Consultants are a necessity in these troubled times
The UK’s consultancy industry has been critical in supporting the national response to the pandemic ‘We are a job and wealth creating industry in our own right, contributing over £11bn to the UK economy’
The new normal requires new ways of working to deliver on the values and restore the certainties we enjoyed before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fresh thinking is urgently needed to combat the devastating economic impact of the disease and build a new future.
The best of UK talent needs to be on the front line, harnessing all our industry and digital expertise, putting it to use at speed in both the private and public sector. We need to think outside the box to restore order and reshape our businesses and power our national economic recovery.
That is why the UK’s consultancy industry, the second biggest in the world, supporting tens of thousands of jobs, has been proud to step up to the plate in this crisis for both public and private organisations across the country.
Digital transformation, strengthening and repairing broken supply chains and cutting costs for business survival are all key priorities for organisations right now and the role our industry is playing in rebuilding the economy is more pivotal than ever. The pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital change across the UK dramatically, empowering firms in all sectors to achieve new, more efficient ways of working.
The timescales for finding rapid digital solutions is now frequently measured in hours and days, not months and years. In the financial services sector our industry has provided critical support to help thousands of staff to work remotely, helped roll out various stimulus packages and provided additional capacity and new structures to enable banks to provide timely services for customers.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, government departments have also faced an unprecedented volume of work and challenges, and using external resources has enabled them to work quickly and with intensity on critical pandemic initiatives across the UK.
In double quick time we’ve provided world class technical expertise and multidisciplinary capabilities to help respond at speed and scale, and it has been our priority to strengthen the UK Government’s response and provide value for money. From helping set up the world’s largest randomised clinical trial testing with Oxford University, to supporting local councils to deliver Covid-19 care services and helping to scale up the UK’s national testing capability, the nation’s consultants have worked tirelessly to support the national response and effort.
Yet when it comes to consultancy some like to think that every penny of taxpayers’ cash spent by the Government on consultants is, in itself some kind of luxury. That is not true. It is a necessity. Engaging the expertise of the consultants is a way of increasing value and makes sure genuine sustainable results are delivered faster in the services that matter.
In the NHS new and quicker methods of gathering and sharing information were devised and implemented UK wide to keep ahead of the virus as new ways of treating patients were developed, with the help of expertise from our sector.
For example, in London in March of this year fewer than half of medical practices had the capacity to conduct online GP consultations.
But drawing on the expertise from our sector meant that within seven weeks of the outbreak of the pandemic, 94pc of practices in the capital had the necessary capacity to do online and video consultations, taking an enormous amount of pressure off the system and ensuring thousands more patients got the treatment they needed and deserved.
Our industry is proud to work for tens of thousands of clients across the UK, many of whom promote the results we have delivered through our annual MCA awards. For every NHS, Network Rail, police force or Highways Agency we have worked with in the public sector, there is a Southern Water, Starling Bank, BT Group, AstraZeneca or Standard Life that we have helped to achieve their goals in the private sector. Last year the growth of our industry outpaced that of the overall UK economy and our sector continues to be a major provider of jobs and economic productivity across all regions in the UK.
The management consultancy sector has adapted faster than many other industries and embraced digital transformation years ago. But in this crisis, we have had to adapt too. Despite the travel and lockdown restrictions consultants have worked throughout the period supporting clients and delivering essential work. Video conferencing technology has evolved alongside digital tools such as collaboration platforms, which underpin these new ways of working. Location is no longer a restriction in building teams and fortunately clients now have a larger pool of consultants from around the UK to recruit.
Transferable skills and adaptable experience are at the heart of management consultancy.
We may be a service industry, but every pound spent is an investment. We are a job and wealth creating industry in our own right, contributing over £11bn to the UK economy.
We provide expertise that many companies do not have in-house, but that benefits their bottom line.
If you ever thought that management consultancy services were simply “nice to have” the Covid-19 crisis has shown how they are essential, a “must have” if organisations are to achieve their goals quickly and effectively. There is not a sector in the economy that does not need the benefits and the breadth of experience and talent that consultants can bring.
Consultancy has adapted and continues to adapt to an ever evolving “new normal”. Now we need to help turn that new normal into a “new prosperity” across the economy and society and if anyone can, we can.
Expertise from consultants helped GP practices quickly adapt to conducting online and video consultations