German consultancy MHP breaks through barrier of 2,000 consultants

30 April 2018 5 min. read
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German consultancy MHP has reported a 20% increase in consolidated revenues for the year ending December 2017. A Porsche-owned company, MHP has also expanded its headcount, doubling it in four years to exceed 2,000 professionals operating out of 13 offices worldwide. 

A digitisation and automotive specialist, MHP offers its clients both management and IT consulting services. Headquartered in Ludwigsburg, an industrial heartland of Germany’s prosperous southwest, the consulting firm counts offices in the US, UK and China among its expanding international portfolio. 

A strong performance from its US-based subsidiary – MHP Americas can be found at One Porsche Drive, Atlanta — and rapidly growing demand for digital consultancy in the mobility sector helped MHP generate revenue worth €322 million in 2017. With the first quarter of 2018 now closed, MHP’s CFO Marc Zimmermann said; “We are excellently prepared to meet the future challenges in digital transformation,” adding that the outlook for the rest of the year was promising.

There are good reasons for his confidence. MHP’s expertise extends to both the mobility and manufacturing sectors. The firm’s pool of consultants can count on the engineering and business mastery of majority shareholder Porsche and offer clients optimisation of their processes across the entire value chain.Porsche’s consulting subsidiary, MHP, breaks through barrier of 2,000 consultants Porsche acquired a 51% stake in MHP in 1999 after being impressed with the IT insights displayed by CEO Ralf Hofmann and his small band of just 37 consultants. The young company was subcontracted by IBM to help the German automobile giant develop a more agile IT system. SAP expertise was in high demand in the late 1990s as businesses embarked on the first wave of digitisation. Hofmann and partner Lutz Mieschke were freelance SAP consultants when they co-founded MHP in 1996.

MHP was already working closely with clients in the automotive sector when Porsche took an interest. The parent company soon expanded its share to 81.8% and lent its considerable weight to establishing MHP as a preeminent automotive expert in the consulting industry. Today Porsche, and many of its erstwhile rivals in the motoring space, are loyal MHP clients. Hofmann himself has confirmed that he drives a Panamera Diesel. 

Porsche itself has its own brand consultancy, Porsche Consulting, which now enjoys an intimate partnership with MHP. Though entirely independent of one another, the two consultancies work in tandem to offer clients a far deeper knowledge base than either could provide alone.

Circling sharks

With its specialist focus on IT and management consulting services tailored to the automotive sector, MHP does face challenges ahead. Domestically the firm operates in a fiercely competitive German IT consulting industry estimated to be worth some €10 billion. On a larger scale, Hofmann has previously stated that “the automotive ecosystem is no longer the closed cycle it used to be.” He is acutely aware that big fish from the tech world, including Apple and Google, are set to make a splash in the rapidly evolving motoring sector. 

The CFO is confident that MHP will rise to the challenge, pointing to a deep 20 year background in digitisation that distinguishes the firm from consulting rivals. In summer 2016 the MHP Lab opened in Berlin under the banner ‘Enabling you to shape the future’. The lab has been described as a “trend-setter and implementation partner” by Andreas Hirning, a partner at MHP.Ralf Hofmann and Marc Zimmermann - MHP

It is now home to a wide range of established corporations, innovative startups, consultants, designers, and data scientists – all working tirelessly to develop practical ways to implement digitisation. For MHP the digital sphere extends to Industry 4.0, Connected Cars, and new R&D, helping manufacturing and OED clients transform into mobility service providers, with a much more intimate relationship with their customers. 

Talent drive

MHP’s ambitions have necessitated a recruitment drive targeting both domestic and international consulting talent. Almost 100 new hires were made in October and, by January 2018, the firm boasted a headcount of 2,100 professionals worldwide.

Attracting top talent should theoretically present little difficulty for the German consultancy. MHP has been ranked ‘Top Employer’ by Focus and enjoys extremely positive employee reviews on online ranking sites. CEO Ralf Hofmann was declared the ninth most popular boss in Germany by Glassdoor last year.

Christoph Joos, Partner at MHP and responsible for People & Communication said; “Among other things, we are so successful as a company because we employ excellently trained and dynamic employees worldwide. Finding them, winning them over and retaining them for the long term is one of the key success factors for MHP in the future.” 

Related: Roland Berger plans to add 200 consultants in Germany this year.