Q: What specific signs are you seeing that suggest an
increase in demand?
A: All our people have been productively deployed on
projects since May; there have actually been times this
year when we’ve reached a nearly sold-out level. We
see significant changes in some of the key industries we
serve—healthcare—driven by end-customer upheaval.
Our clients are likely to need more help with innovating in
some aspects of their business while they use automation to
create efficiency in others.
Q: How do you see the consulting profession evolving?
A: Today’s clients expect specialization and expertise, and
we see this trend intensifying. In part, this comes down to the
fact that clients need efficiency. Budgets are tight and they
don’t have time to teach consultants about their business
and their business problems. But another contributor is that
consulting is in a more mature phase now.
Q: What do you see as the biggest opportunities in 2014?
A: At ZS, one of our big opportunities for 2014 is also
one of our biggest challenges. We’re fortunate to have
a very established and loyal client base, but many of
them still see only the one or two types of work we’ve
historically done with them. Our challenge is to ensure
that all our clients know the full range of what we do,
particularly as we continue expanding our range of
services within Sales and Marketing.
Q: How would you describe your
firm’s outlook for 2014?
A: Point B continued to grow revenue
in 2013, and we nearly doubled our
profit over 2012. Point B expects a
strong 2014. We have set our sights on
becoming a truly national firm in the
next two to three years. And we intend
to achieve this growth profitably; we
expect double-digit growth in profits
as the investments we’ve made in
highly valuable specialty practices and
skills continue to command a premium
in the market. Specifically, we will
see significant growth in healthcare,
retail, and technology verticals as
they leverage mobile and digital
technologies to improve care delivery
and quality, customer experience, and
operational excellence. Finally, we
are going to invest in developing our
people as we position for expansion.
Q: What signs are you seeing that
suggest an increase in demand?
A: There is a bit of a paradox in the
market right now: Broad economic
indicators suggest sluggish growth,
but many companies are investing as
if they expect better times ahead.
Many of our clients have aggressive
growth plans and are asking us to
help them execute on these plans.
Some industries, such as retail and
healthcare, are going through massive
transitions due to the effects of new
technologies (e.g. advanced data
analytics, mobile commerce) or
legislative and regulatory changes
such as those related to the Affordable
Care Act. Seismic shifts in an industry
usually translate into increased
demand for consulting services.
Q: How do you see the consulting
profession evolving in 2014?
A: We saw significant consolidation
in the industry in 2013, with signs that
it will continue during 2014. We see
competitors going for the scale to take
on larger engagements and own more
of the engagement lifecycle, from
strategy inception to detailed execution
and system integration. These trends
demonstrate a possible “identity
crisis” for many firms as they merge
cultures and consolidate engagement
portfolios. Acquisition integration
can increase internal competition,
and it could divert these firms’ focus
from their clients’ objectives. Point B
continues to place our clients’ interests
above our own. We are, and always
will be, focused on helping our clients
achieve their goals. Building the
relationship doesn’t revolve around
selling the next engagement; it’s
about facilitating the development of
knowledge and capability within our