Books April / May 2010

Extract Value from Consultants How to hire, control and fire them

By Gordon Perchthold and Jenny Sutton

Outsourcing is on everyone’s lips these days, as firms look to cut costs and add value without compromising quality.

This book’s 16-page feature—“Beware Consulting is Different in Asia”— on the unique challenges of hiring, managing and extracting value from consultants in Asia, a relative newcomer to this industry, will probably most interest readers of this review.

The feature ends with a useful “Management Summary”. Other sections I found very helpful covered the “Structure of a Typical RFP”, and “Key Components of a Consulting Contract”.

With first-hand observations and case studies from decades-long careers evaluating consulting firms such as IBM and Infosys, as well as consulting BP and Prudential, the authors’ goal is to show how to exploit benefits and reduce costs.

I agree with the authors’ claim that “This book should be mandatory reading for executives, project sponsors, project managers, and employees — anyone who will interact with consultants”.

Review by Simon Farrell

[greybox]Gordon Perchthold and Jenny Sutton worked for global management-consulting firms as senior consultants and managers before becoming partners in Deloitte Consulting and ABeam Consulting in Tokyo. In 2006, they established The RFP Company, which structures and extracts value from complex business initiatives. The have done assignments in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, London, Zurich, Hong Kong, Shanghai and a dozen other cities.[/greybox]