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From user to consultant: my path to Rödl & Partner

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published on 7 December 2021

   

Sometimes the paths to a career start and further professional development are not always clear and even change. In this blog post, I'll tell you which stations I went through, how the experience I gained there helped me, and how I can now contribute it as a consultant.
 

The classic way

After leaving school, I started my vocational training as a warehouse logistics specialist at a production company that produces sweet, delicious and versatile foods. In addition to the standard goods movements (incoming goods, stock transfers, outgoing goods) that exist in every trading and production company, handling food involves a few special requirements that I was not even aware of before: maintaining the cold chain, tracing batches for quality control, the constant checking of best-before dates, the general, high-level food hygiene in producing companies, and product-appropriate storage are exciting topics that were conveyed in a practical way during the training. Another challenge was the planning of the production lines. For example, it made sense to produce “light” products such as muesli and also muesli bars first, before it was the turn of “dark” products, in order to minimize cleaning times.
 
Everything – the control of goods, the planning of production and, of course, the purchase and sale of goods were systematically recorded here in an ERP and planning and control system. I was allowed to record my work steps in this system (SAP) and could immediately see the results. In this way, I was able to immerse myself in many areas of the company during the course of my training. I learned more about core business topics such as demand planning, order planning, order quantity optimization and so on.
 

From food into the air

After my vocational training, I was given the opportunity to start working for Lufthansa Technik in the engine maintenance department. This was a completely different area from the food industry, but at least as exciting for me to discover. I was jointly responsible for the logistical processes. This involved, for example, how the engines get from the aircraft to the warehouse. When does which aircraft from which company land in Fuhlsbüttel? When are which checks due? What resources do I need to disassemble and assemble the engines? Do I have enough spare parts in stock and when do I have to order again so that they can be processed on time and on schedule?
 
Coordinating all of this, together as a team, was one of my daily tasks; again, of course, software-driven in an SAP system. Interestingly, not everything. I was able to use my ideas to make some processes (that were carried out manually and on paper) a bit easier for my colleagues and myself to handle computer-aided, and thus complete the tasks more quickly. Observing things, understanding the meaning and contributing possible suggestions for improvement is fun for me; the added value this has brought has made my colleagues and me happy.
 

My first workshop

At the same time, during my vacation, I got the chance to accompany a logistics workshop as an observer. It was a trading company with several warehouses, where the main warehouse were big as as ten soccer fields. On this day, the topic was “goods issue with packing stations and its handling of yard goods” (hoses on rolls). Here, too, I learned about processes that I had never thought about before. For example, did you know that it is incredibly difficult to manage cut hoses in an ERP system? What is the remaining length? Can we still service the orders from that roll? All in all, we have the desired quantity there, but on different rolls. But no one wants to have offcuts.
 
Seeing, understanding, introducing solutions, improving processes, defining common goals in discussions and working out the way to achieve them: What I have learned so far, what I have experienced in processes and in alignment with IT systems, what I have seen in this workshop day, I would like to practice much more intensively from now on. At this point it was clear to me: I want to move to the other side of the table. I want to move from being a user to being a consultant, because new topics from a wide variety of companies are always being tackled here.
 

My path to Rödl & Partner

Thanks to this experience, my first practical experience, and with a little help from connections, I got into conversation with the people in charge at Rödl Dynamics. In April 2021, I started my new professional challenge at Rödl & Partner as a Junior Consultant Retail in the field of IT consulting. I was excited! Unfounded, as I was given contact persons who guided me wonderfully through the onboarding process and thus made my first days as easy as possible. As part of the training academy, we were familiarized with Finance and Operations and introduced to the systems in the product portfolio. Even before I started, I received my completely preconfigured notebook and other documents. After starting the notebook, I could immediately access the systems I needed. When I started Outlook there was even a welcome email already included. My first project was an independent ERP implementation: This allowed me to apply knowledge and know-how early on in the customer project.
 
Now I'm sitting on the other side of the table: Every day brings new tasks, challenges and variety: I'm continuously learning new things about processes and products, here especially the Microsoft products like Dynamics 365 or the Power Platform. Exactly what I had in mind. And it's only the beginning. I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead. 

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Pascal Rey y Sander

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