We only take projects where we know we have the potential to transform the client’s condition. We take time to understand the client’s needs and only accept when we know that the value, we will generate for the client will far exceed the costs involved including our fees. Some prospects may say we are expensive. But that is ok.
We don’t subscribe to “window dressing” projects where the client brings you in for the sake of fulfilling a compliance process of checklist ticking or to just show stakeholders that the project was done. We come in to add value. So, solve the challenge and leave clients better than we found them.
In 2018, we greatly transformed our forensics and fraud examination services. In the past, we would take on any project that came our way. But we realised, mid-way during the investigation, some clients would lose interest in the case and suddenly request us to conclude upon briefing them about how we were close to solving the puzzle and how we were zeroing on suspects. We would learn, rather late, that the objectives of the investigations were for insurance claim purposes but not deliberately to find out who did what, where, when how and why to bring the culprits to book, but also make a statement that all fraud incidents are investigated to a logical conclusion.
Investigations are interesting. They are puzzles that you must solve. Connecting the dots. The fraudsters focus is to erase the evidence trail. The investigators work is to recover the trail. Once you take on the case, you cannot stop until the puzzle is fixed. So, there is no worse punishment like a client asking the investigator to stop an investigation while it is still underway. It kills morale and stays on the investigator’s table for a long. Every fraud examiner wants any case file to be closed, with watertight evidence showing who did what, when, where why and how – including answering all the elements of fraud supported by evidence.
Going forward, we review the case facts. And request to engage at the highest level of the organisation usually with the Managing Director, and or with the Audit or Risk Committee Chair of the Board to assess the ownership of the case at high levels. Where we fail to get the MD’s involvement or a senior EXCO member involvement, it is a red flag.
Our focus for consulting is to maintain long term relationships with our clients. To be retained. This means we are not going to accept the prospect’s project if we feel we cannot get results. For some clients, we are willing to invest our time, resources, and tools without paying for an equity stake – where it is on the table – because we believe in our capabilities. Some of our projects are so impactful that if we decided not to take up the case or do the project an innocent person who be disadvantaged. It is these kinds of projects and the potential value delivery to the clients that keep us going.
That is what we call the Summit Consulting advantage.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.