Hello Ann, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ann: Sure! I’m Ann Claus, born just before the eighties (laughs) and mother of a nice family with two children. Sepp is eleven years old and Sam is 9 years old.
What do you do in your spare time?
Ann: In my spare time, I exercise a lot: Pilates, BBB and running. Doing some muscle toning exercises and going for a run in the woods… I love it!
What did you study?
Ann: I graduated in 2002 as Master of Business Economics at the Thomas More College in Antwerp.
After that, I also followed some additional trainings – APICS and PMP – to speak the same language and jargon as other supply chain and project management professionals. That’s really useful when I work on projects.
Why did you choose these studies?
Ann: The Master of Business Economics – very similar to The Master of Applied Economic Sciences – offers a broad training. You learn how to read company balance sheets, you get to know the different types of organizations, you get an introduction to legislation, etc. In short: you learn a lot of different perspectives to tackle interdisciplinary problems / issues.
What is your professional background?
Ann: I have about 10 years of work experience in various parts of the supply chain. I have worked in the food and pharmaceutical industry, mainly in international environments. Thanks to my first work experience in procurement and production planning, I got my first project: the construction and equipping of a warehouse.
Then, I took part in an operational excellence program. During this program, the following three questions were very important: (1) What causes the biggest losses within our supply chain? (2) At what cost? and (3) How can we improve the situation through tools such as a value stream map?
These experiences, combined with an executive position within manufacturing, gave me the know-how to tackle major change projects within the pharmaceutical industry. Product portfolios that need to be sold and phased out (divestment), for example, or the opposite: existing processes that need to be modified in order to include new products (integration).
“If you don’t climb the mountain, you can’t see the view.”
How did you get in touch with Pauwels Consulting?
Ann: I got in touch with Pauwels Consulting in 2015. An interesting job led to a pleasant exploratory conversation, this conversation quickly led to a new project, and voila! (Laughs)
What was your first impression of the company?
Ann: Pauwels Consulting struck me as a correct and transparent company. There’s also a healthy drive to offer something valuable to all parties.
Does the company still live up to those expectations / impressions?
Ann: Absolutely! In the future, I hope to continue my cooperation with Pauwels Consulting in the same way.
Can you tell us a bit more about your current project?
Ann: I currently work at GSK Biologicals in Wavre. GSK recently bought the vaccine component of Novartis. I am part of the project team that will integrate the Novartis vaccines in the GSK processes, without impacting the patient.
What is the goal of the project?
Ann: The goal of the project is to integrate the vaccines from Novartis within GSK, country by country. There is more to it than just the shipping of the product to the GSK warehouse. Before the first shipment leaves the manufacturing plant and the GSK warehouse, many other aspects are examined and documented.
Our team focuses on questions such as: Do we have the necessary authorizations from the local authorities to import and to sell? Can we use the same cold chain management solutions within GSK? Does the product have a financial routing?
What are your responsibilities during this project?
Ann: I build bridges between central and local teams. I also manage and monitor the necessary activities within the supply chain. This way, all countries can manage the new products on their own within a time span of up to six months, and in accordance with the GSK products and procedures.
What are the timelines of this project?
Ann: By the end of 2016, most of the countries will have incorporated the new products in their portfolio.
What do you find interesting about this project?
Ann: For me, the “fun factor” lies in bringing together very different aspects. You have to fit them together like pieces of a puzzle, as quickly as possible. Such a range of product and / or country-specific requirements offers a wide view. It always exposes a certain complexity that requires a solution.
What would you like to do after this project?
Ann: Many things! (Laughs) I would like to focus on change projects: expand the current activities of an organization, integrate a new product or phase out products. In short: I want to work on projects with a clear “fun factor”!
What are your ambitions for the future?
Ann: I want to convince others of the value I can provide by effectively translating strategy into execution. Projects that temporarily support an organization by reducing the transitional period.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Ann: “If you don’t climb the mountain, you can’t see the view.” I love mountain holidays. You face steep rocky and snowy paths, but once you reach the top, the view is extraordinary. Totally worth the effort! I saw this quote in a mountain village. It applies to myself and to the commitment I have to deliver good results. It’s an attitude I want to pass on to my children as well. (Smiles)
Thank you very much for this lovely interview, Ann. I wish you all the best for the future!