Strategy development, stabilisation of processes and productivity

  • Sector:
    engineering services/project management
  • Company type:
    family business, 1st generation
  • Size:
    approx. 100 employees in Belgium, 250 employees worldwide
  • Location:
    Belgium
  • Responsibilities:
    strategy development, company culture, organisation optimisation
  • Concept phase:
    Change management

Initial situation

After years of development and dynamic growth as a family business in the field of project management and engineering services for industrial applications, the organisation was highly focused on the company founder. Unfortunately, the founder’s health issues required a restructuring of the organisation. The prompt provision of qualified personnel for customer orders was critical for the project-based business. The existing recruitment processes needed to be reviewed.

Implementation

In this typical initial situation of a successful and dynamic company, PLUCH Interim Management approached the concrete implementation of several key topics after an initial 8-day analysis phase:

Reorganisation of the top management team included the dissolution of the existing 5-member management team. Instead, a managing director in the Belgian organisation as well as a CEO at the group level (250 employees with 5 other locations) were instated in order to ease the burden on the founder and managing partner as non-family managers.

A business strategy for the future orientation of engineering services in the industry was developed jointly. This resulted in a concentration on 5 industrial sectors with simultaneous strengthening of the regional structure. Support and technical expertise for the business units was made possible in three central service areas and in international competence centres. The strategic considerations provided the framework for the realignment of the organisational structure while maintaining stable staff numbers.

The practical implementation of this new organisational structure into business units was started immediately. It was possible to staff the new business unit management level entirely with in-house, young talent, which was preceded by a structured application procedure based on requirement profiles, which also included important criteria for the change in corporate culture. Individual responsibility, supportive leadership of employees and a clear focus on results will shape the corporate culture even more strongly in the future.

In an initial joint process with the young business unit managers, business plans were drawn up for each individual market, based on which concrete annual objectives were developed. This was deliberately designed to reinforce personal responsibility for the issues elaborated. Orientation tools based on the ‘beyond the budget’ concept were also set up for the further implementation of the objectives.

As a very critical process in the personnel-intensive service sector, the recruitment of qualified personnel was especially important. This had also proven a limiting factor during previous influxes of order volume. And to actively prepare for economic growth cycles, increased cooperation with external partners in the area of human resources became a key element. Professionalisation of the hiring process and qualified personnel development offered further potential for improvement, which was implemented within the framework of this interim mandate. Thus, the recruitment process was professionalised by using an applicant database. The establishment of networks of applicants to develop a long-term pool of candidates and an active and timely recruitment process provided further potential for improvement. The further development of the existing mission statement helped to communicate the goals and values of the company in an attractive way in job interviews.

The introduction of software-based human resources development was in line with the goal of retaining qualified employees and developing them in the long term. This included a 360-degree assessment and annual, structured employee interviews.

The existing work culture and the personal responsibility of the project staff was an important key to optimising the company results. By establishing and introducing a new meeting culture, PLUCH Interim Management was able to contribute to the promotion of an active communication and compliance with binding meeting results.

Establishing visual KPIs and the extended implementation of a CRM system also served to further promote the focus on results. Implementation of a BI tool for recording and visualising the key data in the form of a balanced scorecard also supported the managers, as concrete result KPIs could be accessed at any time.

Project scope

  • realigning the organisation in Belgium
  • shifting from centralised to decentralised management
  • improving a performance-oriented work method
  • easing the burden of the shareholder
  • increasing the focus on selected business areas
  • establishing business units
  • increasing transparency and productivity within the company
  • optimising the support areas to reduce costs

Results

Decentralised organisation consisting of a business unit gradually took over the management and eased the burden on the shareholder; productivity and growth were continuously increased; employees were systematically further developed with the help of the new evaluation process, some took on middle management tasks. The new organisational structure was fully implemented after 6 months, the business units after 8 months, 100% recruitment targets achieved in the first year, productivity optimisation by 7% in the first year and a further 3% in the second year, reduction of the support department by 45% without layoffs, simultaneous business growth of 11% in the first year and 18% in the second year.

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2020 Pluch Interim Management pour les PME | entreprise moyennes | entreprise familiale
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