So how does HiveMind make money?
HiveMind brings together the best minds and delivery capabilities in a highly flexible, joined up manner. This allows clients to benefit from far greater value in our work than they would by engaging with the individuals involved independently. We join it all up, align our efforts and carry the risk. In return for the value we add as a network, we add a varying margin which reflects that value, the flexibility we provide and the risks for us in the engagement.
For example, our value-add and the reflected margin is higher where clients want the very best people to work with them but with little to no commitment on their part. The risk, ongoing operational costs to the network and the delivery expert for this sort of work is higher, so we charge a little more. When we’re doing less and risking less, we charge less.
Clients are happier that they get total control over engagements, and delivery experts are happy to sometimes earn a little more on flexible engagements when there’s no security in it for them. As a result, clients only pay for expertise specifically when they need it so the overall cost for clients goes down. The flexible margin can be anywhere between 8% and 30%.
What type of delivery experts do you have in the community?
Across the community we have the range of skills and services required to support our client members from strategy through to operation. This includes top management consultants, programme and project managers, agile and kanban specialists, software development and delivery experts, enterprise architects, organisational design specialists, operation and ERP experts and data analysts, business information specialists, cyber-security experts, business analysts, design thinking experts, customer experience specialists and supply chain experts.
If a member does work for us who is contractually responsible?
Typically work is undertaken through a HiveMind Master Service Agreement (MSA) between the client and HiveMind, then HiveMind Network Ltd carries contractual responsibility.
However we also support a great many expert member microfirms who wish to suppliment their own services and brand with our network support; powered by HiveMind if you like. When a member micro-firm is engaged with one of their clients direct and use HiveMind to support them, then there is no Master Service Agreement in place between HiveMind and the customer so the contractual responsibility in that case lies between the client and the expert member micro-firm. However, in those circumstances there is of course a contract in place between HiveMind and the expert member microfirm.
What sectors does the Hive community cover?
Due to our diverse network make-up we are able to cover most sectors. However, we have notable experience in financial services, retail, hospitality, utilities, distribution and logistics, manufacturing, mining, healthcare and local government.
How can I be assured that my information remains confidential?
If as a client you post a requirement via our secure data entry form within a ‘guild’, this is only distributed to the nominated guild champions. If you require further confidentiality you can also create a blind requirement brief where no client identifiable information is entered. HiveMind will never show your company information without your permission in the requirement brief. As a further precautionary measure, you can list a requirement as “Confidential” which ensures we’ll treat it as we would if covered by a full NDA.
It’s also important to note, that as part of our Terms of Service, delivery experts are bound to not disclose confidential information.
You seem to be like a hybrid consulting and resourcing company is that right?
We are a professional services network (PSN), with similarities to the larger mainstream consulting firms, however most of our experts are self-employed or are part of a member micro-firm and carry their own costs. This means that we can flex our resources in scale and into new areas with ease, at speed and without the same costs as traditional firms, which means we can charge less. Also, not having a ‘bench’ of employees, we don’t need to push peoeple out or ‘land and expand’ to cover overheads. We just bring to bare the right people, for just as long as they’re needed.
We have 4 primary engagement models;
- HiveFlex – a truely flexible, on demand model which is able to engage an expert or a group for an hour through to a year in units of time that suits you
- HiveOutcome – our outcome or project focused engagement and delivery model.
- HiveExec – our fixed cost, subscription model, to support executives and leaders in achieving their strategic goals whilst keeping them on track with daily/monthly delivery requirements. We don’t just advise, we roll our sleves up too.
- HiveFix – the closest we have to that of the traditional contractor model, except we take responsibility for the quality of the work undertaken by the member and all people are of course vetted for both an alignment of our values in addition to their technical capabilities. In otherwords, we don’t just “sell bodies”.
Finally, our guilds seeks to develop and share best practice and open standards which provides continuity and integrity of service beyond that of any “lone contractor”.
How do you ensure quality of your experts as the network grows?
There are a three ways we address this;
- The ability to offer services from within the network is regulated by our guilds. To gain entry to a guild requires clear evidence that the delivery expert has a well established reputation and impeccable references.
- We operate a member feedback model called HiveRank. This captures client and peer feedback and helps to ensure that the value contribution, adherence to core values and the performance of members is transparent.
- Our delivery experts are typically ‘nominated’ by an existing member before interviewing. If a member nominates a poor member, their own HiveRank is negatively impacted.
Your platform seems fairly basic - why's this?
Depending upon the type of membership you have, the look and functionality of the site will vary. If you’re looking for something that the platform doesn’t obviously provide, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll let you know if it’s available and how. However, we’ve also bootstrapped everything we’ve done so far. So as the membership grows and our revenues with it we’re investing in building out a more comprehensive platform. This is being done in conjunction with our members deep involvement.
What would you see as your key focus in terms of your claim on "making business better"
Our entire membership’s stated desire when applying to join is to work with people who share our values. These values ensure we’re working with people we enjoy working with, who are focused on the ‘bigger picture’ and not just themselves and are motivited to generally contribute in making work highly rewarding, fun, diverse and educational.
In addition, our “DNA” is focused around organisational agility. Helping companies to become more responsive and able to adapt to market changes. Some of our most complex and successful engagements to date have been in this space. To achieve this sort of change typically involves our delivery experts helping to modernise and optimise governance, organisational models, IT development and delivery and customer experiences.
You say more affordable and effective - how do your costs compare to other providers then?
From a consulting perspective we’re about half the cost of the equivalent expertise from a Big 4 firm, bearing in mind that in the management consulting space many of our expert practitioners have Big 4 backgrounds. In the delivery area our experts are about two thirds of the cost of their equivalent from a systems integrator or software company.