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Wyndeham Press is one of the UK's leading printing groups. Every week millions of people view the work produced by them, either through consumer and professional magazines, the national media, mail order catalogues, brochures or direct mail.
As a result of the economic downturn and the changing dynamics of the printing industry, more specifically the move towards electronic production, the organisation recognised the need to streamline its finance operation. Lawrence C, an experienced interim executive was appointed by Wyndeham Press Group to review the current structure and provide recommendations as to the changes needed.
By utilising Executives Online to source other experienced interim managers, Lawrence and his team played an integral role in helping Wyndeham Press Group become more streamlined and secure future growth. Anne Beitel, Managing Director of Executives Online explains how.
One of the first tasks that fell to Lawrence was to review the structure of the organisation and present a series of recommendations, designed to improve business performance. A key area which needed to be addressed was a weakness that had been identified within the financial reporting structure. Lawrence explains: “Swift and radical changes needed to be made and with staff changes including the departure of the Group Financial Controller and the news of a possible merger, it was vital that we sourced someone quickly who could hit the ground running.”
Following Lawrence’s recommendations, Wyndeham turned to interim management and subsequently, approached the team at Executives Online to help the organisation source an appropriate candidate and the team managed to respond with a high quality short list in a matter of days. As a result, exactly the right candidate was found and Peter H took up the role of Group Financial Controller within weeks.
Anne Beitel, Managing Director of Executives Online comments: “Having previously placed two other interim executives at Wyndeham we had a firm understanding of the organisation’s challenges and its recruitment requirements. Our most recent successful assignment with Wyndeham was the placement of Andrew E as Finance Director.”
Lawrence continues: “When Executives Online provides a short list of candidates, it is most likely that 80% of those candidates could in fact do the job, which means the decision is then based on the personal fit of that particular person. My experience of interim providers is extensive and I have never come across an organisation which spends so much time building and maintaining the relationship with the client. The team at Executives Online ensured that it met with us, face to face on a regular basis which meant that their understanding of our requirements was clear.”
Peter’s proven track record in implementing performance improvement practices resulted in a significant increase in the quality of the organisation’s financial reporting and forecasting management systems. He comments: “By ensuring that the necessary processes and procedures were in place and being adhered to, the management team now has a much clearer understanding of the overall financial performance of the Group.” Following the development of the strategy moving forward, Peter is now working closely with his permanent placement to ensure that the processes and procedures are maintained and that the Group continues moving in the right direction.
The Group’s challenges were further exacerbated with the recent collapse of the Icelandic Banks which caused an unprecedented level of financial uncertainty. The management team including Lawrence, with additional support from Peter, faced the extremely difficult task of securing the long-term future of the business. In the event, Lawrence played a vital role in helping to source the new investors and financial support needed to allow Wyndeham Press to continue as the UK’s pre-eminent printing group for years to come.