We’re constantly evolving and working with new clients to help businesses that care, to deliver change that matters. Some of the questions we get asked are answered below…
Are you a consultancy?
We’re actually a professional services network, underpinned by a rapidly evolving dual sided platform. So in reality a hybrid of a highly adaptive network model and the consulting firms like PwC, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, etc, (without their rates).
What this means is we provide professional services to our clients via a network of independent specialists and entrepreneurial microfirms, but we come together to work as one, holding central accountability for our work.
One of the key difference between HiveMind and a marketplace is that we take accountability and responsibility for the services that we deliver. Most of our clients think of us as a consulting firm, but with the power, flexibility and diversity of a network.
What type of experts do you have in the network?
A diverse and highly experienced community.
When we started out our initial members had strong IT backgrounds however since then we have actively sought to broaden the skill base to reflect the fact that modern business solutions require a diverse range of skills. So today we’ve people and firms with marketing, information technology, finance, hr, operations, sales, procurement, design, manufacturing, data science and analytics in the community who’ve served almost every sector.
Do you only work with larger organisations?
Absolutely not. We’ve worked with startups, through to global companies and all sizes in between. Our model means we’re highly affordable, as well as effective.
You state that your more affordable than your competitors. By how much?
Our competitors being management consulting firms and system integrators, we’re typically 40% to 50% lower costs than these organisations.
What type of margin do you make?
We make between 12% and 35%. This is dependent upon three factors; The level of risk, the scarcity of the expertise and the urgency it’s needed. We believe this compares favourably with the old-school consultancies who typically make a margin upwards of 50% on their people, (who are often freelancers!).
You state that as a client, I'm only paying for expertise when I'm happy with the engagement. How do you operate that in practice?
Clients buy “Network Units”. These provide your engagement flexibility and are held in your secure account to be called upon for HiveMind services and expertise. These Network Units are consumed, based on your affirmation of quality. If for any reason the work undertaken is not up to the standard you expect, the units are not consumed until we’ve rectified the problem and you see the value intended. If we are unable to solve the problem via additional expertise or services then the Network Units are credited back to your account.
How do you ensure consistency and quality of service?
There three ways in which we ensure quality and consistency;
1. We operate Communities of Excellence where HiveMind members can share insight, expertise and non-commercially sensitive collateral to help maintain best practice approaches across the community.
2. We adopt and adapt open framework models wherever they exist.
3. We operate a client and peer feedback model called “HiveRank” which means each and every member undertaking work for HiveMind is scored. HiveRank covers skill based capability and performance as well as values based behaviour. We seek to be great to have around as well as great at what we do. Members falling below an agreed level are ultimately removed from the community.
Who's liable for the quality of the work delivered?
This is a very important point for HiveMind, which clearly sets us apart. HiveMind takes accountability for the work delivered by any of our experts when engaged through a HiveMind service engagement.
What governance do you put in place to ensure the quality of the engagement
The governance models we use are related to the different engagement models available to our clients, these are;
Subscription Models: For our trusted advisor and non-exec style engagements the client is able to choose from a number of subscription models. The Executive Partner responsible for delivering the service then works with their client typically around a day or two a month. On a quarterly basis the regional commercial director will undertake a formal review in conjunction with the client, ensuring they are receiving the value they expect. The commercial director is empowered to make changes in the Executive Partner if the service being delivered is not meeting expectations.
Consulting Engagement: Two key roles exist to ensure our consulting engagements deliver to the quality expected. The Client Delivery Partner (CDP) and the Regional Commercial Director (RCD). The CDP is accountable for the quality of deliver, any/all consultants working on the engagements deliverables and review of key artefacts and delivery to budget and timescales The RCD is responsible for commercial negotiations and managing any issues the client has around the CDP. Formal meeting schedules are agreed as part of the consulting proposal.
Coaching & Mentoring Engagements: Effectively same approach as for subscription service.
Outcome Delivery Engagement: Effectively same approach as for consulting engagements.
What do I do if I'm not happy with the service?
Initial point of escalation is with the Regional Commercial Director, then country Managing Partner and then our Chief Consulting Officer, who is always available for clients.