Profile of Alpha Consultants
Alpha Consultants is a Management and IT consultancy firm. It is a multi-disciplinary consultancy house, which offers services to both private and public sector organizations in a wide range of matters. Alpha Consultants offers knowledge innovation, brings in entrepreneurial drive, helps create bonds between clients and customers and helps organizations to achieve their goals with optimal efficiency. Alpha consultants have a resource pool of over 100 of experts available at their disposal. Depending on the requirement of the job and the expertise that are required for any particular project, services are acquired from the consultants from their resource pool. What makes Alpha consultants stand out from their competitors is the diverse skillset and background of their consultants. It allows the organization to step in a wider and a bigger market and do what others cannot.
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The professionals seated in the highest level at Alpha consultants bring multicultural experience, mainly in the field of development and health. This allows Alpha Consultants to pitch solid proposals for both public and private sector projects in the development and health sectors. However, over the years, Alpha Consultants has managed to hire consultants from all the various fields and sectors to make sure that they are able to cope with any challenges that a project has to offer. It adds more value and reliability to their profile, while also allowing them to aim at more diverse and new business opportunities.
Moreover, Alpha Consultant is an IT firm which has been providing solutions to both private and public sector institutions. By IT, it is clear that there is a significant relation of computer oriented workforce. So, it is not difficult to categorize it as a service concern business organization. It is currently not having a larger span of services so it falls into the class of small and medium enterprises. The illustrative report will provide solutions and information related to management related functions along with other core operations of the consultancy house. Performance measurement is a set of tools to evaluate the performance of a firm.
The services offered by Alpha Consultants include1:
- Research, Evaluation and Assessment
- Project Management, Design and Planning
- Strategy Analysis and Policy Reviews
- Institutional Development, Training and Organizational Management
- IT & Media Consultancy
Alpha consultants aims to become partner in knowledge based innovation with institutes that are looking to bring change to the world. Their vision is to make a name in service excellence with the help of their skilled and experienced consultants. Alpha consultants looks forward to become a name that is known to provide sustainable and innovative solutions and help their clients in capacity building, partnership building and organizational development. They want to become the bridge to fill in the gap between the clients and customers with a vision for both entrepreneurial and human development. 2[i]
Every business has some certified Aims and objectives based on the strategy devised by the governing structure. Alpha Consultant as one a SME aims to extend the IT departments of their clients and provide multi-disciplinary services in the ICT spectrum. The technical facilities can be managed by IT & Media Division with a mix of management services or it can deliver a full fledge built IT system to clients. The mixture of both will also be offered by the firm.
The fundamental purpose of the organization is to use their expertise and experience to help their clients achieve new milestones. Alpha consultants have highly professional, experienced and skilled experts in the field of Management, Development and IT. It is currently engaged with various NGOs and Public sector organization who are working in development sector in various less privileged and under developed areas. It has worked in various war and disaster struck areas for different national and international organizations. In the future, it aims to expand the target projects and aim to provide consultancy not just in development and health sector, but also in IT, Media, Education and other domains. It plans to move into more professional areas such as organization development and structural environment of organizations and work in more developed areas.
Innovation in the technology and the response of employees is considered of the most important factor affecting the business environment. In the case of this firm, which is in a way part of the growing IT industry it is necessary to give response to every change in the technology. The employees or the software engineers are not that much trained as the new technology comes and their expertise becomes outdated.
The political environment and the legislation of the authorities for IT activities have a great impact on management consultancy businesses. The licensing services and the tax structure changes rapidly whenever new technology is introduced that the business policies and strategy has to be changed. In the case of IT one of the most important factors is the availability of low cost substitutes being offered in the international market.
Assessing the Situation – SWOT Analysis:
- Extensive experience of the key personals in the assignment and their relations with officials in their major clients is the key strength of Alpha consultants.
- They have a broad range of clients and get various types of projects on regular basis.
- Alpha consultants has a wide set of expertise, the diverse resource pool allowing them to select experts from all various fields for any desired job.
- They have been known around the world and get large scale projects from international clients and get payments in international currency hence generating revenues and enhance profitability.
The old presence of the company helps to gain the advantage of trust through which a good base of loyal customers can be maintained. About 64% of the customers of this SME are using it for supplies. This is a very strong feature of a firm. Company has got a strong financial position as there is no Debt to Equity ratios due to absence of Debt. The company’s share is with 150 employees but they are serving their own company and they are connected with it (100, 2014).
- Most consultants/experts are not employees, rather Alpha consultants has to hire freelance experts who work on contractual basis.
