We apply industry expertise, leading-edge analytics, technology and strategy to bring bold ideas to life.
Our commitment to ethics is what makes ZSers confident in themselves and the impact they build with integrity.
ZS believes in treating others with dignity and respect, providing a supportive, collective culture that inspires real action.
In 1982, Andris Zoltners and Prabhakant (Prabha) Sinha—two Ph.D. classmates studying at the University of Massachusetts—solved the knapsack problem. This classic challenge aims to combine items so that the total weight of those items together is less than or equal to a given limit. They realized their research could also apply to real-world challenges such as planning and distributing meals for astronauts and the U.S. military, drawing the attention of academic colleagues and companies seeking solutions to their own resource allocation problems.
Turning their eyes to sales force sizing
Later that year, Zoltners and Sinha presented their sales force sizing and territory alignment models to their colleagues, demonstrating the world’s first personal-computer-aided territory mapping system. The two soon became professors at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and go-to experts in solving resource planning challenges, inspiring them to found ZS in 1983.
They launched ZS in their off hours as a friends-and-family operation, recruiting former students and others who did everything from assembling presentation packets to appearing in company photos. Their resourcefulness and determination set the tone for how ZS would grow and thrive in the consulting world.
Growing into a global solutions leader
In its first three years, ZS helped eight of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world align territories and resize their sales forces. By 2011, ZS worked with 49 of the 50 largest drugmakers in healthcare and 17 of the 20 largest medical device makers.
Internally, ZS has taken time to celebrate every milestone, from its first overseas office to its first million-dollar client to its 1,000th employee. Today, ZS works with companies around the world, in industries ranging from healthcare to high-tech to financial services and beyond, with the same spirit of innovation and creative problem solving established on day one. We now help clients bring ideas to life, from discovery to commercialization, backed by the strategy, analytics and technology to help them succeed.