The start of our ICP (International Consulting Project) was anything but conventional. Our newly formed team had been prepared for a procurement project however, a few months later, we discovered that we were instead switching to supply chain optimization for an ancillary part of the business. The scope then changed one last time to supply chain for a major part of our client’s business.
The seemingly unstructured nature of the client had us all a bit worried. Would we get information? Would they be helpful? Was this truly an important project? We had a million questions and only solidified the scope with the client 4-days prior to Day-1 of the ICP. Luckily, the team was in high spirits and our coach, Professor Ralf Seifert, had already shown immense support.
Then everything changed! Week one and two was an absolute tsunami of information. The client had gone into overdrive and found every possible internal stakeholder they could to speak with us. Each internal stakeholder made it their mission to have us understand the process, procedures, and company. We were stunned, both by the cheer amount of information and by the genuine willingness to help. Even our main report team was extremely helpful, bouncing off ideas and brainstorming where to go next. A former IMD MBA would also meet for 1-hour every day with us to assist on the project. The project was quickly picking up steam, we were receiving good feedback and the team was loving it.
By the middle of week 3, the dreaded Phase 1 client presentation had come along. We had gotten so much information that we had forgotten to synthesis. However, the client came in clutch again. They took the time to read our draft material and help us structure our thinking. We could see they had as much to gain from the project as we did, and it motivated us even more. The team did some overtime on the weekend and pulled together a fantastic Phase 1 presentation to positive review.
The trend continued. The one thing that has been incredibly clear and I hope can be genuinely expressed to the client at the end is; the more the team saw the care and time spent on us, the more we wanted to spend time working for them. At no time during the ICP have we felt brushed aside. A strong sense of collaboration, mutual gain, and mutual respect helps feed the team’s enthusiasm for delivering a strong performance. It is not often you see major corporations taking the time to work with students (MBA or not), especially in this much detail, support, and collaboration.
The team, Ruchira, Lingman, Marisa, Mikhail, and I would like to thank the whole client team, and everyone involved in this project, for the hard work, determination and collaboration, and seemingly infinite support. We look forward to closing this whole 7-week project in style!