Conversation with Partners in Performance

Partners in Performance 5WE were grateful for the recent opportunity to talk with Amanda Melo, recruitment manager at Partners in Performance.

Partners in Performance is a global management consulting firm and we were interested to learn more about the firm and its recruitment process.

Please read the edited transcript of our discussion with Amanda below. This will be of particular interest for students and recent graduates who are looking to pursue a career in the management consulting industry.

Tom: Partners in Performance started in Australia in 1996, and is now a global consulting firm with over 300 consultants and is growing at over 30% per annum. From your website I understand that PIP serves clients in Australasia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America and South America. Where are your current office locations?

Amanda MeloAmanda: PIP is one of the world’s most highly regarded consulting firms and is growing quickly. The firm has a global footprint with offices in Sydney, Dublin, Johannesburg, Atlanta and Chile. PIP Consultants spend most of their time on site with the client. We enjoy being hand-to-hand with our clients which they love, and our commitment to clients lasts well after we are done on site.

Tom: PIP appears to offer a broad range of services including Coaching & Training, Operations & Maintenance, as well as Strategy. Where does the firm do the bulk of its work?

Amanda: We work with our clients on four main types of engagements:

  1. Business Improvement – We help clients to earn more, spend less, and do things more efficiently in their current operations;
  2. Sourcing – We help clients buy things better: better price, better service and better products for the job;
  3. Capital Projects – We help clients to earn more, spend less, and do things more efficiently in planned new operations; and
  4. Commercial Due Diligence – We help clients with investment decisions by identifying commercial risks & opportunities in a business and its market.

Each engagement can involve one or more of the services you mentioned.

Tom: For all of the hopeful yet discerning graduates out there, what would you say distinguishes PIP from other management consulting firms?

Amanda: We believe PIP is the best career option if you truly want to implement results, as opposed to making recommendations. Our clients value practical, implemented solutions over elegant theory or advice. At PIP, you will personally impact the client’s bottom line, you will learn how to make companies more valuable over time, you will accumulate tangible experience tied to delivering results and develop your own personal results story – a story which will help you achieve your long-term career goals at PIP or beyond. PIP people are smart, but not interested in being the smartest guys in the room. We are pragmatic, collaborative, fun and humble.

Tom: In which regions are you currently hiring?

Amanda: We are looking for graduates and post-graduates on every continent. We are looking for driven people who are passionate about results and are not afraid of rolling up their sleeves and digging in.

Tom: Can you tell me a little bit about your interview process?

Amanda: We look for strong problem solvers, and believe that the best way to assess that skill is by providing candidates with a real business problem. A qualified PIP Consultant will give you a business problem and ask you to solve it live. This allows us to better understand your ability to think on your feet, to be creative, to communicate your ideas and to drive towards fact-based answers. Additionally, we also give you the opportunity to share your challenges, deliverables and achievements from your past experiences as well as your career drivers and passions. It’s a two-way conversation, and our team of interviewers will share with you information about our business, our career path, people and culture. It’s very important to us that you understand what being a Piper means and that you get connected with our purpose and beliefs.

Tom: What’s the most common mistake that candidates make during the interview process?

Amanda: “Talk first think second”, jumping into hypothesis generation and problem solving immediately without structuring the problem or asking clarifying questions is the most common pitfall.

Tom: What kind of training and mentoring programs does the firm offer for graduates?

Amanda: All new hires receive two weeks of training on the PIP consulting toolkit and methodologies within their first month of joining. The program involves modules that have been developed by and will be presented by PIP consultants. The tools you will learn equip you to work on engagements and on the job coaching is provided by peers and Managers on every new engagement.  Within your first 3 months of employment you will shadow another peer to learn what is required in your day-to-day role; we have formalized this process and the program is ‘The apprenticeship model’. All employees are provided with a development leader (mentor) who is jointly responsible for your professional development and will help you achieve your career objectives.

Tom: What is the firm’s travel model?

Amanda: Our consultants typically work on the client site from Monday to Friday. Potential candidates should expect heavy travel days.

Tom: Does PIP employ an ‘up or out’ policy?

