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IT RECRUITING & STAFFING COMPANY OF THE YEAR

(International) Project Manager SAP @ VPK Group

AMCV03716

Function

1. Purpose of the position

The purpose of this position at VPK Group is to manage international SAP projects within the company's IT department. The Project Manager will be responsible for overseeing various SAP projects and ensuring that they are completed within the scope, timeline, budget and quality parameters. The role involves working with various stakeholders, leading project teams, managing project portfolios and implementing technology solutions to achieve business outcomes such as operational improvements, security enhancements and profit improvements.

2.    Context 

2.1 Challenge:

VPK has been growing fast the last few years. VPK ICT has a pivotal role in integrating the new acquisitions in the VPK Group template solution, which is built around SAP and OMP.  To achieve all this, there is a permanent collaboration between the different project managers to leverage experiences, to share best practices and also to share solutions for day to day business challenges.

It is key for the project manager to be a strong leader for the business counterparts. The solutions are rolled out for and with plant managers and business unit managers. Strong leadership is required on a daily basis and in the monthly steerco meetings. Communication, communication, communication.

Key themes in the Business units are efficiency improvements and customer intimacy. A VPK project manager will, via the projects he/she is accountable for, role initiative to support these themes. Besides the above, several of the projects are also around the topics of shopfloor, security and sustainability improvements.

2.2 Application Landscape

The key VPK Solutions are SAP (variant configurator business)  and OMP. Other technologies are Mendix, Bartender and ORTEC. VPK provides all solutions via Citrix and are mostly Windows based. The company has moved all servers to the Azure cloud together with the infrastructure partner Capgemini.
Project budget size

Within VPK ICT, the company is doing different types of projects. Mostly these are SAP Projects, which can be part of the roll-out of an existing (template) solution or a new functionality, or the integration of new VPK acquisitions in the existing applications set up (SAP, OMP).

Project budgets can vary from 200k€  to 4 million € (multiple years), and teams between 2 to >10 people. VPK mostly works with internal staff and during peak moments (or when the team has to acquire the expertise for a new solution that they did not yet implement) the organization calls upon external consultants.

2.3 Most important ongoing projects:

In the short term VPK is rolling out its SAP-OMP template solution into VPK France and into the new acquired sites in VPK UK. VPK also has projects linked to Pepol (e-documents), Mendix (Customer Portal), Ortec, Peripass, Transporeon (transport management solutions), …  They have a first analysis done for S/4 hana upgrade. The company will earliest January 2026 migrate to S/4 hana but starts already with the preparations in 20s 

2.4 Methodologies:

VPK is managing projects by using the VPK ICT project methodology, which is an own-developed methodology and which is based on a combination of Prince II and PMI aspects.  Within the VPK ICT Project Methodology, the company has defined and created a certain framework and a set of rules and, thanks to the VPK’s entrepreneurial spirit, every single project manager can grab the opportunities to manage every single project in his/her own style, by exploring and developing their skills and talents.

3. Tasks and responsibilities

1. Project Management: The SAP Project Manager at VPK Group is responsible for managing the scope, timeline, budget and quality of projects within the SAP landscape. They are responsible for the successful implementation of technology solutions, including SAP projects, ensuring they are aligned with business objectives.

2. Leadership: The Project Manager leads project teams, motivates and guides them to the effective implementation of solutions. They are expected to be strong leaders, make strategic decisions and drive change within the organization. Project Managers at VPK Group are able to lead the business counterparts towards the implementation of a technology solution and realizing the business results of the project which might be: operations improvement, security improvements, profit improvements or other.

3. Stakeholder Management and communication: Effective communication and stakeholder management are important aspects of this role. The Project Manager interacts with business counterparts, IT teams and other stakeholders and ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding project objectives.One of the biggest challenges in project management is the frequent changes in a project's lifespan. The project concepts, scope, requirements, or even the number of tasks that need to be completed in a single milestone can keep changing. Hence communication skills and stakeholder management skills are very key in this role

4. Collaboration: In this role, you will work closely with various teams, including business key-users, analysts and other stakeholders. Steerco meetings are held regularly to facilitate collaboration and ensure project progress. The challenge will be to align language between the business and ICT. Where ICT is used to run projects on a permanent basis for a plant manager or business unit manager this is a once in a while exercise. The challenge will be to gain the comfort of the counterparts to be the trusted advisor. It is sometimes a challenge for a business user to be able to articulate the requirements of the end solution and for that there shall be no disappointments, all this might need a couple of iterations. External partners are Delaware (VAR) and Nessi.

5. Process Improvement: The Project Manager contributes to efficiency improvements and customer intimacy within the business units. They initiate projects that support these themes and actively engage in continuous process improvement.

