20 April 2011 | Lindsay Clark
Buyers of consultancy in the financial
services sector make purchasing decisions based on existing relationships and
A survey of purchasers spending around £650
million on consultancy found that the international reach of the big four
firms, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and Ernst & Young, was not necessarily a factor
in using services from them – but brand and existing relationships were.
However, it also uncovered a desire to use smaller specialist consultants.
Edward Haigh, author of the report, said:
“Ultimately, [buyers] need to establish the right balance for their particular
objectives. A generic cost-efficiency drive, on one hand, might lend itself to
generic process improvements and proven formulae – pushing the financial
institution towards a big four consultancy with global credentials. On the
other hand, a targeted innovation project may demand greater differentiation –
big ideas and rapid delivery, as provided traditionally by a specialist
Buyers were looking for greater efficiency
and simplicity in their procurement of consultancy by consolidating expenditure
around the big firms with whom they can contract on a global basis from one
central location, the report sponsored by consultants Crossbridge said. However, this needed to be balanced with a need to manage international variations
such as industry regulations and cultural differences, which were driving
demand for local skills and experience.
The report from Sourceforconsulting.com found that two thirds of buyers increased or maintained spend in
this area in the past six months. It also found two thirds were trying to
improve operational performance, including cost cutting, when purchasing