How the Consulting Industry is Rethinking Costs in Response to Growth Slowdown

Despite robust earnings in the consulting industry in 2022 and a mostly strong final quarter of 2022, consulting companies are either experiencing a slowdown after just two months into 2023 or have already started adjusting to an expected slowdown in the project pipeline for this year.

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the consulting industry has been able to reduce operational costs (e.g., less travel, etc). But what puts additional pressure on margins is that many consulting companies have increased salaries due to above average inflation rates around the globe while billing rates were not (or could not) be increased accordingly.

These factors have compelled consulting companies to re-examine their cost position, e.g. by re-examining their fixed costs, in particular evaluating the value brought by their non-client facing staff.

In the light of this, for industry insiders it is no surprise that e.g. McKinsey is announced cutting 2,000 non-client facing staff, KPMG is laying off up to 700 employees in the USA and 200 in Australia, and EY is planning to cut 400 staff in Germany.

The priorities of consulting companies are now – apart from trying to ensure their consultants remain highly utilised – being set to more strongly focusing on increasing profitability and competitiveness (instead of sheer growth).

For more information on how your competitors are responding or how you may successfully respond to these challenges, please contact Vencon Research – as always, we are happy to assist you.