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A day in the life of an Efficio consultant in France

Imad Boucekkine

I joined Efficio’s New York office in May 2017 after completing my graduate degree from The George Washington University. Prior to joining Efficio, the bulk of my career was spent in private equity where I was responsible for strategic sourcing and procurement initiatives generating value for portfolio companies. While searching for my next position, I decided I would like to work for a company that could offer me the chance to work on challenging projects, continue working on overseas engagements and allow me to be part of an energetic, collaborative and diverse culture. After interviewing and learning more about the company, the decision to join Efficio was a no-brainer as it offered everything I was looking for.

I was staffed on my first project immediately after joining the firm. The client is a large manufacturing company with sites across North America, Europe and Asia. I was tasked with managing one of the direct categories we are helping the client source. Over the course of the project, the team and I worked at one of the two biggest sites each week. Either in Connecticut or at their office in the south of France.

When I work at the Connecticut office, I am at the client site Monday to Thursday, spending Friday and the weekend at home in New York. When working from France, trips last two to three weeks to maximise time with the client as these trips are less frequent. The added perk of the overseas trips is the chance to spend Fridays and the weekends in London, working from our head office and getting to know my colleagues that I don’t get to see on a regular basis. I also have the opportunity to spend weekends in a city of my choice – so far this has included trips to Florence, Italy and to Algeria, where I have family.

Below is an example of a Wednesday at client site in the south of France. The client site is based in a small village near Salon-de-Provence, about halfway between Avignon and Aix-en-Provence:

6.45am: Wake up and breakfast

We try to be at the client site by 8am every morning. I usually meet my teammates at the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Having very good bread, croissants, cheese, meats, etc. available every morning is not great for my waistline but makes for a very delicious start to the day. I tend to take a quick look at my emails first thing to see what has come through from the US overnight and if there is anything urgent in need of my attention. We then hop into our rental car to make the 20-30-minute drive to the client site.

8am: Arrive at client site

Arriving at the client site, it’s straight to the conference room we have booked for the week so that we can settle in. I go through and answer emails and review my task list for the day. Some usual everyday tasks include data analysis, creating presentation decks and meeting with client stakeholders, as well as much more..

Today I’m due to meet with one of our client’s key suppliers to discuss the current project they are participating in.

9am: Supplier meeting

Over the course of a sourcing project you regularly meet with many groups of people, including the client’s suppliers participating in your project. I will meet with a supplier for many reasons including wanting to provide an overview of the project, for negotiation purposes, to discuss strategy, and more. One of the most important supplier meetings we have is to discuss the strategy we are thinking of implementing on the project. No matter what category you are sourcing, suppliers are the people who work day in and day out with it and because of that they can be a good source of knowledge and feedback. In addition it helps with relationship building and getting to know the supplier’s business.

10.30am: Supplier meeting follow up 

After the meeting it’s time to debrief with our client stakeholder to go over what was discussed in the meeting. Once that is complete, I compile and type up all my notes and send them to the necessary parties. I also take care of any action items that can be handled right away and add the rest to my task list.

12pm: Lunch

The office is located in a very small, very old village. It’s the kind of village that has only one of everything you would typically find in a town – one bakery, butcher, post office, market etc. Our go-to lunch spot is the bakery where they serve simple but delicious sandwiches, quiches and other great French delicacies. Once we get our food it’s straight to the park or church garden to eat, relax and hang out with the team.

1pm: Data analysis and making slides

Once we are back at client site I work on some PowerPoint slides to outline the strategy for a part of the spend included in the project scope. I work on some data analysis to make a case for the strategy. I use the data and notes from client/supplier meetings to populate the slides.

3pm: The US is online

3pm in France means it’s 9am in the US and therefore the start of the workday for my American colleagues. The rest of my day is spent taking care of US focused tasks. This includes conference calls with client stakeholders or suppliers and catching up with US-based team members.

6.30pm: Dinner

If we leave the office at 6.30 we have time to drive 30 minutes to Avignon and have dinner there as opposed to our usual spots in the closer nearby towns. We get to Avignon around 7pm and with some daylight left we can take in some of the sites, including the Palais des Papes and other incredible sites in the historical and culturally rich old town of Avignon, before sitting down for dinner.

10.30pm: Back to the hotel

After a delicious dinner we head back to the hotel. Once there, I tend to check any emails that might have come through from the US while out at dinner. I also take care of any pressing tasks if needed. If not, I relax in the hotel room or lobby area with some colleagues before winding down for the night.