Much more than
the sum of its parts

Much more than the sum of its parts

The opportunities that KEARNEY’s acquisition of OPTANO will unleash

Yesterday we announced that one of the leading global management consulting firms KEARNEY has acquired OPTANO to strengthen its position in the field of AI-powered optimization. We had the great opportunity to talk exclusively to Suketu Gandhi (Global Co-Lead of KEARNEY’s Operations and Performance practice), Stephan Krubasik (Global Co-Lead of KEARNEY Analytics) and Jens Peter Kempkes (Managing Director of OPTANO).

Suketu, Stephan, Jens, welcome and thank you for finding the time to talk to us.

KEARNEY’s acquisition of OPTANO will certainly make a big impact in the industry. Can you give us some more background information? How did the acquisition come about?

Jens Peter Kempkes

As surprising as the news may be for the market, for us it feels like a natural process. We have already been working together successfully in consulting projects since 2018. Our colleagues at KEARNEY have actively used the OPTANO platform in these projects and helped us to develop it further. So far, quite a number of projects have already come together. Right, Stephan?

Stephan Krubasik

That’s right, Jens. In fact, we have been cooperating successfully in over 30 projects to date. Therefore, it was only logical for us to take this cooperation to the next level with the acquisition. Furthermore, both OPTANO and KEARNEY share a similar approach and corporate culture, and the teams know each other very well – a perfect match so to speak.

It was mentioned earlier that there was a long-standing cooperation beforehand. Why did you finally decide to make OPTANO an offer to buy?

Suketu Gandhi

For us, there were two fundamental aspects to the decision. On the one hand, our clients had repeatedly told us how impressed they were with the added value we had achieved in our joint projects with OPTANO. The good cooperation within the joint team was just as important as the hard facts from the optimized processes. A clear indicator, in other words. On the other hand, there was the strategic aspect: AI-powered operations and optimization solutions is a future market in which we want to maintain and expand our role as a leading management consulting firm. The tools and project experience that OPTANO brings to the table complement our portfolio in this regard.

A question that is certainly not only on the minds of our employees here in Paderborn: How will OPTANO be integrated into the KEARNEY world in the future?

Stephan Krubasik

OPTANO will continue to exist as an independent company at the Paderborn headquarters. That was important to us from the very beginning. OPTANO will also continue to collaborate with all its existing customers as before. In addition, we will integrate OPTANO’s services and solutions more closely into the KEARNEY portfolio to help our clients optimize their supply chains even better in support of their growth, cost, resiliency, and sustainability goals.

AI-powered mathematical optimization is the key focus of OPTANO. What is the long-term goal for KEARNEY concerning this acquisition?

Suketu Gandhi

The obvious goal is to maintain and expand our position as a leading management consulting firm by investing strategically in AI-supported operational optimization. The projects conducted with OPTANO so far have shown that sustainable uplifts can be achieved in almost every project through the use of sophisticated mathematical methods, machine learning and advanced analytics.

Jens Peter Kempkes

Right. Bringing together the best of both worlds will contribute to a strong brand with significant impact in the industry.

How will the clients benefit from this new development?

Suketu Gandhi

Clients clearly benefit from the integrated approach of consulting and the development of AI-supported optimization software. The project experience of both parties will directly contribute to the further development of the OPTANO software. As a result, not only will the range of features keep expanding, but its practical applicability will also continue to improve. Offering consulting, process optimization and the development of the necessary software from a sole source is a great advantage for our customers, as these are optimally coordinated. This ensures optimal results and simplifies the implementation into the daily business of our clients.

That sounds extremely exciting. So, what can we expect from OPTANO in the future?

Jens Peter Kempkes

With such a strong partner such as KEARNEY backing us, OPTANO has a whole new range of opportunities in the R&D field. We will intensify the development of the OPTANO platform, expand it with new features and open new application areas for AI-based optimization.

What personal message do you have for the teams of OPTANO and KEARNEY?

Suketu Gandhi

We are excited to join forces with OPTANO in this important cooperation and look forward to collaborating closely with our new partners on our path to a successful future.

Stephan Krubasik

The broad field of AI-powered optimization is incredibly exciting, and we look forward to moving together with our new partners on this journey.

Jens Peter Kempkes

With KEARNEY we have found a partner who shares our values and enjoys finding optimal solutions that have a sustainable impact as much as we do. We are looking forward to the journey together.

This is the beginning of an exciting future, and we are looking forward to the coming days and developments. Suketu, Stephan, Jens, thanks for being here with us today.

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Michael Osterkamp
Michael Osterkamp

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Dr. Patrick Schuhmann
Analytics Consultant