Interim Management

There are occasions when Interim Management is required until a suitable person can be recruited to fill the shoes of a recently promoted specialist, or a recently departed specialist. This offers a tremendous opportunity for the interim specialist to make a positive impact on morale, strategic direction and supplier relationship. The role and actions of an interim manager must not usurp the future authority of the incoming manager or the possible strategy that they will want to implement. It is a fact that an interim manager can cause a deterioration in performance and seriously interfere with operational matters.

The qualities of an interim manager when supplied from our staff will include an ability to make an immediate contribution to the business. We can absorb information very quickly and provide the leadership to gets things done. We have the ability to take initiatives using the existing procurement team, ensuring that immediate contact is made with the key stakeholders. Another significant benefit of our interim management services is the learning from other similar assignments. We can conduct a dialogue at senior management and Director level, thereby making sure that they are aware of initiatives being taken and their financial and operational impact on the business.

In one situation we were asked to provide an interim manager to a retail company who had recently been acquired by a venture capitalist. The existing procurement and merchandise team needed leadership until a new Procurement Director was in place. The duration of the brief was six months and we were asked to deliver immediate savings. The first major commodity tackled was the transport fleet. This was tendered and suppliers changed. The impact on the bottom line was in excess of £1 million. Similar initiatives were taken on the design and printing of catalogues, after close consultation with sales and marketing. This was followed by an active involvement in the next seasons merchandise selection process. New products were sourced and the margins were agreed at significantly higher levels than had previously been achieved.

The financial services sector was another example of interim support. Procurement and Supply Chain had to change their profile in the business, pending the appointment of a new Head of Function. Special tasks were undertaken for the Chief Executive and close liaison was maintained with a Corporate Change Management Team. There was the nucleus of an excellent procurement team who now had the opportunity to make a strategic contribution to the business, including dealing with legal services, ICT, learning and development, facilities management and marketing expenditure.
Interim managers, properly used, should have visible objectives and be held accountable for delivery. That is our approach and we welcome discussing such opportunities.

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