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Odgers Interim Consulting
The healthcare sector has long used expertise of management consultants, whether in clinical operations and cost management, the use of information and technology, strengthening corporate governance or system and organisational change and reconfiguration. However, in recent years the use of traditional management consulting in the health service has come under increased scrutiny.
This management consulting industry is being enhanced by the launch of Odgers Interim’s independent consulting division. In what marks a significant development for the sector and presents a major opportunity for healthcare organisations requiring consulting services, our model disrupts the traditional way strategic advice is purchased by companies and delivered by consultants.
Independent consulting sees professionals, who often begin their careers within a major consultancy group or accountancy firm, hire out their services for fixed contract periods. A major advantage for the healthcare sector, where budgets are under pressure and spending is under intense scrutiny, is that independent consultants are available at lower rates than consultants at big firms, while offering the same degree of consulting talent.
Typically, independent consultants charge fees up to 50 per cent below those of established firms – but because they have previously worked for top-tier firms, there is no compromise in the quality of advice delivered. Odgers Interim Consulting’s pool of independent talent includes alumni of leading strategy firms such as McKinsey and major accounting and consulting firms like Deloitte.
When working with independent consultants, clients can expect a certain level of seniority and therefore rigour. This offers a favourable contrast to the composition of project teams sometimes supplied by traditional consulting firms which feature junior team members lacking the requisite experience.“Advice lies at the heart of the relationship between a management team and its consultants,” says Odgers Interim Consulting Managing Partner Chris Preston. “Businesses want comfort that the people who are critically evaluating their operations are able to deliver real value and have a cultural connection with the company. So the ability to form your own team of consultants is now seen as a priority, rather than a luxury.
“As businesses look for better value services, management consultancy is ripe for disruption and independent consultants are already making their mark. These interim professionals have the academic background, track record and prestigious training to compete at the highest levels, but the economics allows them to charge up to 50 per cent less than the fees of the major firms.”
Preston, who previously spent 10 years with Page Group in a variety of senior management positions in London, Shanghai and Taipei, is supported by Charlotte Gregson who began her career in consulting with LEK Consulting before moving to IMS Consulting Group in 2007, where she worked on strategic and commercial issues within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Most recently, Gregson was a manager at management consultancy Eden McCallum LLP where she focused on building an extensive network of independent consultants and structuring project teams for a variety of clients across sectors.
“There is a rapidly growing pool of consultancy talent to pick from,” adds Gregson. “We see consultants leaving the major firms as they do not aspire to the gruelling travel schedule, lack of work-life balance and time away from friends and family that the sector often demands. Instead, the greater flexibility on offer to choose your own clients, area of expertise and workload is attracting many to consider making the move to becoming independent”.
Until now, the market has lacked a service provided by an established global recruitment business able to harness complementary expertise in executive search and interim management. The deepening talent pool we can access means there are more Independent consultants available to assist organisations in strategy development, operational improvement, financial planning and transformation projects.