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CMCE Virtual Showcase: How to Be an Excellent Client

Are you a buyer of services who wants to get more value from the consultants you bring into your organisation? Are you a consultant seeking to get more or better business by pinpointing the value that your clients want?

If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then our virtual showcase “How to be an Excellent Client” is for you.

Stories about consultants’ day rates regularly appear in the media and the coverage they get – however inaccurate or exaggerated – is always negative, with outrageously high day rates quoted as an example of wastage. Against this backdrop how can service buyers manage consulting procurement to ensure value to the organisation is maximised and how can consultants ensure that their bids for work focus on value as well as cost?

The world is changing, with a new approach emerging in consulting procurement that will benefit those providers able to demonstrate their unique value to a prospective client.

We’re delighted to bring together some expert opinion for this virtual showcase.

  • Paul Vincent is Global Head of Services Procurement at Hays Talent Solutions. He has experienced the management consultancy landscape as a buyer, client and service provider, firstly through a series of senior roles with BT and then running his own consultancy practice helping a variety of different organisations to buy and sell business services more effectively. Currently Paul is globally responsible for how Hays Talent Solutions support their clients in engaging statements of work-based services including management consulting. This accumulated know-how, underpinned by the practical insights gained from leading a variety of transformational change initiatives over the years, makes him ideally suited to offering attendees a buy-side perspective on our industry.
  • Sarah-Jayne Aldridge has been in Procurement for over 25 years, building her career through the ranks of Buyer to Head of Procurement in both UK and Global organisations such as Société Générale, 02, Anglo American, M&G Prudential and G4S.  Sarah-Jayne heavily focuses on the customer and supplier journey whilst balancing the commercial and business outcomes.  Her key subject matters are in HR, Consulting and Professional Services Procurement; however, her roles have spanned all Indirect spend categories.  She is currently the Director of Sourcing at Network Rail.
  • Jim Foster is the lead author of CMCE’s latest report “Consultant Value Add: Maximising Value from your Management Consultant”, which identified that clients do not always select the consultant, or request the services, that deliver most value. He will discuss the report’s key findings and outline the actions that clients should take to ensure that their consultants deliver value.  Jim is CEO of Timeline Consulting, a boutique firm offering independent expert advice to companies implementing ERP programmes and ensuring they deliver to scope, schedule and budget. With a consulting approach that helps clients reduce their service costs, he is well placed to identify the balance between value and cost.

Offering insights and practical advice on procuring and bidding for consulting contracts, this webinar will be essential for those who want to establish client-consultant relationships that deliver success.

During the event, we launched our report “Consultant Value Add: Maximising Value from your Management Consultant”. 

We make a small charge for these events. CMCE is a non-profit, voluntary organisation and the revenue helps with our running costs.  A limited number of free places are available for students. Please contact for further details.

A synopsis of the event is available below and a video of edited highlights of the session can be viewed here:




Paul Vincent, Global Head of Services Procurement, Hays Talent Solutions

Sarah-Jayne Aldridge, Director of Sourcing, Network Rail

Jim Foster, CEO, Timeline Consulting