Amanda: PIP’s requirement for BA/Associate/Senior Associate hires is that they can exhibit the competencies to reach Manager level. Experienced Manager hires are required to achieve Associate Principal level but beyond that there is no requirement for people to move up to Principal and Director level if they prefer to stay as delivery consultants; that being said there is a clear path to Director for those who wish to pursue this career track.

PIP is a meritocracy so promotion is based on merit; there is a strong support network to help people progress in their careers; the minority who do not progress have either chosen not to do so for a period of time, for family or other personal reasons, or discover other career options for which they’re better suited, with the support of PIP’s leadership team.

Tom: Amanda, thank you for your time! I enjoyed talking to you about Partners in Performance and the recruitment process. I am sure that many aspiring consultants will find this information valuable as they consider their career options.

Well, there you have it, we hope the above conversation provides you with some useful information about Partners in Performance and its recruitment process.

If you want to learn more about PIP, you can visit the firm’s website by clicking here.

2013 List: Global Strategy Consulting Firms

List of Global Strategy Firms for 2013

BELOW is a hand-picked list of leading Global Strategy Firms.

The litmus test we used to decide whether a firm is truly “global” was whether it has an office in Sydney. A fair litmus test? Maybe not, but seeing as Sydney is at the other end of the earth you would expect a truly global strategy firm to have an office there (if you want to see a list of purely Aussie strategy firms for 2013, click here).

The below list will be of interest to you if:

  • you want to work for a leading strategy firm, or
  • your company, non-profit or government agency is looking for quality strategic advice.

The firms are:

  1. Bain
  2. BCG
  3. McKinsey
  4. Accenture
  5. Archstone Consulting
  6. A.T. Kearney
  7. Booz & Company
  8. The Birchman Group
  9. CVA
  10. Deloitte
  11. Edgar, Dunn & Company
  12. L.E.K. Consulting
  13. Millward Brown
  14. Oliver Wyman
  15. Partners in Performance
  16. Peppers & Rogers Group
  17. PwC
  18. Simon Kuch & Partners

1. Bain & Company

Website: bain.com

Founded in 1973 when Bill Bain and others left BCG to form Bain & Company. Bain has 49 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Bain helps to transform companies into sharper, smarter, better versions of themselves. Bain’s mission is to help management teams create such high levels of economic value that together Bain and its clients can redefine their respective industries.

2. BCG

Website: bcg.com

Founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson, BCG has 79 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

BCG is a global management consulting firm and a leading advisor on business strategy. BCG partners with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises.

3. McKinsey

Website: mckinsey.com

Founded in Chicago in 1926, McKinsey is arguably the world’s most prestigious consulting firm. McKinsey has 102 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

McKinsey is a global management consulting firm and trusted advisors to the world’s leading businesses, governments, and institutions.

4. Accenture

Website: accenture.com

Founded in 1989, Accenture has approximately 195 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Accenture has capabilities across all industries and business functions, conducts extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, and collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.

5. Archstone Consulting

Website: archstoneconsulting.com

Archstone has 13 offices worldwide including Sydney, Hyderabad, London, New York, and San Franscisco.

Archstone offers a range of services including business strategy, technology services, outsourcing, and supply chain management.

6. A.T. Kearney

Website: atkearney.com

Founded in 1926, A.T. Kearney has 57 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

A.T. Kearney’s services include strategy, innovation, sales & marketing, operations, strategic IT, and procurement.

7. Booz & Company

Website: booz.com

Founded in Chicago in 1914 by Edwin G. Booz. In 2008, Booz separated its operations from the U.S. Government consulting business. That company retained the name Booz Allen Hamilton. In 2009, Booz combined with U.S.-based management consultancy Katzenbach Partners, a leader in organisational performance. In 2012, Axon Advisory Partners joined Booz to launch Booz Digital, a full-service team of strategists, designers, and technologists who help companies turn ideas into digital businesses.

Booz has 60 offices worldwide including Sydney, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, London, New York, and San Francisco.

Booz is a leading global management consulting firm focused on serving and shaping the senior agenda of the world’s leading institutions. Booz works with its clients to identify and build the differentiating capabilities they need to outperform. Booz has experience across a broad range of industries including high technology, finance, and consumer products.

