In our series “Consultants tell their stories”, today we want to introduce you to Mehdi Bennani, Quality Assurance Consultant at Pauwels Consulting. Mehdi joined Pauwels Consulting in 2011.
Mehdi, can you tell us more about yourself?

I am Mehdi Bennani, Senior Quality Assurance Consultant at Pauwels Consulting. After my studies in Veterinary Medicine in Rabat and Industrial Drug Development in Paris I specialized in Quality & Supply Chain Management at the Faculty of Pharmacy in Angers.

In the past 7 years I have worked as a Quality Assurance Consultant for large pharmaceutical companies in France and Belgium. I have 5 years’ experience in Quality Management and 2 years’ experience in Supply Chain Management.

How did you get in touch with Pauwels Consulting?

Two years ago, Pauwels Consulting contacted me via LinkedIn. The team was looking for an experienced Quality Assurance consultant to assist a large pharmaceutical partner with a project. I joined Pauwels Consulting straight away.

You currently work as Quality Assurance Oversight at a large pharmaceutical company. What do you like about your work?

I like to work in an international environment with people from various backgrounds such as engineering, life sciences and IT. This diversity brings challenges and ensures that I learn new things every day.

You have been working as a consultant for 5 years now. What do you like about consultancy?

For me, consultancy is the perfect way to get involved in various international projects. It allows me to expand my experience and professional network quickly and thoroughly.

Is there anything you don’t like about consultancy?

As a consultant you often have very little time to get to know the client’s structure, procedures and way of working. As a result you have to adapt quickly to find all the information and help you need. This can be quite stressful but I have learned to deal with the pressure and to use it as an extra motivation for work.

You are also enrolled in the APICS CPIM program. Can you tell us more about this program?

The APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) program is an internationally accredited learning program for experts in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. The program consists of 5 modules that treat the latest updates in the field of Supply Chain Management.

I have already completed one module and I am currently preparing for the final exam of my second and third module. I want to achieve the CPIM certification in 2015. This will be quite a challenge but I am extremely motivated and passionate about what I learn.

How does the CPIM program fit into your career?

Mehdi-Bennani - Pauwels ConsultingIn the coming years I want work on international Supply Chain Management projects. These projects can include (a combination of) supply chain management, instance forecasting, planning, purchasing, manufacturing, distribution areas and / or quality assurance. The CPIM certification is often a prerequisite for such demanding projects.

Manufacturing high quality products such as medicines is not a goal in itself. It is a means to help patients and to achieve long term profitability. Creating and adhering to a sustainable strategy for efficiency and long term profitability can only be achieved by mastering all supply chain processes.

How do you combine your work and your studies?

By carefully organizing my time. I work from 7 through 5 every day. Between 7 and 10 I follow classes. I study during the weekends. My main focus remains on my daily job, but the modules from the CPIM program further improve my understanding of quality assurance in all aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. This gives me extra energy to continue developing professionally and personally.

What are your long term goals?

I would like to broaden my project management skills and I want to take more leading roles in international quality assurance and supply chain management projects. I would also like to work on projects in my home country. The pharmaceutical industry is far less developed there so I believe there are interesting opportunities for the further development of the pharmaceutical sector in Morocco.

Finally, Mehdi, what advice would you give to students in your field?

Choose your first internship at a company carefully and keep your eyes and ears open at all times! Make sure that you get a good overview of the business and the cooperation of the various departments and divisions of the company.

Do not focus on your salary and other benefits too much. You will get the rewards you deserve when you gain more experience. Believe in yourself, enjoy your daily work and don’t forget to improve yourself whenever you can. Be pragmatic and use criticism as a motivation and a way to evolve.

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