End-of course internship in Supply Chain Management : Fantin Richard interview

My end-of-course internship in Supply Chain Management

At ALOER, our inter­ns are ful­ly inte­gra­ted in our staff : old time of “pho­to­co­py” or “cof­fee machine” inter­n­ship is over. Doing an end-of-course inter­n­ship in Sup­ply Chain Mana­ge­ment within our team is sho­wing the willin­gness to enter the spe­ci­fic envi­ron­ment of a human-scale ser­vice com­pa­ny and their “strong personalities”. 

Young gra­duates are more than ever trai­ned to the spe­ci­fic skills reques­ted by orga­ni­sa­tions and bet­ter pre­pa­red to inte­grate the work envi­ron­ment. The end-of-course inter­n­ships can be the key for a good career kick-off. We hope to contri­bute a bit to it. 

Fantin Richard, stagiaire chez ALOER Consultants 2017Fantin RICHARD Interview

Etienne Georges – ALOER Manager : Why did you choose ALOER ?

  Fan­tin Richard : I joi­ned the com­pa­ny ALOER for my end-of-course inter­n­ship within the frame of my Mas­ter 2 at the ESCE Inter­na­tio­nal Busi­ness School in Sup­ply Chain Mana­ge­ment. I imme­dia­te­ly wan­ted to join the company’s adven­ture after the excellent contact I had with the team during the job inter­view and the case stu­dy they pro­po­sed. I over­saw the oppor­tu­ni­ty to bene­fit from the consul­tants’ expe­rience to dee­pen and com­plete my theo­re­ti­cal know­ledge in Sup­ply Chain. The pos­si­bi­li­ty to ful­ly par­ti­ci­pate to the life of a human-scale com­pa­ny also reas­su­red me. The consul­tants’ expe­riences and diverse skills allo­wed me to build a bet­ter unders­tan­ding of the French SMEs eco­no­mic net­work, the ERP and APS soft­ware uni­verse as well as the constraints and chal­lenges of com­pa­nies Sup­ply Chain. 

  Etienne Georges : In addi­tion to an expe­rien­ced team of consul­tants, we at ALOER, choose to have young inter­ns. It allows us to ful­ly play our role of trai­ning orga­ni­za­tion and trans­fer skills rela­ted to our busi­ness acti­vi­ties. Put­ting our methods into prac­tice inter­nal­ly enables us to vali­date them before employing them to our clients. 

  Chris­tine Ingles­si : The ALOER trai­ning ser­vice is  inten­ded to our clients and also to our col­la­bo­ra­tors and part­ners. All our consul­tants are encou­ra­ged to build new skills and frequent trai­nings are pro­po­sed in that spi­rit : CPIM and DDMRP or soft­ware fea­tures upgra­ding. As trai­ning centre in Sup­ply Chain Plan­ning, our part­ner edi­tors often rely on us to train their future inte­gra­tors, in France and abroad. On top of this, we deli­ver spe­ci­fic trai­ning to our clients in SCM – Sup­ply Chain Mana­ge­ment, Lean Manu­fac­tu­ring, Pro­ject mana­ge­ment and Infor­ma­tion Sys­tem exper­tise. Moreo­ver, we are alrea­dy regis­te­red on Data­dock and our trai­ning cata­logue is avai­lable. Those trai­nings are a real plus for our inter­ns too ! 

Bénédicte Krebs, Senior Manager Supply Chain : What was the purpose of your mission ?

  Fan­tin Richard : For about six months, I joi­ned the pro­ject team in charge of the com­pa­ny inter­nal pro­cesses conti­nuous impro­ve­ment which includes the com­pa­ny docu­men­ta­ry and mana­ge­ment sys­tem development. 

More pre­ci­se­ly, I par­ti­ci­pa­ted in the sup­ply chain audit method “restruc­tu­ra­tion and impro­ve­ment” pro­ject. The objec­tive was to stan­dar­dise and opti­mise the data col­lec­tion to increase the clients’ recom­men­da­tions’ per­ti­nence, rapi­di­ty and per­so­na­li­sa­tion, gene­ra­ted at the end of each audit mis­sion. ALOER is a spe­cia­list in glo­bal Sup­ply Chain (see figure below) and has a pre­cise exper­tise in Sup­ply Chain Plan­ning. The­re­fore, it is obvious that most of its consul­ting mis­sions are cen­tred on this perimeter. 

