Just Another Day - Career Magazine
Career Magazine from Accenture Belgium & Luxembourg
Just Another DayCareer Magazine from Accenture Belgium & LuxembourgFeatured insideDeveloping an international career /7Various ways to deliver high performance /10Seeking harmony between work and personal life /12Working on vital assignments /16Building a heritage for future generations /18Trainee becomes trainer /22Cover StoryGlobalization - how it impacts youGetting satisfactionfrom what you do. Just another day at theoffice for a high performer.Table of contentsEdito / 3Cover Story Globalization - how it impacts you / 4Deep career development Down Under / 7Active community commitment / 9Wide job variety at Accenture / 10Seeking harmony / 12Two voices, one vision / 14Accenture streamlines the worlds largest chocolate company: Barry Callebaut / 16Building a heritage for future generations / 18Time to make a switch / 21Trainee becomes trainer / 22Time is time / 232 Just Another DayHow would you show the experience of working at Accenture to potential new colleagues? Its an interesting question we have thought long and hard about, as you might imagine. And we have come to the conclusion that the best way to get a grasp of how it feels to work at Accenture is through stories and testimonials from our own people. Which is exactly what this magazine Just Another Day is all about: a look behind the scenes of our offices, projects and clients. Just Another Day immerses you in the captivating and highly varied environment of our company. At Accenture, we work together to help our clients become high-performance businesses. Because our multidisciplinary teams work out the best possible solutions for our clients, we offer our people a wide variety of challenging work. They build deep, marketable skills and experience that add value to their career. For all of us at Accenture, this is just another day at the office - another opportunity to do something remarkable.Theres certainly no lack of diversity at Accenture, with people from thirty-five different nationalities, every imaginable background, degree and qualification. There is the same diversity in the type of jobs we have to offer, too, working with leading companies from a wide range of sectors and industries. At the same time, the stories our people tell show that Accenture succeeds in striking just the right note amid all this diversity. When you work at Accenture, you are given the room to project manage your own career pathway. Regardless of your interest, skills or area of expertise, there are many opportunities for professional growth and development. In Just Another Day we give both practical and actual examples of client projects, and talk about how we are involved in social projects as well. According to the well-known saying, Knowledge is power. But as far as Accenture is concerned, that is a thing of the past. Accenture employs more than 177.000 people in 52 countries. But we dont keep that enormous treasure of knowledge and experience just for ourselves: our aim is to share it with everyone else and with the world. Which is why Just Another Day fits the bill perfectly. With this magazine, we want to help spread and share knowledge about Accenture and what we do. Just Another Day for the people at Accenture, you might say...Laurent De CockHuman Resources DirectorAccenture Belgium & Luxembourg 3Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayThe age of knowledge is power has passed; today, knowledge is for sharing.Copyright 2010 AccentureAll rights reserved.Accenture, its logo, andHigh Performance Deliveredare trademarks of Accenture.Printed on CyclusprintCyclusPrint is made by Dalum Papir A/S. The production process meets rigid quality requirements and is environmentally friendly.Dalum Papir A/S is registered under the EMAS scheme and certified according to ISO 14001 and 9001.The Cyclus products have achieved the environmental accreditations Blauer Engel and Nordic Swan.About Just Another DayThis magazine lets graduates and experienced professionals taste the unique Accenture career experience and lifestyle. Responsible Auditor: Laurent De Cock, HR Director Accenture Belgium & Luxemburg, Waterloolaan 16 Boulevard de Waterloo, 1000 BrusselsSee also experience.accenture.be/justanotherday4 Just Another DayGlobalization - how it impacts youThe contours of the global economy are changing. The dominance of the United States, Europe and Japan is being replaced by a greater spread of worldwide economic power. Emerging economies contribute an ever-increasing share of the worlds output, trade and investment. The world has become multi-polar. Just Another Day takes a closer look at these global changes. And tries to find out what the multi-polar world means to young graduates and experienced professionals. The multi-polar world is characterized by multiple centers of economic power instead of only a few. It is a deeper phase of globalization, driven by economic openness, technology, and multinational strategies. Globalization is now becoming a two-way process in which emerging economies such as India and Brazil - are changing from passive recipients to active players. This leads to economic interdependence in five key dimensions: talent, capital, resources, customers, and innovation.Setting the sceneEmerging markets have a large, fast-growing and increasingly well-educated pool of human resources. About 97 percent of the 438 million people that will join the global workforce by 2050 will come from developing countries. This means that tomorrows teams will increasingly consist of employees from various backgrounds also in Belgium. Creating and managing flexible, cross-cultural operating models will therefore be a key capability. As investors and investments are going global, the concept of a truly Belgian company is about to become less relevant. Moreover, natural resources will become even scarcer as the emerging markets will also need them. Belgian companies will need to take into account these rising resource constraints into their strategies. Access to innovationThe booming middle-class in emerging markets offers major opportunities for Western companies. By 2025, emerging economies will account for more than half of the global consumption. Belgian multinationals have therefore started to adapt their business model to capture market share in these new markets. This new business situation creates opportunities for young graduates and senior profiles, as companies will increasingly compete for top talent.In order to stay competitive, Belgian firms will need to investigate how they can get optimal access to innovation potential, wherever it is located. In the home market, demographic aging will continue to reduce the overall labor supply. Achieving high performance in the multi-polar world will depend on the ability to adjust market focus to constantly shifting locations and sources of competitive advantage. Having a diverse leadership team 5Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayIn the multi-polar world, companies will increasingly compete for top talent.with knowledge about very different markets will be of utmost importance. Managing a mix of physical and virtual teams across several geographies is a major challenge for the future business leaders. Networking with colleagues and clients is key in this field. In this regard, Accentures active community commitment encourages its people to build international networks (more on p. 7).Three drivers for the change in economic geographyThe rise of the multi-polar world is driven by three powerful trends: economic openness, information and communications technology (ICT) and multinational strategies.Over the past two decades, many policies have encouraged economic openness and market liberalization. For example, Belgium has introduced an attractive tax regime via the notional interest deduction. The reach of