Supply Value is an independent consultancy in the field of Procurement, Supply Chain, Digital and Performance Management. Our employees and partners are the basis for our success: as they grow, Supply Value grows as a company.
Curious about what our consultants are experiencing? In this section they share their experiences. This time we introduce Bram Stevens. Bram is a consultant in the field of Performance Management, he advises in the field of performance management and chain collaboration. In this insight, Bram explains how he approaches this and what experience helps him in this.
About Bram's work as a consultant
In November 2018 I started as a consultant at Supply Value, after I also wrote my master thesis at Supply Value. The content of my master was related to analyzing complex problems and making strategic decisions. Balancing the various interests of stakeholders was central to this. It surprised me how quickly I could put theory into practice on my first assignment.
Below is a selection of the assignments that Bram has completed so far.
Strategic scenarios in the telecom market
My first assignment for Supply Value was to explain strategic choices for an organization in the telecom market. I evaluated and compared the performance of this organization and its competitors using data analytics. Based on this, I worked out four possible future scenarios together with employees from the organization, which the organization used to determine its policy for the coming year.
The best compliment I received from the client here was that I was able to integrate quickly and well into the existing organization. As a consultant you will of course always end up in an organization that you are not yet familiar with. I believe that in such a situation it is important to be able to integrate quickly into the group, and to have both formal and informal contact with people from the organization. This enabled me to form a better picture of the context of the organization and its issues. If you can experience these different perspectives yourself, and thus assess which follow-up steps are suitable or not, you can provide your client with much better and well-considered advice.
Creating alignment within a G4 municipality
Besides the fact that I think it is important to integrate into an organization, it is also crucial to create support for a proposed solution and to get commitment from all involved. With the various assignments I have carried out, it can sometimes be difficult to get everyone on the same page. An interesting method that helps to achieve this is Group Model Building. I have already used this for several clients. I have described an example case in more detail here. The use of this model helps to translate divided interests into a common goal, which broadens support for change.
Serious Gaming in mobility
A successful tool in the field of change management is playing a serious game. This serves as an accessible starting point for communicating an organizational change, or clarifying an existing process. When making a serious game for one of my clients, I acted as project leader. There I continuously learned to find the balance between creating my own vision for the game and being open to input from the project group. They had more practical knowledge, I about making a serious game. There you immediately encounter the field of tension between theory and practice: that requires finding the right balance. At this client, we used the game to make it clear to various stakeholders what it involves when changes have to be made in the metro area. A complex process that involves a lot. The game taught participants to look from the perspective of the other, which in turn creates more understanding between different chain partners. That was very cool to see.
In general, the balance between theory and practice is something that really interests me. Supply Value has a lot of knowledge from theory and scientific frameworks, but also knows how to make this applicable in practice. This means that we do not use an existing method one-on-one, but rather look at what is needed in the organization and see which elements from our 'toolbox' we can apply to it.
The importance of personal development
In the past two years I have followed an extensive training program and have carried out various assignments for various clients. What I like about the training program is that Supply Value offers you a lot of flexibility. My experience is that you are given the space and responsibility to give substance to the content yourself. I have chosen, among other things, the Lean Six Sigma training, which has had great added value for me personally.
This offered me a way to better structure the knowledge I had already gained during my studies, and to make the link to process improvement in practice. I have also applied this directly with my current client, where I have structured a process using this method. We then jointly identified opportunities for improvement, and the most important three points for improvement were immediately implemented in a new process. This process is now actively monitored by a process manager using a dashboard that was set up during this improvement process.
In my spare time I like to play tennis, soccer, or garden in my vegetable garden. My balcony is now filled with all kinds of plants. My newest addition (and proud) is a beautiful banana plant! Not many people know this about me, but now that the weather is starting to get nicer, I regularly sit between the tomato plants on the balcony. They smell wonderful, and I find it very relaxing.