Digital transformation is on the radar of most firms; the hard part is finding the right talent to execute it correctly. Dan has an exceptional track record of developing and executing broad-based solutions that combine strategy, technology and design to help clients reach their stakeholders - we spoke to him in more detail about the benefits he brings to the table and advice for others embarking on an independent career.
Q. When you’re at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?
I have operated my own consulting practice for more than 8 years and focus on all things “digital transformation”, inclusive of IT transformation within M&A, new SaaS product introductions and go-to-market strategies, and optimization of enterprise IT portfolios.
Q. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer to the operating teams/portfolio company leadership? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?
My expertise tends to be much deeper and far reaching than a traditional consultant’s because I don’t have a team to compensate for any potential shortcomings. I need to understand every facet of my client’s business and build an incredibly versatile skillset to ensure that every nuance of their situation can be addressed. My deep and diverse skill set is a boon to my clients because I can add-value in unexpected situations and at levels far beyond what a traditional consultant tends to offer.
Q. Why do you think there is increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams?
Independent consultants are a natural fit for PE operating teams and that’s becoming increasingly apparent to operating partners as more engagements of this kind take place. Some key benefits that operating partners are seeing:
- Deeper and more diverse expertise than what a traditional consultant tends to offer
- Easier and less costly procurement process
- Independents tend to feel more ownership, excitement and motivation about their work which translates into better work products.
Q. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.
A PE company acquired 6 e-commerce content management companies and combined them under a single company to create a holistic platform to manage e-commerce content from publication, sale facilitation through to retirement.
I drove the strategy for an analytics product that could differentiate the company from its competitors and create a $15M+ revenue stream. I used the company’s newly acquired features to create a best-of-breed analytics solution and directed UX, development, product marketing and sales teams on how to take the product from inception through to commercialization.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on an independent career as to how they can provide the best results for a client, while fulfilling their own career path?
Be very clear about what value you can provide clients. You see a lot of resumes and LinkedIn profiles these days that are filled with fluff and it’s pretty unclear what a person actually brings to the table. Don’t fall into this trap.
As you engage clients, be specific about your services (i.e. RFP issuance and analysis) and your accomplishments (i.e. saved a CPG company $60 million by doing XYZ activities).
Are you looking for a program lead, change manager, domain expert or experienced technologist to meet your objectives? You can engage with talent like Dan by posting a project now, or by talking to us about how to build up a pool of similar talent in the field.
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