ICT is a second driver. Since the mid 1990s, faster communications thanks to internet technologies and the increased use of fibre-optic networks have facilitated the spread of business functions across different geographic locations. This resulted in supply chains that snake around the globe. The increasing scale of multinational companies has been the essential catalyst for the multi-polar world. In Belgium, a number of industries have also shown the ambition to expand in size and geographical reach. This trend results in an increasing number of professionals who get the chance to work outside their traditional home markets Accentures people are clearly no exception to that (more on p. 16-17).Key dimensions of the multi-polar worldThe multi-polar world is a new and deeper phase of globalization. The same forces that have lead to the globalizing trend are now helping emerging economies to become important players themselves. This has major implications for business and policy makers: conventional company strategies may no longer apply. Seen through the lens of a CEO, the multi-polar world is one in which customers, resources, employees and sources of capital, innovation and ideas become more geographically dispersed. Companies that compete in the multi-polar world experience an increasing pressure on all of their traditional processes, as customers demand full service, 24/7, worldwide. This holds a major challenge for employers, who have to balance this market demand with their peoples desire for a healthy work-life balance (more on p. 12-13). At the same time, there should be room for social commitment, both on a regional and international scale (more on p. 18-20). Continues on p. 86 Just Another DayWhen you work for Accenture, you can build your own career, step by step, and anyone who is interested, can spread their international wings. Accentures worldwide reach enables everyone to build up a range of exciting experiences while working abroad, sometimes literally on the other side of the world.Ricardo Dupont Ferreira joined Accenture 3 years ago. After graduating as an engineer in Mons, he spent five years working for an industrial company. In the meantime, I obtained an MBA at the Vlerick Leuven Ghent Management School, he recounts. My aim was to use that qualification to do something in conjunction with the practical experience I had already gained. I was looking for a job that would provide me with more of a challenge and variety instead of doing the same job in the same working environment. Accenture offered Ricardo precisely the job he was looking for. One of his first assignments involved him in a project at the nuclear power plant at Tihange. After that, he worked for a while in the Netherlands. A little later, Ricardo was asked whether he was interested in a project in Melbourne.There was great commitment on the part of Accenture in helping to arrange everything especially in obtaining a work visa and finding accommodation not just for me, but for my girlfriend as well, says Ricardo. Once he arrived in Melbourne, he adjusted very well to his new working environment, even though Ricardo is the only foreigner in the Australian team in which he works. Of course it took a little getting used to in the beginning, but thats what appealed to me so much in the proposal to come out here to work in the first place and beginning a totally new job in a completely new environment. Since they arrived, Ricardos girlfriend has also found work in Melbourne. Australia has a good job market. In actual fact, it really wasnt hard for her to find a job out here.Deep career development Down UnderThe link with Accenture enabled Ricardo to be up and running very quickly with the Aussie team. Although Im twenty thousand kilometers from home, Im also with other Accenture people here. And I maintain close contacts with old workmates back in Belgium. The market in Australia is ahead of what is happening in Belgium in the Utility sector. I am sure that the experience I am gaining at the moment here will pay dividends later when I return to help Belgian clients become high performers. After his Australian adventure, Ricardo would like to work in Belgium again for a while. But I can already look back on this project with a great deal of satisfaction. Maybe it wont be my last international assignment. More explanation about international career options at Accenture? Send a mail to email@example.com 7Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayManaging a mix of physical and virtual teams across several geographies is a major challenge for the future business leaders.One global network helps to develop your skils and confidence8 Just Another DayContinued from p. 6Skills determine workforce segmentation As companies begin to organize by value creation rather than geography, traditional boundaries will become less important. For human resources management, this could mean segmenting the workforce by skill level rather than location - with a different talent management strategy for each skill level. Low-skilled workers in developing countries, for example, have a higher potential for health issues such as HIV. This means that businesses will need to develop human resource and support mechanisms that can cope with these problems. For medium-skilled workers, the focus will need to be on training and education in order to develop the highly-skilled workers of tomorrow. Highly-skilled workers will need a strategy to compete in this evolving human resources market as well. Thats why they choose to work for companies that offer their people the possibility to follow their interests and further develop their skills. Accentures deep career development programs are therefore instrumental in attracting talented people in the multi-polar world (see p. 7 and p. 22).High performance The enterprise of the future is likely to look very different from the one we know today. Every company should reflect on how it is affected by the rise of the multi-polar world.The stakes are very high. A pro-active approach will be crucial to reach and maintain high performance in this ever-changing environment. In general, high-performance businesses will be characterized by a clear market focus and positioning, a set of distinctive capabilities and an approach to people and values uniquely adapted to the new realities. Within this frame, Accentures people are challenged to help companies become high performers. Ahead of the curveThe multi-polar world is creating a global market that is filled with opportunity. However, creating sustained competitive advantage has never been so complex. Company strategies need to create maximum value in a context of continuously changing, international business patterns. Adapting to this new business environment is an absolute requirement. Being ahead of the curve is definitely the preferred option. This is particularly true for Belgian companies, which operate within an open economy. With growth comes complexity. As these companies continue to expand and enter new markets, their greatest challenge will be to simplify their global operations internally. At the same time they will need to differentiate their products and services to serve the diverse markets of the multi-polar world. That is the challenge companies are facing, and that is exactly where Accentures people can help to make the difference. With more than 1,200 people in Belgium and Luxembourg, Accenture is a large organization where it is key that everybody feels at home. At home within Accenture and also within a broader business community. The concept of active community commitment contributes to building this sense of belonging. With us, active community commitment is a key concept, says Olivier Gillerot, Senior Executive and head of the Financial Services Client Service Group at Accenture. Most of our people work on projects at the client offices. The client