The management consulting firm Arthur D. Little (ADL) has just announced the acquisitions of Cutter Consortium, a US-based technology consulting firm, and Presans, a leading player in industrial open innovation based in France. By combining its own expertise with an existing community of independent experts, ADL expands its consulting ecosystem to establish a next-generation value proposition powered by open consulting and open problem solving.

As the founder of Presans, I would like to elaborate on why these acquisitions are excellent news for the world of industrial innovation.

 

The acquisition of Presans by ADL is based on two deep trends

The Return of the Expert & Open Consulting

The past decade has seen two strong trends in the world of industrial innovation. The first trend is that of increasing demand coming from industrial companies for scientific and technological expertise, particularly at the level of management functions (CXO). The second trend is that of Open Consulting, Talent on Demand, and new forms of work.

 

The strong business complementarity between ADL and Presans

Ten years ago, when Presans was still a startup fresh out of the École Polytechnique, we mobilized the best experts in the world to help our customers solve complex technical problems. Today, Presans is dealing with more and more issues at the crossroads of strategic consulting and scientific and technical expertise, so the time had come to join forces with Arthur D. Little. ADL shares our perspective on the trends that are driving industrial innovation, and is thus increasing its ability to access scientific and technological expertise, as well as implementing a consulting platform strategy.

The acquisition of Presans by ADL validates our choice to build a consulting platform focused on scientific and technological expertise, capable of anticipating future transformations, with a strong grounding in the realities of the world of industrial innovation.

A matter of cultural affinity

Situated among the world’s leading international management consulting firms, Arthur D. Little, founded by the eponymous MIT chemist in 1886, is the consultancy we felt closest to, in terms of culture (very entrepreneurial), DNA (importance of science and technology) and industry sectors.

The good fit between ADL and Presans is based on the fact that both companies, albeit on very different scales, share a strong entrepreneurial culture, oriented towards industrial sectors and customer results.

What will change and what won’t change

Cutter Consortium and Presans will continue to operate under their current brands with the same management teams while benefiting from ADL’s capabilities, investments, and global exposure.

Specifically, Presans’ current services will remain the same. They will be supplemented over time by new offers at the crossroads of Arthur D. Little’s and Presans’ know-how in order to better meet the needs of our customers. For my part, I remain involved more than ever in this new adventure.

 

The ADL-Presans deal was carried out under extraordinary conditions

Arthur D. Little - Presans: an exceptional and highly symbolic acquisition in a context of global lockdownThe ADL-Presans deal took six months. Towards the end of that period, the sanitary crisis we are still going through placed us all in unprecedented circumstances. The closing of the deal took place during the lockdown. At the time, I admit that I did not pay much attention to the extraordinary nature of the situation. With hindsight, I view it both as a symbol of the impact new ways of working are having, by making it possible to close a deal remotely (one window open on ZOOM and another on DocuSign!), and as a symbol of resilience in a new context of great uncertainty. The picture on the right is the one of our celebratory aperitif with the Presans team – I have talked about it a few weeks ago on Linkedin :-).

“Who said we couldn’t do it?” is ADL’s motto. I like that motto.

 

Conclusion

Together with Cutter and Presans, ADL reinforces its position on digital and information technologies, as well as industrial innovation, particularly in breakthrough innovation and convergence problem solving. In addition, through the acquisition of the technological platform of Presans, ADL is accelerating its investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop state-of-the-art offerings for its clients.

Together with ADL, we will continue to use  technological innovation as a way of leveraging the transformative and resilience potential of businesses and industrial ecosystems.

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