The POOL Consultancy Closure
As many of you will know, DTAS set up its own consultancy service 4 years ago. The POOL was established as a wholly owned trading subsidiary, with the aims of:
1. Generating income for some of our member development trusts (as associate consultants)
2. Providing a sympathetic, practitioner-led consultancy service for our members
3. Generating some income for DTAS
It is probably fair to say that the POOL achieved the first two aims, but not the third. Despite year on year growth in turnover, the financial health of the company was always marginal, and it became apparent in January of this year that the POOL was experiencing trading difficulties. Following advice from experts, we realised that the POOL was unable to continue trading, and the Board of the POOL had no alternative but to cease trading and wind up the company. With the support of the Associate Consultants and the agreement of the clients, we were advised to transfer all the on-going contracts to DTAS, to ensure that they were completed and to try and minimise disruption.
On 19th March 2013 the company was placed in the hands of an Insolvency Agency.
While, ultimately, the POOL business model proved unsustainable, there is no doubt that the service which the POOL provided was valued – particularly by community organisations. However over the last couple of years, the consultancy market has become increasingly competitive, with the POOL being squeezed between freelance consultants who operated below the VAT threshold and the large consultancy agencies, who started to bid for smaller and smaller contracts.
Once the company is formally wound up, and the outstanding contracts are completed, further discussions will take place between some of the Associates and also with DTAS to explore whether there may be an alternative model of consultancy service that they can provide. We will of course keep members fully informed of any future developments. In the meantime, if you are looking for consultancy support, DTAS is happy to provide a list of the Associate Consultants who worked for the POOL (with contact details).
If you have any questions please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
Director , DTA Scotland
0131 220 2456
54 Manor Pl, Edinburgh, EH3 7EH.