Sebastian Hartmann

The Technology Factor in Consulting

The Technology Factor in Consulting

Technology is now a REVENUE driver for consulting firms: 50% of all consulting services will contain digital products by 2025 – and  30% of firms believe that more than half of their revenue already depends on their tech stack. 
This is also reflected in the rising tech investments by professional services firms – which 72% of firms focus on their front office and front-to-back integrations.
 “Our industry is based on trust and growth – and facing the challenge of attracting fantastic talent. Your article demonstrates the relevance of technology in that context”, says Christian Rast, Global Head of Technology & Knowledge at KPMG in reference to my latest article published in Harvard Business manager together with my co-authors Prof. Dr. Markus Kreutzer (EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht) and Stephan Kaufmann (Workday). 

Your Future Workforce won’t fit into Your Firm!

Your Future Workforce won’t fit into Your Firm!

For most professional and B2B services firms, human capital constitutes the largest single cost driver of business activities. The current pace of change across consulting, legal, accounting services, and other professions is driving massive shifts in human capital requirements, skill transformation needs, and talent shortages. At the same time, top-tier talent is increasingly harder to recruit, develop and retain. Professional services firms are recognizing that they are not immune to the Great Resignation.

That’s why more and more firms are beginning to leverage a mix of employees and contingent workers to meet their clients’ needs, deliver competitive services and solutions and transform themselves. An extended workforce approach helps firms reduce fixed costs, leverage specialized skillsets for varying periods, increase capacity and individual flexibility or even innovate and grow in new markets. Building management capabilities for an extended workforce that combines internal and external resources will define the success of many professional services firms in the coming years. This article outlines some fundamental building blocks for designing a workforce ecosystem strategy and management capability.

Stay Calm and Steer Your Firm

Stay Calm and Steer Your Firm

In the light of the pandemic, an economic downturn, and an unparalleled technological upheaval across professional services, we urge firm leaders to take a careful look at their management reporting – and to invest in its maturity and future-readiness. It is, after all, one of the most essential tools for any leadership and management role.

Cost Levers along the Next Gen Value Chain of Professional Services

Cost Levers along the Next Gen Value Chain of Professional Services

The cost pressure is on for professional services. Shifting client demands, declining prices, new technologies, and an emerging set of fierce competitors are taking a toll on law, consulting, tax, and accounting firms. Especially in times of crisis, cash is king. Once the topline deteriorates, outlasting the competition requires superior cost management. COVID19 is surfacing which firms have successfully adjusted their business and operating models and will be able to cope with the harsher climate of a global recession – and the accelerated digital transformation of professional services. But what exactly are the cost levers when the game is no longer about utilization and hourly rates?

Delivering Client-Issue Focused Solutions

Delivering Client-Issue Focused Solutions

A few months ago, I was interviewed by Ari for his podcast on „Reinventing Professionals“, which I can highly recommend. We discussed my role at KPMG, how law firm and corporate leaders can scale and grow their businesses in the current environment, ways that technology is challenging the business model of traditional professional services firms, and how professional services firms are evolving…

Playing the Recession: Three Key Survival Moves for Professional Services

Playing the Recession: Three Key Survival Moves for Professional Services

Is your firm prepared for an economic downturn?

ProfessionalServices have largely flourished since the 2008/2009 recession. But how well Professional Services Firms will be able to continue to “score”, will depend on the degree of resilience within their revenue structures and their ability to grow and occupy new market space amidst an unfolding economic downturn.

Can Old Dogs still learn New Tricks? Towards the Next Gen Playbook for Managing Professional Services

Can Old Dogs still learn New Tricks? Towards the Next Gen Playbook for Managing Professional Services

The inherited recipes for growth and profitability are eroding as the input-oriented models of traditionally fuzzy knowledge-based services are being replaced by throughput- or output-based compensation for much more client focused and increasingly digital solutions. Leaders and managers in charge of professional service firms need to adjust their management playbook in order to remain relevant in the next generation of professional services. But where to begin?

Next Generation Rainmakers in Professional Service Firms: Solution Managers (aka Product Managers)

Next Generation Rainmakers in Professional Service Firms: Solution Managers (aka Product Managers)

While the term „product management” may still sound foreign and incompatible with the fuzzy and often ill-defined (lovingly called “bespoke”) professional service business, its essence is already emerging in many forms, roles and organizational setups. Embracing the role of solution managers consciously and adjusting the organization surrounding them must be a key workstream within the digital transformation journey of any professional service firm today.

Next Generation Career Paths in Professional Service Firms

Next Generation Career Paths in Professional Service Firms

In order to thrive as a next generation PSF, leaders and managers need to acknowledge the need to hire, grow and retain top talent outside of traditional career paths – offering alternatives to contribute to a firm‘s success, to shape its path and drive its future.