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A day in the life of an Efficio consultant

Charlotte Schiolko

I joined the German Efficio office in Düsseldorf in October 2016 as a Business Analyst, after working at Accenture for over a year and a half. I had been very interested in procurement from the beginning of my bachelor studies in International Business Administration, so studying Supply Chain Management in Rotterdam seemed like the logical next step before starting work at Efficio.

When I started the German office had only opened 3 months before, so I was one of the first few employees based there. A year and a half later there are 27 of us based out of the Düsseldorf office, and we have no plans to stop growing. It really is an exciting time with lots of opportunities to take part in firm building activities, both in Germany and in the London headquarters.

Why Efficio?

For me the most profound reasons to work at Efficio have been the focus on Procurement with dedicated training for this, and the truly international team of colleagues I have. Everybody says that the people make Efficio a unique place to work and it is 100% true. There is a huge amount of team spirit and mutual support. In addition, the regular company get-togethers and social events add to the atmosphere.

Besides, what I value about Efficio is that even with the growth, the company is still small enough that each individual person counts and I don’t feel like "a number" in a big enterprise. 

Efficio Consulting Life

At the moment, I am working on a project in Frankfurt within the financial sector. Previously I was on a project near Munich in the pharmaceutical industry and was also helping out on a project in Cologne. Although I have only been on projects in Germany so far, I am looking forward to my first international assignment!

Since it is usual to be on the client site from Monday to Thursday, there is an emphasis on returning to the office on Fridays to foster exchange and team-spirit. Each second Friday of the month we have a German team meeting, where we have a company lunch together and afterwards discuss all the news from within the German office (business updates, firm building initiatives etc.)

There are also company-wide end-of-month meetings in London (taking place on the last Friday of each month), which we are encouraged to attend. These are followed by refreshments and networking with colleagues from the London office and other locations. Fridays are also typically used for training sessions. 

Below is a description of an end-of-month Friday in the London office with training in the morning:

7.30am: Wake up and get ready

In order to be on time for the morning training session, I normally fly directly to London on Thursday evening from the client site. Given that training doesn’t start until 9am this is the perfect opportunity to get some extra sleep (because let's face it: if you are not a morning person every minute of sleep counts). Of course, staying in a hotel near to both the office and training room helps as well. Setting my alarm for 7.30 leaves me with either the opportunity to have a quick morning sports session, or have a nice breakfast. Alternatively, I have the option to quickly respond to some e-mails, depending on the demands of my current project. 

9am: Training starts

Training starts with an introduction round where we all briefly give some background on how long we have been working at Efficio and which project we are on, this is a good way to get to know a little bit about the colleagues that you are doing the training with. This is particularly helpful if you haven’t met them before. After the introduction round the training starts and the trainer takes you through the material. For example, the training on RFP Writing teaches us about how best to structure and build a RFP for the various categories as well as what to be aware of. 

All trainings are very interactive with hands-on exercises where you directly practise the training content. These exercises are mostly a combination of group and individual exercises, e.g. which information needs to be asked from the suppliers and which information needs to be provided in order for the suppliers to provide a solid quote. Other courses include among others Spend Analytics, RFP Consolidation and Scoring and Negotiation. There are a huge range of training courses on offer at Efficio, and they are a great way to develop both your skills and understanding. 

12.00pm: Training ends

Most training sessions only last for the morning, so you can return to the office for the afternoon. Depending on the project situation I either return to the office immediately and pick up some lunch on the way or take a lunch break with some colleagues. I use the remaining time to do some client work: preparing status reports, conducting some analyses or preparing a RFP. Nevertheless, it is Friday and I am in the London office, so it is also a good opportunity to get a coffee and catch up with any colleagues I haven’t seen in a while. 

2.45pm: Getting ready for the End of Month meeting

It's time to pack my bag and walk to the end-of-month meeting. Every month our events team selects a different location to hold our meeting and subsequent networking/social event, this is usually a hotel within walking distance of the office.

3.00pm: End of Month business updates

Jens Pedersen, our CEO, or another of the senior management team starts the meeting with information on the recent firm developments, new project information, a welcome for our new joiners (which is normally quite a long list!) and, if applicable, says a sad farewell to the leavers. Afterwards one or two project teams will present their recent work, their approach and successes as well as how they overcame certain challenges and obstacles. We will also hear about the recent technological developments of our digital team and/or the developments of our procurement methodology.

5.30pm: Time for refreshments

After all of the updates are finished it is time to get some refreshments. Sometimes our Event team will organise a fun social activity (which can be anything from a team quiz, to an interactive murder mystery game). Otherwise it is just more time to catch up with colleagues! You are not required to stay after the monthly meeting, however snacks and drink are provided until around 8pm.