Within the consulting and business process outsourcing sectors, Accenture, going back to its original parent, Arthur Andersen, has been able to maintain what many of us would argue is probably the strongest culture within the professional services space. For anyone that has worked with long-term Andersen – ahem, Accenture – types “think straight, talk straight” is more than a motto. It’s a way of treating colleagues, customers and friends. More Big 5 firms have adopted it and become “Andersen-ized” than the other way around. Others may have copied facilities for internal and customer training like the original St. Charles campus, but culturally, Accenture and its parent pioneered this level of investment in team members and clients alike.
In the procurement product lines specifically, Accenture has a rather under appreciated past. For example, while the firm has never been as well known as A.T. Kearney in the consultancy area for purchasing and operations, Accenture, going back to the first iteration of Accenture Strategy over 15 years ago, has carried out procurement and operations consulting work spanning category sourcing, transformation and related areas at similar scale levels to many peers – not to mention tremendous amounts of systems work spanning direct procurement (e.g., SAP ECC), indirect procurement and related areas.
But most of us are more familiar with what Accenture has done in the business process outsourcing (BPO) area than consulting. Within BPO, Accenture has grown to dominate the procurement sector from a market-share perspective, helped by both its Procurian acquisition and its “Diamond” client strategy focused on very large relationships and company-level transformation. Among larger professional services firms, Accenture has some of the most creative and robust internal systems to support client-facing initiatives, many of which are not well known outside the inner workings of the firm.
Particular reasons to choose Accenture include organizations that are interested in:
- Turn key, large-scale procurement BPO inclusive of systems, category expertise and market knowledge – independent or alongside broader multi-tower outsourcing programs
- More targeted category-level and related support initiatives on a BPO and managed service basis
- Procurement strategy and operations support/consultancy
- Broad scale category management and support for marketing/digital