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Inside Retail & Prof Consulting

Prof Consulting Group continues expansion of consultancy business

As an industry veteran in international food manufacturing and the retail sector, management consultant Mark Field has a very humble goal when it comes to his firm’s clients – that being simply to help them become more profitable by making closer connections to today’s consumers.

This focus has seen Prof Consulting Group undergoing fairly rapid growth over the past two years since its launch, building on the extensive international experience garnered by Mark and his associates in the business and applying it in a focused way across the expansive industries the business supports. Initially kicking off on the strength of Mark’s 25 years in FMCG, Prof has transitioned its operations to encompass a broader reach and scope with an associate pool of seven seasoned consultants between Melbourne and Sydney and a further two experts based in Europe and the UK. The firm has recently extended its services to encompass recruitment as well, providing clients with access to world-class industry leaders while offering distinguished consultancy services for FMCG brands – and partnering with them as brand growth accelerators.

“I think the rationale that originally made me launch the business was that the Australian market was moving towards a consumer focused stance, which was a real step change,” reflects Mark, whose longtime work in Australian grocery retail has served to provide front-seat insights into local consumer behaviour that he works to share with clients today. “I could see there was an opportunity to spread that knowledge and help businesses position products and services in a more effective way to ultimately grow their brand and profit while partnering with a consultancy that has extensive experience in their growth areas.”

Mark Field of Prof Consulting.

Part of Mark’s core insights are based on his observations that the Australian market has gradually been moving towards a “pull” model, where the consumer is pulling in through the retail environment, as opposed to a “push” model, which is where he says Australian innovation used to be five years ago. 

“If I try to sell you something because I think it’s great, the risk of you not buying it is significantly higher,” explains Mark, “but if I sell you something that’s a solution that meets your needs, it aligns with the retailer’s corporate strategy and high growth areas, and then it becomes a more compelling offer. It’s easier to understand and ultimately more marketable.”

During a period of business growth that has spanned the course of the pandemic – and many of the challenges or opportunities that have been presented to the Food and Grocery sector – Prof has sought to add value and commercial success in a difficult business environment.

“International trade has been a key growth focus across many of our clients as international demand for great quality Australian products continues to grow,” says Mark. “Strategic resets and closer alignment with investment strategies has also been an important area which we expect to grow as the sector starts to access the increased funding available, as well as contract manufacturing as businesses look to innovate alongside agile principles.

The changing dynamics within the global markets and trade agreements are now clearly creating opportunities for Australian products. This is an exciting trend for the Australian manufacturing sector, while Prof remains well positioned through its expanding team in the UK and Europe to help clients target these markets.

“To go from a standing start – a business that was really just me at the beginning – and then two years later to have a team of local and international professionals operating in key regions in our consultancy team is something I’m really proud of,” admits Mark. “But we’ve only been able to achieve that by listening to what our clients want and making sure we can deliver for them, whilst continuing to invest in skills and proven experience to give our clients an advantage in today’s global market. An obvious example is sustainability, where we have recently been joined by a global sustainability expert and a leading packaging specialist.

“We’ve launched a business that enables us to help food and grocery businesses across the complete supply chain, from agriculture or production facilities through to end retailers and the consumer experience,” he says. “My philosophy is that if you need help, we should be well positioned to deliver support and the desired solution based on the team’s proven capabilities. At the same time, if you’re looking to grow into new markets domestically or internationally – whether that’s retail in Australia, launch a D2C model connecting your business directly with the customers, or launching an e-commerce strategy, then with the experience across the team we can help you. Our team’s expertise spans a variety of skill sets and significant industry wide experience with world class retailers across diverse environments – and we ensure our consultancy partners with brands as an extension of their team as their brand growth accelerators. We help our clients achieve profitable growth.”

Prof Consulting Group works to deliver profitable growth for their clients in the food and grocery consultancy space with a focus on delivering tangible commercial benefits to clients. The team leverages its extensive and diverse industry experience both locally and internationally, and its understanding of customers and their evolving needs, to help drive growth towards business success. The team gives their client’s business an advantage in today’s dynamic market. Prof Consulting aims to be an extension of your team, complementing and collaborating with them towards your brand’s success. For a broader understanding of Prof Consulting’s capabilities, visit www.profcg.com or email hello@profcg.com or for recruitment visit www.profrecruitment.com.au and email recruitment@profcg.com.