Situation

A Private Equity Company based in The Netherlands took over a 15-year-old production plant in Germany. They hired a German Interim Manager for the implementation of the existing management structure with 4 other production plants in Europe.

Challenges

  • Form and lead an Operations Team to improve lead time from current level of approx. 60% to minimum 90%.
  • Implement a production planning process in cooperation with sales.
  • Reduce the absence rate of blue-collar people together with HR.
  • Implement KPI’s for the main processes and install monthly reporting to the shareholders in The Netherlands.
  • Initiate a project to optimize material flow from raw material to finished goods.
  • Improve the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) with implementing OPEX methods KAIZEN, 5S, TPM.
  • SMED with workshops and short-term focus.
  • Leadership for all functions in Operations until the new COO was starting and hand over the responsibility.

Action

The interim manager’s first success was to give confidence to the shareholders that things were under control. Quick diagnostic, clear overview of all business aspects, and a clear and precise project plan with budget evaluations created trust and calm. A shared vision of problems and goals was reached and a consent on a short-term business design until a permanent manager was in place reached.

Collaboration with internal and external parties was quickly established and the project proceeded with speed. Outside of some small technical problems, the project followed the schedule perfectly, and the primary customers placed more orders because of improving lead time in the 3 months after the project was started.

Results

The Interim Manager worked 7 months full time and 3 months half time before he leaves with the congratulations of the Operations Team and shareholders. The company organized a grill party for all company staff.