Risk management consulting firms can bring significant benefits to your business, whether you are a new, up-and-coming startup venture or a massive enterprise with offices or shops spread across the globe. That said, not all consultants are created equal and the best firm for one business may be a really poor fit for another. This begs the question: how do you find the best risk management consulting firm for your business and its unique needs?
Finding the best risk management consulting firms is a challenge but it’s one that can be tackled with relative ease if you know what to look for and what points to consider. It all begins with identifying your needs as an organization.
Tip 1: Identify Your Needs as a Business
Before you even begin Googling or asking for risk management firm recommendations, take some time to evaluate and articulate your needs as an organization. Consider questions such as the following.
Do we have unique risk management vulnerabilities that directly arise from our industry or business type? If so, you will need to seek a consulting firm that has experience in that realm if you expect to see maximum benefit from your engagement.
Do we have a history of risk management challenges? Companies that have experienced issues in the past or are currently experiencing risk management challenges will need to be prepared to discuss this with prospective service providers. Furthermore, the consulting firm will need to feel comfortable addressing those challenges. Ideally, they will have consultants who have lots of experience handling risk management situations that are similar to your own.
What are our known risk factors and vulnerabilities? Approach potential service providers with a well-considered list of your existing threats and areas of vulnerability. Even seemingly small issues should be included to ensure that you receive an accurate preliminary consultation. This information allows the firm to more effectively evaluate whether they have the required expertise and resources to assist your company with its risk management and mitigation efforts.
By considering these issues before you approach prospective risk management consulting firms, you will be well-prepared to discuss key points that will help you to determine if a service provider is a good fit for your business.
Tip 2: Evaluate the Risk Management Consulting Firm’s Expertise
Risk management is a broad discipline with many areas of specialty and expertise to consider. Therefore, you must ensure that you find a risk management consulting partner with experience working with similar business types or businesses within your industry. This is particularly crucial if you do business in a sector that has unique threats and risk factors at play — factors that impact the risk management landscape in a way that demands experience and unique insights to achieve effective mitigation and long-term management.
Industry-specific experience matters because there are many prospective risks that can be rather elusive to those who lack experience in that field. But when problems arise, the consequences can be dire and costly. The ability to identify these vulnerabilities is vital for developing an effective risk management plan for your business.
Tip 3: Discuss the Risk Management Consulting Firm’s Process
Risk management and mitigation is a long-term process and as such, you can expect your engagement with a consultant to last for an extended period of time. This means that you will need to be comfortable with their process; it needs to be something that will align with your own company’s processes and workflows.
The best risk management consulting firms will be very willing to share and discuss their processes, goal-setting process, benchmarks, and KPIs. Look for a well-defined process flow, with measurable goals, lots of collaboration, and contingency plans for cases when things do not proceed as expected.
Tip 4: Ask for Referrals and References
As you begin your search for the best risk management consulting firms in your area, do not hesitate to ask colleagues and other trusted individuals in your business circle for referrals. Not every referral is going to be a winner because a consultant who is a good fit for one company may be a poor fit with another business. But there are cases when you can connect with a great risk management consultant thanks to a trusted colleague’s recommendation.
References are equally important once you have found one or more risk management firms to consider. Request references — ideally, references that represent a similar type of company or businesses that work in your industry — and a reputable firm will have no hesitation providing them. If a service provider is hesitant or unable to provide references, consider this a bright red warning flag!
A reference can serve as a great resource. Ask lots of questions about the reference’s experience with the firm and discuss their results. Remember to enquire about the process, the effectiveness of their consulting, and whether they are still working with the service provider. If the reference is no longer working with the consulting firm, ask why and whether they would work with them again if the opportunity arose.
These tips for finding the best risk management consulting firms will get you started down the path toward finding the ideal consultant; one that will have the experience, insight and collaborative approach that’s required to identify, mitigate and monitor for problematic risk factors. Remember to take your time researching and vetting consultants so you can identify the best match for your organization and its needs.
Additionally, consider what technology the consulting firm is utilizing and/or recommends to its clients. In many cases, risk management software systems should be deployed to provide an organization with a toolset for risk management and mitigation.
Finding the right technology to aid in your risk management efforts — such as a risk management software platform — can simplify and streamline the process in dramatic ways. But you need the right software solution; ideally, one that is set up to accommodate your risk management needs and your industry or business niche. Some organizations can benefit from the development of a custom enterprise software solution. That’s exactly where iTech can help. At iTech, we specialize in the development of custom risk management solutions, among other technologies.
Reach out to the team at iTech today to discuss your company’s risk management situation and we’ll begin the collaboration process to forward your risk management strategy.