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Spotlight

  • 19/09/2019
    Interim Human Resources Manager for a Business Services Firm

    Our client, a small subsidiary of a large holding company was acquiring a division that was several times its current size, with operations in over 30 countries. This created gaps in expertise and bandwidth to properly execute within a tight timeframe. The company needed more senior level experience with acquisitions, integration and global environments. 


    It was clear one of the gaps was in human resources expertise. Once the company’s needs were understood, our SMW Partner provided candidates for the position and one was chosen and was brought on board.

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  • 19/09/2019
    Interim GM for an Automotive Performance & Aftermarket leader

    The client, a world class automotive performance brand, was a family owned business, recognized as the brand leader for their market space. They had a short-term need for a General Manager, Manufacturing Operations in Multiple locations, for just 16 weeks.


    The company was facing accelerating growth and a growing backlog, delivery to customers was suffering despite the efforts of the team. The total backlog was over $9,000,000. Unfortunately, the backlog was accelerating much faster than manufacturing capacity. The drop in customer fill rate led to canceled orders. In addition, the excessive overtime being used to catch up was causing people to burn out.

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  • 24/08/2019
    International Case Study from SMW: Interim HR Director Automotive

    The client is a 35-bilion Euro automotive supplier with worldwide presence in forty countries focusing on car powertrain technology including dual-clutch transmissions. This business unit has 1300 permanent and 500 temporary employees. Annual turnover is about 360 Million Euros, producing transmissions for all major car producers in Germany. While the business was running well, the local HR department was not well organised, caused by some management changes during the last three years. Additionally, the relationship between the company and the Works Council and the unions were bad.


    The situation in HR needed to be addressed quickly. There was no leadership in the HR function and this led to a lack of trust in promises made by the HR team. There was a lack of competent resources and the company was hiring hundreds of temp workers. The Works Council was also frustrated with their collaboration with HR. In general, HR was in bad shape.

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  • 04/08/2019
    International Case Study from SMW: Interim CFO for European Real Estate Developer

    The client, a family-owned European commercial real estate development firm based in Brussels that focused on large project in retail and hospitality. They were executing a large Real Estate development project in retail and hospitality in Istanbul of more than 500M€. The Turkish subsidiary had been set up with local partner. After a few years, the Turkish subsidiary had opaque financial accounts and the headquarters team decided to use the services of an external CFO to regain confidence in the situation and in particular, the numbers that were reported.

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  • 09/06/2019
    International Case Study from SMW: CFO for a fashion retailer based in Germany

    The client was a well-respected family-owned French retailer that is very active in the fashion industry, with distribution in 35 countries with over 800 points of sale and 6000 employees. The company had decided to close down their German hub, which covered both Germany and Austria, in order to reduce the ongoing losses in the region. The sales volumes had decreased about 10%, partly due to higher competitive pressure associated with local management weaknesses and turnover.


    The company was looking for a French CFO who was not only fluent in German, but also able to manage the specifics of German and Austrian accounting and legal requirements. This manager would need to be on-site and have a strong operational background and be able to be local in the affiliate for some months without compromising with the international French reporting and mentality of the company which remained very strict on internal reporting. One of the key priorities was to finalize the redundancy plan (10 FTE) of the subsidiary and closing the remaining outlets while keeping alive the finance and accounting department.


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