In the last profile in our 2017 series, we hear from Sylvain Poncet on what it’s really like to work at OEE Consulting, and the importance of delivering a great customer experience.
Role: Senior Consultant
Experience: Business Manager – Head of Operations at VINCI Energies; Sales Manager at VINCI Energies
Education: MBA from Imperial College Business School; Master of Engineering from ENSEEIHT Toulouse
Worked with OEE Consulting since: September 2016
Describe OEE Consulting in three words.
Trustworthy, humanistic, committed.
What was your route into consulting with us?
After six years of experience in the telecoms industry, and having completed an MBA, I was looking for a new challenge in my career. The consulting industry appealed because you have to constantly challenge the status quo, thinking and acting quickly to solve your clients’ problems. I also found the purpose of consulting work fulfilling because it helps businesses and the people who work there.
What has surprised you most about the company since joining?
Since joining OEE Consulting I truly feel part of a community of people, almost a family, who genuinely enjoy working together, helping each other and developing themselves. This is a unique experience so far in my professional life.
How do you start a project?
A project always starts in the same way. You need to do your homework and research about the industry, the company and its clients. Then it is fundamental to engage with the client and listen to the problem they face. You have to be humble and open minded to address the unique factors in each situation.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day starts with an initial plan which can change very quickly. The consultant life is really unpredictable and that’s also what makes this job so exciting. It is essential to be flexible with your plan because the priorities of the client are the most important.
There are two key types of activities in most days: engagement and stakeholder management activities, to make sure that you know the client’s goals and work with them to be successful, and independent time designing solutions to particular issues.
What have you learnt?
I’ve learnt that a good consultant will not be differentiated by their technical abilities, because the consulting industry is full of smart and bright people. Your engagement style and ability to build a trusting relationship is the real differentiator.
What do you think are the definitive challenges the industry faces?
Customer experience and designing the right target operating model are both key challenges in many industries. With customer behaviour changing quickly it is becoming more and more difficult to retain customers. Being able to quickly design a great customer experience across different channels will be integral to success.
Technology is, and will remain, a huge challenge. Every business needs to embrace technology in order to remain competitive. In my opinion, the adoption of blockchain technology will be one of the most interesting challenges because it could reshape the way business is done by removing many intermediaries which do not add value. Adding value will continue to become more and more crucial for businesses.
With strong analytical, problem solving and operational skills Sylvain has been responsible for creating business units from scratch, delivering improvement projects and developing the turnover of different business units.
An operations improvement specialist with over six years’ experience, Sylvain enjoys seeing clients develop their skills and knowledge. His recent work has included target operating models, opportunity assessments and process improvement for insurance firms, pension administration providers and a leading telecoms supplier.
Out of the office, Sylvain enjoys discovering the foodie culture in London by testing new restaurants very often. He is also keen on practicing different types of sports such as football or squash.