  Schema des Flux Supply Chain

  Béné­dicte Krebs, Jean-Benoît Sar­ra­zin :

The sup­ply chain audit method review pro­vi­ded seve­ral benefits : 

  • The com­mon frame of refe­rence enables consul­tants to easi­ly com­pare various diagnostics
  • This very same frame of refe­rence enables clas­si­fying the clients against their Sup­ply Chain matu­ri­ty and then link actions and efforts nee­ded to achieve excellency
  • Final­ly, the exis­ting method review has been conduc­ted in a win-win spi­rit so that the client also bene­fits from the method : a quick audit, a mar­ket posi­tio­ning, action plans easy to fol­low and to handle.

Jean-Benoît Sarrazin, Senior Consultant and internship supervisor : And more exactly, on what elements did you focussed on ?

  Fan­tin Richard : You may alrea­dy know some great frames of refe­rence for Sup­ply Chain eva­lua­tion such as the SCOR model, the EVALOG for the auto­mo­tive sec­tor or the ASLOG frame. They allow mea­su­ring com­pa­nies’ sup­ply chain per­for­mance with dif­ferent levels of details, depen­ding on the models. These models are renow­ned but not desi­gned for consul­ting firms, who, by their posi­tion as exter­nal audi­tor, pre­fer eva­lua­ting and spot­ting weak areas of the audi­tee Sup­ply Chain. Indeed, consul­tants must both unders­tand the auditee’s Sup­ply Chain envi­ron­ment and func­tio­ning so they can pro­vide an eva­lua­tion and pro­pose impro­ve­ments. These models have never­the­less brought key ele­ments to ALOER’s method. 

  Béné­dicte Krebs : The frames of refe­rence stu­died by Fan­tin during our method review enabled audits grids construc­tion. They mix dif­ferent aspects to audit : 

  • basic requi­re­ments to be found in any com­pa­ny that alrea­dy star­ted the deve­lop­ment of its sup­ply chain, direct­ly emer­ging from stan­dard frames of reference
  • spe­ci­fic requi­re­ments for the audi­ted client : requi­re­ments rela­ted to the Infor­ma­tion Sys­tem (data uni­que­ness, data­base mana­ge­ment, inte­gra­tion…), to the pro­fes­sion frames (aeros­pace, auto­mo­tive, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, dis­tri­bu­tion…), to the com­pa­ny culture (SMBs or MNBs, ISO cer­ti­fied and pro­cess-struc­tu­red com­pa­nies…) that have impacts on dai­ly tasks and missions
  • mar­ket and HR ele­ments coming from our own experiences

The revie­wed method enables the consul­tants to have a pro­fes­sio­nal and cus­to­mi­zable “home-made” tool. 

  Jean-Benoît Sar­ra­zin : All along his mis­sion, Fan­tin has been gui­ded by ALOER’s CEO and consul­tants to build a method based on the stan­dards while inte­gra­ting the spe­ci­fic needs of our busi­ness acti­vi­ties and expertises. 

As an example, Fan­tin came with us during client’s onsite inter­ven­tions to bet­ter unders­tand their indus­trial envi­ron­ment, issues and needs. This way, he over­saw the consultant’s work and approach and their tech­nique to conduct audits. 

 

Bénédicte Krebs : Tell us more on the method of ALOER ?

  Fan­tin Richard : There are 4 key ele­ments in a method : pro­cesses, tools, deli­ve­rables and sha­red roles (Zell­ner et al., 2011). 

The method stra­te­gic thin­king is orien­ted on the onsite client diag­nos­tic and report that consti­tute the tools and part of the deli­ve­rables iden­ti­fied by Zell­ner et al. (2011). Moreo­ver, the user pro­ce­dure of the method defines the roles of eve­ry par­ti­ci­pant in the sup­ply chain audit mis­sion. The other pro­cesses men­tio­ned by Zell­ner et al. (2011) are inte­gra­ted within Aloer mana­ge­ment sys­tem and its asso­cia­ted documents. 

