What is Interim Management?

The Dutch created the concept of Interim Management in the 1970s as a response to a fast-changing business climate and the need for increased flexibility in the workplace. At the time, employees gave long notice periods when changing jobs, so changing management was a costly and long process. The idea came to the UK in the late 1980s and in the UK we now operate possibly the most sophisticated interim management environment in the world.

Interim Management is the use of highly qualified senior executives and managers, in a "hands-on" capacity, on a short to medium term basis to rapidly and effectively solve the increasingly complex problems that are met in the present day business environment. They will work within the management structure of an enterprise, either as a functional manager or to undertake a specific short term project. Projects can last anything from as short as eight weeks to over a year in some cases.

An interim manager may be described as "an all-in-one project manager, consultant and senior executive working at or near board level". An interim manager will typically occupy a position that would command a salary of at least £50,000 p.a.

Applying additional management for short periods is proving to be an extremely attractive resource option in these times of organisational change and uncertainty. Interim Management is now established as a powerful alternative to traditional resourcing and consultancy solutions and can secure significant business advantage. Increasingly, modern management organisations employ a mix of permanent staff, Interim Managers and consultants that best suits them.

Interim Management is a rapidly growing trend in resourcing, growing at up to 20% per annum, but who are Interim Managers?

Who are Interim Managers?

Interim professionals are highly experienced, hands on executives, managers and consultants with a proven track record of success, they are not between jobs but have chosen Interim Management as a Career. Most have been entrepreneurs or in senior management positions. They like the challenge, variety and flexibility it offers and they find it rewarding.

Used to working on a project basis, interim professionals understand how to manage an assignment within timeframes and budgets. Results-driven, an interim is as motivated to achieve the client’s objectives as they are. Interim professionals, who are directly accountable to the client, are used to moving into challenging situations and providing immediate solutions for their clients.

Interim Managers operate at all executive and management levels in senior line management, specialist or project management positions.

A professional interim manager...

·       Is available at short notice.

·       Hits the ground running.

·       Is sensibly over-qualified and experienced for the task in hand.

·       Is a cost effective alternative to permanent, highly paid executives.

·       Gets results fast whilst adopting a diplomatic approach.

·       Supplies an independent perspective to management.

·       Is easily terminated when the assignment ends or requirements change.

·       Has professional indemnity insurance cover.

When to use an Interim Manager

Companies typically turn to Interim Management when they need to complete a specific project by a definite date or when they need an experienced and mature person to fill a gap in their management team. The need to use an Interim Manager can occur at any time and typically needs to be resolved very rapidly

Roles Interim Managers can fulfil include:

Gap management

·       Sudden loss of a senior executive through resignation, sickness or death.

·       Planned absence through secondment, maternity leave or vacation.

·       Dismissals, planned or unplanned.

·       Protracted recruitment difficulties caused by scarcity or unusual market factors.

·       A sudden increase in workload.

·       Support when existing management are absent or fully stretched.

Managing a change situation - restructuring - evaluating diversification

·       To guide management and staff through new methods or processes.

·       Effecting culture change.

·       Setting up a businesses.

·       Mentoring/Team Development.

·       A restructuring or cultural change and additional resource and expertise is needed.

·       Managing acquisitions and mergers.

·       Turning round an ailing business.

Project management - one off essential projects requiring full time commitment

·       Any situation which requires evaluation, recommendation and implementation.

·       Launching a project but you do not have the required skills in house.

·       Additional support to implement a business opportunity.

·       Relocation of a factory, warehouse or other premises.

·       Launching a new product.

·       Assisting a start up.

·       Pricing of tenders and specific contracts.

·       Acquisition evaluation, integration planning, due diligence and integration.

·       Capital expenditure evaluation of proposals and review actual expenditure against agreed targets.

·       Business planning through budgeting, forecasting and strategic planning.

Crisis Management - correcting problems and implementing new procedures

·       To improve business performance.

·       Structuring of management information needs.

·       Company rescue.

·       Closing down a business.

Clients use Interim Managers for many reasons, but principally because they:

·       Offer a flexible, focused resource and deliver projects successfully, on time and within budget.

·       They are available on demand, can be appointed within days and be used for as long as they are needed.

·       Bring a wealth of experience and maturity, ensuring minimal learning curve which allows them to deliver results immediately and to rapidly bring about change.

·       Accept line responsibility and accountability for a problem until it is resolved.

·       Unlike consultants they are integrated into the management team and viewed and accepted as insiders.

·       Cost effectiveness.

·       No fuss finish.

Cost Considerations

Interim Managers deliver tangible operational and cost benefits. They have the experience, resources, flexibility and maturity to meet the complex demands of today's business world.

'How do I know this is value for money' is a standard question that comes up, closely followed by enquiries as to the lengths of pieces of string. There are a few basic questions to ask in order to establish whether your relationship is going to work:

·       How much would you pay someone with the same skills and experience on your payroll? Don't expect an interim to be cheaper - expect to pay them only short term.

·       Does your interim justify the daily rate?

·       Where can you deploy them most effectively?

With an interim manager the company has a fixed overhead. He or she is contracted to deliver a fixed assignment for a fixed cost and fixed duration. Meanwhile, the company gets the benefit of instant experience and a capability that is almost certainly one rank higher than the job requires. And, you have an implementer who will be focused solely on the job you want doing and not your job.

Another advantage is that you can forget office politics: an interim executive will not be involved. Forget also any notion that here is someone who might want to work for you in the long term. A committed interim with several assignments on his CV will rarely entertain the idea of returning to a corporate career. These are people who have learned to thrive on uncertainty.

You pay an inclusive fee for an Interim Manager plus travel and accommodation expenses where appropriate, there are no other costs. This compares favourably on a day to day basis with the cost of a permanent manager when you take into account the cost of NHI, Pension, Holidays, Sickness, Re-location, Contractual Costs, PAYE, Recruitment Costs, Redundancy pay etc.

Charges are made on a daily basis and fees for Supply Chain and Logistics interims are in the range of approximately £500-£750 per day depending on the level of the individual Interim Manager, the tasks, location and duration of assignment. Whilst typically interim executives are contracted to work for five days per week, three days per week or a fixed number of days per month are becoming more common. The client only pays for days worked.

The bonus is that when the job is completed the contract comes to an end and there are no termination or hidden costs.