http://www.rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2006/02/seven_megatrend.htmlDownload the complete White Paper: The Seven MegaTrends of Professional Services
Continued from Introduction. Full table of contents below.
MegaTrend One: Client Sophistication
What do you prefer? A sophisticated client, or an unsophisticated one? It’s an interesting issue to debate with professionals. Some say they like unsophisticated clients, because, as they usually express a little more euphemistically, they can take advantage of them (for a little while, anyway). Others prefer sophisticated clients, as they know what to expect, they know how to work effectively with professionals, the professionals can learn from their clients (as they must to keep ahead!), and usually the opportunities are far larger.
Irrespective of what professionals want, the reality is that professional services clients are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The rubes off the street that you can awe into silence and charge like a wounded bull without protest are rather thin on the ground these days.
The drive to greater client sophistication has in turn been created by other broad shifts in the business environment. The most powerful is the ever-increasing pressure on corporations to reduce costs. Whenever business conditions turn down, the edict goes out to cut expenses. In order to cut supplier costs, companies need to understand what they’re buying. In 1992 DuPont established its “DuPont Legal Model”, which consolidated its legal suppliers from 350 to 35, and established clear processes for how its law firms would work for the corporation. This program established a precedent that has been copied by many other companies, and is highly innovative in how aligns the objectives of the company and its service providers. However the initiative was initially driven by the then-chairman’s drive to cut $1 billion from DuPont’s costs.