Get insights about your unassigned consultants

May 11, 2024 · Consulting

Written by: Mattias Loxi

In a consulting business, effectively managing the “bench” – consultants currently not assigned to any billable client project – is crucial for navigating challenging times.

When do assignments end? What assignments do you have in the pipeline? Who is currently on the bench, or will be? To run an effective operation within the consulting company, it’s important to have a good overview of your utilization and understand your current situation.

To be on the ‘bench’ in a consulting firm means that the consultant currently doesn’t have any assigned consulting projects and isn’t billing any hours to clients. Consultants on the ‘bench’ are therefore available for future client projects.

Having consultants on the ‘bench’ is natural between assignments.

The time on the bench can be used for skills development, internal projects, and assisting with marketing and sales.

However, the challenge arises when several employed consultants don’t have any assignments, especially if this occurs for extended periods. The company is affected financially, while morale and corporate culture are put to the test.

Real-time information

To drive effective resource management, you need to primarily understand the current situation. This information should be updated in real-time. You also need to tailor the information based on what you as salespeople, managers, and leaders are looking for.

In a modern consulting firm, you should quickly get information about:

  • Utilization rate and available consultants now and in the future for
    • Team
    • Location
    • Skill/Roles
    • Specific date
    • Client
    • Account manager
  • Individual projects
  • Incoming assignments with different statuses.
  • Options for extensions.
  • Verbal agreements.
  • Upcoming vacations, parental leave, sickness, etc.
  • New hires on the way in.
  • Preliminary bookings – which consultants are submitted for assignments?

Understand why the consultant lacks assignments

Understanding why a specific consultant is without assignments is crucial. Are all salespeople familiar with the talent, their preferences, and their skills?

  • Is all information updated? Location, availability, willingness to travel, self-cost price, and price level to the customer?
  • Can everyone quickly access the employee’s resume, and is it easy to tailor the resume to specific industries/assignments?
  • Does the person have the ‘wrong’ skills and need further development? Is there a plan for skills development?
  • Does the consultant need more interview training to increase the likelihood of assignments?
  • Do salespeople have access to the talent’s resume, skills, and ambitions before a new employee starts to minimize bench time?

All these aspects provide understanding and insights into the bench situation now and in the coming months. This makes it easier to make the right decisions and find the right assignments.

Check out our guide: Effective Strategies for Reducing the ‘Bench’ in Your Consulting Firm During Challenging Times.

Effective Strategies for Reducing the “Bench” in your Consulting Firm During Challenging Times!

Mattias Loxi, Co-Founder / CMO

Mattias is one of the founders of Cinode. Now in Marketing and Sales - runs the most popular blog and newsletter "Veckans konsultnyheter" about the Swedish consulting Industry. Also runs the podcast "Konsultpodden as well as a lot of Speaking engagement. Add him in Linkedin

You may also like...

All posts