The Situation

A large French group, a leader in materials, just completed the acquisition of a business from a Belgian group. One of the assets is a manufacturing entity in Germany, inside an industrial platform owned by the previous owner. Shortly after the acquisition it is confirmed that the plant manager decides to quit, leaving the new owner with a plant and a team of about 40 employees without a leader. The new owner contacts us a few days before Christmas and lays out to us the urgency and the importance of having a leader in place to steer the integration phase of the new business. The challenge is to quickly take charge of the team, ensure continuity of business through a smooth transition, while monitoring over 40 Transfer Service Agreements, that had been signed by the two parties.

The Solution

Once we fully understood the nature of the challenges at stake, after a couple conference calls with the new ownership (the VP of Operations and the HR Director), we, at WIL Group France shared all info with our partners at WIL Group Germany and quickly identified in our German talent pool potential candidates. After a careful review of background and references, and a discussion with a shortlist of potential candidates, who have experience in integration processes – and the necessary tact and bias towards action – we set up an interview with our client. A meeting was set up on site, in the factory, two days after the call from our client. All contractual arrangements are finalized between Christmas and New Year.

The new Interim Manager started working on site on January 4th.

During the first two weeks, we, at WIL Group spent time adjusting the daily communication between the German manager and the French Operations manager. The adequate rhythm of communication and the KPI´s were quickly put in place.

The Result

In the first step the Interim Manager secured the day to day business on a high level margin.

Furthermore, a new reporting system was implemented as well as new health and safety regulations to comply with the standards of the new owner.

Secondly a SWOT analysis of the operation was made and as a result projects for further improvements were defined. The project list includes harmonizing multiple contracts of suppliers as well as logistics and maintenance just to name a few. The project plan will save € 1M yearly while a cost reduction of € 150K was achieved in a short period of time.

As an additional benefit the Interim Manager made all necessary preparations to fulfill several ISO standards like ISO 9001. All audits passed! Furthermore, the factory achieved an increase of production capacity of 15%.

Frederic Marot Achillas

Ricky L. Stewart

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