Consulting firm Applied Acumen celebrates 15 years of business

31 July 2017 4 min. read
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UK business improvement advisors Applied Acumen passed their milestone 15th anniversary in 2017, having survived and thrived since opening for business in 2002. As part of recent growth within the company, the firm relocated its head office from Leeds to the Hagg’s Farm Business Park near Harrogate.

Staff at Applied Acumen (AA) have celebrated the implementation consultancy’s 15th anniversary since its launch in 2002, in Leeds. Over the following period, the professional services group have delivered over 120 successful programmes to clients, helping a growing range of small and local to multinational companies and opening new offices in Eindhoven and Cirencester, along with recently moving of their head office to Harrogate.

The firm caters primarily, but not exclusively, for fast moving consumer goods manufacturing (FMCG), logistics and customer-facing fulfilment businesses, while offering a unique service on what is arguable the consulting industry equivalent of a no-win-no-fee basis. The firm delivers benefit measurement to customers across Europe and the United States to ensure their offering yields a return, before charging clients. In order to survive as a business for 15 years in this manner, Applied Acumen have had to ensure continuous value for money, something SMEs are increasingly concerned with when seeking external advice. However, on average their clients see cash benefits in under six weeks, along with ROCE improvements of 9.4%, a track record which has enabled constant expansion across various markets since their launch in 2002, when the firm was first incorporated as a Limited Company in the UK.

Stephen Green, Richard Shipperbottom, Gary Jowers, Derek Cunningham, Keith Armstrong, Martyn King

In the same year AA completed a front line manager training project for their first client, who in 2003 went on to win a commendation from Management Today, while the implementation consulting firm branched out to their first EU project. This helped established a presence on the continent that would eventually lead to their opening a first international office in Eindhoven, Netherlands, 12 years later.

After consolidating across the new markets AA had breached, the company finally took the a leap into the US consulting market – the largest on earth – in 2009, in Washington DC. Since then, the firm’s teams have continued to serve clients across different sectors and different areas of business, with 2013 witnessing AA undertaking the first of several projects with the Public Sector.

Applied Acumen have also been heavily involved in the development of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, launching the first of their line in SaaS products in 2013, which the firm puts toward clients attempting to improve productivity or increase sales, across industries at various points in the supply chain, from transporting fast moving consumer goods to manufacturing high technology items. In 2017 this innovation-led approach also saw AA deploy new CI technology in their FMCG food manufacturing clients.

The Future

The firm are now preparing to aid clients with a host of new uncertainties in 2017 and beyond, having relocated to their new, larger HQ near Harrogate in order to cope with growing demand. Companies are facing challenges including rising costs, a weaker pound and the associated challenges of Brexit, including shortages of migrant labour, which have left many CFOs increasingly unnerved. Applied Acumen aim to help clients improve their productivity, efficiencies and cost saving as a means to offset these impacts.

AA founder Richard Shipperbottom is now a joint-Director at the firm along with Gary Jowers, Stephen Green, Martyn King, Derek Cunningham, Keith Armstrong. Commenting on the past 15 years of business, Shipperbottom said, “We are fully committed to producing a win-win situation for clients, whereby clients pay based on the results achieved. We work with clients throughout the process, going far beyond mere advice to drive and produce substantial cash savings measured against a weekly timeline.”

Fellow Director Keith Armstrong meanwhile noted,If we don’t deliver – you don’t pay. This approach has resulted in us consistently delivering across different sectors and different areas of business over the last 15 years, in over 120 successful programmes ranging from smaller companies to multinationals.”