Our client, a USA based family entrepreneur, transferred its production from Western Europe, involving relatively few industrial production but a lot of packaging and logistic. He intended to supply his product all over Europe from here and partly manage raw material purchase.
They came to us when the productions lines had been running for three months. The capacity utilization was less than earlier (80%) when it was deemed insufficient. It was hardly above 60%. There was a market demand, but there was a risk that customers would turn away if delays occur repeatedly.
Our interim manager earlier gained experience at a multinational food company and at local companies of various size as manufacturing, quality assurance manager and general manager. Here the goal was to end production anomalies and reach steady capacity utilization of 90% and above. The owner and the quality assurance manager brought by him did not speak Hungarian; the CEO was someone who earlier was in charge of distribution in Eastern Europe.
In order to meet his main target the interim manager could ignore circumstances and could focus on the fastest manufacturing of the product portfolio as defined by logistics. He took up conflicts at all levels, and convinced the owner that this was necessary for fast change. After the first month the owner was not sure if he had chosen the right man but after the third month he was telling about joint achievements with a big smile on his face. By the fifth month the target was actually accomplished, and the interim manager got a new assignment to transfer another production line as project lead with full responsibility.
The project which was originally planned for six to eight months led to a point where the client intended to employ the interim manager as an employee CEO. We could not and did not want to resist this demand…
Transforming the internal logistic processes, with a focus on improving material flow and efficiency of production and warehousing processes. Detailed tasks:
There was a significant delay int he onboarding process of the final logistic group leader, which made it necessary to manage the gap temporarily. On top of that, the task also included optimization of internal logistic processes, with special emphasis on solving daily issues related to the recent SAP launch, stabilizing and finalizing ERP processes.
For three months, the manager worked as interim senior quality assurance manager at the Hungarian site of a global multinational logistics service provider which was established to service a market leader multinational manufacturing company.
It was classical interim assignment: the client expected Interim Kft. to have within three days a quality assurance manager who would be accepted by the client as a specialist being capable to create and run special quality assurance functions that the client thought to be in critical condition.
Handling customer complaints, including:
What made the assignment specific was the fact that it was necessary to handle complaints of factories being between the client and customer as part of the supply chain doing contracted manufacturing by using the Internet based complaint handling tool.
It was particularly challenging that the customer had a strong presence at the site of the client where it developed a complete “shadow management” (with operations, quality assurance, logistics, etc. managers). As a result, there were a lot of daily operative issues to be handled, which in turn drew away resources from executing strategic tasks. That was done by reorganizing the quality assurance system and by delegating and spreding operative tasks.
The success of the project was evident: at the end of the project, the client offered an employment contract to our manager.
The regional CFO gave the assignment to Interim Kft. to replace the chief financial officer who had resigned unexpectedly and to to it as soon as possible. It was an interim assignment, a gap management until they found their next CFO. It lasted for three months. The group of companies had 9 business units in Hungary. The interim CFO had to take over all daily tasks and planned projects at once.
- Starting the liquidation of a company
- Finishing the ongoing taxation authority review on VAT
- Taking over the process of a cross-border merger
- Integrating a company into SAP
- Integrating a new member joining the group of companies into consolidation through the existing SAP reporting system
- Preparig internal regulations
- Mapping out internal processes and making necessary suggestions
- Review and check of tax statements before submission
- Checking travel expenses before transfer (at invoice level)
- Monitoring financial aspects of ongoing legal issues
- Setting of SAP for internal audit
- Negotiations with banks, expansion of bank guarantees
- Attending daily ad hoc tasks.
The tasks were not fully defined in advance, so they changed a lot as the project was moving forward. Priorities were not set so interim CFO had to figure out what is important. The company’s internal structure was also changing, so it was a challenge to keep contact with appropriate in order to accomplish the tasks. As the Regional CFO was always traveling, the local CFO had the responsibility to lead the local team in a way not to put extra burden on the Regional CFO.
The biggest challenge was that the interim CFO received information and tasks from the Regional CFO as if he had been working at the company for many decades, remembering all old stories that still had an impact on the present.
Since the interim CFO had extensive experience in dealing with such matters, he quickly got up to speed (in a week) and set priorities (despite changing expectations).
The client was happy with this service despite the fact that sometimes communication was uneasy because of linguistic hurdles (all information available in English only) and because of large distances making it necessary to talk a lot over the phone.
Sometimes there were conflicts as the abrupt change sometimes gave headache to business unit heads as well, and occasionally they did not take the CFO seriously because he was “an interim manager only”.
After having acquired professional prestige with these teams, there were no more problems. His biggest luck was that all people in the Finance department were well performing and decent colleagues and it was quickly obvious that he can rely on their work.
The client is a privately owned Hungarian market leader with over € 5 m turnover in metal trade, recycling, and processing business. 5 sites, over 100 headcounts.
Setting up and strengthening of trading processes (metal purchase, sale, reprocessing), heading the commercial department.
In a difficult period of high market and stock exchange volatility combined with political uncertainties (possible nationalization of waste recycling), we implemented a strict system of weekly scheduling of trade partner visits, intensified our market presence through marketing and purchasing campaigns, launched cold call center based (telemarketing) campaigns from internal and purchased data basis.
We implemented the central control and supervision of site inventories and purchase prices; through diminishing and rationalizing sales destinations and delivery methods we cut back unit costs and optimized breakeven point of products.
We improved the cashflow by centrally controlled receivables and checks on inventory levels. On metal processing we started regular weekly production scheduling, and review of results.
