Accenture buys ESP, a manufacturing specialist for pharma sector

06 March 2019 3 min. read

Accenture has acquired Enterprise System Partners (ESP), a consulting and manufacturing services provider that helps pharmaceutical companies automate their operations. ESP, which is headquartered in Cork, Ireland, has seven offices globally, including three in Europe. 

The acquired ESP will be integrated into Accenture’s Accenture Industry X.0 practice, an arm that supports clients in the industrial sector with embracing digital transformation. The unit provides offerings such as Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, technology-led manufactuing excellence, robotics and artificial intelligence. 

“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,” explained Ben Salama, a managing director who leads Accenture Industry X.0 in the United Kingdom & Ireland.

Founded in 2003 by four co-founders, Enterprise System Partners currently has around 200 professionals specialised in deep manufacturing, processes and IT. The firm, which operates from offices in Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Turkey and the United States, focuses exclusively on the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. According to the firm’s own credentials, ESP works for seventeen of the top 20 multinationals active in these two sectors. Using its systems, clients can digitally track and document the bio-pharmaceutical production process, leading to increased automation in the supply chain.Accenture buys ESP, manufacturing specialist for pharma sectorCommenting on the deal, Anne Marie O’Halloran, Accenture’s global lead for the Life Sciences Industry X.0 group, said; “New digital technologies and scientific advances are combining and changing how therapies can be developed and delivered to patients. With the combination of ESP’s and our life sciences expertise, there is significant opportunity for us to help clients drive greater efficiencies in how they manufacture essential medicines for patients.” 

For Accenture, the move comes on the back of several previous acquisitions in the field. Recent life sciences deals the consulting firm closed include that of LabAnswer in 2017, now the Accenture Scientific Informatics Services (ASIS) business, which helps capture, manage, and analyse complex laboratory and scientific data. In the operations space, the company purchased two players in the US (software firm Pillar Technology and hardware-engineering firm Mindtribe) and one in Germany (design consultancy Designaffairs). 

Liam O’Brien, a managing director of ESP, said that the joining of forces with the larger Accenture – 469,000 employees in more than 120 countries – will enable ESP to enlarge its geographic span and provide its team members with more challenging projects and new (international) career opportunities.

Meanwhile in Ireland, last year Accenture bought the Dublin based creative agency Rothco, which employs 170 people.

Related: Accenture named a top employer for Irish graduates.