Case Study Icam
The school trains its engineers with Axelor
As part of the training program, the school offers its students a module on business management software (ERP). The pedagogical principle is to teach the main concepts of ERP and to practice concretely on a software that is actually used by the market: Axelor.
Jean-Pierre Pauwels – partnership coordinator at Icam Ouest
Pierrick Léger – teacher
Icam, an engineering school founded in 1898, has 6 campuses in France and 6 campuses abroad (Africa, India, Latin America). With more than 6,000 students, apprentices, and interns throughout its sites, Icam is a major school in the higher education arena. In the Western region, the Icam project is based at three campuses: the Nantes location, the Brittany location (in Vannes) and the Vendée location (in La Roche-sur-Yon), which have been combined to form Icam West. The institution also offers training courses leading to certification and degrees from the CAP to a specialized Master’s degree and also has manufacturing schools. Finally, Icam also offers companies a full range of services: R & D, multidisciplinary studies, design and production of special machines, testing, etc.
As part of the training program, the school offers its students a module on enterprise management software (ERP). The pedagogical principle is to teach the main concepts of ERP and to practice concretely on a software of this type.
Jean-Pierre Pauwels, coordinator of Icam’s partnerships in the West, explains: “At the Brittany and Vendée campuses, our students are on an apprenticeship program, which means that they learn both on campus and at a company. In this sense, it is essential for us to transmit knowledge and skills, but also to give them practical experience.
With this in mind, the school is looking for partners to support ERP training.
As part of the development of this course, a committee of 6 to 7 members was created with the aim of reflecting on the module and helping it to evolve.
Pierrick Léger, professor of the Supply Chain module, remembers: “The tool we previously used was a learning software. In our optics to bring practice and substance to our training, we had to change this tool as it was not representative enough of what is done at companies”.
The pedagogical committee quickly discovered Axelor’s software, which particularly attracted them due to its accessibility and its extremely user-friendly interface. Moreover, after an initial meeting with Axelor, the editor, as part of its partnership program with schools, offered to help them by making the software available free of charge and hosting students’ data during their fieldwork.
The wheels were then set in motion.
As far as the training at Icam is concerned, from the 2nd year, the students follow a “Manufacturing Resource Planning – MRP” module which allows them to become familiar with the company’s management software. They thus discover ERP in a “guided” mode.
Two years later, the content of the “Supply Chain” module returns to ERP with a slightly more practical side. Out of 30 hours of classes, 4 to 6 hours are devoted to the main principles of ERP and the teacher explains the general aspects.
Pierrick Léger, professor of the Supply Chain module explains: “Within the framework of my teaching approach, it is extremely important to position my students not as learners, but in a professional situation close to that of a consultant. This is why, for the major part of this course, I make it a priority for my students to get their hands dirty.
A very credible business case is then proposed. To do this, each group of students receives a file presenting the case to be solved, as well as interviews with those involved in this situation. During 4 hours, each group will have to study these interviews, exploit what needs to be exploited, and model the different elements of the process in BPM. They then have access to Axelor.
Once the generalities are covered, the future engineers are placed in a critical situation: massive loss of customers, difficulties in supplying raw materials, epidemics, etc.
Next, the future engineers will have to work on the Axelor tool to establish strategies and implement them. The idea is to teach them, in a practical way, how a tool such as Axelor can allow them to answer a given problem. This independent research component is very important for Icam.
The last hours of the course will provide the opportunity for each group to present its practical case and the results of its work to the other groups, which will have received different practical cases. Thus, each group benefits from the experience of all the others. In this last part of the course, all ERP modules are presented.
At the end of the training, the students were asked to evaluate their use of Axelor and the opinions collected were more than clear-cut: 86% of them said they appreciated the Axelor tool for their practical work, which makes it one of the most appreciated tools by the school’s students.
“This experience was very positive for us and met all our expectations. Our students were able to work concretely on the cases that their teacher had prepared for them, using a tool that they will be able to use in their professional lives,” says Jean-Pierre Pauwels, coordinator of the partnership at Icam Ouest.
Pierrick Léger concludes: “For my part, I would like to thank Axelor for its availability and for having made the necessary settings for the course to run smoothly. In the future, I intend to share this experience with our national management, as it will be beneficial to repeat this program on all our campuses.
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