Reduction of risk to guarantee efficient business operations
Deficiencies in the infrastructure can lead to long-term restrictions of business operations. A small error can cause a chain reaction and lead to a risk which is now incalculable. Thomas Pluch was contracted by an international technology company as an Interim Manager for crisis management to rectify the investment bottleneck in Germany. He took on this role for various business units at various locations. His work included analysing weak points, designing and in particular implementing measures with managers, employees and external service companies to eliminate the risks step by step. He also managed a task force that had been set up to obtain the environmental certificate again, restructured areas of the building to improve the working environment and guarantee safety at work and also selected suitable works doctors to establish a professional health management system. On the one hand this was to provide immediate protection for employees, products and sensitive data, and on the other hand to introduce and establish the future structures and processes in the company. To make changes of this kind possible, Thomas Pluch worked both as an Interim Manager and a Coach. The focus was on integrating the different teams and external partners to jointly develop innovative solutions. This was done primarily to achieve the required level of acceptance in the organisation as well as commercial compatibility.
Project focus: Crisis management
Sector: Medical technology
Results: Financially-acceptable risk minimisation through innovative solutions
Optimisation of the research and production unit by setting up an external service organisation
An international US-American family company contracted Thomas Pluch as an Interim Manager to secure the research results and GMO products. The core responsibilities of the Interim Manager were the infrastructural modification of the site in Germany using external suppliers, as well as the specific assumption of services by service companies to guarantee standardised research and production. Here special focus was placed on crisis and emergency situations, to protect people and products and thereby to make a key contribution to protecting resources and the business operations. At the same time the structure and the processes of the different production units were tested and optimised, and the production capacities were prepared for the future demand.
Project focus: Change management - Organisational development
Results: Concentrate on resources for core competencies by specific outsourcing
Restructuring a family company
To allow changes to be made, a change in the working atmosphere for employees and managers is necessary. This is particular the case if the company wants to actively acquire new customers in a declining market under strong competitive pressure. As an Interim Manager, Thomas Pluch brought the company management back together by coaching in individual and group meetings, came to a mutual agreement about the definitive succession and managed and supported all the teams in finding and achieving their self-defined goals using short workshops. This was done by providing a clear structure, transparent processes and permanent on-the-job training to consolidate the new issues both in the short and long-term. The most important thing here is to change the perspective from the problem to solution, to gain new strength.
Project focus: Turn-around management - Company succession
Sector: Food industry, Retail Company
Results: A positive change of atmosphere was achieved by simplifying structures and processes
Determining the strategy for future operative marketing and sales activities
A Belgian parent company contracted Thomas Pluch to analyse the situation at its independent start-up subsidiary, which works in the transfer of technology and production of lightweight construction elements. As an Interim Manager his focus here was on the one hand to determine weak points in all areas of operation, and on the other hand to define the strategy for operative marketing and sales activities. During the analysis, tools for the operative implementation in sales were also structured and simplified, while realistic goals were derived that were adjusted to the development phase of the company. Based on this concept, a specific recruitment push was run by the company management to ensure the quick operative implementation.
Project focus: Business Development Management – Increasing growth
Sector: Production of lightweight constructions
Results: Business development to enter the growth phase - Customer-focussed sales with prompt controlling
Company profile on the market
The knowledge of customer requirements, the rules of the sector-specific market and one's own strengths are a basic prerequisite to be successful in the long term. An international service provider in the automotive industry therefore appointed Thomas Pluch as an Interim Manager to increase the company's profile by implementing an e-commerce project. Using individual meetings and workshops the company strategy was made visible, the strengths/weakness and opportunities/risks were calculated and a market positioning was carried out. The benefits for the customer as well as the attractiveness as an employer were precisely calculated to present them in a targeted way to the market. Analysis and implementation, everything from one source.
