After a year of crisis in 2009, German business consultants quickly regained their road to success and, in 2010, the sector reported growth of 6.9 percent, equaling Euro 18.9 billion. That’s almost double the growth rate of the German gross domestic product, which stood at 3.6 percent. Business consultants are also optimistic about the current year. These are the findings of a market study titled “Facts & Figures, The Consultant Market 2010/2011” which was presented by the German association of business consultants (known as the BDU) at its annual conference in Dusseldorf. Thanks to certification courses offered by the S’CC (Steinbeis’CertifiedConsultant), consultants can address growing demands with the right qualifications.
The speed at which market conditions change and the increasing number of demands placed on small and medium-sized enterprises are also a challenge for business consultants. More and more, these professionals are being expected to pinpoint key issues based on solid analysis, suggest practical measures and stand by company directors during implementation as professional and trustworthy partners. Despite the current level of demand, SMEs are still sometimes reluctant to make use of the services now available to them. This is often because of the huge amount of variety and a lack of transparency regarding the quality of service providers. There are no entry requirements for people entering business consulting, no uniform training and no uniform standards.
This is where certification through Steinbeis’CertifiedConsultant comes in. Consultants are provided with certification to present to customers, showing their technical and methodical suitability for the role. Client companies can then rest assured that the advice they are receiving is of certified quality. To the consultants, the certificate is a useful USP that documents their suitability and experience for the client. The certification is the first standardized consultant profile to be introduced. It’s an unequivocal reference for the quality of the consulting service and is thus highly regarded.
“At first I was more interested in getting the certificate, but then I was amazed by the process. The detailed expert interview in particular proved to me just how extremely high the standards are. The training given in the consultant workshop was probably the best training I’ve ever had. Yes it was intensive, but it was also personal and there were real-world examples which really lifted my methodical skills. The new consultant community is already working well. There’s already a joint project in the pipeline with colleagues I met during training.”
Frank Armbruster – Project Manager Steinbeis Consulting Center Business Coaching
“When you specialize in regional economic promotion it’s important these days to work professionally, with firms in all sectors. In combination with the tailor-made training at the consultant workshop, the certification you gain through the Steinbeis’CertifiedConsultant program was an important tool for me and I can only recommend it to any consultant who puts quality first. Of course, the certificate also acts as confirmation to clients that your service will be professional.”
Ralf Lauterwasser – Steinbeis Consulting Center Main-Tauber
“17 years’ consulting in the Steinbeis Network. And then certification. Why? Because clients quite rightly expect consultants not just to have the obvious technical skills, but also a powerful array of methodical skills to apply to projects. The certification process challenges you to question your own methods and improve.”
Jürgen Raizner – Steinbeis Transfer Center EAST-WEST Cooperations
“IT work has become much more complex in recent years. We have to find solutions for a variety of issues and systems and these have to be the perfect fit for the company. IT also meshes much more closely with corporate development than it used to. This was one of the main reasons I moved deeper into consulting. The S’CC certification process gave me so many things to think about, especially the consulting side to IT projects.”
Gerburg Joos-Braun – Service Center Information Technology IT BruderhausDiakonie Stiftung Gustav Werner und Haus am Berg