- Freelancer experts charge handsome amounts of fee and every time services are acquired, company has to search, track and negotiate with experts for each separate job.
There are certain weaknesses as compared to other competing companies i.e. the concentration of the firm is divided into multiple segments under the name of Alpha Consultants. There are no separate services entities. Along with this the company is only targeting the local and the concentration towards internationalization is very less while other firms are going international or global. Considering the outreach the companies have got internationally now with the social media and search engine tools the competition has gotten very tough. Moreover, the handheld devices and smartphones influx have changed the dimension of IT industry on a massive level. Adapting to the changing needs of the market and new technologies has become very important for SME like Alpha Co and not being able to expand its outreach to international market has been a very major weakness.
- Due to their wide and diverse resource pool, they can handle all different sorts of projects and explore new work areas. Yet, Alpha consultants is associated with various NGOs and public sector organizations.
- Alpha consultants can use their IT and Media professionals to explore new IT grounds, provide services to Telecom giants and Entertainment industry. Also they can form collaboration with defense institutes to provide various services.
- As they get projects on usual basis, they need young talent as well as experienced staff. They provide employment opportunities to fresh graduates and experienced jobseekers to get benefit from their energetic minds and use them in project developments by providing economic salaries.
Many of the IT firms from EU are now outsourcing the basic tasks to south Asian countries like India. This can be a good opportunity for Alpha Co to save costs along with efficiency in work. Another opportunity is to establish umbrella brands and other co-brands for different segment of IT services.
- The consultants who are not Alpha consultants’ employees but working only on contractual basis, get to interact with their clients and form bonds. These consultants not only gain experience under the banner of Alpha consultants, but if they decide to work alone, they can ruin these connections and the inside knowledge they have to offer competition.
- Freelancers will be working on organization projects; they may have access to the organizational internal details and may leak out this confidential information to others.
- If at some stage project accomplished by freelancer comes to the organization for feature addition or updations, the freelancer may not be available to complete that project or charge fee more than the budget. In that case, Alpha consultants has to hire a new freelance expert who will first have to understand all the previous work and this leads to wastage of time as well as money.
There are multiple threats associated with IT business and SME sector. To make SME is not at all a difficult task. Most of the IT business and core operations are being performed in underdeveloped countries or the third world countries. The reason is that the cost is lessoned as compared to EU. So Alpha Consultants has threat of new entrants in the same field along with the cost determination in the current scenario of changing business environment.
There are different strategies to overcoming the weaknesses of SME like Alpha Co. The first solution is to outsource majorly activities for the development of infrastructure and software. Secondly, branding can prove to be a key of success. Human Resource system will be needed if the company is internationalized. According to the research the internationalization of the SME brings in 7% employment chances and gives growth to the firms. So for these methods and alternatives the evaluation is given in this report:
Most of the processes like development of the script of different software can be outsourced to other countries like India, where the IT infrastructure is cheap. In this way the company will be able to earn more profit by covering most of the cost incurred. The outsourcing technique will provide a contribution towards social welfare as the company will provide employment sources. Outsourcing for other activities will also help the company to attain the status of global organization.
The services being offered separately can be considered as different brands like:
- Alpha Management Consultants
- Alpha Media & Advocacy Consultants
- Alpha IT Consultants
In this way different service segments will be considered as different service entities. These services will be provided under the umbrella of parent brand Alpha Consultancy. It will show the expansion of business in real as well as in imaginary terms. The co-branding technique will provide boost to the company.
After going international, the company may develop some compensation systems to provide healthy incomes to the new employees from different companies. So that the motivation level of the employees may get higher and they may contribute towards innovation and development.
Constraint and Restrictions
There are many types of restriction mounted by the local authorities on small businesses. In the case of consultancy business, there are following restrictions:
The business or the SME should be registered under authorities with correct particulars. It should mention everything related to business and prove that is ethical business and there is no harm for environment.
The SME should be authorized by the governing bodies of the country. The trademark should be registered and there should be acquisition of copyrights to run a Small & Medium enterprise. This is very important that the name should be unique and in the case of IT, the processes should not be imitated from any other firm.
The evaluation of small & Medium Enterprise is necessary as the government of EU countries takes the working infrastructure of employees in account. The working of employees and the utilization of human resources are checked and evaluated by different authorities.
In small and medium enterprises there are multiple roles associated with owner of the business. Owner is not only an investor, but is also responsible to make business strategy of the business. Conduct Financial analysis and arrange the finances if needed. Check the legal requirement of the firm along with some attention to the marketing and sales activities of the business. Managing human resource and customer feedback evaluation is also one of the liabilities of owners. In SMEs with more than one owner it is important to contribute in terms of time and finance equally in the business.
