Two milestones for Comatch: 2.000 consultants and 300 projects

28 March 2017 Consultancy.uk

Comatch, an online marketplace for independent management consultants and industry experts, has recently achieved two milestones. Within two years of launching, the digital consultant managed to break through the barrier of 300 projects and 2.000 professionals.

Launched in Germany in March 2015, Comatch has since on the back of stellar growth expanded its wings to the Nordics, the Netherlands and the Middle East. The firm, which was founded by two former McKinsey & Company consultants, helps companies of all sizes with their sourcing needs for external consultancy and project delivery support.

The consultant community has come off to a flying start in 2017, growing its independent consultants and experienced professionals database to over 2.000 consultants. The team admitted went through a robust selection process – according to Comatch co-founder Jan Schaechtele almost 4.000 consultants have applied to sign up since the platform went live. “To be welcomed into our network you need a minimum of two years’ experience in high-end consultancy or ten years industry experience as well as the ability to convince during an interview”, he explains. 

Comatch has to date spent more than 2.000 hours interviewing candidates, which equates to nine weeks of telephone calls around the clock. “It’s a lot of work, but essential; only then are we able to guarantee the highest level of consultancy for our customers”, remarks the co-founder, who established the digital firm together with Christoph Hardt.

Consulting platform Comatch achieves two milestones: 2.000 consultants and 300 projects

From a project perspective, over 300 engagements have been facilitated to date, up strongly from the roughly 50 projects staffed after Comatch’s first year of operations. The spread of projects to its community – a critical success factor for any commercially driven network – is high: 90% of all consultants have had a project proposal submitted to them within the last year. 

Track record of consultants

The network’s footprint spans a wide range of industries and areas of expertise. At the heart of consultant profiles are strategy and business consulting skills, with many of the consultants in the database holding a background in strategy consulting (e.g. formerly at McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Roland Berger, Strategy&, etc) and management consulting (e.g. experience with the Big Four, Accenture, Oliver Wyman etc). A deep-dive into the database further learns that the consultants come from over 50+ different countries and combined speak 56 languages at a native speaker level, a feat which resembles the growing globalisation of consulting and project work, as well as Comatch’s rapidly expanding base.

“Comatch has become one of the most important providers of premium consultancy services in Germany and Central Europe”, states Schaechtele. By leveraging its momentum, as well as its financial muscle – the firm is private equity backed – Schaechtele and Hardt have set the goal of becoming the “leading online marketplace for freelance consultants and industry experts in Europe”. The company’s next big move is an expansion to France planned for Spring 2017, say the co-founders – the French management consulting industry market is estimated to be worth €4.1 billion, which makes it the continent’s third largest advisory landscape following the UK and Germany. 

The consultancy network, which is based in Berlin and has a team of 31 employees, however finds itself in a heating ‘winner takes it all’ market, competing with the likes of Movemeon, Talmix (formerly MBA & Company‎), expert360, blur, or even Eden McCallum, which conducts a more traditional approach to sourcing at the top-tier level.

According to a recent study which involved 251 independent management consulting professionals, advisors in the field are highly satisfied with their job.

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Fast growing consultancy Step5 rebrands for next growth phase

18 January 2019 Consultancy.uk

Innovative transformation consultancy Step5 has completed a rebranding of its corporate identity as it looks to push forward with rapid growth into a fifth successive year. CEO Howard Dickel told Consultancy.uk why the change in image is so important, and how the consultancy as a whole has grown in recent years.

Step5 was established in 2010 by co-founders Clive Fenton (current Chairman) and Jim Berrisford (incumbent COO). In 2014, the firm’s present CEO Howard Dickel joined, a year before Step5 hit £1 million in turnover. Building on that, for the past four years Step5 has enjoyed growth of more than 30%, and now boasts more than £1 billion in programme budgets managed and an expanding team of over 60 consultants.

Dickel took up the top job at the company last year, and is now keen to kick on from the firm’s recent success, particularly after Step5’s recent rebranding. The new brand identity was developed with creative agency gt&i, and aims to capture the essence of the business today. Step5’s CEO believes this essence is “quietly confident, with an inner strength”, thanks to a diversity of unique skills among the firm’s talent, enabling Step5 teams to constantly innovate and surprise clients. According to Dickel, the rebrand marks the next stage in the company’s development, supporting Step5’s aim to compete on a world stage.

Fast growing consultancy Step5 rebrands for next growth phaseExplaining the firm’s new identity further, Dickel told Consultancy.uk, “High value, high cost strategic consultancy provides insight but leaves the challenge of implementation.  Step5’s strength lies in bridging the gap.  We work closely with our clients to develop and deliver complex business transformation projects and get failing projects back on track.  In the words of our new strapline: Together we can.”

Step5 is one of the UK’s fastest growing business transformation consultancies, and as with many new competitors in the professional services sector, aims to offer clients an alternative to the Big Four. As is the case with other firms looking to do this, Step5 differentiates itself from the quartet’s ‘impersonal’ approach by working to develop a trusted partner relationship with clients and drive change from within companies.

Long-term ambitions

In order to tackle this challenge, Step5 remains on the look-out for forward-thinking individuals, whether already working in the sector or looking for something new. In the long term, its ambition is to grow within the private sector, and in particular the FTSE 250 companies, and to reach its target of £20 million in turnover by 2020.

Among clients already tapping into Step5’s services are the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Barclays, Experian, Serco and Sopra Steria, among others. As well as building a reputation in the private sector, Step5 consultants have worked on some of the UK’s most challenging public and private sector initiatives – including the £1 billion recovery of the spine programme for the NHS and management and delivery of all telecommunications for the London 2012 Olympics.

Step5

According to Dickel, recent engagements are particularly encouraging for the firm moving forward. Lately, the firm supported a leading bank’s move into the £32 billion UK motor finance market, and worked to deliver a complex organisational transformation programme for the world’s leading information services company to better support its strategic goals and deliver savings across all services.

Dickel added, “We also transformed an internal IT function for a European leader in digital transformation, including people, process, operating model and market positioning. This has provided them with a robust, industry best practice function that delivered savings across the company and increased the internal IT capability from an Application, Infrastructure and Management perspective.”

Reflecting once more on the rebrand, he concluded, “Step5 offers clients an alternative to the Big Four consultancies – and it is recognised by its clients as the people who make complex business transformation projects happen... Step5 has grown and developed over the years. The company has come a long way and now it’s time to transform itself to reflect that.”