ED Magedson – Founder
10EQS Not a ripoff but has operational pains that must be fixed ASAP or risk alienating their cloud labor force Internet
I want to caveat this first by saying that in my experience as an Engagement Manager, 10EQS is not a ripoff. However in my opinion, it is lately some of the most inefficient and inconsistent operational procedure I have experienced in my decades of consulting within major firms and independently. I think this largely contributed to the frustrated review posted on this site. It is unfortunate experts are now so angry as to publicly comment negatively but 10EQS can turn this into a watershed moment. Improve and regain the trust of your cloud labor force. You still have time to do this.
Big improvements are needed to regain trust.
First and foremost, 10EQS needs to respect the terms and conditions it lays out. It can’t simply enforce terms on consultants yet play loose when it comes to its own adherence. In order to work with 10EQS, EMs need to pass several interview screens. EMs are unrealistically bombarded with a mountain of what the company deems necessary on-boarding materials. EMs have to sign contracts. EMs have to handhold clients, soothe expert expectations, deal with the strengths and shortcomings of the cloud labor force assigned to them, work additional weeks when the client extends the project and in general earn every penny negotiated with 10EQS. I think I can speak for fellow EMs when I say we look forward to the rightfully earned payment from 10EQS.
The end of last year brought a change to 10EQS and tone on payments. Payment delays started. The tone of Delivery team for a while was a "take it or leave it" attitude when it came to negotiating EM compensation on engagements.
For context on why this absolutely needs to change, EMs are working for a company that insists EMs sign terms and adhere to them but itself does not adhere to the clause of payment within one month of invoicing. In past months, I have held direct conversations with the Sales team who are sympathetic but the delays continue. The Delivery team is miles too green to handle scenarios like this properly. The sole member of the Finance team in Switzerland is consistent in apologizing but just as insistent that nothing can be done. I imagine her explanation that many of 10EQS’ clients fail to pay up on receipt or within 30 days thus leaving 10EQS in the awkward situation of being unable to honor its commitments does little to pacify EMs clamoring for payment. 10EQS is a professional firm who advertises it has many clients and engagements. It is the firm’s job to manage its finances and cash reserves, not its EMs nor its experts. She may find the situation awkward but the cloud labor force may very well be finding it irresponsible.
If delaying payments upwards of 3 to 4 months is a serious proposal from 10EQS, then it is not an acceptable one until new terms are negotiated in the EM contracts. As a career consultant, I am familiar sharing risks as full partner in firms but sharing risks was bundled with sharing profits and decision making power. As 10EQS’ cloud labor force has none of the latter, it is inappropriate to require them to bear the former.
Another big challenge I see facing 10EQS is its in-house operational workforce. The team means well and is a energetic but young group. Their external communication style is not honed by maturity and grace, while their decision making not always the most ideal from the viewpoint of a harried EM working with a difficult client and on ambitious deadline. I actually have worked with both of the employees mentioned by “Frustrated expert” in his review. I also have been on the receiving end of boilerplate emails which he brings up as a frustration. Sometimes strategy for an engagement is proposed that adds additional friction points to a process already loaded down with enough resistance. All of this can be avoided. Having enthusiasm and friendly demeanors is not enough in the consulting world especially on live client projects. Nothing can beat experience at the end of the day.
While other firms may focus on client services, 10EQS should strengthen EM and expert services. This area is severely lacking right now and having a youthful team learn on the job only results in EMs and experts being unfortunate trial and error guinea pigs. Find a top notch COO. Hire real managers with solid 5-10 years of customer service and client service experience. Have them lead by example. From 10EQS’ current team page, none of the Delivery team members seem to fit this profile and in my opinion are more appropriate as Engagement Services Associates. All the degrees and internships in the world can't replace extended experience already earned through fires fought. 10EQS, fill in the missing mid-level leadership and make your cloud labor force’s lives easier and your current team's professional development more complete.
For the Finance department, is one person truly enough for a company boasting so many international offices? 10EQS should consider investing in duplicating its infrastructure around the world as a fail-safe.
My assumption early on when dealing with 10EQS was to be treated professionally. Problems should be raised quickly and not at project wrap when payment is expected. Payment should be on time. Communications should be timely. All of 10EQS’ recent behavior has fallen below these expectations.
The ball is in 10EQS’ court as its cloud labor force communicates its expectations that their concerns be resolved quickly. I look forward to seeing positive changes ahead.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/07/2013 08:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/10EQS/internet/10EQS-Not-a-ripoff-but-has-operational-pains-that-must-be-fixed-ASAP-or-risk-alienating-t-1057413. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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