What is a Management Consultant?

Organizations hire management consultants to develop strategies for entering and/or remaining competitive in the marketplace. Although some management consultants work for the organization that they are analyzing, most work as consultants on a contractual basis.

What does a Management Consultant do?

A management consultant proposes ways to improve an organization's efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

A management consultant proposing ways to improve an organization's efficiency.

Whether they are self-employed or part of a large consulting company, the work of a management consultant varies from project to project. Consultants often work independently with the client organization's managers.

Some projects require a team of management consultants, each specializing in one specific area, such as inventory management, or reorganizing corporate structures to eliminate duplicate and nonessential jobs. Some specialize in a specific industry, such as healthcare or telecommunications. In government, management analysts usually specialize by type of agency.

Management consultants typically do the following:

  • Gather and organize information about the problem to be solved or the procedure to be improved
  • Interview personnel and conduct on-site observations to determine the methods, equipment, and personnel that will be needed
  • Analyze financial and other data, including revenue, expenditure, and employment reports, sometimes using sophisticated mathematical models
  • Develop solutions or alternative practices
  • Recommend new systems, procedures, or organizational changes
  • Make recommendations to management through presentations or written reports
  • Confer with managers to ensure the changes are working

Management consultants who work on contract may write proposals and bid for jobs. Typically, an organization that needs the help of a management consultant solicits proposals from a number of consultants and consulting companies that specialize in the needed work. Those who want the work must then submit a proposal by the deadline that explains how they will do the work, who will do the work, why they are the best consultants to do the work, what the schedule will be, and how much it will cost. The organization that needs the consultants then selects the proposal that best meets its needs and budget.

Management consultants work with managers and other employees of the organizations where they provide consulting services. They work as a team toward achieving the organization’s goals. They must be able to think creatively to solve clients' problems. Although some aspects of different clients' problems may be similar, each situation is likely to present unique challenges to solve.

Are you suited to be a management consultant?

Management consultants have distinct personalities. They tend to be enterprising individuals, which means they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic. They are dominant, persuasive, and motivational. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

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What is the workplace of a Management Consultant like?

Management consultants usually divide their time between their offices and the client's site. Since they spend a significant amount of time with clients, they often need to travel.

Management consultants work under fairly high pressure. They should be confident and self-motivated when working with clients. They often work under tight deadlines and must use their time efficiently to complete projects on time.

Self-employed consultants decide how much, when, and where to work. However, they are often under more pressure than salaried employees, since their livelihood depends on their ability to maintain and expand their client base.

Management Consultants are also known as:
Management Advisor Management Expert Management Specialist Corporate Structure Consultant Management Analyst