Consultant Talks: A new challenge in MRP Planning for Annelies

21 Mar 2024

Annelies recently took up a consultancy role with a major player in the life sciences. She started her career at Pauwels Consulting as a Project Planning Analyst in the PES team (Partnership & External Supply), and is currently in the process of moving to a new role as MRP Planner (Material Requirements Planning). She tells us about the transition to a new team within the company, and why she decided to make the move to a consultancy position.

I believe in taking as many opportunities as you can when they present themselves. That way I can keep on learning and be proud of what I've achieved: that's my goal. So, I'm actually ambitious on a personal level, rather than aiming for a particular job title.

Consultant in life sciences

What is PES planning? As PES Planner, you are responsible for the relationship between the customer and their stakeholders in the area of external supply. You manage the purchase order process and planning for externally sourced goods, ensure the timely procurement of orders and evaluate the impact when orders are amended. This means you’re in contact with both the external suppliers and internal colleagues employed by my client, which, as a super-social person, I love.

I am currently making the transition to MRP Planning where my focus will primarily be on the internal lead time for goods. This means I will check things like when quality inspections are due, and that raw materials processing and product packaging are scheduled at the right time. I will work closely with the warehouse and quality experts to establish the most efficient timeline for production.

Training and support

I’m getting a lot of training and support from the client to help me make this transition. I’m gradually taking on more work for my new team since I officially stepped into the new role on January 1. At the same time as getting a lot of support, it also feels good to be assuming more responsibility and I appreciate the trust placed in me. Pauwels Consulting also supports me. My Talent Manager Debbie has already let me know that I can go to her for help and support at any time, or to access additional training options.

At home in all markets

When I was choosing what to study at college, I had no idea what direction to take in my career since my interests were so varied. In the end, I opted for economics, a very wide-ranging subject that could take me in a number of different directions. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics and a Master’s in Business Economics, specializing in logistics and innovation. It’s from here that my passion for logistics grew.

First career moves

My first professional moves were as an Operational Management Trainee working for a transport and warehousing company. The job was to make it easy for young potentials to move rapidly into management positions by introducing them to the different departments within the company on a project basis. During my time there I learned to work independently and really developed my self-confidence. As a result, I got the opportunity to spend three months in the Netherlands helping to implement the company culture in a new office. This involved a lot of teamwork and the opportunity to develop communication techniques, especially when it came to cultural differences. I completed my traineeship after nine months, following which I started as a team leader in the warehouse. There I managed logistics and the associated day-to-day operations for a period of six months.

Team player

Teamwork has always appealed to me, and that’s what inspired me to take on the role of team leader with my previous employer. While in this position, I gained valuable experience in leadership and in supporting a team. However, through this experience, I’ve come to the realization that my true strength and preference lies in working directly within a team. As so often happens, it took real-life experience to make me realize this. As team lead, I stood apart from the team dynamics to a certain extent. This was undoubtedly the case when it came to the more negative aspects, such as giving bad news or re-delegating work. Now, I’m working shoulder-to-shoulder with my colleagues toward the same goal, and that feels good.

Working for Pauwels Consulting

I was looking for a new challenge and to take on a consultancy role, since the variety and opportunities it held out really appealed to me. I came across some vacancies with Pauwels Consulting on LinkedIn and was put in contact with a Talent Acquisition Specialist. Things went well right from the get-go. We clicked personally, and she got straight down to business. The conversation quickly moved to individual clients and projects. With other companies I had contacted, all consultants started out sitting on the bench – meaning you didn’t get a project – and then you got training. At Pauwels Consulting, they find a project that suits you, and you can always sign up for training courses on your own initiative.

Being a consultant is double the fun

The work/life balance is much better compared to my previous job. Everyone works hard there, but we stick to a stable work schedule. For example, we can select our own overtime hours, and priorities within the team are taken into account. Secondly, I am able to participate in different team activities run by the client. They’re happy to share their activities budget with the consultants, treating us like permanent employees. This only enhances the atmosphere and allows you to settle in faster. Not only that, Pauwels Consulting organizes its own varied teambuilding activities, such as after-work drinks, breakfast with customers, a New Year’s party, etc.!


I’m looking forward to see what the rest of my career will bring, but I don’t know exactly where it will take me. I deliberately chose a job where I could get to know different companies and roles in an accelerated way. This is because I believe in taking as many opportunities as you can when they present themselves. That way I can keep on learning and be proud of what I’ve achieved: that’s my goal. So, I’m actually ambitious on a personal level, rather than aiming for a particular job title.

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