees a consultant takes and thus it is very possible that the consultant’s fee may become worthwhile.
The biggest recipients of Telecom Expense Consulting are the smaller organizations. These organizations can receive very important pointers from a Telecom Consultant and they may not even need to hire a Telecom Expense Management firm. The reason for this is that in a small company a single person can work to reduce the telecom expenses significantly albeit over a slightly longer amount of time than a team of workers. T

his would mean that the cost of the single consultant will be a lot worthwhile to the small company than the cost of hiring a firm. An example of this would be that a small company has constantly been receiving pretty large telecom bills. The in-house auditors work hard to try to reduce these but are not able to succeed due to lack of direction and knowledge.

If they fail, a telecom consultant could be hired and he may find the result of the large bills very soon, such as an increase in tariffs of the particular telecom company that is providing telecom services to the firm and come up with a solution such as switching over to the competition which still offers lower rates. The work may be very easy for an experienced consultant and he may earn a quick buck and at the same time the company can increase its profits.

Several Telecommunications Expense Management firms have their own consultants to provide feedback on new projects and if they are beneficial for both the parties, the company goes ahead with the project but if the consultant believes that the company can earn more with the same effort while working for another company, the consultant may choose to decline the job of Telecom Expense Management on behalf of the company.

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The 7 Things You Should Know Before You Hire A Marketing Consultant

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

We realize choosing a marketing consultant can be a tough decision to make. We also realize that making the wrong choice can cost your business a lot of extra money! Because of this, we have outlined a few key areas to consider when selecting a new consultant or a consulting company. To assist you in your selection process, use the following considerations as your last “gut check” before making a commitment.

1. Not all consultants are legitimate.
Make sure the consultant you’re considering has a good reputation and appropriate credentials. Do your homework and check their references.

2. You will be working very closely with your chosen consultant.
Be sure you see yourself and your organization working well with this person or firm. Do they “fit” into your culture and work environment? Do they seem comfortable with your people? Do your people feel comfortable with them?

3. Not all consultants will track their own success or failure.
Advertising and marketing agencies are the last holdout for unchecked spending couched in the myth that ‘Marketing is not traceable.’ is trend is changing in your favor. Bottom line: demand a ROI tracking method on your investment from your consultant.

4. Your consultant may not “dig deep” to find ways to be cost conscious and save you money.
You should demand as an example: they discuss ways to save printing or design costs by using one marketing piece for several functions. Another example, they should be able to delegate work to junior level people or to your people.

5. Not all consultants will tell you the truth, even if it hurts.
Look for a consultant with integrity. Likewise, be ready to hear that the brochure you created has room for improvement. The last thing you need is a consultant that agrees that everything is just fine as-is.

6. The best consultants are not fanatic die hards for only one marketing philosophy.
Great consultants continue to educate themselves in all areas in order to give you the best tools, techniques and methods available. If the consultant you’re considering assures you they have the “One best system”, watch out!

7. Consultants may try to make you dependent on them – be wary!
Good consultants share how they do what they do – excellent ones teach you how to do marketing yourself and work themselves out of the job.

Deciding on the right consultant is very important for your company. No one can consider every possible question or scenario that may arise in selecting a good consultant and we trust this material is a helpful beginning to your selection process. We encourage you to contact us with any questions – we’re available to help.

“It seems that about 50% of those calling themselves “consultants” don’t really know what they’re doing, but almost 90% of those buying consulting services don’t know how to tell the difference!” – unknown

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What to Look For in Consultant Development

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Whether your consulting business is brand new or already a going concern, there is always room for improvement. The right consultant development training can help you wow your current clients while learning how to get new ones. A big part of any consulting business owner’s day is spent looking for new clients, and the right training can help you learn the techniques you will need to attract new clients to your door without sacrificing the relationships you have so carefully built with your existing ones.

Of course not all consultant development training is the same, and it is important to spend your training dollars wisely. Choosing the wrong training will be a waste of your time and money, so it is important to research the qualifications of any consultant training program you are considering.

