Purchasers must define business need for consultancy

12 July 2013

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12 July 2013 | Adam Leach

Buyers should develop a more thorough definition of the business issue they want consultants to solve before going out to market, to increase value for money, according to a survey.

A survey conducted by the Consultancy Buyers Forum, which is based on the views of 61 purchasers who spend a combined £1.6 billion a year on consulting, found while defining the issue is seen as the most important stage in the buying process, buyers gave themselves an average of just six out of 10 for achieving it. By adopting a good practice approach, respondents felt that the value delivered by the services bought could be increased by 30 per cent.

Paul Vincent, founder and chairman of the CBF, which brings buyers and consultants together to address issues in the procurement process, said: “Often this is caused by a lack of knowledge and understanding about what buying for value really means. By giving clients and procurement professionals access to the same good practice insight they are more likely to be in tune with each other and with consulting firms during the buying process.”

Respondants rated their performance as seven out of 10 for specifying deliverable outcomes and six out of 10 for selecting the right consultancy. The lowest score, four out of 10, was for evaluating supplier performance at the end of a project. 

The survey was conducted to support the launch of the CBF Blueprint, an online portal that provides a selection of resources, case studies and guides around consultancy buying for both buyers and consultants.

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