Comatch's US leader on its entry in the US consulting market

18 December 2019 Consulting.us

In March, Comatch – a European platform for independent consultants and industry experts – set up shop in the US. Consulting.us sat down with the Sven Merten, managing director and US head, to gauge how things have been going since launching. 

How is Comatch doing?

Our entrance in the US market has exceeded all expectations, as the opening of our US headquarters has quickly accelerated our impact on the consulting industry here in the States. American companies are far more accustomed to working with temporary and freelance workers. This directly translates to a higher adoption of consultants, and in hindsight, this was one of the primary reasons why we made the strategic decision to enter the US market.

In the first six months, the number of independent consultants in our US network has doubled. 

Comatch works with clients all over the globe. What differences are you seeing in how clients tap independent consultants?

One key difference lies in the profile of consultants sought. In the US we find our clients desire consultants that are experts in specific fields, whereas in most of Europe, our clients display a greater demand for independent consultants with general management consulting skills. 

Sven Merten - Comatch

With such differences in mind, how is Comatch tailoring its US approach?

This difference changes the overall complexion of the average independent consultant in the US versus Europe. Also, in the US, consultants tend to be slightly older. This is understandable because the more specialised experience they have in a specific field is largely related to the number of years of experience they have in that field under their belt. 

As a result, the profiles of consultants we recruit and accept into our network in the US is slightly different than those in our European network, with the aim of meeting domestic client expectations.

At the other side of the table, what differences are you seeing among independent consultants?

Other than compensation, there is not much difference. US-based consultants on average have more seniority and specialised expertise, so their daily rates tend to be higher.

Competition among gig-economy platforms in the US is huge. How is Comatch trying to situate itself among the established order?

We are making an immediate impact in the US as a direct result of our unique methodology. By using proprietary algorithms alongside our highly trained consultant-relation teams, we can match the ideal consultant or expert to a client’s unique needs within 48 hours. In turn, this eases the burden on our clients as they can quickly review a mere handful of the most qualified consultants. That reduces the amount of time and energy spent on the selection process to meet clients’ business needs and makes us stand out from the crowd in the competitive landscape. 

Comatch has joined an accelerator program as part of its US growth ambition. How is the network and mentor infrastructure supporting growth?

The program is proving invaluable as it gives us direct access to the experience of mentors and start-ups that have already successfully entered the US market. With this knowledge, we are able to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls they experienced, providing us with an informed strategy for moving forward and allowing us to ramp up with best practices from day one.


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