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Overall, activity in the consulting market remains flat after the great recession. According to Lora Cecere, partner for Altimeter Group, there are fewer large ERP projects and more work in specialized areas, like supply chain design, digital path to purchase, using demand data, trade promotion management, market execution and mobility. Cecere expands on the dynamics of this changing market below.
 
Please comment on the results. Is this what you expected?
Cecere: Yes, this is what I would have expected. Deloitte has deep domain expertise in trade promotion management, food safety and mergers/acquisitions, garnering them top billing. Both Accenture and Clarkston have put enormous amounts of energy into cultivating relationships in the consumer products space, and it pays dividends for them. The Indian service providers are still largely a labor arbitrage play. I find this sad because Infosys has built some cool technology and TCS has some great experience to offer in mobility.
 
What trends do you see in this area that will impact the CG industry? Which ones are worth exploring?
Cecere: I am excited about the convergence of technologies for social commerce (digital/social/e-commerce/mobile), digital path to purchase, new ways to solve the master data management problem, new types of business intelligence visualization as well as predictive analytics. I am following the evolution of big data supply chains into better sensing and response systems for value networks.
 
What types of projects are consultants being sought out for in today’s economy? How is this different from two or three years ago?
Cecere: Today, there are fewer big bang projects. Instead, I am seeing more focused, line-of-business projects in order to build outside-in processes that align to markets. This includes mobility, demand sensing, better ways to shape demand, market execution (looking at store compliance), lean and sales and operations planning processes, and revenue management.
 
Breakout Favorites
 
Customer Experience Leader: Accenture
In January 2011, Accenture acquired CAS, a leading provider of customer management and mobility solutions, to assist consumer packaged goods companies in selling more products more profitably.
 
SMB Market Leader: Clarkston Consulting
"Clarkston provided a tremendous amount of subject matter expertise, industry knowledge and strategic insight, all critical to our project. Their ability to apply their depth of experience in the consumer products industry to our specific needs makes them the perfect partner..."
— Lori Plate, Director of Enterprise Applications, Johnsonville Sausage
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