Six Sigma Yellow Belt: still a hot topic in consultancy

13 Jul 2023
Why is Six Sigma still a hot topic? Every year at Pauwels Consulting we offer training courses on the topic, such as Yellow Belt in Lean Six Sigma, and the training sessions are always full. We have already been able to offer some 60 consultants this Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training. We are happy to continue to encourage this because it is a great added value for our customers. Kris Van Nieuwenhove is our Subject Matter Expert and now trains other consultants and he is a mentor as well. He talks about why the methodology is a powerful tool across industries.

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a methodology that focuses on eliminating errors and reducing variation in processes, which promotes efficiency and ultimately cost reduction. By having consultants in-house with knowledge of Six Sigma, companies can better identify problems and solve them for good within their processes. This way, they can aim for better quality products, higher customer satisfaction and an increase in revenue. Moreover, trained consultants can help companies establish a culture of constant improvement to foster long-term success and sustainability. Overall, we can say that Six Sigma is a valuable resource for consultants because it can serve their clients during projects and help them become more competitive.

What is Lean?

Six Sigma focuses on reducing or eliminating variation in processes, while Lean focuses on eliminating waste. In practice, they complement each other because process problems are rarely caused solely by waste or variation.

Why is Lean Six Sigma important to our customers?

Our consultants are there to move the client’s projects forward and for that we want to support them to solve and prevent problems in a structured way. Someone with an understanding of Lean Six Sigma can practically notice the difference between a symptom of a problem and its cause. In this way, we go a step further for our customers than just expected project progress.


Can I have Six Sigma implemented?

At Pauwels Consulting, with Kris Van Nieuwenhove and fellow consultants, we have years of expertise to implement the Lean Six Sigma method at our clients. We also offer in-company training to support your employees in practice.

Our QHSE expert Luc Marivoet has more than 30 years of experience in Quality Management. He helps Pauwels Consulting to comply with the ISO 9001 standard and to improve and standardize our operations. As a QHSE consultant, he also provides our clients with a full service for their quality management systems: he gives advice, supports implementation, and monitors compliance with standards. Luc also provides training on QHS management systems (ISO 9001 and ISO 45001).


Why we offer Yellow Belt training to consultants

Six Sigma Yellow Belt covers the basics of the method and is very broad. Here, consultants are introduced to the steps PDCA: plan, do, check, act. This is a cycle for implementing solutions and measuring the effect of efficiency efforts. To implement those steps, facts and data are essential. Making results of processes measurable, outlining customer requirements and measuring innovations are part of this. When solutions are implemented, data can be used to identify root causes.
In Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt this involves statistics which makes testing more in-depth, but in many business contexts it is sufficient to have someone with Yellow Belt knowledge do an initial analysis to flesh out the next steps.

Does Lean Six Sigma help with ISO 9001 certification?

While ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard, focused on establishing a QMS and ensuring that processes consistently meet customer requirements, Six Sigma provides a structured approach to analyzing processes and improving their performance. Six Sigma can be used to complement ISO 9001 by providing a method for identifying and addressing process problems and improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of processes. By applying Six Sigma methodologies in conjunction with ISO 9001, companies can improve their QMS and ensure that their processes are optimized for maximum quality and efficiency. Overall, Six Sigma and ISO 9001 are complementary practices that can help companies achieve their quality and business objectives.

We have Lean Six Sigma expertise

Our Six Sigma expert Kris Van Nieuwenhove started his career as a consultant at a major player in biopharma, where he provided Lean Six Sigma training and led several Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt projects. Afterwards, he applied that knowledge at other international companies. He helped clients in various industries on their way to operational excellence using Six Sigma and Lean methodologies to improve process efficiency. He is convinced that these methodologies work across sectors, which means they are relevant for companies outside the scope of Life Science, Pharma or Engineering as well.

In 2020 during periods of working from home, Kris went to work internally for Pauwels Consulting. He provided Lean and Six Sigma training remotely to dozens of consultants and the demand for training is not diminishing, at least 60 consultants have already been trained and we have the knowledge to provide great value to our customers.

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Maxime van Belle Content Marketeer


We are ISO:9001 certified: why is this good news?

13 Jul 2023

Pauwels Consulting obtained the ISO 9001 certification for its quality management system earlier this year. This is good news, but what does it actually mean for us as a company and for our clients? Luc Marivoet is our QHSE-manager and he explains why ISO 9001 makes a difference and which misconceptions exist.

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is the international standard for quality management. By obtaining the certification, Pauwels Consulting demonstrates that the quality management system meets the standards and is transparent and trustworthy. This means that the business processes in place are aligned in a way that ensures high-quality service, for example to implement changes or to absorb deviations or handle concerns of clients. A quality management system always aims to provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. And it helps to address risks and opportunities within the company and its business processes, which then facilitates opportunities to increase customer satisfaction.

Why is ISO 9001 important for our clients?

The certificate is a way to reassure our clients and other stakeholders that we offer quality and reliable services to prioritize customer satisfaction. On top of that, we are able to promise them that we strive to improve constantly. We communicate that we are customer-oriented and demonstrate this through the ISO 9001 certification as well.

Long term engagement

Obtaining the certificate is not a one-time achievement. Several teams within Pauwels Consulting have been committed for years to optimizing the processes as the company grows. The ISO 9001 certification also ensures that we are audited annually by an independent party, and through this we have objective proof that Pauwels Consulting is committed to quality and customer satisfaction. Additionally, we must also strive to constantly improve our quality management system to accommodate our increasing growth.

Why does Pauwels Consulting want to be ISO 9001 certified?

The introduction of an ISO 9001 quality management system brings more structure to our rapidly growing organization. It ensures that we further professionalize our organization and are committed to continuously improving our processes and services.  The certificate reassures our customers, stakeholders and employees because they can rely on processes that work well in a demonstrated manner.

What does an ISO 9001 audit look like?

