Business Services and Consulting


There are several ways to define the business services and consulting industry, but they all make a clear distinction between business services (services a client cannot or does not want to perform in-house) and consulting (services that will improve a client's activities). Of course, these two different types of activities can be combined into one, depending on the client's requirements.

However, the line between the two types is sometimes blurry. For instance, a company may provide shipping logistics services for a client (or for the client's clients), in the sense that it handles the shipping of goods for the client; but it can also provide consulting services (or extend its own logistics services) to help the client improve the transportation system already in place.
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Business services can be technical (engineering, scientific, etc...), professional (portfolio management, asset management, etc...), and administrative (security, cleaning, waste management, etc...). Consulting services can be used in any sector of the economy, from legal to financial and from marketing to IT.

Companies offering business services or consulting services (or both) have the specific mandate to deliver services efficiently and profitably, which is addressed in the following functional areas:

  • Project management is essential, since tracking the status of events during project creation, implementation, and post-deployment allows you to follow up on the state of each project and to ensure it is headed in the right direction.
  • Time management is significant, especially for consulting companies that charge clients on the basis of hourly or daily rates.
  • Knowledge management helps consulting companies create, capture, and administrate documentation related to know-how and expertise, which is their most important asset.
  • Resource planning/management for business services companies refers to both people and IT, and helps manage the allocation of resources to the appropriate projects in order to deliver profitable results.
Depending on the needs and complexity of a company operating in the business services and consulting sector, some or all the functional areas mentioned above can be addressed in the following enterprise software categories:

  • project and portfolio management for professional services automation (PPM for PSA)
  • enterprise resource planning (ERP) for services, which is software designed for non-manufacturing companies
Other enterprise software applications can be used by business services and consulting companies, such as customer relationship management (CRM), human resources (HR), or business intelligence (BI).

The main challenge of the business services and consulting industry is to be able to allocate the right resources at the right time, to the right project. The complexity of the industry and an ever-changing business environment make it a challenge for companies to efficiently address customer needs.

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