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Measuring Quality in an IT Consulting Company: Case Study of a Fortune 500 company's program

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A Chicago-area Fortune 500 company has instituted a rigorous performance measurement program for its Key Suppliers of IT consulting services. All suppliers are among the top IT consultant firms in Chicagoland, so this program essentially illustrates the "best of the best". It further shows that "quality" can be defined·and quantified.

The purpose of an IT consulting company is to provide clients with the best, most qualified IT talent that gets results. Logically then, "quality" is how well the company performs this role in the eyes of the client. But can performance (and thus quality) be quantified? Yes, now it can.

A major Fortune 500 company in the Chicago area tracks the 18 participating vendors in its Key Supplier program. Four key metrics are numerically tracked and vendors are ranked quarterly. Oak Enterprises, located in Glen Ellyn, IL is one of the Key Suppliers of IT consultants and consistently performs in the top 10%, as measured by the four key metrics. The results of a recent period are detailed here.

The significance of these metrics is:

  1. The quality of an IT consulting company can be quantified.
  2. Oak Enterprises' high quality is validated here by an objective 3rd-party.

Metric A: Percentage of resumes submitted by vendor compared to the number of hires

Oak's Performance: 1st place
Details / Significance: For every 7 candidates presented by Oak, 3.4 were interviewed and 1 was hired.

Other vendors averaged 19 candidates presented for 4 interviews and 1 hire. This is a measure of efficiency, understanding client needs, finding the best candidates and saving the client time.

Metric B: Average time from requisition to submittal of resumes by vendor

Oak's Performance: 2nd place
Details / Significance: Oak averaged a 3-day turnaround during this period.

While turnaround is important to clients, it is not that meaningful unless the resumes/candidates submitted indeed fit the client's needs. Therefore, this metric must be balanced with the performance measured below in Metric C.

Metric C: Percentage of resumes submitted by vendors to resumes considered suitable

Oak's Performance: 1st place
Details / Significance: 86% of the resumes that Oak submitted were considered suitable (criteria included skills and rates) and passed along to the various hiring managers by the client's central vendor management office.

This is a major measure of quality, illustrating a consulting firm's key value: locating, pre-qualifying and presenting only the best talent.

Metric D: Percentage of resumes considered suitable to number of actual interviews

Oak's Performance: 1st place
Details / Significance: 49% of Oak's submitted candidates progressed to the interview stage - this compares to a 10-35% performance by the majority (80%) of other vendors.

It's important to put this into context of how this client's program functions: dozens of hiring managers submit requirements to the central program office, but only so much can be put on a simple requisition form. The hiring managers have a much more complex array of candidate traits and expertise in mind. This metric shows how well the consulting firm interprets and anticipates those exact needs - and saves the client time and hassles.

The Bottom Line
·is your company's bottom line. In order to maximize R.O.I. and gain quick productivity from IT consultants, you need to align with proven high-quality consulting companies. This case study shows that quality - in the way of deliverables and performance - can be quantified.

Click here for another study of Oak Enterprises' metrics.


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