BusinessWire | Gap Widens Between Best-of-the-Best Professional Services Organizations and Average Consulting Firms

Originally appeared in the article, “Gap Widens Between Best-of-the-Best Professional Services Organizations and Average Consulting Firms” in BusinessWire.

SPI Research, the leading independent technology services research firm, today named the 2016 Best-of-the-Best professional services organizations (PSO). SPI’s extensive annual survey, the PS Maturity™ Benchmark, revealed the gap between the best performing and worst performing PSOs continued to widen in 2015.

This past year, the top 20 firms generated 20.4% in net profit while the 300 (55%) lowest-performing firms generated merely 2.1% in net profit. The top 20, out of 549 organizations who participated in the survey, outperformed their peers and the benchmark average with not only significantly higher profits, but also larger projects and more satisfied clients.

Further, the top performers had year-over-year service revenue growth that far outpaced the growth rate of the other 529 consulting organizations in the benchmark. To support their expansion, the Best-of-the-Best augmented their consulting workforces by 17.2% compared to 7.4% headcount growth for other firms in SPI’s benchmark.

The Best-of-the-Best excel across five critical service performance dimensions: leadership, client relationships, human capital alignment, service execution, and finance and operations. The Best-of-the-Best recognition is significant because it measures PSOs not only on bottom line financial results such as profit margins but also on a breadth of leadership metrics to reveal exceptional, holistic performance.

For the past seven years, SPI Research has conducted in-depth analyses of the top five percent of PS Maturity™ benchmarkparticipants to uncover the reasons for their superlative performance. Top performers tend to be more specialized than average firms. They concentrate on high-growth segments (Security, Talent, Collaboration and CRM) or vertical industries like services and healthcare where they are often the market leader. Because of their sterling reputations, a significant portion of their business comes through referrals. They have created a culture of excellence by leading with honest, ethical and open communication with both their clients and employees.

Best-of-the Best Comparison to Average Consulting firms:

Measurement Top 20 Firms All Others Advantage
Net Profit (EBITDA) 20.4% 14.9% 37%
Year over year PS headcount growth 17.2% 7.4% 132%
Year over year revenue growth 20.0% 9.8% 104%
Annual revenue per employee (k) $242 $163 58%
Average revenue per project (k) $339 $219 55%
Reference clients 81% 69.9% 16%
Projects delivered on-time 88.7% 75.6% 15%

The top performers revealed in SPI’s 2016 benchmark study are:

  • CodeScience has built over 70 B2B Salesforce products for clients and bolstered hundreds more with custom solutions.
  • Wolters Kluwer Financial Services helps organizations around the world proactively manage risk, compliance, finance and audit challenges by providing software, expertise and professional services.
  • TOP Step Consulting improves business efficiency and productivity for Professional Service operations.
  • e4 Services, LLC is a healthcare information technology consulting firm specializing in clinical, hospital information management and revenue cycle services.
  • Bristlecone helps companies rapidly optimize the strategic value of their supply chains through enabling technologies.
  • LDS is a consulting firm that envisions and designs digital solutions for global organizations.
  • Pariveda Solutions, Inc. is a leading management consulting firm specializing in performance improvement.
  • Luxent brings the best of the cloud to manufacturers through services and solutions.
  • ConsultCRM, part of Advanced Business Solutions, specializes in helping organizations implement, integrate and optimize Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • Box is transforming the way people and organizations work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions.
  • Collaborative Solutions is a leading global Finance and HR transformation consultancy that leverages world-class cloud solutions.
  • Fiserv is highly regarded for its financial services technology and services innovation.
  • Helmsman International is a management consultancy, thought leader and product innovator.
  • Stoneridge Software draws on years of experience in the Microsoft Dynamics space to provide complex ERP implementation and support.
  • Moorhouse is a dynamic consulting firm, focused on delivering transformational change.
  • Imperva is a leading provider of cyber security solutions that protect business-critical data and applications.
  • One Source Virtual services empower and encourage customers’ HR to become strategic partners within their organizations, align to business growth and scale by demand.
  • Integrated Project Management Company, Inc. (IPM) is a leading project management consulting firm, planning and implementing strategic and critical projects.
  • Fruition Partners, a CSC company, is a global technology-enabled services firm focused on elevating service management to the cloud.

The annual benchmark from SPI Research draws on a database of over 2,000 PS organizations to provide in-depth analysis of PS metrics and performance. For the 2016 report, 549 companies representing more than 350,000 consultants provided input. The complete 2016 PS Maturity™ Benchmark report is now available for purchase.

Service Performance Insight (SPI) is a global research, consulting and training organization dedicated to helping professional service organizations (PSOs) make quantum improvements in productivity and profit. In 2007, SPI developed the PS Maturity Model™ as a strategic planning and management framework. It is now the industry-leading performance improvement tool used by over 10,000 service and project-oriented organizations to chart their course to service excellence.

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POSTED: March 1st, 2016