Everything as a service is an idea whose time has truly come, starting a few years earlier. This wave, accelerating and maturing alternately over this period, has become the new normal across all business and service models. However, there is a known, accepted but unspoken downside to as-a-service delivery models; higher customer churn. Customers’ exit barriers being lower, customers switch to leverage price advantages, proximity or for larger ecosystem effects.
The Status Quo
Service delivery models in Management Consulting have been dominated by MBB (McKinsey, BCG, and Bain) for decades, as they continue to hold opaque practices within their own alumni network. However, with changes in client preferences, demand patterns and sophistication, and cutting-edge technology (vast data-driven decisions and continuous digital innovations) intensity, their boilerplate practices are gradually rendered obsolete and out of pace.
Highly specialized firms, or smaller boutique consulting organizations, are creating value for client engagements by breaking free of age-old practices. The era of operating in silos and limiting engagements to strategic solutions is archaic now; the new-age solution brings in expertise edge across the implementation.
Disruption or Overhaul?
The current model rarely tends to help the smaller businesses which may not be able to afford a multi-million-dollar long-term contract, and also does not help businesses with more modest requirements, like an on-demand subject matter expert to give occasional advice and counsel as needed. There are often cases where a one-year contract with a dozen on-site consultants is overkill, and the client has a single need that can be answered in a shorter time period instead.
Taking a deeper look into it, the industry veterans staunchly believed that the underlying problem, however, could not be hidden further by malpractices of service catering individuals, who are projected as experts since day 1. This clan learns eventually on the cost of the client’s funds and dexterously crafts relevance to seem competent while learning (better known as managing Learning Credibility Tension). Most of the while, the goal is to recycle insider knowledge and create resonance so as to gain the client’s trust. This has been a prevalent practice until the advent of Expert as a Service (ExaaS).
ExaaS (Expert as a Service)
The underscoring principle of an Expert is someone who comes ready with Management Consulting or Vertical specialized knowledge and showcases prowess in a timely, effective and efficient manner. With the disruption caused by the Pandemic, more and more businesses are switching to the Outsourcing model of staffing. Hence, the focus from the incumbents to the smaller organizations with competitive services comes into play who can hit the ground running early with the relevant skillset.
With the inception of ExaaS, there are a limited number of organizations who integrate the essential Industry Services (measured by the traction in the contemporary world). Among others, the key growth industries encompass Strategy Consulting, Management Consulting, Operations Consulting, HR Consulting, Financial Advisory, IT Consulting. Also, within the sub-verticals of IT: Data & Analytics, AI/ML and within Financial World: – New products like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is gaining overwhelming uptakes owing to the pronounced benefits.
Boutique Firms vs Behemoths
Smaller consulting firms or boutique firms usually rely on more collaborative and on-the-ground senior Expert-based solutions (a Diamond-shaped hierarchy vs a pyramid (refer to picture below for details). For clients that prefer being in charge of the whole process, a boutique firm could be a better fit. In emerging consultancies, the partners dedicate most of their time to client engagements, working alongside senior executives for months at a time and functioning as their sounding board. McKinsey, BCG, and Bain (MBB) still hold the ground for their own set of practices, so they are unbeatable at their game where the innovation takes a back seat sometimes; Instead, looking through positions that are deliberately distinct is opening growth avenues for younger firms.
DADJ: Leading Consulting disruption, with its ExaaS model
DADJ, an early entrant in this space, was beset by the same problem of customer churn. With incremental and operational costs being insignificant, competitors were undercutting on price, and it was a race to the bottom on pricing and profitability; till DADJ decided to upend the engagement model. DADJ quickly pivoted its service delivery model to add the expertise edge across key delivery and customer experience touchpoints.
Our clients are ecstatic at the results they have achieved, which has surpassed their expectations. It brings alive the promise of continuous value orchestration, that is a client need, both stated and unstated. The model combines the 3 C’s (business Context, Competitive positioning, and Customer preference), in a collaborative framework (synergies that cut across verticals and business units) to create a unique value proposition for customers.
For a recent analytics assignment focused on revenue and market share objectives in the mobility space, DADJ brought in experts with experience in pricing, revenue optimization domain, using predictive analytics teams, using big data and cutting-edge tools for data discovery, transformation, mining and analytics. Instead of focusing on the delivery aspects of the project, and taking an inside-out view of the objectives, the expert team took an outside-in view for solution design. They evaluated a host of market leadership/price leadership and optimization approaches against what the client project wanted to achieve. Needless to say, the results were dramatic and yet again the team-up of experts continues to outperform!
With an embedded Expert as a Service ExaaS approach across most of its service and engagement lines – the framework, implementation approach and benefits have found favor with clients, employees and partners alike. A project success rate at over 85%, and top decile user adoption of its solutions and services, are validation of this approach. DADJ is now scaling its ExaaS model across all service engagements, and product customizations. To know more, please read
A detailed flavour of our services, thematic research laboratory for Be-spoke and tailored solutions can be found at our website: (https://dadjglobal.com/)
The current placement of Boutique firms (type of projects bagging & standing)