Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beware of consultants who know nothing

Take this piece of poorly researched nonsense from Gerson Lehrman Group.


1. "As launch customer of the stretched, longer range 787-9, Air New Zealand was probably the first major carrier to abandon First Class seating and focus on making money where it counted."

What a non-sequitur. Buying the Boeing 787-9 has nothing to do with abandoning First Class as Air NZ got rid of First Class because it focused on a superior business class hard product on long haul flights, and because NZ demand for First Class is derisory. It was also far from the first "major" (!) carrier to abandon first class. Air Canada, Iberia, SAS, KLM, Alitalia and Finnair all did so, along with Northwest, Delta and Continental on international routes. Clearly the writer has no background in the airline sector.

2. "Boeing has missed a huge opportunity in getting the 787 to customers who so desperately want this new fuel efficient airliner" How? The competition is years away, and the 787 is a ground breaker because of what it is made of, but the writer never mentions that. Funny that. Boeing has screwed up because of supply chain quality and timeliness issues, but the 787 has a key point of difference that the writer doesn't note.

3. "The 747-8 has survived in large part because the passenger variant is still a couple of years away". No. It has survived because most of the orders are for the freight variant, which has successfully killed off the A380F for now.

4. On the Boeing 787 "but there won’t be any cancellations due to the set backs on the program thus far." Except for the cancellations by Qantas, Tui, LCAL and others.

5. Umpteen errors of grammar.

A tip to those who commission management consultants.

Get CVs from those expected to work on the project, seriously query their experience and knowledge. Talk to those involved to quiz them on what they know, and don't let substitutes be offered unless you vet them. Finally, contact the clients they say they have had and ask the clients what the roles were.

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