2013-01-26 19:29:28 - In 2010, the UK consulting industry was worth just over £8 billion, employing around 40,000 people, and just under £1 billion extra work was performed by the UK consulting industry overseas (MCA, 2010).
Though difficult to segment, consultancy can be divided into three broad categories. Strategic firms that look at what organisations could be doing over the next five to ten years, operational firms that look at business process and 'operations', and change management firms, that help businesses deal with the challenges posed by their people. Strategy projects generally cost more per day, but they tend to be much shorter, whereas delivery and transformation projects last across lengthier periods of time. The large multidisciplinary consultancies try to cover all areas, offering a full service in every industry. Smaller consultancies win work off the back of their specialism, often coming in for small parts of larger programmes.
Consultancies may also provide organisational change management assistance,
development of coaching skills, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Management consultants generally bring their own intellectual property methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems and to serve as the basis of recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing business tasks. Some firms only undertake 'pure' management consulting work, some of which are part of larger firms that also undertake IT systems development, outsourcing and, increasingly, numerous other activities.
The first management consultancy firm ever established was Arthur D Little, which opened their doors for the first time in the US in 1886. In the UK, the consulting industry began to grow quickly in the 1950s. This was fuelled by the arrival of US consulting firms, waves of new technology and management techniques, along with increasing demand from clients for highly specialised skills.