The auditor holds all aspects of our quality management system to the norms of ISO 9001 standards. All documented information the norm requests is closely observed, and our procedures are reviewed with a critical eye.  The auditor is aware that we also help clients implement, evaluate and maintain an ISO 9001 quality management system (or QMS), so she asked very pointed questions and set the bar high for our QMS. That’s understandable, of course, because anyone offering a QMS service should have an excellent quality management system themselves! Every year the auditor will come back to evaluate our quality management system and for a cycle of 3 years, which is the validity period of the certificate. Afterwards, a recertification audit will follow.

We maintain our individuality

In addition, it is important to note that the ISO 9001 standard is logically structured and constructed to use internationally so that it is applicable to any organization, regardless of its type or size or the products and services it provides. However, the level of the quality management system will be adapted to the maturity of the organization. I sometimes compare it to a dish, take meatballs in tomato sauce, for example. In a brasserie you expect to get a classic dish, but when it’s on the menu in a starred establishment, it will probably be served with better ingredients or in a different composition. The bottom line remains that you deliver the products and services to your customers that they expect and deserve.

We raise the bar for ourselves

Now that we are certified, the next audit is a follow-up session. In the meantime, we conduct internal audits to see how we can further improve our business processes to achieve our goals. One action point for Pauwels Consulting was document management. We now have a clear document management process that ensures that all documents and information available to Pauwels Consulting are managed efficiently and in a controlled manner. It has ensured that it is always clear where the final and current version of a document can be found, that this version is easily identifiable, and that document modification and security against changes has been made manageable.

An ISO 9001 certificate turns your company into a so called ‘paper tiger’

A well-known misunderstanding about ISO 9001 is that this standard creates bureaucratic companies. This is nonsense, of course, because the current ISO 9001 standard is actually very pragmatic. It is true that earlier versions of the standard required mandatory procedures. But much has changed since then and now the standard gives freedom as well as responsibilities to the company to determine the extent of their documented information themselves. Of course, this varies from company to company because it depends on the activities performed, the complexity of the processes, the products and services, and the competence of the employees. Of course, records are still needed to have confidence that the processes are carried out as planned.  This is why we choose, for example, to use our CRM application Bullhorn and other software applications to incorporate most of the registrations into our workflows and immediately facilitate the work of our employees.

We have ISO 9001 expertise

Luc Marivoet is our QHSE Manager and has over 30 years of experience in Quality Management. He helps us to comply with the ISO 9001 standard and to improve and standardize our operation. As a QHSE consultant, he also provides our customers with a full service for their quality management systems: he gives advice, supports implementation and monitors compliance with standards. Luc also provides training on QHS management systems (ISO 9001 and ISO 45001).

We stay up-to-date

At the Pauwels Academy, he gives our consultants training in quality management and ISO certification. Luc also continues to educate himself to stay up to date with all standards. So he can also call himself IRCA certified QMS ISO9001:2015 Lead auditor and prevention consultant level 2.

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Maxime van Belle Content Marketeer


Avoiding the Car Crash of Knowledge Loss

11 Jul 2023
Discover the importance of knowledge transfer and organizational development, as external consultants seamlessly integrated into workflows help mitigate the disruptive effects of retirement. Delve into sustainable strategies for knowledge transfer and talent management. Take part in the dialogue to reshape the future of talent management and create a meaningful, long-lasting impact.

Imagine driving for the first time a car with just written directions. How long would it take before you hit a wall? That’s why a live aid comes into play. An instructor is there with you every step of the way. They don’t just tell you; they also observe, correct, and encourage you. They make a potentially disastrous situation a great learning opportunity by their expertise and real-time guidance.

Knowledge centers

In the same way, integrating learning into the workflow in our professional lives requires more than written pre-read instructions. As a keynote speaker at our latest Pauwels Consulting Customer Round Table, Cathleen Heimberg of Showpad, a renowned Learning & Development Specialist, made this point. Pharma, biotech, and engineering industry representatives contributed to the discussion with their unique perspectives. We explored not only knowledge curation but also how external consultants play a crucial role as “a drive instructor” in these processes, as well. And while the concept of “knowledge centers” is a solution to most of our customers we should not shy away from admitting the considerable challenges that come with implementing these platforms.

Cathleen Heimberg
Cathleen Heimberg, Showpad

“When the consultant leaves, we need to start all over again.” This sentiment is one that echoes through organizations across industries when external consultants complete their engagements and bid farewell. The departure of a consultant can often leave behind a void, disrupting the workflow and creating a sense of starting from scratch. This phenomenon highlights the need for a more sustainable and integrated approach to knowledge transfer and organizational development.

The impact of natural de-staffing

The departure of external consultants is not the only challenge organizations face when it comes to knowledge transfer and organizational development. Our customers bring an additional dimension to this problem, particularly with the natural de-staffing caused by the retirement of their own workforce. One of our customers is currently confronting a significant knowledge drain, as a whole generation of baby boomers, who constitute one-third of their workforce, is set to retire within the next two years. This impending wave of retirements further emphasizes the importance of implementing sustainable strategies for knowledge transfer and ensuring the continuity of operations.

Our panel of customers addressed how the knowledge drain resulting from impending retirements, organizations can benefit from the involvement of subject matter expert consultants. These consultants play a crucial role in organizing, maintaining, and distributing knowledge transfers for customers who are facing significant workforce changes due to retirement. “Embedded” consultants possess a deep understanding of the organization’s specific needs and can develop tailored strategies to capture and preserve critical knowledge. By actively engaging in the transfer of expertise, these consultants help mitigate the disruption caused by retirements, ensuring a smoother transition and minimizing the sense of starting from scratch. Their expertise and dedication contribute to a more sustainable and integrated approach to knowledge transfer and organizational development, enabling organizations to effectively navigate the challenges posed by an aging workforce.

