Q: Can you sum up where the firm
A: 2013 was another successful year
for North Highland, especially when
viewed in the context of a challenging economy. We expanded our
footprint with four new offices (
Seattle, Washington; Sao Paulo, Brazil;
Seoul; South Korea; Hobart, Tasmania), expanded our business intelligence division, Enfathom, into the
UK, grew our client base, increased
our employee base by more than 10
percent, were recognized as a Best
Firm to Work For, and delivered
tremendous value for our clients.
To summarize, we invested in capabilities and expertise so that we can
continue to drive real value for our
Q: How would you describe your
firm’s outlook for 2014?
A: Entering 2014, I am more excited
about the work we are doing with
clients than at any time in our firm’s
history. This is due in large part to
our ever-increasing role as strategic
advisor and thought partner to cli-
ents. Our consultants have grown
quickly in order to continually ex-
ceed the high expectations we have
and to keep ahead of the fast pace
of change in our industry. We an-
ticipate significant growth at North
Highland in 2014 through our suite
of diversified services. Our strategic
marketing agency, Sparks Grove, to
cite one example, achieved 50 per-
cent annual growth during the past
two years, and is bringing new inno-
vations to the table for our consult-
ing clients. We expect another 50
percent in 2014 for Sparks Grove.
Globally, across all areas of our busi-
ness, we are looking at double-digit
growth in 2014. Looking ahead, we
see significant growth for clients in
several industries, including Finan-
cial Services, Healthcare, Retail, and
Public Sector, among others.
Q: What specific signs are you seeing
that suggest an increase in demand?
A: In the last quarter of 2013, we
saw a significant uptick in demand
for multi-disciplinary solutions. At
the same time, across our industry,
there is a move to a managed services approach for the more basic type
of work. This is driving more consulting firms to move aggressively
into strategy work. Many of these
firms say they do strategy work and
only a few of us do. This creates additional opportunity for North Highland as we are able to provide a full
spectrum of consulting services in a
very unique integrated way, through
our local office model.
factors driving their growth, but each is solidly focused
on its own unique opportunities. As an example, our
largest segment—Huron Healthcare—saw its revenues
increase 21 percent year to date through the third quarter
2013, all on an organic basis. Ongoing competitive
market forces, including well-publicized changes in
healthcare and education, continue to drive our business.
Q: How do you see the consulting profession evolving?
A: Successful consulting firms anticipate and adapt to
changes in their clients’ businesses, and that imperative
will continue to drive the evolution of the profession in
2014 and beyond. One industry trend, which is being
driven by clients’ evolving business needs, is the addition
of new competencies to firms’ portfolios of services.
Huron, for example, added Blue Stone International,
a provider of Oracle professional services supporting
enterprise performance management, information
management and business intelligence solutions.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges in 2014?
A: One of the ongoing challenges is finding and retaining
great people. We believe that Huron’s culture, collaborative
workplace environment, competitive salaries, and excellent
benefits continue to set us apart from others. The fact that
we have been able to continue to grow our team and have
among the lowest turnover within our peer group is a
testament to how employees feel about working at Huron.