Blog June 4, 2024

The Importance of a Consultant’s Network 

By Stephan Lauzon

June 4th | 3 min read

Networks in Consulting: More than just Advice

In consulting, the role of a consultant goes beyond just providing advice. success hinges not just on what you know, but who you know—and how you use those connections. It’s about being more than just an advisor for a fee; it’s about leveraging your entire network to add real value. By leveraging our connections and expertise, clients benefit from reduced costs, minimized risks, and enhanced efficiency. 


Throughout my career, I’ve come to deeply appreciate the relationships I’ve built and the impact they have on my work. Over my 30 years in the industry, I’ve learned firsthand the immense impact that relationships can have on our work. Today, I am sharing some practical insights I’ve picked up along the way: 

The Importance of a Consultant’s Network 

Consultants are more than problem solvers; they connect clients with the right resources and people.  

I recall a trip to Mexico with a close friend in the industry. One night over drinks, she said to me, “It doesn’t matter how many thousands of contacts you have if you don’t use them—they are worthless.” This advice really stuck with me. It’s not just about having a long list of connections; it’s about activating those connections when they’re needed most. This can translate as follows: 

  • Active Engagement Over Passive Connections: For instance, if you know several suppliers, don’t just keep them in your address book. Reach out, negotiate deals, and make introductions that solve your client’s problems. Turn your list of contacts into a network of active relationships that drive results. 
  • Relevance and Timing: The value of your network also depends on using it at the right time and for the right needs. A contact who’s perfect for one client might not be useful for another. Knowing when and how to leverage your network is a key consulting skill. 
  • Continuous Networking and Updating: Your network needs regular nurturing. This means reconnecting with contacts, attending industry events, and keeping up with new developments. An outdated network is almost as useless as no network at all. 

Benefits of a Strong Supply Chain Consulting Network 

When you hire us, you immediately benefit from our established relationships and extensive contacts with suppliers. For instance, I was recently on the phone with a client who is looking to purchase a lift truck. Currently, the lead time for such equipment is around ~50 weeks. Because we have up-to-date information and strong connections, we can navigate these long lead times and potentially find faster solutions, saving you time and hassle. 

With a well-maintained network, a consultant can quickly connect them to a trusted wholesaler, saving time and ensuring quality. This not only solves the client’s immediate problem but also demonstrates the consultant’s value beyond just advice.  

These connections can save time, reduce costs, and drive value. 

  1. Cost Savings: We have a history with many suppliers and know how to negotiate the best prices. When you ask us about suppliers and pricing, our existing relationships allow us to secure competitive rates, often much lower than what you’d find independently. We used to say that this alone could offset the cost of hiring us. 
  2. Pre-Screening and Qualifying Suppliers: We pre-screen suppliers to ensure they meet your specific needs and standards. This vetting process includes assessing their capacity to deliver on time, the quality of their products, and their reliability. This saves you the effort and risk of dealing with unproven suppliers. 
  3. Real-Time Knowledge: Our ongoing relationships with suppliers mean we have current information about their capacity and lead times. For example, we know which suppliers can deliver within tight timelines and which ones have the necessary resources available. This helps you to make informed decisions quickly. 
  4. Expert Feedback and Recommendations: Our experience allows us to provide valuable feedback and recommendations. We can identify when new technologies or solutions are genuinely beneficial or when they might be unnecessary. For example, a client recently considered a pricey piece of automation equipment. As soon as I caught wind of this, I gave them a call to discuss it. That quick conversation helped them realize it wasn’t the right investment. It’s a perfect example of how being thoughtful and considerate in our relationships can lead to better decisions and significant savings. Thoughtful, timely advice makes all the difference. 
  5. Streamlined Processes: We can help make the entire procurement process straightforward and efficient. From obtaining quotes to finalizing orders, our ability to leverage a one-of-a-kind network ensures that you receive the best value without the typical procurement headaches. We handle the complexities, allowing you to focus on your core business activities. 


The true power of a consultant’s network lies in its active and strategic use. It’s not enough to have a list of contacts; you need to engage with them, understand how they can help your clients, and make those connections work. By doing this, you position yourself as a key player in your clients’ success, ensuring their investments in your services deliver real, tangible benefits.  

A well-utilized network is a consultant’s most valuable asset, turning potential into impactful results. 

Whether it’s negotiating better prices, ensuring supplier reliability, providing up-to-date information, or offering expert advice, our established relationships and industry knowledge work to your advantage. 

Trust us to help you navigate supplier relationships effectively, so you can focus on running your business. 

Make the most of your supply chain consulting network. Get in touch with us below.

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