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Cantankerous views on a consulting group’s claims

Disclaimer: I compete with Huron Consulting Group.

Huron recently announced its IMPACT™ solution, which “can save our clients anywhere from 15 to 40 percent – directly improving their bottom line.” It rubs me the wrong way to read such a claim. Savings of that magnitude are not just lying around awaiting the magic wand of consultants.

The press release says that the “solution evaluates cost control methods in a systematic and data driven way, focusing on the following key cost areas:

• In-house resources optimization;
• Outside counsel sourcing and partnering;
• Budgeting and financial management;
• Workload and work-value analysis;
• Technology; and
• Discovery, contracts and records management.”

This too irritates me because there is nothing about such important areas as talent development, morale, knowledge management, client satisfaction, or benchmarks.

Further, you can be sure recommendations sell cost-savings in e-discovery. Hardly objective, the consultants are tied at the hip to a cure the company hawks: “Huron’s IMPACT solution also fits with Huron’s V3locity® solution, the Company’s e-discovery process.”

Finally, unlike other services, Huron’s IMPACT solution is a holistic cost-reduction service – where Huron’s fees could be based as a success fee on a percentage of savings or on traditional hourly rates.” Performance-based fees, which depend on cost savings achieved (think bill auditors), can be either problematic or progressive.