Supply chain and logistics consultancy Labyrinth joins BigChange

23 January 2019 5 min. read

Professional services firm BigChange has completed a deal to bring UK supply chain consultancy Labyrinth into its fold. The move comes as part of a twin deal, which also adds Trace Systems, a logistics software firm, to BigChange’s global offering.

Supply chain consultants help their clients navigate change across a range of areas, including manufacturing/production, inbound/outbound logistics and supply chain execution. They also support organisations with optimising their overall supply chain network design, operational planning within chains, risk management and supply chain sustainability.

With an estimated market size of more than £1 billion, operations and supply chain consulting is the second largest segment within UK’s £1- billion management consulting industry, following the fast-growing digital & technology domain. On top of this, as the end of the Brexit approaches amid as much uncertainty as when it commenced, supply chain and logistics specialists are unsurprisingly turning to consultants in large numbers, and this has prompted an M&A feeding frenzy in the sector.

Most recently, this has seen mobile workforce technology professional services firm BigChange buy up new software and consulting capabilities. The deal represents the first purchase that BigChange has made since it launched in 2013, and the firm hopes it will provide the company with the people and technology it needs to move forward with future expansion plans.

Supply chain and logistics consultancy Labyrinth joins BigChange

Labyrinth Logistics Consulting is an award-winning supply chain and logistics consultancy based in Royal Leamington Spa. Labyrinth provides logistics strategy, compliance and procurement consultancy, alongside a self-audit software application called SilkThread, to major transport, logistics, FMCG, and retail organisations in the UK. Labyrinth’s Directors, Ruth Waring and Jo Godsmark, will join BigChange’s leadership team and spearhead a new consulting arm called BigChange Advisory Plus.

Ruth Waring, Managing Director of Labyrinth Logistics Consulting, commented, “We are very excited to be part of BigChange. It is a strong, growing business that complements our offering very well indeed. As part of BigChange, we can develop a more comprehensive consultancy offering and take it to many more organisations around the world.”

The deal comes as part of a double swoop, which has added well as over 100 new customers, as well as providing a multi-million revenue boost. Elsewhere, following its purchase, Coventry based Trace Systems, an established provider of fleet, garage and workshop management software, will see its asset and stock management capabilities integrated into BigChange’s JobWatch platform. Trace works with fleet operators across the UK, including plant hire and haulage companies, local authorities and the emergency services. Trace’s founder, Bill Davies, will work as an advisor to BigChange.

Bill Davies, Founder of Trace Systems, remarked, “Having built a business over 30 years we see the sale of Trace Systems to BigChange as the next chapter in our development.  It will allow us to transform our fleet, garage and workshop software to take full advantage of the latest cloud and mobile technology pioneered by BigChange. This will provide fantastic opportunities for our existing and future customers.”

Martin Port, Founder and CEO of BigChange, added, “We are delighted to complete the acquisitions of Labyrinth and Trace. They represent a significant milestone for our business and a major boost to our scale up plans.”

Nigel Hoyle, a Partner at Blacks Solicitors in Leeds and Graham Pearce, Head of Technology at KPMG, advised BigChange on both deals. Pearce said of the acquisitions, “I’m thrilled to have helped BigChange cement its position as a leading vendor, adding these exciting capabilities to its portfolio. With these two acquisitions, BigChange will continue to be at the forefront of technology in the UK and the rest of the world.”

Supply chain deals

Elsewhere in the supply chain consulting arena, 2017 saw Berkhamsted based LCP Consulting acquired by international consultancy BearingPoint. Around 30 management consultants transferred to BearingPoint as a result, taking the firm’s UK footprint to 300+ consultants, and significantly strengthening its supply chain and retail capabilities. Meanwhile, in 2018, British management consultancy Crimson & Co merged with French firm Argon, to create a new global group. The combined entity brought together Argon’s consulting and operations prowess with the international reach of the supply chain focused Crimson.

As well as mergers and acquisitions, the growing demand for supply chain consulting has also led to a number of corporate alliances, between firms looking to tap into the rich vein of business. Late in 2018, this saw Thought Provoking Consulting announce a partnership with AI consulting firm Catalyst AI, as they looked to help more clients in the sector improve their supply chains and find savings and improvements to operations. Then at the start of 2019, EY declared an alliance with Kinaxis to help clients similarly modernise their supply chains.