Gradual changes in the European supply chain consulting market

The major consultancy firms are still acquiring smaller niche competitors to intensify their supply chain expertise. At the same time, the supply chain specialists are expanding across Europe and even into North America. Following on from its other two highly popular subway maps of supply chain software vendors and logistics service providers, the quarterly magazine Supply Chain Movement has now published the third edition of the Consulting Subway Map Europe showing the European supply chain consultancy sector.

By Martijn Lofvers

Following a series of acquisitions of supply chain consulting firms by the ‘Big Four’ (Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC) over the past years, Accenture has recently responded with a couple of surprising moves. Firstly, in May 2015, it acquired the Javelin Group, specialised in transforming end-to-end supply chain and retail operations for the digital era and with offices in the UK and France. Secondly, in August 2015, it took over Total Logistics, based in the UK and the Netherlands and specialised in supply chain network design. Through these acquisitions, Accenture hopes to develop a complete service offering in the rapidly changing omni-channel retail world.

Meanwhile, the Dutch supply chain consulting firm Buck Consultants International opened an office in Atlanta, USA, in early 2016, and Miebach Consulting last year strengthened its presence in North America by opening an office in Canada in addition to its existing one in Indianapolis.

Subway map

The third edition of the SCM Consulting Subway Map Europe shows these and other changes in the European supply chain consulting landscape. In order to provide practical insights into this increasingly crowded market, Supply Chain Movement’s editorial team has designed the subway map based on information provided by the consulting firms themselves. A combination of the number of consultancy projects completed, the market share by revenue for each specific area of advice, the size of the company and the degree of specialisation determines whether a company gets its own subway station on the relevant line, thus visualising the company’s proven experience in a particular area of supply chain expertise.

For each specific area of advice, the consultancy firms were also asked to name the three competitors that they come up against most regularly when pitching. Companies that named each other most often are located closest together on the map. As a result, the subway map shows distinct clusters: the so-called ‘Accountancy Area’, the neighbouring ‘Technology Area’ and the ‘Corporate District’ dominated by the management consultants – who, incidentally, are also increasingly moving into the area of supply chain management and operations. The rest of the subway map is populated by supply chain consulting specialists in varying shapes and sizes.

Download: SCM Consulting Map Europe 2016

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