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AOP PodcastCategory Management

A Survival Guide for Managing Consulting Services Spend w/ Hélène Laffitte

By August 12, 2019June 1st, 2020No Comments

It seems that we live in a service-centric world these days, and that includes a growing number of procurement spend categories. Although we’ve made headway in IT, legal and marketing, there is one category of professional services spend that still gives most of us reason to pause: management consulting.

In this episode of the podcast, I ask Hélène Laffitte, Founder and CEO of Consulting Quest, some of the questions I hear most frequently about managing consulting spend. For instance:

  • How can we find the ‘right’ consultant?
  • When should I lean towards small/boutique consulting over the big brands?
  • Are daily rates an effective pricing model?
  • What if we don’t know exactly what we need from the consultants (yet)?
  • What are the primary drivers of price in a consulting services agreement?

Ironically, when managing consulting spend, procurement’s best opportunity to add value may occur long before the list of participating providers is finalized and the RFP is sent out. According to Hélène, the most critical activity when sourcing consulting is defining scope, objectives, milestones, deliverables and deadlines. These components will not only drive the qualification and selection process, they may determine whether or not the whole engagement is successful.

As Hélène points out, procurement’s ability to listen and discern the difference between what the business is asking for and what they need is essential. And once that need is defined, we move to challenge #2: being “tight” on what is needed while being “flexible” about the approach.

Listen in for advice and insight on this complex services spend category from a proven consulting procurement expert.

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