Talent management and knowledge curation

The panel acknowledged that the absence of a well-planned knowledge transfer mechanism means that organizations must retrace their steps and rebuild the understanding from scratch. Tom Kiebooms, our senior consultant, and subject matter expert in MES and Digitalisation, shared his ground-level experiences, reinforcing the critical importance of talent management and knowledge curation. A small detail can make all the difference; when a Pauwels Consulting employee attends a training, it’s common for his colleagues who work directly for our customers to attend as well.

Having the consultant aboard embeds the knowledge into the workflow and the main reason for this is known to all: we’re losing the war for talent. As one senior panelist put it: “We’re fighting for talent using methods that failed last time.” A point challenged by Koen De Borle, Business Unit Manager Training Programs at Pauwels Consulting. Talent is available, but it needs to be reskilled to be a perfect match for the customers. In comes the Training Program: new ways of working require us to upskill and reskill ourselves, particularly when it comes to self-management skills such as active learning, flexibility, leadership, and social influence. To meet the ambitions and talent of customers, Pauwels Consulting creates training programs tailored to the needs of today’s clients and focusing on the expertise of tomorrow.

Shared talent pools

Koen De Borle concludes: ‘It is no longer the case that staffing is just a solution to a resource problem. Consulting as a service not only satisfies urgent organizational needs, but also contributes to our customers’ strategic growth. In the ongoing war for talent, knowledge sharing in workflows, talent pools shared among multiple customers, and subject matter experts play a vital role in customer success. Establishing communities of practice or internal networks can facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences among employees. These forums provide a platform for ongoing learning, collaboration, and problem-solving. By nurturing a culture of knowledge-sharing, organizations can minimize the impact of consultant departures and foster a sense of collective expertise.”

Koen De Borle, Pauwels Consulting

The collaborative approach outlined above is not only essential for ensuring business continuity but also a recipe for achieving substantial return on investment (ROI) for our customers. It begins by actively listening to the explicit and implicit needs of our clients. Whether we call it co-business development or by any other name, a tailored approach is the X factor that differentiates true success for all parties involved from mere staffing solutions. By understanding and addressing the unique requirements of each customer, we can deliver outcomes that go beyond mere resource provision and create long-term value. This customer-centric approach forms the foundation for building lasting partnerships and achieving mutual success.

5 moments of need

This collaborative mindset brings us back to the hypothetical exercise of driving a car with only written instructions. Cathleen Heimberg introduced the panel to the “5 Moments of Need” learning and development methodology, developed by Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher. This method focuses on addressing performance needs at the moment of learning and the moments of applying or changing knowledge in the workflow. As a certified 5MoN Designer she pointed out the five different learning needs of a person.

  1. New: When individuals are learning something for the first time.
  2. More: When individuals need to deepen their knowledge or skills.
  3. Apply: When individuals need guidance while performing a task or applying knowledge.
  4. Change: When individuals need support to adapt to a change in processes, tools, or technologies.
  5. Solve: When individuals encounter a problem and need to troubleshoot or find a solution.

Solutions that work are according to Cathleen Heimberg:

  1. Blend Learning Modalities: Utilize a blended learning approach to deliver training content. Combine traditional training methods, such as instructor-led sessions or e-learning courses, with performance support tools, job aids, microlearning, and on-the-job training. This enables employees to access the right information and support at the moment of need.
  2. Integrate with Workflow: Integrate training materials and resources directly into the workflow to make them easily accessible. This can include embedding job aids or knowledge repositories within software applications, providing quick-reference guides, or using mobile apps that offer on-demand learning and performance support.
  3. Provide Just-in-Time Support: Offer performance support tools or resources that can be accessed at the moment of need. This might include interactive online guides, videos, searchable knowledge bases, or chatbots that provide real-time assistance and answers to questions.
  4. Continuous Reinforcement: Implement strategies to reinforce learning and encourage continuous improvement. This can involve ongoing assessments, knowledge checks, performance reviews, refresher courses, communities of practice, or mentoring programs.
  5. Measure Effectiveness: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of training interventions by measuring performance improvements, employee feedback, and business outcomes. Use this data to refine and improve the training programs over time.

Training in the workflow

Koen De Borle describes this as vital underlaying principles in the Pauwels Consulting training program. “The key is to make training resources easily accessible, contextual, and available at the point of need. By integrating training with the workflow, employees can seamlessly access the information they require, reducing the time spent searching for answers and enabling them to perform tasks more effectively, a vital underlaying principle in the Pauwels Consulting training program.”

This customer round table has resulted in all panel members seeing an opportunity to transform knowledge sharing and embrace a new approach that will help both our consultants and their customers succeed in the future. It was evident that the enthusiasm in the room was palpable as we concluded the thought-provoking session. The commitment to advancing our industries and fighting the talent war is unwavering. The journey does not end here. During the second session, we will continue this vital dialogue and gain even more insights into talent management. Together, we can reshape the future of talent management and make a lasting impact.

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Maxime van Belle Content Marketeer


Press release: Pauwels Consulting takes over 4People

22 Jan 2023

Pauwels Consulting acquires 4People to consolidate its place in the Dutch market as a project sourcer in IT, engineering and life sciences and hereby completes 12th acquisition with 3D Investors in 7 years’ time. 

From left to right: Bert Pauwels, Ronald Ter Beek, Joost Hordijk and Stef van den Broek

Belgian consultancy firm specialized in IT, life sciences and engineering Pauwels Consulting has acquired Dutch project sourcing company 4People. Pauwels Consulting aims to broaden its foreign activities in engineering after recently acquiring other Dutch firms in life sciences and IT, to match its activities in the Belgian market. The core motivation is to grow as a people-minded company and to carry its employee-centered values internationally. 

The Dutch company 4People is specialized in secondment and placing of executives in construction, infrastructure & environment and engineering and employs over 200 people nationwide. Their vision is to help their clients build a livable future through knowledge-sharing of cutting-edge technologies. While doing so, the people remain at the heart of the business. Ronald Ter Beek, founder of 4People, explains: “The name of our company speaks for itself. We place people to help create a better future for people. We believe in investing in our employees, as they invest in their projects.” 