There are four basic management functions which should be performed by every type of manager. These four basic functions include:
By planning it is meant to plan the routine and day to day activities in the business. In the case of Alpha Consultants it is necessary to plan activities which are the part of multiple projects on going. Some are the management consultancy projects while other is the IT services being offered different firms. The manager should ensure the good planning. Then the manager should lead the working team of employees in accordance with the policy and objectives of the business. As to provide the solutions for IT and management both, it is necessary for a manager to provide a controlled environment in which the activities are organized to deliver best quality in time. Such services can only be delivered when there is a proper control and innovation is appreciated through the leading role of a manager in business (Fincham, 2000).
There financial status of Alpha Consultant is one of the best in its kind. It is a debt free company. There is no incorporation and the proprietorship is sole. The company’s profit is increasing gradually with time due to appropriate cost base with respect to other companies.
Marketing and Sales
The customer base of Alpha Co must be very strong as it has started from providing services only to customers and now it reselling the services to end users as well as public and private sector. Most of the customers were of public sector organizations. The company has increased its business portfolio by providing multiple solutions. These multiple solutions include Infrastructure, Microsoft, networking, optimized desktop, Asset Management and security. The other SMEs in this category are only limited to one type of services like only security or networking. Very less firms are giving asset management software oriented services (Eikebrokk, 2007).
According to the secondary research given in the assignment, IT firm from UK or EU can easily internationalize on the basis of services provided online. In this way the firm can increase the profit and employment capacity.
There are about 600 people in the SME. They are very energetic and like tradition strong innovation is demanded from the skilled workers of the firm. The detailed analysis provides the competitive advantage of Alpha Co on other similar firms. This advantage is that apart from passionate employees the preference is given to disciplined, flexible and diversified employees. In this way the firm stands at its best among other firms of same category.
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As this is an IT related firm and knows better to use the technology. The company is using the technology related to multiple fields at once. It has got many advantages along with the disadvantages. It is very difficult for a SME to provide core operations of different or multiple solutions. Especially in IT one business SME can only provide expert solution for one factor of the technology. There are other firms in the category which are having customer base and expertise only in one sector of the technology. Whether it’s the web, security or networking Alpha Consultants is giving multiple solutions which is the good point but customer can perceive a ‘ Jack of all trades and Master of None ‘ type stereotype.
Developing Strategies, Goals and Objectives:
Considering the weaknesses and threats faced by Alpha consultants, a number of recommendations can be suggested:
- Alpha consultants has a huge resource pool. It has professionals and experts in tens of sectors and fields. However, the key professionals inside the organization are development experts, so they key focus is on development projects. It strongly needs a separate department that will be dedicated to hunting new opportunities and finding new projects. That way Alpha consultants will be able to target various new projects and explore untouched domains.
- As discussed in the SWOT analysis, when Alpha consultants has to acquire freelance experts for various projects, it not only allows the consultants and experts to get access to company’s information, but also allows them to interact with their clients. These freelance professionals can exploit this information. However, if Alpha consultants hires more experts as their employees rather than outsourcing to freelance expert, it can gain a lot of advantage.
We have been discussed that Alpha consultants has both the valuable experience and a valued name in development and health sector. It can use this name and use their profile to land in new opportunities. By entering new domains, it is expanding and at the same time giving the business a bigger name. The goal of Alpha consultants at the moment should be to gain multi-sector and multi-regional experience using its already established name in development sector. Areas such as Telecom giants, Defense organizations, Financial Institutions and Entrepreneurial start-ups are key areas of focused. Alpha consultants with their experience can provide assistance to all these clients, while also helping their inner growth.
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Fincham, J.E., 2000. Basic Management Principles. University of Kansas, School pf Pharmacy.
ISO, 2012. Quality Management Report. ISO Central Secretariat.
Softcat, 2014. SoftCat: Our People. [Online] Available at: http://www.softcat.com/who-we-are/our-people [Accessed February 2014].
www.softcat.com, 2014. Softcat Limited. Terms and Conditions for Customers. [Online] SoftCat Available at: www.softcat.com/explorer/files/SoftcatTerms_Conditions.pdf [Accessed 2014].
[i] Alpha Consultants (2013). Alpha Consultants, Expertise in Detail. Retrieved From: http://www.Alphaconsultants.com/Alpha/closerlook.html
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