Do you need to rebalance your blend of suppliers?

Mary Wellman

~ 5min read

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~ 5min read

Imagine you’re an ops manager at an investment bank. You’re midway through a transformation project, and you’ve been called into a governance meeting. You walk into the room to see a senior expert from one of the big four consultancies, some people from a smaller consultancy, some individual contractors, some colleagues.

Looking around the table, you realize seven out of 10 people are transient workers. They won’t be here in six months. You ask yourself – how is the next phase going to play out? You need to hold onto enough people to continue getting the work done, and enough operational knowledge to do it up to scratch…

This is the problem banks are facing today.

The good news? It’s solvable.

We’re speaking with Emily Shanks, Director of Banking Services at mthree, to understand how banks can protect themselves against future shocks due to lack of resourcing. “It’s not about replacing one sort of supplier with another”, she says. “It’s about rebalancing the blend of suppliers that banks have in the mix.”

> Immediate needs vs. ongoing needs

Here’s how it’s always worked, traditionally:

The big four financial consultancies provide advisory services via senior experts to guide a bank’s decisions. Following on from that, they typically provide more junior people to execute the work. Then those people leave, and it’s down to the bank’s employees to pick up the baton.

Sometimes this is the perfect solution. You need senior experts to come in to fix an expensive one-off problem and that’s that.

Sometimes, however, there’s the long term to think about as well as the short term. In those cases you ideally want to hang on to the people who’ve learned the ins and outs of your business’s situation. And that’s where things get tricky.

> The pain of parting with intellectual property

“I’ve seen it from various angles,” Emily recalls. Before joining mthree, she worked for a large financial advisory consultancy – both as a consultant on the ground and as part of the business development team.

“Often there’s a transition period following a consultancy project. For instance, once most of the advisory work for a transformation function is done, the change-the-bank project turns into a run-the-bank project, with daily delivery work to maintain.”

That’s often the moment at which you lose all the knowledge and operational firepower that’s developed along the way.

“Back when I was onsite as a consultant, I saw that the banks always got frustrated at the end of the contract. They wanted to hire the people who’d executed the work but they weren’t able to. They’d spent a vast amount of money on the delivery phase, only for that intellectual property to walk out the door.”

> Every supplier has its place

Emily notes that banks aren’t aware of the breadth and depth of options available to them.

“Often, if you’ve been given budget to spend to solve that problem that’s going on in your world, you turn to the established names by default to prevent the risk of making a bad decision.”

She acknowledges that there’s an attraction to the PwCs and Deloittes out there. “Rightly so. They’ve earned their reputation by steering big-bang projects and contributing massively to the business success of banks.”

Now more than ever, though, budgets are keeping managers up at night. With another wave of resignations and layoffs in the labor market, some people argue that there are more people available to hire. But then you have to factor in the costs of recruitment and the challenges of retention. When you only have so much budget to spend, how do you decide where to invest it?

Why not slice the supplier pie a little differently – saving money as well as broadening your inputs?

> A new way to divide and conquer

Little do many banks know, Emily says, it’s not an either-or. It is possible to get value out of an advisory consultancy while also investing in the future resilience of your workforce.

“The changes that you make will most likely impact your business for many years to come. So you need to cover yourself. And these days, you can.”

You can transition seamlessly from a change-the-bank phase of work to a run-the-bank phase of work, and you can keep hold of much of the human capital that grows out of major projects.

How? By adding in a Hire Train Deploy provider, such as mthree, alongside your advisory consultancy.

“Nobody is saying that one type of supplier is better than the other. I’m talking about using a targeted combination of sources of expertise and talent. By working smarter, you can augment each of those sources to get the best out of every part.”

> Talent strategy to support your industry project strategy

mthree is the talent development solution for leading global employers. We find emerging talent with the attitude and aptitude to succeed in your business, we train them in the skills you need, and we embed them in your teams for 12-24 months.

Throughout that time, your mthree people are a sponge. They work alongside the experts – the senior consultants, your internal leaders – learning from them and upskilling.

At the end, you get to hire them as your permanent employees at no extra cost. This is the point that gets Emily excited about our approach to helping organizations make progress.

“If you know you’re going to need people on the ground to keep doing the work, it doesn’t make sense to rely on a consultancy from start to finish. To put it bluntly… stop paying a high price for delivery-focused people who are going to leave, and start investing in delivery-focused people who are going to stay.”

Emily goes on to say “in a survey with graduates who’ve completed our program and converted to permanent employees, 89% are still working with the same client after a year. This shows they’re committed to stay after the program finishes. Helping you build a more sustainable workforce.”

> Futureproof your workforce with mthree

We diversify your bank’s blend of talent and expertise, helping you bridge the skills gap that opens up after the advisory consultancy has left. You get confidence that the people we deliver stick around because they want to – not because they have to. Unlike other Hire Train Deploy providers, we’ve never chained people to their roles with training bonds and exit fees.

You also get budgetary certainty. Our rate remains flat through the term, with no renegotiations or rotation of resources based on increasing rates. What’s more, we can make your budget work for you. Because the end goal with mthree is permanent employees, we often find that clients can fit into their hiring headcount or their contingent worker budget.

Our clients include top financial services companies in the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100. More and more banks are looking at investing in their future workforce, rather than just high-cost solutions to short-term problems. Will you join them? Find out more about Hire Train Deploy with mthree.


You can also get in touch with the mthree team by completing our contact form.

> Mary Wellman

Mary Wellman is a Senior Marketing Executive at mthree. She’s a marketing generalist who creates concise and useful content to help solve challenges for our clients. With a STEM degree, an MBA, and 30 years of B2B communication expertise, she is a seasoned business editor who spearheaded the digital transformation of five media brands and events. She understands how AI and information density shape the new business landscape.

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