Corrections or additions?
These articles by Teena Chandy and Melinda Sherwood were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July 14,
1999. All rights reserved.
Consultants’ Niche: IMC
Corporate downsizing may be bad for American workers,
but it’s been good for the corps of consultants who do the mop-up.
Robert E. Sabath, who runs his own consulting firm in Chicago,
has been in the business long enough to see big firms like Arthur
Anderson become house-hold names, and to see a market for small consulting
firms like his own emerge. "It’s the kind of consulting that most
professional consultants enjoy doing the most," he says. "Rather
than being an administrator running minions of junior staff, this
kind of consulting involves being a confidante or executive counsel,
someone who adds thought, originality, creativity, and experience
to the client’s process."
Sabath introduces consultants and management teams to what he calls
"The Five Billion-Dollar Niche: Opportunities for Small Consulting
Firms," on Monday, July 19, at 6 p.m. at the Doral Forrestal Hotel.
Call the Institute of Management Consultants: 908-233-6265. Cost $50.
Sabath started a career in consulting at 15, when he reorganized his
father’s warehouse of restaurant supplies in Chicago. "I was always
coming up with ideas for how they could do things better and I realized
I loved to do project type work that made improvements," he says.
Today he specializes in supply chain consulting with Integrated Strategies
Inc. He earned a BS in industrial engineering from Purdue University,
Class of 1965, and received his MBA in marketing and computers from
the University of Chicago in 1967. Until just a year ago, he was one
of the "minions," working for large consulting firms like
AT Kearney, Mercer Management Consulting, and Lesser B. Knight and
Associates. "During those 30 years I have seen a transition in
the arrangements that consultants have with clients," he says.
"When I started I was counsel to senior executives; in the ’90s
consultants have become more systems integrators, basically putting
things into place to change companies. The consultants’ role there
is almost like replacing those heads that were cut in the ’80s."
Y2K anxiety and other issues of the Digital Age justify the need for
"implementation" consultancy — the kind that large firms
do best — but smaller firms, says Sabath, have the kind of senior
consultants needed to escort management teams through major technology
transitions. "Small consulting firms can be much more concentrated
with senior people and can give advice in marketing, supply chain,
strategic executive counsel," he says. "It’s not in the economic
interests of the large consulting firm to offer those kinds of services."
Small consulting firms also make sense in a business environment where
"knowledge management" and "competitive intelligence"
are the buzz words. Small firms are made up of veterans, the specialists,
the "one of five people in the country that knows the most,"
says Sabath. "If you need it, you need that person, if you don’t,
you’d never need it at all."
Family-run businesses and IBM-sized operations both benefit from small
consulting firms. To select the firm that best understands your company’s
unique problems and needs, Sabath suggests the following:
within the environment being discussed. Don’t just look at the organization;
investigate the background of each of the senior-level consultants
to be sure they demonstrate experience in the appropriate area.
departments within the company. "I know of some small consulting
firms that actually help their clients make decisions on hiring consultants,"
he says. "Most of the clients would be using more than one consulting
firm. The issue really is that there’s a range of services that is
not offered by the larger firms because it’s not financially viable
to find a complete list of small, specialty firms, as well as large
the time has never been better. Consulting firms now make up a $150
to $250 billion profession, says Sabath, but large ones only account
for about $100 billion. "What is left over is this little market
niche of traditional high quality senior professional consulting,
which still has a high degree of value to clients, but isn’t promoted
by larger consulting firms. It’s just there for the taking."
— Teena Chandy
No business is immune to the potential upheaval caused
by sexual harassment in the workplace, but until now courts had been
doling out punishment at an average cost to companies of $200,000,
in the most expedient manner: the employer is legally responsible,
Several recent Supreme Court cases (Faragher vs. Boca Raton and Ellerth
vs. Burlington Industries) may have taken the onus off employers somewhat,
says Angela Deitch, who runs her own consulting firm in West
Trenton (609-883-6327) with numerous management training programs.
"In both of these cases," says Deitch, "the Supreme Court
said that the employer could claim an affirmative defense," if
they could prove action was taken to prevent the harassment. "Before
this employers were subject to liability whether or not they even
knew their supervisors were committing sexual harassment. It’s a victory
for employers if they take the precautions."