Some of the things to look for in a consultant development seminar include:

  • Real world experience – practical real world experience is an essential part of any consultant development seminar. Ideally the seminar should be taught by professionals who have many years of experience attracting and retaining top clients from the largest companies in the world. The ability of these consultants to survive and thrive long term in such a competitive environment speaks volumes to their competence and abilities. When considering any consulting training be sure to look at the experience level of the instructors and others on the team putting the seminar together.
  • Practical tips – while theory is important in any seminar, the bulk of any consulting training should focus on real world practical tips attendees can take back and use in the day to day operation of their businesses. From tax saving strategies to advice on structuring your business, it is important that the seminar include lots of information you can actually use to run, and grow, your consulting business and freelance practice.
  • Good contacts – a well run consultant training session is an excellent place to grow your list of business contacts and expand your network. Look for a company that has solid contacts in your industry. This will help you build your network and gain new clients for your business.
  • Solid reputation in the community – the reputation of the company conducting the training seminar is an important part of any training seminar. When evaluating consultant training seminars it is important to look at each company and how they are perceived, both in the consulting community and in the community as a whole. Choosing a company with a solid reputation for quality will allow you to get the most out of your training.
  • Up to date information – the world of consulting is an ever changing one, and it is important that the information you receive during the seminar be applicable to the modern consulting world. Review the information carefully before signing up for the seminar. Avoid any seminars that are offering outdated or stale information.

By using these simple tips you will be able to get the most out of your ongoing consultant training. New learning opportunities are an important part of growing any business, and the consulting business is no exception.

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4 Must Know Facts About Color Consultants

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Colors are known to affect moods and while specific ones can cheer you up, others can make you feel sad or under the weather. Due to the effects these can have on people, these days, many people are opting for color consultant services to help them decorate their houses. Listed below are four things all potential clients should know about these professionals.

Who is a Color Consultant?
A color consultant is a professional who has the expertise in decorating homes by selecting colors that compliment the surroundings. These professionals not only select which are best suited for your walls but also those of the fabric and furniture as well.

What does a Color Consultant do?
A consultant who works with colors spends majority of her or his time studying which ones look good on walls and around the house. After accumulating data based on the type of house, walls shape of the house and certain other factors, they help clients select which ones are perfectly right for wall colors, fabrics, furniture and other items. They may also assist clients improve the exteriors of the house by giving clients tips about which color the outside walls should be painted with or which are rightfully matched on the gate, fence and benches.

Why should I Hire a Color Consultant?
You should hire a consultant if you want to beautify your house but you do not have the time or knowledge to do so. Color consulting experts can make your life much easier by selecting the right hue for your house and they can prevent you from making mistakes while you decorate your house. These professionals can tell you which color to use to brighten your living room or to make your bedroom look inviting for you and your partner. These professionals can also help you understand why certain colors should not be used and they can help you identify the simplest way to make your house look attractive.

What Should I Keep in Mind While Selecting a Consultant?
Clients should keep in mind that a good color consultant will offer solutions that are simple to follow unless the client wants something extravagant. Good consultants are usually certified professionals who have spent many years training. Good consultants usually work for reputed companies that offer such solutions however it is not unheard of to find good freelancing consultants. There are many companies that offer online color consulting services and before choosing any one of these companies, clients should always talk to a consultant from a few reputed companies to ensure that the selected consultant provides sound advice.

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How To Making Pocket Spring Mattress

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Individual pocket springs comprise a pocket sprung mattress. Each pocket spring is individually encased in a cloth pocket. Each spring operates independently of the others, reacting exclusively to the pressure supplied to that location. As a consequence, each individual sleeping on the mattress receives a higher degree of personalized support and reactivity. Pocket spring machine are responsible for creating pocket spring mattresses.
Unlike more typical open coil mattresses, pocket springs do not move in unison. This assists in preventing “roll-together” and minimizes movement transmission to other sections of the mattress which is why pocket spring making machine is unique.