  Béné­dicte Krebs : We made sure with Fan­tin, that his work could direct­ly inte­grate the alrea­dy exis­ting sys­tem. This sys­tem is based on a pro­cess mana­ge­ment like the ISO9001. The audit method and the asso­cia­ted deli­ve­rables are entire parts of the pro­cess “rea­lize” that regroups the pro­ce­dures, pro­cesses and tem­plates mana­ging our services : 

  • Infor­ma­tion sys­tem integration
  • Sup­ply Chain, Lean, Pro­ject, exper­tise on seve­ral concepts and change mana­ge­ment training
  • Busi­ness Sup­port in IT on trans­for­ma­tion pro­jects and change management
  • Sup­ply Chain consulting

The work done by Fan­tin will be imme­dia­te­ly usable for Sup­ply Chain consul­ting missions. 

  Fan­tin Richard : Les­car­beau et al. (1996) define the audit pro­cess with the fol­lo­wing model. At ALOER, Sup­ply Chain audit mis­sions are cen­tred on the four phases iden­ti­fied in red. The rest of the phases being rea­li­zed in the frame of com­ple­men­ta­ry mis­sions : sup­port and audit recom­men­da­tions application. 

  Processus d'un audit - Lescarbeau et al. 1996

Jean-Benoit Sarrazin : What will be the future of the method tools ?

  Fan­tin Richard : Since the begin­ning, we have consi­de­red that the pro­ject would evolve over time and that the method would be inte­gra­ted to Aloer’s mana­ge­ment sys­tem. As ALOER is also a soft­ware solu­tions inte­gra­tor, the consul­tants’ skills could contri­bute to the auto­ma­tion of the tools. ALOER is now in pos­ses­sion of a desi­gn tool, poten­tial­ly auto­ma­table in the future. 

  Jean-Benoît Sar­ra­zin : The method tools built by Fan­tin are an excellent star­ting point to ease the Sup­ply Chain audits rea­li­sa­tion. This tool will evolve over time under two angles : 

  • The subt­le­ty and com­pre­hen­si­ve­ness of its content
  • The indus­tria­li­sa­tion of the tool (mul­ti-users, ergo­no­mics, web architecture…)

Regar­ding the results alrea­dy obtai­ned, ALOER team is high­ly moti­va­ted in upgra­ding the tool crea­ted by Fan­tin to make it more efficient. 

Etienne Georges : What are the benefits of this mission for the clients and for ALOER ?

  Fan­tin Richard : From what I know of the com­pa­ny, ALOER pays close atten­tion to its clients and adapts easi­ly to any situa­tion. Pro­po­sals to clients are rea­lis­tic, honest, and fit their needs. This inte­gri­ty is one of the com­pa­ny values. As the recom­men­da­tions made are per­ti­nent, the audit mis­sion is usual­ly fol­lo­wed by a sup­port over time to accom­pa­ny them. This allows any client to have a frequent sup­port to improve its sup­ply chain performance. 

Consul­tants, super­vi­sed by a dedi­ca­ted pro­ject mana­ger, are very reac­tive to ans­wer the client’s needs, a cha­rac­te­ris­tic that pro­ved use­ful and sup­port the growth of the busi­ness. Moreo­ver, senior and junior consul­tants form com­ple­men­ta­ry and poly­va­lent pairs lea­ding to bet­ter mis­sion management. 

The metho­do­lo­gy comes to sup­port consul­tants and the com­pa­ny to serve its clients better. 

  Béné­dicte Krebs : Fan­tin brought to ALOER a young and dyna­mic exter­nal pers­pec­tive as well as cri­ti­cism to the esta­bli­shed methods. This hel­ped us buil­ding toge­ther a frame of refe­rences adap­ted to the needs of today’s Sup­ply Chain Mana­gers : rapi­di­ty, effi­ca­cy, easy com­pre­hen­sion to share qui­ck­ly the audit results with graphs, short syn­the­sis asso­cia­ted with simple action plans. Now it’s our job to push the reflexion fur­ther to get a ful­ly col­la­bo­ra­tive tool. 

