Reason behind the need for an interim manager
One of the typical situations in which clients consider using Interim Managers services is an unplanned vacancy on an important position. It can occur for a variety of reasons: changes in the organization, such as delegating a person to other tasks or a key executive leaves with short notice to the organization.
One of our clients – a company in the financial sector, with a 3.000+ staff and over 30 years of operations in Poland – was faced with this type of a challenge. The company reached a significant position on the Polish market, has been well perceived by its clients, and noted very good operational and financial results. The management team wanted to make use of that good situation to reinforce the company’s position and create a solid foundation for its future success.
The organization started intensive work on its new strategy. Ambitious strategic goals were set out with regard to the future value of the company, number of clients, market share and its offer of new services. The board realized that these challenges could not be met without changing the manner in which the company had functioned before. One of the important pillars of the new strategy was the transformation programme. It included changes in the processes and ways of work, in thinking about the clients and the methods in which their products were defined, all drastically different from the processes previously functioning – processes which in the eyes of many were also the very source of the company’s success.
In the case of such extensive transformations, every area needs to adopt a different optics and question its own to-date modus operandi. Unfortunately, not all managers, even the top ones, are ready to accomplish that. In this case, the manager of the procurement team manifested very strong resistance against change. High expectations connected with the pace of conducted procurement processes, market insights, and completely new procurement categories led to a situation in which procurement director resigned from the job, and, on top of that, due to health issues, the said manager disappeared from the company practically overnight.
Although executive search is one of the areas of CTER activities, in this particular case, further to the urgent need and transformational character of the position, the best solution for our client was the interim management service. Within 3 days from signing the agreement, our client met the first candidates recommended for the position of Interim Procurement Director. Each of the candidates met the client’s most important criteria:
- Experience in successfully conducted transformations of procurement functions
- Successfully conducted large procurement programs in the area of broadly understood IT
- Implementation of modern procurement platforms
- Experience in building partnership relations with all key areas of the company and restoration of the procurement team prestige in the organization
- Immediate availability
Results and feedback
Our candidate for the head of the procurement team began working 4 weeks from the moment the project was initiated. The procurement team was not abandoned and deprived of its leader in the crucial phase of the transformation.
Over the period of 12 months the transformation in the area of procurement was realized as to its most important aspects:
- A new procurement process was developed and implemented
- A new platform was implemented
- New people, new development activities and, what follows, new competencies appeared in the team
- The perception of the procurement team by the internal clients improved, most notably in the case of the most significant client, i.e. the IT team
Finally, both parties were so satisfied with how well they worked together that our candidate signed a permanent job contract with the company.
In all our projects we request our clients provide us with their summary. We did it this time too. What we heard when we asked the question about a situation in which we surpassed our clients’ expectations? This was his answer: “In my opinion an example of such an ideal situation is the recruitment for the position of procurement director (urgent and sudden need on our part), realized immediately + fantastic candidates’ fit. Add to that the flexible model of cooperation, adjusted to our needs.”