Question merged

This question is read-only because it has been merged with What drives companies to hire expensive consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, & BCG?.

Value added by consultants

Neil asked on Jun 06, 2016 - 2 answers

One hears all sorts of jokes about consultants of only giving advice, making slides but not taking responsibility for the client's failure (or success).

I think they are a bit harsh since if they were not of any use, companies wouldn't pay such high fees to hire them. That's why, I would like to hear from you, especially those who have already worked in consulting, what exactly is the value added by consultants to the operation of any big org? How does someone who is new to an industry and to a company help it out? Curious to see your opinions!

Thanks :)

2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
replied on Jul 22, 2016
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
Book a coaching with Guennael

99% Recommendation Rate

264 Meetings

1,240 Q&A Upvotes

USD 269 / Coaching

I think there are 3 general ways a Consulting organization can bring value:

1. Bring in actual expertise, which every large company has in droves. Operation, Finance, Strategy... you name it!

2. Help work on a thorny problem that the company's leadership doesn't really want to tackle themselves, or doesn't have the staff to put on it. Includes "right sizing"

3. Give credibility. If MBB said so, it must be true -> now your CEO can get his pet project approved by the board

I suspect many projects are a little bit of every one of these categories btw. And yes, they do provide real value. There wouldn't be such a large industry of 'overpriced' consultants otherwise.

Scott replied on Jul 12, 2016

So I am actually working in a large chemical company, and have heard presentations by consultants from PWC and EY before. The big value added for me was their industry knowledge, not necessarily the analysis or skills. Consultants and their firms have access to lots of private industry knowledge of competitors, and while they can't present that data, they are able to present to a company their benchmarked status (how they stack up). This to me was the most valuable aspect a consultant provieds to a large firm.

I'm nowin the process of applying to consulting firms because I have seen the value of the broad industry knowledge that is gained from working there.

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

Bain case: Asian lubricants producer

Solved 101.0k times
4.7 5 27392
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). ... Open whole case

Bain Case: Old Winery

Solved 38.2k times
4.4 5 1006
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery which has been family owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in the conventional way, i.e. ... Open whole case

McKinsey Questions

Solved 32.7k times
4.5 5 834
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you a ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 22.4k times
4.5 5 193
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where y ... Open whole case

Bain Questions

Solved 21.7k times
4.6 5 274
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills. Open whole case