Bert Pauwels, managing director of Pauwels Consulting, found in 4People the missing piece in his foreign ambitions: “We have been expanding Pauwels Consulting in the Netherlands through the acquisition of other players in IT and Life Sciences, and 4People brings outstanding expertise in engineering to the table. In this way, we mirror the activities of our Belgian home base.”  

Stef van den Broek, Managing Director of 4People, considers Pauwels Consulting a strategic partner: “We prioritized a partnership with a company that shows genuine interest in our culture and people. That way, 4People can keep growing in the direction that we have built the foundation for, and our clients and employees will be able to look forward to a future of acceleration.” Bert Pauwels adds: “4People and Pauwels Consulting have in common that we want to service our clients with expertise and respect for their vision. That is exactly what we intend to keep doing, with the only difference being that we now combine a larger pool of experience and resources.” 

Stef van den Broek: “As management, we are excited for this new chapter and together with our employees, who have continuously proven to be a great asset in creating our success story, we are looking forward to keep growing.” 

Following this acquisition, the Pauwels Consulting team numbers more than 1,500 experts in the fields of life sciences, engineering and IT. Founded in 1999, Pauwels Consulting has grown into a successful consulting group active in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland under different brands and specialized divisions. Together with 3d Investors, Pauwels Consulting has made 12 acquisitions in 7 years and increased its revenues fivefold from €25 million to over €149 million. 

Read the interview with Bert Pauwels (Managing Director Pauwels Consulting), Ronald Ter Beek (founder 4People), Joost Hordijk (Head of Sales & Strategy 4People) and Stef van den Broek (General Manager 4People).

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Pauwels Consulting takes over 4People

22 Jan 2023

Pauwels Consulting duplicates its Belgian success story in the Netherlands with the acquisition of 4People with 200 engineering, construction, infrastructure and environment specialists. 

Pauwels Consulting is doing extremely well in the Dutch market. In the slipstream of the previous acquisition of Science@Work, it is already taking the next step. Managing Director Bert Pauwels, who established the group 23 years ago, has always been clear about the ambitions of his project sourcing model. What once started with secondments for IT projects has now expanded into a prominent market share in engineering and life sciences in Belgium. With 4People on board, Pauwels Consulting is now also serving the Dutch market in the same way. 

We spoke to Bert Pauwels and Ronald Ter Beek (4People founder), Joost Hordijk (4People Head of Sales & Strategy) and Stef van den Broek (4People General Manager). The venue immediately set the tone: Expo A16 Rotterdam, an experience centre on a new major road in Rotterdam. It is a mega project to which 4People is making a real difference. 

Expert explanation at A16 Expo

Ronald, why did you start 4People 21 years ago? 

I came of age in the business world as a consultant at Brunel. After eight years and an IPO, I established 4People in 2001. Initially we focused on IT project sourcing, but that wasn’t really our thing, so we stopped that. I felt we could make a far bigger contribution in civil engineering. That’s where we could really make a difference. We set up in Deventer in the middle of the Netherlands. From there we went to Hengelo. We continued to expand our activities with branches in Groningen, Den Bosch, Rotterdam and Utrecht and more than 200 employees. 

You’ve had 21 years of growth. What sets 4People apart from the rest? 

Without a doubt, it’s the human side of things. People is in our company name for good reason. I saw a lot of good things during my training, but what I missed is having people as the central focus. They are still the success factor. We’re a business, of course, but we grow by building things around and with people. They make or break everything.

4People is a coveted business, so why did you choose Pauwels Consulting?

You’re right: there was a great deal of interest. Our top five included a few strategic players and some financials. In the end, we chose a strategic partner. We really appreciated that Bert Pauwels showed a genuine interest in the company itself. In the people themselves. And he has a whole group behind him that will help 4People thrive even more in the future. 

Stef, you were in the cockpit of this acquisition together with Joost. What’s your take on this?

Now we can keep thinking bigger and bigger. The company is already at a great place, and there’s far more to come. The collaboration with Pauwels as a strategic partner can only accelerate this. And importantly, our content, core values and culture are very well aligned. 

Can you describe 4People’s DNA for us?

We truly reflect the Dutch eagerness to do business. We’ve always been very inventive, especially now that our civil engineering projects need to enter into a dialogue with urbanisation and nature. We’ve been at the forefront of technology with the support of clusters such as Brainport Eindhoven and the Rotterdam area. The place we are now, Expo A16 Rotterdam, is a testimonial of what our team is marketing in the technical field. Tunnelling, bridge construction and engineering: they all come together here. Of course, we’re facing considerable challenges, but we achieve great solutions on a daily basis together with the customers.

Joost, how do you see this?

We speak the language of technology. For this A16 project, we deliver people in positions that others may only experience once in their lives. Contracts like these are full of special technology you need to have expertise in. We make choices according to feasibility and profit in projects of this size very early on. Our teams are put together even before the award process, which often makes us the first and only one who gets to deliver. Our reputation and profits are earned outside, with our feet in the mud. 

Bert Pauwels, if we include 3d Investors, this is the 12th (!) acquisition in seven years. What attracted you to 4People?

We clicked straight away, not just business-wise but on a personal level as well. You can have the best people, the best technical concepts and the right vision, but having the right relationship is very important as well. 4People’s story so far was perfect for us. Our Dutch organisation was particularly strong in IT, whereas in Belgium we offer IT, engineering and life sciences. This was our chance to expand the organisation in a similar way in the Netherlands. We had already developed our life sciences in the Netherlands with the acquisition of Science@Work. In terms of engineering, we’d also been working with Bruggenbouwers already, but now it was time for a significant expansion. Both countries are now at the same high level in all three industries thanks to what I can only describe as a match made in heaven. 

What’s going to change for 4People’s employees and customers?

