Like many professional services firms, West Monroe Partners struggled with the big challenges facing the IT industry: recruitment and retention, skills shortages and adapting to changing customer demands.
But the Chicago-based firm tried something it says improved its overall end user experience and strengthened its sales team.
West Monroe's founders, who started the firm about a dozen years ago after leaving Arthur Andersen as it floundered during the Enron debacle, decided that if the firm was going to provide IT services to others, it should also provide those services to itself.
Consider it thinking inside the box. Nate Ulery, West Monroe senior director, says the strategy has worked for West Monroe, and it can work for other services firms.
For a time, West Monroe staff was expected to work on client accounts, and do internal support almost as a side job. "That was not a sustainable model," Ulery said.
So the firm made a change. Now, "we make it clear to members of our team that (West Monroe) is a client. We have clear expectations that you can't shortchange just because it's internal."