Consulting firms provide professional advice for a fee. These firms employ professionals with specialized expertise to help governments and organizations across all industries and business functions create value for their customers and shareholders. Consultancies enable companies to enter new markets, increase revenues and improve operational performance. While numerous types of consulting firms exist, the duties and responsibilities of consultants are relatively consistent across the board.
Many different types of consultants exist: strategy consultants, operations consultants and information technology consultants. In each one of the categories, consultants possess specialized knowledge that enables them to offer unique expert advice. In fact, the main reason for hiring an external specialist is to obtain advice regarding a certain issue or subject.
Consulting firms hire consultants who can effectively take information, synthesize it and solve problems. Consultants -- who the Kelloggforum aptly calls "outsourced intelligence" -- must have enough knowledge and expertise in the subject matter to analyze the information clients give them and create a solution that benefits the client. Many times, the job of a consultant is not complete until the problem is solved and the client has completely implemented the consultant's plan of advice.
Many clients hire consulting firms to help them develop ways to increase production, sales or profits. In order to effectively accomplish this, a consultant must possess skills in performing different types of research, including market research.
Because of the nature of their work -- much of it is classified as confidential -- consulting firms must have ethical integrity. For that reason, many consulting firms perform background checks on the individuals they hire prior to hiring them. Consulting firms are bound by ethical codes set by the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF). The AMCF Code of Ethics defines best practices in managing a consultancy and covers clients, engagements, fees and the profession.
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