26. AArete Growth Rate: 142% HQ: Chicago
AArete is a Chicago-based management consulting firm that specializes in operational performance improvement and strategic cost reduction. The firm works with clients across all industries and business functions to optimize profits in a compressed timeframe and without reducing people. AArete identifies and implements bottom line improvements through sourcing methodologies, Big Data analytics, proprietary revenue cycle optimization techniques, and the Knowledge Management Center, an internal intellectual property repository with benchmarking data and industry focused studies. CEO and Managing Director Loren Trimble sat down with Consulting to discuss the firm’s financial performance, including its 142 percent growth rate and No. 26 ranking on this year’s Fastest Growing Firms list.
Consulting: What were the main factors that contributed to your firm’s exceptional growth?
Trimble: AArete’s primary reason for growth is the people we recruit, retain and their willingness to pursue excellence. We can only deliver services that are in high demand if we have the best talent. We have great clients that are growing significantly and have matched our solutions with the services they need to grow and remain competitive.
Consulting: How is this year shaping up for your firm?
Trimble: After a year of 64 percent growth, we planned our growth to be less this year and are on track to be twice the size we were at the end of 2014. This is a year we have prepared for scaling excellence and positioning us for future growth. We have focused on new clients while maintaining existing clients and have increased our client base by 25 percent which again positions us for growth.
Consulting: How would you describe your firm’s outlook for 2017? Where do you see the most opportunities?
Trimble: We are well-positioned to accomplish our goals and plans for 2017 and beyond. Next year we are planning 30 percent to 35 percent growth. 2017 will bring more growth in our Advanced Data Analytics solutions. Our largest opportunities will be the further integration of structured and unstructured data analytics into the solutions we provide to our clients. We will continue to maintain our outstanding culture and expand our unique and talented team. Lastly we expect to leverage the scalable operations we have built over the last 18 months to serve more clients in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Consulting: What would you say are your firm’s biggest challenges in 2017?
Trimble: The war for talent will be a challenge for the next several years. While we have built a strong culture and invested in training our people, we still expect recruiting and retaining people to deliver the increased revenues to be a challenge. Another challenge will be continuing to provide data intensive solutions that outpace competition and serve the evolving needs of our client base.
Consulting: What does being named one of Consulting’s Fastest Growing Firms mean to your firm, your employees and your clients?
Trimble: Receiving this recognition is great for our people as they see their efforts rewarded in the marketplace. Additionally, this recognition helps strengthen the AArete brand which should help with serving our ever growing client base.