A visible difference between consultants

Clare Fuller makes a number of valid points as to whether or not design consultants should position themselves in the same category as management consultants, and operate a similar fee structure (Letters DW 9 October).

Her observations on what each has to offer in terms of skill, research, strategies and service helped to differentiate the product offering between management and design consultants.

But the impression I was left with suggested that designers only catered for the needs of customers, staff and consumers, whereas management consultants are good at defining corporate strategy whether it be for companies or countries.

I would suggest that, by the very nature of the type of business design and management consultants undertake, there has to be an overlap. In fact, the bias is with design consultants. Not only do we have to understand the practical aspects of how a company operates, but also to be aware of its culture and philosophy before we can begin to recommend how it presents itself, both externally and internally.

On the question of fees, unfortunately, designers cannot hope to charge the same level as our product offering is so different. For one thing, design is visible, tangible and tactile, whereas management consultancy is invisible.

I cannot help noticing that the less visible the by-product of a service company is, such as solicitors, banks, accountants and so on, the higher the level of fees.

Tony Huggett

Quarto Design

Arundel

West Sussex BN18 9DH

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