What is definitely a positive signal to the market and employees is that many people from the current management are joining the new capital structure. This shows 4People’s belief in the company’s further growth. That’s also how we jointly approach the people and the market. I’m really looking forward to presenting the Belgian organisation and letting people discover how much overlap there is in culture, management style and job content. Pauwels Consulting tackles every new tailor-made collaboration with great respect for everyone involved. We have our story, but 4People has also developed a unique DNA as established by Ronald. We’re here now because 4People do many things well, just like us. Now we can learn best practices from each other to accelerate growth. In the long run, we’ll see a healthy culture we create together.  

Stef, as Managing Director, what challenges do you see approaching in your industry?

This acquisition process focused on two questions: who is from a cultural perspective the best party for us as a company and how are we going to do business together? Sometimes you have to look at that separately from the numbers. Of course, as our new partner, Pauwels Consulting can support our acceleration, but the way we do this is just as important. Bert has made a huge difference from the first meeting. We spoke to other people who literally had no idea what we were actually doing and then just pushed out a bid. Bert has both vision and respect for who we are and what we stand for. 

And where do you see the next challenges in your sector?

The war for talent, which will also affect our internal organisation. Fortunately, we’re ever more successful at retaining the right people. This is because we are very clear and specific about our culture and core values. Unlike our competitors, we are much less transactional in our business. We make a difference in job content. Talented people are obviously recognising this when they make their next move in their careers. We also notice this in job interviews. We often hear that starting to work with us is a refreshing experience for many people. Of course, we present a critical front – there has to be a good match – but cultivating the experience afterwards is the real win for our employees. And of course, the key to growth is our internal organisation and the connection with extremely loyal customers. Their commitment only contributes to our joint growth. And it doesn’t stop at the front. Ambitions need to blend. Bert has taught me how much Pauwels Consulting is committed to the continued training of employees’ hard and soft skills. I was happy to hear that there is a wide range of learning and development, coaches and talent managers on hand. In my opinion, we can always learn from a model like that. 

Joost, how do you experience this war for talent from a commercial perspective? 

Success is a choice. Of course, you are dependent on economic factors, but we are in an essential position in the market. Our people are in places that are crucial both in engineering and construction. The biggest challenge is not to find people, but to find people who understand and can convey the vision of 4People and Pauwels Consulting and who can implement the acceleration we want. We expect a lot more from our people than a normal secondment agency, but when we share our plans, you can really feel the urge to achieve them together. As Stef said, applicants experience us differently: personal contact and content go hand in hand here. Both our consultants and our customers endorse this.

A16 Expo

Back to the man who was right there at the very beginning: what will be the next challenge for founder Ronald Ter Beek? 

In any case, I felt the need to distance myself a little after 22 years. That’s why I had already attracted Stef as CEO. However, I did notice that I couldn’t distance myself mentally like I’d wanted to. It goes against my nature, I suppose. You always stay involved and people don’t call you for all the fun things. They tend to call you if there are problems (laughs). They stay with me and it was difficult to let go. So, then I thought: why not make my long-term plan happen a little sooner, knowing that I have a top team ready? What I’m not going to do is sit still. I adore Italy, so I’ll do things there. What I don’t know yet – I’m sure I’ll stumble upon something. I don’t worry about that. 

Bert, how do you see the management team? 

When Stef presented his vision as managing director for the first time, I felt the business undercurrent as well as his insistence to always include the employees of 4People in the story. Success may be a choice, as Joost just put it so nicely, but I really feel that the entire organisation is making that choice. That only works if everyone has a well-developed sense of empathy, and for that alone I have the greatest respect. That’s why we literally started moving forward after just a few weeks to the point where we are now. Of course, 4People are the best in their job; that’s not based on ego, but on pride in proven merits. Joost talks about the market with unprecedented depth. He knows exactly what his customers are doing. The fact that he has a very broad technical knowledge certainly helps, but what also keeps emerging is this empathy for the customer. The fact that Ronald has given his trust to this top team seems logical from a distance, but of course you need that talent to take the company to a higher level. Ronald’s focus on people always went much further than what is suggested by the company name 4People. After all, companies are made by people, but also for people, and at 4People you see very clearly how the team is built on that. 

Nice words for your team, Stef. 

Thank you, and I agree with Bert. Besides ratio, a person has feelings, and I had a good feeling about Bert from the very beginning. You can clearly sense this in all our interactions. We were soon talking about content, constructive questions and, above all, Bert’s enthusiasm to make Pauwels Consulting an even greater success. And we are part of that. 

Bert has a habit of challenging his partners in sports.

Ronald: Absolutely not. I enjoy riding my rally motorbike in the desert or having a nice glass of Italian wine, particularly the latter. But Joost, Stef and Bert are always welcome, because of course I want to find out how the 4People and Pauwels Consulting story continues!

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Word design consultant op je nieuwe job

16 Nov 2022

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Wat leer je allemaal?
Technische verdieping in bijvoorbeeld Revit of Eplan nodig? Check! ✅
Maar ook zakelijke, sociale vaardigheden komen aan bod om van jou een top professional te maken. Denk hier maar aan Problem Solving, Workflow Management, Stakeholder Management, Project Management, etc.
Dit leer je allemaal in combinatie met persoonlijke begeleiding en gecertificeerde coaching om jou zoveel mogelijk nieuwe inzichten en leermomenten te geven.
Tegelijkertijd leer je de knepen van het vak in de praktijk kennen. Je gaat meteen aan de slag in een bedrijf waar je nieuwe kennis onmiddellijk kunt toepassen.
Heb jij zin in een nieuwe uitdaging en motivatie om bij te leren over een nieuwe sector?
Dan zoeken wij jou! Wie ben jij? Jij…
  • Hebt grondige kennis van de bouwsector: HVAC, elektriciteit, sanitair
  • Weet wat P&ID is
  • Hebt minstens een A2, bachelor is een plus
  • Hebt een eerste ervaring gehad met technisch tekenen met AutoCAD 2D, Revit of Eplan
  • Hebt zin om nieuwe skills te leren en wilt jezelf steeds verbeteren
  • Ziet de uitdaging van de combinatie betaald werken en leren hélemaal zitten
Met onze Training Programs start je onmiddellijk op een project en krijg je tegelijkertijd gepersonaliseerde opleidingen.
Mogelijke projecten in dit programma
⚡Van AutoCAD tekenaar tot ambiteuze BIM Consultant in West-Vlaanderen

⚡Van elektrische tekenaar tot straffe Elektrisch Design Specialist in Brussel
Klik op de functietitel om onze vacature te lezen. Herken je jezelf maar deels in de omschrijving? Heb je een andere motivatie om te solliciteren? Aarzel niet en neem contact op. We nemen elke sollicitant serieus.

