By: Nerissa Mendoza, CMC®
Relationship is considered the lifeblood of a consulting practice. Lockdowns drawing from the C19 pandemic have been expanded and in certain areas extended. They halted business operations and interactions and may have stopped on-going and to be initiated consulting projects. While resumption of business activities are already being anticipated, there are noticeable repercussions on clients’ operations- financially, customer wise, process wise particularly affecting the supply chain and its people.
Consulting services are typically appreciated as either an indispensable service or one that is simply nice to have. Those treated as nice to have can be dispensed with in difficult and trying times. Inevitable losses from business disruptions are already burdens to carry. Transformation or refocusing costs to align to the new normal state are now being calculated including forecast of business bottom line by year end.
Having gained substantial knowledge either from on-going engagements or having appreciated client needs for an upcoming but halted job , unsolicited inputs can be passed on to clients to nurture relationship.
Let us look at three specific areas relevant to the current environment:
- Helping the client map its operating state before the C19 disruptions
- Visualizing with senior management likely impacts of the halted business
- Revalidating what were earlier established as leading metrics and fleshing out those that are appearing to become irrelevant when the so called new normal business environment goes on stream.
Mapping the Client’s Operating state before C19 – Your appreciation of client operations pre-C19 state is an objective confirmation to the client of things to happen if business and the national economy were on a relatively stable state. You can reaffirm what strengths the business has and what limitations can be realistically addressed including opportunities that were already birds on hand that can be held the rest of the operating year.
Business Impact Assessments during the Lockdown – Many business operations have stopped completely close to 2 months and counting. Working capital or liquidity positions may begin to become unpalatable and unacceptable. While others are optimistic they can recover as they resume operations once lockdowns are eased or lifted the so called new normal state will call for necessary adjustments. Inevitable or sunk costs during such periods may be not be recoverable immediately. On matters of people cost, a critical input to generating revenues, unbudgeted workforce health care costs will be an expenditure to focus on in order to secure their safety, health and productivity. The consultant who is well versed in people management and financial management can link the varying if not opposing perspectives on budgeting for people cost between the key HR Officer and the CFO. New parameters can be established to track productivity.
Evaluation of set performance metrics impacts pre- C19 state and thereafter – The balanced scorecards have stood the test of time in support of strategy formulation and implementation. Consultants conversant with strategic performance management and measures and objectives matching can coach clients to address their dilemmas with quick action points using the typical guide questions : 1) How do we adjust management of our Human Resources and intangible assets to support meeting our business and process turn-around objectives 2) What areas in our supply chain or business process do we have to recast immediately to continue to excel or be highly responsive to our customers 3) What factors in dealing with our customers do we need to change to continue and sustain our business with them 4) How do we recast customer strategies in order to hasten capture of lost revenue, timely match our cost and productivity to grow and regain bottom line target? 5) How do we want to be appreciated by the stockholders and other stakeholders by the end of the year.
Standing by your client and taking a pivotal role with them in these trying times will not pass by unappreciated. Be differentiated as a consultant and continue to nurture relationship. Be a value added adviser.
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On Nery Mendoza’credentials.
She is Certified Management Consultant and is a practicing Business Adviser, Executive, Career and Community Coach. She has facilitated no less than 20 Comprehensive Consulting Course for CMC Philippines. She carries no less than 35 years management consulting experience in the banking, insurance and other financial services sector, in the health and pharmaceutical sector, in government, development funding organizations, civil society organizations, and not for profit organizations, in the telecommunications, energy, utilities, shipping and transport sector and in the consumer and industrial products manufacturing and distribution sector, in educational institutions, membership associations, food service and the hospitality sector. Her coaching practice is focused on Executives, Career Professionals and Entrepreneurs. She can also coach consultants who are starting a practice and those seeking to be certified but still short of the requisite experience. She is also a Certified Management Accountant, a Certified Executive Coach, a Certified Specialist in Risk and Controls Self Assessment and Certified in Total Rewards at Professional level. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org