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MCA launches Consultancy Buyers Forum to improve rates of return

Alan Leaman, MCA

London: Today the UK's MCA (Management Consultancies Association) formally launched its new Consultancy Buyers Forum, bringing together the country's leading consulting firms with major client organisations — including many household names — and procurement professionals.

The Forum will promote the highest professional standards in buying and delivering consulting and explore ways of achieving even better rates of return for clients.

MCA research published to coincide with the launch — Generating Value: Making a Difference — reports the views of 200 main board directors and senior procurement staff who work for large UK-based private-sector firms.

On average, and across all types of consultancy, the research found that consulting projects delivered a return on investment worth around six times the fees that were paid. Some projects delivered a value worth over 20 times the fees paid.

Alan Leaman, Chief Executive of the MCA, commented, "The Forum is being created to stimulate greater dialogue and co-operation. Our aim is to ensure that the relationship between clients and their consultancies becomes more strategic, open and partnership-based. This is particularly important at a time when clients are understandably demanding more from their suppliers.

"Above all we will focus on the value that consulting can deliver. We can only do that if there is effective communication between clients and the consulting industry as a whole."

The Consultancy Buyers Forum has already attracted over 100 members from organisations such as Royal Mail, Department of Health, BP, Aviva, Care UK, HMRC, Barclays, NPower, Mars, Diageo, Legal and General, RBS and Thomson Reuters.

The Forum will work on methodologies for measuring and monitoring the value of consultancy and to improve the quality of relationships between clients, procurement departments and management consultancies.

Keynote speakers at the Forum's launch were Rolf Kleiner (Chief Innovation Officer, Kelly Services) David Smith (Commercial Director, DWP) and Aimie Chapple (Managing Director of Management Consulting UK and Ireland, Accenture and President of MCA).

Participants in the Generating Value research were asked to identify the return on investment that their company made on a recent consulting project. The average return was around £6 for every £1 paid in fees. Over 90% of the Board Directors in the research were able to identify the return that they felt had been achieved.

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