New forum launched to build strong relationships between clients and management consultancies

The MCA (Management Consultancies Association) has launched a new Consultancy Buyers Forum, bringing together the country’s leading consulting firms with major client organisations – including many household names – and procurement professionals.

The Forum will promote the highest professional standards in buying and delivering consulting and explore ways of achieving even better rates of return for clients.

Research published today by the MCA in Generating Value: Making a Difference reports the views of 200 main board directors and senior procurement staff who work for large UK-based private-sector firms.

On average, and across all types of consultancy, the research found that consulting projects delivered a return on investment worth around six times the fees that were paid. Some projects delivered a value worth over 20 times the fees paid.

Alan Leaman, Chief Executive of the MCA, commented:

“The Forum is being created to stimulate greater dialogue and co-operation. Our aim is to ensure that the relationship between clients and their consultancies becomes more strategic, open and partnership-based. This is particularly important at a time when clients are understandably demanding more from their suppliers.

“Above all we will focus on the value that consulting can deliver. We can only do that if there is effective communication between clients and the consulting industry as a whole.”

Participants in the research were asked to identify the return on investment that their company made on a recent consulting project. The average return was around £6 for every £1 paid in fees. Over 90% of the Board Directors in the research were able to identify the return that they felt had been achieved.

Q             Thinking of a recent consulting project that you are familiar with, what was the return on investment you made as a rough multiple of the fees that you paid?

More than 11 times                                                                             16%

7-10 times                                                                                             14%

4-6 times                                                                                               26%

2-3 times                                                                                               25%

Less than 2 times                                                                                 10%

Don’t know                                                                                            8%

Source: 106 structured telephone interviews amongst main board directors in large UK-based private sector organisations, carried out in April 2012. The proportion answering don’t know was much higher amongst procurement professionals (29%) than board directors (8%). This is likely to reflect the absence of procurement professionals from this element of the evaluation.



For interviews and press information please contact Ben Heath at CHA on 0207 580 7025 or

Notes for editors

1              The Consultancy Buyers Forum has already attracted over 100 members from organisations such as Royal Mail, Department of Health, BP, Aviva, Care UK, HMRC, Barclays, NPower, Mars, Diageo, Legal and General, RBS and Thomson Reuters. Following its formal launch on 20 September, it will work on methodologies for measuring and monitoring the value of consultancy and create the told to improve the quality of relationships between clients, procurement departments and management consultancies.

Keynote speakers at the Forum’s launch are Rolf Kleiner (Chief Innovation Officer, Kelly Services) David Smith (Commercial Director, DWP) and Aimie Chapple (Managing Director of Management Consulting UK and Ireland, Accenture and President of MCA).

3              The research was undertaken by Illuma Research Ltd, an independent research company, on behalf of the MCA and CHA. Illuma undertook telephone based research with 200 main board directors and procurement managers/directors working for UK-based corporates in April 2012.