UK Consulting Sector 2023 Outlook
The UK management consultancy marketplace is a highly competitive industry, with a large number of firms offering a wide range of services to businesses and organizations.
Some of the major players in the market include the big accounting firms and the large strategy consulting firms. In addition to these global firms, there are also many smaller, boutique consulting firms that specialize in specific industries or types of consulting services. The UK consulting market is valued at around £11 billion as at end 2022 with considerable potential to grow. psd has been at the heart of this market for many years and has continued to evolve, develop and expand its offering to this dynamic customer base.
With such a varied and thriving marketplace, the future of the UK management consultancy market in 2023 is likely to be shaped by a number of factors, including economic conditions, technological advances and changing business needs:
- Economic Conditions: Economic growth and stability are likely to drive demand for management consulting services, as businesses look to capitalize on new opportunities and improve their operations.
- Technological Advances: The increasing use of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation and data analytics is likely to drive changes in the consulting market. Firms will need to adapt their services to meet these new demands and help their clients leverage these technologies for growth and efficiency.
- Changing Business Needs: Businesses are increasingly focused on sustainability and the trend is likely to continue. As a result, consulting firms that offer services in areas such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) consulting will be well-positioned for growth in the future.
- Remote Working: The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote working, which could have an impact on the consulting market. Many firms have adapted their services to be delivered remotely, which continue post pandemic.
- Digital Consulting: The increasing use of digital technologies by companies is a major source of opportunity in the sector.
The evidence that we have from our client base suggests that there are big issues that the consulting profession need to attend to in 2023 in the myriad of sectors that they deal with:
- Pensions: Trustees of pension schemes will need to implement revised investment strategies reducing levels of leverage and greater liquidity, whilst battling many governance demands and doing more than nod their heads at ESG requirements. Consultants will need to provide more effective advice than ever before.
- Telecom: Pricing in this sector has largely been left to the regulators for the past decade. Operators in conjunction with regulators are under pressure to moderate price increases. Technology focused consultancies will need to advise effectively ensuring that pricing matches that of service.
- Financial Crime: Internal fraud, friendly fraud and other types of scams are prevalent, notably in an economic downturn. Scammers are experts at fooling even the most street wise people and consultants in this field have to ensure that the most robust strategies are implemented by their clients.
- Technology: The metaverse is a much hyped term but implementations have sometimes failed to meet the hype that creators promise so it is likely to see businesses move away from the term entirely. This represents a golden opportunity for consultants in this sphere to influence the next phase of the never ending technological revolution.
- Diversity: This is one of the major issues that consulting firms themselves need to deal with, let alone advise their customers on.
- Sustainability: Businesses talk optimistically about committing to net-zero but consumers are demanding it and expecting proof. Scrutiny will be given to carbon reduction targets as companies assess how to apportion resources in the right way. Consultancies are right in the thick of this area which remain ill-defined but increasingly emotional.
For most parts of the Consulting sector there will be progress in 2023 by sheer force of demand. However, there are some non-essential specialist areas that may struggle and will need around 6 months to re-adjust to an equilibrium where demand is in line with economic confidence and there is an acceptance that interest rates will be at a higher level than they have been in recent years and that inflation is under control. We are confident that psd’s client base will be suitably inventive in terms of pricing and product offering. The UK management consultancy marketplace offers a wide range of specializations for clients to choose from. Some of the key areas where psd is active are:
- Strategy Consulting: Firms in this area help companies develop and implement strategies for growth, cost reduction, and other business objectives.
- Operations Consulting: Firms in this area help companies improve their operational efficiency and effectiveness, through process improvement and supply chain management.
- Human Resources Consulting: Firms in this area help companies with recruitment, employee retention, and other human resources-related issues.
- Business Change Consulting: Firms in this area help companies with the implementation and management of technology systems, including software, hardware, and networking.
- Financial Consulting: Firms in this area help companies with M&A, corporate finance, finance transformation and other financial management tasks.
- Marketing Consulting: Firms in this area help companies with improving their marketing and sales strategies, branding and customer relationship management.
- Procurement & Supply Chain Consulting: Firms in this area help companies with logistics and supply chain management, including transportation, warehousing, and inventory management.
- Business Transformation Consulting: Firms in this area help companies with organizational change and business process re-engineering.
- Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Consulting: Firms in this area help companies with implementing sustainable and responsible business practices and addressing ESG-related issues such as climate change, social impact and governance.
- Digital Consulting: Firms in this area help companies with digital transformation and leveraging digital technologies for business growth and efficiency.
psd has been active in the recruitment of both consultants and senior management level individuals across the whole Consulting sector for over 30 years. This started with our activities within Procurement & Supply Chain and Business Change and has since expanded into Digital, Restructuring, M&A, Strategy, Finance Transformation, CX & UX. psd is recognised as an established and highly effective recruitment consultancy in this sector and the calibre of the team blends individual expertise with the projection of a significant number of specialists, many of whom have worked for psd for over 20 years.
Please do contact Peter Hardy on 020 7970 9701 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Managing Director – Property & Construction, Banking & Financial Services and Consulting
Peter leads psd’s Property & Construction, Banking & Financial Services and Consulting sectors, specialising in senior leadership and board level roles.