Values ahead: Linking strategy, technology and innovation in the convergence of industries.

Arthur D. Little’s Consumer Goods & Retail practice (CGR) has worked in the consumer goods and retail market globally for decades and consulted many key players in various assignments during that time.

As we link strategy with innovation and technology, we best understand our clients’ demand and help them to develop and implement sustainable strategies to create competitive advantages in a highly competitive environment. It is not only important to create the required capabilities internally, but also to appropriately see and evaluate market trends. This includes the understanding of the trends’ underlying opportunities as well as their threats.

At Arthur D. Little, our experts provide solutions along the entire value chain, from sourcing through operations to the end customers. In addition, our core competence in innovation management is a perfect complement to the broad field of research & development.

Our value chain competence covers elements such as:

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Being successful in FMCG requires today more than ever managing a complex network of suppliers, partners and distributors providing outsourced services and being able to determine the companies’ core competencies which are to be further developed in-house and enhanced to develop business in adjacent or new business areas. Brand management and R&D network management for managing innovations are often focus areas, with emerging competencies such as managing own retail operations, providing private label support and finding new growth opportunities in emerging markets. Based on its broad coverage of functional expertise, Arthur D. Little can support FMCG clients in their new challenges.

Textile and Fashion:

Arthur D. Little has an outstanding record in the textile and fashion industry. Our competence center based out Milan (Italy) serves clients ranging from textile manufacturers, licensees, distributors, etc. in various segments such as shoes, mens-/womenswear, accessories, sportswear, etc.


To be successful in catering, expertise in the food and beverage industry needs to be combined with the specific requirements of the service industry. Offering a variety of menus, designing customer experiences at the point-of-sale through front cooking and promotional themes are pivotal. Acquiring customers, selecting and training staff and running a smooth supply chain are the necessary base elements for a successful business. Arthur D. Little can support you in all these processes combining our functional service expertise.


An industry which is undergoing tremendous changes, converging with neighboring industries such as fast moving consumer goods or with new industries such as telecommunication (with the internet, the mobile phone and/or tablet as new business channels).To be successful as a retailer today, companies will of course have to master the heart of their operations – managing a complex store network and providing a shopping and category experience to the consumer. Additionally, new competencies are required to stay ahead of competition: the usage of social media for consumer interaction, a vision and strategy for sustainability and the technology acumen to master the internet and mobile challenges and building an attractive private label business. Arthur D. Little has a proven track record in supporting your retail business in these areas.

On top of that, within those industries, we have some specific areas of expertise such as:


We help our clients to design and develop single machinery as well as organizing the optimal arrangement of machine parks for the perfect production process in terms of manpower, abrasion, rejection and process speed.

Food ingredients

As regulations for food ingredients become stricter and demand for healthy/ bio food products is growing, it is important to not only use reliable resources, but also to find the right suppliers to deliver them. Arthur D. Little ensures that you find the most appropriate supplier candidates and helps you set up contracts that create a win-win situation for the parties involved. With our expertise in the field we help establish successful and sustainable relationships.


Packaging technology is constantly evolving and players with global brands but also private label manufacturers have realized the power of packaging as a means to create a unique selling proposition. Arthur D. Little can help you combine both, the development and design of a differentiating packaging as well as the requirements from a high volume, efficient production line set-up.

Concept testing

Consumers are ever less loyal to well established retail formats, be it store based or virtual ones. As a retailer, the challenges in terms of format are thus becoming ever greater. Our “checkerboarding” approach in terms of competing retail formats, combined with mobile technology breakthroughs, lead to challenging choices facing the consumer and the retailer as well as the FMCG manufacturer. Arthur D. Little provides you the expertise to develop a holistic view in the concept testing area ensuring that the heavy concept testing investments are well thought through.

Thanks to our close collaboration with well-known experts from various industries and the expertise within our global network pool, we can always guarantee top-notch know-how and local expertise to our clients.

Within the Consumer Goods & Retail Practice our services are structured alongside the following three dimensions:

Strategy and organization: turning strategy into results

How we can help

The future success of any company - whether it is a large holding company, a subsidiary, a start-up, or a public body - depends on how effectively the organization adjusts to new challenges and continuous change. At Arthur D. Little, we combine our industry expertise and organizational know-how to develop and implement high-performance processes and organizations. Together with you, we can mobilize and energize the real change agents in your organization - your people.

Strategy is about permanently making conscious decisions which actions to take and which ones not to take. Arthur D. Little's launch of the high performance business model in the 1990's (often referred to as the S/P/R/O-model) was a real breakthrough in management theory and triggered a holistic approach to strategy. It was built on the premise that balanced stakeholder satisfaction and the alignment of strategies, processes, resources and organization are crucial to sustainable success. Over the years, numerous senior executives have applied that S/P/R/O logic and witnessed its impact on the creation of value. Innovative in its simplicity, the S/P/R/O model is still valid and widely used today - it has become general management practice in the early 21st century.

For a detailed overview about our service offerings, please click on the link below.

Our Strategy and Organization service offerings 

Operational excellence: staying ahead of competition

The industries may differ but many of the issues companies face in striving for operational excellence are similar across industries:

  • Individualization: How do you manage the increasing variety in customer demand and reduce product cost at the same time?
  • Globalization: How do you integrate the newly emerging markets, such as China and India, into the overall operations network?
  • Innovation: How can you contribute to product and process innovation?
  • Complexity: How do you master increasing complexity along the entire value chain?
  • Extended networks: How can you develop an intelligent approach to building and managing extended supplier networks and outsourcing?
  • Sustainability: How do you sustain lasting efficiency?

How we can help

Arthur D. Little is widely recognized for its excellence in operations management consulting. Whatever the challenge for your company , we can help address the issues by providing strategic perspective and developing innovative solutions. In our side-by-side™ approach we work closely with our clients and supports companies in achieving real change.

With many years' experience across a wide range of industries and in the service sector, our consultants are experts in the latest thinking and best practices in operations management. Their insight covers operations strategy and architectures in the “clicks and mortar” arena as well as each separately, ranging from purchasing effectiveness, over manufacturing operations, store operations, to distribution networks and “integral” excellence in the total value chain.

For a detailed overview about our service offerings, please click on the link below.
Our Operational Excellence Service Offerings

Technology and innovation management: innovate for growth

At Arthur D. Little, we offer customized Technology & Innovation Management services to help your organization succeed in an increasingly competitive world. All over the world clients expect companies to deliver ever more innovative and effective solutions for less.

Many consulting firms offer a single methodology or a set of standardized software tools to solve innovation challenges. At Arthur D. Little, while we have many proven methods and tools, we customize our approach fully to suit the needs of our customers. We know that the way companies innovate in the chemical industry is very different from the way companies innovate in the automotive world. From our experience, the innovation approach is not a single process or method; it is a “holistic process” that needs to be tailored to the company’s strategy and culture.

Arthur D. Little has been at the forefront of technology and innovation management for over 125 years. In addition to advising our clients, we have developed our own methodologies, technological approaches and innovations. This provides our customers with unique advantages and opportunities through the joined forces with a leading firm knowing how to build the innovation engine for companies. One of our key strengths is how we bridge the gap between technology and business strategy - maximizing the value creation potential of our client’s business.

For a detailed overview about our service offerings, please click on the link below.

Our Technology & Innovation Management service offerings

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