This spring we worked with COMATCH to launch their platform for management consultants. Unlike similar platforms, COMATCH incorporates communication and feedback at every level — something we appreciate at Sleighdogs. Freelancers and clients are encouraged to give each other feedback, as well as COMATCH admins.
Project founders Jan Schächtele and Christoph Hardt are experts when it comes to consulting — they both studied business administration and continued on to work at McKinsey & Company. With these experiences in their back pockets, they started digging into trends and set out to amp up the managerial freelance network. Their main goals: ensure quality and optimize payment on both sides of the project.
Regular communication is crucial for both goals, from project kick off to wrap-up. Yet feedback is something freelancers usually miss out on.
“It’s common that [consultants] get it on a project base, in an institution that happens regularly,” Jan said. “Now that they are in a freelancer world we want to give them back the option to get feedback in a structured way, on a regular basis.”
Additionally, positive feedback is an accolade for freelancers, helping to differentiate them as top consultants. And this bit of competition benefits every project happening on COMATCH.
“If [clients] have the option to evaluate someone at the end, it’s an indirect incentive scheme which should normally ensure better quality of work, as consultants are thinking about how they’re going to be rated in the future,” Jan said.
Since the launch in February, over 150 freelancers have signed on to the platform. Seeing that growth was one of the major project highlights for Jan.
“Launching the registration for consultants and then seeing the first consultant register, and then seeing consultant no. 100, getting the first project launched while the online platform: those were the emotional hiccoughs or roller coaster highlights.”
And the growth is a huge draw for clients. According to Jan, businesses starting new projects typically stick with freelancers they know best: previous employees. But this network has its limitations.
“There is no real market, no transparency,” Jan said.
COMATCH enables businesses to connect with management consultants specializing in everything from organization to finances. Clients kickoff each project with a brief, COMATCH suggests consultants with relevant skills, and contracts are drawn. Without the overhead of a permanent advisor or partner, the process stays lean and affordable.
“It’s a sort of triple-win situation. Consultants have higher earning potential. Clients are paying less than they are used to. And we automate the process, which makes everyone happy,” Jan said.
While the Jan and Christoph don’t have specific expectations for how the project will develop in the next few years, they are excited to watch it grow in the years to come.
“Obviously there’s a dream answer, which is scaling this up and make lots of money and drink pina coladas for the rest of my life,” Jan said with a laugh. “The more realistic one is getting this to slowly work. Making this a sustainable company that could make us happy for many years and create a greater environment for computer work.”