Ready, set, go

Heb jij zin om eraan te beginnen? Of je nu jouw carrière verder uitbouwt, een nieuwe draai wilt geven of binnenkort in het werkveld springt, aarzel niet! Dien je kandidatuur in en Hà neemt zo snel mogelijk contact met je op voor de volgende stappen.

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Maxime van Belle Content Marketeer

Pauwels Blog

Pauwels Consulting celebrates graduates Acceleration Program

14 Jun 2022

On May 31, 2022, Pauwels Consulting celebrated the graduates of the second edition of the Acceleration Program. The Acceleration Program is a high-paced training program for ambitious Pauwels Consultants who want to further hone their professional skills. We organise this yearly program in collaboration with Ormit Talent, our sister company specialized in talent development.

Big shout out to all graduates and the superb trainers of this program. It was a pleasure working with you, feeling your energy, watching you grow and hearing your wonderful feedback on this program. We’re confident you’ll put your newly acquired insights and skills to good use, and we look forward to watching you thrive in your future projects.

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Join our next Acceleration Program

Are you an ambitious Pauwels Consultant and do you want to step out of your comfort zone to take on the bumpy road to growth? Invitations for the third edition will go out at the end of the summer, so keep a close eye on your email, or go ahead and send us a message below. We’ll get in touch with you shortly to discuss your candidacy.

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Maxime van Belle Content Marketeer


Stef Bal launches the Green Challenge 2022

24 May 2022

Last year Pauwels Consulting launched the Green Challenge. During the week of World Bicycle Day (June 3rd) we encourage our consultants to leave their cars aside and travel by bike or on foot as much as possible. 

To motivate our colleagues even more, we will donate to Think Pink an amount based on all registered ‘green’ journeys in that week. The more hours our consultants are active, the bigger the amount for Think Pink!

We spoke with Stef Bal, the Pauwels consultant who last year recorded the most green hours. We are curious to see whether he will defend his title this year!

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Stef, can you introduce yourself? 

Stef‘I am Stef Bal, 29 years old and I am a Quality Engineer and Validation Expert.’

Interesting! What exactly do those jobs entail? 

Stef‘I started at Pauwels Consulting as a Validation Expert. In that function, I set up complex analyses and performed risk analyses.

I am currently working as a Quality Engineer on my project. The first months I was lab supervisor. A very varied job in which you deal with many stakeholders and often need to be able to switch quickly.

In the meantime, since February, I have been responsible for Quality Assurance and I handle customer complaints, audits and all other tasks related to quality assurance.’

"Pauwels Consulting is a big player, and that opens the door to big companies and interesting training opportunities."

How did you end up at Pauwels Consulting? 

Stef: ‘In 2020 it was time for the next step in my career. Through my professional network I came across an interesting vacancy at Pauwels Consulting. And look, now I have been working here for 2 years!’

And that makes us very happy! What are the advantages of working for us? 

Stef‘First of all, Pauwels Consulting is a big player, which opens the door to big companies and interesting training opportunities. The internal team is always available and follows up on me, which I would like to thank them for!

Furthermore, I’ve been able to work on a lot of different projects. I could never have gathered that experience as an internal employee, and that is precisely what makes a Pauwels Consultant so valuable.’

Last year you were the winner of our Green Challenge. Are you going to defend your title in 2022? 

Stef‘Of course I am going to defend my title. (laughs) Unfortunately I have less time this year, so it will be more difficult. But in the end, it’s all about the idea behind it. Getting out more, enjoying nature and getting to know your colleagues… Participating is already winning in the Green Challenge.’

Last year you collected 29 green hours in one week. How did you manage that?

Stef‘Wow, I had already forgotten that I had spent 29 hours exercising. Quite crazy actually! 

I mainly walked. I didn’t have a bike at the time and if I had to run all those hours, I would never have made it to the end of the week.’ (laughs)


"The Green Challenge is the ideal initiative to bring consultants closer together."

Why did you take part in the Green Challenge? 

Stef: ‘I thought it was a fun challenge and of course I also wanted to do my bit for a good cause. We all know someone who has had to deal with breast cancer, and Think Pink does wonderful things. And of course, sustainability is also important.

Enough reasons to participate! What did you like most about the Green Challenge? 

Stef: ‘The connection with my fellow consultants. We are usually so spread out that we do not always know who our colleagues are. Thanks to the Green Challenge I got to know other Pauwels Consultants via Strava, LinkedIn and other social media. So this is the ideal initiative to bring consultants closer together.

And finally, one more question: what is your ultimate tip for colleagues who also want to participate?

Stef: ‘Everything is about planning. Last year, I worked a full-time job and had a flexi-time on Fridays and Saturdays. So I had to plan in advance on which days I had to perform more in order to move as many hours as possible.

Hence my advice: motivate yourself, make a good plan and go for it. Go crazy!

Stef, thank you for this interview and your tips!

Will you break Stef’s record this year?

Do you, as a Pauwels Consultant, also want to raise money for Think Pink? Quickly check your mailbox, register on Strava and start warming up for the week of 30/5 to 5/6. We wish you the best of luck!

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Maxime van Belle Content Marketeer


Tailor-made talent development: The Pauwels Consulting Training Programs

22 Apr 2022

Finding talented employees for technical and technological bottleneck professions is not easy. That is why at Pauwels Consulting we consciously focus on talent development and competence training.