Among those precautions: a written and verbal policy against harassment
that is well-known throughout the company. Deitch is offering training
suggestions at the Princeton Council’s networking meeting on Thursday,
July 15, at 8 a.m. at the Hyatt. The Princeton Council, a networking
group, currently has membership openings for a law firm, insurance
agency, accounting firm, advertising agency, travel agency, computer
services, and heating/air conditioning company. Call 732-615-9096.
Attendance is free by reservation.
Prior to starting her own firm, Deitch worked several years on a program
for the prevention of sexual harassment for the State of New Jersey’s
70,000 employees. A graduate of Rutgers University with a masters
in education, Deitch currently leads several training programs for
companies that cover a wide spectrum that includes team leadership,
communication, and conflict management.
Deitch also writes articles on realistic and usable policies for the
prevention of sexual harassment at Primeseason.com (http://www.primeseason.com).
"The way I come at sexual harassment is by looking at what is
appropriate behavior in the workplace," she says. "People
say `we can’t even be friendly.’ I say that’s not the case, but you
have to remember that you’re involved in business for business reasons,
and we’ve got such a diverse population that you can’t assume that
what is appropriate from your perspective is going to be appropriate
Quid pro quo harassment ("this for that") is much easier to
identify, and much less frequent, says Deitch. It’s "hostile environment
sexual harassment," in which an employee feels discriminated against
sexually or abused, uncomfortable, or demeaned, that constitutes the
majority of complaints.
The exact definition of harassment may still be murky, but the legal
responsibilities of employers are crystal clear. "You can’t just
put up a policy," says Deitch. "You have to have a policy
and a procedure, and whenever there is a problem, you take appropriate
action immediately. If the employee fails to use the policy and procedure
in place then the employer may be less liable."
Even small businesses should follow the following guidelines, says
the company’s policy against sexual harassment. You do not need a
lawyer to draft it, says Deitch, but you should submit it to an attorney
who is a specialist in employment law. Samples of sexual harassment
policies are available from the Society of Human Resource Management’s
website (http://www.sherm.com), and at several college
and university websites.
is up-to-date on what’s happening in the law. Newmedialearning.com
(http://www.newmedialearning) has several samples of training
who can make sure an investigation is conducted properly.
Not only is it difficult to get evidence, but a quick response to
alleged reports will be weighed in the event that a separate incident
goes to court later. "If you didn’t have a sexual harassment policy
five years ago, and you instituted one two years ago, the court might
look differently at you than if you had no policy or you had been
ignoring it all the time," says Deitch. "The best thing a
company can do is treat it seriously and establish a culture that
this is a respectful place where people treat each other with respect
a lot of the situations don’t occur."
Ever had the sneaky feeling that your search engine
wasn’t running on all cylinders? A new study just confirmed your worse
suspicions. Steve Lawrence and C. Lee Giles, two scientists
at NEC Research Institute (http://www.neci.nj.nec.com/)
on 4 Independence Way, recently returned from a year-long trip to
the outer limits of cyberspace and published their findings in the
July 8 issue of Nature magazine (http://www.nature.com). What
they discovered: the Web is comprised of over 800 million indexable
pages, but only 16 percent of that information appears in the results
of any given query.
If you use the Web for business or research, it’s important to note
two other discoveries in the study: websites that appear first in
the results of a query are "popular" (having many links to
other websites), and the best way to scour the web is to use multiple
search engines when conducting a query.
Technologically speaking, says Lawrence, an Australian-born researcher,
it’s not impossible for search engines to scour the Web more thoroughly;
it just happens to be impractical. "There are diminishing returns
for indexing the Web," he says. "Many of the searches made
are relatively simple and can be satisfied well with a small database."
It can takes months to index new pages on the Web, he says. "They
(search engines) probably have a trade off between indexing more the
web, and diverting the resources elsewhere; they may be better served
When Lawrence and Giles conducted the first study of the Web back
in December, 1997, it created a massive media stir. The two scientists
were getting calls from the New York Times, Associated Press, and
National Public Radio, among others. The best search engine then only
scoured approximately 34 percent of the Web, which was only half the
size that it is now.
