Business model for vigour
The consultancy industry is undergoing a process of change. We are shifting towards larger undertakings and development projects as businesses and society prepare for digitalization. Meet Hans Torin, CEO of Combitech, and find out why it’s so important to focus on both people and technology.
We’re living in a period of rapid change. How does this affect Combitech’s way of helping its clients?
“At a fundamental level our motivation is always the same: To help our clients produce results and achieve commercial success. We are passionate about growing and developing in the long term as the client’s partner, which is why we are responsive to their needs and proactive about how we deliver.”
You mentioned the word ‘proactive’. Could you be more specific?
“One interesting area is time-limited, agile projects with a focus on effective development. Another is repetitive concepts that clearly address client needs based on composite, subscribed services. We also develop Master Vendor solutions, in which Combitech takes responsibility for and coordinates the client’s consultancy needs – something that saves a huge amount of time and energy for the client. We can also provide an entire function to complement the client’s business, for example in the form of a logistics department or a product development function.”
Are you picking up on any trends in how the traditional consultancy models are developing?
“I’m noticing that customers are increasingly appreciating our ability to combine several different areas of expertise for greater effect. Particularly in the major digitalization projects that are about both people and technology. The shift is therefore towards larger undertakings and development projects in which we take overall responsibility from start to finish. At the same time I’d like to point out that our individual consultants who provide expertise on an hourly or daily basis are as important as ever. Much of the transfer of experience and relationship building is established at this level and naturally we need to safeguard that. At the end of the day, it’s the individual skill that determines whether Combitech is going to succeed overall.”
And that’s where skills development is of course a key component?
“Absolutely. When it comes down to it, the skill of the consultant is ultimately the most important factor. That’s why a number of years back we initiated a research collaboration with KTH Royal Institute of Technology, which resulted in an entire skills development programme that’s unique in the industry. We offer our consultants courses during working hours, integrate skills development into assignments and encourage networking involving our clients as well. The programme includes an extremely popular concept for newly qualified consultants called Combitech Talent Program. The programme combines courses with challenging consultancy assignments over a period of two years, which means the employee develops skills at a faster pace, while the client has access to the latest knowledge. A winning formula that creates success for both parties.”
Speaking of winning formulas: What do you think it is that sets Combitech apart?
“Number one on my list is our proactive initiatives in research-based skills development. It’s unique in our industry and extends to all employees, even the most experienced experts. The fact that we are part of Saab comes a close second. The relationship gives us unique access to technology, methods and processes that help us generate value in other contexts and sectors. Number three on the list is our long-standing history as a supplier to the defence industry. This has given us a vast bank of knowledge about secure solutions, robust environments, encryption solutions and secure communication in all its various forms. All this experience is vital, now that cyber security and digitalization are top of the agenda for both companies and local authorities, as well as government authorities.”
On the subject of digitalization, what do you think Combitech’s role is as a digitalization partner?
“We have a background in technology and we’re already working with all the future technologies. So we have all the technical foundations to make digitalization possible. But we also have the other key components in place – operational development, cyber security, information expertise and most importantly: our focus on people. Getting people to work with technology and encouraging the whole organization to get behind digitalization are the cornerstones of success. And we’re ready to help at all stages.”