Consulting is pervasive in many industries, yet the use of consultants remains controversial. Why would firms give away key activities to hired guns? Why would these “mercenaries” perform these activities better than in-house employees? To evaluate the impact of hiring consultants and figure out when they might offer the most value, one study examined the Bordeaux wine industry, where over two-thirds of wineries hire consultants to improve the quality of their wines. Looking at 311 wineries over a ten-year period, the study found that consultants improved wine quality at all wineries they worked with, but the ones that benefited the most were those who had the worst resources
BARTHELEMY, J. (2017). Does It Pay to Hire Consultants? Evidence from the Bordeaux Wine Industry. Harvard Business Review (online), pp. 1-3.