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Expanding and continuing ERP competence

– I am someone who is always eager to learn new things that can help me in the future. Whether it's acquiring new skills or knowledge, I believe that learning is a lifelong process that can only benefit us in the long run, says ERP consultant and trainee at Mazeppa, Vit Brandejs.

In 2023, Mazeppa employed six young and talented people in a trainee program we’re setting up together with our biggest partner, Infor. The goal is to find new talent and develop the next generation of ERP consultants.

The travelling consultant

Brandejs is 27 years old, from the Czech Republic, and aside from learning, he’s always looking to stay active, and explore the worldaround him. In addition to a passion for sports, hiking, biking, and running,Brandejs loves to travel. – There's something about exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures that makes me feel alive, he says.

Thus, a life as a consultant is well suited for Brandejs. Even if it’s for business, travelling is always another adventure, and the dream is to travel exciting places, have some meetings during the weekand then spend the weekend exploring, he explains.

Brandejs has a master’s degree in logistics and wrote his thesis on optimizing production, stock handling, cooperating with suppliers and improving service level. Since then, he’s specialized in logistics and ERP, becoming a SAP key user for Materials.

– Overall, I like projects, small or large. The most important thing for me is to work on projects where there are improvements to be made in a company's efficiency and profitability, says Brandejs.

Changing sides of the ERP table

When Brandejs was first asked to join the trainee program, he declined. He was happy in the position he was in and didn’t want to change. Luckily for Mazeppa, after a few chats with Petr and Stepan at the Prague office, he changed his mind.

– I found a passion in Mazeppa’s area of expertise because I want to someday become a consultant. My problem was always that I wanted to gain more knowledge before I could become one, and it’s often required that you have at least five years of experience before you can start being a consultant. Through the trainee program however, I learned that I could start much earlier and learn on the go, Brandejs says.

Despite having quite a bit of experience working with ERP-projects previously, Brandejs has always been on the other side of the table, being the one to work with consultants on the systems. Regardless, he came into training with an advantage in already being a technical person.  

– I’m fortunate having worked with large ERP systems like SAP previously. It gave me an advantage going into learning Infor LN from scratch. Technically, there are some similarities between the systems, but for the end-user, they are completely different. So, it’s exciting to be able to help clients navigate and use the system in a way that suits them perfectly.

After finishing the pure training, the trainees are now moving on to “shadowing” the seniors. The goal being to connect what they’ve learnt in training with a more practical usage and to start working with real clients.

Since I had a lot of the technical knowledge already, the most valuable things I’ve learned at Mazeppa so far is about consultancy: to work with clients, help them understand the systems and how technology can help their business, says Brandejs.

Giving back

Moving forward, Brandejs has a goal to cultivate the knowledge he’s gained, and to become an expert in one area to give back on Mazeppa’s investment in him.

– I find it a bit difficult to suddenly be a trainee and not immediately bring value into the company. I’m an asset, but I’m also an expense. I feel in debt, but also very grateful, so I’m looking forward to paying it back, Brandejs says.

He emphasizes how important it is for companies to invest in new talent, in a market and an industry that lacks professional expertise.

– I’m impressed and happy that the senior consultants at Mazeppa were able to search in three different countries and find six completely different people (but with similar mindsets and values) to join the program. Everyone has different backgrounds and strengths, which means we get to share our knowledge and learn from each other, which is great.

– If we’re going to have all the competence that the ERP industry needs, it’s necessary for companies like Mazeppa to invest in new talent, to carry on industry experience. Also, all companies need to have bright minds to improve their business, to have people come in with fresh ideas and new perspectives to the IT world.