Accenture buys Australian supply chain consulting firm GRA

02 March 2021 3 min. read
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In its eighth deal this year worldwide, Accenture has acquired GRA, a 50-strong Australian supply chain and logistics consulting firm. 

The team of GRA will be integrated into Accenture’s Strategy & Consulting division – the firm’s management consulting arm. Louise May, who leads Strategy & Consulting for Accenture in Australia & New Zealand, said, “GRA brings deep knowledge and skills in supply chain strategy, planning and execution that complement our existing capabilities, and we are delighted to welcome them to the team.” 

Founded in 1997, GRA specialises in supply chain and logistics strategies and operations, working with some of Australia’s leading organisations in areas such as government, aerospace & defence and consumer goods. Since inception, the consulting firm has grown to a team of 50 consultants and staff working from offices in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

 Luke Tomkin, Steven Bray,  Louise May and Carter McNabb

While financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed Accenture is said to pay between $20 million and $25 million for GRA according to AFR reports. According to May, money well spent: “Their successful track record of delivering value across a range of industries is exceptional, and we are excited about the potential and opportunity this combination presents.”

The bolt-on will deepen Accenture’s supply chain and logistics capabilities in the region, at a time when supply chain has become one of the most pressing topics in boardrooms. “The pandemic has accelerated the need for businesses to transform their supply chains to become more customer-focused, agile, and socially responsible with the flexibility to withstand future disruptions,” said Tara Brady, country managing director for Accenture in Australia & New Zealand.

Add to this the surge in e-commerce related supply chain disruption and the mounting calls for more sustainable and ethical supply chains, and the backdrop for the acquisition is clear. “It will enable us to better help our clients with their transformation to intelligent, customer-centric supply chains supporting growth.”

Meanwhile, for GRA the deal means the firm will be able to tap into Accenture’s global network of clients, broaden its offerings with services including technology and change management, and provide it more financial muscle to innovate its offerings. “We are looking forward to starting a new chapter with Accenture,” said Carter McNabb, a founding partner at GRA.

Carter McNabb, Steve Bray and Luke Tomkin will become Accenture managing directors (the equivalent of partner) as part of the deal.

An M&A campaign

The deal comes a day after Accenture acquired Cirrus in the UK (which also has a small presence in Australia), and a week after two bolt-ons were completed in the UK: that of Edenhouse and Infinity Works. Globally, the consulting and technology giant has absorbed eight deals since the year kicked off.

In Australia and New Zealand, Accenture’s latest deals included: Olikka in November 2020; SAP and cloud solutions technology firm Zag in October 2020; data analytics and supply chain management company Icon Integration in February 2020; business strategy and econometrics firm AlphaBeta in February 2020; specialist government consultancy Apis Group in December 2019 and big data and analytics company Analytics8 in August 2019.