The Silicon Review
Black Diamond provides Advisory and Consulting services around the Implementation of OneStream software, working directly with the office of the CFO to redefine and enhance the processes around Financial Close & Consolidation, Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting, as well as Strategic and Cash Planning. Leading with its talent of “Experts Only,” Black Diamond Advisory develops a unique platform for each client combining finance, and operational data into interactive dashboards with real-time analytics. The company has a single mission of 100% Customer Success which is 100% aligned with the OneStream executive leadership.
In conversation with Randy Werder, CEO and Co-Founder of Black Diamond Advisory
Q. What was the motivation behind starting Black Diamond Advisory?
I learned a lot from working in consulting for the past 20 years: experience has taught me more about what not to do than what to do. I The accumulation of innovative ideas motivated me to create a company whose vision focused around those innovative solutions and transforming the industry. We were very fortunate to align Black Diamond with a new, up-and-coming software, OneStream, which redefined the Corporate Performance Management Industry allowing a more creative consulting model.
Q. Expertise is the first and biggest advantage of the right business consultant. How do you source the right talents to maintain the quality of your expertise?
In consulting, I believe everyone is judged based on three categories; At BDA we call them the Three Pillars of consulting:
The better you can balance the above pillars, the better consultant you will become. When creating our workforce, we looked for people who not only have these skills, but also have the potential to grow them to expand their knowledge and expertise. The key, once you have identified who has the potential, is to create a curriculum for them to improve their three pillars.
Q. Consultants do not come with guarantees, so there is always a possibility that you might not achieve the results you had planned when you had hired them irrespective of the cost. How can businesses overcome this uncertainty?
Through all the hiring I’ve done in my career, I have learned not to let perfect get in the way of good. You can spend months on the interview process and still have a miss. Leverage internal people in the interview process who have great instincts instead of spending months on the interview process. If you find someone who is a cultural fit, hungry, and has the aptitude to grow, then you can be just as accurate as if you had spent countless hours and time trying to find the perfect person.
Q. Strategic business consulting and planning is the process of creating a set of offensive and defensive business maneuvers designed to increase and keep a competitive advantage over your competition. How do you help businesses stay ahead of the curve?
Establishing an environment of Innovation and Creativity from every level is how we keep ahead of the competition. Because we understand that innovative ideas reside in everyone, we have given them the forum to explore all ideas; this has allowed us to function as a collective mind versus one person making all decisions. We have capitalized on collective ideas by breaking the classic consulting model with our unique POD concept. This involves breaking the company into 5-6 person PODS, allowing someone who wouldn’t speak on a 50 person call to bring up what might seem like a radical idea. The smaller group allows exploration and refinement of those ideas, which are then reviewed by POD leaders and potentially put into action. This not only keeps us ahead of our competitors but also creates a culture where people feel valued by having a say in the direction of the company.
Q. Many business managers and executives question the value of consultants. How do you protect their interest?
While in Sales the old saying is “always be closing,” in consulting the saying we like is “always be adding value.” If you can prove your value, you will eliminate the concerns clients have regarding consultants and establish credibility over time. Value can come in many different forms: technical prowess, functional innovations, and sometimes simply knowing when to listen. Some of the best advice I received when I started out in consulting was “you don’t have to know the answer to everything, but you better know who does.”
Q. Do you have any new services launching soon?
We are incredibly excited about our new AI/Machine Learning offering. We have partnered with a firm with incredible data scientists who created extremely accurate predictive models. These models can handle massive amounts of historical data as well as economic indicators which can help businesses adjust to the volatility we have seen over the past few years. Also, on the functional side, we are now offering change management to our clients. Clients are asking for help ushering in new systems and processes to the larger end user community. Wecraft programs to assist them based on our collective experience.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?
Here at BDA, we are constantly developing, trialing, and seeking improvement in any way we can to be better at what we do. We believe in looking ahead to see what clients will need to be successful, and where we can add value, and then we develop products and services to fit those unique needs.
Meet the leader behind the success of Black Diamond Advisory
Randy Werder leads Black Diamond Advisory as CEO and Co-Founder. Black Diamond Advisory, a OneStream Diamond Level provider, transforms financial business solutions and combines industry and process innovation with the OneStream platform. Before establishing Black Diamond, he served in many leadership roles including leading FP&A organizations as well as internal and external advisory practices. As an implementation thought leader, Randy utilizes his 30 years of business and industry experience to guide clients worldwide through the process of reengineering their antiquated financial processes into industry-leading successful solutions.
Black Diamond is the leading Global Digital Finance Transformation firm and OneStream Diamond Partner operating in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Services include Financial Transformation, Advisory, Change Management, Process Automation, and OneStream Solutions. As a single firm with truly global capability, Black Diamond is committed to meeting the combined needs of the CFO and Controller, as well as IT and Business Unit Leaders. Black Diamond knows that the solution to a company’s digital finance transformation is expert implementation and ongoing collaboration.