project is the heart of our business and that is the first place where our people need to feel at home. However, they also need to keep contact and feel part of a broader community. Within Accenture, we create an environment to have plenty of contact with all workmates. What is striking in all this is that Accenture develops a group feeling that transcends the boundaries of the national organization. For example, an Analyst starting with Accenture is given two weeks of training in St. Charles, near Chicago, by way of an introduction to the company, explains Olivier. That can often be a defining experience. Its where you start to build up your own international network. Today, fifteen years later, I am still in regular contact with the people I met back then in St. Charles.The people at Accenture get to meet one another in a number of different ways. The most structured form of contact takes place through the various Accenture communities focused on specific client areas or sectors. Within these communities, people can contribute beyond their on-going client project work. Besides that, there are also many informal ways to keep the community feeling through, for example, regular community events, the informal Happy Hour on a Friday evening, plus all the events that are held every year like sports tournaments, and so on.Olivier Gillerot also supports BeLong, the working group that runs the company communities in Belgium and Luxemburg, and which among other things also has its own magazine. A good example of a specific Accenture community is the Rookies. This community provides an opportunity for young rookies at Accenture to get together (more on p. 19). Every year there is a new generation of young graduates who come to work for us, says Olivier. The Rookies community puts them in contact with one another. It is typical that the initiative actually started of its own accord. Communities that are created spontaneously are always the most successful. Accenture also encourages its people to network outside of the company. We are part of the Belgian and Luxembourg Active community commitment builds heritage for future generationsbusiness community, points out Olivier. So it is important to play an active part in it. Initiatives such as the SAP Lounge, the alumni programs from universities and colleges, plus our own alumni community, all offer our people a great opportunity to expand their networks further.At the same time, Accenture is well aware that there is more in life than just business. Accenture people are also citizens of the world, he says. Corporate Citizenship is an important value in our company. Which is why Accenture offers the opportunity to become involved in social projects, both at home and abroad (more on p. 18-20). So Accenture people do not only help clients on the path to high performance, they also know how to have fun and contribute to society along the way! 9Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayThe multi-polar world enforces the free flow of labor. Highly-skilled workers need a strategy to compete in this evolving human resources market.10 Just Another DayChristopher Van Kemseke (1)Programmer, Accenture Technology SolutionsI work on business critical projects. Its my responsibility to deliver top-class results and to communicate them to the client.I have a technological background, but I was never interested in a career as a developer. I always wanted to be involved in projects that really make a difference for the client. Take my first and current project: a major international bank needed support on its main application. This meant we had to write manuals, configure servers, assist in security, connectivity and flows, and more, all very diverse tasks. I quickly took an advanced course in Sweden and today, Im sharing my newly acquired knowledge to help colleagues in other countries.My current project is in the fast moving Financial Industry, where everything needs to be proofed, corrected and double-checked - so a reliable IT-frame is essential. Our support therefore makes the everyday tasks of many people a lot easier. I also love the fact that my contribution is not restricted to technological added value. Next to my main responsibility of delivering top-class results in my everyday job, Im given the chance to communicate the results to the client as well.Christelle Goblet (2)Senior Manager, CRM Service LineWe implemented a new CRM system for a big pharmaceutical company, in a truly international environment. The end user was our main concern. I studied commercial engineering and started in consulting nine years ago. After seven years, I decided to make the jump to Accenture. I immediately joined as a Manager in the CRM service line, which was already my specialty. I was almost immediately staffed on a project at a big pharmaceutical company, implementing a new CRM system for sales representatives. The solution was designed in the UK, built in Spain and deployed in many European countries. I was responsible for the team in Belgium. I was not involved in the technical development, but focused more on the functionalities of the program. It was really a Business Processes project. We were constantly thinking about the end users: training them to work with the solution, redesigning their workflow... The project lasted for one and a half years and I gradually took on more responsibilities. I ended up coaching the team in Greece, which gave me the chance to fully appreciate Accentures big international network. A couple of months ago, I started working on a marketing project at a bank. That is one of the advantages of being in the CRM service line: we dont stick to one industry, so we come across all types of businesses.Various ways to deliver high performanceAccenture is all about diversity and variety: different people with different backgrounds and different skills, working on a wide variety of jobs and helping clients to become high performers. Just Another Day asked a few people about their work. At Accenture, job variety is part of any other day.01 02Mehdi Chatt (3)Analyst, TechnologyHarmonizing processes across seventeen countries and having a direct impact on the performance of industry leaders. Thats a typical working day at Accenture.For my most recent project, I was part of a team at the biggest health care information technologies player on the market. Because they wanted to separate their activities into two divisions, their processes needed to be redesigned. Not a simple task, especially if you know we were at the same time harmonizing all the existing processes in seventeen countries. At the start of my first project, I had to document certain processes and make overviews of those processes. Very clear and defined assignments, but already with the responsibility of delivering high performance. Later, I could lead a team for the implementation of a tool. That meant keeping an eye on deadlines, making sure all team members delivered quality work within their time constraints and presenting the results to the client. So gradually but steadily, my responsibilities increase. And with them, my drive to outperform. We have an abundance of tools to develop our knowledge and skills, but its up to us to use them.Inge Carels (4)Training Consultant, Business Process OutsourcingWhen Accenture has implemented a new system within a clients organization, I make sure the end users learn this new technology.I was a teacher for more than three years, when a friend at Accenture referred me to the management here. I had the right profile to join the Custom Business Process Outsourcing team as a Training Consultant. And at the same time Accenture had the right profile for me: Accenture offered the variety I wanted and gave me the chance to work on interesting projects for leading clients. As a Training Consultant, Im responsible for creating training material such as booklets and e-learning tools and for training employees at the companies where Accenture is implementing a new system or technology. That way, I get to be part of the results a whole Accenture team has worked for. This is very interesting and motivating. On my last project, Accenture designed and implemented a new data gathering software application for an international client. They needed to harmonize all their local systems. After the design and implementation in Spain, the project came our way. We were asked to work through the existing training material and translate and adjust it, so that it could be used for local employees. The big difference between this job and any other is the variety within my preferred field. Im constantly growing and getting better at what I love doing most: teaching, coaching and training. 11Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherday03 04These are only four examples of what a working day looks like at Accenture. Accenture has a wide variety of job profiles. At experience.accenture.be/justanotherday you can take the Career Turning Point Test to find out which Accenture functions are ideal for you.12 Just Another DayWe often read these days about the ways in which people try and maintain a balance between their work and family life. But in actual fact, the word balance is wrong here harmony would be a much more accurate description. So says Steven Poelmans, who researches and teaches on Managing people in organizations at the IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona. Steven has written a book, Harmonizing work, family and personal life From policy to practice, with Paula Caligiuri, Professor Human Resources Management at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The principle of balance assumes that more work automatically means less private time, and vice versa, he states. But in practice this is not the case. Work and private life are not necessarily opposites. They are more like different instruments playing the same piece of music. They make a nicer sound together than they do separately, they complement and strengthen one another.Outdated conflict modelUntil recently, employers and employees based themselves on the assumption that there was an unavoidable conflict between work and private life. And this conflict lead to a number of measures often set out by government departments designed to reduce the impact that work can have on private life. But it appears that this principle is now out of date. By taking harmony as their basic starting point, employers and employees these days can do more than just focus on the solution to the conflict. Its true that employers have taken all sorts of measures in that regard. Some offer childcare facilities, or they have a system of flexible working hours, and sometimes you might find a laundry and ironing service, and so on. While these are all good initiatives in themselves, the challenge still remains of looking for more harmony within that context. Todays employees think carefully about their lives and the efforts they put in at work. Having flexible working hours that enable you to be home in the afternoon for your children is just the first step. Employees only achieve a state of real harmony when they know that their employer is conscious of his social responsibility just as they are themselves. This social awareness is not only expressed through the organizations human resources strategy, but also in the way the company adopts a position in society. These days, employees want a job that has meaning, which contributes to the world. They want a job they can feel good about. Time for selfThe harmony employees are looking for is more than just balancing work with family and vice versa. Its all about fulfilling your life in a sensible, aware manner, says Steven. And that involves selecting a job that fits in with your own priorities. So having your own free time is very important. Employees are not only juggling work and family, but they also want time for themselves. Steven believes that this has to do with the Seeking harmony sharp increase in new forms of family life. In addition to the traditional family where both partners go out to work there are increasing numbers of one-parent families and newly combined families. This diversity also means that having time to yourself is very important, as well as work and family. It also has consequences for employers, who have to understand that the ideal employee is no longer a man who is available full-time and who has no significant other obligations outside work. The number of working women continues to grow, as does the number of families in which both partners have a career.Which of course begs the question of whether employees are succeeding in achieving harmony between their priorities, their personal time and their job. Employers often ask employees to work with more flexibility especially with project-based jobs. And when thats the case, employees not only have to see whether they are actually able to provide the level of flexibility being sought, but also that they are given the opportunity by the employer to restore any disruptions to their work-job harmony after the peak period has passed. One characteristic of the current generation of talent is that they are able to set up this type of two-way traffic of their own accord, rather than wait for the lack of balance to get out of hand. Today we are seeing some employees taking a conscious decision to refuse certain jobs, for example because the work involves frequent international trips. Previous generations were certainly less clearly in step with some proposals. The fact is that the current generation of todays talent has seen how their parents had to put everything aside for their jobs during their working lives. That is something that todays talent wants to avoid at all costs. But that doesnt mean they are not willing to work hard. Its just that the harmony workers are striving for is changing. As their children grow up, for example, the balance between the elements that determine that harmony also shifts.Accenture is familiar with the way in which people position their jobs as part of their lives these days. So the company also takes a very pragmatic approach to allowing its people to find a harmonious balance between work and their private life. One of the things we provide is courses dealing with time management and personal efficiency, says Isabelle Caramazza, Training & Development Lead Belgium & Luxembourg at Accenture. This training teaches our people how to organize their available time better. Self-knowledge forms the foundation for success here. As part of the course you also learn how to assess your own capabilities. This is done partly on the basis of keeping a log in which participants keep detailed records of their work activities. This gives them a better insight into their own efficiency, which in turn shows them where there is room for improvement. And thats important to be able to work well as part of a team, you need to be able to assess each others role properly. In addition, Accenture is currently working on a number of structural initiatives to improve the harmony between work and family. We have a lot of working mothers and fathers in our company, continues Isabelle. Fulfilling oneself as a parent and, at the same time, being able to build your own career are both very important. Depending on what stage you are at, there are various options you can choose to have the flexibility you need at Accenture.Made-to-measure flexibility 13Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdaybetween a meaningful job, family and personal free time, working for a company that has a sense of social responsibility.Todays generation of talent is looking to achieve better harmony between work and their private lives. They are also more mature and assertive, more aware in life and have