Interim CEO in mechanical manufacturing

• Old family business, founded 50 years ago, about 200 full-time employees.
• World-leading manufacturer of advanced technical equipment with headquarters and factory in southern Sweden.

Current issues
• Serious problems with delivery times and product quality, among other things due to old machinery and aged manufacturing methods.
• Increased costs for incorrect deliveries and lower profitability.

• Management hired engineering managers to analyze production. Which resulted in a status report with proposed measures. And a juicy invoice!

At this time, the company’s CEO planned a year’s child leave and a decision was made to hire an Interim Manager with specific characteristics and knowledge during the specified time period.

• Experience of running a family business
• Experience in the manufacturing industry.
• Knowledge and experience of MPS, a planning system in the manufacturing industry, and implementation of this.

When the assignment was completed a year later, the appointed Interim Manager had well performed the ongoing tasks as CEO but also:

Analyzed, procured and implemented a new MPS system with increased production, higher product quality and time-efficient deliveries.
Implemented a previously planned strategy for increased international sales.
Reorganized the management team, which among other things meant that the company’s employed vice president had to leave the business.
Received the largest order in the company’s history!

Per-Arne Stenlund,
Mason Management AB
in Malmö, tells:

– The origin of the assignment was a previous customer visit. At that time there was no need, but then we were later contacted.
– The CEO called and told about the situation. I went over and we talked through the requirements picture. The CEO, who was going on maternity leave, wanted a replacement during the time she was away, someone who could quickly get into the job, who had the feeling and knowledge of working in a family business and also experience in the manufacturing industry. And preferably she wanted the right person as soon as possible, within a few weeks.

– I felt that the assignment was a little too easy for the Interim Managers in our network and was looking for a little more challenges in the assignment. It turned out that the delivery and production processes were a major problem and were not documented either. Former production manager had had that knowledge “in his head”. – Then I realized that what we would have here, was not only a CEO of a manufacturing family business but also a person who had knowledge and experience of MPS systems and who could lead procurement and implementation of this in production.– I contacted our network and received two interesting answers, people with solid experience of leadership, but also of having implemented MPS in a production environment.– Since the people were previously validated by us, no new interviews were required,
On the other hand, an extensive reference was made which turned out well. One week after my meeting with the customer, I presented the two candidates. The customer did an operative interview, and got stuck for one of them. Personal chemistry is also a factor, when competence and experience are equal, and it is not least important in smaller companies. – Then we discussed fees, the length of the assignment and signed contracts; two – one with the customer and one with the new Interim Manager.

– It took a total of 3 weeks, from the first contact until our Interim Manager was on site. Then we had also presented our checklist to the client, who, among other things, will book meetings with the management team and important people in and for the company, so that the Interim Manager quickly enters the business. A list of cases is drawn up with clear milestones for the implementation of the assignment. This must be anchored with the client. We are involved in the introduction until we know that the client and Interim Manager have a consistent picture of the goal for the implementation of the assignment. – Throughout the assignment, we also act as a sounding board for our Interim Managers, to the extent and the amount they want. But we always make checks and contact both customer and Interim Manager during ongoing assignments. Then we always have a follow-up after completing the assignment.

– We meet the customer in person, talk through the completed assignment, expectations and results. We use an equivalent checklist for all our customers, to be able to make comparable evaluations. Which we then use, among other things like this, in the Guide. We rarely send out a survey request, which we know is appreciated. Many say just that, that it is “good with Mason, because you do not just send out a lot of surveys”! – We also take advantage of the Interim Manager’s thoughts and experiences from the assignment. We take care of the active managers we have in our network. Sends out tips on seminars, breakfast meetings and enriching contacts. We care about our Interim Managers even when they are not on assignment.