After finishing my first project at BNP Paribas Fortis, my Talent Development Manager asked me what my next project needed to look like. I asked for something challenging…
A few weeks later, I could start my next adventure at Axalta Coating Systems (formerly DuPont Performance Coatings), as support for the EMEA Demand Planning team. This team basically gathers information from sales, finance, product management, the government… in order to give a forecast on what they think the demand for a certain type of coating will be somewhere in the near future. So, as you can probably imagine, demand planning is all about data. A lot of (big) data. Which in return means a lot of sources and different systems, and that’s exactly where I come in.
My role in the demand team is to ensure that the systems work for the planners and not vice-versa. The problem? I had to learn to know all the systems, programs and tools, learn about SQL and understanding the business and all the workflows…quite a challenge indeed!
Once I got the hang of all this, the first few months the daily routine consisted of hunting down bugs in all the data flows and databases, redesigning data flows, adding new features, modifying datasets, etc. Being the sole ‘expert’ on some of the systems in the team, the rest of the team sometimes depended on me finding and fixing the issue, which resulted in many hours on the phone with India and some long and stressful nights. An ideal environment to work on some of my development points together with my coach and my mentor at Axalta!
Now, 6 months later, the systems all start running smoothly and my role has evolved along with them. I now give regular trainings on the systems and programs and I’m also given the opportunity to completely rethink and redesign the way some of the planners work. I basically try to understand the needs of the planners and translate this into ‘one-click data flows’ with a minimal amount of ‘copy pasting’ and manual actions. Yet still I’m amazed by everything I still need to learn. Some of these tools are extremely powerful, as long as you know how to use them.
Analysing, helping people, giving trainings, collaborating and networking, rethinking workflows and optimizing. An IT project like this one certainly helps me to track down what I like, the activities that give me energy and that I want to continue doing during the next part of my career. And isn’t that what ORMIT is all about?
- Demand Planning Project Team at Axalta Coating Systems
- Change Officer at BNP Paribas Fortis
Latest posts by Lennert Vierendeels (see all)
- So long everyone! - 23 April 2015
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