Pocket Spring Count
Mattress manufacturers have increased the amount of springs stated on their mattresses in recent years through pocket spring coiling machine. They are capitalizing on the consumer’s notion that the more springs in a bed, the more value they get. It’s worth noting that a mattress has a certain amount of area and so producers reach these absurdly high spring counts, ie 6,000 or more, by simply layering sheets of small springs on top of one another and lowering upholstery. Additionally, they stack springs on top of springs to fraudulently exaggerate the amount of springs listed on the label.
Are more pocket springs better?
Pocket springs add to your mattress’s amount of support and stiffness. Additionally, the tension (also known as “gauge”) of the springs contributes to the mattress’s overall firmness. You will find lots of mattress pocket springs in a pocket spring assembly machine.
However, it is important to remember that pocket springs are just one component of the mattress. The comfort layers, which may include memory foam or natural fillings, will also have an effect on how your mattress feels overall.

More pocket springs does not always equate to a more comfortable or firmer mattress. Rather than that, a higher density of pocket springs will distribute your body weight across a bigger number of springs and provide a better degree of reaction to your individual motions while sleeping.

To assist you in making your decision, we suggest reading what other customers have to say about our pocket sprung mattresses.

How long are they effective?
To some, the average lifetime may make a significant difference. While the individual coils in a pocket spring mattress let it to react more quickly to pressure, this also increases the likelihood of the coils wearing out sooner. Over time, these coils may get depressed, causing the mattress to droop and feel hard. Regular turning and avoiding activities such as leaping on the bed will help prolong the life of the mattress somewhat, but an 8–10-year-old pocket spring mattress is rather old.
What’s inside a pocket spring mattress?
Pocket spring mattresses are constructed with hundreds of individually tempered springs that are enclosed in separate sleeves or “pockets” through mattress pocket spring machine. On top of this spring structure, layers of comfort foam cushioning provide a soft, supportive mattress.
Pocket spring mattresses are ideal for those who like supportive mattresses with a firmer feel. The springs elicit a strong positive reaction and provide the impression of supporting you more than many other mattress kinds.

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How to make money with affiliate marketing

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Have you ever searched for a blogpost online, possibly on Google, and found some products within the blog content? If yes, then the owner of the blogpost usually earns some commissions when the product link is clicked and the product is purchased through the link. This is simply affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is one partial income-generating activity that has not been fully ventured into. For this reason, you might wish to train yourself on how to make money with affiliate marketing. However, you may first wish to know a few bits of basic information about affiliate marketing before you guide yourself step by step to become a successful affiliate marketer.

Guide to teach yourself to make money with affiliate marketing

When you start affiliate marketing, it is not automatic that you will make a good income. You need to be strategic and knowledgeable about what you are doing; otherwise, you may not earn a single cent from affiliate marketing. To help you start affiliate marketing and be successful, here are a few steps to follow.

1. Choose a niche

Affiliate marketing can be very competitive at times. With an appropriate niche, you have a high chance of making good money from affiliating. You will be able to mention the products you are affiliating with, cultivate a good and trustworthy audience, and manage the competition.

An appropriate niche is very vital for profitability in affiliate marketing. In most cases, your blogs should align with what you are affiliating with. For example, if you write content on fitness and general body well-being, you can affiliate fitness products and weight loss/gain supplements. Most of your traffic are people seeking to know more about fitness and are high prospects of your affiliate products. They will easily follow your links and earn you money. Other profitable niches include finance, travel, pet care, fashion and beauty, technology and gaming, etc.

2. Evaluate the market

Evaluate the market under which you select a niche to ensure that your customers are willing to pay for what is offered through your niche. You can check on Google trends to identify some of the products selling well in the online market. With such knowledge, you will be able to settle on the best products under your niche that can generate a good income.

For example, you can check how many people search for tummy trainers. You will realize that this is very consistent, and you can create some content on tummy trainers and then affiliate several tummy trainers available for sale by different dealers.

