As the global workplace continues to increase in complexity, there is a growing need among companies of all sizes and from most every industry to gain access to third-party expertise in order to navigate these uncharted waters. Management consulting firms fill this void by offering their corporate clients services and guidance in areas as diverse as hiring methods, to core technology choices, accounting and finance practices, compliance awareness, and more.
Today, management consulting is a roughly $250 billion industry with more than 700,000 companies globally. But even with its size and projected growth (the industry is predicted to exceed $340 billion by 2025), the management consulting business and service delivery model is seen, by many experts, as flawed for several reasons:
It Works on a Highly Labor-Intensive Model
Most consulting firms rely on their employees as the underlying source in conducting research, performing analyses, arriving at recommendations, defining and managing processes, and facilitating solutions and deliverables. Any labor-intensive model is, of course, difficult to maintain and scale over time.
It Leverages a Time-Based Billing Model
Management consulting firms tend to work on a fee structure that leverages billable hours in its engagements. The unfortunate truth for clients is that this model encourages the over-staffing of engagements and incentivizes the consulting firm to lengthen the engagement.
High Margins are Inviting Disruption
For many management consulting firms, their billable rates far exceeds what they are paying employees (this is especially true even when they leverage junior consultants for an engagement). This level of margin and profitability always invites market disruption.
All of these flaws are, of course, detrimental to the interests of clients. While the industry continues to grow, the threat of disruption is real. And this threat becomes more realistic as cloud-based technologies, and the inherent efficiencies they bring to consulting engagements, continue to evolve and multiply.
The Shift to eLearning for Corporate Training and Consulting
One aspect of management consulting, employee training and workforce development, is already experiencing this shift from classroom-based (and thus, labor-intensive) delivery to online or “eLearning”. This shift in delivery methods is occurring due to the intersection of two powerful trends:
Increasing remote workers (a trend that has been growing for the last several years, but accelerated by COVID-19)
Improving cloud-based technologies to support eLearning programs
The opportunity to complement a management consulting engagement with an eLearning-driven corporate training component provides a number of benefits for the consulting firm that represent departures from the current, labor-intensive delivery model:
eLearning eliminates the need for on-site instruction and the accompanying travel expenses.
While classroom-based training calls for the hiring and preparation of new instructors as demand for training grows, eLearning has no such limitation, and thus scales with much greater efficiency.
One of the challenges of classroom-based training has always been in capturing and sharing data that supports the learner engagement and success. eLearning solves this by including powerful tools for the collection and review of critical program metrics.
Learning Management Systems for Management Consulting Firms
The core technology that supports the delivery of all types of eLearning programs, including corporate training and workforce development, is a Learning Management System, or “LMS”.
While there a several options available for an LMS architecture and deployment, there are two attributes that have proven to be well-suited for eLearning-driven management consulting engagements:
When compared to an on-premises LMS (in which the company launches and manages its own LMS application) a cloud-based LMS, offered by a third-party cloud vendor, allows you to go to market quickly with a minimal up-front capital investment. It also allows for a great deal of flexibility for expanding your LMS footprint as your client base and eLearning needs grow.
In contrast to a single tenant LMS (which deploys one architecture to support a single learning environment), a multi-tenant LMS allows you to dynamically deploy multiple eLearning environments (portals) for each of your clients and engagements. This ability to quickly “spin up” new instances of your LMS application as you bring new clients on board is very well-suited to support the needs of a management consulting firm.
LMS Portals for Management Consulting Firms
LMS Portals offers a cloud-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows our management consulting partners to launch and manage private eLearning environments on-demand, all from a centralized console. And each portal you launch has its own corporate branding and supporting technologies to support a powerful and comprehensive corporate training and workforce development engagement for your clients.