Etienne Georges : What are the personal benefits of this experience ?

  Fan­tin Richard : I deve­lo­ped skills in pro­ject mana­ge­ment and plan­ning, time mana­ge­ment and tasks prio­ri­ti­za­tion. I also deve­lo­ped pre­cise know­ledge about Sup­ply Chain, field of exper­tise of the orga­ni­sa­tion. I had the occa­sion to fol­low long term pro­gress of soft­ware imple­men­ta­tion, APS type, for com­pa­nies who are lea­der of their own mar­ket. I dis­co­ve­red the concept of lean office applied within ALOER, which struc­tures the same way the com­pu­ter files mana­ge­ment. I am glad I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to bene­fit from a glo­bal trai­ning and sup­port all along my mission. 

In addi­tion, a human-scale orga­ni­sa­tion enables approa­ching seve­ral issues from gene­ral com­pa­ny mana­ge­ment to soft­ware confi­gu­ra­tion or com­mer­cial and mar­ke­ting deve­lop­ment. It has been real­ly enri­ching and I thank all the team for this expe­rience that will help me enter the wor­king envi­ron­ment with a shar­pe­ned busi­ness com­pre­hen­sion, and a bet­ter unders­tan­ding of the sup­ply chain mana­ge­ment impacts on organisations. 

  Jean-Benoît Sar­ra­zin : Fan­tin rapid­ly inte­gra­ted ALOER’s envi­ron­ment, pro­per to the human-scale ser­vice com­pa­nies : always in action, where mutual assis­tance and a per­ma­nent sup­port bet­ween col­la­bo­ra­tors is dai­ly. He suc­cee­ded in his mission’s chal­lenges with ener­gy and ear­nest even when they were not rela­ted to his aca­de­mic or pro­fes­sio­nal expe­rience. It has been a real plea­sure to work with Fan­tin, we hope it has been as enri­ching for him as it has been for us and beyond his mis­sion purpose. 

Christine Inglessi – Marketing and Sales Representative : From a personal point of view, what experiences eased your fast integration to the team of ALOER ?

  Fan­tin Richard : First, I dee­ply appre­cia­ted I have been inte­gra­ted as an ope­ra­tio­nal employee. The bene­volent team stron­gly par­ti­ci­pa­ted to this fast inte­gra­tion and I am gra­te­ful for that. 

During the last years of my edu­ca­tio­nal back­ground, I deve­lo­ped mul­tiple skills that eased that inte­gra­tion. Native of Lyon, I have been to Anda­lu­sia, Gali­cia, then Not­tin­gham, Uni­ted King­dom and Paris during the past three years. By chan­ging envi­ron­ment approxi­ma­te­ly eve­ry six months, I deve­lo­ped a strong adap­ta­tion and inte­gra­tion abi­li­ty to avoid the frus­tra­tion of being only living a short per­iod of time in each of these places. The diver­si­ty of these expe­riences : Eras­mus pro­gram, inter­n­ship abroad and Bache­lor at the English uni­ver­si­ty rein­for­ced my natu­ral curio­si­ty, my enthu­siasm, and my abi­li­ty to bind with people that sur­rounds me. 

Final­ly, regu­lar and pas­sio­nate of out­door sport, I am trai­ned for hard work, and the modi­fi­ca­tion of my apti­tude in alti­tude. The pre­pa­ra­tion and invol­ve­ment requi­red by this sport prac­tice always rein­for­ced my deter­mi­na­tion to gene­rate and cap­ture the oppor­tu­ni­ties, wha­te­ver the difficulties. 

  Refe­rences

Les­car­beau et al., (1996). Pro­fes­sion Consul­tant. Presses uni­ver­si­taires de Mont­réal.

Zell­ner et al., (2011). A struc­tu­red eva­lua­tion of busi­ness pro­cess impro­ve­ment approaches. Busi­ness Pro­cess Mana­ge­ment Jour­nal, 17(2), 203–237.