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Sagar Bansal

MGG 650 Consulting Best Practices


Deloitte and Touch Case Study Analysis
Introduction
Maria Chen, a senior consultant at Deloitte and Touch Consulting Group was hired by
SKS Manufacturing, a Pontiac, Michigan based auto supplier to reduce inventory levels
in the main plant. This was agreed to be a 12-week engagement. As a senior
consultant, she was expected to analyze data, take initiative and responsibility of subprojects and presentations, manage client teams and help prepare client proposals. Her
objectives with SKS were to synchronize production operations with the sales and
purchasing department, reduce inventory levels by $10 million, understand and fix the
problems faced because of lack of communication within the different departments of
SKS and ensure productivity of processes.
My assessment of Maria Chens performance
I would like to divide Marias Chens performance assessments into two parts. The first
part is the Time Zero phase (initial phase) wherein Chen was very excited and
anxious to make a good first impression on the client. But Chen failed to establish initial
rapport with SKS team and failed to include them in the process. Maria Chen also failed
to establish connection with the Clients team, her Deloitte colleagues and managers.
She also looked at the problem from her perspective without establishing connection
with the clients site manager to obtain the present process and hence understand
correctly what was required to change. Instead Maria focused on the technical analysis
and started building a spreadsheet model without getting first-hand information from the
actual people working on the clients site (like from Janovich). Though she was using
technical tools but she was building the spreadsheet model based on inaccurate
premises. She did not know if she would be able to implement the spreadsheet model in
real time. She made things even more complex and hence the process less productive.
Maria Chen by working on the model virtually wasted the first three weeks. She did not
work with Ben Rohans (Consultant on the engagement team) team, though her work
should be overlapping with that of his team. In the second phase, this is the time when
Chen began to realize the importance of moving to the place where all the action took

Sagar Bansal
MGG 650 Consulting Best Practices
place. She established connection with the very experienced personnel on the shop
floor named Janovich. With these encounters she understood the crux of the problems
faced by SKS such as scheduling work done outside the computerized system,
shortcuts taken as alternatives to avoid computerized system. She also realized the lack
of communication between the departments within SKS. Though her progress in this
second phase was slow but it was gradual and she was now hitting on the right doors
and understanding the core nature of the problems.
Maria Chen and the consulting team at the upcoming Steering Committee
Considering the present circumstances where Maria Chen and consulting team having
made slow progress, are behind the originally anticipated progress. They should accept
full responsibility of the slow progress but at the same time they should also present the
positives which the team gained from the second phase of the 6 weeks. Maria Chen
should acknowledge that her pre-mature idea of only concentrating on building the
spreadsheet model was not a good idea. But she should not stop there, she should
emphasize the progress made after the initial phase and also highlight the future action
plan and the revised completion date of the project. It would be credible if they use
consulting terminology to explain their future course of action. I would suggest them to
use the Kolbs cycle which would be to analyze the core problem identified, then reflect
on the problem, after which they need to draw conclusions and document the learning
from the reflections. After that they should organize team meetings to get the teams
opinion on the learning and assign individuals to specific tasks. After this stage they
would need to focus their attention on tactful experimentation. During this process there
needs to be a lot of analysis done to understand the effect of the changes made. Once
everything looks good, they should implement the experiment as permanent change.
There should be appropriate training provided to the employees involved with the
process change and also proper documentation of the same. This process would help
Maria Chen and the consulting team look good in front of the Steering Committee.

Sagar Bansal
MGG 650 Consulting Best Practices
Lessons on consulting that can be drawn from the case
The engagement between Deloitte & Touch consulting group and SKS Manufacturing
offers a number of invaluable lessons in the field of Workforce Engagement, Project
Management, Negotiations, team work, communication, and modes of problem solving.
The case also discusses the important role played by leaders from both the sides. It
also throws light on how communication is important within any organization and with
the clients. The case also emphasized the need for selecting the team of personnel who
will be representing your company to the client. The team selection should be done in a
balanced way. Proper balance should be maintained between experience and skills.
There should be more focus on the core competencies which would be helpful in
engaging with the clients. The team should have a both technical knowledge and skills
to be able to successfully complete the project. The case also brought about important
lessons on effective time management and resource management. The case also
brings out important learning on planning and execution process followed by consulting
companies and how the two processes could potentially lead to extremely unfavorable
outcomes if not dealt at the right time and by the right people.