Working as a consultant at Focus Enterprise Solutions
An interview with Kasper van Klooster
Kasper van Klooster has been working at Focus Enterprise Solutions since May 2021 as a Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management consultant. We asked him how he experiences working at Focus Enterprise Solutions and what makes his work so interesting. Are you looking for a new challenge? We currently have several vacancies for consultants!
Tough start due to corona measures
“To be very honest,” Kasper begins his story, “in the beginning it was quite difficult to find my way within Focus Enterprise Solutions, (then Broad Horizon Solutions). Of course, I was employed at the time when all corona measures were still in full force and therefore my onboarding mainly took place online. Normally, of course, it takes place in the office, but because when everyone was forced to work from home, that was not possible. Through online meetings I got acquainted with the different teams and if I indicated that I wanted to know more about something, a separate appointment was scheduled for that. That was of course nice, but it took longer before I really knew everyone. If everyone is in the office, you will have a chat faster and get to know your colleagues in a more informal way. In the end we succeeded, but it was still quite a challenge. Not only in getting to know my colleagues, but also afterwards: how can you join projects and make yourself useful? Fortunately, onboarding sessions for new colleagues are now largely back in the office.”
“If a colleague gives a training for a customer and explains new functionality, he also shares his knowledge with the rest of the organization.”
“Our customers are very diverse,” Kasper continues, “and that means that every project is different. As a consultant for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, it is my job to collect the wishes and requirements of our customer and then to investigate to what solutions can be used. Since every customer has his own wishes, but especially his own processes, this is a challenging job. After the inventory of the working method and requirements, the focus is often on the deviations. These are the processes and actions that are customer-specific and that do not fit within the standard solutions of Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management. In consultation with the customer, I then look at whether custom work really needs to be built, whether we can solve it with an ISV product or whether they still have to adjust their working method or process a bit. Of course, the costs play a role in this, but also the question of which other systems they already use. Do they come from AX on-premise and do they want to go to the cloud? Or do they now have a completely different system? Those kinds of questions and discussions with customers really make the work of a consultant at Focus Enterprise Solutions varied!”
Our customers are very diverse and that means that every project is different.”
You’re not alone
“Especially other software packages that are in use by the customer occasionally cause headaches. How can we set up the links with these systems in such a way that both systems work optimally and integrate seamlessly with each other? Fortunately, I can always call my colleagues if I do not immediately have a solution, or do not know how to shape the link. On larger projects you often already have two Supply Chain Management consultants and then you immediately have a sparring partner. But even on smaller projects, there is always the safety net of other colleagues that you can ask for advice. That gives you the confidence you need to bring every project to a successful conclusion.”
Continuing to develop is important
“Within Focus Enterprise Solutions, it is important that you continue to develop yourself. That is why, as an employee, you are given all the space you need to certify yourself. To encourage that, space is even kept free for you in your calendar. Time that you can spend on your development is therefore sufficient. Of course you have to show initiative yourself, but Focus Enterprise Solutions does everything to make it possible to continue to develop yourself.
We also notice more and more that customers are well aware of new developments at Microsoft. Although they often only have high-level knowledge, it does ensure that they ask questions faster and expect the answer from us. That is also why it is important to keep your knowledge up to date. Within Focus Enterprise Solutions there are opportunities to participate in internal projects. In these projects, a team consisting of consultants, solution architects and developers dives into a new technology from Microsoft. At the moment I work once a week on an internal project in the field of Microsoft Power Platform. This not only helps us with the customer, but we also inform our colleagues internally, so that everyone gets knowledge and feeling with it. Even if you may not yet work with it on a daily basis with your customers. “
“We have a monthly meeting in which we discuss the state of affairs on the projects with each other, but where new functionalities can also be discussed. And if there is a need for deepening, we will schedule a separate session for this. Online or in the office, just what suits you best.”
“The knowledge we gain is actively shared within Focus Enterprise Solutions. At the moment, this is often still largely done by e-mail: colleagues who have followed a Microsoft session, for example, share the interesting aspects of that session. Or if a colleague gives a training for a customer and explains new functionality, he also shares his knowledge with the rest of the organization. Before corona, there were also monthly sessions that were entirely focused on sharing knowledge, but those have disappeared a bit due to the corona measures. I’ve heard that those pizza sessions will come back, but at the moment people are finding ways to keep each other informed of new developments and applications. I think that is what we have learned from the corona period: also informing each other in other ways.
In addition, there is a monthly meeting in which we discuss the state of affairs on the projects with each other, but where new functionalities can also be discussed. And if there is a need for deepening, we will schedule a separate session for this. Online or in the office, just what suits you best .”
“Since the organizational change from Broad Horizon to Focus Enterprise Solutions, the lines have become even shorter: you can always knock on everyone’s door for a chat or if you have a problem.”
Freedom without barriers
“Because within Focus Enterprise Solutions it is not mandatory to work in the office, but it is possible. Hybrid working is really the norm here. If you prefer to work from home and your calendar allows it, that’s no problem at all. Of course, this is always done in consultation with the customer: at the beginning of a project, you will have to be at the customer’s location more often to get to know the company and the people well. But at a later stage, more is often possible and you can work partly at home, partly at the office and partly at the customer.
Personally, I like to go to the office at least once or twice a week. The atmosphere is good and it is nice to have colleagues around you again after so long mandatory working from home. Since the organizational change from Broad Horizon to Focus Enterprise Solutions, the lines have become even shorter: you can always knock on everyone’s door for a chat or if you have a problem. Everyone, including management, is in the same room. That means that you never have to cross a threshold to talk or consult with someone,” he concludes.
Are you interesting in working at Focus Enterprise Solutions. after reading this interview? Then apply for the position as a consultant. Check our careers website for our various vacancies: werkenbij.focus-solutions.nl (this website is in Dutch, but if you are intersted in working at Focus Enterprise Solutions as a consultant, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
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