Getting the Most out of an Interim Manager

Gerry Consulting, Management, Operations

After your manufacturing facility has recognized the needs for an interim manager – whether because you’re facing some sort of business crisis or you need to take ample time to find the perfect replacement to fill a key leadership role – the first step is obviously obtaining the right person for the interim job.

How to Attract the Perfect Interim Manager for Your Facility’s Needs

How do you ensure you’re making a sound decision for your facility during this transitional period? First, you need to clearly define your goals for the interim manager. What are you hoping he or she will accomplish? Are the roles, responsibilities and expected results spelled out perfectly? These are two very important steps in finding the perfect fit.

Next, you need to determine what relevant skillsets are imperative to the role, including technical and interpersonal skills. What resources will you provide to ensure their success, and how much decision-making authority will be granted? Additionally, all employees should be on the same page, ready and willing to cooperate with the interim manager throughout his or her time with your facility. Remember, unlike a manufacturing consultant, an interim manager will not just advise what to do, but he or she will also implement the changes to quickly deliver the results your facility needs.

Operational Improvement with a Skilled Interim Manager

You’ve defined all of the above and have found the perfect candidate to fill the role. Now, it’s time to ensure you’re getting the most out of the interim manager’s skills. There are a few tips to keep in mind after you’ve found the right person:

  1. Facilitate rapport and trust: Ensure your team understands from the start why the interim manager is there, and why you’ve chosen to hire them. Then, help your interim manager build a strong relationship with existing employees. It’s important to realize that the success of the assignment is dependent upon everyone working together as a team.
  2. Communicate continuously: While you should of course communicate your expectations and goals for the interim manager even prior to hiring him or her, throughout their time at your facility you should also keep the lines of communication open with all employees. Ask for regular reports and updates, too, and schedule regular meetings to make sure everything is staying on track.
  3. Stay focused on the objectives: Your interim manager won’t operate without clear objectives from the start. However, throughout the assignment it’s common for other key employees to get involved, asking questions unrelated to the original objectives. This leads to losing sight of the end results as he or she is forced to spend time on other issues. Make sure the interim manager is staying focused on the goals you defined, and instead finding a balance between helping out on other tasks and those original objectives.

Manufacturing Management Consulting Services from Manufacturing Resource Network

Manufacturing Resource Network offers flexible interim manufacturing management services for the short- or long-term – as long as your hiring process takes – and we can provide key management and executives for every department in your manufacturing facility. Our hands-on professionals are ready to fill any role in your company with the skills and experience you seek, and provide mentorship, assist with strategic planning, serve as technical advisors and more.

Our manufacturing consulting services include throughput improvement, process development, manufacturing drawing and technical writing, onsite or remote CNC programming services, supply chain management and more.

Contact us today to learn more about manufacturing management consulting services from MRN.