a clear idea of where they want to go. At the same time, the wishes of the new generation of professionals in todays business world are up for discussion. Steve Poelmans, academic director of the International Center of Work and Family, explains.14 Just Another DayTwo voices, one visionJochen Verniers, Health & Public Service consultant in Accentures Technology department: I graduated in 2003 with a degree in IT from KULeuven. After that, I obtained an additional Master degree in e-communication. I got my first job as a Java developer. In itself it was a good experience, but it wasnt what I wanted to do for the rest of my career. So I put my CV online. It generated quite a bit of response, including from Accenture. A friend of mine worked there and had often talked to me about the company. Not long afterwards, I was working there myself, it must be about a year and a half ago now.Why did you opt for Accenture?Jochen Verniers: I was looking for a job with variety. It quickly became clear that I would not only be working on programming here, but that I could also perform higher level functional tasks. There are lots of young people here, and we have the possibility of working abroad. But the most important aspect is probably that Accenture works in all sorts of business areas. That means you can embark on a great career within the company and it will still accommodate you even if your interests and preferences for certain types of job change over time.What did you start off doing at Accenture?Jochen Verniers: For the first few weeks, I worked mainly on proposals. That way you learn the ropes very quickly and get to know the various departments in the company. And like virtually every new recruit, I was also sent off to the Core Analyst School in St. Charles, near Chicago. After about a month, I was able to start working on a project based on biometrics. We have built a system that links biometric identifiers (fingerprints) to individual persons it will mainly act as a search engine to authenticate and identify people based on their fingerprints.Going deeperWhat direction would you like to see your current job develop in?Jochen Verniers: I have just started on a second project, again with biometrics. This really is something I enjoy doing: getting involved in an innovative area where I can develop my skills. I also have a really broad role within the project, because my job covers more than just the technical side.Do you have any time left over for activities outside work?Jochen Verniers: My girlfriend also works at Accenture, in the marketing department. Which, of course, is a great return from my job here... Next to this, I play for football club Kampenhout in the provincial first division. Our aim is to finish in the top half of the division this season.On the road to discoveryGretel Vanseer, BPO Sales and Solutions: I have a degree in civil engineering from the VUB. I specialized in mechanical engineering and had a soft spot for risk management. I made my thesis in collaboration with a car manufacturer close to home. At the end I was offered a position in the maintenance area, but I didnt accept. In my mind, I just got started with exploring the professional world. I was not ready to settle down in one particular job. I wanted to learn more on how a company is effectively managed, understand the different processes behind it and get the big picture. Then I received an invitation to come and meet Accenture. Which aspects of the company appealed to you?Gretel Vanseer: Accenture was able to offer me exactly what I wanted as a freshly graduated engineer: working on a project basis in different sectors, with different companies, in different domains and in an international 15Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayenvironment. So I applied and got the job! Throughout the years, I have been able to get a good view on how working at other companies looks like, and Accenture remains the best place for me.How did Accenture offer you the space you wanted to discover new things?Gretel Vanseer: I arrived at Accenture during the big ERP boom, in the mid-nineties. I started out on the finance and accounting side of SAP implementations: quite a challenge for an engineer who has been taught to ask why, even on fixed rules and regulations. The nice thing about implementing ERP systems is that you learn the basic processes of a company and the interdependencies. This helped me to further take on roles in a broader business context.Driving yourselfThat led to an idea that has grown into a department of more than hundred people. Where did that drive come from?Gretel Vanseer: The implementation and business projects have provided me with the bigger picture I was looking for, so I was continuously looking for something new. Thats when I became involved with outsourcing. After having tasted from both application and process outsourcing, I was given the opportunity to develop a new business in that area. How do you combine a busy job with your family life?Gretel Vanseer: Im married and I have two children. Of course its a balancing act to combine a family with a busy job, but anyone who knows me will tell you that I need this job in order to be myself. I really couldnt do without it. But having said that, I want to take my children to school and make sure that Im at home when they need me. It all boils down to good planning.Young people choose a study pathway based on their passions and interests. And thats the way it should be! But embarking on a course is one thing, getting a job is another. Two people from Accenture, Jochen Verniers & Gretel Vanseer, talk frankly about the way they came to be acquainted with the company after completing their studies. And although they are different persons, they are both highly passionate about the things they do, professionally and privately. 16 Just Another DayAccenture has officially been preferred partner for Barry Callebaut since 2007. The cooperation between the two companies is designed to make the transfer of knowledge between the two organizations run even more smoothly. The partnership is based on the excellent relationship that Barry Callebaut and Accenture have developed in working together since 2000. Peter De Voldere has watched the entire process develop from up close and is already on his third major project for Barry Callebaut.Barry Callebaut is the worlds largest manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, with a total output in excess of one million tons a year. The company employs a workforce of 7,500 in 24 countries and has a turnover of approximately 2.5 billion EUR. Head office is in Zurich, but Barry Callebauts biggest chocolate factory and indeed in the entire world is in Wieze, just outside Aalst. Just Another Day had an appointment at the factory to talk to Peter De Voldere, Senior Manager, Technology SAP. For the past eight years, Peter has been working on a number of business transformation projects at Barry Callebaut. But to put the story of Barry Callebaut properly in perspective, we first need to go a little further back in time. Barry Callebaut came into being in 1996 as the result of the merger between the Belgian company, Callebaut, and Frances Cacao Barry. In 2000, Barry Callebaut decided to focus more on Europe, explains Peter De Voldere. Up until then, the various businesses had been organized more on a per-country basis. But Barry Callebaut wanted to achieve greater efficiency and one of the ways it planned to do this was by organizing areas of its business such as quoting & pricing, purchasing raw materials, production planning and accounting, on a European level. Accenture put forward the idea that this could be done transforming, harmonizing and integrating the business processes on a European level, to improve company risk management, reduce operational cost, and increase customer service levels. Both Callebaut and Cacao