8. The Birchman Group

Website: thebirchmangroup.com

Birchman has 15 offices worldwide including Sydney, Johannesburg, and London.

Birchman is an international company that provides Consulting, Solution Delivery and Managed Services to many of the world’s leading organisations. Birchman provides six core services: Value Management, Business Change, Software Development, Enterprise Applications, IT Advisory, and Business Advisory.

9. CVA

Website: corporate-value.com

Founded in 1987, CVA has 16 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, and Boston.

CVA is a global strategy boutique which has experience across a broad range of industries including Telecom Media & Technology, Financial Services, Private Equity, and Mining Metals & Materials.

10. Deloitte

Website: deloitte.com

Founded in 1893 in the U.S., Deloitte has a strong global presence including offices in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Although offering a large number of accounting services, Deloitte also has a consulting practice. Deloitte Consulting offers a broad range of services including Pricing & Profitability Management, Enterprise Cost Management, M&A, Enterprise Sustainability, Finance Transformation, Governance Risk & Regulatory, Health Care Reform, and Infrastructure Transformation.

11. Edgar, Dunn & Company

Website: edgardunn.com

Founded in 1978 in the U.S., Edgar, Dunn & Company has 8 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, London, and San Francisco.

EDC is an independent strategy consulting firm that was founded on two fundamental principles of client service:

  • Provide deep expertise that enhances clients’ perspectives, and
  • Deliver actionable advice that enables clients to create measurable, sustainable change in their organisations.

EDC is recognised among the world’s pre-eminent experts in the payments industry. Additional areas of expertise include new financial services channels, technologies and markets, retail financial services, and e-business.

12. L.E.K. Consulting

Website: lek.com

Founded in 1983 in London, L.E.K. has 22 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Bombay, New Delhi, London, New York, and San Francisco.

L.E.K. is a global strategy consulting firm that counsels clients on key strategic issues, leveraging deep industry expertise and using analytical rigor to help them make informed decisions more quickly and solve their toughest and most critical business problems. L.E.K. has expertise in a broad range of industries and has a range of capabilities including Strategy, Shareholder Value Management, Mergers & Acquisitions support, Operations & Organisation and Marketing & Sales.

13. Millward Brown

Website: millwardbrown.com

Founded in 1973, Millward Brown has 85 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Millward Brown is passionate about helping clients grow great brands. They are experts in advertising, marketing communications, media, digital and brand equity research, and work with 90% of the world’s leading brands.

14. Oliver Wyman

Website: oliverwyman.com

Founded in New York in 1984, Oliver Wyman has 50 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Oliver Wyman is a leading global management consulting firm that combines deep industry knowledge with specialised expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organisation transformation. As part of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Oliver Wyman is also able to draw on experts from its sister companies in the areas of brand and identity management, microeconomics, human capital strategies, and insurance.

15. Partners in Performance

Website: pipint.com.au

PIP has 9 offices worldwide including Sydney, Johannesburg, Toronto, and Atlanta.

PIP identifies and delivers performance improvement to industrial, resources and services companies, using a specialist team and a hands-on approach. PIP has three divisions: Resultant®, Transaction Services and Investment. The Resultant® Division works as business coaches applying practical frameworks to address issues including strategy, procurement, revenues, bottlenecking, costs, safety, environment, and organisational culture. The Transaction Services Division provides commercial due diligence for potential investment opportunities. The Investment Division looks for situations where PIP can improve the performance of an organisation through both financial and operational assistance.

16. Peppers & Rogers Group

Website: peppersandrogersgroup.com

Founded in 1993 by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., PRG has 9 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Johannesburg, and Stamford Connecticut.

PRG is a management consulting firm recognised as a leading authority and thought leader on customer-based strategies and underlying business initiatives. PRG has particular expertise in the following industries: Financial Services, Government, Telecommunications, and Airlines.

17. PwC

Website: pwc.com

Founded in 1998 out of the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, PwC has historical roots going back around 150 years. PwC operates in 158 countries worldwide including offices in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for by delivering quality assurance, tax and advisory services.

18. Simon Kuch & Partners

Website: simon-kucher.com

Founded in 1985, SKP has 26 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

SKP is a global management consulting firm focusing on strategy, marketing, pricing and sales.