Ivy Exec recently interviewed Steve Martin Founding Partner of Pace Harmon. With offices in Washington, DC, San Francisco and Chicago, Pace Harmon provides consulting and advisory services to Fortune 500 and select middle market companies in support of their most critical outsourcing, insourcing, technology sourcing, and operational transformation programs. Pace Harmon and its practitioners have received several industry awards, and are frequently recognized as leaders in the marketplace by third parties such as Supply & Demand Chain Executive, International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, and Nearshore Americas.
Ivy Exec: In which area of your company do you expect the most growth during 2012?
Steve Martin: We continue to see tremendous strength in IT and Business Process Outsourcing and will continue to focus on these areas. What is emerging though are “second generation” transactions where we are seeing new opportunities to advise our clients on deal restructuring, which often includes scope modifications, insourcing (or “repatriating) areas that were previously outsourced, or moving from a single to a multi-provider environment.
IE: What changes and challenges do you think your company and industry will see in the next 5 years?
Steve: Historically, many outsourcing advisors were deeply experienced in contracting, pricing, and negotiations with less emphasis on the operations that were being contemplated for outsourcing. As outsourcing matures and deals are restructured, advisors will need to be as expert in the operations as they are in the nuances of the commercial / contracting aspects of the deal.
IE: What led you to found Pace Harmon?
Steve: We started Pace Harmon with a vision to change the way outsourcing advisory services were delivered. We wanted our clients to be able to harness all of the perspectives and experiences necessary to effectuate a successful supplier relationship – this meant being more than consultants, we needed to be business leaders who knew how to “roll up our sleeves” and get the job done. This has always been the gap at the intersection of business and technology in the marketplace, and we believe we have filled it – that is certainly what our clients have been telling us.
IE: What three words best describe your culture?
Steve: Collegial, collaborative and dynamic.
IE: What are the two best perks that employees get at your company?
Steve: Consistent exposure to the C-suite of our Fortune 500 clients with the ability to affect change on virtually every project. Transparency on the direction and performance of the operations, through bi-weekly all-hands calls, quarterly financial updates, and our annual retreat.
IE: What gets you excited about going to work each day?
Steve: It never ceases to amaze me when I see the types of strategic insights our teams deliver to our clients each and every day and the value that inures to those clients as a result. After thirty years in the business, there is still nothing more rewarding or exciting than sitting side by side with our clients helping them solve their most visible and impactful business challenges.
IE: Which leadership qualities best insure success at Pace Harmon?
Steve: “Walking the Talk”, Intelligence, Work Ethic, Humility, Professional Presence and Confidence.
IE: What is the biggest misconception that you encounter about the consulting industry?
Steve: Those consultants are long on recommendations and short on execution. We actively try to change that perception each and every day by doing the “heavy lifting” for our clients’ most strategic and complex projects and putting each client in a position to succeed as an organization and as individuals within that organization.