Ideally, companies are well-balanced organisms whose individual departments and employees work hand in hand to achieve a common goal. If one department gets out of balance, the entire company is quickly affected. Read here how an interim manager prevented this worst-case scenario in a global company.
Disoriented department in a difficult market environment
A leaderless, dysfunctional purchasing department, 80% of whose employees had already resigned and which was not integrated into any supply chain concept - this is what our interim manager encountered when he was assigned as head of purchasing at the Swiss plant of a globally active supplier of systems and components in industrial surface technology. To make matters worse, the situation on the procurement market was precarious due to interrupted supply chains and prices for some items were skyrocketing.
The interim manager describes how the team was in a kind of permanent panic when he took over, that decisions were constantly being questioned and reversed, and that employees were correspondingly very stressed and frustrated.
Back to structure and the ability to act
It quickly became clear to our interim manager that a calm, structured approach and consistent, comprehensible leadership were essential for breaking this negative spiral. The trust that the management placed in him and the associated freedom to make decisions were the essential basis for a rapid improvement. From the very beginning, the interim manager communicated openly and transparently with all those involved and closely involved the remaining employees in the processes and decisions. This turned those affected into participants and initial skeptics into cooperative colleagues who were willing to perform.
On this basis, the interim manager was able to call on existing expert knowledge and ensure the transfer of knowledge from the departing employees to those who remained in the company and to the new employees. Together with the new qualified and motivated team, he built up structures and processes and established a KPI dashboard to control and optimize day-to-day business. At the end of the mandate, he was able to hand over a functioning team to his successor, in whose recruitment he was actively involved.
A success on top
In addition to successfully improving the situation in the purchasing department, the interim manager was particularly pleased that he succeeded in developing a concept for a global, cross-divisional integrated supply chain organization. Top management approved the concept, and when he left, the new team was already working on its implementation. This will enable the company to respond better to difficult conditions on the procurement market in the future.
In teams without leadership, which may also be confronted with difficulties from outside the company, a negative dynamic can quickly develop that destabilizes the team even more. In such a situation, an unbiased view from the outside and thoughtful action can help. We quickly and easily provide you with experts who are familiar with your industry and have proven themselves as project managers.
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