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Rising Star Academy: seven weeks’ SAP quarantine

Full of energy, they showed up at the head office of TheValueChain in Kontich this morning: the participants of the Rising Star Academy, second edition. They will be spending six weeks in SAP quarantine, under the expert guidance of experienced TheValueChain mentors. At the end of this journey, the rising stars will be ready to tackle their first assignment in the supply chain team.

TheValueChain has strong growth ambitions in 2021. ‘To achieve these, we need to expand our team,’ says Tim Poppe. ‘The first edition of the Rising Star Academy was a unique experience, both for the participants and us. Ten people who started it have become valued players in our team. So, we are more than happy to repeat the experience!’

Red-and-black convoy
TheValueChain ran a social media campaign to find enthusiastic people with two to three years’ work experience. Not as IT people or SAP specialists, but as business process owner, business analyst, project coordinator or SAP key user. ‘We set the bar high’, admits Elke Provost. ‘We carefully screened fifty candidates. Ten chosen ones get to start the training today.’

This morning, the rising stars received the keys to their shiny BMW 1s. The red-and-black convoy made its way to Genk, where, for the next six weeks, the group will be holed up in the Carbon Hotel. From then on, it is serious business. In the first two weeks, they will discover the broad story of SAP. After that, they will dive into supply chain processes and modules. As for the fun activities in week 2 and 5, Ivan Leysen wouldn’t reveal any details yet.

Balancing act
‘Along the way, the rising stars will also be working on their soft skills with Roel Van de Wiele of Atlas,’ adds David Jacobs. ‘For a SAP consultant, those skills are crucial. Just think of assertiveness, diplomacy, presentation and communication skills. Because rolling out SAP is never a one-man show.’

Six weeks together in a hotel, how coronavirus-proof is that, really? ‘Don’t worry,’ laughs Elke Provost. ‘We are complying with all the coronavirus measures currently in place. All masked people in meeting rooms that are much too big, with the windows open: how things have changed! Meals will be served in the rooms. Plus, there will be no drinks at the bar. And yet, it will still be good fun. It’s a balancing act. But isn’t that always the case for an SAP consultant? (laughs)’