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How 10 Leading Consulting Firms Stack Up


Cover Story

HOW 10 LEADING CONSULTING FIRMS STACK UP

The consulting market is becoming ever more complex. The advice-

giving arms of the Big Six accounting firms, which used to focus on information systems, have recently made substantial investments to expand into management consulting--with mixed results. Mergers among several prominent players, such as United Research Co. and MAC Group, similarly reflect efforts to build the all-purpose consulting firm.

Although some firms contend that clients want so-called end-to-end packages that offer everything from strategy to information systems, the marketplace has shown otherwise. One of the fastest-growing firms, for example, is Boston Consulting Group Inc., which has stuck to its roots in strategy and organization.

Nonetheless, new entrants with little expertise in management consulting have rushed into the field. Among the fastest-growing firms are IBM and Electronic Data Systems Corp. Rivals sneer that IBM is in the game simply to sell its hardware and that EDS is using management consulting as a lure to get more systems work and outsourcing contracts. Whether drawn to the business by higher profit margins or the chance to sell core offerings, they are helping to shake up the marketplace. Here's the rundown on 10 leading players--by size and influence. 1993 3-year

revenues growth No. of

Firm Millions Per consultants Recent clients Highlights

cent

ANDERSEN Astra/Merck, Deploys armies of

CONSULTING $2,876 53% 22,500 Caterpillar, consultants on jobs

Chicago Florida around the world;

Power still trying to

leverage its core

strength in info

systems to gain

greater share of the

management consulting

market

COOPERS & AlliedSignal, After Andersen, the

LYBRAND 1,351 50 7,650 H.J. Heinz, No. 2 player of the

New York Quaker Oats big accounting firms;

one in four jobs

involves cost

reduction; revenues

divided in thirds

among strategy,

reengineering, and

systems fields

McKINSEY American Express,The pricey high

New York 1,300 31 3,100 AT&T, Mellon Bankpriest of strategic

consulting; just

elected first

non-Westerner to lead

firm; acquisition of

info-tech consultants

IDG dubbed a failure

because of mass

defections

BOOZ ALLEN & P&G, Volvo, New leadership team

HAMILTON 800 54 4,600 Broken Hill hoping to revitalize

New York Proprietary this sleeping giant

of consulting biz;

strategy is to narrow

client base to about

200 of 1,500

companies it has

worked for in past

five years

GEMINI CONSULTING DuPont, Union Fast-moving,

Morristown, N.J. 516 128 1,700 Carbide, ambitious firm

British Telecom combining shop-floor

operational strengths

of United Research

and high-level

strategy practice

of MAC Group; owned

by French holding

company Sogeti

CSC CONSULTING Agway, Amoco, Put buzz in the word

Cambridge, Mass. 470 96 2,600 Hallmark, PepsiCo"reengineering,"

using it to speed up

growth; still heavily

technology-based but

trying to create next

hot management

concept to sustain

growth

BOSTON CONSULTING Aetna, GTE, NynexSuccessfully rode

GROUP 340 114 1,250 idea of time-based

Boston competition into

reengineering hoopla;

player behind many

major cost-reduction

efforts; growing

rapidly overseas

A.T. KEARNEY GM, Sears, Sony, One of the fastest-

Chicago 278 84 950 Unilever, growing firms, with

Warner-Lambert an even mix of

strategy and

operations work;

recently won public

kudos from GM chief

for its advice on

auto maker's

purchasing operations

MERCER MGT. British Rail, Marsh & McLennan unit

CONSULTING 134 34 600 Chemical Bank views "growth" as

New York Sara Lee, the next hot area;

U S West combo of former

Strategic Planning

Associates and Temple

Barker & Sloane;

strengths in strategy

and change

MONITOR AT&T, Pacific Results-driven

Cambridge, Mass. 90 80 340 Telesis strategists tap B-

school profs for

advice; co-founded by

Harvard strategy king

Michael Porter; now

declining new clients

because of backlog

DATA: BUSINESS WEEK, CONSULTANTS NEWS


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