Throughout 2023, Argon & Co has made numerous leaps and bounds – with mergers and acquisitions, and much more. MHD spoke to Stephan Mang, one of its ANZ Partners, to discuss what the company has achieved this year, and what its plans are for 2024.
Argon & Co has grown in various ways in the APAC region over the past 12 months. In 2023, its integrated intralogistics and sustainability service lines, had several mergers and acquisitions, and has achieved many milestones with aims to reach many more in 2024.
Its ANZ branch of the business has grown from 60 to more than 140 people following its merger with Pollen Consulting in June 2022, and it now has two offices in New Zealand’s Auckland and Hamilton.
Considerable growth has continued as the global management consulting firm has expanded its operations to Perth in WA where it has a small team of employees and has shifted from its South Yarra office in Melbourne to Flinders Lane in the CBD to cater to an influx of new recruits.
INTRODUCING NEW OFFERINGS WITH MERGERS
Beyond the ANZ region, Argon & Co has expanded its presence in APAC by establishing a Hong Kong office, and concurrently, it has laid the foundation in Singapore.
Stephan Mang, Partner at Argon & Co, says he, Paul Eastwood, David Bissett, and Colleen Grady, are heads of the company in Australia while Ian Walsh is in charge in New Zealand with the company acquiring three new partners in the past 12 months alone.
“This year marked a significant milestone as we merged with Fuzzy LogX in Australia and Studio Logistic in New Zealand,” explains Stephan.
“Both of these companies share similar expertise, specialising in intralogistics. This union enables us to extend these valuable services to our clients in the APAC region. These mergers have enriched our technical proficiency within the supply chain and logistics domain – a pivotal development. This is of paramount significance as the majority of our clients are keen to optimise their logistics costs and introduce automation into their warehousing operations.
“The inclusion of the Fuzzy and Studio teams has significantly enhanced our depth of expertise. We have seamlessly integrated their strengths with our own logistics, operational, and supply chain capabilities, crafting a more holistic approach. This ensures that we are well-equipped to meet our clients’ evolving needs and deliver tailored solutions.”
MAKING THE SUPPLY CHAIN GREEN
At Argon & Co, conducting business in a socially responsible way is engrained in its DNA. It truly believes this is a driver for business success, and has continued to strive to make the planet, the external environment, and the community a better place.
Argon & Co ANZ is a carbon negative consultancy and currently being certified as a B-Corp organisation, it values giving back to the community, and has taken the one per cent pledge, and as a team has supported charities such as Oz Harvest, The Smith Family, Drought Angels, and Red Nose.
“Sustainability is no longer just an option,” notes Stephan. “It’s a priority for companies wanting to thrive and change the world for the better. By integrating sustainability as a core element of our expertise, we’re able to provide services to our clients who are navigating the complexities related to sustainable practices.
“We’re also helping them transform their operations. For example, we run diagnostics for them and look at issues using a sustainability lens. We apply this to when we’re optimising networks or when we do a material-based improvement initiative decline. We see what impact it has from a sustainability viewpoint – it’s not all related to dollars and cents.”
There are the lasting positive impacts these improvements and initiatives can have on the environment and society. The Argon & Co team endorses these practices, and in ANZ, each project is measured with a sustainability impact report to give them the baseline on how they’re performing in this space.
CONTINUING TO GROW
Mergers and acquisitions such as Fuzzy LogX, Studio Logistic, Pollen Group, and Intent Group have all shaped and changed Argon & Co ANZ.
With the acquisitions it’s made, the company has enabled itself to provide more end-to-end services to its clients. “We’ve also been able to integrate our experts and expertise resources. We’re more versatile, and we can bounce ideas off each other when we collaborate – making our team stronger.
“We can offer a much broader business landscape when we combine supply chain planning or investment with logistics personnel.
“By having vibrant exchanges of ideas and best practices, and creative thinking, we can develop innovative products. We have more internal initiatives in the pipeline, which we’ll launch in 2024. This can only happen because we have diverse talents and perspectives as we’ve accumulated intellectual capital via these mergers and acquisitions.”
Argon’s FTE has grown to more than 140 and was placed number 20 last year in the Australian Financial Review’s “Fast 100” Fastest-Growing Australian Businesses and is on track to make the top 20 again this year.
CONNECTING EMPLOYEES AND SERVICING CLIENTS
Argon & Co introduced its inaugural Graduate Program this year, achieving remarkable success by admitting an additional mid-year cohort and gearing up for two upcoming intakes in the next year in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Argon & Co Australia also launched one of the businesses global initiatives: “Connect – Argon & Co’s Strategy & Transformation Community”. Connect is a supportive environment for business builders and transformation professionals, where meaningful connections are made, and members are inspired by thought-provoking stories and insight.
Through joining Connect, business leaders gain access to the community’s digital platform where they can see upcoming events, latest articles, newsletters, and some tools and approaches to help them make strategic changes and run their transformation programs.
Its Global Mobility program involves inviting Argon team members to go on exchange to its other worldwide offices on a project basis or on a six-month secondment.
“We’ve sent employees to our Dubai, London, and Paris offices and had employees from these countries come to ANZ,” explains Stephan.
Plans for 2024 include expanding operations in Hong Kong and Singapore and possibly opening an office in Brisbane.
“Our footprint is global,” Stephan adds. “We want to have a presence in every continent of the globe, and already have a network of extensive expertise and strong service lines in Europe and the US. We can also utilise that expertise and additional service lines to cross pollinate and exchange ideas.
“Our global industry sector groups exchange the latest trends and initiatives. We’re always staying abreast of what’s happening in the market and are connected to our colleagues in Paris and in London where our headquarters are and cooperate with them in a 24-hour cycle when working on client projects.
“We can provide that around-the-clock service and meet our clients’ needs wherever they’re located. The facilities and offices we have in many parts of the world can also match their time zones. Together, we have immense industry experience and a thorough understanding of supply chain networks. I can confidently say that we’ve accomplished a lot this year and we’re excited as to what the new year may bring.”
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