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Through the crisis with interim management?

After about one and a half turbulent years of the Corona crisis, the economy and society are breathing a little easier, but there is still uncertainty about the future. The German economy has proven that it is adaptable and has a strong backbone thanks to its small and medium-sized enterprises. Especially in the initial shock of the companies after the outbreak of the pandemic, most of them reacted with drastic cost reductions in order to be able to better cushion sales slumps. Among other things, expenses for external service providers and consultants* were cut sharply. A paradox, because: It is precisely external specialists who can help in crisis situations to manoeuvre the company back into safe waters. Interim managers, in particular, can become a strong entrepreneurial support in acute crisis and need situations, as they actively help to shape the company and do not only act in an advisory capacity.

Dr. Maier + Partner Interim Management GmbH finds temporary managers for companies in situations of temporary need. In this text, we as an interim management provider from Stuttgart show how interim management can actively and meaningfully lead companies through crisis situations and strengthen them for the time after the crisis.

What is interim management and why is it useful?

Interim management is based on the temporary filling of a first and second level management position within a company for a specific, usually pre-defined period of time. The position is filled by freelance or self-employed managers - usually for a period of between six and twelve months. Cases of need for an interim manager can be, for example, short-term, unforeseen absences. But interim managers are also used in the course of restructuring or to supervise and control specific projects.

Interim managers can be deployed in a wide range of functional areas and at both strategic and operational levels. Both as interim CEO or interim CFO in management, as well as in operational units in production, quality management and IT.

Operational interim managers are increasingly in demand, especially due to rapidly developing megatrends such as digitalisation and sustainability. Especially in the course of restructuring, takeovers and mergers, interim personnel managers can also make an important strategic contribution.

Advantages and disadvantages of interim management

One advantage of interim management is that filling the suddenly vacant management position is much quicker than with executive search. Companies can react very quickly to situations of need without major administrative effort. Especially by working with an interim management provider, i.e. a company that specialises in the placement of interim managers, additional effort can be avoided and the search process can be accelerated many times over.

Interim managers are also experienced in their work as executives and bring with them a very broad and differentiated expertise. They are familiar with situations that are often new for the companies and know how to assess and approach them best. The objective view from outside can also provide a new perspective and bring advantages both strategically and operationally.

On the other hand, interim managers incur costs and, as external service providers, are not familiar with the company's internal processes.

To overcome the challenges of temporary employment, close and transparent cooperation with the interim management provider is therefore essential. Companies such as Dr. Maier + Partner Interim Management GmbH help companies to react highly efficiently to crisis situations or to implement a restructuring with additional expertise.

Interim Management as a Supporting Vehicle for Digitalisation in the Corona Crisis

With the first lockdown in 2020, the Corona pandemic forced companies to reorganise processes and, in some cases, to realign entire business models. The sudden compulsion to restructure came unexpectedly for many. Customer contacts and internal communication were only possible via digital channels without any lead time and there were massive drops in turnover even in the strongest industries. This sudden crisis situation was a catalyst for the megatrend of digitalisation and various macro trends. The change presented many companies with unimagined challenges and not infrequently revealed the limits of their own capabilities. In precisely these areas, interim managers can be highly efficient alternatives to internal solutions or permanent appointments. Compared to a management consultancy, an interim manager is much closer to the company's processes and actively helps to shape them. In order to cope with the major digitisation push in German SMEs, we predict that interim managers will become increasingly in demand and ultimately make a decisive contribution to the implementation of the digital transformation.

The prerequisite for overcoming crises and restructuring is that companies do not focus entirely on cost reduction in uncertain times, but increasingly on active action in the face of major and far-reaching changes. Courage to help shape the future pays off!

Do you have questions about interim management? Dr. Maier + Partner Interim Management GmbH is your interim management provider in Stuttgart and for the whole of Germany. Feel free to contact us at any time!

*In this text, only the masculine form is used for better readability. The chosen masculine formulations also apply without restriction to all genders.