Barry had developed their own way of working. To achieve the necessary degree of business integration, we implemented the concept of a European Supply Company consolidating all market risks. As a consequence we had to re-implement, integrate and upgrade Barry Callebauts SAP environment. Good vibeAfter about a year, we began to see that the project was generating more return on investment than we had originally budgeted for, continues Peter. Of course, that created a very good vibe within Barry Callebaut. In practical terms, Accenture worked on reorganizing a number of operating processes. Many of these processes were carried out in other ways in the various countries. In many cases the At Barry Callebaut we changed the engine while the vehicle was riding fast.Streamlining the worlds largest chocolate company.Just another day at the office for Peter.process organization needed to be transferred from a local to a central level. What we had to do could be compared with replacing an engine while the vehicle was still riding. We had to redesign a whole range of operating processes, while at the same time keeping the normal pace of production at Barry Callebaut unchanged as though nothing was happening. Developing the required conversion plan step by step presented a significant challenge. Implementing the project took a year and a half and involved about thirty people from Accenture. Peter De Voldere was responsible for the sourcing part of the project at Barry Callebaut and ran part of the FOCUS project (Focus On Customer Service). We worked on it with a team of five or six SAP specialists, he recalls. Our aim was to make the entire purchasing process run smoothly from ordering the goods to receiving the invoice and so help the purchasing department to operate better. With upgraded contract management tools and an enhanced pricing system to hand, sales contract managers were able to pre-calculate the margins more accurately and provide the customer with better service.Top speedAfter that, Peter worked on two other business transformation projects at Barry Callebaut. In 2002, the company acquired Stollwerck, a German manufacturer of chocolate products aimed at the consumer market. Once again, Accenture was called on to harmonize the acquired companys processes with Barry Callebauts, integrating the new business unit into the Barry Callebaut group, in terms of processes, systems, and people. There was too poor a view of Stollwercks sales contract portfolio, which made it difficult to control centrally, he remembers. In many respects the project was comparable to what we had already done previously at Barry Callebaut. The project was given the name Thalys, after the high-speed train that runs from Cologne Stollwercks headquarters to Belgium. We also chose the name because we needed to achieve the intended benefits from the project at very high speed. The Thalys project ran from 2005 until mid-2007.A second follow-up assignment took place in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The starting point was the same as it was for the original FOCUS project, Peter explains. But there were also some important differences. Some aspects of the project that had posed a major challenge in Europe were already as they should be in America. We are confident that Barry Callebaut in Europe will benefit from some of the experiences we are having in America. For this project, Peter was given a new role. He put together a local team for the United States, Canada and Mexico and is now responsible for coordination between the team at Accenture and the people at Barry Callebaut. 17Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherday18 Just Another DayBuilding a heritage for future generationsEveryone can develop themselves fully at Accenture and become more deeply involved in specific interests and achieve individual ambitions. At the same time, Accenture is well aware that there is more to life than business alone, so the company attaches a great deal of importance to Corporate Citizenship. Accenture has both feet firmly planted in society and enjoys sharing its success with others: both with its own people and with the local and international community. Moreover, many communities are alive within Accenture itself. But the company also demonstrates good Corporate Citizenship. Everyone who works at Accenture is given the opportunity via both local and international projects to help make a difference and contribute towards creating a better world.Rookies Community Every year, a new generation of graduates comes to work for Accenture. Accenture provides a working environment in which people can share the knowledge and experience they have built up with each other. Networking is also very important. Analysts discover this for themselves when they attend their Core Analyst School in St. Charles, near Chicago. And in Belgium and Luxembourg, new Accenture staffers have found the energy and dynamism to create their own Rookies community. We provide a platform where young new people can meet, says Jeroen Vanderhaeghen, Community Lead for the Rookies. This particular program is aimed at analysts and people who are genuinely new to the job. The aim is to create a social environment in which you can get to know one another better. Of course, its also the kind of thing that really strengthens professional links between colleagues. All Analysts from Technology, Management Consulting and Accenture Technology Solutions, can join the Rookies.Jeroen Vanderhaeghen studied chemistry and industrial management at KULeuven and has himself only been with Accenture for a year. His co-members on the Rookies committee there are fifteen of them in total are all people who have been with Accenture for less than two years. Last year I took part in various community activities, he says. That enabled me to get to know a lot of other people from different levels in the company. It also got me started on developing my own network within Accenture. The activities run by the community are first and foremost leisure-based, such as after-work parties. And its the ideal meeting place for new hires to get together. Many rookies quickly find themselves working on a project out of the office at a clients premises. The activities put on by the Rookies committee give them the opportunity to maintain contact with their workmates, as well as get to know them in a different way. Its all part of their professional training. Because once you have met people face to face, or spoken to them, the ice is already broken should you need to ask them a work-related question at a later stage.Corporate Citizenship nationalFor Thomas Grumeau, Accenture is his first working experience. He graduated in commercial sciences and joined Accenture Business Services earlier this year. I work on project governance with a financial institution, he explains. Accenture is involved in the planning of the project, so that the bank is able to monitor whether its whole IT project is going according to plan. At Accenture, Thomas learnt that each year the company provides financial support for a range of selected organizations via the Accenture Giving Program, which is aimed at providing a helping hand to people from Accenture who are themselves involved in a social organization. Thomas put forward Het Balanske in Sint-Joris-Winge to be included in the program. Het Balanske is a leisure care centre for people with a handicap, he says. The centre organizes all sorts of activities that enable the handicapped to spend their free time in a relaxing and purposeful way. Other members of their family are also welcome join in.Snoezelen (Sniff n Doze) is one of the activities put on by Het Balanske. The concept for the activity comes from the Netherlands. Its all about enabling people with a handicap to experience something unique and is aimed at stimulating their senses in a peaceful environment. The