Project focus: Marketing Management
Sector: Service Provider, automotive industry
Results: Implementation of the company profile in an e-commercial project
Restructuring and establishment of a service department
"The first product is sold by Sales, and then growth is generated by Service." Thomas Pluch was appointed by a technology company for a special niche market as an Interim Manager to set up a service centre. After a short analysis performed by Thomas Pluch, the decision about restructuring was taken together with the Management Board. At the same time the adjacent departments of Sales, Engineering, Order Processing, Production, Warehousing and Purchasing were also integrated. The new team was trained with specific in-house training courses and supported service interventions to ensure quicker service activities that also had a more secure structure. In addition, a front office was established as the first point of contact for customers and to coordinate orders. A concept was created for the product mix and spare parts management, while standardised documents for reporting were also made. After the start-up and induction phase the customer segments were now able to be worked on jointly by Sales and Service. To increase the capacity and use synergies, internal services were gradually given over to the new service centre. The constant development into an independent business unit which focused on protecting resources, intensive customer support and the permanent adjustment of service packages rounds off the interim management activities. This was all supported by sales and service controlling to ensure specific growth and profit management.
Project focus: Change management - Restructuring
Sector: Apparatus construction - Pharmaceutical, food and semi-conductor industry
Results: Set-up of an financially-independent business unit to compensate for the product and project business
Determining and training for a uniform project management process
Clearly structured processes are the basis for every successful project. Thomas Pluch was appointed by the management as an Interim Management Trainer with the task of creating training documents and holding workshops. By constantly supporting various Project Managers, the existing way of working at the employer was analysed and compared to the project management experience gained by Pluch in interim management. This was done with the aim of defining a uniform bottom-up project management process for the future international business, according to the customer's state of development, using a workshop. The elements seen as useful by the participants of the training courses were presented to the company management for integration into the current project handling process. The introduction of the new project management process was therefore able to be started quickly.
Project focus: Management training - Change management - Process optimisation
Sector: Equipment construction - Plant construction
Results: A standardized project management process to be prepared for the international market
Potential analysis of a strategic product for cost optimisation purposes
The money saved in purchasing and production improves competitiveness and no longer has to be earned on the sales side. For an internationally-active medium-sized company in the clean room technology sector, Thomas Pluch was able to help with innovation integration and cost optimisation in his role as an Interim Manager. Here materials, processes, purchasing, production, engineering and the customer requirements were closely examined. Innovations with effective financial relief and a low risk were specifically integrated into the production process after the analysis. At the same time the rest of the improvements determined were able to be incorporated into the next product batch, after a test phase at the supplier and positive results. Thanks to the operative management process a short-term saving potential of more than 20% was calculated for planning, material and production costs.
Project focus: Cost optimisation - Process optimisation
Sector: Apparatus construction
Results: An operative management process for short-term savings of > 20% in purchasing, planning and production
Market entry of a French sub-contractor in Germany
As an Interim Manager, Thomas Pluch supported the external sales of an international group with their market entry in Germany. The focus here was on communication with potential OEMs as well as the resulting qualification processes. To achieve fast results, Thomas Plus worked as an intermediary to help understand different cultures, as an analyst of the existing acquisition processes and as an integration manager to include customer demands in the sales and project team of the client. The market entry was completed by achieving Qualified Supplier status with a strategically important OEM.
Project focus: Market entry - Increasing growth
Sector: Automotive industry
Results: Inter-cultural management to achieve the status of Qualified Supplier
Support with the market launch of a niche product
To support the market launch of a niche product in the software sector for a German engineering company in France, Thomas Pluch offered support with French e-commerce.
Project focus: e-commerce support
Sector: Service providers, Engineering
Results: Accelerated contacts to potential french clients
Establishing of trade partners in Europa
As an Interim Manager, Thomas Pluch developed a network of partners for logistics and sales in Germany, France and Switzerland for a wood processing company from South-East Asia. His task was to analyse the market: "How has the competition developed?", to acquire potential customers and examine the product mix: "Which products are in demand? Determining "Which products can be used to quickly penetrate the market?" He had to do this with the focus on quickly developing the market and then supplement it using retail partners.
Project focus: Business Development Management
Location: South-East Asia
Sector: Furniture industry