3. Analyze the competition

The level of competition will determine if you will be successful or not. Use keyword search to determine how many people have ventured into the niche you are interested in. Afterward, determine the percentage that do affiliate marketing and that that do not. If affiliate marketing in your niche is too extensive, you can choose another niche or rather be very creative and strategic with your affiliate programs.

4. Research affiliate programs

Carry out adequate research on how to promote your affiliate links. Take a more profound step into affiliate marketing and identify which program is suitable and convenient for you. An affiliating program acts as a middleman between the product merchants and affiliates. The affiliate programs are sites that make it convenient for the merchants and affiliates to create a relationship and bond through which an affiliate link that has led to a purchase is commissioned.

5. Pick your affiliate marketing method

You can choose to work with several affiliate marketing methods, but blogging and paid ads are the most common. For blogging, you need to start with creating a website and choose either the free or paid hosting services. Whether the affiliate program has a higher commission or not, you can still make some money with website content creation. Once you master how to create the most relevant content for your readers, you can include paid ads within the content. When the ads redirect clients to make a purchase, you will earn more commissions.

6. Create and publish content

You can now start making content in line with your niche and publish it on your website. Make sure you get consistent with your publications and give your readers quality, understandable and straightforward content. With quality, your content will attract more traffic to your website, thus increasing your audience and the number of people who can actually purchase products through your affiliate links.

Final thoughts

For successful affiliate marketing, you need to leverage the best strategies that will help you reach a great audience and build a long-lasting relationship. To get good commissions from merchants and create a good relationship with them, you can consider the above mentioned steps.

If you want to go beyond being just a beginner at this or any other skill, and work toward developing a real mastery, then you are going to need a deeper and more powerful strategy. What you need is a way to hack your brain so you can develop a winning mindset.

A winning mindset is a state of mind that allows you to enter a flow state at will. You do this by programming your subconscious mind.

Believe it or not, most of what you do throughout an average day is NOT freely chosen by your normal waking consciousness even though it may seem that way. The truth is that most of what you do on a day-to-day basis is done on autopilot. An example of this would be when you’re driving your car and as you do so you get bored and begin daydreaming. Before you know it, you find yourself several miles further down the road with absolutely NO memory of having driven those last several miles.

So, who exactly was driving while your waking consciousness was in la-la land, and how exactly did you manage to avoid an accident? Your subconscious mind was in control. You already spent years programming your subconscious with how to deal with a broad range of possible driving scenarios and thus it had no trouble taking the wheel while your waking consciousness took a little break. In other words, you were able to take effective actions without having to THINK about them.

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Continue living poor with these7 Financial Habits

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Do you find yourself facing financial challenges? You might be keeping yourself poor with habits you didn’t even realize were contributing to your situation. Rid yourself of these habits that are keeping you poor. Set up a plan to effectively enhance your secured financial future.
Decide today to eliminate these financial habits from your life:

1. Failure to create an adequate emergency fund. There’s no better prevention for financial disaster than an emergency fund that covers at least 3 months of living expenses. A short period of unemployment or a single, unexpected, major bill can be financially devastating. It will happen. Avoid believing it’s a matter of “if it ever happens.”

* Set aside whatever dollar amount you can manage and begin building an emergency fund. Even a few dollars each week is a start.

2. Habitually paying bills late. Most consumers believe that credit card companies make most of their money from the high interest rates they charge. This isn’t true. It’s actually the late fees they collect. Nearly every bill you pay each month becomes more expensive if you’re late, even by a single day.

* Develop the habit of sitting down once a week and paying the bills that are coming due. Pay them at least 7 days in advance.

3. Inappropriate use of credit cards. Using credit cards to purchase unnecessary items you can’t afford is the worst use. Putting charges on your cards up to their limits and then only paying the minimum due will put you in a precarious position, lower your credit score, and keep you in debt for a long time.