In order to increase profitability, the interim manager presented a complex set of proposed actions to the owner covering all sites, the company’s entire organization and management.
A sudden and adequate quality replacement was required at a multinational packaging glass manufacturing and selling company. The chief accountant resigned and until the permanent replacement was found a gap management was requested in order to ensure smooth operations.
The interim manager fulfilled all tasks without problems until the permanent chief accountant started. The client was fully satisfied with his work; due to his friendly personality he could successfully manage the team under his leadership.
In a critical period of the company, the interim manager could make the agents’ work transparent, controlled and systemic by transformation of the commercial processes. In 3 months he implemented a sale process based on regular market intel, building up of CRM basis, continuous client visits and acquisition of new clients.
Work at a medium sized company belonging to a Hungarian privately owned group of companies. The company makes wielded steel products that are distributed in the Hungarian market by several Hungarian small enterprizes and an international company of German ownership. The company does product sale only. 65 headcounts, 860 million HUF annual revenue, 40-50 million HUF profit.
The client (the owner) sensed a threat asked the interim manager to make the company in order, as interim management earlier was a success at other members of the group of companies.
Although the company looked fairly good and organized, once could feel the lack of a CEO with a sense of ownership and drive to control. There were no real production planning and accountability. The main issue of the whole group of companies and of this particular company as well was the burden of repayment of credits that were taken to have self-financing for the tenders the company won.
The interim manager got full authority from the owner, he succeeded to make order in basic processes, establishing the foundation for production planning, accountability, ex-post evaluation, visual management and individual performance appraisal. A web store was about to launch as well as a sale from warehouse to general public. He made strengthened relations with partners, and worked out the system of maintenance.
Together with the business management, the interim manager identified different indirect burdens, fixing costs. At the same time, he reviewed supplier contracts, started a bidding for raw material suppliers and implemented a small-scale headcount reduction (5 people). Significan cost reduction was achieved with these steps, 12-13 million HUF per semester. The interim and the owner selected the new sales director, the would-be CEO, who will boost sales and started business planning. For the developments they prepared a priority list.
In summary: due to the interim manager’s work, the company has a vision and can be successful by carrying on the freshly started processes.
Commisssioned by a bank, our company got the two-staged assignement to work at a procect financed hotel. More than 200 rooms, casino, 3 restaurants, bar, fitness center, open all year round, negative cashflow.
First a hotelier professional (experiences in several places, different types and sizes) and a finance professional spent four weeks at the hotel in the height of the season to assess the situation and decide if it was possible to do a turnaround. Given the professional deficiencies, wrong approach, an attitude based not on cash we thought that it was possible to have positive cashflow within a short period of time.
After the study was accepted, we won at a new tender with another professional (having many years of experience at a big multinational hotel chain in different management positions) to do implementation. We kept the local management and have them our interim manager accepted as their supervisor. The interim manager was using his veto only in cases when it was necessary to overwrite a descition taken by local management for achieving the objectives. We established an appropriate system of controlling through consultations with our advisor and the client, and handed it over to the local finance manager. There were significant changes in defining workforce needs, rational use of worktime, adapting the restaurant’s assortment both in quality and quantity to international standards, in preparing rooms and implementing a tender process in procurement.
We started to work in November, and by the end of the summer season the bank could collect interest without jeopardizing continuous functioning. Of course, a hotel with positive cashflow represents a different value in the eye of potential buyers. After 15 months, we gave back to the local management the job, and everybody was happy with the results.
Subsidiary of a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company group. Mid-sized call centre operations; first level IT and general service support with clients in different sectors.
Employing approximately 700 people in one location.
Manage people transformation of the Hungarian subsidiary in order to meet effectiveness expectations as well as client requirements
Review effectiveness of HR operations and implement new operational model for HR services
Coach and mentor a high potential within the HR department and enable her to fulfil an HR Manager role within a year
The interim manager acted as a local HR manager, being accountable for the local HR operations and budget as well as a change manager to manage the organisational transformation aiming to support the ambitious growth plans of the Company. Directly reported to the European HR Director.
Managing business transformation
Following the review of client expectations and a workshop with the members of the senior leadership a proposal was developed. The business transformation mainly aimed to review the efficiency of the current organisation and roles as well as the efficiency of the team leads and provide a corresponding plan to improve the selected metrics.
Review and improvementation of HR operations: the HR department provided at this time basic personnel administration activities combined with strong recruitment results, all senior leaders agreed that the company’s ambitious growth plans require something more;
including efforts in the areas of employee engagement, improved internal communication as well as L&D and career management. Also root cause analysis of talent loss and attrition.
The coaching program included a professional and personal development. This combined effort let her to be ready for the HR manager role within 10 months.
To boost a DaimlerChrysler (DC) “Optima” business at the Czech site of Yazaki Plzen-Bozkov attaining ith zero quality and delivery claims.
In spite of difficulties before the project started re. technical, quality, logistics and cost issues, by the end of the contract period the situation fundamentally changed and the project achieved the targets. The Client expressed its satisfaction.
Implementation of a management accountability system from shop floor to top at Moroccan site
An accountability system was implemented on shop floor level (foremen, shift leaders, production heads) and production was slowly improving in all aspects (quality, delivery, efficiency). Top management resisted, so one could achieve only partial success at that level.
Improvement of organizational efficiency through improvements in internal communication and better focusing on management activities. Significant improvements in customer satisfaction.
By the end of the project the management’s co-operation level improved, the accountability meetings were more straightforward and as a consequence the operative results of the company significantly improved.