What requirements do you have, in general, regarding a consultant?

Jacqueline Marchand: I am waiting for somebody who can help me to make up my mind regarding things that are long-term. We need this outside help to think about the future, to guide us and to help our company to find the right way to be healthy and profitable and to build a strategy with our management.

You have been already participating in two strategic projects with kfu.
How did you feel in these seminars? What has been achieved?

Jacqueline Marchand: Last year, it was the first time that I was attending such a seminar because I used to work for small and private companies that never did it before. I recognized - that last year - it was brand-new for me and had some difficulties coming into the seminar itself. I was just able to help because I know the forging market quite well because I have been working in this market for 30 years. And now, after one year, after having the time to look at what we did last year, to read the documentation established by Dirk Knips, I am feeling very well today and see the future much better, much clearly than last year. Dirk Knips helped to make up our minds, helped in thinking. He knows us now, knows our weaknesses, our good points and can help where we are weak.

And, in your opinion, what has been proceeding particularly well during the two seminars? What are the strength of kfu?

Jacqueline Marchand: Dirk Knips is so understandable, he listens to you with such an attention trying to understand at any time what you are explaining or wanting to know. He is not only somebody who takes the given answers as it is. And already after a couple of hours, I feel that Dirk Knips is like a colleague. He looks like a member of our team.

What would you do differently next time that you have a project with kfu?

Jacqueline Marchand: I would suggest that we have a preparation seminar with Dirk Knips before and talk with him about how we are feeling regarding several points, how we see ourselves (if we are on the right way, if we are far behind or already good, etc.). Doing this, we could have more time in the annual strategic seminar for additional or personal questions, more time to sit together and being even more creative, forget the paperwork, speak about the market itself and to take advantage of Knips's experience. He has the right way to think, so we have to talk to him before because he is used to such a seminar.

Which advises would you give to a manager whose company is in a similar difficulty situation as your company some time ago?

Jacqueline Marchand: Just that he should sit, listen, analyze and try to understand why his company is bad and where they could improve very quickly. He should take the necessary time and should not be in a panic, should not hurry. An improving plan must be done with priorities but according to the same guide-line.

How high has been your expenditure of time in the project?
Was it worthwhile? If yes, why?

Jacqueline Marchand: One week before the seminar and during 2 times 4 hours, we reviewed the whole book we did last year. It was obvious that this was not quite sufficient but we could update some information before the seminar and re-ask some questions we had definitively to get answers. This is worthwhile to be finally sure that we were going to apply the right strategy and not change it again within the next five years.

Thank you very much for this interview.