Interim managers are becoming a common fact

Interim managers are becoming a common factor

According to a report in Swiss NZZ interim managers are becoming a common factor in today’s business world, however they are called in at the last moment when the opening cannot be filled permanently by search

NZZ Neue Zürcher Zeitung is giving an example in the textile machinery sector. Three weeks ago, Stephan Mayer (63) an experienced textile engineer (ex Stäubli where he was managing director from 1994 – 2002) has accepted a temporary engagement (maximum 12 months) with Swiss Benninger Group subsidiary Benninger Zell (35 employees) in Wiesental (D), specialised in Tyre Cord Manufacturing Plants.  His predecessor had to leave the company because of a dissent in strategic planning. Tyre Cord Machinery is mostly delivered (60 % to 70 %) to Chinese yarn producers, therefore the permanent and interim manager needs experience in Asian markets and knowledge in mechanical engineering and control systems.

Contrary to other interim engagements, Mayer has successfully completed, his main responsibility at Benninger is the management of the daily business and its enhancement. Among his decisions is also sourcing. He will practise a cooperative management style where his predecessor seems to have been more autocratic. Thus, employees will have to develop more initiatives instead of executing orders. Jointly with the CEO of Benninger Group Gerhard Huber he will also examine Zell’s strategy. Interim manager are also indifferent to the permanent managers’ decease: Career thinking.

Benninger will continue the search for a permanent manager for Zell and hopes to fill the position permanently within year’s time.

It is noteworthy that in Switzerland there re an estiamted 3000 to 6000 interim managers and 4500 are on an availability list of brainforce, a specialised company for temporary employment of managers. 2012, and in the German speaking section of Switzerland only,  companies’ spending on interim managers is estimated at CHF 2 billion for 2000 interim managers working on average around 140 days (122) days on assignments. According to a graduation work at the University of Jena (D) there are in Germany 40 agencies in this field of activity and around 10000 to 30000 persons are in this field, however a much lower number are also actively engaged. From 1999 – 2001 the spending from firms is estimated between EUR 80 to 140 million and thereof arund 15 to 27 % were generated by specialised agencies. The larges market in Europe are the Netherlands and Benelux. In Great Britain the agency turnover in this field is estimated at GBP 600 to 750 million in 2002. There are no actual figures available, but TextileFuture is convinced that in all of those countries the turnover has been growing into a billion figure.

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