top of page

Management consultancy in transition: Who is the right management consultant for you?

Hiring external management consultants - including in new areas such as transformation, innovation, digitalization and sustainability - can bring great benefits. However, the expectations placed on management consultants have increased. Clients are faced with the challenge of how to correctly assess and differentiate the expertise and value proposition of consultants.

The results of our comprehensive study on consulting market developments, consulting clients, challenges and trends based on responses from 130 client and consulting companies (supplemented by regular discussions with managing partners of consulting companies and managers in client companies) show this in a variety of ways.

Over 60% of clients are only moderately satisfied with the services of the consulting companies they use for their digitalization, innovation and sustainability projects.

This is also reflected by the project success rates: from the perspective of customers, they are highest for digitalization projects at 61-80% and lowest for sustainability projects at 41-60%.

Wide range of advisory services

The range of consulting services is more diverse than ever. There are around 25,000 consulting firms in Germany and 20,000 in Switzerland.

The good news for customers: The diversity of service providers on the market allows for efficient and successful collaboration between clients and consultants. Knowing and differentiating the competencies of different consulting providers, the services or methods offered, but also the consultants who implement them, is becoming increasingly important in an increasingly competitive environment. A professional evaluation is necessary in order to be able to achieve the best match and ensure the project success.

Cardea helps its clients to find the best match between client requirements and the services of consulting companies and to make the best choice of which consultants to use. We have proven this in the following projects for our clients, for example:

  • Data Driven Marketing: Better use of data for all customer-oriented decisions through the introduction of a marketing-oriented data infrastructure, (predictive) analytics and data-based services Challenge: boutique consulting vs. large consulting firm

  • Innovation Acceleration: Development of a new innovation approach and implementation of use cases with tangible business impact in order to develop and establish new products and services faster and more customer-oriented Challenge: Best match in terms of the consultants' approach

  • Digital Signage: Increasing product and user experience as well as sales figures through sales channel-optimized content development and digitalization of the entire company and data structure in order to manage product information and services on a channel- and customer-specific basis Challenge: Identification of innovative, end-to-end consulting services.

New requirements for consulting firms

In today's world, clients are looking for consulting partners and resources that not only have in-depth and broad expertise, but also technological know-how, implementation skills and the ability to innovate.

However, the mere "accumulation" of skills by consulting companies does not guarantee successful problem solutions and projects. Consulting companies must be able to apply their in-depth technical expertise in the context of the respective business challenge and think outside the box. Clients are well advised to vet these required, comprehensive skills of the consultants in advance.

However, it is not only the expertise of the consulting companies that counts, but also their business and collaboration models:

86% of the clients surveyed no longer see consultants merely as "trusted advisors" or "concept and knowledge suppliers", but as "co-developers", "co-entrepreneurs" or even "co-operators"

87% of customers increasingly prefer more agile strategies, an interactive approach, smaller/shorter and more flexible projects due to cost pressure and an uncertain market environment.

53% of customers also are seeking new business models for consulting.

Customers expect more flexibility and creativity, and demand for software-supported consulting services or "micro-consulting services" is increasing. Customers are requesting innovative offers that reduce project times, costs and risks.

„Best Match“ Evaluation

To ensure the best match when choosing consultants, it is necessary to have precise knowledge of the relevant client requirements with regard to the respective topics and to clearly identify and evaluate the core strengths and capabilities of the consulting firms.

Essential prerequisites for this are

  • Overview of the various types of consultants, their services and expertise

  • Well-founded evaluation process to make services, competencies, deliverables and prices comparable

  • Precise and project-specific definition of requirements, which expertise is needed, which goals are to be achieved and how to ensure that the goals are achieved

  • Examination of the consulting companies' ability to solve the project-specific challenges in a sustainable manner.

Our services for clients

Based on your needs, we identify suitable consulting companies based on our databases and market screening expertise and match the services of potential providers with your specific requirements. You will receive the best selection of consulting companies that are right for your project. Learn more

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page