The procurement consulting sector is a bit of an anomoly compared with other similarly sized professional services markets. Why? There’s a dearth of small, expert systems integration and consultancy shops that specialize in the area, especially in North America. This stands in contrast to sales, marketing, corporate strategy, human capital and other related business process and technology markets, where one can count the number of boutiques in the hundreds rather than the single or low double digits, at least in the U.S.
Fortunately, there are some providers that buck this trend. And The Shelby Group is one of them. What makes Shelby unique among this limited group of boutiques is that it brings deep systems and technology expertise (procure-to-pay, contract management, analytics, etc.) alongside more traditional sourcing and procurement operations consulting work (strategic sourcing, working capital optimization, etc.) It also has what it describes as a “micro-outsourcing of procurement operations” practice that includes supplier enablement, purchasing-accounts payable tactical support and related capabilities.
Spend Matters has recommended Shelby to smaller procurement organizations that have never engaged procurement consultants before. And, of course, Shelby has its share of Fortune 500 clients, too. Overall, 2015 the firm saw a 50% gain in new new clients — companies of all sizes.
Here at Spend Matters, we’re excited to include The Shelby Group in our “50 to Watch” list as proof that boutique firms can bring a unique set of expertise to clients of all sizes, including an in-depth knowledge of technology — a skill set that is in high demand today.