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Pauwels Consulting and P.I.T.-Advisor, two successful Belgian consulting companies, have agreed to merge their operations. As of today, P.I.T.-Advisor will be operating as an independent unit within the Pauwels Consulting Group.
Marc De Roeck, co-founder and commercial manager of P.I.T.-Advisor, will remain responsible for the further development of P.I.T.-Advisor’s activities. Johan Mertens, co-founder and managing director of P.I.T.-Advisor will enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
We had a conversation with Bert Pauwels, founder and Managing Director of Pauwels Consulting and Johan Mertens and Marc De Roeck of P.I.T.-Advisor.
Gentlemen, congratulations on this deal! Can you briefly introduce yourselves?
Marc: Sure. I’m Marc De Roeck, Commercial Engineer by training. I started my career as an auditor and analyst. Over the years, I’ve held various commercial positions and, in 1999, Johan and I founded P.I.T.-Advisor.
Johan: I’m Johan Mertens, 63 and veteran in the IT world (laughs). I have held several IT roles during my career and in 1999, I took the plunge into entrepreneurship and started my own company, P.I.T.-Advisor.
Bert: I’m Bert Pauwels, the youngest of us three (laughs). I have always been an entrepreneur at heart and I founded Pauwels Consulting in 1999. At first, I still took on projects myself, but since 2004, I’m fully engaged in the daily management of the company.
Speaking of which, can you briefly introduce P.I.T.-Advisor and Pauwels Consulting?
Johan: P.I.T.-Advisor is an IT services company from Antwerp. We have 80 fantastic consultants and we deliver integrated ERP applications and software and hardware tailored to our clients‘ specific needs.
Marc: In addition, we have increasingly focused on project sourcing in the past 10 years. We support our customers in a wide variety of development and integration projects.
Bert: Pauwels Consulting specializes in project sourcing, business process outsourcing, recruitment and projects in the field of engineering, life sciences and IT. We work for companies in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.
Starting today, both companies will join forces. Why did you decide to work together?
Johan: Due to health reasons, I have decided to step aside this year. My hearing is increasingly deteriorating. This has started to affect my work at P.I.T.-Advisor. I made this decision with mixed feelings but I am sure it is the right decision.
Marc: I still have lots of ideas and energy to continue with P.I.T.-Advisor. I see our collaboration with Pauwels Consulting as a catalyst: all of a sudden, our team is five times larger and we can now serve even more customers. This offers many benefits for our customers and excellent career opportunities for our employees.
Bert: At Pauwels Consulting, we note that companies are increasingly entrusting tasks to a smaller number of contractors. Therefore, it is important to continuously develop our services and our customer portfolio. In that regard, this collaboration with P.I.T.-Advisor came at the perfect time.
In what way Bert?
Bert: I have been following P.I.T.-Advisor for a while now. The people, projects and customers of P.I.T.-Advisor and Pauwels Consulting complement each other perfectly. We understand each other, but we are not competitors. That is a good starting point for a collaboration.
Marc: During our conversations, we quickly noticed that the strategy, vision and ambitions of our companies can be aligned easily. We immediately got along on a personal level as well. In such cases, you should not hesitate.
Johan: I wanted our new partner to be young, dynamic and experienced. Such partners are rare, but Bert Pauwels and Pauwels Consulting fit the profile perfectly.
At what point did you know you would join forces?
Johan: I’m a tough cookie (laughs) and we have had some lively discussions, but in the end we all came to an agreement. That’s how I know it’s going to be all right. Marc and I have a very good feeling about this collaboration.
Bert: Conversations about an acquisition or other forms of co-operation are always a bit precarious. But in the end, we quickly came to an agreement because we had the interest of both our companies in mind. Our employees and customers will benefit from this.
What are the benefits of this partnership for your clients?
Marc: In recent years, P.I.T.-Advisor has built a beautiful and diverse customer portfolio. And this customer base is complementary to that of Pauwels Consulting.
Johan: The same goes for our services and the skills and competences of our consultants. Thanks to this collaboration, we can immediately extend our services and support customers in even more fields. This is an important strategic advantage for the future.
Bert: At Pauwels Consulting, we’re increasingly focusing on Business Process Outsourcing: we are happy to take care of the management of entire departments and processes of our clients. Thanks to the strategic expansion of our workforce and our competence matrix, we can take up increasingly complex departments and projects.
And what are the benefits for the employees?
Bert: We think it’s important that our employees have clear and broad career opportunities. Thanks to this partnership, our customer base grows significantly. This means that the people in our back-office and our consultants can take on new projects, functions and responsibilities in a natural way.
Marc: We also see many opportunities for knowledge sharing. Pauwels Consulting is paying more and more attention to knowledge sharing. The Pauwels Consulting Academy is a great example. I am confident that our people actively can and want to contribute to this.
Sounds great gentlemen! Do you have a final message for our readers?
Bert: I’m really looking forward to welcoming our new colleagues from P.I.T.-Advisor. The same goes for our whole team. During previous acquisitions, the integration and cross-fertilization between colleagues always ran smoothly. I am convinced it won’t be any different this time.
Marc: I really want to start this new chapter. We have already made a beautiful journey with P.I.T.-Advisor and now we have the opportunity to accelerate our business. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Johan: I’m glad I can hand over P.I.T.-Advisor to Marc and Bert with confidence. I really enjoyed building the company and bringing it up to this point. I am also proud and grateful that the company can start a new chapter now. I’m sure this collaboration will turn out fine.
Thanks for this interview gentlemen. Congratulations again and good luck with all of your future projects.