Are some of the larger SAP software consultancies similar to English Premier League (Elite) clubs?
Why WE (Bluestonex Consulting) are a bit different…we aspire to be like ‘The Arsenal’ but have a long way to go… here is why…
It is clear from the title that I am a football fan and I am still working as an ERP SAP consultant running a company which myself and business partner formed nearly 3 years ago. Obviously my dream growing up was to be a footballer and I didn’t quite get there. Having said that, I am 40 years old and still playing semi-professional football (that’s me in the pic thinking I have scored – but no such luck). I use Football as my ‘release valve’ at the weekend and it helps. People think I am crazy and ask how do I find the time? The fact is that I have a supportive wife & family and my love of football is the reason. Part of the attraction is that I value teams & team ethics (ok, yes, I love the banter and a few pints admittedly).. Sorry back to the analogy….
It’s been a crazy 3 years which I have thoroughly enjoyed, we always set out to do things a little differently with our business not so much because we wanted to set ourselves apart (everyone says that, even though it is true, right?), but because I genuinely thought that some SAP consultancies miss the point when it comes to consulting and the overall user experience.
Let’s be brutally honest, consultancies are there to make money and provide a service. A quality service at that. But do all consultancies look at the clients challenges, projects, cultural misalignments and even budgets from the client’s point of view and do they think about the clients overall experience? I am not so sure they do but this is only my personal opinion. I have reached this opinion as an end user dealing with many of these businesses over the years and also through working as a consultant.
So why the comparison to football and why do I like to use Arsenal as my consulting model? It’s not so much Arsenal but I make a comparison to all the clubs that are financially self-sustainable, play attractive football, get results and have a strong structure with clear responsibility & ethics. You try and play the right way (not so much because I am a football purist) and people will pay to watch you and learn parts of the game themselves. Being part of this footballing model may not make them the most successful team if you judge success by winning trophies but it goes a long way to getting you there. Teams such as this do not have buckets of cash and have to balance the books in their own way and importantly invest in players as well as investment in youth academies. Now apply this to your business – any business….it really shouldn’t matter if you’re a consultancy or a small business running a corner shop…
What is important to you? Making money? Yes of course, it is a business after all but what about building something and sharing it with others, what about leaving a legacy, what about being self-sufficient and being able to invest in people? What about the quality of your work, winning you repeat business time and time again? What about ‘being the best’ and having ‘pride in what you do’?
This is why I am saying that although some consultancies are like our elite Premiership clubs (obviously one comparison is the spending power they possess), the model we adopt is one that is similar to that of Arsenal’s approach – over time people will start to appreciate the team ethics, the user experience and doing things the right way (Like the way we approach SAP consulting). Because of the quality of our individuals and our investment in people we hope to eventually better Arsenal by (importantly) retaining those individuals, the reason why ‘The Arsenal’ hasn’t won trophies year after year. Arsenal has lost key people, individuals attracted by greater salaries who did not buy into the vision set out by the manager. My gut feel says it was more about the £££ and as human greed kicked in, it became challenging to retain the best technical players no matter how hard anyone tried to convince them to buy into the vision. It is the same with some employees.
So lots of challenges ahead and for the moment we can compare ourselves to a lower league Arsenal like a ‘Conference Arsenal’ or a ‘Conference North Arsenal’ – any comparison for me is a good one and tells me we are trying to do things right. We are convinced we will deliver a good user experience not just in delivering business processes / technical projects / SAP clinics and Screen Personas but also the overall SAP consulting experience which still brings out the best in our technical ability with a touch of our pragmatism and our design leadership.
So for now, Bluestonex Consulting will consolidate, and then grow, if we grow quickly we will do it right and in a manner that has longevity. We will move up the Consulting league & compete with the big boys in the Consulting FA Cup during the course of the coming seasons. Importantly, we will reach the Consulting Premier League summit and achieve our dreams.
PS, have I just opened the door for some negative feedback because:
- a) of the team I support?…..cant wait for the comments….bring them on 🙂
- b) because we went out of the champions league last night