McKinsey & Co. is easily the largest and most recognized strategy-consulting firm in the world. But, it also has a very strong procurement practice within its larger operations mega practice. Out of roughly 8,000 McKinsey management consultants, we’d estimate that almost a third are in operations and almost a third of that are in procurement – putting them into the 700-800 employee range.
There is a natural synergy between McKinsey’s procurement practice and broader strategy projects commissioned by the C-level (predominantly CEO). McKinsey has well-honed diagnostics and benchmarks to queue up cost savings opportunities to then translate to procurement transformation projects (much to the chagrin of other consulting firms), but it doesn’t just rely on top-down selling. It has strong vertical presence and has worked to productize its services and development thought leadership (e.g., procurement practitioners must absolutely subscribe to McKinsey’s operations extranet) so that it can “scale down” to compete with other consulting firms selling into procurement directly. When McKinsey showed up with a booth at ISMs annual conference last year (and this year), it showed they are serious about procurement.
McKinsey, like any high-end consultant firm, doesn’t always execute flawlessly, especially since there’ll always be junior resources rotating in/out, which leads to variation in both delivery and thought leadership quality. But, if you are going to consider a procurement consultancy, and need one with a global presence, don’t be afraid to invite McKinsey to the table.