For the February, 1999, study, the two scientists hammered out a new
methodology: after tracking IP addresses, they calculated the number
of public (non-Intranet) webservers: 2.8 million. Then they crawled
all the pages on a random sampling of servers, estimated the number
of pages per server, and multiplied that by the number of servers.
At the same time the scientists were coming up with a figure for its
size, a portrait of the Web began to emerge. They noticed that approximately
85 percent of the Web is devoted to commercial use; 6 percent to scientific/educational
materials; 3 percent to health; the remainder to community and government-related
Then the scientists queried the major search engines: AltaVista, EuroSeek,
Excite, Google, HotBot, Infoseek, Lycos, Microsoft, Northern Light,
Snap, and Yahoo. An important point: they only counted documents that
included the exact terms of the query, not "morphological"
or related terms. To do otherwise, says Lawrence would prevent an
accurate comparison, as "relevance" is very subjective.
As the results came in, Lee and Giles discovered that search engines
are inherently biased towards sites that have more links, "popular"
sites; this automatically excludes both new material and the bulk
of scientific and educational material. At 16 percent coverage, Northern
Light (http://www.northernlight.com) emerged as the most thorough
search engine, having substantially increased its coverage since 1997.
Infoseek (http://www.infoseek.com), however, indexed more random
sites, indicating perhaps that it indexed the Web more broadly: more
sites, not just more pages per site.
Given the limitations of search engines, Lawrence offers the following
tips for getting the best results to a query:
DirectHit are useful. "They use popularity information in their
ranking," he says, so pages with more links will get higher ranking.
recommends engines like Northern Light, Snap, Altavista, and HotBot.
search engine such as MetaCrawler. Since there is relatively little
overlap between engines, a search that employs several engines scours
roughly 40 percent of the Web.
URL, documents from a certain date range or geographic area, documents
with specific phrases rather than single terms, etc. Excite uses concept-based
clustering and Infoseek uses morphology; both will return documents
with related words.
to turn for serious research. As Lawrence and Giles proved, a disproportionately
low number of scientific and educational material is retrieved by
search engines. If the promise of the Web depends on the equal availability
of information, then it has failed, say Lawrence and Giles: delayed
indexing of research could lead to the duplication of work and a skewed
information that impacts how social and political decisions are made.
There is no doubt that the Web is changing society; but is it enlightening
It is still possible to stake a flag on your own piece
of cyber-territory for free, says Sol Libes of the Princeton
PC Users Group. He is currently putting together a list of webservers,
community groups, and E-mail services that are free on the Web, and
will introduce amateur Web-users to secrets for "Creating a Personal
Web Page" on Monday, July 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lawrenceville
Library. The seminar is free. Call 908-281-3107.
In the meantime, Libes hand-picked some bargain Internet services
for U.S. 1 readers:
web server, with 2.1 million users, but Homestead (http://www.homestead.com)
was rated best by PC magazine. It has an extensive image library,
and offers templates, an editor and a Wizard.
Libes suggests using a server that has extensions for PageMill and
Microsoft Frontpage, such as Tripod (http:/www.tripod.com).
This allows you to create forms on your site without having to write
(http:www.dejanews.com/clist.xp) offers a discussion area, news,
whiteboard, and your own URL; eGroups (http://www.egroups.com)
allows you to build a personal and group calendar and link to messages;
Excite Communities (http://www.excite.com/communities/directory)
has a photo book, contact list, forum, shared calendar, chatroom,
and file sharing.
works with any browser (i.e. Netscape) and any E-mail software (i.e.
Eudora), whereas Juno (http://www.juno.com), which offers
free basic E-mail with Internet services ($19.95 per month) requires
the use of proprietary software. Freeweb (http://www.freeweb.com)
provides full Internet access for a one-time charge of $119.
— Melinda Sherwood
To a handful of low-cost flights, airlines at Trenton-Mercer
Airport have added two destinations — St. Petersburg/Clearwater,
Florida, and Norfolk, Virginia.
Eastwind Airlines has added a daily roundtrip to St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Florida to its Florida destinations, and ShuttleAmerica has started
going to Norfolk.
