Cost diagnostic at the University of North Carolina

22 Jun

As a management strategy consultant, I am often asked what consultants actually do.  I typically answer with a host of analogies, most often the simple “doctors for businesses” comparison, because we often play the role of diagnosing and providing recommendations to solve specific issues ailing a business.

It is rare that I can share an example of Bain’s work, due to confidentiality restrictions and operating guidelines.  It is unique, therefore, that the University of North Carolina has published a narrated video of an interim report provided by Bain.  A few quick highlights of the video:

  • Highlights of the cost issues Bain is helping UNC address – the “burning platform” that makes it clear that action must be taken
  • Explanation of how Bain’s corporate toolkit and approach, while used most often for businesses, are still relevant for addressing administrative costs in a public / non-profit organization
  • Interim results of their study, such as the finding that there are 9 levels of management within the university, with 50% of supervisors managing only 1 – 3 direct reports, signs that organizational structure / complexity and “spans and layers” of management could be part of the problem

The video is about 15 minutes long, but should be interesting to anyone with a tie to UNC or an interest in the management consulting approach.  View it here:

I applaud UNC for publishing the video.  I must imagine that the student body, faculty, and administration of the university are much more at ease getting this explanation of the project than they could have been based on news media and rumors alone.

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