Author: Salvatore Corradi – FM Chairman
In today’s globalized society, business and markets change, transform and evolve quickly. Therefore, many companies, whether they like it or not, face continuous challenges.
If these challenges are stimulating for some SMEs, for others they can be an insurmountable obstacle that seems to be unsolvable by using only internal resources. All of this leads to the need to turn to external experts. When these needs arise, among many options, a company can choose between a consultant or a temporary manager.
Between these two professional figures there are similarities, but also several differences that make them more or less suitable to meet certain needs of a company, which require the intervention of highly qualified resources for a limited period of time.
Consultants are mainly demanded for specific short-term projects requiring high technical skills. These professionals recommend and advise the company while remaining always and in any case external, identify the problem and retrieve the information by interacting directly with the property and with the employees of the company, and then suggest useful advice to meet the business needs. Once this step is reached, it will be the faculty of the company management or the entrepreneur to choose whether or not to apply what the consultant suggested to them.
Temporary managers, on the other hand, steps in the core business of a company in a more systematic and lasting way. They may be recruited to temporarily occupy positions due to shortages of personnel or to support strategic expansion plans. Interim managers operate in the heart of the implementation of specific projects for an exclusive customer, working within the company staff: despite being the latest arrivals, they must be considered as an integral part of the team, in order to speed up the processes of change.
The Tman proposes solutions when they identify critical issues, but their intervention is not a consultation in the strict sense of the term. Similarly, a consultant does not deal directly with the implementation of the processes for which they have proposed a solution. Basically, a corporate consultant analyses what are the business challenges and develops strategic plans that can be implemented by interim managers at a later stage.
From a strictly financial point of view, consultants and temporary managers constitute an economic investment for a company. In fact, for a correct estimate of costs, it is necessary to have in mind all the relevant elements, from the modalities to the degree of intervention. Keep in mind that, on average, a management consultant or a temporary manager can cost about 20-30% more than the business cost of a traditional manager.
In conclusion, both professional figures are a valid guide for SMEs that have to make delicate decisions, what really matters is choosing which of the two solutions is right for you.