* Resolve to limit credit card use to emergencies or to accumulate rewards if you’re paying off your balance in-full each month.

4. Failing to save money from each paycheck. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, saving money often seems impossible. But this is the time it’s most critical. Start by saving 1% of your take-home pay and build from there. If you never save any money, how will your situation change?

5. Making impulse purchases. How many times have you made a big purchase and then run out of money at the end of the month? Impulse purchases are rarely satisfying after the initial glow has worn off. In fact, you’re probably resentful of the purchase after the financial pain comes home to roost.

* Take a few days to think about the purchase before making a final decision. You’ll often find the urge has subsided.

6. Buying items you don’t need. After shelter, clothing, food, and medical care, most spending is optional to varying degrees. You probably don’t want to feel like you’re living in a cave and eating sticks, but you certainly spend money each month that could either be saved or spent more wisely.

7. Failing to contribute to your retirement. After forty years of toiling to make ends meet, wouldn’t it be nice to retire comfortably? Many seniors find themselves in challenging financial circumstances because they failed to contribute adequately to their retirement. It’s never too late to start.

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Is it too late to promote Clickbank?

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I get this question a lot. I guess people are concerned about Clickbank’s viability as an affiliate marketing program precisely because it has been around for so long. The thinking is that if a brand has been around for so long, then somehow it is overexposed. According to too many affiliate marketers, if you’re promoting a brand that your audience members have pretty much seen for quite some time, they probably are not going to convert.
In many cases, a lot of people who think this way did not do all that well with Clickbank. You need to understand that their opinion is marred by their negative experience. Maybe they just don’t know what they’re doing. Maybe they did not pick the right product to promote. Maybe they targeted the wrong audience.

There are just a million and one things that they could have done wrong, which produced a negative experience. Sadly, they tend to be united in their negative view of Clickbank. In their understanding, when a brand gets overexposed, its ability to convert traffic into cold hard cash goes down quite a bit.

This is not automatic. Please understand that this does not have to be the case. When it comes to Clickbank, oftentimes, this is not the case. Why? Well, most of the time, you’re not promoting the Clickbank affiliate marketing platform in the first place. Most of the time, you’re promoting a product found in their marketplace. You are not promoting the marketplace itself.

Do you see the difference? This is why it’s a good idea to look at Clickbank as a source with a wide niche coverage of affiliate products. That’s all it is. It’s a source of products you can sell, so you can turn your online traffic into cash. If you get asked whether it’s too late to promote Clickbank, you should have a ready answer.

The answer, of course, is no. As long as Clickbank continues to add new products to its roster, you’re in good shape.

Don’t end your analysis here though. Don’t just hop from one product to the next. You have to be more systematic and methodical about product monetization optimization. This increases the likelihood that you’ll identify the small set of CB products that work best with your traffic. In other words, by optimizing product selections, you end up maximizing your products’ conversion rates. Keep scaling up and you’ll be able to convert as much of your existing traffic flow into cold hard cash at an optimal rate.

Product monetization optimization goes a long way in stepping up your Clickbank passive income. If you don’t this, you’ll end up in the same position as too many other CB product marketers. They simply settle for cents on the dollar instead of maximizing their income potential through a tight fit between the products they promote and their traffic volume. Do yourself a big favor and do not settle for mediocre results-you can always do better!

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The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Pre-Fab Metal Buildings

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Discussing business at a time when many commercial operations have had it rougher than ever before seems a little odd. Nonetheless, entrepreneurship has actually seen pretty significant increases, with many new business owners going the way of prefab buildings. This is in direct contrast to many who opted to go the traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts with which were most familiar. The biggest difference is that with prefab buildings, the ability to shift & pivot is easier in the long run.
It’s no secret that the last eighteen months have dealt a massive blow to businesses all over the world. Whether it’s clothing sales, toys, cosmetics, or the restaurant industry, the global health crisis ground the entire world to a halt. Stay-at-home orders kept folks out of the public arenas where commerce operated. And with fears about employment status & possible budget cuts, people stopped spending money in every way that wasn’t deemed absolutely necessary.

