This particular model may not seem like consulting at all because the consultant is an employee of the client company. This is the only model where that is true. Consultants in Model I arrangements could spend an entire career working for the same company. This consulting model is possible when the parent company is very large and when it is made up of many units or divisions.
The company may grow through acquisition of smaller companies. When that happens, one of the benefits to the acquisition is that the newly acquired unit can begin to standardize operations and can begin to use a consolidated set of tools and technology. Operating expenses go down and that reduction spurs the economic benefit of the acquisition.
Transitioning to the core tools and technology of the parent company can be difficult and it can take time to accomplish. The tools and technology can also become very specialized within the core company over time. Extending these tools to the new unit may require the effort of people who have skills that are so specialized that people with that particular set of specialized skills do not exist in the open technology consulting market.
Even if a company does not spur growth through acquisition, they may still have a need to operate under Model I. Since technology changes over time, it is important for a company to be able to smoothly transition to or to adopt emerging technology. A company that recognizes the need to stay current in terms of technology and the constantly evolving nature of technology might also design an internal mechanism to support that aspect of the business.
The internal mechanism could include in-house consultants. An internal consultant is an employee of the parent company. Their clients are the myriad units and divisions of the company. This model provides the variety that typical consultants need but may also provide continuity and stability at the same time.
The consultant who works in Model I may be based in a particular location working from a home base of sorts. They could be required to travel extensively but the travel requirement could be somewhat limited if the consultant supports a specific geographic area.
There may be a degree of constancy in the work because the consultant could work with the same group of client units within the company over a long period of time. It is possible for an in-house consultant to spend their entire career working for the same company.
Using a Model I approach to consulting places some obligations on the company as well as on the consultants that work under this arrangement. These considerations will be explained in detail in later sections of this blog.