Case Study

Reinventing the professional services firm model: The SMA TOD® platform

18 pages
July 2020
Reference: IMD-7-2160

The conventional wisdom in professional services firms is that the entire relationship is a “high touch experience” – from initial conversations, proposal drafting, and workflow management to the final delivery of the work product. This is true of law, accounting, engineering, architectural, management consulting, and other forms of professional services. Ajay Patel, CEO and case protagonist, recognized that this high-touch experience is fraught with many problems. He and his team decided to build a proprietary online platform that is revolutionizing both the demand-side and the supply-side of professional services. The case focuses on the process whereby clients co-create their consulting team through active participation. The aim was to speed up the process, reduce all friction points, and do value pricing.

Learning Objective
  • Understanding how a digital platform can disrupt an industry and its core business model.
  • Debate the benefits and costs of having completely transparent, real-time access to the entire human resource pool of the firm.
  • Debate merits of a new pricing strategy that does not allow for negotiation on the part of clients.
  • Discuss the talent management benefits – recruiting, project assignment, rotation, and promotion – of the TOD system.
Technology, Disruption, Information Technology, Transparency, Platform Strategy, Platform, Customer Journey, Customer Experience, Co-creation, Pricing, Business Model
Northern America, United States of America
SMA, Services, Information Technology, Information Technology Services
2015 - 2020
Field Research
© 2020
Available Languages
English, Russian
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