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The terms "consulting" and "advising" are often used synonymously to describe outsourced services used by companies to solve problems or improve performance. However, there are subtle differences between the two. Consulting is typically considered a process to help a company uncover a specific problem and arrive at a solution. Advising is usually a longer-term relationship. The advisor helps uncover problems, but more often directs her clients on where to go for help.
Consultants are considered problem solvers. You typically use a consulting firm to help you discover the root cause of a business problem, and to help fix it. Once the problem is solved, the consultant leaves. Advisors use a bigger picture approach to help you deal with ongoing challenges to your business. They help guide you toward improvement by assisting in problem discovery and advising you on where to find helpful resources and services.
Consulting relationships are commonly short-lived, while many businesses hire and retain advisors on an ongoing basis. In fact, some companies have a business advisory board that meets regularly to review the company's direction and offer advice.
Consulting firms have become increasingly IT-driven, using their expertise to determine what technology software systems you need. They sell the systems to you, install them and leave. Advisors are more like strategists. They help you develop a way to align your technology with your company's goals and processes.
The level of independence in relationships between clients and their consultants and advisors has become an important topic in accounting, auditing and other industries in the early 21st century. Independent accounting and auditing relationships are especially important to ensure credibility in financial reporting for public companies. True consulting relationships are considered more independent than advising relationships. That's because of the shorter-term nature of consulting work, and the limited strategic involvement of the consultant. Advisors sometimes become active in helping business clients with process improvements and accountability within the organization.
Your Own Business Excellence Advisor
As a small to medium or even a large business, you may not need a full-time Business Excellence Manager or a BE team. But you almost certainly DO need the relevant expertise and ongoing advice to ensure appopriate systems and governance for your business.
A Syssteam advisor can become your Business Excellence Manager - but part-time, and on need basis. The advisor can help you in setting up the relevant processes and systems, appropriate governance framework, and provide ongoing support through your Business Excellence journey. That could be every now and then, once a week or once a month. It's up to you.
So you can have all the benefits of your own Business Excellence Manager, for a fraction of the cost of hiring someone full time! Your BE Manager will be always available, face to face or on-line, to help plan strategic direction with you, discuss new ideas... and be your right-hand expert... whenever you need help.
Best of all, they bring along their experience with big and successful organisations to your business. All our advisors are qualified experts from bigger businesses, and have worked at various senior level positions at leading companies and know exactly how to improve the business performance.