INVERTO – Plans for UK Growth and Market Expansion (Part 1)

We reported in February that international business consultancy and one of Europe’s leading specialists in procurement and supply chain management, INVERTO, had appointed a new Managing Director to lead growth in the UK.

INVERTO was acquired by global management consultancy, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in 2016 to further complement its procurement capability. Having grown out of Cologne in 2000, providing supply chain optimisation and procurement services to multinationals, SMEs and private-equity firms, the firm quickly spread into Austria, UK, China and the Nordics, continuing to operate from Germany. Now, with this latest move, the firm will substantially grow its UK operation and expand its market. We spoke with new UK MD Lance Younger to understand the priorities and plans for the UK.

To frame the discussion:

INVERTO has seen steady growth since 2000 and has been growing 20% year-on-year in recent years. BCG now has a global procurement team of over 450 people, including 180 INVERTO specialist procurement consultants. BCG acquired the firm for several reasons; apart from being a good cultural fit with its creative and entrepreneurial approach, it offered BCG an opportunity to expand its range of services for clients in procurement and operations, and accelerate the scaling of its procurement capability on a global basis. Being one of Europe’s biggest consultancies in operations and supply chain practices, it was a natural move for BCG to acquire INVERTO to serve its clients end-to-end. “We aim to continue our double-digit growth,” Lance told us.

After about 9 weeks in the post, what have you achieved so far?

“It feels like we’ve accomplished a lot in that time,” he said. “From a business perspective, everyone has been very collaborative and engaged. The UK INVERTO team is already involved with client procurement projects and transformation programmes, and we expect that to significantly increase over the course of this year as we are growing our team.

We have developed a three-year business plan for priorities and growth, and we have offered roles to some great new people which have been accepted. All have deep experience in procurement and consulting and some have industry experience; we foresee big plans for the growth of the UK team. We are also working on how we can become even more involved in client transformation projects.”

“From a personal perspective, it has been a fantastic start for me – the firm is aspiring to rapid growth and expansion, and I am working with clients on their procurement transformation journeys; that is where my strengths lie, and what attracted me to the company.”

How does BCG and INVERTO plan to work together?

“This is a question I have often been asked. Basically, INVERTO is part of a family of BCG brands which cover a whole spectrum of expertise to cater for clients’ wants and needs. We all complement each other, from BCG Platinion, focusing on helping clients digitise and transform their IT function and capabilities, and BCG Gamma, providing advanced analytics, to BCG Digital Ventures, creating new digital businesses for clients. All of BCG collaborate to engage with clients, from the FTSE 250 to high-growth businesses. Specifically, if there is a procurement challenge or workstream involved, which there normally is, we in BCG and INVERTO are the fit to help deliver it. We will offer solutions from procurement capability and opportunity assessments to full-blown implementation, new operating models to strategic sourcing programmes.”

What do you think is INVERTO’s main differentiator in the market?

“I have worked with some of the big consulting firms, and INVERTO differs in that it tends to be more operational in what it does. For example, we will get involved from category strategy development to full implementation. We will undertake a detailed product teardown and time and analysis profiling; we work directly with clients and particularly for the smaller ones we can bring an expertise that they might otherwise not have access to, and a  consistent toolkit comprising, for example, an e-sourcing platform, a co-sourcing approach, category benchmarks or a digital maturity assessment tool, and so on.”

“It is important to us that our team is very mobile, international and multi-lingual, and able to accommodate clients whatever and wherever their need might be. INVERTO is strategically placed to enable a nimble response, but as part of a wider BCG team, we can scale to accommodate the client.”

In Part 2 tomorrow we talk to Lance about what the next 12 months hold.

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