Needless to say, many businesses suffered & continue to suffer. Many businesses were not able to make it, closing their doors permanently. Others struggled mightily to shift their operation so as to meet a new way of doing business, even if it was at a loss.

Over time, though, things started to at least improve a bit. Businesses realized that their ‘Plan B’ was that they had no actual emergency plan. Moreover, they started taking into account what they actually needed to run their business including their storefront. This is where the beauty of prefabricated buildings came into their own. For a small investment, business owners now had a whole lot more control over their physical surroundings. They could set-up shop in new & unique ways that catered more to their audience, their merchandise, and their way of life. What’s more, prefab buildings allowed them to be more nimble & ready to make quick decisions to save their business. That’s peace of mind you can’t put a price on.

Speaking purely in terms of entrepreneurship outside of once-in-a-century events, the notion of prefab metal buildings actually make a ton of sense. People starting a business are usually trying their best to get everything right as best they can, so investing money in the right kind of physical space may make or break their success from the start. If you aim to start a business sometime soon or are at the end of a first lease & are thinking about a new location, here is some food for thought:

Customization – Prefabrication is done with customization from the customer. The order process is very streamlined & is quite easy to do. You interact with a team member on the manufacturer’s side, let them know what you’d like to get in place, and get a rendered drawing. The best companies offer a 3-D rendering, giving you a great look at what your prospective space could look like & letting you know where tweaks would be most beneficial.

Floor Plan Flexibility – You know your industry & product well enough that you ca design the flow of your desired space to your liking. Unfortunately, leasing a commercial space may not give you that flow. A prefab building, however, gives you the freedom to dictate the entire flow with little extras as you see fit. What’s more, if you work with an experienced manufacturer, they can provide invaluable advice on design choices based on previous projects they’ve done that could benefit you.

Versatility – You may not realize it, but if you take a drive around your city/town, you may be surprised to learn that a significant number of services utilize prefab metal buildings. Churches, auto repair shops, vet clinics, convenience stores, and medical offices all have taken to using the versatile layouts allowed by prefab structures.

Construction Time – How many times have you driven around & seen ‘coming soon’ signs for a new business only to wonder when exactly ‘soon’ was? It’s one thing to generate interest, but at some point, folks stop paying attention. As a new business owner with a solid idea/product/service, you want to strike while the iron is hot. This means getting your storefront up & running ASAP. Prefab buildings are made to be erected quickly & efficiently, getting you in front of customers faster.

Environmental Impact – In this day & age, we’re all responsible for doing all we can to reduce our impact on the world around us. This goes for changing construction methods, which is why prefab metal buildings are a tremendous option for the environmentally-conscious business owner. Just about 100% of the structure is recyclable, with many manufacturers providing options to use recycled materials in the first place.

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Traditional Or Milestone Consulting – Which is Best?

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Why are you here? More than a metaphysical question, many organizations may recognize the need for consultants but remain unsure about how to use them. To be sure, organizations can utilize consultants in a variety of ways. This article addresses two different consulting alternatives–traditional and milestone–as well as the pros and cons of each.

In a traditional consulting arrangement, a firm deploys a team of full-time individuals at a client site for forty hours per week, typically four days at ten hours per day per consultant. Conversely, under milestone consulting, a client employs a consulting firm to check in with them on a regular basis, ensuring that the project is both meeting its individual goals and, from a broader perspective, remains on track. A client will often utilize a hybrid consultant–equal parts project manager, techie, and application expert–to visit on site every two weeks or so. Now that the definitions are out of the way, let’s discuss each in more detail.

Traditional Consulting

Consultancies typically prefer this arrangement for a number of reasons. First and foremost, traditional consulting maximizes billable time and revenue. Second, and there is more than a bit of truth to this, consultants on the ground can better steer clients in the right direction throughout the project, manage issues, and ensure an overall smoother implementation than if they were not present.