We do this by means of Training Programs, tailor-made for our consultants and our clients. From now on, we do not search feverishly for the perfect match between consultants and projects – we create that match by training and coaching the most suitable consultants in a goal-oriented way.

We caught up with Koen De Borle, our new Training Program Manager, and asked him about the advantages of the Pauwels Consulting Training Program for customers and consultants.

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Koen, you recently made a switch within Pauwels Consulting. You are now the very first Training Program Manager. Congratulations! Can you tell us more about your new role? 

Koen De Borle: Thank you! My new role is an exciting combination of new challenges and acquired insights in the consulting world. Previously, I worked as a Recruiter and Account Manager in the Engineering Unit. Now I am focusing on talent development and managing our Training Programs, through which we as a company aim to meet the changing needs and trends in our industry.

On the one hand, we see a scarcity of qualified personnel to fill the needs of our business partners in a timely manner. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find candidates who have all the required skills, and who are quickly and fully available. On the other hand, we see the need for consultants to develop skills they currently lack.

Our Training Programs provide a solution for both parties. In an adapted service model, we now develop custom learning solutions for young & high potentials. This enables us to prepare them for specific projects in a targeted way. A win-win situation for our consultants and our clients.

"We constantly monitor our consultants and actively encourage them to continuously develop their talents so that we can ensure that 'perfect fit.' "

What exactly are these ‘custom learning solutions’? 

Koen: Our Training Programs are custom programs in which we optimally gear the knowledge, expertise and skills of our consultants to the needs of our clients. The duration of these programs can vary between a few months and 2 years. During this time, we guide our trainee consultants with a team of coaches, trainers, mentors and experts.

We have been stimulating active learning and talent development in our organization for some time. We have our own Pauwels Consulting Academy with seminars and webinars that our consultants are free to attend. We have also embarked on the digital road with some pilot projects in the field of e-learning. We have also been working for years with external training partners and a team of internal expert trainers.

And now we are literally going a step further. In our Training Programs we constantly follow up on our consultants and actively encourage them to develop their talents. In this way we can continue to guarantee the perfect fit with new projects.

Koen De Borle, Training Program Manager at Pauwels Consulting

That sounds interesting! What are the main benefits of the new Training Programs for the customer? 

Koen: Our new Training Programs enable us to prepare our consultants for new projects in a targeted way. So we no longer have to look for the perfect white ravens; we find suitable consultants and prepare them for their next projects.

Our clients get consultants who match their projects almost perfectly in terms of skills, knowledge and mindset, now and in the future. That is a strong added value at a time when the newspapers are full of the war on talent, and literally everyone is having a hard time finding suitable employees.

Because we have a strong network of consultants and can quickly set up Training Programs, we can quickly help our customers meet urgent needs. At the same time, we can also provide a good match for the long term because our clients have a direct say in the development of our consultant(s) in their teams.

"Our clients no longer have to search for the perfect candidate for their projects. You often can't find those anyway. We look for a good match, and we create the perfect fit through individual training and personal guidance from our consultants."

What skills are taught? 

Koen: Attitude is key, skills can be trained. At Pauwels Consulting we are completely convinced of that. Our recruiters therefore screen and qualify new candidates primarily based on their DNA. It has to match the DNA of Pauwels Consulting and the DNA and values of our clients. If we find such a high potential, we start up a Training Program.

We focus on 2 types of skills: knowledge and professional skills that need to be acquired to be able to do the job optimally, and soft skills that enable a seamless collaboration with the client’s team.

These professional skills, by the way, are constantly changing. After all, the current technological revolution means that our customers have to adapt even faster to an increasingly complex reality. Digitization, internet of things, AI, robotization and other developments constantly require new knowledge and skills from employees.

In such a changing environment, human skills are also becoming increasingly important. Emotional intelligence, modern communication and collaboration skills, proactivity, dealing with change and new digital tools, data and project handling… These are just a few key skills we can make a difference with. We ensure that our consultants are an optimal fit for our clients, in the short and long term.

Barbara De Greve, Account Manager Engineering at Pauwels Consulting

Sounds good! You’ve already indicated it a bit, but what are the benefits of the Training Programs for consultants? 

Koen: Our consultants receive in-depth coaching, training and mentoring with a strong focus on talent development. In this way they acquire skills that are currently scarce on the market. Here you can think of technical skills such as IT development, process validation and CSV, design engineering, prototyping, automation and project management, but also soft skills such as stress resistance, resilience, communication and collaboration.

Because every consultant is different, we work towards individual learning goals. We provide personal guidance and test the acquired knowledge and skills in modern and demanding settings by working together with professionals, peers and fellow trainees.

Young potentials get the chance to develop their talents through a tailor-made program, and high potentials can also further develop their career and gain additional knowledge and experience. At Pauwels Consulting, the growth and talent development of our consultants is more central than ever! This creates a win-win-win for our consultants, our clients and Pauwels Consulting as a company.

"We screen candidates to check whether their DNA matches that of Pauwels Consulting and the DNA and values of our clients. If that click is there, we make sure that our people's talent is developed further. Attitude is key, skills can be trained.

You mention young and high potentials. Who exactly qualifies for the Training Program?  

Koen: We focus for these programs on candidates who want to develop further or transform themselves within a particular expertise. These can be people of 25, 37 or 44 years of age. Age is not a deal breaker with us. We are looking for consultants who want to build on their level of knowledge at leading companies and give their best.

Some tips for interested candidates: curiosity and the ability to learn quickly will be decisive selection criteria, as will perseverance and a positive mindset. We screen for the skills that are key to success today: emotional intelligence, collaborative skills and the ability to handle change. If candidates have the right attitude, we can further develop the right skills with our Training Programs.

That’s all completely clear, Koen! Thank you for this interview and good luck with the roll-out of the Training Programs within Pauwels Consulting!

