CEO Today - Management Consulting Awards 2022

When it comes to regionalisation, PD basically pursues two goals. Firstly, we want to be closer to our clients so we can reach them faster when they need us. In addition to our headquarters in Berlin, we have opened offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Nuremberg and Wiesbaden. Secondly, we are reducing work travel for our consultants, which improves both their personal wellbeing and contributes to climate protection efforts. Finally, specialisation means generating more knowledge and skills for our public customers. We achieve this by hiring new employees with the appropriate expertise – but also by offering our employees a wide range of internal and external training opportunities. This is part of our brand identity. We can only deliver the best possible advice and support to our customers if we are always up to date in terms of knowledge, methods, and management tools. Other factors that contribute to our continuously high-quality consulting services are flexibility, agile thinking and acting as well as the ability to anticipate upcoming developments – and to quickly integrate them into our consulting toolbox, where applicable. Stéphane: Another major challenge for the public administration, which will become even more urgent in the future, is the increasing skills shortage that results from demographic developments. By 2030, more than 1.2 million employees will be leaving the public service due to reaching state pension age, and this number will increase to almost 2.6 million people by 2040. Studies forecast up to 816,000 vacancies in the public sector by 2030. There will not only be a lack of administrative employees, but also specialists in key fields such as education, digitalisation, health and care. In the “war for talent”, the private sector has a competitive advantage over the public sector, which will even intensify in the years to come. Private sector our customers to carry out future projects on their own and to pass on this knowledge to other public organisations as well. Claus: Each year, the federal government, the federal states and local authorities as well as other public institutions in Germany award contracts with a volume of approximately €500 billion to private companies. This is a huge amount – and it is the taxpayers’ money. Due to increasingly complex requirements and dependencies as well as the increasing number of projects carried out simultaneously, deadlines are often not met, and costs are skyrocketing. Therefore, our consulting activities aim at gradually increasing the capabilities of our public clients to improve focus on the end users. What significant challenges has PD faced in the past years, and how have you overcome them? Claus: Undoubtedly, the slow pace of digitalisation is one of the major challenges for the public sector. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has come to the fore like never before. The authorities’ technical equipment varies greatly and uniform standards, sufficient funding, and qualified personnel for modernising IT infrastructure are lacking. Certainly, the crisis has accelerated digitalisation efforts in Germany – but this has been less dynamic compared to other industrialised countries. This is just one example of the areas we advise on. We see a lot of demand for consultancy services in this area. Our response to this continuously high demand is a combination of growth, regionalisation, and specialisation. In terms of resources, we continue to grow consistently. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of our employees has doubled to more than 700. administration. When speaking to project managers in public institutions, I am impressed by their creative drive and how they embrace change. I treat them with respect and advise them both neutrally and openly. What does this mean in practice? If, during project initiation, we conclude that there are financial or other important reasons not to go ahead with the implementation of a project, we advise against it – even if this means that we might lose a possible contract. This is why PD is a unique player in the consulting market: our main goal, just like that of our public sector clients, is to serve public interest, and so maximising profits is not our priority. PD consultants are driven by the benefit to society and the individual resulting from their work. The freedom to think independently and to speak honestly characterises our brand: we are pioneers with the highest standards of quality and professionalism. In what ways does offering consultancy services to the public sector differ from providing the same in the private sector? Stéphane: Compared to private companies, public sector organisations are structured as rigid line organisations. They think and act in distinct technical areas of responsibility. In public institutions, there is sometimes a lack of willingness to work on pragmatic solutions across departments and federal levels. We notice that public authorities often still think in terms of administrative procedures and responsibilities. I believe that authorities can only be truly resilient and innovative when they are able to think and work in terms of projects. In keeping with our company statute, we share our experience from consultancy projects with customers and shareholders. We want to enable CEO Today Management Consul t ing Award s 2022 - GERMANY - - 22 -

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