Business Case: Mindset Change – A current report on the assignment as Interim Head of Operations CEE at a French company

Initial situation:
A comprehensive transformation program was initiated at a leading French group active in the cable manufacturing sector. The plant management of the central site in Germany, which is also the lead factory for Central and Eastern Europe, was recalled at short notice. The local transformation process was ineffectively communicated and only partially implemented. The new VP of the Accessories Business Unit, who took over this position, announced a change management process to drive the transformation forward.

The client is a major international corporation with over 10,000 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of over 10 billion euros. The core business comprises the manufacture of cables for electrification over land, underground and in water. The Group is one of the largest manufacturers in the world and the market leader in Europe. The global organization is carried out via decentralized business units.

Initial situation/challenge of the project:
The plant management of the central location in Germany, which acts as the lead plant for Central and Eastern Europe, was immediately released and replaced by an interim manager as Head of Operations CEE, responsible for locations in Poland and the Czech Republic. The main task was to correctly initiate and accelerate the transformation process, bring about a mindset change in the workforce and involve the employee representatives.

Aims/tasks of the project:

  • Integration of the new position as Head of Operations CEE
  • Short-term bridging of the cyclical decline in sales
  • Rethink location management and set it up as a blue print “lean organization”
  • Achieve mindset change in the workforce
  • Takeover of the central logistics center Europe project
  • Relocation and merger of two locations in Eastern Europe
  • Negotiation of site security with employee representatives

Measures and implementation steps:

  • New position Head of Operations CEE: Group-wide announcement and reorganization implemented.
  • Introduction of short-time working: company agreement concluded, target agreements reached with employees.
  • Mindset change: Introduction of information and communication standards according to the top-down-bottom-up principle.
  • CIP introduction: Problem-solving process method redesigned.
  • Relocation: Project team initiated, organizational planning and follow-up carried out.
  • Business planning 2024: planning and Group approval carried out.
  • Complete central warehouse 100% KAPA: Catalog of measures created, tracked and implemented.

Successes and results of the interim management assignment:

  • Short-time working introduced: Capacity utilization improved, costs reduced by 15%.
  • Location management structures: streamlined and reorganized, overhead costs reduced by 20%.
  • Central warehouse completed: Capacity set to 98% availability.
  • Mindset change: Information and communication standardized up to the working level.
  • Relocation: Project management set up, partial relocation carried out.
  • Handover: Handover successfully completed.

Concluding remarks:
The targeted deployment of the interim manager and the measures implemented accelerated the transformation process and achieved sustainable improvements. The efficiency increases and cost reductions contributed significantly to the stabilization and future viability of the company.

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Dr. Martin Ludwig Mayr, Managing Director
+49 89 20 500 8695

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