entire ground floor at Het Balanske has now been kitted out with areas designed for Snoezelen and includes a large waterbed, a music room, a bath filled with balls, an area with all sorts of lighting effects, and so on. Disabled children are not able to go along to football training or music classes on a Wednesday afternoon or at the weekend like other children. So Het Balanske offers them a great alternative. Not just Snoezelen, either, but also for dance expression, music and other activities.Accenture is supporting a project for Cyber Snoezelen. Using a PC with adapted hardware and software, the children can play games, learn how to send e-mails, learn to read and much more. Cyber Snoezelen is aimed at promoting digital inclusion. Cyber Snoezelen also improves the childrens self-image, boosts their powers of concentration and gives them more independence. Im really pleased that Accenture has given its support to the project, because one of my nieces is handicapped. We have already had various birthday parties for her at Het Balanske. Thats how I got to know the centre. I am very proud that all of the kids and families at Het Balanske are able to count on a helping hand from Accenture via the Corporate Citizenship Giving Program. 19Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayActive support for local and international communities and projects.20 Just Another DayCorporate Citizenship - internationalTim Weglewski (see picture p. 18) qualified first as a bioengineer and then did an additional course on business economics before joining the team at Accenture. Tim specializes in data migration and supply chain projects in areas such as the pharmaceuticals sector. When Tim joined Accenture, he came into contact with the concept of the Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP). The ADP program was actually born out of the experience of one of the Accenture senior executives in London, who did some VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) work. The aim of ADP is to pass on Accentures experience to others through development projects, in particular in a way that is economically justifiable both for Accenture and for the organization we set up the partnership with. In practical terms, it means that Accenture gains no profit from these partnerships and the consultant who signs up for the program takes a temporary salary cut. Tim found this a unique way of approaching his job from another angle and so put his name forward to work on an ADP project.In the spring of 2007, I completed the work project I was involved in. After that, I could start on an ADP project for Unicef. The United Nations fund for children distributes vitamin A capsules in tens of countries. The capsules are made available by the Canadian Micro-Nutrient Initiative and are provided for young children and lactating mothers. Vitamin A is essential for building up the immune system. But the way the capsules were being handed out by the local teams was pretty inefficient, says Tim. Which meant that the vitamins didnt always get to the right children. So Accenture sent out a team of three consultants from as many different countries including Tim to reorganize distribution in the field. Over a period of six months we traveled to countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Congo, the Philippines, Pakistan and Indonesia. Once there, we looked at the logistics around the capsules distribution and came up with recommendations to improve things. Of course Tims expertise gained on supply chain projects was especially useful here. The ADP project also gave him a totally new experience. From a personal point of view, I found it very rewarding. You get to know other countries and cultures, as well as gain a great deal from it professionally. You are literally transported into a totally different world a world that is usually a million miles from your familiar day-to-day activities at Accenture.Mehmet Koc graduated in 1997 as an accountant from the EPHEC Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales. He immediately found a job as a junior accountant with a major pharmaceuticals company. Within four years, he had been promoted to senior accountant. I did that job with all the enthusiasm, required for four years, he relates. But what I really wanted to do was expand my horizon. So Mehmet got a new job as part of the team supporting the companys worldwide SAP implementation in Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria. I worked for two years on the actual implementation side of things, including carrying out tests beforehand and providing support afterwards. Then I spent two years on various other SAP projects. Trouble was, all of these jobs were in the functional area of accounts payable in SAP. It was very interesting stuff in itself, but I also wanted to learn new things and take on more responsibility. That just wasnt going to be possible with my old employer. Which was very unfortunate, because there was a great working atmosphere there and the job was close to home. In fact I sometimes walked to the office. But at the same time, I felt held back, so I really couldnt stay there any longer.People with SAP experience are in a good position on the job market. So Mehmet had the luxury of being able to choose the employer he wanted in a highly targeted way. It all went very quickly, actually, he says. Accenture is a strong company, with an excellent name. That was very important as far as I was concerned. I also had a very good feeling about the interview. I got a clear picture about the companys philosophy, methodology and objectives. But for Mehmet, it was the sheer job content that clinched it in favor of Accenture. Salary and advantages were not the first priority at that time for me. I knew that I would be given the opportunity at Accenture to learn more about SAP and build up experience in various functional areas, working with companies in a wide range of sectors. Thats what appealed to me most in the first place.Today, Mehmet is working on a SAP Time to make a switch? 21Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayproject in the food industry. My assignment is complete now, he says. I have a particular interest in the financial sector. Thats where I would like to work in a future project. In the longer term, he would also like to spend a while working in the world of SAP. Of course, things are hard to predict, he admits. The way things look now, Ill continue along the beaten track for the time being. SAP is a very wide-ranging product and has been extremely successful all over the world. I suspect there is still plenty for me to discover in this area. And I am pretty sure that Accenture will go on offering me opportunities to continue on that journey of discovery. If you consider a job switch, you can discover Accentures wide job variety at experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayAccenture considers it very important that the people in the company are able to follow their own interests. When someone needs to tackle a new challenge, Accenture makes sure that he or she is given the necessary training and support. So it is hardly surprising to find that Accenture is the right employer for anyone who didnt find the flexibility they wanted in their old job.The Accenture Development Partnerships program enables Accenture people to make a positive contribution to a better world.22 Just Another DayAnyone who joins Accenture as a young graduate has the opportunity to get fully acquainted with their new career commitment by going on a two-week course at the Core Analyst School in St. Charles, close to Chicago. Once there, people are given a very targeted look at Accentures structure and methodology as well as at each other, of course. Training remains an important part of the life of every Accenture person throughout their entire career with the company. In addition