We are proud to introduce Lies de Smit as our newest Riverflexer in the Spotlight. Based in the Netherlands, Lies has recently joined the independent consulting world and has experience in optimising customer experience through technology. We had a chance to sit down with Lies and hear about her experience transitioning into independent consulting and life as a Riverflexer.
As of October 1st, Lies has become an independent consultant. Before embarking on this new professional journey, she worked as a consultant for BearingPoint, where she focused on customer experience within the high tech and Marines industry. In the past, Lies has also worked at Deloitte Consulting, for the Technology function. Lies is passionate about helping organisations become more customer-centric through the optimisation of their customer experience and customer relationship management.
As an independent consultant, Lies is currently working with FrieslandCampina to provide children with milk to drink with school lunches, in a project called “Schoolmelk”. She enjoys this kind of work because she is able to work closely with service teams, involve more strategy, and improve the process.
Freedom and flexibility to choose her own projects
Lies was first attracted to independent consulting because of the freedom and flexibility it allows. She enjoys the ability to choose the projects that appeal to her the most, and where she feels she can add the most value. Compared to her consulting experience with large firms, the freedom to pick her own projects has made Lies far more satisfied with her work. For her, this freedom translates into being more dedicated to a project, bringing the right kind of expertise to each project and ultimately being able to provide more value to her clients.
The challenges of becoming an independent consultant
“I was afraid of what consulting would be like without having a team or people to discuss problems with.”
Now independent, many consultants find themselves missing the consulting networks they had access to in traditional firms. Tapping into these networks for advice, knowledge sharing and support was fundamental to their process. Knowing about and joining Riverflex eased Lies’ transition into independent consulting. As part of Riverflex, Lies is happy to have access to other independents, with whom she can discuss problems and share expertise.
The social aspect of being part of a community with other independent consultants was one of the reasons why Lies decided to join Riverflex in the first place. She appreciated the possibility to bounce ideas off of other independents and ask for advice. Next to that, however, Lies was particularly keen on the opportunity to become herself an active part of that network, sharing her own knowledge and expertise to help others.
“Riverflex is full of knowledgeable and experienced consultants. As an independent, I feel like being able to share my own knowledge can help all of us grow as consultants.”
We look forward to working with Lies to help our community of independents grow, and help clients become more customer-centric.