An Eastwind Boeing 737 leaves Trenton-Mercer Airport at 7:05 a.m.
and stops in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Orlando, Florida, before
landing in St. Petersburg at 1:15 p.m. St. Petersburg is near Tampa.
The return trip leaves Florida at 1:45 a.m. and lands in Ewing at
7:15 p.m. One-way fares are as low as $59 and $79 with advance purchase.
Eastwind also has kept one flight to Boston, leaving Ewing at 7:50
a.m., arriving at 9 a.m.. It returns at 6:15 p.m., arriving in Trenton
at 7:25 p.m.
ShuttleAmerica was scheduled to start Norfolk flights on Tuesday,
July 13, leaving at 11:30 a.m. and arriving at 12:40 p.m. The return
is at 1:05 p.m.
Shuttle America’s Buffalo destination is apparently going well; it
now has three flights on weekdays, two on weekends. Weekday planes
to Buffalo now leave at 7:15 a.m., 2:35 p.m., and 6:10 p.m. for the
75-minute trip. Return trips are at 9:55 a.m. and 3:45 and 7:45 p.m.
Mostly for the benefit of those transferring from Boston or Buffalo,
ShuttleAmerica also has added a daily flight from Trenton to Wilmington,
Delaware. It leaves at 9:15 a.m. with returns at 6:30 a.m. and 5:20
For Eastwind, call 800-644-3592 (http://www.eastwindairlines.com).
For Shuttle America, call 860-386-4200 or http://www.shuttleamerica.com.
<B>J. Seward Johnson Sr. Charitable Trust has made
a $20,000 donation to HiTOPS (Health Interested Teens’ Own Program
on Sexuality) for its core program, educational outreach and clinical
care for teenagers.
Media Award by the New Jersey affiliate of the Literacy Volunteers
of America (LVA). Over the past year, Comcast’s New Jersey cable systems
have contributed more than $12,000 in grants to LVA’s community affiliates
around the state.
first year college scholarship awards to 16 graduates of Princeton
Regional High School for study at 14 colleges this fall. The foundation
funds its awards from current contributions through an annual direct
mail campaign and from limited endowment income.
The 1998-’99 campaign, the most successful in more than a decade and
augmented by generous local foundation and corporate gifts, marked
the first step in the Foundation’s attempt to endow a larger number
of scholarships. Individuals or institutions interested in working
with or contributing to the foundation may contact Judy Leopold
Calling all paving contractors, calling nearly everybody
else in the construction business. The New Jersey Alliance for Action,
the 25-year-old statewide nonpartisan nonprofit that concerns itself
with infrastructure and economic development, solicits ads for the
program book for its 25th anniversary celebration. It will be Wednesday,
October 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the New Brunswick Hyatt. The ads range
from $400 to $700, and the dinner costs $200. Call 732-225-1180.
The alliance seeks to help local organizations find state and federal
financing, permitting, and regulatory approvals for various projects.
The list of alliance members tells the story: contractors of all kinds,
engineers, materials dealers, trades, and various chambers of commerce.
For instance, everyone connected with roads is a member, from the
asphalt pavers and the crushed stone association to the mixed concrete
association and the American Concrete Institute.
All those who attend the dinner will get a copy of a history of the
alliance written by Muriel Smith and see an NJN documentary
on the group.
sponsors for door prizes for its 12th annual golf outing on Monday,
July 26. The event at Forsgate Country Club is almost sold out with
golfers registered from many of the leading building industry companies
in New Jersey.
"Restaurant dinners, sets of golf clubs, golf foursomes, and vacation
getaways are some of the items we would like for door prizes,"
says Bill Stapleton of the Cranbury-based Matrix Development
Group, one of the golf committee co-chairs. To donate, call Maritza
McGhee at 609-587-5577.
Bring a company T-shirt or product to the door of the
Trenton Thunder Networking Dinner, scheduled for Tuesday, July 27,
at 6 p.m, and your company will be eligible for promotional consideration
by New Jersey’s Communication and Marketing Association (CAMA). Donate
a door prize, and your business will be entered into a drawing. There
are still plenty of tickets available through CAMA for the Trenton
Thunder vs. Binghamton Mets game. Contact Heidi Rossi at 609-734-5050.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.