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Finding the right person to fulfil an executive role can be a complicated and time-consuming business, but it's even more complicated when a candidate needs to be rapidly sourced for operations abroad.

It was no problem at all for German manufacturing company, Friedrich Muench GmbH+CoKG, who were able to find the ideal Interim Production Manager for Ringmesh, their UK factory, within just two weeks, with the help of fast track executive recruitment specialists, Executives Online.

Friedrich Muench GmbH+CoKG, which is based near Stuttgart, produces chainmail material from steel and titanium wire, which is used to make aprons and gloves to protect workers in the food industry from sharp implements.

Ringmesh, its UK factory in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was suffering production problems after the loss of its Production Manager in Autumn 2004. There was a big fluctuation of staff, not enough experienced people to operate the machinery and the process was down to one shift but needed two shifts to fulfill the sales and provide product to meet all the orders placed.

"We needed to have someone very, very quickly," comments MD Joerg Ritter. "We certainly couldn’t wait for the two to three months it generally takes for executive recruitment and, as a decision needed to be made on the whole future of the UK factory, the interim route seemed the best option. But even in interim terms, we needed someone particularly fast."

A decision also had to be made on the nationality of the new manager. The company had the choice of finding a replacement Production Manager in Germany to be posted to the UK, or finding a UK-based candidate. They decided on the latter option in order to avoid language difficulties and have a Manager who was conversant with UK working practices.

"Ken was the perfect man for the job and I am grateful to Executives Online for helping us to find him so fast."

It was July Dawson from Drury PSM Ltd. (personal and safety management) who looked after the labour issues at the Ringmesh factory who recommended Executives Online to Joerg Ritter after seeing a feature about their interim management services in a trade magazine, which she sent to Ritter to read.

"The communication was exceptional," explains Ritter. "I had an initial telephone conversation with Executives Online during which I explained our precise requirements. We needed someone with the right production background who also had exemplary people management skills. The selection process began by Executives Online emailing a selection of concise CVs of possible candidates, all of whom were excellent."

Ritter came to the UK for final interviews with the three short-listed candidates and appointed Ken A, who had an engineering and production background. The recruitment process had taken just a fortnight and Ken A was able to start work at the Ripon factor three days later.

He hired new staff, trained existing ones and had the crucial second shift up and running within five weeks.

A very important part of Ken A's brief as interim manager, was to consult on the best way forward for the company and advise the Friedrich Muench board if it was preferable to keep the UK factory or move all operations to Germany. After reviewing the processes, Ken A recommended that it made little sense to duplicate operations in two separate sites and the differences in working cultures caused unnecessary problems. He managed the successful relocation of Ringmesh to Germany earlier this year.

"I was extremely pleased with what Executives Online and Ken A have done for us," concludes Joerg Ritter. "He was the perfect man for the job and I am grateful to Executives Online for helping us to find him so fast."