Landscape of pan-European supply chain advice still fragmented

In the rapidly changing economy, countless companies need advice on strategy and especially supply chain management. In spite of several acquisitions, the landscape of supply chain consulting firms remains fairly fragmented. Following on from its highly popular subway maps showing supply chain software vendors and logistics service providers, the European quarterly magazine Supply Chain Movement has now published the second edition about the supply chain consultancy sector.

In order to provide practical insight into the supply chain consulting sector in Europe, the editorial team of Supply Chain Movement has designed the European 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 and the priority in specialisation determines whether a company gets its own subway station on the relevant line, thus visualising the company’s proven experience in a particular field. To be included on this subway map, a consulting firm must have offices in more than one European country.

The consultancies were also asked to name the three competitors that they come up against most regularly when pitching, for each specific area of advice. Companies that named each other often are located close together on the map. As a result, the subway map shows distinct clusters. In the so-called ‘Accountancy Area’ are the ‘Big Four’: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, although their profiles differ slightly. The neighbouring ‘Technology Area’ is dominated mainly by Accenture, Capgemini, CGI and IBM.

In the ‘Corporate District’ are the strategic consultants such as McKinsey, BCG, A.T. Kearney and Roland Berger, who are also increasingly moving into the area of supply chain management and operations.

Supply chain ‘boutiques’

In between the areas mentioned above, there are a handful of larger, more specialised international supply chain consultants such as Chainalytics, Horváth & Partners, Miebach Consulting and Camelot Management Consultants. A few firms set themselves apart with a targeted approach to training, such as Oliver Wight (long-term coaching in Integrated Business Planning), Involvation (with the business game The Fresh Connection) and Hughenden Consulting (blended learning). A few software vendors like Ortec and Slimstock have extended their service lines with consulting and use their applications to analyse the supply chains of companies which are not necessarily users of their software.

Just like last year, consultancy projects related to lean, sales & operations planning (S&OP), supply chain network design, sourcing and supply chain strategy remain the ones most frequently mentioned by the firms. The high frequency of these projects is due to today’s challenging and rapidly changing economy. The revival of many projects in warehouse and transport management systems is remarkable, but can be explained by explosive growth in e-commerce and the need for flexible e-fulfilment. KPMG has developed its own warehouse management system in The Netherlands.

The SCM Consulting Subway Map Europe 2015 is available for download.

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