Essay, Research Paper: Booz-Allen And Hamilton

Business

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Booz-Allen
& Hamilton is one of the world's largest management consulting firms.
Traditionally, the firm had decentralized regional offices serving clients
independent of other offices. This made cooperation between offices difficult,
which was hurting company's overall performance. To overcome this problem they
came up with a Vision 2000 plan under which the company was divided into three
regions which were further sub-divided (see exhibit 1). This was the first phase
of the plan and the company was considering implementation of the second phase
which was to globally integrate all the three regions. Advantages of Vision 2000
plan The biggest challenge that the company was facing was cooperation
between different offices but this problem was solved because of the new
compensation plan. It made the geographic expansion easier as the offices now
shared the staff within the same region. The "Target Client"
concept helped the company in developing long-term relationships with the
clients which resulted in increasing revenues (see exhibit 2). The Mentoring
program resulted in development and evolution of better consultants. It also
helped the company in serving the personal needs of the consultants and provided
as a skill set for mentors to become partners. The extensive training
programs that consisted of four delivery channels really helped in training and
increasing the efficiency of the consultants. The globally integrated
structure of knowledge sharing through different programs gave the company a
competitive edge over its competitors. Through the "Knowledge
On-Line" databases, the consultants could get considerable amounts of
information about the clients and could also get knowledge and expertise of
other consultants from all over the world. These information databases helped
consultants serve the needs of clients better with analysis formulated by other
consultants. Through the knowledge sharing amongst innovation teams, the
company used to come up with solutions on particular problems. The monitoring
of the engagement teams through information professionals also helped in keeping
a check on team's performance. Also they helped the team to put the knowledge
gained after the engagement for the use of the other consultants in the future.
Greater integration and communication between teams working on the same
client helped in understanding and serving the client better. Higher growth
in revenues and Profits was achieved against competitors (see exhibit 3).
Disadvantages of Vision 2000 plan The staffing and planning process became
very difficult and complex because the company wanted to give the clients the
best consultants possible and tried it's best to match the consultant's
expertise to the client's needs. Cultural Differences and higher demand for
expert consultants also created a problem in the allocation of consultants.
High cost and inefficiencies were also associated with allocating management.
Lot of times consultants didn't want to move from their original places of
practice to where the client was located and therefore the strain of traveling
and moving affected their performance. Consultants often wanted to broaden
their knowledge by shifting into different industry groups making expertise in
one group shorthanded. Recommendations After looking at the above advantages and
disadvantages of the vision 2000 plan, I recommend that they should not globally
integrate their three regions into one because of the following reasons:
Already the company is facing problems because of cultural differences and
further integration would increase these differences. The cost of traveling
and communications would increase by further integration because of larger
distances. The strain of traveling and moving would also increase which would
result in high staff turnover and would also affect staff performance.
Already the staffing and planning process is complex and difficult and further
integration would make it worse. Without global integration, the company
could very well manage the projects of its very important client -IAL all around
the world through its advanced communication and knowledge sharing methods.
The main benefit that is associated with the global integration is that better
staff knowledge and expertise can be utilized from all over the world but the
company to a large extent is already successful in doing that through its
advanced knowledge sharing methods. So instead of globally integrating, I think
they should focus on their current strengths such as building long term
relationships with their clients, recruiting and retaining more expert
consultants and making the full use of their knowledge and expertise. The
company can use secondary practices to aid developing markets and then capture
them as future clients. Rather than wait for clients to emerge, the company can
take a 'nurturing' approach and through educational practices (such as lectures
and seminars) they can guide potential clients to growth. Although this may seem
to be contradictory to their Geographic Footprints concept I feel it can be
beneficial to the firm. Word Count: 797 Exhibit 1 Booz-Allen Practices Atlantic
(North America and Europe) Strategy: Financial services and health care
industries Strategy: Engineering and manufacturing industries Strategy: Energy,
chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries Strategy: Marketing-intensive
industries Strategy: Communications, computing and electronic industries
Operations Management Information Technology (IT) Asia-Pacific-Japan (including
Australia) Latin America Exhibit 2 No. of clients Revenue per client Total
Revenue 1985-89 1100 1times/client 1100 1990-94 200 10 times/client 2000 Exhibit
3 Estimated revenue growth for selected major management consultancies, 1993-94
Andersen Consulting 20.0% Bain & Co. 25.0% Booz-Allen & Hamilton (WCB
only) 30.1% Boston Consulting Group 26.5% Gemini Consulting 6.8% McKinsey &
Co. 15.4%

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