The role of a consultant in any business cannot be ignored in any type of enterprise. The very definition of a consultant, just show us how this type of service has become a fundamental part of any enterprise. A consultant is any type of professional who provides valuable advice in a particular field of specialization such as management, engineering among others. The main advantage of hiring a consultant is basically to take advantage of the unrivalled experience that those in this particular field have to offer. Consultants provide their professional expertise to the particular field of specialization and hence they use they rich eminence of experience to provide an enterprise with the best possible advice. The term consultant is derived from a Latin word "consultare" which means to counsel and discuss. Consultants in any organization are generally thus perceived to be the "right agents for change" (Maher and Hall, 1998).
The main essence of a consultant is usually to study the situations and give their valuable insight in the particular subject matter. With this it thus becomes imperative that the consultant specializes in the particular subject matter. Most of the consultants will usually work in a company which provides the consulting services. The consultants will then work at the clients work places on behalf of the company and thus by gaining familiarity with a number of various clients they gain the necessary know how in their particular fields of study. Hiring of consultancy services is usually considered as "one of the best corporate practices" that any enterprise can choose (Broder, 2002).Consultants have the sole tasks of helping organizations grapple with most of their day to day situations and thus provide the organization with an avenue to improve their performances. By carefully analyzing and interpreting business problems that may exist in an enterprise, consultants are able to develop carefully deduced plans that are
essential for ensuring the enterprise is running on the right path. Most of the companies will essentially hire consultants so as to access objective advice from an external source and hence provide the business with an array of options for which to maneuver with. Most of the consultants are usually highly exposed to most of the day to day business challenges and they thus have the ability to provide an enterprise with the best "business practices" which would fit that particular organization (Broder, 2002).
The roles of a consultant in any enterprise setup are considered to be of paramount importance. One of the basic roles of any consultant is to use their diverse experiences in their areas of specialization then give their recommendations. Most of the recommendations that the consultants give may be carried out by the company staff or if need arise, the consultants will carry out the recommendations by themselves. It is however of considerable importance that the consultants' works hand in hand with the company staff so as to come up with concrete plans that will be of utmost importance to the enterprise.The consultants will generally gather information and critically analyze it so as to provide the best possible solution. Since most companies will have diverse needs that are unique in their own ways, the solutions that these consultants tend to offer may differ in one way or another. The main niche in hiring a consultant is usually to take advantage of their experiences in dealing with various situations and thus they will certainly be able to give the necessary recommendations. Most of the consultants will generally work with the top management in order to come up with the best possible solutions that can benefit the organization in the most effective way. One of the main aims of any organization is usually to increase productivity and minimize costs and with the entry of a consultant, the ease in attaining this objective becomes much easier.
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Since a consultant is detached from the organization, the analysis and judgment of particular situations is mostly done objectively. Having an opinion from an expert outside the organization is one of the best ways in which one can get critically analyzed and purposeful solutions that ensure the organization gets into the right path. The basic fact that consultants are immune to internal relationships that may be going on in the company makes the choice of consulting them an intelligent choice. The fact that most of the consultants are highly experienced and travel a lot, makes it easier for them to recognize the main problems and offer solutions that are both time tested and proven in other companies.In any company, the gap between various levels in an organization is usually considerable and though this will depend on the type of organization itself, consultants usually act as a link between these gaps. One of the main advantages in hiring a consultant is that they will not get entangled in the politics that may be going on in an organization and thus they will have a clear judgment of various situations.Consultants will also have various functions in an organization but this will mostly depend on the role that they are supposed to undertake in an organization. Most of the consultants will be tasked with functions such as assisting in bridging the communication gaps that may exist in the enterprise. Another important function that they may be required to undertake is that of facilitating meetings. A professional consultant will also be responsible for conducting interviews with the company's clients as well as employees with the aid of the management team. It is the function of any consultant to identify and isolate issues which are deemed fit so as to ease pressure on the company's work force. A qualified consultant will also be tasked with the duty of managing programmers and in some enterprises the consultant may be given the role of managing projects.Consultants have the main responsibility of ensuring that the company achieves it set projects and in order to do so the consultant has to be very professional and armed with the necessary knowledge. Consultants therefore have to be well equipped and experienced since most of the situations they will face will be unique and each may need its own different solution. Most of the consultants will also be well versed with technological advances and thus they will work in the most efficient way to achieve the desired results.In today's growing market which is characterized by cut throat competition, the role of a consultant in the enterprise setup is growing by the day. With this scenario some companies see it as a wise decision to hire internal consultants and just like their external counterparts; they are expected to bring the same kind of results. The essence behind having an internal consultant is generally to assist the top management in identifying and analyzing various elements in the company such as opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and other issues. But whatever the type of consultation that one chooses to hire in the firm the fact remains that their services are a very essential part in ensuring the productivity of the enterprise.