to the annual core training, you can continue to update your knowledge by signing up for all sorts of specialized training programs. And if you are interested in being on the other side of the fence, there will also be a chance to present courses yourself. This method of working is typical of Accenture: their whole methodology is focused on passing on as much knowledge as possible, while promoting the exchange of experiences.Caroline Franckx, consultant in Accentures Technology department: Those two weeks of training in the States were truly a fantastic experience. Its the ideal way to get to know the company and establish your first contacts with other Accenture people from all over the world. You learn how Accenture goes about tackling projects and delve into a whole range of different business cases. You also gain an insight into the way in which Accenture is structured as a company, as well as what roles the various employees play, what tools are available to them, and so on. Evy Theunis, consultant in Accentures Management Consulting department: The Core Analyst School uses all sorts of presentations, exercises and testimonials to provide a highly matter-of-fact picture of what working at Accenture means in practical terms. But the most important thing is probably learning to deal with different cultures. Caroline Franckx: You get to know a whole lot of new people in a short space of time. These new acquaintances then become work colleagues who can help you at a later stage in your job. I am still in frequent contact with lots of the people I met during my two weeks in St. Charles.Anyone who has built up experience as a consultant can also apply to present some of the induction training at the Core Analyst School. So what exactly do they do?Evy Theunis: First you need to have built up a certain level of expertise in a specific area. Then there is a selection process. Last year, I spent three weeks in St. Charles. I started off by doing another week of training myself, part of which included presentation techniques. After that I was allowed to present two weeks of training myself.Caroline Franckx: I really wanted to teach at the Core Analyst School, because I simply think it is extremely important to pass on that commitment sharing knowledge to new members of staff. This initial course is where they can build up the skills they need in a sheltered environment. That way we dont just leave them to their fate. What are the prospects like for further training at Accenture?Caroline Franckx: Each year, every consultant goes on a course that deals with Accentures methodology. In addition, there is also an enormous range of different types of additional education and training: both conventional and online. Imagine you want to specialize more in a particular functional area of ERP logistics, for example, or human resources well, there is a targeted course available for doing just that.Evy Theunis: Working in consultation with the human resources department and your own personal training advisor, you can select a course from the training program for which you are eligible. Myself, I help to guide people who want to specialize in consultancy for the finance industry. I make sure that they are clearly aware of everything that is available to them Trainee becomes trainerfrom the range of courses. Employees such as myself in conjunction with human resources also form a point of contact for people who are looking for a specific type of course. That way, we often help them to choose the right direction for what they want to do.How do you personally make use of the opportunity to go on additional courses? Evy Theunis: I have been with Accenture for three years now and am beginning to get a better view of the direction I want my career to go in. I studied IT, but I am particularly interested in what happens on the business side of things. I would like to be involved in developing the business strategy of a financial institution. I am currently doing a course focused on gaining a better insight into the financial world. This course is done partly at Accenture and partly externally.Caroline Franckx: I have worked on various projects for one client in the food industry in Belgium. Over time, I have developed into the Project Lead for that companys operation in Bulgaria. There is a team of thirty people working on it. As you would expect, Accenture has given me the opportunity to support the whole evolution of the project which goes from implementation to project management with all the education and training I need. That really is Accentures great strength. You can make your own way here and keep yourself up to speed on the topics you find most exciting.Learning doesnt stop when you walk out of the classroom. Accenture offers access to over 20,000 online courses, virtual classroom courses, and other learning resources to meet almost any business need. Accenture people also learn while they are on the job - they are learning every minute of every day of their Accenture career.Are todays twentysomethings really rather lazy than tired? Or might it be a question of time? Since stocks of time shrink over the years, youd expect the value of time, for example, to increase as people get older. Young professionals, however, seem to have just as much quality time to lose as their senior colleagues, these days. People in their twenties want to take the lot: an exciting social life, a fun relationship, several trips a year, study, experiences and on top of that: make their debut in professional life. And theres more. Starters grew up knowing theyd have to work longer, harder and more. They saw their parents work like madmen for decennia, up until the point they lost touch with their families. Young professionals want to prevent burn-out syndrome and alienation from life itself. This awareness makes young people stop and think before they even take off: what is it I really, really want? As it turns out a flourishing career is nice to have, but not indispensable. Lack of time - perception or reality - causes conflicts between generations in a working context. Whose work/ life balance has the priority? No wonder, some HR Managers have started examining ways to incorporate quality time in their strategies to reward their (young) staff. They hold out the prospect of leisure time and not Time is time 23Visit experience.accenture.be/justanotherdayStarters just want to live 99 lives. The idea of missing anything is terrifying, though the possibility of making a choice that turns out badly, is even worse.money to employees, as a time bonus, for example. Or they compensate, lets say, excellent client service with leisure time gift vouchers.As the value of time increases, one would - finally - expect people to be ever more willing to pay for time saving products and services. Why this nonetheless not automatically seems to be the case, recently puzzled researchers of Harvard Business School. They came up with the Ikea effect as an explanation: the time spent to assemble a cupboard yourself generates added value.How much added value? Well... Still, it definitely seems time to make some money out of time!Nathalie Bekx (firstname.lastname@example.org) is trend researcher and a.o. general manager of trend research agency Bexpertise. 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.Visit experience.accenture.beChoose Accenture for a career where the variety ofopportunities and challenges allows you to make adifference every day. A place where you can developyour potential and grow professionally, workingalongside talented colleagues. The only place whereyou can learn from our unrivalled experience, whilehelping our global clients achieve high performance.If this is your idea of a typical working day, thenAccenture is the place to be.Its not where you started, itswhere youre going that matters. Just another day at theoffice for a high performer.