Process, Distribution & Logistics Consulting

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 7,300 process, distribution, and logistics consulting services providers in the US include a broad range of specialties, including manufacturing operations improvement; productivity improvement; production planning and control; quality assurance and quality control; inventory management; distribution networks; warehouse use, operations, and utilization; transportation and shipment of goods and materials; and materials management and handling. Firms may offer multiple services or specialize in a particular area.

Dependence on Skilled Labor

Despite a dependence on technology, the process, logistics, and supply chain consulting industry remains labor-intensive and reliant on skilled workers.

Competition from Alternative Service Providers

Process, distribution, and logistics consultants compete with a variety of alternative service providers, including accounting firms, management consultants, IT service providers, and transportation companies.

Industry size & Structure

The average process, distribution and logistics consulting services provider employs fewer than 20 workers and generates over $2 million annually.

    • The process, distribution and logistics consulting industry consists of about 7,300 firms that employ about 155,000 workers and generate $16 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for almost 33% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms that offer process, distribution and logistics consulting services, which include C.H. Robinson and XPO Logistics, have a global presence.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Process, Distribution & Logistics Consulting Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Jan 12, 2024 - Process & Logistics Prices Rise, Wages Drop
                              • In early Q4 2023, producer prices charged by process and logistics consulting firms were up significantly compared to a year earlier. Process and logistics consulting wages declined moderately late in Q3. Prices rising while wages have fallen may signal that process and logistics consulting firms are enjoying healthy margins. Employment growth in the process and logistics consulting industry increased slightly in late Q3, year-over-year.
                              • A recent survey by consulting firm Protiviti and the North Carolina State University College of Management’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative asked C-suite-level executives and board members to rank the top risks for organizations in 2024 and in the long term. The top risks for 2024 included economic conditions, including inflation; the ability to attract and keep top talent, manage shifting labor requirements, and address succession challenges; cyber-threats; third-party risks; and heightened regulatory changes and scrutiny. Looking ahead to the most significant risks in 2034, respondents were most concerned about cyber-threats; the ability to attract and keep top talent, manage shifting labor requirements, and address succession challenges; adoption of digital technologies that require new skills; speed of disruptive innovations and new technologies; and heightened regulatory changes and scrutiny.
                              • US manufacturing activity contracted in December 2023 for the 14th consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) in December rose to 47.4% from a reading of 46.7% in November. A reading above 50% indicates manufacturing expansion. December’s New Orders Index decreased by 1.2 percentage points to 47.1%. The December Production Index rose 1.8 percentage points to 50.3%. Of the 18 manufacturing industries tracked by the ISM, only primary metals reported growth in December. Sixteen industries reported contractions in December, including printing & related support activities; apparel, leather, and allied products; plastics & rubber products; machinery; nonmetallic mineral products; textile mills; petroleum and coal products; paper products; wood products; fabricated metal products; computer & electronic products; miscellaneous manufacturing; furniture and related products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; transportation equipment; and chemical products.
                              • About half of direct-to-consumer (D2C) shipping by consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies is handled by third- and fourth-party logistics (3PL) firms, according to a recent survey of CPG firms by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI). Some CPG firms may rely on 3PL providers because they don’t have enough D2C business to handle in-house. Others may wish to expand offerings to include D2C but outsource it so they can focus on core competencies. At 48%, improved flexibility was the top benefit of using 3PL services most cited by survey respondents, followed by sustainability gains (40.9%), focus on core competencies (38.3%), cost savings (33.1%), access to expertise (30.5%), reducing delays (23.4%), and assessing new markets (20.8%).
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