SOURCE: Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory

Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory

March 08, 2011 17:06 ET

Consulting Firms Continue to Firm Up Fees, Taking Steps to Win New Business

Kennedy Forecasts a Post-Downturn Increase in Consulting Fees, With Rebounding Book and Realized Rates, and Less Discounting

PETERBOROUGH, NH--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - In the past year, the consulting profession has stabilized to a significant extent after a disastrous downturn that saw all consulting fee levels take a pounding. A handful of firms, typically those with the strongest brands, performed better than expected. But for most consulting firms, it was a long winter of discontent... and of deep discounting fees.

According to new research from Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory, "Fees and Utilization in Consulting 2010-2011: Data, Trends and Projections," individual firms' price points continue to be dictated by a myriad of drivers: a firm's competitive/strategic situation, financial and brand strength, depth of client relationships, service mix, and overall adeptness of firm stewardship.

"By and large, the time for furious damage control is over," according to Gregory Baranszky, Managing Director for Kennedy Information Advisors. "We're seeing significant variability in fee recovery across consulting service areas, but in 2010 realized rates reversed their downward spiral and have regained a measure of strength across service lines."

Kennedy portends that the new normal for consulting will be characterized by a set of long-lasting changes to the way consultants do business. In order to remain relevant to clients around the world, the consulting industry will have to successfully grapple with a dizzying array of strategic challenges, all of which will have a direct impact on fees.

"Fees and Utilization in Consulting 2010-2011" is Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory's comprehensive analysis of management consulting fees across the spectrum of consulting services and consultant employment level. The research provides benchmarking data on book and realized billing rates, as well as utilization rates, of consulting firms.

Service lines fee levels (both book and realized) analyzed in the research include Strategy Consulting, Operations Management Consulting, Financial Consulting, Human Resources (HR) Consulting, and Information Technology (IT) Consulting & Implementation. Analysis includes: consultant utilization rates, billing methodology, engagement size, book rates & fee levels, and realized rates & fee levels, across a variety of consulting staff including; VP/Partner, Director/Manager, Senior/Experienced consultant, consultant/recent MBA, and entry level/analyst.

In addition, Kennedy discusses trends regarding these operating benchmarks to clients, a sense of how consulting firms have been adjusting their fees and pricing and, more importantly, how these metrics will likely trend going forward.

About Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory

Since 1970, Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory has been the world's leading source of market analysis on the Management and IT consulting industries, serving the most highly regarded professional services firms and Fortune 500 companies across the globe. Kennedy's advisory unit, Kennedy Information Advisors, provides results-oriented strategic guidance to buyers and sellers of consulting services.

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