Need an Operations Executive? Here are a few ways you can use an operations executive in your business.

At Cerius, we have seen various strategic uses of an Interim Operations Executive.

Operations Executive

There’s a number of reasons a company of any size would need an operations executive for additional expertise.  Whether you are looking for someone to put into place lean practices, processes, procedures and accountability, establish the infrastructure to support it at the next stage of growth or help identify and improve profit margins, bringing in an interim executive or management consultant can be a great way to quickly address the need and keep the focus on results without committing to long term overhead costs. At Cerius, we have seen the strategic use of an Interim Operations Executive include:

  • Business Process Improvement – Re-engineering, Optimization and Best Practices
  • Six Sigma / ISO and Lean Sigma / Lean Manufacturing
  • Quality Control
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Customer Service and Call
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system planning and implementation
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Performance Improvement
  • Contract Management
  • Facilities and Security
  • Manufacturing and manufacturing out-sourcing

 

As we mentioned, the situations for bringing in outside expertise can be limitless.  Here’s a few of the most common ones we see from clients at Cerius, how they were addressed and the types of results the client experienced:

Medium Manufacturing in the Construction industry
Interim COO, 4 days/week, 6 months

Situation

  • Quality issues
  • Father wants to retire and did not have a viable succession plan in place
  • Not sure whether to keep family member in place as COO or replace

Implementation

  • Implemented SOP for quality improvement
  • Set specific goals and objectives for current COO with accountability system
  • Upgraded reporting system for engineering and programing
  • Reorganized engineering into multi-shifts
  • Managed and improved engineering department
  • Assessed and hired replacement COO
  • Bridged transition of leadership
  • Established plan for succession
  • Coached family member and placed in new position to maximize value

Results

  • Improved lead time by 60%
  • Customer returns reduced by 75%
  • Involuntary employee turnover in plant reduced by 75%

Small Manufacturer in the Automotive Aftermarket industry
COO, 2-3 days/week for 6 months

Situation

  • Increasing cost of goods
  • Needed to restructure management team
  • Need for improvement in SKU mix, pricing, fill rates and line productivity
  • Company lost strive for excellence

Implementation

  • Implemented one page strategic plan down from 27 pages
  • Established dashboards to drive and manage business for each department
  • Focused on 60 and 90 day action plans rather than one year
  • Created business champions giving full authority to run their departments in best interest of the company
  • Performed full line and SKU analysis
  • Optimized line production and work schedules
  • Established team decision making

Results

  • 36% drop in cost of goods
  • 300 SKUs identified to warrant price increase
  • Dropped 100 slow selling SKUs
  • Fill rate increased by 20%
  • Reduced variability on production lines
  • Decreased scrap by 4%

Educational Materials and Printing industry
Director of Operations, 2 days/week, 14 months

Situation

  • CEO saw need to focus on: Process improvements, staff effectiveness, management strength
  • Wanted to provide foundation for future growth

Implementation

  • Restructured and resized the organization to meet needs and objectives of the strategic plan
  • Optimized the supply and distribution processes and channels in order to ensure quality while minimizing costs
  • Develop a set of highly transparent, widely accessible performance metrics to demonstrate

Results

  • Bottom line effect of $600k+
  • Produced 20% reduction of inventory on-hand
  • Reduced customer backorders by 50%
  • Reduced warehouse space requirements by 20%
  • Reduced customer order time from six to four days
  • Renegotiated supplier contracts reducing costs

Small Engineering & Construction Company
Interim Managing Director of Project Management, 3 days/week for 11 months

Situation

  • Challenged with reaching growth objectives
  • Potential challenges retaining profit margins
  • Too much dependency on one market segment
  • No IT strategy or plan

Implementation

  • Realignment from a geography based to a targeted industry based organization
  • Developed and implemented QA/QC process and procedures
  • Introduced a centralized PMO to manage and report resource utilization
  • Implemented PMO software
  • Realigned job descriptions and compensation for key management and partners
  • Implemented key performance indicators linked to measurements at managerial and executive levels

Results

  • Grew revenue year to year 15% while absorbing expenses or reorganization
  • Reduced administrative support time and cost by 20%
  • Maintained project margin distribution
  • Reduced resource planning time by 50%

Small Govcon Technology (SaaS) company
Interim COO/CRO, 5 days/week for one year

Situation

  • Pending legal issues
  • Federal insourcing mandate
  • Unable to attract new federal customers
  • Accumulating legal defense bills
  • Running at significant loss with no clear path to profitability
  • Loss of direction, staff was complacent
  • No clear picture of direction for company
  • Operational, financial and legal issues

Implementation

  • Immediate measures put into place to reduce & prioritize costs to enable restructuring of business
  • Seek and effectuate a sale of company or its assets
  • Identified, developed and negotiated sell of company’s IP and transition of workforce to a new government vendor
  • Guided remainder of company through bankruptcy
  • Negotiated and settled with Justice

Results

  • Sale of a portion of the company for 1.6x revenue in a severely restricted market
  • Successful transition of team to new company
  • Successful conclusion of all legal issues
  • Disposal of remaining company assets via chapter 11

Though no two companies and situations are the same, we find there are often common themes within organizations, and at Cerius, we know how to find the right expertise to address the need and provide results.  If you have more questions about interim executives and management consultants click here some of the most commonly asked questions and answers.

 

To learn about how Cerius Interim Management can help you, please visit our home page by clicking here.


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