Interim Management provides hope for UK Manufacturing Sector
Businesses of all types are now exploring the benefits of using Interim Managers. What was once seen as the exclusive territory of large multi-national companies may turn out to be the saviour of the UK manufacturing sector.
Paul Wilson, Managing Director of Aster Interim Solutions takes up the story, “Interim Managers were once exclusively used by the larger companies to aid in company turnaround or implement business re-structuring but are now being used by companies of all types and sizes from both the public and private sector.
Typical reasons why companies may use interim managers include:-
• Company turnaround and business restructuring e.g. ‘Company Doctor’
• Introduction of change management
• To bridge a ‘gap’ to cover for maternity, secondment etc
• To provide additional resources when companies need it most such as through periods of dramatic growth or the building of company infrastructure
• As a ‘safe pair of hands’ whilst the replacement of a permanent member of staff is sought following their sudden departure
• As a project manager to manage a transition e.g. introduction of new business systems etc.
The UK manufacturing sector has been ‘ravaged’ since the 1950s by cheap imports resulting in job losses and the gradual transition of our manufacturing base to lower cost geographical areas. Many of the UK manufacturing companies left are now ‘working smarter not harder’ in an attempt to outwit their competitors.
One of the ways this manifests itself is by the use of specialist interim managers. Whereas Finance and Human Resources have historically been disciplines where companies have used interim managers, businesses are now using interim manufacturing/operations managers to help them in their efforts to implement philosophies such as six sigma and lean manufacturing.
Many UK manufacturing companies are now using interim managers to provide their business with ’manufacturing best practise’. By using the experience of the interim manager companies can become a leaner and fitter business in a shorter period of time than they would otherwise have been achieved.
In addition, the cost of hiring the interim manager is tangible and only temporary. This makes the ’interim’ proposition very attractive for a number of our clients”.
This all goes to demonstrate, perhaps the strategic use of Interim Managers can provide our remaining UK manufacturers with a powerful weapon in their bid to stave off low cost offshore competition.