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Coatings Manufacturer

A senior interim placement fulfilled by Executives Online resulted in the successful integration of a newly acquired Polish business operation for a leading British wood stain and preservative manufacturer.

Leading interim management and executive recruitment company Executives Online was asked to identify an experienced interim project manager who would facilitate the relocation and integration of the recently acquired business. Integrating an acquisition is a very typical interim management brief, but in this case, the brief was demanding in detail. Executives Online needed to match its candidates to highly specific key tasks and candidate profile.  The candidates needed to be highly experienced in manufacturing.  They also needed to have hands-on factory relocation experience. Finally, they needed to be fluent in Polish and English.  Each requirement narrowed the potential candidate pool, making the search progressively challenging.   

"He demonstrated the key requirements of any successful interim manager – flexibility and the delivery of results"

Briefs like these can stump typical interim management firms. Each added element of the desired profile makes it less and less likely that a person possessing every required attribute will be present on the provider’s bench. However, for interim management company Executives Online, these are the kind of requirements the company was built to meet. Rather than reacting to an exacting brief via a search for candidates, or advertising, Executives Online uses technology to reverse the process, putting the search for candidates in advance of the clients’ needs. The company started reaching out to executives online (hence the company’s name) in 1999. Since then the company has built and continuously updated a highly searchable database of over 150,000 executives.

For this client, a detailed brief was communicated to candidates whose profile matched the role’s functional area of manufacturing, experience in factory integration, industry, language skills and location.

James O’Brien, managing director of Executives Online, said:  “Our Talent Bank gives our recruitment specialists fast access to qualified candidates, and its scale means that even as the brief tightens, we are very likely to be able to access candidates for even the narrowest of briefs.  This is especially crucial for interim management roles, which normally must be filled nearly immediately. The Talent Bank allows us to identify experienced interim managers with the right skill sets to quickly provide clients with candidate short lists for interviewing.” 

Paul Barron, Recruitment Director for Executives Online North, led the project. Through Executives Online’s recruitment process, interim manager Leszek Przeslica was identified, briefed, interviewed and referenced for the company.

Leszek had managed similar engineering and construction-led relocation projects before and was experienced in warehouse construction, filling and packing and batch manufacturing installations.  He was also bi-lingual.

Reporting to the Operations Director, Leszek’s key tasks were to:

  • Lead the project to move production to a selected site to optimise supply chain and manufacturing efficiencies
  • Ensure that combined site facilities were fit for purpose, including managing the construction of new warehousing and office accommodation
  • Establish supply chain best practices at a retained facility, ensuring processes conformed to group standards and requirements
  • Establish and implement robust project procedures and documentation for design, tendering, installation, commissioning and handover.

Based in Poznan for the first six months at the headquarters of the client’s sister company, Leszek was responsible for progressing the project, preparing schedules and establishing set milestones against the strict timeframe. He also moved office so that he was situated on site where the main construction work was being undertaken.

Leszek said: “Within 24 months I had arranged all the necessary approvals for the completion of the project.  In addition, I was responsible for negotiating and securing within budget the land needed for the expansion of factory facilities. This involved liaising successfully with the relevant landowners, where I secured financial savings of more than 40% due to my local knowledge and negotiation skills.

“Finally I worked closely with the project architects to ensure the most suitable contractor for the building work was chosen.”

The complex project required not only engineering and project management skills but also experience of dealing with local and provincial Polish authorities, which Leszek had gained after many years of professional project management practice.

“Unfortunately, you cannot learn these skills at university. My project was successful because of my experience in the field,” he said.

The Regional Director of Human Resources (EMEA) said: “Leszek was financially and commercially astute, and worked closely to support colleagues and drive the project forward. He was able to blend the best of cultures, processes and practices and fitted the brief perfectly.

“He demonstrated the key requirements of any successful interim manager – flexibility and the delivery of results. Leszek’s knowledge, experience and energy ensured that this complex project was successfully delivered on time and within budget.”