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.


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.