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4 Ways to Tell the Good Consultants from the Bad

By Raleigh deShazo, Director of Client Services

Not too long ago, client expectations for their conversion or upgrade project was a vanilla install – as quickly and cheaply as possible, of course. The vendor would arrive on-site, install the system, apply a base configuration with a few client-requested adjustments, and head back home, leaving the client to figure out the rest. Not anymore!

And that is what separates good consultants from bad consultants: they bring business value to the project. They are able to communicate with both business users and IT to optimize functionality with IT requirements. They lead you through the maze of options and alternatives. They don’t wait for direction. They bring with them their “best practices” toolkit and apply those processes to your application, your special situation, and your business personality. They help make your business better.

Their resume? They spent their career in the industry, learning the trade from the ground up. They’ve participated in a number of similar projects for both large and small institutions. They can point to proven successes. And most importantly, those past clients don’t mind being references.

So, here are four surefire ways to tell the good consultants from the bad (the first three are borrowed from Robert Rosenthal’s blog, the last is my own):
  1. Bad consultants focus on short-term agendas. Good consultants effect long-term change.
  2. Bad consultants push what’s comfortable. Good consultants push what’s important.
  3. Bad consultants tell you what you want to hear. Good consultants tell you what you need to hear.
  4. Good Shaw consultants tailor solutions to the readiness and capability of the organization. One size rarely fits all.