Accenture is acquiring ESP to support life sciences clients digitise their manufacturing operations
Accenture has revealed its plans to acquire Enterprise System Partners (ESP), a consulting and manufacturing services provider for the life sciences industry.
Through the acquisition, ESP will join Accenture Industry X.0, which helps clients master the digital reinvention of industry, strengthening Accenture’s capabilities to transform manufacturing for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device clients globally.
ESP has long-standing industry experience in planning and implementing manufacturing solutions, with niche expertise in manufacturing execution systems (MES) and serialisation. MES digitally track and document the production process, providing the groundwork for more automated and analytics-driven manufacturing and supply chains. Serialisation allows life science companies to digitally track each saleable unit from the packaging line all the way to the patient.
Ben Salama, a managing director who leads Accenture Industry X.0 in the United Kingdom & Ireland, said, “Digital technologies are fundamentally transforming the factory floor. With ESP’s manufacturing solutions and our Industry X.0 capabilities, we can help clients take advantage of engineering and product lifecycle management, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence for a flexible, efficient, and cost-effective production process.”
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ESP will be the latest of several acquisitions Accenture has made recently to expand Accenture Industry X.0 in Europe and North America, including Pillar Technology, hardware engineering firm Mindtribe, and strategic design consultancy designaffairs. The acquisition will also complement others in life sciences that Accenture has made in recent year, such as LabAnswer (now the Accenture Scientific Informatics Services (ASIS)).
Anne Marie O’Halloran, a managing director and lead of Accenture’s Life Sciences Industry X.0 group, stated, “There is significant opportunity for us to help clients drive greater efficiencies in how they manufacture essential medicines for patients around the world with the combination of ESP’s and our life sciences expertise.”
ESP will bring a team of 200 professionals with deep manufacturing, process and IT knowledge, who will work closely with Accenture’s Life Sciences group. It currently services 17 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical and biotech companies from offices in Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Turkey and the United States.
“As part of Accenture Industry X.0, we will be able to offer enhanced services to transform our clients’ operations by streamlining processes from early-stage research through development to manufacturing and distribution. It will expand our capabilities to new regions and provide our team with new career opportunities in a truly global organisation,” added Liam O’Brien, managing director of ESP.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.