5 Ways Information Management Platforms Produce Deep Value for Business Consulting Companies

State of the Business Consulting Industry

The business consulting sector is a $300 billion industry. IBISWorld reports a total of about 774,000 firms in the USA alone. It’s an immense industry and it’s growing. But it’s about to be disrupted.

According to IBISWorld, “The [Professional Services] industry is in the mature stage of its life cycle. The industry is characterized by growth in line with the overall economy, an increasing number of industry players, and technological change based on improving efficiency rather than developing entirely new services.”

There’s an issue though. Despite its maturity, the sector is vulnerable in its susceptibility to disruption. An industry becomes vulnerable to disruption when it becomes deep-rooted in the same, age-old solutions and structures.

The business consulting industry is one where knowledge is the product — knowledge that helps clients to better strategize, to solve problems, to accomplish specific business goals. Business consulting firms have deep expertise in certain areas, but for the purpose of this whitepaper, this subsector of professional services may include:

• Management consultants

• Strategy consultants

• Public relations consultants

• Sales and marketing consultants

• Environmental consultants

As is often expressed, business consulting firms sell no products, yet their services are so valuable to the health of their clients, they charge sizable premiums. In fact, as seen in the below figure, revenue of business management consultants in the United States has been increasing steadily for the last five years, with steady growth expected.

Knowledge-sharing is at the heart of consulting companies, and by extension their expertise in handling complex situations and steering clients down a sound and secure pathway by leveraging their unique expertise. Businesses cannot know everything and therefore, rely on specialists with practical experience to guide and support their business.

5 Ways Information Management Platforms Produce Deep Value 

Before we discuss the value that information management platforms bring, it’s worth a brief explanation of what exactly they are. Call it whatever three-letter acronym you like.

Enterprise content management. Intelligent information management. Content services platforms. They all describe a category of technology solutions that, in broad generalities, facilitate the storage, organization and retrieval of information. They help companies evolve from archaic folder structures for their documents. These solutions help organizations conquer content chaos where information is scattered across disparate silos. They bridge information into a central repository and, through metadata, give structure to unstructured data. They enable workers with workflows to make them more productive and give order to common processes.

Solutions like M-Files also bring the component of intelligence into the picture. With artificial intelligence features, documents can be automatically classified, screened for sensitive data or have key data points automatically extracted.

With that explanation, we’d like to present the value of these solutions in terms of five main tenets. How does information management help:

• Management consultants

• Strategy consultants

• Public relations consultants

• Sales and marketing consultants

• Environmental consultants

Buyers of technology solutions should stop doing digital transformation because they feel they should and put a heavy focus on the outcomes of implementing a given solution. It is through that lens that we elucidate how information management (specifically the M-Files solution) provides quick time-to-value by answering these five questions.

How information management helps increase your revenue?

Buyers of professional services have changed their expectations. They want a collaborative relationship with critical insight and information on tap, when they need it, wherever they happen to be.

M-Files information management gives you 360-degree visibility into a client engagement and drives operational efficiency into the organization — all to the delight of your current and future customers.

To lean into better profitability, companies must re-examine their operations to remove any hurdles that prevent workers from serving the customer best. This could be in areas like project or contract management.

As the single point of access for customers and other company data, M-Files can streamline and automate document-intensive work, freeing up staff’s time and removing barriers to improved customer service. Also, M-Files can efficiently manage documentation for customer-related processes like contracts and projects, thereby enhancing responsiveness.

How information management helps reduce your expenditure?

M-Files reduces expenditure at just about every juncture — respond to audits 5x faster, secure cloud storage versus expensive on-premises storage, and reduction in resources needed for information governance, just to name a few.

There is a hard cost to managing paper documents, as well. It’s not just paper; it’s the file cabinets, folders, storage space and personnel to manage all of it. 45% of the paper printed in an office ends up in the trash by the end of the day. M-Files intelligent information management eliminates the need for paper, filing cabinets, and stacks of manila folders. Not just that, but the productivity losses realized by tracking down papers and organizing them can carry a heavy toll.

How information management helps you save time?

According to research, 46% of workers say it’s challenging and time-consuming to find needed information. M-Files drastically reduces the time spent searching for documents by providing a 360-degree view of needed information across disparate repositories.

Business consulting firms traditionally encounter several repetitive, manual tasks — from data-entry to document filing and everything in between.

Automate many of these tasks with M-Files information management to free up time and resources. Time saved means more focus on strategic, value-added services and an increase in billable hours.

Among other drivers, fixed price agreements are driving automation needs, as companies look to become more efficient with less overhead. Consulting firms that embrace data entry automation and other automated work become more agile in eliminating manual, repetitive, error-prone processes.

In fact, 55% of C-level executives in professional services expect the development of intelligent automated systems to have the greatest impact over the next 3-10 years, according to a report by the ACCA.

In terms of project-based engagements, client-facing project automation is driving new business models, allowing consulting firms to focus less on poring through data and more on strategic guidance.

How information management helps avoid risk?

Nothing is more damaging to your reputation than a data breach. Companies need systems and procedures in place to ensure that information-access permissions are only given to relevant people with zero-chance of information leak.

Consulting companies have data littered in multiple, disconnected systems — ERP, CRM, laptops, network folders. A multi-repository information ecosystem increases risk, as it compounds the challenge of ensuring that information doesn’t leak out or fall into the wrong hands. Firms need an information management ecosystem where they have constant visibility and control over information. They need a flexible information management environment like M-Files that not only adapts to ever-changing regulatory demands but can be configured to meet the security demands for each customer.

How information management helps achieve your goals?

Information management helps business consulting companies reach their goals by allowing them to do more with less by reallocating resources to high value work, like serving customers or developing new products.

Every organization is now on a digital journey.

Companies can swim against the tide at their peril, but the most successful companies embrace the change. M-Files information management helps future-proof your organization and prepares you for a faster, tech enabled future.For more information on how we can help your organisation please email: peter@documentmanagementsoftware.com.au or visit www.documentmanagementsoftware.com.au

Peter Ellyard

Having spent over 20 years immersed in the document management software industry I have found that by offering a simple to use, highly effective electronic document management solution (knowledge management software) we increase productivity dramatically. Typically by an hour per person, per day! This is not rocket science, just a simple way to streamline your day to day information needs.