Interim management solutions
Navigating businesses through complex change processes
Many companies lack the internal capacity to deal with situations that are not in their normal line of business – transformations, transactions, crises and the like. To help them navigate these unfamiliar waters and temporarily fill the skills gap, the Roland Berger IMPEX team takes on full managerial responsibility for the period of transition. Rather than just offering consulting services, we provide an interim manager and the support of a well-rehearsed team of experts, delivering a unique combination of transformation expertise and implementation skills – an end-to-end service that makes us stand out from our competitors.
The challenges of change
In recent years, more and more companies are realizing that they lack the capacity and required skillsets within their own organizations to deal with the complex change situations they face. These include immediate threats and challenges such as liquidity management, financing and refinancing, stakeholder management and customer and supplier negotiations as well as transformational challenges related to overstrained senior leadership teams, fragile supply chains and tense margin situations. Other situations where external help can be necessary range from value creation programs during the holding period and implementing structural change in carve-outs to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and restructuring programs.
Complex situations such as these are not in the normal line of business for companies. As a result, firms and their managers lack the internal capacity to deal with them in an effective manner. The leadership therefore turns to third parties for guidance and assistance during the turnaround, transaction, crisis or change. "Interim management" involves an outside provider supplying management know-how, fresh perspectives, and resources on a temporary basis, usually in the form of an executive interim manager with extensive experience who can guide the company through the complex project.
Our solution and promise
At Roland Berger, our IMPEX interim managers take on day-to-day operational responsibility for the transition period and apply our passion, knowledge and resources to the assignment in a focused manner. This enables fast change and, at the same time, creates lasting value for our clients. We put a team on the ground consisting of an interim manager and a number of highly experienced experts. Our specialists are hands-on and start making a real impact with powerful solutions, right from Day 1.
What makes the Roland Berger IMPEX team so special? First, quality is our byword: We ensure that all work carried out meets our usual Roland Berger quality standards, using our tried-and-tested methodologies. Second, we offer interim support from an entire team rather than a lone wolf: We believe that well-rehearsed teams are more effective than individual players in interim management assignments. And third, getting results is our mission: Roland Berger is well known for our market leading restructuring and value creation position. We at Roland Berger IMPEX provide strong implementation power and stand for measurable, sustainable results.
Crucially, our approach involves taking on responsibility for the entire period of interim management. Others facilitate and moderate, but our executive interim managers step up to the table and take on full responsibility – in fact, we can even act as Managing Director of the unit in question during the assignment. For us, interim management is a management task, not a consultancy task. This is also reflected in our variable, entrepreneurial pricing model for clients, which gives us "skin in the game" throughout the project.
Situation: Our client was a machinery and plant engineering firm whose organic and inorganic growth over recent years had led to increased complexity and poor integration of acquisitions. Due to margin erosion and market overcapacity in the industry, the business was suffering from a negative EBIT margin of around ten percent and its order intake was down 40 percent. The company's owners and top management lacked clarity over its future corporate strategy.
Solution: During the 18-month turnaround phase, we provided a Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) and a mixed team of internal and external experts, reporting directly to the CEO. After a quick scan phase, review of strategy and definition of a value creation program, we designed a target operating model and reorganized the company on a global business unit basis rather than a functional basis. We also provided a detailed communications strategy covering the entire period.
Impact: With our support, the company's service business was able to achieve double-digit growth. Today, the company enjoys an EBIT margin of nine percent. Our communications strategy ensured full stakeholder buy-in from both rank-and-file employees and executives throughout the assignment.
Situation: A hydraulic engineering company was suffering from inadequate leadership at top management level, which had led to talent and resources being lost. Cash flow was severely constrained and the company's main financiers lacked confidence in the management. In addition, poor-quality services had damaged the relationship with customers.
Solution: We provided the company with a Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) who successfully restructured the firm and implemented a new business strategy. This included divesting non-strategic and loss-making business units, securing key customer relationships, identifying new business opportunities and optimizing efficiency by focusing on products with intellectual property rights. At the same time, we made new strategic hires, motivated existing staff and insourced core processes.
Impact: We achieved a 20 percent overall increase in business, secured regional and international growth and transformed the company's organization, focus and employee mindset. Under our guidance the company also developed new products and solutions in the areas of digitalization, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. Our interim management during the restructuring period helped prepare the company for sale to a strategic investor.