Why a Consultant Makes a Difference

Why a Consultant Makes a Difference

One day a prominent business decided to invest in an Ivalua implementation. When it came time to use the software, the owner of the company failed to see the value of hiring an Ivalua consultant to come in and show the company how to get the most out of the investment. The company continued on with the implementation without knowing how it worked and wasted a good six months or so and a couple of hundred thousand dollars before they finally chose to hire the consultant anyway.

The moral to the story: Hire the consultant.

What is a Consultant?

Any branch of business could benefit from a consultant for whatever task they are trying to achieve. In the above scenario, the consultant was a specialist in the Ivalua platform. In a different scenario, the consultant may be for a web development firm or a digital marketing agency.

In any event, a consultant is a person that has extensive knowledge about a specific platform or market that can offer advice, education, and training on how to get the most out of whatever it is that is being introduced to the company, or the individual.

A consultant does not have to be for a business, one can also be available for individuals, families, people seeking better health, and so on.

There are so many opportunities and tools available in the world today, but there are probably consultants for each one.

What Does a Consultant Do?

A consultant merely points the person that they are consulting in the right direction. There is a huge difference between a person that shows another person the best way how to do something and a person that actually does the thing.

Although consultants are perfectly capable of doing whatever it is they are showing others how to do, it is not their job to do the task for them. Their job is merely to guide the person and teach the person or people how to do whatever it is that they are getting consulted for.

You may notice that when you get a new prescription that the pharmacy orders a “consult” from the pharmacist to make sure that you understand what it is that you are taking, how to take it, and how many times a day you should take it. The pharmacist does not take the medication for you, only consults you on the appropriate way to use the medication.

Although the pharmacist could very well take the medicine for you, it would not be beneficial for either one of you.

And so it is with a consultant. The consultant will enter the place where the implementation will take place and show you, or whoever, how to do what it is that your doing, the best way.

Why Consultants are Important

Of course, there are plenty of situations that which a consultant would seem inappropriate. You wouldn’t need a consultant to come into the shower with you and show you how to wash your body, or come in and show you how to go to the bathroom. However, when it comes to the things that are going to help you get ahead in life, it is great.

Sometimes a person needs motivation along with the advice that they are getting. A health coach is more or less a health consultant. They do not go in and tell you what to eat or specify a workout routine for you. However, they will hold you accountable and give you the motivation that you need to keep pushing and stay on track.

If a company is making big changes that require a lot of training and learning for the entire team, the big boss that asked for a consultant may get overwhelmed at times. Changes are hard, especially when it is something that offsets the entire company.

Not only can a consultant lead the company in the right direction, but also be a motivational part of the transition. Where the boss feels like it is an impossible feat, the consultant will know that it is not, and will be able to say the things that the boss needs to hear in order to stay on track and continue forward with the changes.

A Financial Consultant's Work Can Make a Difference

Working Without a Consultant

As we discussed earlier in this article, companies may not see the value in hiring a consultant to help until after they have already wasted a bunch of time and money trying to wing it and do things with guesswork and assumptions.

There are some things in life that do not have answers in Google. Since every business will have its own dynamics, and every person will have their own unique traits that make them who they are there is no way to tell how an implementation of any sort will work within various parameters of a business or personal endeavor.

When a business calls for the help of a consultant it is for something that will be unique to the parameters of the needs of the business.

For example, if a business has implemented source-to-pay software to help them get the most out of their spending habits, the way that the software will work will depend on a number of factors that contribute to the needs of the company.

Just like the story above, the person in charge of the operation will have a choice on whether or not to hire a consultant to help with the implementation. Many times when a company tries to do a huge change without the help of a professional at first, they will undoubtedly hire one after they waste thousands of dollars and hours.

Learning new things can be fun and rewarding, however, if the new things are extremely complicated or far out of the realm of the knowledge of the person trying to use the new thing, it is better to ask for guidance from a person that already knows how to use the thing.

Costs vs. Costs

Say a consultant charges $100 per hour for services. At first, this may seem like a bit much but think about it. If your company has several employees that are paid ad $20 an hour and you use 5 of them to help implement a solution that they know nothing about, how much are you going to end up spending on the implementation? 5 People at $20 an hour is $100 per hour.

A step further will uncover the fact that none of these 5 employees has any knowledge of how to implement a change or do whatever it is that you need help with. As your 5 workers scramble and struggle to help you get your thing going, they are ignoring the jobs that they are supposed to be doing.

How much money does the company lose with the loss of workers and unfinished tasks? Depending on the dynamics of the industry it could mean a huge loss if the production is hindered and there are deadlines being missed that cost fines.

If the end result is that the company workers can’t figure it out and the company has to hire that consultant for $100 an hour anyway, the time, money, and energy that was invested into the project is completely wasted and the company suffers a bigger loss than it would have if it would have just hired the consultant in the first place.

This is exactly why hiring a consultant to help get it right the first time makes a huge difference.