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Corona changes work of Project Consultants at retailer

Key messages

Remote consultancy

Change of project scope

Flexible solutions

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Several Project Consultants of the Brussels Blue Chip Boutique Transition & Support (T&S) are on projects at a big retailer that has more turnover due to the Corona crisis. It changes the work for one and increases the activity for the other. This is evident from the testimonies of Szundar Raman, Sofie Dezeure and Anne Altenberg.

Project Consultant Szundar Raman explains that the retailer prefers consultants to come to the office. This doesn’t mean that the retailer has no experience with teleworking, as in-house employees are allowed to work two days a week from home. Initially, this remained the case, but the company adapted its working methods as the government took Corona measures. Szundar is active in the inventory of goods in shops. He also plays a role in the transfer of activities to India, but there they are now in lockdown and the work is at a standstill. 

Sofie Dezeure is business controller from A to Z for the Luxembourg branch of the company and tells that there are fewer 'usual' questions from the business. "These people are mainly concerned with the essential: the health of employees and customers, and keeping the business up and running. The retailer has a system of 'helping hands': employees of support services, who help to replenish the racks, for example in the end-of-year period. Due to the Corona crisis, that system was put into operation. People in operational functions are having a hard time".

The reduced 'normal' questions are compensated by the collection of information for weekly reports related to the Corona crisis, which provides answers to questions such as: what is the impact of the virus? What about hoarding? "I also use the time that has been freed up in recent weeks to review processes and formulate advice for improvement," Sofie adds. She already had a VPN connection before the Corona crisis. "I always try to make sure that I can work from home, should that be necessary to meet a deadline, for example".

Sofie, Anne and Szundar working from home

For Anne Altenberg, who is 'Teamleader Master Data' at the retailer, the workload went up considerably. "Several employees dropped out. The client of course does not want to take any health risks. Leading my team is now done remotely and that is less easy than when we see each other physically". Anne and her team Skype twice a week. "I also use the phone more often and email everyone so I'm sure the information flows through properly." Additional work is also due to the creation of additional data, including new articles and suppliers. That process is not easy, all the more so because the pressure is high to come up with results quickly. "But we can manage it all well," Anne emphasises.

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