Today, one of our consultants, Jack Wilcox, wrapped up his contract with Westrock. Jack was the first contractor placed by Enspire Partners and has worked as a JD Edwards Consultant with this client since our first month in business, January 2012. Over this period of time, Jack billed an amazing 17,428 hours.
There were a number of factors making this long term engagement possible.
The right consultant – When cloning technology becomes viable for humans, we definitely will want some of Jack’s DNA as he has been a model consultant. Jack fits the definition of “smart and gets things done”. He has instant credibility, is highly productive and able to work around the politics part and parcel in such long engagements.
One thing I have learned is, if a Consultant has a chink in the armor when working with me, this weakness will always resurface at some point on the client side.
For instance, a consultant who needs to be constantly reminded to submit hours, always will prove to be poor in other areas of documentation as well.
If a consultant has deep content skills in one area, but is unable (or unwilling) to take on new tasks when the client needs him to, it will be difficult to retain him once his initial SOW is fulfilled.
If he communicates poorly with our team or speaks negatively about the client, there will eventually be problems with personality fit.
We pay our consultants very well, but some people always have money problems, needing advances or wanting the client to increase their rate. Good money management certainly is important - regardless of how much money you earn, and is crucial to any long term relationship.
The truth is, Jack has been a flawless consultant – always delivering value, a good steward of the time he bills and very easy to work with. The length of this engagement alone is testimony to Jack’s skill set.
The right client – WestRock is one of the largest JDE installs in the country and Jack worked with them during a period when they experienced unprecedented growth. They maintain a high availability, high volume throughput environment across their IT organization. WestRock completed a $10 billion merger while Jack was engaged and regularly acquires companies needing Jack’s expertise aligning these subsidiaries with WestRock’s corporate IT systems.
In addition to his contract rate, Westrock paid expenses for Jack to commute weekly to Atlanta from Ohio for the length of the assignment. Jack pointed out that having WestRock in the same time zone he lives in and their shuttle service from the airport made life a little easier for him.
The right firm – Enspire Partners has benefited significantly from this relationship, but we played our part as well. We made a reasonable margin, but deliberately billed Jack – as good as he is – below the rate most competitors billed lesser consultants because we wanted to establish a long term footprint with this client. During the term of the engagement, WestRock had extended payment terms and systemic changes in their procurement system we had to work through. But, regardless of when Enspire Partners got paid, we made sure Jack always got his money and expenses every two weeks.
We’ve grown a lot as a company since 2012, and we appreciate the many ways Jack helped us get out of the gate.
There is a good chance “You don’t know Jack”, but we can all find ways as consultants to be a little more like him. If you are a client looking for someone to deliver real value and uplift your team, please give Enspire Partners the opportunity to find your next great consultant.