Axel, you moved from Sweden to Switzerland a few weeks ago. How did you come to join valantic in Zurich as a Planning & Analytics Consultant?
First of all, Switzerland is simply beautiful. 😊 I studied in Sweden, and it was clear to me that I wanted to live and work abroad afterwards. Stepping out of your comfort zone brings personal enrichment. In addition, Switzerland combines all the aspects I need for my hobbies: the mountains for skiing and climbing as well as the lakes for long racetracks.
After completing my master’s degree in Engineering, I worked in Sweden for one of the largest strategy consulting companies in the world. A key reason for my move to valantic was that I wanted to get a stronger technical focus by being able to work hands-on on customer projects. In my view, such technical implementation projects are currently all customers’ focus. During my first conversations with both the Managing Director in Zurich and the consultants, it quickly became clear to me that valantic would give me the opportunity to dive deep into project implementation.
Technology, finance and planning & analytics are topics that are close to my heart, and I get an optimal mix of these at valantic. When it comes to technology, I am also not fixed, but free to choose, as this depends on the specific customer situation and is assessed individually. That makes it even more exciting!
Does that mean that you find the way valantic works special? Please explain in more detail!
From day one, I was impressed by how technically highly qualified the team is on the one hand, and how everyone has a specific business background from areas such as supply chain or finance on the other hand. I see this as a unique mix, as it puts together teams that speak the language of the respective customer and understand their requirements. Even though we have a strong focus on planning projects in Switzerland, we always have the large valantic family behind us with a wide range of industry and technology skills.
Here are a few highlights that particularly fascinate me in our customer cooperation:
- We go into customer projects and offer management consulting that does more than just analyze the current situation and optimize processes. We implement the requirements directly in a technical solution, as the valantic consultants bring the expertise on both sides. So we work hands-on with the data.
- In addition, every implementation project focuses on close cooperation with the customer. We develop solutions that are designed for sustainability and longevity.
- After the go-live phase, we never leave customers alone, but accompany them as long as it is necessary and desired.
- All projects are characterized by a strong human touch because we always work on an equal footing with the customers. The projects are not realized FOR, but WITH the customer.
How would you describe your personal contribution to the valantic team?
The Swiss team is growing rapidly. Until recently, however, it consisted exclusively of colleagues from German-speaking countries. With me from Sweden and other newcomers from all over Europe, it is now slowly becoming international.
In addition to this cultural aspect, I have a strong analytical, quantitative background, which is very finance-related due to my previous professional experience. As a result, I am very familiar with the financial processes, I know how they are lived in reality, and I speak the language of the CFOs.
With your financial background, do you currently consider the use of planning solutions to be particularly important?
We all live in a rapidly changing world, and that makes planning enormously important. My experience has shown that companies have masses of data, but this often overwhelms them rather than being useful for them. As a result, they miss out on many opportunities to draw valuable information and conclusions from the data. The finance department sits on a large part of this data. 😉
Finance is the backbone of any business. A challenge is often that the finance departments are still very manual, e.g., they work mainly in Excel, which is often time-consuming and frustrating.
With a planning solution in hand, Finance can gain much more insight into their data at the touch of a button and share it with the rest of the company.
However, CFOs and their teams need the right technical support. From my point of view, the transformation should therefore look like this: we at valantic should work with them to develop the basis for a better planning environment in order to move them from a spreadsheet environment to a platform mentality. Once the foundation is in place, we take the next step and look into advanced planning capabilities such as machine learning, predictive analytics, and automated reporting.
Thank you, Axel, for your openness. We wish you a successful start in Switzerland!