When you need highly skilled supply chain management resources which are available at short notice, it is not uncommon to require a high degree of flexibility (such as being able to “switch off” the resource when it is no longer currently needed) as well as fee rates which are comparable to any existing measures. This is where supply chain interim management becomes a highly valuable commodity, as the placing of a skilled interim manager can have a large positive impact on a business.
Just some of the roles supply chain interim managers are called to fulfil are:
1. Resource Gap Bridging, normally prior to the company hiring a full time member of staff to take on the role.
2. Backfilling. If the currently present manager is about to be seconded to a major project it is not uncommon to need an interim head of supply chains. SAP projects are a common cause of the need for backfilling.
3. Resource Constraints. A supply chain interim manager is often needed to manage a particular project which ordinarily would be done in-house but cannot be resourced.
4. Temporary or Part Time Operational Assignments. These often will not justify the overheads associated with bringing in a new full time employee, or take place while a new supply chain manager is being coached and trained.
5. Holding the Fort. This often happens when operational roles are unclear, normally because company strategies have not been decided.
6. Crisis Management. This covers unexpected events such as dismissal, unexpected departure or even death of a key member of staff.
7. Post-Acquisition or Merger Management to fill the resourcing gap while a full management team is being established.
8. Pre-Sale Management of a company or portion of a company in preparation for a sale, when full time staff have already been moved on or laid off.
9. Urgent Change Management of costs structure, organisation, processes, strategy or anything similar. This usually takes place when an external threat to the business is recognised, for example a sudden loss of market share, hostile takeover bid or unsustainable debt position.
10. Turnaround Management, sometimes referred to as “company doctoring.” This happens when it is inappropriate for a permanent member of staff to be appointed, or in cases where the role looks too risky to actually attract a quality permanent manager.
Many supply chain consultants offer an interim management team along with other key benefits such as inventory optimisation, logistics tender management, online invoicing software and similar services.