6. Strategic decision-making: Once the project charter is approved, the Project Manager has the authority to make decisions within the scope, timeline and budget as defined in the charter. Deviations require Steerco member approval. Within the VPK ICT Project Methodology, the company has defined and created a certain framework and a set of rules. Thanks to the VPK’s entrepreneurial spirit, every single project manager can grab the opportunities to manage every single project in his/her own style, by exploring and developing their skills and talents.

7. Team Management: While not directly responsible for hiring/firing staff, the Project Manager works with the VPK ICT Application Manager to make resource decisions. They ensure the right balance of internal and external resources to meet project requirements. At the start of the project the balance between the available resources and external resources is made also in line with the analyst expectations and interests. During the project there is a permanent feedback loop with the VPK ICT application manager to ensure the right coaching and feedback can be given to the analyst if required.

8. Budget Management: The Project Manager works within project budgets and must manage financial aspects and ensure projects are delivered within the assigned budget.  Yearly the external financial audit will evaluate and assess the project documentation against the VPK Standard project methodology. The experienced project managers do have the experience and will support here when this assessment is done the first time.

9. Technology: Familiarity with SAP and related technologies is critical. VPK Group operates in a Citrix and Microsoft environment, making knowledge of these technologies essential.

10. Continuous learning: The ideal candidate must be open-minded, hands-on, diplomatic and eager to learn. Continuous learning and adapting to changing project requirements are fundamental to this position.

The SAP Project Manager at VPK Group plays a critical role in successfully implementing technology solutions, driving efficiencies and contributing to the organization's strategic goals. Effective leadership, communication and collaboration are central to this position, along with a thorough knowledge of SAP and related technologies. Travel time is limited to 2 or 3 days a month.
    
4. Objectives for the first 12 months

3 months : Onboarding, supported by a senior VPK ICT Project manager
6 months : Have a first smaller project started and maybe delivered
12 months : Have a first bigger project started and maybe delivered

Obviously, expectations about the speed at which an SAP Project Manager settles in are related to the experience a Project Manager has already accumulated. Depending on experience, this process can obviously be faster, but the VPK environment is complex and international.

At the end of the first 18 months, the Project Manager will have been able to lead a roll-out of the VPK Group template solution towards a country or a business unit and realizing the linked business results in operations efficiency improvement.

5. Reporting

The SAP Project Manager reports directly to the Group ICT Director.

6. Reason for the vacancy

 VPK keeps on growing and investing, consequently also the project portfolio has grown, hence there is a need for recruiting an extra project Manager. 

Profile

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in a relevant field (preferably in IT, business administration or related field).
     
  • Leadership experience in Application /  ERP consulting, preferably with a focus on SAP projects. Experience in international project management is desirable. 
     
  • In-depth knowledge of and practical experience with ERP projects, preferably SAP projects in consulting or in FMCG, Industry, … , including SAP variant configurator activities.
     
  • Experience with driving and overseeing ERP (SAP) projects, lead project teams, ensure effective communication, collaborate with stakeholders, manage budgets and contribute to process improvements and efficiencies (within scope,  timeline, budget  and quality parameters)
     
  • A project manager is someone who is responsible for managing a piece of work from concept to delivery. It's not limited to qualifications or backgrounds, but instead applies to anyone and everyone who finds themselves able to  manage projects, ensuring they're delivered on time and within budget and to anyone and everyone who is keen on continuous learning and wants to keep on growing in this role.
     
  • A project manager shall be a diplomat. Balancing between the different stakeholders and the project team. A project manager shall be a leader which is able to decide and to lead the project team(s).
     
  • Open minded, hands-on, diplomatic, wanting to learn and interested in the industry.

Offer

  • Leading international company, active in the circular economy, that is still growing and can present a particularly nice project and program portfolio. There are continuing challenging new SAP projects.
     
  • Direct report to the Group ICT Director.
     
  • VPK group is an entrepreneurial and people oriented environment, with a very quick decision making attitude, where you will have  impact and the opportunities to really make a difference.
     
  • An interesting and competitive salary package depending on your experience, with net expense allowance, bonus, company car and fuel card, group and hospitalization insurance and a complete fringe benefits package.

 

Amon is the exclusive recruitment partner for this role at VPK Group.

Interested? Contact Flor Depuydt: fdp@amon.be or 0477 91 68 63.

Copyright @ Amon, 2023

Keywords

(International) Project Manager SAP @ VPK Group

VPK Group, with Headquarters in Belgium (Aalst)  is a leading European supplier of cardboard packaging. It concerns a wide range of packaging solutions, from sturdy and functional standard packaging to trendy and innovative marketing packaging. VPK also offers transport management and strong digital integration. 

The organization has grown enormously in recent years due to acquisitions. With more than 6,500 employees and 70 production sites spread over 20 countries worldwide, VPK Group is a powerful player in the market. The company produces millions of tons of sustainable corrugated and solid board annually, resulting in a turnover of 2 billion Euros. The organization uses recycled paper as the raw material for our 100% recyclable and biodegradable packaging. Examples of customers include Pepsico, Danone and Proximus.

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