Excerpt from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from 08th of September 2015
Both fire-fighter and consultant
“Every third German small to medium sized company is already active abroad with another 20 per cent planning to make the leap over the domestic boundaries soon” according to a study by the Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM). Nicolas von Wolff, Chairman of the Board at Pro-beam, a machine and plant construction company based in Planegg, Germany, became an expert on Asia the hard way. Fifteen years ago the Bavarian mid-size company attempted to gain a foothold in Korea. Pro-beam opened a production facility in Daejeon and failed spectacularly, as he explains today. This is why he brought an interim manager on board for the first time in 2011, tasked with restructuring the plant in Chemnitz. “It worked really well.” The director of the 300-employee company specialising in electron beam technology is currently keeping a close eye on the North American market; “But I would only take that step with an interim manager at my side”, von Wolff stresses”.
A recruitment agency that specialises in interim management helped von Wolff to find this qualified temporary boss. Thorsten Becker, the Managing Director of Management Angels in Hamburg states, “Once you get to know a company’s director and their business, you get a pretty specific idea of what kind of personality will fit their company”.
Since August, small to medium-sized companies that envision a future abroad have been able to benefit from the resources of the WIL Group, a coalition of providers from 14 countries with a pool of over 30,000 interim managers worldwide. “This was long overdue” says Dr Stephan Martini, who has been working as a temporary employee in the higher echelons of German mid-sized companies from Denmark to China for the past ten years.
“For smaller companies, the interim manager acts both as fire-fighter and consultant, especially when abroad”. Stephan Martini praises the idea of a Star Alliance of interim management providers. “The chances of finding a top talent somewhere in the world for a leading position are simply made greater than when working with a single provider in Castrop-Rauxel”. The Managing Director of Management Angels points out an additional benefit of the WIL Group: “A small to medium-sized company always has one recruitment contact; this pool supports the recruiter in finding someone they’re looking for, regardless of the country or position – a managing director, sales director or chief technical officer”.