Maarten De Soete, participant Training Program

At Pauwels Consulting we are proud of our newest service that meets the scarcity in the candidate market and the development needs of our consultants.

Would you like to participate in a Pauwels Consulting Training Program? Check out our webpage, discover the benefits and contact us today to develop your talents.

Are you interested in discussing the benefits for you as a business partner? Contact our Training Program Manager Koen De Borle via the form below.

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Maxime van Belle Content Marketeer


Pauwels Consulting is once again a Great Place to Work!

20 Jan 2022

Last year, the Great Place to Work™ Institute and Vlerick Business School awarded the Great Place to Work™ label to Pauwels Consulting for the first time. The label is a wonderful recognition of the job satisfaction and other feelings experienced by our colleagues at Pauwels Consulting.

After we achieved the label last year, we took many steps to further improve our internal operations and added value for our consultants. We sent out a new survey to all our permanent staff in November and we could hardly wait for the results.

This year’s feedback from our internal colleagues and external consultants at our customer locations was again very positive and valuable. And as a result, Pauwels Consulting has yet again been named a Great Place to Work™ in 2022, which we continue to be very proud of!

To celebrate this wonderful news, we interviewed Céline Van Puymbrouck, our Learning & Development Coordinator. She is one of the driving forces behind the achievement of the label.


First of all, Céline, congratulations on achieving the Great Place to Work label! So what exactly does a Great Place To Work™ mean?

Céline: Thank you! The Great Place to Work™ label is awarded to companies with a sound work culture, companies where employees like to work. Like last year, we worked with the Great Place to Work™ Institute and Vlerick Business School to send out an anonymous survey to our staff. The survey looked at their experiences at Pauwels Consulting. And for a second year in a row, the answers were very positive. That’s why we can now officially call ourselves a Great Place to Work™ for the second year in a row!

Of course, we are very grateful to our consultants and back-office employees for their time and feedback. It is thanks to them that we have received this label again and we can continue to improve our organisation, so a big thank you to everyone who helped make this possible!

Why is the Great Place to Work™ label important to Pauwels Consulting?

Céline: The aim of this survey was to gather anonymous and therefore honest feedback from our staff. That’s important to us to keep improving our internal operations and the added value we offer to our consultants. This year, we were able to add some extra questions ourselves and we could break down the answers from our consultants (at our customer locations) and those from our internal employees (our back office). That has led to some interesting insights! The results from the survey have allowed us to define specific areas for improvement for the future.

We are very happy with the added value of the survey and with the Great Place to Work™ label we received for the second year in a row. It was the icing on the cake for us. The label is a true endorsement of the company and our staff, so we are all very proud of it!

Are there any specific issues that have clearly emerged from the answers?

Céline: It was interesting to compare the new results with last year’s responses. For example, the score of the statement ‘In general, I can say that this is a very good organisation to work for’ went up from 85% to 91%.

That immediately illustrates why we are participating in a Great Place to Work™: we want to continuously improve ourselves and make sure that everyone feels – and continues to feel – happy at Pauwels Consulting. ‘Always challenge the status quo’ is one of our core values. ‘Be a warmhearted family’ is another one. The results show that we are on the right track.

Céline Van Puymbroeck, our Learning & Development Coordinator

Of course, we are also curious about the other answers… So what really makes Pauwels Consulting a Great Place to Work™?

Céline: For that I would like to take a look at this year’s results. Firstly, we score very well on diversity, inclusion and community. That’s because we are actively committed to these issues: we avoid discrimination and encourage inclusive behaviour. The family feeling that pervades our company is very precious to us.

We also keep our work atmosphere very friendly and open. And there are plenty of opportunities for fun as well. Our staff are proud to work for Pauwels Consulting and they don’t mind going the extra mile every now and then. Our people have also indicated in the survey that they can count on each other and everyone feels welcome here. That was wonderful to read!

Pauwels Consulting also received some constructive feedback in the first Great Place to Work™ survey. So what exactly have we done with these areas for improvement?

Céline: We’ve sure been busy this year. To make the management’s communication even more transparent and proactive, we have introduced our six-monthly status update meeting in which Bert and Mélodie inform everyone about Pauwels Consulting’s results and future plans. We are also sending out more surveys, we have created a Culture Book and we are setting up pilot projects on mobility and e-learning. 

We also focus even more on personal follow-up via our Talent Managers, and we have hired a new coach. We also encourage the mentoring of junior consultants by senior consultants even more than before.

We have also noticed that our staff really want to bond with each other. That’s why we are very committed to our ambassadors. They are experienced consultants at customer locations who are always there for the other consultants. They also organise meetings so that even more joint activities are planned. Unfortunately, many meetings couldn’t go ahead because of Covid-19, but we will certainly get back to this again as soon as we are permitted!

Luckily, however, we were able to organise quite a few general after-work drinks at the end of last year. Our consultants and back-office employees had the opportunity to get to know each other better at various events. There were drinks, we went bowling, we broke out of an escape room… And we will resume all these activities as well as soon as it is safe to do so.

Sounds great, Céline! And what will you do with this year’s results?

Céline: Of course, we want to continue to focus on our consultants’ growth with training courses, and we are also committed to mentoring, coaching and our Pauwels Academy. As there is such a wide range of learning opportunities, we would like to draw up a clear overview this year. We will be sending out a learning and development survey to our staff to see how we can best offer such an overview in a transparent way.

We have also noticed that our staff are missing a platform. First, we are going to map out the specific needs and then we will look at how we can meet those needs. Finally, we will also keep expanding the cycling project and get back to our after-work drinks again as soon as the COVID-19 situation allows. That’s a promise!

And on that cheerful note, we will end this interview. Céline, thank you for your time and answers. Congratulations again and we hope to speak to you next year about our third Great Place to Work™ label!

Do you want to join our Great Place to Work?

Take a look at our job offers and you may just be joining us at our next after-work drinks!

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Maxime van Belle Content Marketeer