On the downside, traditional consulting tends to be the most expensive option for clients. Also, many organizations face end-user availability issues. Client end-users are often overworked and too busy to spend time with consultants. Remember, end-users on implementation teams have day jobs while consultants exclusively implement the new system. While consultants can work independently, at certain points, client input is imperative. Consultants on site are billing regardless of whether their skills are being used efficiently or not. In the rare event that a project is running ahead of schedule, rare is the consulting company that attempts to move dates up or suggests that its consultants do not need to be on site for several weeks.

Milestone Consulting

Benefits of this approach include keeping costs to a minimum. Also, to the extent that the consultant’s arrival is known well in advance, end-users can focus on their day jobs during the week knowing that they will devote certain days to the new system, coinciding with the arrival of the consultant. In theory, this can be more efficient.

This method should be used judiciously, as it is rife with potential disadvantages. For one, there may be no one keeping an eye on the implementation on a daily basis, allowing goals and dates to fall by the wayside. Issues may not be broached in time to address them without impacting a go-live date. Also, the implementation’s flow may suffer. Projects that constantly start and stop often lose momentum. Projects with more interruptions have a greater chance of failure and milestone-based approaches tend to have this limitation.

Considerations: Which is Best?

Given how much consultants cost, many clients might question the need to have a team of three or more highly paid hourly resources on staff for forty hours per week. To be sure, there is more than one way to deploy consultants in a cost-effective manner. As a general rule, the quality and number of required external resources varies indirectly with the quality and number of available and experienced internal end-users. In other words, an organization with extensive internal resources and expertise needs fewer external consultants. Organizations cannot expect to successfully implement major systems exclusively with either consultants or end-users. Almost always, a combination of each is required. While not necessarily advisable, organizations are often able to handle relatively limited upgrades and enhancements in a “consultant-free” manner.

Another consideration is end-user availability. Regular employees still have to do their day jobs in order for the organization to conduct business. For example, a payroll manager cannot set up, test, and document a new payroll system at the expense of paying current employees. By the same token, the head of IT cannot configure security for one system while neglecting to fight the fires of another system. This rule can alternatively be stated as follows: If an organization wants to minimize the number of external consultants on an implementation, it must ensure that the end-users on its implementation team: 1) are devoted regularly and significantly to the implementation of that new system; and 2) have sufficient expertise in that system.

A project’s timeframe, issue complexity, and scope are also critical factors. All else equal, consultants called in to solve a discrete task with no particular due date may not need to set up show for months at a time. Assuming an organization’s documentation is sufficient, a consulting firm may be able to perform the work required using the milestone approach. Conversely, consider a client with a bevy of complex issues, poor internal documentation, and a drop-dead date of two months to resolve an issue. It’s very unlikely that the client will be able to use consultants in a limited capacity.

Minimal consultant input and resources does not mean zero. On just about every new system implementation or upgrade, organizations need to utilize external application experts, technical resources adept at installing the application, and seasoned project managers who have dealt with many of the issues likely to face the client.

Summary and Conclusions

There are too many factors to determine the best type of consulting arrangement for any given client or project. There are potential drawbacks to both the traditional and milestone consulting approaches and one size certain does not fit all. To be sure, most organizations do not have the expertise that consultancies can provide. As such, organizations benefit from knowledgeable, on-site consultants who ensure that the project stays on course, issues are reported and resolved and individual objectives are met.

Before hiring external consultants, senior management should take into consideration issues such as budget, the state of its internal documentation, end-user availability, and the timeframe, scope, and complexity of the issue. Those factors will shed light on the best decision for the organization. A complex but poorly-documented issue that needs to be resolved yesterday cannot be accomplished under a milestone approach. At the other extreme, a simple but less urgent issue probably doesn’t require a full-time team of consultants to solve it. Unfortunately for clients, most real-world issues fall in between these two poles, requiring good judgment.

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